Going home

View of Ruth Hardy Park Palm Springs
Ruth Hardy Park, Palm Springs with Mt. San Jacinto in the background. The park I visited every day for 28 years.

My days of mothering my kids is over — at least for now. I opted for a one-way ticket from Oakland to my old home town Palm Springs where I was picked up by my husband. We had dinner with friends at our favorite restaurant Spencer’s and spent the night at my dad’s. We drove home together to Arizona today.

This is the first time I’ve returned since moving a year and two months ago. Looking out the plane window at Mt. San Jacinto, the landmark of Palm Springs, I felt emotional. I wasn’t expecting that.

We met dear friends for coffee, then my husband and I walked around the park that was blocks from our old home. Every morning for decades I walked around the park. I spent hours with the kids at the park when they were young. I thought I’d see some familiar faces, but they were all new.

Then we walked around our old neighborhood and our house.

hedge and palm trees outside Palm Springs.
The hedge outside our old home.
Tall pony tail palm.
Outside the hedge and backyard is our ponytail palm. That’s me next to it. We brought it with us two-feet high in a pot when we moved into this house close to 30 years ago.

I couldn’t believe our ponytail palm. It was two-feet tall when we moved into our old home. Think how many other things changed in our lives during that growth of that plant during the years there. We thought about moving it to Arizona with us, but thought better of it. It might not have liked the change or the trip in the moving van. It felt like leaving a part of the family behind. My husband had this palm before he met me. It sat in a pot in our first home and an apartment before that. When someone dug a ponytail palm out of our yard, we decided to let this guy free from its pot by the pool and planted it in the spot of the stolen one. In ten years it grew from two feet to 10 feet. Look at it now!

Pony Tail Palm
This was taken right before we moved a little over a year ago.

After visiting with friends, walking through my old haunts, I got through my emotions. It’s a beautiful neighborhood and town, but I can go back and visit anytime.

Have you returned to visit a place you lived or vacationed before? Have you been emotional about it or not?

33 thoughts on “Going home

  1. Yeah, a few places saw my triumphant return, but no, I found no emotions to celebrate the occasion. Home is where I hang my hat, not where I used to hang my hat. Guess that is the military in me (and lack of emotions, since they get in the way of sound decision making).

  2. Just a few minutes ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a post from an old neighbor. There was a photo taken in her yard and I saw my old house in the background and I almost cried. There is always something to love (as well as something to appreciate leaving) everywhere I’ve lived. 💞

  3. Sometimes it depends on how long you’ve been away, but I have mixed emotions. Depending on the place it could be sentimentality, or it could just be an awkward “I don’t fit here anymore” feeling-displaced I guess. I’m always surprised at the reality of the place versus how I remember it.

  4. Your former home is beautiful.
    We used to vacation in this Florida town every year, but we haven’t been there since before the pandemic. We asked our daughters where they wanted to spend their summer vacation this year, and they picked this place. Just thinking about it made me emotional since it’s so different when we’re not at home. The pandemic, being apart from our daughter at college, and not taking a vacation all combined to make me emotional.

    • Thank you. I understand completely about the summer vacation. We rented a house for summer vacation at the beach for years. We quit going when our son went to UC Santa Barbara for college and headed up there instead. I would get emotional if we went to our little cottage we spent so many summer vacations at.

  5. I still live in the same town but I have driven by the house I grew up in and it has changed, as has the neighborhood. We used to have a church behind our house but it burned down and now there is another housing development there! I get a little sad.

  6. Home for me has been too many places for me to have emotions involved. Now seeing people we knew or worked with bring out the emotions in me. I love visiting friends I grew up with in Illinois. Friends we worked with through the years, especially other missionaries we served with in both countries we lived in. God has taught me how important people are more than places. I am thankful for where we live now, across the driveway from our daughter and family in northern Mn. Glad you got to visit your old neighborhood.

  7. I love your hometown. Larry and I throughly enjoyed our time in Palm Springs. The mountains really captured me. Larry and I recently went back to the Northwest for a wedding and we stopped by our first apartment as a married couple, no emotion there, but it did bring back a lot of memories. If I ever leave this house, the one I raised my kids in, I would have some strong emotions. Loved seeing you in a pic! Hugs, C

Leave a Reply