“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

The trees are still so full of leaves the sun barely shines through, and there are only patches of blue here and there. The morning is warm, but the house still holds the evening’s chill. The dog and cat are asleep beside me. It is their first nap of the day.

When I was a kid, getting back into a routine didn’t take much time. School quickly became familiar. The only difference from year to year was the teacher, and I always knew who mine would be. Mrs. Kerrigan was my teacher in the second grade. She was old, at least to me, and wore flowered dresses and clunky heels. She lived on the first floor of a house across from the church. The house is still there, and I am reminded of Mrs. Kerrigan every time I drive by. My home town is like that. The houses and streets and stores of my childhood are saved in my memory drawer. I see what is there now, but I still remember what used to be.

An Indian restaurant is on one corner of Main Street. That’s where Kennedy’s Butter & Egg store and later The Children’s Corner used to be. Upscale condos were build from the shoe factory. The diner is gone, replaced by a hardware store. The Dairy Queen is now a bank. The bowling alley is long gone, and where it was is a mostly take-home seafood restaurant.

Some places still remain. The China Moon was the go to restaurant. I haven’t been there since it was renovated. I loved the old one with red vinyl seats and booths along the side. The miniature golf course is still popular on summer nights. The movie theater shut for so long was saved and now hosts plays and music. I love seeing the marquee lit at night.

When I visit my sister, in my old hometown, I drive around a bit. An apartment building stands where my friend’s house used to be. The red store is long gone as are the railroad tracks. My friend Eddie’s house is exactly the same as is my friend John’s house. My uncle lives there now. The swamp and the field are gone, filled with apartments for the elderly. My old house, the duplex, looks the same. The only difference is the side trees are huge.

Despite all the changes, my old hometown conjures so many memories. They jump into my head. They make me smile.

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10 Comments on ““Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Windy with heavy rain here so no walk after work and I must admit that it felt rather nice to just fall asleep onnthe couch instead 🙂 🙂

    I think that only the candy store is left where I grew up, all other grocery stores, the butcher and the fishmonger is gone.Like You I can still see it all even though they are long gone.

    We had the same teacher for three years and if we were going to get a new one after the summer holiday we met him or her just before school ended. They were all pretty old already when I was a child so I doubt that any of them still is with us.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I love napping when it is raining. It feels like the right thing to do. The dog always joins me.

      My town seemed to have everything when I was young. Now it has more, but they don’t have the same sense of nostalgia. I miss my old uptown.

      One year I’d have nuns then regular people the next year except in the sixth and seventh grades when I didn’t have nuns. In high school all I had were nuns, every subject, every grade.

      Have a lovely rainy day!!

  2. hedley Says:

    I was listening to the BBC at lunchtime and was greeted with the news that the horse chestnut tee is in danger of extinction due to some unpleasant moth.

    Of course this returns me to my boyhood where the conker of size and shade was a much prized possession. It was almost mandatory to play conkers and rumors did abound of the benefits of boiling the conker or soaking it in vinegar

    As best as I remember, I was enthusiastic about the whole conkers idea but rarely put it in to competition and was generally rubbish and/or bored.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      So many animals and plants are headed to extinction, mostly by men, so this is unusual. I wonder if it was a hitchhiker which arrived on something else.

      We did the same with the horse chestnuts which fell from the huge tree up the street from my house. Getting conked hurt.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    China Moon brings back memories. My parents used to take us there a lot. Sometimes there would be a pony ride beside the restaurant and there was the miniature golf course on the other side. I’ve been to the restaurant since it was renovated. It’s okay.

    Kennedy’s Butter and Egg Store in my town was also on a corner. The building has been renovated so the ground floor is separated into a bread shop and something else.

    I’ve lived in my town my whole life so far. Many things have changed. There are fewer children than when I was young and there are way more cars. The businesses have changed but most of the buildings that housed the old ones are still around so it looks the same.

    Same weather up here.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We always had take-out when I was young and when I visited for the weekend. Sometimes my mother, sister and I went for the buffet. I always liked their food.

      Many of Stoneham square’s buildings look the same. A couple have been torn down. The new buildings look out of place, not just in my memory but also historically. The Indian restaurant fits nicely on that corner.

      I have lived on the cape for far more of my life than I had lived in Stoneham. Many of the places in town do look the same just as yours do, but they have been repurposed. There are more restaurants now. China Moon was for the longest time the only ethnic restaurant, but now there is an Indian, a Thai and a Japanese fusion restaurant which is pretty good. I have eaten at all of them, and they are excellent.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Bob Cohen Says:

    Hi Kat,

    When we moved to Dallas in 1953 we were unable to find a Chinese restaurant. Moving from NYC we enjoyed Americanized Chinese food at least a couple of times a month. Eventually we found one or two which were owned by a brave Asian proprietor who hired middle aged southern waitresses similar in appearance and mannerisms to the character Flo in the TV series, Alice. 🙂 “Honey do you want white bread with that egg fo young”. Today we have entire shopping centers filled with Asian grocery stores and restaurants. The choices of Asian restaurants is mind boggling partially fuelled by immigrants and people who moved here to work in the fast growing telecom industry in North Texas at companies like Texas Instruments.

    For some unknown reason the idiot temporarily living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue wants to close down almost all legal immigration. The history of the last forty or fifty years proves that immigrants who came legally or not work hard, pay taxes enrich our culture and grow our economy.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      My home town now has a wide variety of restaurants. My sister and I have tried most of them. My favorite is the Thai restaurant but the Indian one is a close second. An Italian restaurant opened up in what used to be a pharmacy. I love repurposing buildings instead of destroying them.

      When I was a kid, Chinese and Italian were the only restaurants we ever went to. The Italian restaurant is in the next town. It is called Kitty’s, a great name. It always reminded me of Gunsmoke and the saloon.

      I couldn’t believe he is cutting in half the number of legal immigrants. As you said, they enrich our country and our culture. We would be an entirely different country without the richness of immigrants.

      • Bob Cohen Says:

        Without immigrants both international and domestic, Dallas would still be a small town filled with characters like J.R. Ewing or Slim Pickins eating barbecue and chicken fried steak. 🙁

      • katry Says:

        Boston would be the home of Brahmins. There would be no North End or South End. The social hierarchy would be based on history and money. No Irish need apply!


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