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coming back to the past

so it's been about seven years since i've been back in PA, back in the old neighborhood, and it's already been a wild experience and i haven't even seen anyone other than my parents yet.

it's mainly about reawakening memories that have been dormant for so long. a few hours before i was in the new orleans airport eating red beans and rice with sausage thinking, "people not from new orleans probably don't get that this is a local cuisine." then, right when i got off of the airplane, i was welcomed with the sight of an airport philly cheesesteak joint, and with that same mentality in mind, i was floored. it was the first realization that i was actually in PA, i was in the place that was my home for about twenty years.

then as my dad was driving me home, i started to recognize highway signs and locations. swarthmore, the blue route, pottstown, 363, that one right turn that sucks because the oncoming traffic is hindered because it's on a big hill.

but the biggest thing was probably being in my house, because although my parents have made some small changes here and there, there are lots of things that they haven't touched the entire time i've been gone, particularly in my room. i open up my old clothes drawers and there are my old crossmen t-shirts and high school t-shirts. on my bookshelf are about ten old nintendo games, some old books, my old Upper Merion High School marching band shako, my old CDs. i open up a different drawer and there are some old glassmen drumsticks and college drumsticks that i haven't touched in over a decade. i go downstairs to the basement and they have some old board games that have been a part of my household for as long as i remember. i see pictures up of me, my brother, my parents, pictures i remember being a part of but had forgotten until i saw them.

there was a period of my life in which coming back to that would have been not unpleasant, exactly, but just not the sort of thing i would relish in. but again, as of late i've become much more reflective of my own past, my own roots, and how i came to be who i am now, so i've been savoring all of the experiences, memories that flood back, even the memories that i no longer remember.

when i was in the king of prussia mall, i ran into steve hormell, a guy i went to high school with and haven't seen since. we're talking fifteen years. We reconnected on facebook recently and discovered we're both card players, and he invited me to a small cash poker game tonight. Score. :)

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dr4b
Dec. 23rd, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
oh man, we DO need to get together for a cheesesteak.

I have the same kind of reaction to Philly. I mean, I come back here every year or two so it's not the same distance, but lately I've begun actually admitting that I did go to high school and that time period is not just blocked out of my mind. So this particular year has been a really strange nostalgia kick.

I'm going to head out to KoP sometime to get stuff just because all of the department stores moved out of downtown Philly! haven't been there in years either of course :)
kalia_prophet
Dec. 24th, 2008 01:27 am (UTC)
I am looking forward to seeing you :)
lifeofmendel
Dec. 24th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
mutual. :) i'm glad you found me on fb before i came back to PA for the holidays.
nots2good
Dec. 24th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
I thought your parents moved?

It used to be strange coming home, figuring out the strange and the familiar. I've done it enough times at this point that the strange is familiar and the comfortable is what it is. Enjoy the experience. I used to run into people at random but now it mostly has to be a plan, as I don't explore quite as much when I'm back. Ran into Julie and her parents two trips back which was cool.

Enjoy the flashback, and the cheesesteak :)
lifeofmendel
Dec. 24th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
they're not in kop anymore, they live in audubon.

it's definitely a trip. it'll be neat to see all of the old stead again, i'm looking forward to catching up after all of this time.
shandrew
Jan. 2nd, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
I have the same odd feelings about going back to PA (last time i was there was for my wedding in 2007. we had our reception right next to the KoP mall!). The part that i always find odd is that so many people i grew up with have stayed local, while in my mind, the norm is to move and stay far from home.

woohoo, cheesesteaks and hoagies!
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