I literally took a drive down memory lane this week. My husband and I were up at Western Pleasures Guest Ranch, where I enjoyed a wonderful sleigh ride, and getting to see old friends. On our way home, my husband took a drive through the Selle area. As I drove by homes, I would tell my husband who lives, or used to live in those places, when I was a kid. I had memories of 4-H meetings, and family friends. I remembered where some close friends lived where we would go sledding, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing in the winter, long before some of the houses that are now there appeared. We had a great time being kids. I had tears roll down my cheek as we drove by my adopted grandparents home. They have both been gone for several years now, but the memories flashed through my mind, much like a powerpoint presentation of my childhood and early adulthood.
I told my husband I miss the comfort that was along that road, the people I knew as I grew up. I know that times have changed now, and that many of the people I once knew who filled the homes along that road are no longer on this earth. Others have moved on, as I have, to a different area. Some of the homes are still filled with the same wonderful people. Although I didn't grow up directly in the Selle Valley, it was like home with all the great people I knew in that area.
It seems our world has changed, and not for the better in that area. There are very few areas where we can drive down a long stretch of road, and know anyone, and if we do know of someone who lives in a home, we probably don't really know them too well. Our world has become too reliant on social media and texting, and we have forgotten how to really connect and communicate, to build a community where people know each other and feel safe, where we know each others needs, and help one another out when needed, and where memories of childhood are abundant and our hearts are filled to the brim with love.
I challenge you, as I do myself, to work on building a community like that where you live. Make checking on actual people, face to face, more important than checking your facebook. Help the kids in your home, or in your neighborhood, have a lifetime of wonderful memories when they think back to their childhood. Make a connection, make a difference, reach out to one another.
I am thankful for the drive down memory lane yesterday. I hold dear and cherish the memories that flooded my mind. I am thankful for those who invested in my life outside of my home, whether it was a friend's parents, my adopted grandparents, a teacher, or a 4-H or youth leader. Each left heart prints on my life, each made a difference.