from my the house across the street

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Trip Back in Time

I was so close...........just 45 minutes away. It would have been so sad not to take the opportunity to visit a place from my past! And so I headed down US 54 to Lake of The Ozarks. How many times as a child had I been through this place? And what did I see on this day that was familiar? The water, as I crossed the bridge at Osage Beach, was the only thing that looked like anything I'd seen there before.

The last time I was there, Starbucks hadn't even existed in Seattle yet, let alone in Osage Beach with a drive-thru no less! And I'd never heard of an outlet mall, either! Even the highway that took me into this now strange place was different. It used to be a twisting, curving, steep-hills two-lane highway. Now it's four lanes with hills that don't dip and climb so sharply, and curves that are much more gentle. There were places where old Highway 54 still exists, running alongside the new road, and as I sped past I longed for the time when that was the only highway.

The billboards I remember, for factory stores that sold genuine Ozark walnut bowls, have been replaced by ones advertising shops at the outlet mall. The only outdoor advertisements that were connected to my memories are those for Tantara and Lodge of the Four Seasons, resorts that sounded incredibly luxurious, catering to those far more worldly and sophisticated than our family.

There were some breath-taking vistas on this day however, with the early Spring woods, forsythia and redbud in bloom, and hills that fall away into valleys with farms and pastures dotted with cows and newborn calves. My drive also gave me a chance to see redwing blackbirds that had returned from their winter habitats. I am always amazed at their ability to perch upon the slenderest reed without bending or breaking it!

I am sure that my memories, seen with a child's eyes, are not nearly as keen as my parents'. I wonder, had my mother been in the car with me, what she would have been remembering. I can only imagine hearing her say, "Oh, it all looks so different. I don't remember this at all!"
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