We went to Binghamton, NY to attend the funeral services for my wife’s grandmother. Binghamton, NY is about a ten-hour drive and Piper doesn’t like to be constrained in her car seat for any length of time. Since she will sleep for four hours during a road trip we decided to extend the driving over four days, two days up, two days back. Fortunately for us, the half-way point is Washington D.C. Unfortunately for us, it’s winter and Binghamton, NY is in the north.
Even though the high temperature for our two-day stay was approximately nine degrees Fahrenheit, being there brought back fond childhood memories for my wife. It was neat for me too since the town is remarkably similar to where I grew up. We both grew up in what we consider to be a typical northern town populated by Italian and Polish Catholics who proudly display their ancient, plastic “baby Jesus in the manger” scenes neigh on until ash Wednesday. We both had a childhood in which the great wide world consisted of the three blocks between home, church, school, the corner store and grandma Chloe’s. A childhood where downtown was far away and going shopping always ended with an ice-cream sundae.
Seeing these same places now makes us realize how small our world really was, how simple and how wonderful. Seen through the eyes of a child the world is big, exciting and wondrous. This trip made me realize that I miss that world.