We dropped Fi off to a rehearsal in North Vancouver today and I realised we were just a couple of blocks from the house where I lived when I was in grade 3. So Andy and I drove up the street to find the neighbourhood. The house has been replaced with a much bigger house, which is too bad, but not surprising. That house had such a cool back yard, with pathways and a fabulous tire swing and rope swing suspended from a beam between two cedar trees. The house is on a corner, with the front yard sloping down to the road. I remember in the summer we slid down the long grass on flattened cardboard boxes. The ditches have been filled in. We used to excavate down there, and catch tiny snails in jars. The alley is still unpaved, with blackberry brambles up the back, which is beautiful. The secondary school and elementary school are still where they belong. I remember buying 5 Archie comics (when they were still extra-large format) at a fun fair at that secondary school for 25cents. I thought I was the queen of the world. Down the street, the old grocery store and the thrift store and the movie theatre are long gone. There's a PetroCan and a Save On foods a little ways up Lynn Valley Road.
It was a great year, grade 3, in many ways. That was such a fun place to live with the woods and the snow and the ditch and the tire swing. The commute over the bridge to get to the university to work drove my dad nuts though, so we moved into Burnaby after just a year, which turned out to be a pretty good move after all. The Burnaby house is still there, just the same as I remember. And Burnaby house #2 they bought, so they are still there today.
It's funny how a place can stick in your mind like that. It feels good to go have a look and be sure that it looks the way I remember it. Things change, but enough stays the same that I know my memory-thread is real and true. I wonder what our kids will remember and where they'll go back to look? They haven't moved around like I did, but they have attended different schools and made friends in a variety of places. I bet they'll want to go back and look one day too.
question: have you returned to a place to find it changed but the same?
mompoet - long roots