(All posts are from my hometown of Perry, Iowa where we are vacationing for the next week).
Giving today was helping a lady in the airport fast food pileup by fighting through the crowd to get her some napkins and utensils from the dispenser. … Picked up a few groceries for my folks at the store. … My wife had the nice idea to get my mother some flowers.
In some ways, coming home is a trip in time.
For me, growing up in a small, midwestern town in the 70’s and 80’s was stereotypically rural America. We had a white picket fence. Everyone knew each other. We rode our bikes around the town without fear or worry. Streets were full of kids. Every year, the people in my class stayed the same. A new kid was an anomaly to be studied thoroughly.
And that is the town that we are again visiting tonight. The houses are the same, a lot of the people are still living in the same place. In some ways, it is the same town I left so many years ago. And yet there is change, sometimes stark change.
In 1905, they erected Perry High School on Willis Avenue. It was a large, imposing structure that dominated it’s surroundings. Although converted to a junior high school when I attended, it still retained that aura of grandeur.
And then last year, it was torn down. Although I knew it was impossible to maintain because of the cost, the vivid image of seeing that land without the old high school building was shocking. As I looked on the grassy field tonight, it reminded me that time is always flowing. There is always change, even in a small town.
It was also a reminder that we change. We grow older. Friends come and go. We become different people.
A visit home is a trip back in time. It is a chance to remember the people we once were, and to reflect on the people we have become.
And it is a reminder that we do not have forever to become the people we want to be. We can make the change in ourselves to become kinder and to give more. It takes effort but we can start today.
Time is always flowing and we only have so much time in which to travel.