“There’s a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left.”

Mother Nature must be really in a pleasant mood as today is nearly 50°.  The sun is beautiful with a backdrop of the bluest sky and nary a cloud in sight. The fact I have to go to the dentist today is mitigated by how wonderful a ride it will be. That, I never expected.

Walking to school every day only bothered me in the rain. I didn’t mind the cold; my mother was a bundler. In pleasant weather the sidewalk was shaded by leaves from the giant trees which bordered it. We walked over railroad tracks, the same ones we followed as far as we dared on our Saturday excursions. One side ended not far from where I crossed them, but I never found the other end. I still don’t know where they ended. It’s one of the mysteries left over from my childhood.

When I visit my sister, I take the same routes I used to walk as a kid for the sake of my memories and a bit of nostalgia. Sadly, most of the old houses I used to pass are gone, replaced by brick apartment buildings. The tracks too are gone. The trees still stand tall along the sidewalk, but they’re all that’s left. As I pass the familiar streets, I tell myself things like the red store used to be there, the white one there, the lady from France lived in that house and the house on the hill was where the Kimballs lived. My mother and the Kimball’s mother went to high school together. I don’t remember how many kids she had, but there were many. Their house always seemed to need paint. The shortcut I used to take through the grass from Pomeworth Street is now a real walkway with steps. I think it was put there because across the street from the end of the shortcut is housing for the elderly. My father used to call those apartments Wrinkle City. His mother lived in one of them. One of my uncles lives in one now as does the aunt who is younger than I am. Driving by the apartments, I still chuckle a bit and think of my father.

My turtle was buried in a tin box in the woods that used to be where the apartments are now. As I drive by, I approximate the exact burial site. Grass is there now. I wonder if anyone found the tin.

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18 Comments on ““There’s a certain nostalgia and romance in a place you left.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    The weather has been so so here today, much warmer than expected though.I’ve been home from work with a cold but I hope I can go back already tomorrow. I couldn’t sleep all night because either I was boiling or freezing. Most of it is gone now though.

    Things look very much alike where I grew up, but all the small shops are gone. Only the candy store still exists. I still walk around in the neighborhood wen I’m there and it is surprising how many memories that turns up 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      Tonight is supposed to be cold but the warmer weather will continue in the daytime.

      I hope you’re feeling better. Nothing makes me more miserable than a cold.

      The Cape has changed more than anywhere I’ve lived. It all used to be so rural but has now turned into suburbia.

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I’m in the place I left. Most of my childhood pets are buried somewhere in the back yard. My last cat and the dog before the current one are buried out there, too. I think there are only two dogs that didn’t get buried out there.
    My hometown still has most of the small shops that were there when I was a kid but they don’t contain the same businesses that they did then. Most of them are nail salons or beauty shops. 🙂
    I chuckled a bit when I read the railroad part. My best friend and I got picked up by the state police for walking the freight tracks when we were about 14 years old. The cop thought we were running away but we were actually headed back home by the time he found us. We had walked the tracks all the way out to Rt 1 in Peabody. No worry about trains because they only ran twice a week on those tracks. We were happy for the lift the policeman gave us because we were very tired by then. 🙂
    It’s not sunny or warm here. Gloomy and cold. I hope some of your sunshine moves this way.
    Enjoy the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      The woods where we played so much are gone now as are many of the old houses. The square has many of the same building but there is a gaping ho;e where nothing has yet been built. My sister, who still lives in Stoneham, has no idea what will be built there.

      My yard here is where all my own pets are buried. I tell people that some time in the future they’ll speculate a yound yet to be nut working on it serial killer probably lived here.

      Our tracks were mostly away from roads so no chance of our being picked up.

      I’m sending sun your way as we’ll not have it tomorrow.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Wrinkle City. Now that I can see as it would have fit for a description of a community we used to pass going to High School. Thanks for that chuckle.

  4. Bob Says:

    When I was back in New York a couple of years ago I drove to my old neighborhood where I went to both Junior and Senior High School. All of the houses are still there just as they were 40 years ago except they all look smaller now. Most of the stores on the main street a couple of blocks away were all gone. We used to walk to the candy store for a soda or a treat and it’s gone. The grocery store is empty and the signs in their replacements businesses windows are all in Spanish.

    My cousin is living in a nursing home not far from were we lived in Flushing Queens which was mostly inhabited by Italians, Eastern European Jews and other first or second generation European immigrants when I was a kid. I couldn’t have imagined how that neighborhood had changed. I thought that I had made a wrong turn and drove into China Town. On a Sunday morning the Street was filled with people of Asian descent and lined with grocery stores and restaurants serving Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and many other minor Asian food.

    Nothing in this life stays the same and we must be able to change with the times. You can’t go home again, but you can visit where you used to live.

    • Kat Says:

      My town is so much larger but there is no shift such as there was where you lived. The town has lots of Italian and Irish surnames, same as when I was a kid.

      We had a Chinese restaurant and that was about as ethnic as the town got. Now it has an Italian, an Indian and a Thai restaurant, and all of them are excellent.

      I like to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there again. I love it here.

  5. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    “I approximate the exact …” I also strive for near accuracy.


  6. mondonville Says:

    just a note to say today is Carole King’s 70th birthday (02/09)

  7. Kat Says:

    mondonville aka sblake,

    I have been wondering where you’ve been. I figured you’ve been whooping it up since your retirement. I’m glad you’re back. I have missed your pictures, your comments and your insights.

    Welcome home!

  8. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    I haven’t been back to where I grew up for, well, I don’t even remember. One summer I was supposed to go back East, but I broke my ankle. I had plans to visit the home where I grew up. I think I’ve lost my nerve now.

    I know you know exactly where turtle is.

  9. Pete Says:

    Your walk to school “crossing railroad tracks” would give today’s “Safety Nazis” a heart attack.

    • Kat Says:

      I don’t think kids walk to school any more. They get walked to the bus stop where parents and kids wait or they get a ride and then the reverse happens in the afternoon. I see crowds waiting at bus stops for their kids.

      I loved those tracks and the Saturday’s we spent walking them.

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