Life is an experience, isn’t it? In a week, I’ve started to normalize. I have internet (thank God). I have a refrigerator and a washer and dryer. We still need the microwave but haven’t really missed it that much. And I’ve gotten enough unpacking done that it’s starting to feel good to go out and explore my town a little bit. It’s also conjuring up some long lost memories.
Today’s (Optional) Writing Prompt: What is going home like for you? Do you still live in your same hometown? What kind of memories do you have associated with the place you grew up?
Here we go…
I’m having this weird deja vu kind of thing going on. It’s not really deja vu. It’s more like memories and details of my previous life has come flooding back to me.
I was born and raised in Maryland and happily left for college a few, um, decades ago for the greener and more collegiate pastures of Cleveland, Ohio. I never looked back. I visited once in a while, but only because my family was there. I never had a desire to live there again. It would be going backwards for me.
And yet, here I am. And a lot has changed in those decades. There are the obvious changes with me, of course. But roads and shopping centers and everything is different. Plus I live in a different part of the state.
But I’m having flashbacks. When I was growing up in my teeny tiny town, we had 3 grocery shopping options: A&P, Safeway, and IGA. IGA was just gross. And A&P was pretty old fashioned. Safeway was the big modern grocery store and I loved it when we shopped there.
So last night, since we FINALLY got our refrigerator delivered, we went shopping at our local grocery store, which just so happens to be a Safeway. I immediately had visions of all the cashiers that used to work there. Mostly middle-aged women because the pay was good. Grocery workers were unionized back then. I remember Bobby Gibbons’ mother was one of the cashiers. We knew them all.
And as I started shopping, I saw Lucerne cottage cheese on the shelf. Lucerne… that name sounded so familiar. The logo had changed but I was sure it was Safeway’s own brand. I just had to buy it. Now, I keep thinking I see people from my high school, imagining what they must look like now. Middle-aged like me.
These are strange emotions I’m experiencing. A slight sense of familiarity and a feeling that I’m home. Only for the first time in decades, I really don’t mind.