We went back to the place of my growing up this past weekend. It was the two of us, and the five Feipels. We all stayed at my parents house. We also attended the annual Music On Main event in Sheffield on Saturday.
Jane and I took our car and left around 2:30 pm Friday. The Feipel van was about a half hour behind us. Traffic was a bit thick through the Gary to Joliet area and it ended up taking 5 1/2 hours to get there. That's about an hour longer than usual.
On the way back to Fort Wayne we left around the same time (2:45) and it only took about 4 hrs. 45 minutes to get home. Traffic was still heavy, but not as bad as it had been earlier.
We occupied the upstairs at my parents house. They have two big bedrooms and a full bath up there. Things went okay and we ate my mom's cooking plus a TON of junk food they always have around: cheese trays, potato chips, cake, etc. I'm sure it throws my dad into quite the loop having so much activity - compared to the normal lack of it - but we all survived.
Jane, Carrie and I ran a 5k in Sheffield Saturday morning. It was some kind of fundraiser, and not really part of Music On Main. I didn't pay much attention to the organization, and got a child's shirt and gave to Anna because the only shirt colors were pink or powder blue. Anyway, there wasn't a very big turnout, and I hardly knew any other runners. Carrie beat us, but Jane and I both broke 30 minutes for the first time this summer (barely). It was a bit hilly, but it was fun. I was kind of surprised and disappointed there weren't more local people running it. I had actually planned to wear my old track uniform (shirt) but I'm glad I didn't because I doubt that anyone would have known what it was about. I'm still glad we did it though.
THE KIDS GAMES
Nephew/Dr. Tim's non-profit organization organized kids games for late-morning/early-afternoon. So we went to my parents house and got the kids and headed back. They had an obstacle course for little kids where they ran through water, spun around, crawled through shaving cream, and things like that. They then all ended up in the nifty splash pad area they have now. All three grandkids had a blast. It was pretty neat.
Afterward they served lunch and the kids played on the playground equipment for awhile (the same equipment our kids used to play on). Eventually the boys started getting fussy, so Drew Carrie took them back to my parent's house and Jane and I stayed at the park with Anna. At 1 pm they had a Soap Box Derby for kids and Anna wanted to give it a shot. It was actually pretty cool, and I was super proud of her for jumping in and giving it a go. There was a shoot that held three cars at a time, and they used gravity to race down a hill. I have a Facebook video of Anna's race but I'm not sure how to put it on here. She said it was a "little scary" but fun.
I went back to the house and took a nap, then Jane and I took Drew out to let him see the Psycho Silo Saloon for the first time. They have really added onto it, and it's even cooler than it was before. There was a band playing in the new stage area and there were a million people there. Well, maybe not a million, but could have been a thousand. Most people were bikers but there was a mix of regular folk too. We saw a few people we knew and chatted for a bit, then went back to Buda.
MUSIC ON MAIN
Jane, myself, and Drew Carrie then headed back to Sheffield for the official 'Music On Main' event. They block off main street and have beer and food and music. It was a good time, but as with the race, I was a little disappointed in the turnout. At a couple of these there had been some class reunions going on at the same time. This year there didn't seem to be much in the way of people like us coming back to visit. In fact, this summer should have been my 35th reunion for high school, but we didn't do anything. It was my sister's 40th, and there was about 20 from her class. It was also Jane's brother Terry's 50th, but I think their reunion is later in the summer. Anyway, we hung out; talked to some people; ate and drank; and listened to music. It was a little on the country side, which isn't really my favorite, but it seemed to go over well with the crowd there.
Eventually we all migrated into Brothers Pub which is right on Main Street. The brothers that own it have a band (Windjam) and they played from around 9:30 pm to 1 am or so. We used to follow them around when we were in our early 20's and beyond, and they're still going strong. They pretty much only play in their own bar now, but they are about as good as any band I've heard. There was a nice crowd - mostly thanks to my sister's class - and I was again a tad disappointed in the lack of old friends around, but we still had fun.
THE THRILL IS GONE
I'm always a bit down after a visit home, but I sense I am feeling more than that now. If you notice, I didn't say we made a "trip home," but rather that we 'visited' Illinois. It is feeling less and less like home to me all the time. That's kind of sad in and of itself, but something has changed. I don't know if it's me, if it was just a matter of time, or what it is. I didn't really even have the same level of anticipation as we got ready to visit. And it just wasn't as fun while there.
I would guess most of the change is in my mind. I don't think I look forward to seeing old friends as much anymore because..... I don't know if I'm a little ashamed, or embarrassed, or what. Those aren't really the words I'm looking for, but it's like I have nothing to say anymore, and no reason why anyone should really want to see me. I'm also just not really all that interested in anyone else either. It's kind of like I'm just existing. I suppose it could just be a phase, but whatever the reason, the thrill is gone from my love affair with the old hometown.
So, I guess that's about it. I'm sure I've forgotten some details, but I doubt anyone is keeping score. It was a nice time, we had fun with Drew Carrie and the kids, and it is always nice to visit. Until the next time...