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.
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.