Thursday, July 21, 2011
Stepping back in time
Yesterday, I joined a friend and her mother in Boone, Iowa, where her mother grew up and where my friend had many memories of her grandparents. We circled each house and they recalled the rooms behind each window, the trees in the yard, games played in a lot that was vacant 60 years ago and remains vacant today.
Going back home releases memories from deep recesses. As we drove past churches, the park, the library, 'Mom' talked about games she played, boys she dated, the man she married. Boone is also the birthplace of former first lady Mamie Eisenhower. And what do you know? Mom had a story about her family connection to Mrs. Eisenhower.
When I asked about electricity and in-door plumbing, she said yes, she'd had all that growing up in town in the 30s, but she recalled visiting her grandparents who lived outside of town in a railroad car. With an outhouse. That really smelled.
My friend had never heard before about her great grandparents who lived in a railroad car. I'm sure that's a story they'll talk about again.
Those old stories are just waiting to be told. If we trigger the memories. A trip home can really let the memories flow.