Recently I traveled to my home town of Gahanna, Ohio. I was born in Columbus but besides those first few days in the hospital I spent my childhood in a town that had been home to generations of Blake’s and Graumlich's. My Grandfather was one of the first constables and the other started the fire dept. Both my parents were well known throughout the community and my brothers, sister and I knew better than to come on the radar by doing anything wrong. The whole town knew who we were and what we were up to ALL THE TIME!!! It led us to be either
a. Very good
b. Very sneaky
I’d like to think we straddled the fence most of the time. Meaning, we were very good except for those few times we got caught.
Then thirty years ago when my husband and I got married he took a job in Florida and we have lived down south ever since. Yearly we make the trek back home to visit family, brothers and sisters who still live in the area and my Mom. My Father passed away as did my husband’s parents; we cherish the time spent with our remaining parent.
The problem lies in the fact that everything has changed in the small hometown I remember. I grew up knowing how to get around town by landmarks that are no longer at hand. Gone are the large family farms that gave way to housing developments. More than once I’ve been lost on some back road trying to recognize one small thing from the past. Occasionally I notice they have named a development after the previous owners of the family farm. Smith Acres or Rodebaugh Ranches. It helps a little, “Oh this must be where the Smith’s use to live”, but mostly if I have to leave the downtown area I’m lost.
It seems to frustrate the people who live around here. The ones that have seen the change take place gradually, watched as the sprawl took in those beautiful old family farms. But I still see the place through the eyes of a young woman from thirty years ago. When I had to find a soccer field last week that was located in a development they built around the beautiful pond in the woods where we use to ice skate, well let’s just say I had to stop and ask for directions not once, but twice. (This is for you Connie, tell Stan I asked for direction.) Nothing looked familiar. I could have been in a completely different town in a completely different state. Places, like life, change. I guess it’s just up to us to try to make the necessary adjustments.