Thursday, May 15, 2008

No, you really can't go back

We were back in Michigan for my parents 40th anniversary last weekend to celebrate with my family. And even when we travel, training is still a priority. We were on strict orders to get a three hour ride on Saturday morning (50-60 miles). I mapped out a route from my brother's home in Fenton to one of my childhood homes in Howell. It was a beautiful morning and the ride was perfect. I couldn't wait to get there. Jen had never seen any of this so it felt like I was taking her on a Jonathan history tour. I kept thinking about how great that neighborhood was back in the late seventies and eighties even with all its suburbanny subdivision cliches and trappings. In its time that subdivision was one of the cool, premiere subdivisions in Howell (what my rag tag Catholic sized family was doing amongst lawyers and doctors and the like I don't know - like the Clampetts moving into the town of Beverly. Hills that is...).

With the way I'm setting this table you can see where this is going.

We finally turned the corner and it was like I made the leap into bizarro world. What the????? Not to judge but it was like when you haven't seen somebody for a really long, long time and you see them, do a triple take and all you can muster is "you really let yourself go, didn't you." I stopped pedaling and let my bike glide to a stop and I almost forgot to unclip to keep myself from falling over right then and there. Wind out of sails, air out of balloon and all that. What...happened? Gone were the tightly trimmed lawns and shrubbery and our next door neighbor's prize winning English garden. Gone were kids riding bikes around the culdesac. And I'm pretty sure, gone are the summer holiday subdivision picnics. But was it really gone? Had I made it all up in my head. Is this the way it actually was and my memories were merely CGI special effects hiding the green screen reality that was now all around me? Turns out - nope. Later that day my Dad confirmed it. Disappointed was the tone in his voice wondering what had happened to all the hours he put into his yard and fine ranch home of my childhood. Pretty much everyone moved on. People moved in who didn't care so much and everything become overgrown, weathered and dated.

Well it was a good ride regardless. I know I should say something here about memories or never looking back or something thought poking but I guess in the end its just a back drop to my story about going for a bike ride. The end.

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