Sunday, April 3, 2011

Moving back (home?)

We ran out of groceries the other day. It was bound to happen eventually. That meant a trip to Grand Island. I found someone to watch the kids, and off I drove in my minivan. I haven't driven Hwy 30 in a LONG time! The first thing I noticed is that my mother was right. She always made me take what I was SURE was the long way to school because she didn't want me driving on Hwy 30. I thought she was a typical overprotective mother. But she's right. Hwy 30 is a death trap. In the first 10 miles of my trip, I was forced to hit the brakes to avoid oncoming traffic coming at me in my own lane. And I had two giant vehicles fly around me at 70 miles an hour.
Death. Trap.
After I decided to petition my brother-in-law who has some (important, I hope) managerial position in the Nebraska Dept. of Roads for four lanes all the way to Central City, I started looking around me. And random, strange, funny memories hit me from all around.
I remember sitting forever at the Pump and Pantry in Chapman waiting for someone to pick me up. I know exactly where the pay phone is. Highschoolers did not have cell phones 10 years ago.
I remember thinking it was SO embarrassing to have to ride the bus to school. And thinking we were going to die while swerving down a VERY muddy road in that bus. And sitting FOREVER at the YMCA in downtown Grand Island waiting for my dad to come pick me up. If any of you have ever seen how much my dad likes to talk, you know how long I waited.
I remember alot of waiting, I guess.
I remember the guy who worked with me at Arby's and insisted my eyes were "violet". He was probably trying to flirt, but I thought he was crazy.
I drove by the Berean church and remembered sitting in my mom's office, crying, and declaring that she could not make me go back to school. I refused. (I was an emotional junior high girl. And my poor father was my teacher...)
I remembered Brad "proposing" on the basketball court and Mike kicking the soccer ball right into Kiel's face and her falling flat on her back. I remembered the 12 Dancing Princesses (speaking of embarrassing..) and singing Point of Grace songs with Leslie and youth group games with baby food.
I drove past trailer parks and wondered about my Head Start kids whose families I had visited there - and about the new families living there.
I drove past the house we lived in for 6 years - the longest I've lived in any place in my whole life. I remembered sharing a room with three little sisters - and Becca hogging most of the space for her plastic horses. And how Windsong tried to bite me. And jumping on our trampoline to very loud Twila Paris music. "God is in control!" Don't make fun of me... =)
I drove over the creek where my dad almost drowned me and my sister by insisting I could swim across with her on my back. (In his defense, he was a lifeguard who probably could've rescued us if he'd needed to. But I thought I was going to die. Kristi was shoving my head under the water, trying to climb me to get to air.)
I remembered hanging my head out the passenger window of our orange, shag carpet van in a snow storm trying to see the edge of the road and instruct my dad how not to drive off it. And how the van died and I had to walk the last half mile home in my dress shoes.
I drove by the road to Andrea's house and remembered painting her dad's barn one summer. And the running feud I had with her brother over whether the Chapman bar was a bar or a restaurant. It's a bar, Nate! =)
I drove through downtown CC and remembered how I chopped ALL my hair off the afternoon before HS graduation and when I met Adair at the flower shop, he didn't even recognize me.
Then I drove past the tiny house Caleb and I lived in when we were first married. I remembered long walks around those streets.
Band practice. Riding bikes to Dairy Queen. Speech meets. Long walks. Driving in the ditch. Hitch hiking back to the gas station with my dad. Coffee shops and Bible studies. Marla's mom waking us up with silly string.
Ok, that's enough. It's funny what little things I remember. Random corners and buildings trigger small pieces of my life to pop into my head. They're not usually the big things... Just glimpses of my life here and there. Enough to convince you that I was a strange child... =) And to convince me that just maybe I've moved home? Not quite sure about that yet...


Anonymous said...

I love that you say he "was probably trying to flirt, but I thought he was crazy," because that sounds *exactly* like me!

I love all these little memories! I've been away from my childhood home for over 10 years now and all my little memories are packed away without anyone near who remembers too.

I think we might be starting to get old.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Melody..I sat here reading this with a sleeping babe in my arms and a tear in my eye, sharing so very many of these memories with you. In some ways, it all seems like such a short time ago, but here we are with kids of our own (although you are way ahead of me on that one!) and that all-too-grown-up birthday approaching. As the song says, "Thanks for the memories..."