I explored memory lane today. Drove myself through the streets of the town where I learned to drive over 40 years ago. My only passengers were memories of my life. Much has changed since I was born and raised in Modesto, a dusty agricultural town in California’s big valley.
The fields and orchards are disappearing and the land sprouts fast food franchises and big box stores that can be found in any town. Still roadside stands sell fresh produce, cows graze in pastures, and tractors delay traffic all reminding me that I am a small town girl.
Despite the economy, a few businesses from my youth continue to provide products and services to the community. Their marquees are signposts leading to the fountain of youth, my youth. The familiar name of a business or a street transports me to days when my hair was still black and my knees did not ache.
This weekend, my Dad’s family is gathering for a reunion. Multiple generations aged from a year to over seventy will eat, drink, and swap stories. Some will bring laughs and others tears and all are precious.
Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health