Every year I go to Indianapolis for Christmas and there are many, say, rituals that have to happen. One of those is taking a tour of where my sister and I grew up here in Indianapolis. This normally would occur when my mom would fly in to the airport but since my mom is driving here this year that aspect of the routine changed. (thanks mom! You ruined Christmas!!! Just kidding... I think :)
Anyway, joking aside, it is a very important part of my year, this traveling with my sister and nephew to the part of town my sister and I grew up in. And this year it was a much more somber experience than usual. I think for anyone the experience of visiting a place then new 20+ years ago would evoke a lot of emotions and for myself it's more with my videographic memory, but this year the gas station my sister and I frequented all those years ago was closed. Also, we had a neighbor and every year we would drive by her house and each time we said, "maybe we should say hello" but we found a reason not to each year and my nephew, with his infinite wisdom, each year said, "you better say hello because eventually she won't be alive anymore." Last year we didn't see her in the window as she usually was and I did a search for her name a month or so later and found out she had passed away in November of last year. We drove by her house anyway and it was eerie as it was all the same; the lamp was still in the window and it was as if nothing had changed. This all but moved me to tears.
From there we went to the house we grew up in and from there we went to Noble Romans on 10th St which we ate at A LOT back then and it's great that the experience there is the same now as it was back when I was five. Sure, the arcade games changed (this place was where I played my first racing game as they had Pole Position) but the smell, the breadsticks, and the furniture are all the same. If that place ever goes out of business I will be beyond what words could say.
After dinner we drove past our Elementary School and talked about the horrible art teacher we had (my nephew always gets tired of this, but if you knew him you'd talk about him too!) and other memories associated with growing up there.
Each year we do this and each year, for myself, it's as if it's right at the conclusion of last year's tour. The movement of time for myself seems to be static. Even though a calendar year has passed, and we've been doing this tour for over five years now, it's as if the passage of time ceases on this tour. I wish I could better describe this feeling.
From the school we drove by the library we went to and this place, well, it looks as if nothing has changed in 20 years. It's truly a timeless experience and then from there we drove by the place our dentist was and we talked about how nasty he was (oh, he was!) but that area of the neighborhood has changed drastically. What used to be a full shopping center now is pretty much vacant. It's odd how one area can be beyond the reaches of time and just a few blocks away it's unrecognizable.
This tour I take each year is important to me and I'm sure next year I'll probably write a similar blog and talk about how times change yet it still feels as if it was just a split second. I also fear, however, the time that this tour might be different. This year had major changes; a person we were close with had passed away, a gas station we thought was all but immortal had closed and the question has to be asked, what's next? Places that are important to us and our history should be visited because as time passes you won't know when you'll want to go somewhere and it won't be. Or if there's a person you want to say hello to I can say don't wait because in life you just never know.