One of the consequences of moving around a lot as a child is that you don’t really have a “home town” to go back to during the holidays (you also don’t have a home town sports team to cheer for, but that is another story for another day). You typically don’t get to grow up around your extended family…at least for not for long periods of time. For us, we moved around about every 4 years (save for 2 years in Hawaii and 6 years in California) and only got a chance to be around our grandparents and cousins when we made the trek to Texas for Christmas or for a couple of weeks during the summer.
The only time we had the opportunity to live close to extended family was when we lived in California. We lived in Orange County and my mother’s older sister (Aunt Mae) – the only family on my mother’s side that doesn’t live in the state of Texas – lived an hour and half away in Victorville. From the second grade until middle school, we often traveled to Victorville to spend time with Aunt Mae. My memories of those times are filled with good food, vacation bible school, trips to sack-n-save and making forts with my little brother in the field next to Aunt Mae’s house.
Aunt Mae’s health hasn’t been well, so my parents, little brother and I decided to pay her a visit in Victorville. I haven’t stepped foot in Victorville since I was twelve years old. Aunt Mae lives in the same house and the field next to her house is still their, albeit it looks a lot smaller than what I remembered. It has been so nice to spend a bit of time in a place that holds so many great childhood memories. I am especially thankful to be able to watch my two kids play and make forts in the same field that I played in as a child.