Recently we found a stash of old photos and slides that had been stored by my parents and other relatives. Going through them was like time traveling in my mind and some of the memories stirred up have been staying with me closely these past few weeks.
The most intense memories came from the slide show we put together. Seeing the large pictures projected on a screen is much more intense that looking at the small black & white photos that came from those days. The color is beautiful and intense and on a large screen the images are nearly lifelike, with great detail easy to decipher. For instance, in the background could be seen clotheslines full of clothing flapping in the breeze, fences long ago removed, swing sets with the grass worn down the way I remember it, and the family cars from my childhood. Since the family homes that surrounded us are all still in the family, we're very aware of the changes to driveways, to lawns, to landscaping, porches, and doorways. Each picture elicited immediate recognition and comments about the things we saw besides the main subjects - like the barn that was taken down in the 1960s and then commercial building now gone across the street.
It must be difficult for people who move away from their childhood hometowns and don't return for many years because the changes are shocking. For us, who have all lived here and been part of the changes that occurred slowly over the years, it's not disheartening to see the changes. It's more of a warm, fuzzy feeling, like looking at photos of your grown children when they were young. We miss those little ones like crazy but we also love the adults they've become. It's the same concept.
Walking down Memory Lane is always thought-provoking. And emotional too.