Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Kev, Live from Sugar Land, Part I

I guess this is just a little 'yo' to let everyone know I made it here in one piece....earlier than usual, even, which never happens to me on roadtrips. I had a reason to be early today, as I was meeting one of my Sinfonia chapter presidents for lunch to catch up on some business that couldn't get done during the semester. It just happens that this guy grew up in a different section of my old subdivision (though on the other side of the school-district line, so we wouldn't have likely met even if we'd been here at the same time). Despite having no idea what the traffic would be like, and leaving later than I wanted to, I got to the old neighborhood within three minutes of my goal.

After lunch, I had to make the obligatory trip through the neighborhood itself, "just because." I also passed my old elementary school coming out of the restaurant; I hadn't been that way in quite some time (it's off the main roads, unlike my old high school). Needless to say, it looked quite different, though I still recognized the houses of old friends whose parents had long since moved away, just as my parents did.

When asked to describe the main difference in my old neighborhood, it always comes down to one thing: The trees have gotten taller. The area itself is quite well-kept, even though some of the houses are 35 years old now...but yeah, the trees are what stand out. They're mostly pines in that area, and they do grow quite tall (especially the seedling I planted for Arbor Day in fifth grade, which now towers over the house). So sure enough, when I told my folks I'd made the side-trip, they asked how it looked, and I gave the obligatory answer: "Great...the trees have gotten taller."

They say you can't go home again, but it's always nice to see the place where I spent my formative years. My old house, my schools, the neighborhood...while they don't necessarily represent the greatest of times--and there's no way I'd trade what I have now no matter how deeply I found myself in the throes of nostalgia--they were a part of me for a long time, and the things I experienced then and there helped make me who I am today.

The house is actually vacant now, as the people who bought it from my parents downsized and moved closer into town; it's going back on the market next month. I got nostalgic for it the other night when I was at Halfling's parents' party and I realized how much the downstairs of their house looked like its downstairs.

Other than that, I'm just chillin'; I may get some more shopping done for my sister and her family while I'm here (they're going to Colorado for Christmas, and I won't see them till New Year's Day). Oh, and I'm pretty sure I have a New Year's gig; it's not a high-dollar big band thing like I've had before, but it is a place to play. More on that later.

Also, I guess tomorrow I'll chime in on why this place is called "Sugar Land."

NOT ON MY CHRISTMAS LIST: Here is a description of an actual book I saw advertised today: "Walter is a wonderful dog, except for one small problem. Gas. He can't help it. Billy and Betty love him anyway. Father says he's got to go. Find out how his problem becomes his salvation."--Walter the Farting Dog, by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray. Seen in an ad for Whole Earth Provision Co., which maybe should stick to selling Birkenstocks if this is the best they can do in the "literature" department. Heh heh.

Needless to say, I won't be buying this one for my nearly three-year-old nephew anytime soon...

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