Wednesday, August 26

The part with the hometown

In fact, the most time I've ever spent in one place in my life was California—10 years total. I was even born in Torrance Memorial. Viola:

But, since we moved away on my 13th birthday (yes, the ACTUAL DAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME), I hadn't visited. It was 13 years and 5 days exactly between the time I hopped on a plane at LAX to leave and the day I stepped off a plane at LAX to come back. Everything seemed...smaller. I knew the houses were close together, but the houses are Close Together. I knew it wasn't exactly rolling hills (except for, well, Rolling Hills, and Palos Verdes), but man is there a lot of concrete in LA. And garbage. And traffic. But there's also diversity. And big beaches with real seashells among the California seashells (read: Styrofoam bits that wash up on the shore). And also The Best Weather.

On our last full day there, we took a drive down memory lane and I photographed our old houses and my old schools. Although I didn't remember a lot about how things were, I definitely remembered my old neighborhoods. As soon as we were there, I was handing out directions better than I can hand out directions here in North Carolina, although that's not saying much really.

It was interesting getting Noah's perspective on things. Like the tall chain-link fences surrounding all the schools.

Noah: We don't have those in North Carolina...
Sean: That doesn't seem safe.
Noah: This seems kind of like prison.

It was surreal, but also not, going back to these places.

My elementary school:

My middle school:

The house we rented for several years:

The house we bought not long before we had to move:

There are so many stories and memories attached to these places. Stories and memories for another day.


Anonymous said...

Wow I wouldn't have known the rented house. It looks terrible.
Good memories though.


mrs. fuzz said...

I'm a California girl born and raised. Left for college, got married, haven't been back since. My parents moved after I got married. I still have some family there, but it's been 8 years since I've been back! I miss it really bad, but there is a lot of concrete and trash like you say. And I love that people have this expectation that hollywood is some glamorous place to visit, but it's really quite trashy. I think there should be high chain link fences around all high schools :) This post has made me all nostalgic!

Jen said...

It's ironic that while you were in California, I was in North Carolina! or maybe not, since I live in Virginia. Anyway! I enjoyed reading about your plane trip (hope your clavicle is ok!) and seeing the picture of the dolphin, and the angry 'you' when hubby almost woke up Ethan! Can't say I'd ever want to live in California, but I'd like a ride on the Xanax :)

May @ Anne and May said...

You're back! And next time, you have to swing by NorCal so we can meet in person. It is exactly nothing like SoCal.

Also that guest blog offer still stands. Just say the word. My words will be there.

Slamdunk said...

I have not been back to Cali in 20+ plus years through we moved away when I was very young. I did get to do a similar drive in a DC suburb of Virginia (where I had memories of kindergarten before we moved again to another state)a few years ago.

I snapped pictures of our rented house and looked for things as I remembered it--they were all gone; even the school had been torn down and a new nearby school had a different name.

I think it is healthy to go back though.

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