This is fitting I think as, “The Boys Are Back In Town” blasts from the Jeep Wrangler’s radio as we make our way to the house on Stonegate Road.
Our destination is not as familiar to the 2003 Wrangler as it was to the vehicles that once parked in its driveway. I, her driver, on the other hand, know it well.
If we were characters in a Lifetime movie it could be said this evening is a homecoming. Not to the Wrangler, of course, but most surely to the driver and the boys who are back in town.
It is not that I haven’t returned to the Stonegate Road house that occupied 26 years of my life before it was sold. I have spent many a Christmas Eve sitting at the dining room table joining in the laughter and conversation that radiated within this house filled with the present owners’ family and friends. That the house no longer belonged to me was immaterial.
How often do we have the luxury of returning to the tangible part of our past? To experience not only the memories or to observe what has been added or subtracted but to actually encounter what was once such a significant part of our lives?
There are those who may profess a “leave it behind and get on with the present” attitude. Admittedly, I’m a sentimental softy and yet I do not find myself consistently acting as such when I revisit the house I lived in from my early-20s into my late-40s. The home in which my three children were nurtured from babies to adults.
The reason our family is able to return to our former house so often is because it is now the home owned by Marty and June. Marty and my older son, Bryant, both turn 53 this year and have been best friends since 7th grade. Marty and June brought their newborn son, Sean, who is now 12, into the house on Stonegate. That the Jeep Wrangler and its driver are on their to the house on Stonegate is because Marty and June are hosting a St. Patrick’s Bash.
And the song playing as the Jeep Wrangler and I approach the turn into Stonegate?
Perhaps its lyrics should be revamped to, “The men who once were the boys are back in town.” Nah, the original is as it should be.
Because 26 years making one house a home provides more than a back story. The decades are filled with joyous occasions and, as it can be with life, often times, not so joyous. It’s a collage of photographs capturing holidays and monumental events, candles to be blown out on the birthday cakes, their numbers increasing with each passing year. And within those years are people. Those individuals who pass through those doors.
So it is with the men, who as boys filled the house with their presence ever since their junior high days, stretching into the high school and college years. A snapshot of a time gone by.
Ed, “EJ” here from Massachusetts and Tom from New Hampshire talking and laughing with Dave, Marty and Bryant in the house on Stonegate.
I observe them through eyes that are tearing.
The boys are back in town.