I’m Late! I’m Late for a Very Important Date! by Valerie J. Patterson

Good Saturday morning to you!  As you can tell by the title, I’m late…with this blog article!  Thursday evening as I began to head here to type in my article, the Internet went out and stayed out until sometime Friday afternoon.  Friday evening–after a stressful week–I couldn’t muster the energy to type in my article.  Very sorry if you came and saw NOTHING from me!

The article I was going to post will wait for another day.  Instead, I’ve been inspired by my laziness to offer up something thought-provoking and perhaps memory-recalling!

Last month, Steve and I took our annual wedding anniversary trip, which was quite lovely, very relaxing, and extremely revitalizing!  As is our normal habit, we take one route to our destination and another route back home.  It was on the route back home that brought the only sad note to the entire trip.

While I was growing up, my family practically spent the entire summer camping/living in a very rustic, deep in the heart of nature resort in Deep Creek, Maryland.  Those summers were some of the best times of my youth.  Every trip, we stopped at a restaurant called the Lone Star.   We were such regulars, the waitresses would recite our beverages as we were seated at a table!  This place had the best fried chicken!

There was nothing special about the place.  It was a large diner along the highway, but the food was good, affordable, and the place was clean, the waitresses friendly, and it was a staple in our summer lives.

It’s been years since I last ate there.  In fact, I don’t think I could tell you when it was that I was last a patron there, but in my mind, it remained the same: same waitresses, same food, same decor.  That is until Steve and I happened to pass it on our way home from vacation.  We passed it and my eyes flew to the giant FOR SALE sign in the parking lot.

I made Steve turn around and go back.  I snapped a few pictures, sighed some heavy sighs, and shed a tear or two.  It sounds silly, I know, but my life has changed so much since the death of my dad that I simply wasn’t prepared to see one more casualty of my childhood.

Life is meant to be ever changing as opposed to stagnant.  It’s meant to be a journey of new places, people, and memories created.  You’re intended to go through it as an ever changing being as well.  However, as we age and lose people in our lives it sometimes becomes difficult to let go of “things” that remind us of simpler times or loved ones.

As I said, it’s not like I frequented the Lone Star, but the loss of it means I can never go back!  Perhaps this is also a good thing.  Everything changes with time.  Perhaps being able to go back…and actually going back…would have been harder.  New waitresses.  New menu items.  New cook.  New tastes.

There’s a saying that you can’t go back home again.  I think this is true.  I think it’s a bittersweet “good” thing that you can’t go back.  Not being able to go back keeps our memories pristine and unchanged by time.  While it is hard to let go of the past–be it people, places, or objects–let go we must.

Until next time, as the weather turns cooler, may you have many memories to wrap around you and leave you with a warmth that touches your heart!

15 responses to “I’m Late! I’m Late for a Very Important Date! by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. Oh, Valerie. I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes, these changes are so hard. For me, though, it’s the memory pictures that are most precious, and that’s what we have to hold on to, eh?
    I’m glad you got some camera pictures, though, and it looked okay. It could have been the opposite. I went by my beloved grandparent’s house a while back (they passed in the 70’s) and that larger than life treasure was a small, dilapidated old hovel now. I am sad I even went by and try very hard to focus on the memories. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Oh, Laurie! I’m sorry you have that to contend with. Yes, keep those memory pictures fresh in your mind and maybe they will push that bad one out completely! The Lone Star had been painted a new color, but it was still pretty much the same, thankfully. I sent my sister a photo and she was just as dismayed as I was, but the photo brought up a good discussion between us about the good times there, so it was worth taking and sending.

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  3. Your right about change. I grew up in the area I live in now and sometimes it feels like I’m in a foreign land with all the changes. The school Jack and I attended is now a Safeway. Last Friday a friend I grew up with came over and we drove around the neighborhood we grew up in. Her house is still there but mine burned down and the land we had is now a housing development. But our memories are still with us.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Time marches on, right Lavada? And waits for no one! Progress has a way of changing the landscapes of our youth, too. In my old neighborhood, there was a lovely raspberry patch that grew the absolute best berries. Today, it’s a driveway. No one can take those memories away. Were you and Jack high school sweethearts?

  4. Bitterweet, indeed. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. Last time I was in Virginia, I tried to find my old house which was right on US Hwy 1. I didn’t see it and didn’t realize I’d passed where it would have been until I got to the creek about six miles away where we used to play. Yep, my house was one of many strip malls I passed. Never could tell where it would’ve been. It was a sad moment. I feel for you for sure. Oh, and my school? they’d torn it down and rebuilt it across the highway. Weird. We have to keep those places in our hearts and memories, don’t we? We’re all they have left. Jillian

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Wow, a strip mall? Talk about a punch to the gut. I’m sorry. Why move the school? I mean, was it the same building just moved across the street? That is weird.

  5. I’m late reading this! You are so right about going back and life changing, moving on. Thank goodness we have the memories and constantly make new ones. Thanks for an enjoyable post

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Jane! Thank you for your time in reading. Glad you enjoyed the post. That’s the thing. We need to continually build new memories while treasuring the oldest ones for sure.

  6. As always, Valerie, a lovely post. Very thought-provoking. It’s hard moving on sometimes, especially when the memories of what is past are so wonderful, but it’s important to move forward to experience new things and make new memories.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thank you, Tricia! Moving forward is living life. I’m glad that-while buildings and places change and are replaced–our memories are ours to keep. Each one lends a hand in defining who we are.

  7. What lovely childhood memories but it is so true you should never go back. Trips down memory lane often end in disappointment, as I’ve so often found out. Many years ago my sisters, Mum and I returned to the town on the outskirts of London where we grew up. It had changed so much and sadly not for the better, so much so we wished we hadn’t gone back. Far better to keep the memories living in our heads, whilst making new ones on the way.
    Very thought-provoking post, Valerie. Thank you.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Kit, I am so sorry your hometown has changed so much. I hope you are able to push out the new memory and return to the old ones, the good ones, the ones that make you smile. I’m sure when you and your sisters and Mum get together and go through old memories, you see the streets and homes as they were. Thanks for reading and sharing, Kit!

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