I've been looking into "tweaking" this blog recently.
When you first start blogging on Blogger, they give you a series of different looks, or "templates" that you can choose from. This one I chose, called "Tic Tac", seemed to reflect me and my personality:
Many facets, all a little different in significance.
In other words, I've got lots of many different things about me, and some are more distinguished than others. And through this blog, you can have a little helping at a time. Like the candy, I'm probably a lot sweeter if you don't get all of me at once. Just a little tic tac here, a little tic tac there. Making your day more enjoyable. But if you are downing a whole pack at one time, it might make you sick.
I don't know, it's a thought. I like to be subtle.
Yet, I've grown tired with this template. It's too.....generic. I am also the type of person that likes to be original, unique, out of the ordinary. Well, I'm not so sure if I like it, but it's how I've always been, so it's comfortable to me. And these days, this generic looking website isn't "me" enough. I'm feeling a little disconnected. Like, it's a house I used to live in, and someone else's furniture is here.........weird. In fact, that's exactly what I experience when I visit other sites and the owner chose the same template....what are they doing in my house?
The color scheme is also not "warm" enough for me. I'm more of a "dark maroon, midnight blue" kinda gal. Autumn colors suit me well too. "Primary green" just isn't cuttin' it anymore.
I don't even really like the format. The more I look around, the more I find that there's a lot out there to choose from. Hey, you can have anything you want for the right price, right? Well, I'm not looking to break the bank on a simple pasttime (although many Americans do), but I would like to experiment a bit. I think there's probably a lot I can do within Blogger, so I won't be changing my address here, but sometime in the future, this "Single Wide" from 1984 is gonna (hopefully) be replaced with a shiney "Double Wide" from 2005. All in good time.
So here's why I said all that.
I was surfing a bit last night on my search for blog elements that I like, when I found this:
I know, it's cool and all, but what's the big deal? Welllllllll.......
This picture was taken in Manchester, NH. The place where I was born and raised. I didn't even know that it existed until last night. It was taken in 1914, and that HUGE flag (95 by 50 feet, to be exact) was made right there in that mill, the Amoskeag Mill.
How many times have I been there? Too numerous to count. I would know those windows on that brick anywhere. My relatives came to this country to work in those mills. They may have helped make that flag. And even though it wasn't this particular building, my Dad's parent's met in a mill building (they worked in a shoe factory, and my Grandpa wore roller skates to get from one end to the other!). A building that was one day converted into apartments. My FIRST apartment after we were married. The home where Michaela was born. It all came full circle. How cool is that?
The Mills in Manchester have a special place my heart. But even more than that, I can't help but have a deep affinity for the place where I spent 24 years of my life.
The last time I was there was during the New Year after my aunt had passed away. It was a surreal time for me. My aunt was the first relative that I had lost from her generation, my PARENT'S generation. It was so strange. I expected my grandparent's deaths, in that they were at that age to die. My aunt really wasn't. She was 53.
Anyway, while I was there, my brother and I were in the car driving along with all the other mourners on our way to the cemetery. The line was incredible. I felt bad for the traffic, having to wait for all those cars to pass through. But we got to thinking:
Manchester is OUR city. It's where our Grandparents raised 7 kids. And each of those 7 kids have made a dent in the local life. That's why the line was so long. There were many people who wanted--needed--to pay their respects. Growing up, we never could go anywhere without someone knowing who we were. As teenagers, it could be annoying. But as adults, it was a gift. We have a connection with that community. They know us, we know lots of them, and there's this understanding that we all love Manchester.
Sadly, my generation has been moving on.....exploring other intriguing parts of this country. We are now spread from coast to coast. Whereas our parents never seemed to venture very far from the heart of Manchester, us kids only come for an occasional visit. Sometimes just to feel "at home", I imagine. Some day, our family may only be a vacant memory in Manchester. Perhaps all the good my family has done in the city will be memorialized one day, but if not, then we'll just be visitors, passing through for old times sake. And nobody will know our name anymore. My kids will barely have any connection at all. They won't know the five different ways to get to JFK Colliseum. Or the best places to play "hide and seek" at South Soccer League.
that's kinda sad.
I know it's my fault that I won't be able to give them the same feelings and emotion that I have when it comes to being in Manchester. We moved on too. Their affections will be directed here, a place that I can't relate to as well as I'd like. There's just something to be said for living in the same place for all your life. I really hope my kids decide to stay around here when they get older. I would even love it if they all lived close by, on family land. But I hope they all understand that blank look in my eyes when I don't know what they're talking about. The great places to hunt, the wildest road to drive fast on, the oldest house in town. All things they'll learn just from growing up here.
But I hope they also understand the faraway gaze I have when I'm reminiscing about my childhood.
And I've got Manchester on my mind.