Sunday, March 07, 2010

Crossing Magnolia

I've lived in the same city since 1982, yet it's not the same as it was 28 years ago when I moved here. And I don't live in the same area of town as I did when I was a fresh-faced, carless university freshman. Back then, I walked everywhere I wanted to go, or took the bus, or rode my bike, or occasionally got a ride with someone. I lived in the same house for four years of undergrad and during that time, my "world" was limited to where I could go under my own power.

I got a car at the end of undergrad as I was interning far enough from my home and not on a convenient bus route. My world expanded and I could drive all over town. And I did. But even then, "all over town" took about 15 minutes to go from one side to the other, and even then, most of the places I needed or wanted to go were within a small radius.

Another few years later and my job location moved across town and with it, so did my choice of apartment locations. I soon lived a mile from the office and nearly everything I needed was within a mile's radius. I was dating the man I would soon marry and he lived "way out" - about four miles from where we worked.

When we married, it seemed we lived "way out" at first, but then more and more businesses built and located to our side of town. Grocery stores, movie theater, Sam's Club. When WalMart and Costco built on the corner of the main intersection right on our regular route, we were all set.

We realized a few years ago that we never seem to have a reason to go further than about five miles from our house. And that five-mile mark is known as Magnolia Boulevard. We very rarely have to cross Magnolia, and we're comfortable staying on our side of town, in our sector of our city. We have everything we need. Library, post office, car service centers. We do so much business online or by phone that we don't have to drive across Magnolia. It has become a dividing line, or even a barrier to our lives.

Recently, though, we had reason to cross Magnolia. Firstly, I had jury duty at the courthouse. Which was downtown. Across Magnolia. I wasn't sure I'd find the portal to the other side going or coming home. The following day, we took our children to renew their passports. Funny thing about children's passports - they require the children to be presented in person. And then at the end of the week, we had to go by the cable company to get a digital converter box and yep, the local cable company is located across Magnolia.

During our journey across Magnolia, we found ourselves driving by our old haunts from college. I was amazed at how much had changed since the last time I had been by the university. When we were walking downtown to take the children for their passports, we remarked how it felt like when we tour other cities on vacation. We saw some local sites that we want to visit on another day.

Maybe it's ok to cross Magnolia!

1 comment:

thebethy said...

Oh what I would give to cross Magnolia today! What a great post. I miss you guys.