Mundane Doesn't Describe It

For the slackatudinally challenged.

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Location: United States

I have never taken any exercise except sleeping and resting. Mark Twain, Hard work doesn't harm anyone, but I do not want to take any chances. - Unknown, I am retired and have tried to do as little as possible - slowly. Me.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Another Trip Into the Past

Yesterday I went to the dentist and I dropped of my Mom to see my 99 year old Great Aunt. My Great Aunt still gets around with a walker now, but her mind is still as sharp as it ever was. I dropped my Mom off and they talk for about two hours while I’m at the dentist. I’ve been through their talkfest before and it’s always about old times and family. Usually it’s about people who have passed and the town, which is now a sign on the highway, where all the past was lived.

I go back to pick up my Mom and talk to my Aunt for a minute, but the past and history lesson is just beginning when we leave. My Mom fills me in on everything, but she wants to go by the town that she grew up in. On the way there we go by the city she was born in. It’s nothing more than signs now too. She told me it had houses and avenues, a hospital, movie theatre, grocery stores, schools and everything that makes up a small city. Today it’s nothing but a sign on the highway. We kept going on to the place where my Great Uncle has a gas station and another Uncle had a cafe. I remember when I was a child my Aunt at the gas station would let us kids go through the candy displays and pick what we wanted, and my aunt at the café would make us anything we wanted. That little oasis on the highway was always so full of life. We went past there and the Aunts and Uncles have been gone for a long time. The people who have it now have let all the building go down and it’s nothing more than memories for us.

We drive on to my Mom’s little town and it still has a few houses, but pretty much everything else is gone. The old school has been torn down, the old store is closed, but at least it still has a small post office. My Mom told me stories about when she was a child and how the town had so much life in it. How she and friends would go to the store and split a soft drink and play cards on that porch right there. The exact porch. She told me of all the people that had lived there and who they were and if so, how they were related to me. She showed me the exact spot where a Great Uncle of mine after coming home from WWI has cut his finger unloading a box car and how he had died of tetanus. I never knew this Great Uncle, but I have a picture of him in WWI military uniform. So much life in such a little place, but now it has changed. Other people live there and their lives dictate how the place will be.

It’s always a melancholy experience for me to take her there. I can see the sadness in her eyes when she talks about childhood and family and all that is gone now. The only thing I can ever say is, “Yes Mam, things do change.”

A lot of times I think of her little town and long gone relatives and wonder about the rest of the people who made up this place. The ones that moved away and started over in other places. Their children will never know this little hamlet. Not that there’s really that much to know. But I know there was a lot of life and love in this little area. A place I wouldn’t have known as well unless I had taken the time to listen and see it through my Mom’s eyes.

It’s a place that doesn’t mean much to anyone else, but it does to me.

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