It's Official

I'm old.
You're probably laughing - if you know me.
October 2008 came and went. And with it my 30th birthday.
Which, I grant you, does not put me on the list for AARP or social security or Depends.
But it's official.
You wanna know how I know?
I'll tell you.

Do you remember listening to an elder - a grandparent, aunt, uncle, family friend who was long in the tooth? They had seen it all. And they weren't afraid to tell you about it. Truth be told, when you look back, you relish in their wisdom and their ability to adapt and change to the changing times. But when you were a kid that didn't mean you didn't roll your eyes when they would settle into their chair, let out a loooong sigh, possibly hike up their polyester pants (or maybe even undo their belt) and regail you with how "things used to be".

Well it shames me to admit it, but I have turned in to that person. And it hit me last weekend like a brick in the head. Rav & I were on our way home from my dad's house. It was a celebration of sorts - more on that another time. It was a beautiful, bright sunny Sunday and I decided to take the country road home. I used to drive that country road with my dad to get to The Farm or to take a ride - just the two of us. On certain Spring days, the air will smell sweet and clean and it will take me down that country road in my mind. I will remember snippets of conversation my dad & I had when traveling that road. It's peaceful and beautiful and one part of Delaware that had remained untouched by the sprawl that the (then)booming banking industry inflicted on other open fields in our state.

I haven't taken a Sunday drive (see, right there? That in of itself makes me old) on that country road in years. Quite frankly, it has been too painful. After The Farm was sold, I couldn't bear to drive it. It was just too raw. But I decided that day that it was time. The kids fell asleep as I drove at nice pace, windows open. The slight breeze would blow their hair and I sighed. Yes. I thought to myself. Yes. This was a good idea. Eventually Rav even fell asleep and I was left alone with the air and my memories as I drove.

Then it happened. And there they were. On either side of the road were sprawling neighborhoods filled with cookie cutter homes. No trees. And filling up fields that once went on as far as the eye could see. It turned my stomach. Literally. I let out a cry in horror. It was loud enough that it awoke my peaceful napping husband. He startled awake, looking back and forth, "Wha-, Wha-.....What?? What's going on?" He managed to sputter out. "LOOK AT THAT! DO YOU SEE IT? ISN'T THIS HORRIBLE?" He grumbled and fell back asleep. He left me alone to have a conversation with myself about how "that field right.there. was where there once was a family farm. See where that neighborhood is??? Yeah. There used to be a horse farm THERE." This went on and on inside my head. And that was when it hit me. That I was old. That I am 30 years old and cannot bear to see change. I cannot bear to see change when it turns farmland into sprawling, overcrowded neighborhoods full of McMansions on teeny-tiny plots of "yard". It's almost more than I can bear.

I realized that my delusions of change creeping everywhere else but that country road are just that. Delusions. I realized that my home state is turning into one big, sprawling neighborhood.

Most of all. I realized I am aging. And that I am slowly becoming that person I used to roll my eyes at. And the most I can hope for is that I learn to adapt and change along with it.

6 ripples in the pond:

Mary-LUE said...

Yes! I am laughing at you! Talk to me in 14 years and tell me you are old! ; p

flutter said...

Oh you can shut up RIGHT NOW!!! ;p

joker the lurcher said...

my dear, i will turn 50 in about a week! now that is really old...

Denguy said...

Old indeed.

Kim said...

I am 32 and right there with you. Old. Gray hairs, wrinkles coming o....old.

However, I was upset about this urban development as early as my teens.

I am sure that my family, like yours apparently did, the importance of land, legacy and heritage.

It is with the cookie cutter homes that these things are passing us by.

OK, OK. Maybe it isn't completely the cookie cutter homes fault....but still.

Penny said...

lol! I do the same thing. (40 this year)

And some kid at school the other day was telling me about a party he'd been to and all the alcohol he'd had to drink and the girls he met.. and instead of laughing and saying, 'oh, cool.. sounds like fun..'.. I told him to be careful and gave him a brief lecture on the perils of alcohol abuse and alcohol poisoning.

Yup. Old.