Friday, September 21, 2012

On the Way Home from Chicago

J and I took the South Shore Line from Dune Park into Chicago, so we made the trek up I-65 and back during our most recent Chicago vacation.

On our way home, we stopped for gas and I realized that we were not too far from where I lived in West Lafayette.  Because it's been a while since I had been there, I asked J if we could go find my old house.

I lived in West Lafayette from ages 3-10, before we moved to Texas, so I went through Elementary school there, and we lived in the same house that whole time.  We had a great neighborhood there, and I remember riding my bike all over the place!  There was a baseball and softball field next to our house and my elementary school was just down the street.

We drove into my neighborhood, and it looked the same and different all at the same time.  I remembered the houses, some of which were completely different colors than they used to be, and everything is much closer together than it seemed to be when I was little.

We drove up to my house and it looked nothing like it used to...

It used to be tan with brown shutters and trim, and the bushes are so overgrown now... it's not nearly as welcoming as it used to be.

We parked over by the baseball and softball fields, which is right next door despite the fact that it seemed like it took me forever to run over there from my house.  We stopped by a small memorial that still stands right by the softball field.  

One of my friends from pre-school, Tom Skehan, died in 1990 at his brother's baseball game when a storm with high winds blew in and knocked a tree over, killing him and another boy.  It was the first time I remember losing someone I cared about, and I was not quite 7 years old at the time.  It also gave me a strong fear of storms, which still lingers a little today.  The softball field that I spent so many summers on is also named for him.

We kept driving down my old street and by my elementary school, where I went to Kindergarten through 4th grade.  It looks just about the same as it always did, but it's a lot closer to my house than I remember it being.  That walk or bike ride used to seem MUCH longer!

It was cool to see where I grew up... and also kind of weird.  It's the first time I've been back in a long time, and it was a great stop over on our way home.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

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