A small midwest town. The place where I grew up and became me.
This past week I had the opportunity to return home. There are so many things I love about Wisconsin. The fall is the most beautiful time to visit, and the leaves were just beginning to be coaxed into their beautiful spread of reds, oranges, and golds.
The cheeseheads are die hards and rivaled by no one for their team loyalty.
Especially these guys.
I spent a lot of time walking around my home town. Walking and thinking.
I walked to my old elementary school and looked through the windows and saw myself sitting there in Ms. Wennam's second grade class. I imagined looking out of one those windows so many years earlier, and being so excited to see big round snowflakes cascading down for the season's first snowfall.
I spent lots of time in my parents yard remembering what it felt like to be little.
I couldn't stop looking up at the big oak tree that faithfully provided leaves each year for my sister and I to make the neighborhood's biggest leaf pile. When I closed my eyes, the smell of the already fallen leaves made the memory almost tangible and tugged ever so kindly on my heart.
I spent lots of time with my mom and dad and my sister. These are the people that have known me the longest and loved me the longest. How grateful I am for them.
My sister graciously drove me around downtown and we reminisced about some of the places we used to go.
The Cozy Inn. Our family's favorite place to go for dinner. When we were very young, my sister and I were always amazed and impressed by the large and colorful collection of gum wads placed strategically under the tables. Taking home a brand new pair of chopsticks was always a bonus novelty.
My little town is situated on a river.
A happy little river that would become cold and menacing in the winter but happy once again each spring.
The YMCA was another favorite (sing it with me, Y. M. C. A.!) Swimming for hours was the best.
Downtown Janesville. Remnants of a slower, more simple time.
And always, these beautiful trees.
My parents still live in the house I grew up in. It was so good to sleep in my own childhood room, even if I am an adult now. Sometimes, I just wish I could be little again, you know?
Happy fall my beautiful readers.
Wishing you peaceful memories of the good things from your "remember when".