For the past two days I've had meetings at University of Maryland University College. To get there I had to drive past our old house. It isn't much to look at. The place seems sadder looking 10 years after we moved on.
The 1940s red brick, square, two storey house fronts a 6 lane highway in University Park, MD. It stands there with little to buffer it from the dirt and noise of the thousands of commuters who drive past without a second thought.
Even though we lived there for 4 years I had trouble spotting it myself until I remembered the handy landmark - a 35 mph sign planted right in the front yard. Half of the front yard, where I tried so desperately to grow tomatoes, is now paved over for additional parking. It makes the house look even sadder.
Nevertheless the memories came flooding back. I couldn't stop them. We had so many happy times in that house and during that time in our lives. Our wedding, our first years of marriage, our beloved dog Bodger and the miles we walked with him through that neighborhood! These thoughts made me long for that simpler time when I had few responsibilities, a fabulous first job, and a wide network of friends who were similarly carefree.
Was our no cellphone, no home computer or internet, no cable, no "always on" culture really so simple and easy going? Probably not. But who cares - the memories are better this way.