Who says you can’t go home again? My Midwest road trip took me back to my hometown, Wheaton, Illinois, where I lived from infancy through young married. The only thing that looked familiar as I drove down the main drag was our old standby date hangout…
Even the mural painted on the wall is the same! I’d like a nickel for every root beer malt I consumed in this place.
But then on the same road I passed three of my former homes.
Here’s where I lived from infancy through kindergarten.
Back then it looked like this.
And I looked like this, standing on the front steps of that house.
From that old house we moved to a brand new house that my dad built. Here’s how it looks now, but…
Here’s how it looked back in the ’50s. It’s a good thing my older sister doesn’t read this blog! She’d be saying something about her, um, ensemble. Love our babushkas?
You’ll notice a pattern here, me posing in front of the house.
I remember living in the basement of this house while we waited for the upstairs to be finished. A trove of memories connect me to this house.
While I traveled on a mission trip in Asia, my parents sold it house and moved to this house. Their baby had graduated from high school, so they downsized.
Here I am again in front of our “new” home. I was 18.
As Molly and I drove past, this tree caught my attention as the setting for many pictures.
Like this one—of my mother-in-law and parents.
Back to the present. My friend Molly not only let me stay with her but she patiently drove me around Wheaton, what could still be considered a small college town. She and I go back to the ’60s, when we both worked as a receptionist for Youth For Christ International and as a secretary to Vic Graham, who directed Fox Valley YFC.
Molly’s daughter, Kandee, and her husband bought the house where Molly grew up. So she understood my nostalgic interest.
Here’s Wheaton Bible Church, where my spiritual foundation was formed.
Paul and I were married here in 1966. Here we rehearse for the real thing.
Wow! This is the new Wheaton Bible Church. We attended a morning worship service.
This was the traditional service. Two contemporary services are also offered. That’s my friend Gary Dausey giving the announcements. You also saw Gary in the wedding-rehearsal two pictures up: he was Paul’s best man.
Back to my house tour. Paul and I lived as newlyweds in the first-floor apartment.
Our cute new VW bug convertible in the garage.
And my new husband in our kitchen.
It doesn’t look so very different now, does it? The garbage container adds a nice touch.
After a year of apartment living, we bought this house for $10,000. We added those steps and sidewalk and shutters and did a little landscaping.
And we did some radical interior decorating!
Here we are in front of our “new” home on our first anniversary.
Here’s how our house looks 43 years later. What would you guess it’s worth now?
That about covers my Wheaton homes. But we had more people to visit.
Vic and Romelle Graham, mentioned earlier. They still live in the same house where I babysat their kids.
Molly’s son, Kevin, and his wife, Gale. I used to push Kevin around in his stroller.
Kathy Stephens and her fiance, Randy. Kathy’s sister, Jeanie, was my BF in elementary school. I witnessed Kathy taking her first steps.
Jeanie and Kathy’s mom, Ann, was like a mom to me. She’s 95 and still going strong.
Alice Quist, another “mom,” helped me manage those crazy high school years and has remained a friend all these years since.
Kudos to my cheerful and patient friend Molly. Thanks to her, I got to go home again.