As I was driving past my old high school, I noticed an old concrete wall, a wall that my high school buddies and I would always scale as opposed to walking around. I hadn’t seen the wall in 30 years. I pulled the car over to the side of the road and starred at it. I had always remembered the wall being at least 15 feet tall which would have indeed been a worthy accomplishment had we scaled the wall that I envisioned. The wall that stood in front of me was 11 feet tall tops. My old man body could have scaled it. I chose not to scale it because I didn’t want to hear the lecture on the way to the emergency room if I happened to pull a muscle, but I could have done it. It was a little disappointing; I wish I hadn’t recognized it.
A little later in the week, my son and I happened to play golf at a course that my mother-in-law used to live on. As we approached the 14th tee, I pointed out her house to my son, “That’s Grandma’s old house.”
“I don’t remember that house,” he replied.
“That is the house with the pool that you played in hundreds of times,” I corrected.
“Seriously, I’ve never been to that house, are you sure that’s the right one?” was his confused reply.
“I can assure you that is the house, go look at it,” I said as he walked over to the fence. He walked over and peered over the fence for a long while and then caught up to us in the fairway.
“I remember it being so much bigger, her yard was the size of a football field, and her pool was enormous!” he recalled.
“Sorry to disappoint, but that was her house. The last time you were there was 10 years ago which means that everything you see is probably about ¼ scale compared to your current size” I explained.
“I still can’t believe how small it is,” he said as I prepared to hit my shot. Now my mother-in-law had a very nice house with a large yard and pool, but it was not the Olympic size pool and football field sized yard my son had remembered through his 9-year-old eyes. You could tell he was almost disappointed to see the house.
Memories are almost always different than the real thing. I am pleased to announce Dick’s hamburgers and Nanaimo bars still taste the same, although Dick’s shakes seemed a little off. Going out on Puget Sound in a sailboat was everything I remembered and more. Golfing with old friends on courses from my childhood was a nice trip through time. A lot of trees I remember from childhood are gone. Overall it still feels like home, which is a good thing. Although I’ve heard that if you happen to be 30” taller, the view is completely different.