Cantaloupe Revisited

A Visit to the Past

Peter and I brought up our kids in a too-big house in a neighborhood with good schools.  We made good friends there, and the kids did well.  However, once they were on their own, we disposed of Jeremy’s TV Guides from around the world collection and returned to Cambridge, where we had started our married life 28 years earlier.

When a former neighbor suggested a walk around the old ‘hood, I was all for it.  Of the ten houses on our street, only one is occupied by owners from back then.  Two of the houses (including ours) had been “updated,” one barely recognizable.

We spent a long time reminiscing about the good old days—the kids playing four-square on our quiet street, the fact that one side of the street had only girl children, the other only boys. (Once we traded Seth for a girl across the street for a  week of knowing how girls behave.) We remembered the great snowstorm of ’78 and how we shared whatever food we had in our homes when we couldn’t get to the store.

We walked beyond our street, passing the homes of many of our friends, none of whom live there any longer.  It was an emotional trip down memory lane.

I don’t think I’ll go back.



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susan haskell

thanks, judy. i, too, lived with my husband and new baby in cambridge, before moving to brookline where we stayed for 26 years. i recently had occasion to revisit our first little house in north cambridge, and it was, similarly to your experience, a nostalgic sight. i don't think i'll go back. kids are scattered on both coasts, husband is long gone, and i'm now in j,p., which is terrific. a new life. s.h.


Judy, I’m ready your book and it so happens that just last night I read the entry about switching kids with your friend! Just loving your book and am so envious of your loving relationship with Peter.

Richard McNally

Entendu. The past is another happy/sad binary opposition, in my quiet opinion. One proceeds through it with caution, tiptoeing through a minefield filled with fragrant wildflowers. As Pinter has it: "There are things I remember which may never have happened, but as I recall them so they take place."

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