The other day, my husband and I were going to Home Depot to get a sprinkler (how late-30s-life is that???), and along the way, we unintentionally took a drive through our past.
It just happened. We opened Maps and found the fastest route to the Home Depot we were going to – it was one out of the way because the closest ones didn’t have the sprinkler. The route happened to take us past some interesting places.
First, we went through this TINY town where my husband spent a lot of his time growing up. He would spend the day at his grandparents’ house, playing and doing whatever little boys do. His grandparents ran a successful lumber company, and it was right next to the house. My husband happened to be willed the house, with a provision that he’d live in it for a few years. But, we moved to Las Vegas, and his grandfather died 4 days later. His grandfather mentioned to the executor that he was going to change the will since we were moving, but that didn’t happen due to the circumstances.
Well, a year or so later, we happened to be in town, and the house literally blew up while we were home! The police contacted us, but thankfully the house blew up while we were at a family party for my cousin who was home from overseas with the military (the reason we were home was for the party). I’m not sure if they ever figured out what happened or not, but my husband was so sad that the house was destroyed because he spent so much of his time there while he was young.
So, we drove by the house – or rather lot – on our trip to Home Depot. The house now has a trailer on it, but the barns his grandfather built are still there, and that made him happy.
We continued on our journey, and happened upon a cemetery. I said, hey, I think this is where my dad is buried! So, we stopped there too. My daughter has been asking to see “Pap Pap Steve’s rock,” so we got out and hunted it down. Of course the cemetery site didn’t show his location (I should probably call about that!), but I happened to have a picture of where it was from the day of the burial. It was definitely strange seeing my dad’s grave. That seemed pretty final. I’m not particularly emotional, so I wasn’t sad, it was just strange.
I’m super at peace with my dad’s death because there’s literally not one single regret that I have, there was nothing unsaid, etc. I loved him, and he loved me, we both knew that, we talked once a week, there was nothing unfinished. I’m really thankful for that! I hate that my daughter won’t know him, but she definitely sees pictures and hears stories.
So, we got back in the car after that 2nd unexpected stop, and were on the way to Home Depot. We got the sprinkler (hooray!). It was close to the mall I used to frequent. A lot. I decided to skip the route Maps suggested on the way home and try to recall the backroads I used to be able to drive in my sleep. I miraculously remembered it nearly perfectly. I did turn before one building instead of after that building, but we got right back on track.
My husband said, just look at what Maps says.
I said Maps!?!? I don’t need Maps, I drove this way a thousand times without any map!
He said, wow, you’re right, HOW did you get there? You use Maps for everything now (even locally, for traffic purposes!).
I was like listen, I was 16. I put 18,000 miles on my car that year (seriously). You don’t get to be 16 and drive 18k miles without knowing the way. When you’re 16 (at least in those days), you can practically SMELL your way to the mall like a bloodhound!!
Man, that mall has sooooo many memories. From encountering some really bizarre people, to my car (a different car) breaking down while we skipped the SAT prep course. That’s literally the only act of rebellion I ever had. I’m pretty boring!
My then-acquaintance/classmate, Dawn and I were both there, not because we were friends yet, but because we both hated that SAT-prep course and both loved the mall, hahaha! The car broke down, we both had to pee, and we had to wait about 1.5 hours til someone could get to us (I feel like it was when they’d be leaving work downtown or something, so it took a while). We bonded, and she’s now one of my best friends (and part of this blog and videos!). 🙂
What started out as a basic trip to get a sprinkler ended up being a pretty fun micro-adventure (boy, covid has really warped our sense of adventure, haha!).