July 21, 2006

One of the purposes of my going back to Arlington, Texas, last week was to check out Ye Olde Homesteade � and see how the old neighborhood was holding up. Another purpose was to get some scans of mom's photo albums. Missions both accomplished. Below you can see the house as it was back in the winter of 1978 (I think ... might have been 1979). We'd seen snow once while living in Austin the five years previous to this, and that had not quite covered the grass completely. I'd also seen snow when we lived in the evil Carmel, Indiana, but my sister had not. (Yeah, that's us all gussied up in 1970s godawful ugly coats.)

Arlington Then

Arlington Now

The second picture is the REALLY fast snapshot I took while the rental car idled in front of the house. Besides the obvious summer/winter differences, I hardly recognized the same house when I first drove by. The number of trees stunned me as did the pretty much dead grass. I wanted to get a close-up of the front door which has been painted bright turquoise since I moved out waaaaaaaay back in 1988, but that photo was taken too hurriedly and didn't turn out at all.

There's nothing more likely to convince you that time really has truly passed like going back to an old house (or school). Most days, I feel like I'm exactly the same person I was back in high school or junior high. Maybe a touch more mature or a bit more sure of myself, but essentially the exact same person.

Seeing the difference in that house where I have lived the longest of any place in my life (and if you've read any of the posts describing how often we moved when I was growing up, you'll know that this is a big deal) ... it reminds me of just how much I have changed. Looking at the trees which are now huge and full, looking at the dead grass that was once meticulously tended ....
and still ... looking at the pattern of the house unchanged ... I have to remember, too, how much of my self was shaped by that house and everything that happened while I lived there. And that pattern, while different than it once was, is not as different yet as I had hoped it would be by now.

While I no longer try to please my family of origin (parents only) - that's long since been given up as a lost cause - I realized that I do very much still go overboard in trying to please my family of choice.

And while intellectually I know that my family of origin can no longer hurt me, I do still fear at least one of them very much and have no idea how to stop that fear.
(I'm luckier than a lot of folks who discuss family of origin vs. family of choice in that many members of my family of origin are also a part of my family of choice ... my sister, my maternal side of the family. Just not my parents themselves.)

Amazing what Then and Now pictures of a stupid house can dredge up.

Posted by Red Monkey at July 21, 2006 4:15 AM | Vacations and Photos | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


michele said:

Hey ya ender,long time no hear from.
I'm not blogging for the summer.i'm
putting up reruns.If tv can do we can do

July 21, 2006 5:40 PM


Cat said:

Ah, this is why you completely understood my "past" post that I recently put up on my blog. We're so connected sometimes. Even our backgrounds are the same but different. :D

Sending you warm hugs, ender...because I know you'll return them! Happy Click and Comment day, too!! I'm going to visit someone on your blogroll now. *explore*

July 23, 2006 11:06 PM
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