Every so often I meet someone who has lived in the same area most of their life. Even after they go to college, they come home on holidays and see old sunday school teachers who have known them since they were two. They return to homes where they have spent a dozen Christmases. I find it intriguing because I don't understand it. I organize my life, my friends by continent.
I'm in Sayre, PA. A block away is the hospital where I was born. I'm sitting in a room in my grandma's house where I used to play hide and seek as a child. It's strange, a lot changes in 8-10 years. This room used to be a lot bigger. The wallpaper wasn't faded and pealing then.
The last time I went to a family reunion, I was one of the kids. We played tag in the backyard. I carried the little ones on my back when we hiked in the woods. Suddenly I've been promoted to the adult table and I feel like on missing out on all the laughter coming from the card tables set up in the living room. There's a new crop of kids running around only none of them have a clue who I am. But it's more than that because we're old enough now to have developed our own belief structures. We have different worldviews, different doctrinal convictions.
I spent last weekend with my cousins. Jay felt it too. He said "Seems like we should go play monopoly or something." Of corse we should. Last time we were together we did. He was in fifth grade I think. It was a great game. Now he's making plans to do his grad work at Oxford. Maybe it will be another 8 years before I see them again. And the strange thing is, it won't be today that I think back on. It will be those days when we stood outside on barefoot summer nights with jars lit up with lightning bugs.
I keep running into people I used to know. I went back to see my old schools. Funny, they used to be a lot bigger. The lockers were still painted the same sky blue that I remembered. I remember where I used to line up with my second grade class. It was strange seeing it after so many years. It was strange that Mr. Pitcher was still there. I went back to my public high school too. Mr. Twigg gave me a hug when he saw me. He had only had me for one semester, but he remembered my art project. He asked me about it in detail. It was important to him that I was still doing art.
I saw Chris Vough. She was my first violin teacher, taught me the first six months. She was pleased to hear I was still playing. I kind of want to go back to the hopital and see if some of my old doctors are still there. I wonder if Dr. Hudock remembers me. He used to give me suckers and play games to try to make me smile. I want to see the doctor who took care of me when I had meningitis and told my parents I wasn't going to make it.
Every day seems to bring up more memories, things I haven't thought about in years, but I have so many other memories that aren't part of this town at all. I think I'm glad I haven't spent my whole life in one area. It's nice to be able to spread out the memories a bit.