Tuesday, July 04, 2006

You Really Can't Go Home Again

You Can't Go Home Again... the title of a book by Thomas Wolfe. It means you can't recover the past. I feel that way every time I physically do go home to Milwaukee.

Took our oldest golfing at the public course across from where my parents still live. I'm not much for golf, but when the holes are as short as they are it's fun for everyone. Still it felt different. Not the same place where I, a soccer player with no golf lessons, spent a chunk of one summer trying something different. Not the same place I fell for one of my cousin's best friends after meeting randomly at Summerfest.

Shannon and I took the kids to the playground where I spent much of my childhood, only the old school metal swings have been replaced with the wood play systems you see in every park across the country. Same spot, different feel. Maybe it was the sense of horror we felt when our daughter slipped away to the bathroom and didn't answer when we were yelling her name. When I was growing up... kids wandered off... kids came back. Today, that innocence is hard to come by.

The myspace thing has me looking for old friends from grade school thru college. Reconnected with a buddy of mine that I rode the bus with from kindergarten through eighth grade. He went on to high school where we went... I transferred to the Catholic school in town. But he and the same group of guys he ran around with in high school get together for Summerfest every year.

It was pretty surreal. One of them owns a bar across the street from two of the places I used to work in high school (two places that no longer exist, I might add) and I joined them for drinks. I hadn't seen these guys since eighth grade, but it was easy enough to pick back up and catch up on people. Neat to see these guys still together.

Everytime I go home something is different. On the east side... it's condos. I swear, all the cheap places that people had to choose from are all being replaced by high end condos. Even the office building where my mom works... it and its parking deck have great views of the city's big fireworks display. But even it is going to be torn down in the next year or so.

And eventually, when my parents retire and sell the house I grew up in, home I think will cease to be home... and while I don't look forward to that, the more I look around, the more I realize I'm almost there...

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