When most people talk about their childhood home or town they’re referring to where they lived with their parents and siblings. But for me, when I think about a place that I can go back to, that hasn’t changed, that feels, well, like home, I think about my grandparents’ house. My whole life, we always went home to a small town in Wisconsin where my parents both grew up, and where two of my grandparents still live.
Every summer, my brother, sister and I would spend several weeks with my grandparents, living as country kids. We fished, caught frogs, swam in the local swimming hole, built forts, climbed trees, fell out of trees, caught grasshoppers, dug up night crawlers, got eaten alive by mosquitos. Spent literally every waking minute outside exploring and playing. For about 2 weeks our cousins would come stay, too, and that was heaven. We’d hike up the bluff in the middle of town, catch snakes. Walk to the gas station (that’s the only business they had aside from a bar or two), and buy choco tacos and popsicles. It was insanely hot, and beyond humid, but we didn’t care. It was awesome.
My dad’s childhood house was sold and torn down several years back, when my Grandma moved out to live with family. A Dollar General now stands in its place 😢.
Looking at that store on a recent visit, I realized I don’t really have photos of the old house. I have millions of vivid memories, but no photographs. Funny how in a world where things are perhaps over documented, huge swaths of our lives exist only in our memories.
So, I went to my other Grandparents house, camera in hand, and took pics of all the little moments that haven’t changed in my 37 years. They’ve stood the same in this little house, in this little town, quietly providing a constant in my life. A place to go home to.