Of all the various stops on our vacation to look forward to, the one I'm anticipating most is Blacksburg, Virginia. That's where we lived until I was twelve, and though I haven't seen it for twenty years I remember it as being one of the most beautifully pastoral places on earth. We had nine acres out in the country, down a quarter-mile driveway, with cows on two sides and a horse farm on a third. (The back side of the property faced the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.) It was the ideal place to be a kid -- fresh air, countryside, lots of stupid cows on the other side of the fence. Of course we were always respectful when we had to walk down the driveway on the other side of the fence. Then the cows stopped being just stupid and seemed actively malevolent. But I digress.
While researching our trip on Google Maps, I discovered the feature that lets you take a street view of the address you're looking up. And then I discovered, to my delight, that some things don't change, except for the better: the driveway looks just like I remember it, only with an appropriate twenty-years-worth of tree growth.
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I spent a fascinating hour "driving" the roads around our old home, and everything looks exactly as I remember it. There are plenty of places that change in twenty years, but I'm overjoyed to find that my childhood memories are more than fulfilled by the present reality.
Fall of Rome & Schooling
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