Going Home Again
Posted by Christie Kelley Jul 16 2012, 11:55 pm
I’m writing this on Sunday morning from my hotel room in Virginia Beach. Since I can’t get my 15-year-old out of bed yet, I thought I’d get my blog written. So, I have my coffee and my laptop and my very limited free wireless internet. It has taken me 30 minutes to get on the internet and check one email account (I have four). Sigh. In between reconnecting and just plain waiting for the email to pop up, I have plenty of time to write.
We arrived yesterday afternoon and that evening we drove around. I lived down here for five years in the mid-80s and have only been back once since then. It’s amazing how much a place can change in that amount of time. There are so many new hotels that replaced older ones. I drove down a road that used to have a lot of farm land on either side and now it’s houses and two new schools.
When I lived here the area was growing so quickly that the infrastructure couldn’t keep up. It’s nice to see that schools were finally built and many of the roads widened or new ones created.
It’s amazing to compare this area with my real hometown in upstate New York. While Virginia Beach has only grown an added new business and homes, my hometown has deteriorated. When I was growing up, we had a huge IBM site that employed thousands (including me as an intern in high school) and several other large companies. Now there are only a few companies and most barely employ more than a few hundred people. Poverty is rampant, crime is much higher than when I lived there, and the town just looks old and sad.
I find it depressing to go back upstate. I only go because I still have family there. There is no other draw to the area. I miss the old hometown. The one that was lively and upbeat. The town where you could walk home from a high school basketball game without worrying about your safety.
Well, for now I will enjoy my time at the beach and the happy memories I have from here.
Have you ever returned to a town or city that you lived and found that it had changed? Tell us about it. Was it a change for the better or the worse? If you haven’t, tell us about your vacation plans for the year.
Because of the spotty internet, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to check in. I may have to do it from my phone.