Home and Other Starting Places

2014-08-27 17.52.14

The summer season here in the northern hemisphere is winding down. Are you a summer sort of person? I’m not really. I prefer fall, the crisp change in the air (although still a ways off yet in Texas) and the fun of Halloween.

How far away from your hometown do you live? Have you left the place where you born? Once I read about how people fall into a series of categories. I don’t know if you subscribe to the idea of putting people into categories, but while I generally find the categories fall apart on close inspection, I still find them interesting. Anyway, and my memory is spotty on this, but the categories were along the lines of people who never want to leave home and don’t, people who want to leave but can’t, people who leave home and try all their lives to get back but can’t, and people who leave home and never look back.

These could probably be broken down into even smaller categories. But which one would you fall into? I’m mostly in the latter. My dad, however, and one of my best friends is still there, so as long as they are, I will return from time to time.

But that takes money and time. In any event, I finally went home for a short visit after too long away.

My novel is set in a town I call Lake Belle. It is a fictionalized version of my hometown. When I write about the lake, the mall, the different streets, I have my hometown in mind. Although I change things to suit my story.

As anyone who has left home for a while and returned knows, things change. Empty fields get strip malls and old buildings get turned into condos. Streets get widened and landmarks become unrecognizable.

I tried to get my dad to drive by a few places that mean a great to me, though not always for good reasons. My dad proceeded to drive down the streets I wanted, but he wasn’t inclined to slow down and let me figure out which building matched the building in my memory. It’s strange how different things can look. The house I lived in for less than a year remained standing, but it didn’t look exactly as it did in my head. Of course, it didn’t. It was older, a different color, and a few bits had been remodeled and then quite neglected. If I’d been able to go by on my own or with my best friend from school, we would’ve stopped and walked by. I could’ve thought about it and decided I was in the right place.

But such is life. My dad whizzed on by and took me to an area he really wanted me to see. I don’t know what the point is of visiting old haunts anyway. Do you? What was this house going to tell me? Why does it even loom large in my memories? I lived in several places with my mother, but this house stands out. This house looms in my imagination. It makes an appearance in one my manuscripts.

Do you have go back to old places? Why?

Well, thank you for reading. Look forward to what the fall brings.

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