I was at work today, minding my own business, when the secretary started playing The Judds in the front office. Immediately, I began getting flashbacks of growing up in Texas.
The Judds was the first concert I ever attended. I must have been in first or second grade. I remember being so far away from the stage that we had to use binoculars to see anything! It was a time that I will never forget. Wynonna was standing in one place, playing the guitar while her mother, Naomi, danced around the stage singing. To my young mind, Naomi must have been the daughter since she was dancing around. My mother just laughed at my confusion.
The 80s were a much simpler time, and I wish I could go back. Maybe not back to the big hair or neon clothes… but back to the slower pace of life–and less electronics.
However, every time I go back to Texas for a visit, I feel like I don’t belong there anymore. Perhaps because I’ve lived “up north” for 23 years now? I think the real reason is, it’s not how I remembered it.
I grew up in a semi-rural town of about 3,000 people. I went from Kindergarten through 12th grade with the same group of 100 kids. I’m talking one elementary, one junior high, and one high school in the whole town.
My sister and I would play outside all day, even in the summer heat. We only had one television which only had local channels, a rabbit ears antenna, and no VCR. We kids would drink out of the garden hose if we got thirsty and were bare foot most of the time.
We were seldom bored. We had huge imaginations and would make up games to play when the regular ones got old. We had very little toys and would create our own with whatever we could find outside. There were fields on three sides of our property, one with horses.
Now, my hometown has nearly 9,000 people, and the field across from our old house is an entire housing development. There is a shopping complex where the grocery store parking lot used to be, and the old Dairy Queen is gone.
It’s hard to have fond memories of a place that doesn’t exist currently the way it does in your mind. It’s like wanting to revisit a favorite amusement park from your family vacation only to find that it’s been transformed into a car factory.
My mother grew up in the same small town as me, and I’m sure she feels even more nostalgic for the “good ole days” than I do. How funny that we all must go through this phase of thinking our childhood era was a better world than the current one.
I guess it’s just human nature to long for the good times of the past. As long as we don’t get stuck in that space, I think we’ll be ok.