I was in Omaha, Nebraska today for business. It used to be a weekly thing when I lived in Lincoln, just 45 miles away.
I had a little extra time and decided to take a look at our old neighborhood. I bought my first house in Lincoln in 1979, when I was just 22. A few years later, we built a house in the same area.
So, I wanted to see what happened in the thirty years or so since those days. I pulled into the subdivision, and I really didn’t recognize much. I did remember the street names, so that helped.
Gradually, I came up to the first house. I think we paid $51,000 for it back then. I remember mowing the lawn cross ways like they do in the baseball stadiums. We planted red and white petunias, lots of them. We played catch in the yard. We planted trees. We knew our neighbors. We had cookouts.
It was a dump. How disappointing, the house I first loved fell into disrepair. What used to be a cute little neighborhood turned into tract housing with little regard for maintenance or care. I felt a little defeated, like the part of me that cared for that home meant nothing.
I went to the second house. Same thing. We planted these great trees. I built a wood fence and painted it. More flowers. We built a two tiered deck for parties. It was really nice in a nice neighborhood.
When I saw graffiti painted on a little shed on the back, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to leave.
I wish I wouldn’t have gone. I wish my memories of those houses were those of 10:00 this morning instead of 1:00 this afternoon.