We are in PA right now. We left early morning this past Saturday (driving) and have been in one of my hometowns since Saturday night, Williamsport. I lived here with my family from the age of 7 to 13, then we moved to FL.
That was the hardest move I’ve ever made. It killed so many things for me, and being here again is bringing up all that loss heavily, seeing the place I loved and wanted to stay my whole life long in. It’s been nearly 29 years since we left.
Our old house looks great. Apparently it had a couple or few owners until the most recent one, who updated everything immensely, but made the house look it’s best, not changing it outside, just making it nice. I can’t share the pictures online since it’s not my house to post pictures of, but I will be sending the pictures I took to my sisters who may care to see them.
Today it’s raining and I realized that I didn’t get any outdoor pictures except of the house. I’m having issues with my camera batteries, I need new ones, and just haven’t gotten them (not regular ones, recharge-able Canon for my Digital Rebel $$.)
It’s just so nice to be here and get to walk around the town. The downtown is greatly changed from the last time I walked it’s streets. They are working on bringing things back in. There are several really nice shops there, but so many empty store fronts. The library is getting a new children’s wing and though it looks so familiar on the outiside and has the same impressive enterance feel, the cases of books don’t look as impressive as I remembered and there are computer monitors all over the place. The childrens books are in the basement, as they were when I was young, but this time it was a great shock to see what has become of that section, videos and dvd’s and cd’s take up huge floor space, and then the books in there are mostly for young children, no books remain there that I would have read from the age of 8 through 13. I used to go there often, and check-out large stacks of books and then voraciously read them deep into the night.
So libraries age, it’s not that though, we looked and looked and never found much of interest like they had when I was young. Classic things, important books for young people like I read. I didn’t just read “classics” but good books they were. Maybe there are some somewhere there …
The street I lived on is paved, and wasn’t paved while I lived there, but was starting to be paved the last summer I spent there in ’79.
I saw the old haunts we had frequented as kids, the Wildwood Cemetery, the Lycoming Creek, the ravine at the end of our street. The field the had existed a block up the road is gone. Apartment/Assisted living buildings fill the once wild space. It was a way we used to cut through when going into town, or just to play there. It was a nice testament to what our street was, Rural Ave. Oh well, it’s not there anymore. The street is still there, but paved. The old houses are still on that block, but the road is paved the whole way up around the bend and goes on and on and on, past a new (to me) hospital and other old residential places, continuity of street name. I don’t remember that it did that back in the 70’s and before. I don’t really know, it was so wild and different going up the road and around the bend back then …
I got some news of the neighbors from the family that lived next door to us. They are still there, but the neighbors all around either have died or something, mostly. It was another place where I had to tell about my mother not being with us anymore. It was striking to me to look at the house, see it well cared for, remember when I lived in it, and how much it needed but my father couldn’t provide for it. He’s gone, and so is my mother. It’s there and plodding along for some more years. It’s an old house. I don’t remember when it was built precisely, but when we moved in it was supposedly more than 80 years old. It’s exactly the sort of house that I like, though the stucco finish outside isn’t what I’d want on a house –it is what that house is, and that is that.
I love this area and if we could live here it’d be great, but it’s not the right area due to traveling needs. I love smaller towns and what I love about this place is that it looks great, even if the downtown still needs revitalization. It’s not shabby. It’s river valley living, nothing like we can get where we live right now.
Overall it’s a matter of what we like, what we want, and compromises and it’s complicated. We want to move sooner than later and need to find the right situation, house, property, close enough to hub-travel for my hubby.
This isn’t a “looking for where to move” trip. It’s a business trip that we are taking advantage of PA and getting to visit all the places I never did get to go back to since leaving. I’ve talking of moving to PA for years, and it’s deep in my heart. We do want to move sooner than later, as I said above, it’s just all those compromises between two people that have to be agreed on.
Well then, today we check out and head east, we’ll be staying in Princeton, NJ for the centrality of it for hubbies business meetings, but I’ll get to go to Easton, PA, by first hometown, and see the old haunts of my very young life, birth to 7 years of age. I’ll also get to go to Manhattan on Saturday, well WE will be going, all of us, to all of this. There are some sites in NJ and Easton, PA and on Long Island that are historical ancestrally that I’d like to see as well.