When one lives in a certain area for some time then moves away, I think it's expected that one will miss the area that they lived in. Maybe even harbor some regrets for moving away. I felt like that after we moved here. I love where I live, but there were some times I thought maybe it wasn't the right decision and if we had stayed, we wouldn't be in the situation we're in.
For a long time, we made nearly weekly treks back to the old place, either to shop in familiar grounds or visit friends or eat at our favorite place. As time went on, the visits lessened, but when we did go, it all felt so much like "home".
Fast forward 5 years to present time: We went back yesterday. It's been a few months since our last visit and I think, I am officially over it. The town has changed much since we moved away, grown and expanded, more stores, old shops replaced with new shops, old haunts gone completely. It just didn't feel the same anymore. Now it feels like we are tourists in a strange town. I actually saw people I used to know and it felt awkward and uncomfortable standing there, trying to make conversation with someone you really have nothing to say to.
We didn't go back and see the old house. I went there last time and it's all different now. It has lost it's glow for us. The kindly old guy that lived in the 200-year old house is dead and his brother sold off the land in parcels; the beer-loving plumber that lived in the house in front of us crashed the company truck one too many times and ended up foreclosing on the house, landing his family and himself in an apartment in town; the brother of the plumber that lived in the house between his and ours is still there, quiet as ever. And the people that bought our house? Well, they have interesting ways of keeping house and we cannot fathom their ways, so we'd rather not look. It's their house now, and I remind myself that we out-grew that house and moving here was the best thing we could have done.
We only went back to shop at the kid's consignment store. I never did manage to go through the kids' clothes to consign over there, but I knew I'd want to shop there. The kids needed shoes for the cooler months and we found 3 pairs for each girl, 2 for Peter. Even the store felt weird and we didn't even stay to chat with Boss Lady.
Our favorite place to eat is in trouble. There used to be a thrift shop by them that recently closed. Because people no longer go to the thrift shop, they've lost the walk-in business. We went in to eat at prime lunch hour and the cook was not even cooking. We had the whole place to ourselves. I feel bad for them. I'm glad we were there yesterday, but I fear that it may be the last time we will ever eat there. I hope they overcome this big bump in the road.
Coming home yesterday truly felt like we were coming home. There was no more looking back at the old place, wishing we could have brought parts of it with us. The ties we still had are severed and I'm okay with it. Home is here, with my husband and my children. I'm happy.