Friday, June 4, 2010

You Can't Go Home Again. Not Without Directions.

You know that saying, "You can't go home again"?  I always thought it was a statement about the difficulty of returning to a place of strong memories when you are not the same person you were when the memories were made.  But it turns out that in my case I can't go home again because I wouldn't be able to find it.

The conference I went to last weekend was held about three (four?) blocks from the house I lived in during high school.  The hotel I stayed in was on my old street.  Sure my street used to end only a 1/2 block from my house, but how hard could it be?  It's still the same road, just extended, right?

(Um, also the road technically isn't the same name as when I lived there, but I knew it was the same street.)

Of course, my old high school is now a movie theater, the new high school is where the local polygamous house once stood, and the rarely used train tracks down the street are now a major monorail.  But, all this happened while my parents still lived there, so I was okay with the changes. Or so I thought.

Silly me. I really thought I could find my way without much effort. 


I got lost. I somehow ended up pretty far east in the valley and when I finally thought I was headed west on my old street, I was a mere four turns away from actually being on the right street.  While aimlessly finding my way , I remembered I'd accidentally picked up travel sized mousse instead of travel sized hairspray.  The local Walmart was just around the corner from my old house, so I could just stop and pick up the right stuff. 

Unfortunately, the local Walmart is now a strip mall full of trendy eating places.

It took me 45 minutes to find another Walmart (Is that even possible?  I thought there was a law that there must be one within 5 minutes of every spot in the USA.)  I ended up at one on a street that didn't exist when I lived there.  In fact it might have been in a town that didn't exist when I lived there.  I later learned my problem was going the wrong way out of the parking lot.  The nearest store was actually where the old sand dunes once existed.

Why didn't I think of that?

I then got lost trying to find my hometown street again so I could check into the hotel.  Like 30-minutes-trying-to-get-to-the-right-road-again lost.

The next morning I woke up craving nothing more than a donut and hot chocolate. So I called my mom and asked her for the nearest Krispy Kreme.  After getting lost AGAIN, I found the spot.  It's now a Sweet Tomato.  Turns out the nearest KK is now 45 minutes away.  So I decided to go to Panera.  Or would have if the closest wasn't in Colorado.

Declaring defeat and calling my mother AGAIN for directions to Albertsons (I knew where it used to be, but this town likes to move things around), I passed a Starbucks.  At the old sand dunes by Walmart. 

With my drink and pastry in hand, I only got lost one more time trying to get to the convention center.  Oh, and once more the next day trying to get there again.  Oh, and one more time trying to get to the freeway after it was over.  That one took me a while to get out of.

So yes, I really can't go home again.  Or maybe I'll take my GPS with me next time.

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27 comments:

  1. hahaha, I love your "frazzled" picture! Didn't you have your beloved iPhone with you??? I must say, I am happy to hear my sis-in-law shares my affinity for getting lost and also Starbucks.

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  2. Well the iPhone is how I looked up the wrong walmart and found out where the KK was closed with the nearest one in Orem and that Panera is all the way in CO. I used it to call and beg my mom for help while wandering my old hometown, too.

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  3. This post cracked me up because I could picture every place you were describing. You know you've lived in UT too long when...

    And I totally didn't know that KK had closed. Sad.

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  4. Just like me. How wrong is it that Cheryl from TEXAS had to tell me where to turn every stinking time we left the conference place?

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  5. so funny. a GPS would definitely help but then you would get one and find that the changes to the area were too new to be in the map software on your GPS and you would be right back where you started!!

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  6. i think your right about the walmart law...it can come in handy every once in a while.

    i, too, would like to hear more about the polygamous house!i'm a sucker for good ol' time gossip.

    ;0

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  7. Why did I not know you went to HIgh school in Utah? Which one did you go to? I went to Orem HIgh and they just tore it down but are building a brand new one in it's parking lot.

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  8. I feel the same way everytime I go back. I also tried to go to the Walmart around the corner from the old house and was shocked to find it gone. Instead of finding another I just hit the Target across the street (behind the sweet tomatoes)

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  9. This is too funny! I can almost see the same thing happening to me when I go home. Except I go to Kansas and things don't change much there.

    So glad you stepped out of your comfort zone for CBC. I definitely should've gone to more than the social -- I missed a lot of people!

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  10. This reminds me of when my husband and I moved back into my old hometown when we first got married. I was ALWAYS getting lost.

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  11. Awesome! I have that same experience every time I visit Utah - and my parents still live on that street.

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  12. I'm from Orem and have been getting lost there ever since I got back from my mission 13 years ago or so.

    It's crazy how much a place changes when you don't live there anymore!

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  13. How funny! My daughter and I got lost today in Salt Lake also. There was one detour sign that bypassed the freeway, and then nothing. I too suck at directions, and so we took a very non-scenic route, and saw a really close view of a train while trying to cross the tracks and find the next detour signs. Ugh! I need a GPS too!

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  14. Charlotte, if we ever road trip together, I insist on driving.

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  15. I have the same problem when I go home - so glad it's not just me! And I refuse to get a GPS. I'm convinced I'd be just as lost with it as without and then I'd be open to SO much more mocking.

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  16. I'm giggling and getting strange looks from my family as I'm reading this. Thus exact same thing would totally happen to me. Only I live in the town I grew up in.

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  17. Hi! I remember you from CBC - it was so good meeting you. Thanks for visiting my blog! I know about the whole home thing - I was an air force kid and I have no idea where home is. Ha! I guess I'm close enough in the area of my high school. I work a mile away from there. Looking forward to reading more posts from you!

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  18. It was so fun to meet you at the CBC.

    And I'm laughing about your getting lost. I helped create your problem as I used to work for the City you used to live in- doing planning and development work. I worked on the movie theater project and several others you mentioned. Sorry to have helped mess up your internal homing beacon!

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  19. Oh I wish I could have seen you while you were here. I drive by your old house 3 times a week when I take my kids to track practice at the new Jordan high school. I could have helped you navigate the endless road construction of Sandy...but alas, I was home in bed with strep throat. Hope you had a great time!

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  20. I get lost ALL the time! It's in my genes.

    I'm SO in trouble in future years.

    I think my kids might hate me.

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  21. That is hilarious! I can't imagine how things must have changed in such a short time. You are only a child for Pete's sake, it could only have been yesterday that you were there!

    It was sure great to be able to meet you!

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  22. This totally cracks me up because I am the very same way. The conference was less than 10 blocks away from my parents' house, but I still got lost. Two times! At least we can find our way around the blogosphere. :)

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  23. That is why I try to stay home and dormant as much as possible. But I DO know my way to Krispy Kreme!

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  24. Somehow this seems characteristic of life with so many kids. Too much on your mind maybe :-)

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  25. my dad always said i wouldn't be able to find my way out of a paper bag...& now i'm actually on medication to help my cognitive abilities so that i won't forget where i live again. i believe that your lack of direction makes you & i kindred spirits. let's grab donuts in utah next month!

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  26. What I'm wondering is whether you found Albertson's. That would truly be a feat because as far as I'm aware, a new grocery store bought all the Albertson's stores earlier this year.

    I find that my world is very small. I know Provo pretty well, because I live here, and I can usually find a familiar road in Orem. But if I go farther ten minutes north or south, I have to see my path on Google Maps and then hand write the directions myself so they stick in my brain.

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