Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Story for Every Street in His Hometown (and That of Both Sets of Our Parents) Rochester, New York

“I’ve got a story for every street,” Kevin told me while we were driving through his hometown.
“So start talking,” I said.
Visiting Rochester has always been nostalgic for me, too.  It’s one of the few, really the only, place where my family and I have come just about every summer since I was in utero.  We moved a number of times while we were growing up, so Rochester, New York, served as more of a familiar home base. 
Just driving into town and seeing the smokestacks, which before I could read were the sure signs that after driving over many rivers and through the woods we were finally getting close to Grandpa and Grandma’s house, would make me excited.

Though my grandmother has long since sold the house where we’d stay with her for a week or two each summer, I still go back to hang-out on the school playground behind her old split-level house, which is no longer painted dark brown and orange, like it was in my youth. 
I’m not quite as agile as I was at the ages of four, eight, or eleven, but I still go on some of the equipment, just for old time’s sake.  The death-trap with its’ loose chain-link stairs/platform that was 9-10 feet off the ground, and long metal slide which we absolutely loved, was torn down years ago.  The swings are the same, but much of the other playground equipment has been replaced with safer, more modern models.         
Though Rochester winters are pretty nasty, summers here on Lake Ontario are awesome!  Kevin and I have said we’d be fine living here during the summer.  My mom definitely feels the same way.    
Don and Bob’s, my parents’ favorite hamburger joint from when they were growing up, is now called Don’s Original, but it’s still standing, and one of our must-go-to places each visit.  The family cottage where Kevin and I first met and the Charlotte Beach (pronounced without the “r” because that’s how they do things up here) is now Ontario Park. We spent the day there Tuesday.  Lots of memories come back anytime we go there since it’s the main spot where we spent hours talking, taking pictures, walking the pier, sitting on “our block,” and eating chocolate almond custard from Abbott’s, another local hotspot that’s been around for years.      
Spending the afternoon looking at the clouds, the water, the boats going by, the families and unique individuals who have come to spend some time at the beach has been wonderful!  My mom’s wildly jealous that we’re here.  I know she was only partially kidding when she said she wanted to hop in the trunk or backseat and stow-away. 
Lord, thank You for blessing us with time to relax in the place where you first brought Kevin and me together fourteen years ago.  Open us to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the certainty that Your future plans for us are much greater and more amazing than we could ever imagine.  Amen.
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