Daddy's Christmas Angel

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You Can Never Go Back

"You can never go back," I heard them say.

At first I didn't believe those words.

"Of course, you can," I thought.

But over the years, I've proven myself wrong again and again. Several times, I've gone back to my childhood neighborhood in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Those yards and streets that once were filled with my young friends, most of whom were the children of professors at then Mary Washington College, were different from almost the moment we left. The city grew and sprawled out into malls and suburbia that overtook the farmland. My uncle's horse stable is gone, replaced by highways and businesses I never imagined would one day exist there.

"Hotel Del Cornado" ©Mary Montague Sikes
Even the places I've only visited change ever so quickly. A couple of years ago, I returned to the Hotel Del Coronado, a favorite destination from my book, Hotels to Remember. To my surprise and disappointment, the beaches looked different there. The sands were far more crowded than I remembered. But the sturdy old building was the same in many ways. For that, I was thankful.

Many of the hotels from my book are different now. Some changed their outside appearances before the ink was dry. One of my favorites, the Adams Mark St. Louis, was soon gone. I enjoyed looking from my hotel window, down on the outdoor art gallery below, so I was especially sad. Hilltop House in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia has been closed for several years, but a movement is underway to reopen it.

The children are gone; the landscape, changed; the hotels, different.

"You can never go back," they said.

"You can never go back," I agree.

4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Places change, which is sad. Bummer when they either grow more crowded or run down.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've returned to my home town of Salem, OR many times and the changes are sad. It's grown, and yet decayed. You're right, you can't go back.

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - places change ... so much ... it is sad - but that's life. Vancouver showed that when I was over this week - seeing it's the first time I visited. Horrifying, yet fascinating ... and informative ... change is inevitable ... if only we can be kind as change happens - cheers Hilary