Tuesday, June 19, 2012

e-note from home

Naperville is 745 miles from where I grew up. (Wouldn't this distance calculator been handy for those ridiculous word problems of our youth?)

I am rarely able to get "home." The Midwest is a chunk of America away. Our parents have been gone forever. It's just not 1960 anymore.

And yet.

Last week, we were near home for Kevin and Stephen's wedding. Rather than chew my nails about the rain pouring down all the livelong day (the sun popped out 90 minutes before the ceremony began and the weather managed to behave all night), we drove down to sightsee in the village I grew up in.



It's a mile square.

It has changed very little, though Best and Company is gone from the main street.

Steinman's jettisoned its counter and green stools for running shoes and lycra.

Roberts' Toy Town sells those machiolattesoftwhipextradrizzle drinks.

Woolworths is a Walgreens.


And, of course, the cars don't have quite the same finned presence.

But I recognized the florist shop, the bookstore and the bakery. And the street I grew up on.

It all felt a bit dreamlike, a little strange. (I might get the whole space-time continuum thing better if I'd been more about Star Trek than Lost in Space.)

About the postcard above. (I apologize for the poor quality. It IS old, afterall.) On the left, there is a woman holding a child's hand, crossing the street. I have the whisper of a memory of my mother telling my father, "When we were downtown today, some man took our picture."

Now, this could be a fragment of a TV show or a figment of my faulty brain. As it is, a million memories later, I found this postcard on eBay. There was just something about it.


Is it my mom and me? I don't really know. 

As it is, it is enough to know that I love the straw bag she carries in her left hand and what she is holding fast in her right.

23 comments:

The Other Me Is Sane said...

Bronxville looks like a lovely little town. I'm assuming it's in NY (?) The picture of the woman and child choked me up. Are there any adults in the family who might be able to determine if it looks like your mother?

Anonymous said...

Charming post. it sounds as if you have wonderful memories...

Irene said...

It would be nice to think that it's you and your mom on the postcard. You're lucky you've got it to hold on to the memories with.

noexcuses said...

What a great and safe place to grow up! I'll bet it IS you and your mom! The few times I've been back to the home I remember, it still has some of the same places, too! Thanks for sharing!

Pondside said...

It's always such an emotional thing, going home. The postcard and the 'back story' are lovely!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I think you should just assume it is you and your mom. It's just too sweet of a memory not to enjoy!

Emma Major said...

Oh that postcard's amazing, and what memories. I'm right back in that time with you, great piece

edenhills said...

What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I guess I'm lucky that I live about a mile from the town where I grew up. I love the postcard!

Annesphamily said...

This was so charming! I really enjoyed your thoughts here today! Thanks for the beautiful share.

Andy David said...

Hello.
Wouldn't that be something if the woman and child turned out to be your mom and you? You must let us know if you find out. Lovely, nostalgic post.
Thanks for sharing.

Emotions Of Poetry

Wanda said...

What a lovely post. I hope it turns out that the postcard photo IS you and your mother but, even if it's not, you will still have the memory of that whispered confidence and that image in your mind's eye.

Theresa said...

Wonderful! Love the vintage, cozy feel!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a pretty town! I love going through my hometown and looking at the changes.

anitamombanita said...

Sweet. My daughter lives in the house I grew up in. Although the town has grown and changed, it holds precious memories for me each time I visit.

Judie said...

My son recently visited the house we lived in when he was a little boy in Chicago. He said it looks so small!

I hope the wedding was lovely. Congratulations to the happy couple.

Tina´s PicStory said...

interesting W :)

VBR said...

What a wonderful time you must have had seeing your hometown. (I would love to live in a small town like that!) Just curious - did everything seem a bit 'smaller' to you? When I drove through my old neighborhood everything was much smaller than I remember. Wonderful E post.

Naperville Now said...

@VBR -- yes, there was definitely an Alice-like quality to the village.

Mumsy¸.¤ª“˜¨ said...

It must be an emotional journey back to where you grew up, but all good memories though!

Splendid Little Stars said...

ooo....the mystery and speculation!
I love the old-timey photo! How cool to have that!
The downtown area near where I grew up is almost completely different. However, someone wrote a book with all the old photos. It was given to my mom by my cousin and I have it now. We never thought to take photos back then.....

Linda said...

Lots of memories...How sweet this post is.

Jenny said...

This post made me teary eyed.

I love this.

I want to move back to that era and that time.

Gosh.

This must have made your heart ache.

I think that is your Mom and you! And I love your phrasing about her holding your hand.

Thank you for this post.

It really touched my heart today.

Absolutely excellent.

A+++++++

debra said...

Loved this post! Old pictures are fun : )