QotD: Looking Back…

What part of your childhood do you miss the most?
Submitted by Maretta.

I miss the neighborhood where we lived: Macalester-Groveland in St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up on Goodrich Avenue in St. Paul, which was walking and biking distance to all kinds of things. I had a best friend next door (Gretchen) and across the street (Krista), and other friends down the block (Krissi and Susan). The proximity to Macalester College was terrific, of course, but there was a soda fountain, good alleys for riding bikes through puddles, places to get candy and baked goods, two outstanding bookstores (Odegaard and my beloved Hungry Mind, both closed).

When we were 13, my family moved to a suburb. It was the right thing to do as far as space was concerned, but I lost all of my mobility: there was nowhere to bike, nowhere to visit, and for that matter, no friends in my neighborhood. The summer between 7th and 8th grade, I took "Acting, Music and Dance" at Macalester's TCITY (Twin Cities Institute for Talented Youth), and one day, sat down in front of my old house and just cried.

My brother Andy lives two blocks from this house now; my Dad still teaches a mile away from it at William Mitchell College of Law. Every time I visit home, without fail, I drive by it and wave. The crabtree we planted nearly dwarfs the house now; the skyline locust that replaced the elm tree after the Dutch elm disease outbreak is broad and mature. I still dream of that little house when I think of home.

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