You can never go home

I love Google maps – they take me to places I need to get to this afternoon. They take me to places I dream of going, like Tromso at the top of the Norwegian fiords, where I hope to go one summer and see the northern lights.

And sometimes they take me places I once knew better than the street I live on now. Like this place – uglier than any place has a right to be – torn up with Walmart progress and destruction, though to be fair, that started long before Walmart arrived. It started right after I left, after our house burned down. The house in this post.

I just got in the mood to have a look at some of the places I lived. They haven’t all changed all that much, some almost not at all, except for the window dressing. But this place, which was one of the best places has been completely erased, the hill bulldozed away to make a parking lot. What did they do with the creek? Where I caught a one-eyed snapping turtle Ma named Cyclops and once overflowed so our front lawn looked like a pond for a few hours. It used to run under the railroad tracks to the larger stream in the lower right hand corner…

Who will remember this if I don’t? Does it matter?

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

6 thoughts on “You can never go home

  1. Yes, it matters. Your memories are sweet and I would hold onto them. Makes me think of a poem by T.S. Eliot I recited in competition….one line stayed with me….”and all that is left is an asphalt road and a thousand, lost golf balls.” Thankful for the little piece of heaven we live on and the farmland we still own. The plum bushes across the road from our farm are still there. (I used to fill my skirt with plums…probably picked too soon and very, very tart.) And the slough has more water in it than ever so geese and pelicans, Great Blue Heron visit where we just had a few ducks and muskrats. Some things improve with time; others we need to keep in our heart memories 🙂


  2. I should do a Dorloo one tonight because it almost unchanged – colour of the house, a new addition, but that’s the sort of thing people do to houses in the normal course of living in them. The rest – roads, people, fields…

    We had plum trees there and I did the same, carry them in my skirt or shirt – or just sit in the tree and eat them until I was ready to burst. Sadly they caught some horrible disease and all died – we had dozens and then – poof! they were gone. That was such a shock – animals died. And people died. But trees? Somehow it had never occurred to me.

    I do envy (in the nicest kind of way) your lifetime connection to the place you live. It was never in the cards for me – I have too much wanderlust. I think I would have loved both the sameness and the ever evolving changes as the seasons pass. The great blue heron… I may come just to meet him… Sigh… I was hoping this spring we would be exploring the west, but not this year. I do have my week on the south island in May to look forward to though…


  3. Oh yes, it matters, but that it lives on in your memory keeps it alive. I love how you took the image and took it back in time. I could actually visualise the strawberries, the creek, all of it.

    Speaking of wanderlust, my youngest has decided that he wants to do his graduate work in New Zealand. He’s been talking about getting out of the US for a couple of years, and I suppose my constant chatter about New Zealand and Australia have played a role. I told him that I knew someone who lived there, and he got very excited. This is his plan: finish his bachelor’s, move to New Zealand to do his graduate work in astronomy and work there. I told him that it sounded like a really good plan.


    1. Glad this one worked… I was just too lazy to do it in photoshop last night, so I popped it up in gimp, which I don’t know a tenth as well… I’m trusting my instincts more and more…

      Good on your son! Although… as a mother, the idea would strike fear in my heart… But for him – what a brilliant plan… even if he stays just a few years. I had no idea the profound effect living in another country could or would have on my perception of the world. And then, of course, you would have to come down too! I’ll take you to Piha!


      1. Oh the fear is definitely there, but so is the idea that I’m going too! I’ll take you up on all of the offers–you can bet on it.


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