I stood outside my friend’s house in Connecticut yesterday afternoon. I didn’t go in, though I wanted to. The house looked quite different from the last time I saw it. Trees that had been knocked down in a violent storm a couple of years ago now stood proudly guarding her front walk. I stayed only a few minutes before I visited my grandparents’ house in Kettering, Ohio. The color is not the same as I remember; it was always white when my grandparents owned it, not the soft tan it is now. I “walked” down the street to the corner to see if the music store is still there, the one where I bought my beautiful baritone ukelele so many years ago when I was barely in high school. Sadly, the store is gone, an electronics shop in its place. I turned the corner and “walked” a few blocks more and was happy to see the Dorothy Lane Market was still thriving. I left Ohio and found myself on the sidewalk in front of 25 East 98th Street in New York City. Here my New York grandparents lived, and we would drive from Connecticut into the City every other weekend to visit them. The building has had a facelift since my last visit nearly fifty years ago, but I could still feel the way it felt walking into the lobby with its big black and white squared floor and getting into the elevator and closing its gold accordion gate.
No, I wasn’t dreaming yesterday when I took my trips; well, maybe daydreaming is accurate. Every once in awhile, when I start missing old friends and family and places, I take a visit to them via Google Street View. I discovered it a few years ago and was amazed that you could actually see a site clearly, as if you were standing right in front of it. Not all places are accessible to this marvelous invention, especially rural areas, but I’ve managed to see quite a few. Yes, I know I could just think about them anytime I want to, and I do, but having visual aids is exciting. For example, I miss our old house in San Antonio since we moved to Virginia two and a half years ago. I “stood” in front of it yesterday, marveling at what a good job my husband had done on the lawn. The satellite caught it on a good day.
I don’t know how many years between Google satellite updates, but I have to say I’d like to see some new views soon. I mean, our house in San Antonio looks terrific, but it still has our old 2000 Ford Taurus in front of it. Even though we keep our cars for a long time, we haven’t owned that car or that house for over two and a half years now, so please, Google, I want to see what the new owner has done to our old abode. And I “visit” my brother’s house every once in awhile in Chester, Virginia, and he still has his garage door open, even though I know he never leaves the house before closing it. Also, why aren’t there ever any people in those street views? The scenes look like a movie set when the actors have called it a day.
I’m thinking I should go and pull out all the weeds in my front flower beds, just in case Google plans on sending its satellite around some time soon. And I might just throw some make-up on. You never know when those street views might become populated.
You may be disappointed if you see an updated view of our house, mom. I am when I drive by on my trips to San Antonio. The whole neighborhood just seems to sad and lost. Maybe it misses us?
And I still miss it!