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August 12, 2012

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I will probably have more to say on this, later, but for now I just want to tell you what an amazing, evocative post this is. How IS that, that I can remember so much from my teens and 20s but if you ask me what I did for my 41st birthday (a year and change ago) I couldn't tell you? Not to mention the boys of my youth, and now my own boy is much closer to that age than I am. Beautiful work.

Great post, Jamie. How DO we remember all that stuff? Something there about being a teenager (taking care of only yourself) vs. a mom, taking care of others, I think. Plus the sleep deprivation gets ya every time.

I grew up in Pittsburgh and am now in the flat midwest. The roads! Oh, that part resonates with me. I was home this summer and driving up, down, around, through instead of a nice tidy grid. It came back, like riding a bike, but holy cow, the roads!

what about the madeleines? I probably missed something.

Yes, this is an amazing and evocative post and I love it. Last Saturday we visited the city and the house where my husband was born and where he spent most vacations -- since it was his maternal grandma's house -- until he was 18, but I had to be on another car with my parents and I wasn't with him when he saw the house. The current owners let him, his parents & my sons in! I imagine it must have been a pretty unique experience. (My mother-in-law also lived in that house from toddlerhood until she left for boarding school and then got married and then she gave birth to my husband, her firstborn, in that very house).

Lovely, Jamie. I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachins in Southern Virginia -- probably not so far from where you lived -- and although I moved out of Virginia at about the same age you were moving into the area, I still remember with great clarity the landscape and the incidents of that time. I went back a few years ago to see where we used to live. Nothing had changed in twenty years. It was wonderful. I could drive the roads from memory, despite having moved away before I'd learned to drive. I showed my husband and children places I'd talked about and the property where I'd run barefoot through the hay stubble.

You really can go back, if you go on your own terms.

Oh, the wax machine! A decade earlier I was laying out articles for my college newspaper in Virginia with wax and a t-square. Lovely reminiscences.

James, this was beautiful. Thank you. I share many of the same memories as you, and despite living only an hour away from our old hometown, it seems as foreign to me now as Addis Ababa.

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