It's amazing how much trees grow in fifteen or so years.
Driving down the road that I grew up on, I'm stupidly confounded by how tall the trees have grown.
And the house that I grew up in? Apparently it went into foreclosure earlier this year and it's now abandoned and in dire disrepair. Now that's a smack in the face.
No matter what happened when we were growing up, the house was always tidy and the lawn was always mowed. It was never spectacular but it was clean and cared for.
Now, it even makes my house in Duluth look classy. That's just sad.
Another weird thing? Reading the local paper and seeing a picture of all the teachers that recently retired. Not only do I know many of them, one of them was a student teacher when I was in high school.
The other ones look like escapees from a retirement home.
I also went into a local haunt for breakfast and I found myself carefully studying all the old faces to see if I recognized any one's parents. Then I started looking to see if any of the teenagers looked like people I might know. (I recently saw a photo of an old friend who apparently had his son cloned because he looked IDENTICAL to his father. Quite creepy.) All the folks my age were at work or at home or passed out drunk in a ditch.
There are now a ton of new businesses on the outskirts of town, all chains, all businesses that make this town just as generic as any other faceless place across the country.
Wal-Mart is booming and downtown is dying.
I feel like the only one who cares. Thankfully, I only need to care for a few more days...
I needed to come back here. For some strange reason, I needed to see where I came from before I started my new life. I guess I needed to make sure that I didn't want to come back here permanently.
I'm feeling more resolute about my decisions now. I don't know where I'm going but I know where I'm not going.
I guess that's a start...