Visiting a Childhood/Family Favorite Haunt

2 Oct

A romantic evening trip to the rural and quaint tourist town, Lambertville, NJ, quickly became nostalgic. The “kicked-in-the-stomach” feeling I experienced about 36 years ago emerged as my husband and I gazed beyond the Lambertville-New Hope Bridge.

1975ish:  Before we embarked on one of our family’s favorite day trips, I imagined the perfect accessory to my outfit. My Aunt Joan had recently given her gold hoop earrings and a heart necklace for her Bat Mitzvah. I worked up the nerve to ask my sister if I could borrow them for our trip. She said yes and I put them on. I was eager to walk through New Hope, shop and eat adorned with such beautiful jewelry! While there, we walked and window shopped. I must have had a fixation with earrings that night, because I picked some out in each store we visited. Finally, I found a pair of earrings there that my parents agreed to buy for me. The price was right for these “royal” jewels I had found.

After a long day, we returned home and then, the shock struck. I discovered I had lost one of my sister’s earrings. We immediately checked my clothes and our bags. Nothing. We combed the car. Nothing. We called the New Hope jewelry store and restaurant. Nothing. After a day or two of searching, we gave up the hunt. We assumed the earrings lost forever. I cried and shouted  regret for borrowing the earrings. I did not think I could recover from my mistake, but time helped us forget this mishap. And, then, about one year later, my mom found the missing earring. She was cleaning my room, her annual eradication of each minute piece of hidden dust. While scouring the molding behind my bed, she saw it—the tiny gold earring. I recall my pre-teen-appropriate irrational reaction when I became angry that she had not found the earring sooner.. Shouldn’t she have vacuumed that thoroughly each time? I had to quickly end any undue criticism of my mom.  Fortunately, my sister was just thrilled she had its mate and could finally wear the special gift again. Case closed.

Despite this unfortunate experience or perhaps because there was a happy ending, I still have great memories of the Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA towns. The towns have not changed very much and provide me with an adult glimpse of why mom was enamored with that rural area.  If there is a moral to my story, it is to never borrow expensive things. –just kidding (I think).

Did your family have any traditional day trips? Did you ever borrow and (seemingly) ruin a sibling’s important possession? What town or place would bring warm, nostalgic feelings to you? Sticking to the often irrational wishes I have, I do wish I could go back to New Hope with mom without any mishap at all. She would be happy we enjoy one of her favorite spots.

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