Since we had another, yes another, day of rain I ran on the treadmill again. It’s May, I should be outside but it seems to rain every day I have off. Anyway, we have an awesome treadmill so I decided to map out my hometown. I ran from old 35/588 intersection down 588 to downtown Gallipolis. I ran along the river front and the park, past the old football stadium, elementary school and my old high school.
So many memories came back. Some good, some bad. Some good decisions I had made and some bad ones. People I haven’t thought about in years as I ran by their house or the street that lead to their house. People came to mind that I didn’t run by their house but I remembered if I would’ve mapped it out to go left or right I would’ve been right there. Right where I spent many days and nights of my youth.
I ran by my old elementary school and high school. I remembered recesses and I remembered running out of high school to be the first to get to Charlie’s or Remo’s, or the other place beside Charlie’s, can’t remember the name, to be the first to eat lunch. I remember when there used to be a pool behind the old shop building where I took swim lessons. I don’t remember so many big trees in front of the high school. Maybe those are new. A lot can change in twenty eight years. Wow, it’s been twenty eight years since I left that life. Like, there is a new high school now.
There were some new stores open along the way, some that replaced stores I remember being there but are no longer. There were shuttered businesses that used to be open. It’s crazy how all that came back. The old record store where I bought probably 80-90% of my vinyl records and cassettes is now something else. The same record store where some of my friends and I stood in front of all night long to be one of the first in line when they opened to get Bon Jovi concert tickets.
I remembered how “busy ” I was with friends, girls, sports, work and everything else instead of spending time with my grandparents or parents. How dad would try to teach me things about a car but I was too busy to have him teach me. If my car breaks down I will just pay someone to fix it. I didn’t need to learn those things. I’m paying for it now. How I wish I could have just one of those days with my dad back.
The small creek where we “hunted” crawdads. No big city lights to block out the stars or the lightning bugs. Running barefoot in the back yard playing wiffle ball. Swinging on the front porch as the sun went down.
Most people say they wouldn’t go back but I would go back. Even it was for only a day. Only if I could do it all over again and still end up where I am of course. Everything I have gone through has helped shape me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t want to change my kids for anything. I love who they are and who they are becoming. I like where I am in my life now.
Yes I would go back. Just for a day. For the simple life of a small town. For mom’s cooking and advice, she still gives that to me. Maybe the past me would listen this time. For friends I wish I still had. To treat certain people a little better than I did. To be able to waste a Friday night cruising around the park. To be able to go out in the early morning and come back just before dinner and not have to worry if I was kidnapped or where I was or what I was doing. To not be attached 24/7 to a cell phone. To be able to come home and talk about my day because we hadn’t talked all day.
A simple life in a small house in a small town. Where you knew your neighbors and they actually cared about you and your kids. A simple life with dandelions and daffodils in my yard and not getting a letter from my home owners association that I need to get rid of them.
A simple life. One where I can actually live this life God has given me instead of living to pay bills. A simple life where I can give more. More of my time, more of my money, more of my life.
A simple life. Where there is more love and less hate. A simple life. Where there is more good and less evil. A simple life. Where more people lived for others and less for themselves. A simple life.
A simple life. I see a tiny house in my future. One I can take around the country until I find a simple place to put it. A simple place that’s warm of course.
A Simple Life by Green River Ordinance –
Simple Life by The Lost Trailers –
Wasted Time by Keith Urban –
Huntin’, Fishin’, Lovin’ Every Day by Luke Bryan –
Simple Life by Lynyrd Skynyrd –
Simple Man by Shinedown, cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd but since I have them above –
Simple Things by Montgomery Gentry –
I’m A Small Town by Kenny Chesney –
Simple Life by Casey Abrams –
Photograph by Nickelback –