I spent much of last weekend revisiting the past. Not by taking a road trip to the town where I was born and raised, or to other places I’ve lived since then. Instead, I just kept running into situations that took me back to something or someone I haven’t thought about in a while.

On Friday, I was at an all-day workshop with participants from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois, as well as states as far away as Texas and California. During one of the breaks, while talking with a few other people about where we were from and what brought us to the workshop, I discovered that one of the attendees was from a town not only close to where I grew up, but in the same high school sports conference. I made a joke about our high school rivalry, and suddenly felt as though I’d been transported through time and space to the bleachers of my high school during a Saturday afternoon football game. I could almost feel the sun and smell the popcorn.

On Saturday morning, I attended an event at my church that had a “Tea Party” theme. When I arrived, I was greeted by two very young ladies who were dressed up in lovely springtime attire. They were the daughters of the sponsoring organization’s president, and the hats they were wearing reminded me of Easter Sundays of my childhood. Just like that, I was with my mom, dad, and sisters, walking up the hill from our house to church, dressed head-to-toe in Easter finery that included new, white, patent-leather shoes and a pastel-colored hat, held in place by a thin elastic band under the chin. That memory is bittersweet for me, since my mom, dad, and one of my sisters are no longer with us. But I still enjoy any thought that brings them back, and takes me back to that time in my life.

And then there’s the library. The Chanhassen library’s book sale was last weekend, which I realized when I drove past a sign announcing it. It made me stop and think about when the last time was that I was in the library. As my kids were growing up, the library was a place we went to often, just as it was when I was growing up. Every two weeks, like clockwork, we would be there returning the books that were due, and checking out new ones. I continued visiting the library regularly – if not quite as often – even after my own kids grew up, but somehow I’ve gotten out of the habit. I don’t know if it’s because most of the books I read now are books that I want to own and keep, or because online resources can handle many of the reasons I used to go to the library. Either way, I enjoyed the sudden trip back in time.

In fact, I enjoyed all the places I revisited last weekend. They were unplanned and unexpected, with scenery that was soothing and familiar. The very best kind.

And it didn’t cost any gas money to get there.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on May 21, 2015. ©Betty Liedtke, 2015

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