Part of me has always wished I could go home again. Looking back now as an older man, I realize I was very blessed to grow up in South Williamsport, PA. Our community was just that, a community. It wasn’t a subdivision in the burbs, but a genuine neighborhood. It was a small north central Pennsylvania community on the Susquehanna River. There were many mountain streams of crystal clear water nearby, Loyalsock, Lycoming, and Pine Creeks (pronounced Cricks!) just to name a few.
Most families were stable and lived in their homes for years. We knew everyone for several blocks in every direction. I could still tell you the family names in each home on East Central Ave. I knew the names of every street, every alley and ten different ways to get anywhere. To this day, I still know my way around the Williamsport area better than anywhere else I have lived.
We just visited “home” this summer during the Little League World Series. I felt like a kid at Christmas. It was a great visit. I love seeing the mountains, and walking around just taking in all the places. Every drive is pregnant with memories. There was my Grandparents home, memories of Christmases and other times flood my mind. There was where I grew up, how could that time be long gone, parents both deceased and things much different? There was Gayle’s and my first home. Our first two children were born while we lived there on Grandview Place.
I always am looking for someone I may know. Straining to recognize people I may have not seen in nearly 40 years since we lived there. I regularly talk to total strangers to see if I may have known them back in the day! My spirit feels settled and I smile inside when I’m there, where I had all of life’s first experiences.
What brought all this up is being at the World Energy Engineering Conference in Atlanta and having someone sit next to me at a lunch. Through conversation, we came to realize we both grew up in South Williamsport, PA. Her dad is a few years younger than me. But just the excitement of meeting someone else, who lived near where I lived made me realize once again how critically important our early home life can be. It sticks with you for the remainder of your life.
Home, based on your experience can be the best or worst of memories. I’m thankful for the realization of how blessed I was to grow up where I did and with the family I did in South Williamsport, PA.