It is a snowy Saturday here in Southern Maryland. What better way to spend it then going on a Google Earth Adventure! Since I’ve been in a nostalgic mood, I thought I would take a trip to my Grandma’s house. I haven’t made the full journey there since September 2005. I’ve made the partial journey to different destinations, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen her house.
Let’s see our route!
Wow, I didn’t realize that we spent 11 hours, probably longer, going to Grandma’s house. I don’t remember it, but my parents tell me that before it took longer because the Interstate didn’t go through where it does now. They had to go into Pennsylvania and come back down from Columbus.
We also split our trip into two days. My Aunt Melinda lives in Southern Ohio and it takes about 8 hours to get to her house. We would usually stop and spend the night with her and then head out in the morning. Of course a trip to Ohio isn’t a trip to Ohio without visiting two more Aunts in New Richmond, Ohio. After that, it is a short trip to Indiana.
I’m cheating and starting in Indiana!
There is something about that first exit off the Interstate. To get to Grandma’s we’d have to exit I-275. We are heading toward Lawrenceburg and Aurora, then onto Dillsboro. Even though it’s been over 10 years since I’ve taken it, this exit is as familiar as the trip I take to go grocery shopping today. There’s the relief of almost being to Grandma’s, and then the exhaustion when you realize you still have a half hour to go!
Is it cliche to say that this parking lot used to look so much bigger when I was younger! From the overhead view, there is a lot less visible from the street then there used to be. The parking lot was used for the customers on the Riverboat Casinos. From the looks of the street view, this parking lot is no longer in use.
Walmart – Oh the times I had in Walmart
You can’t tell from the street, but up that hill and around those trees is a Walmart. It’s a pretty big one. It’s also full of so many funny memories for our family. There were times we had to stop and stretch, so we walked around Walmart. There were times that as a cranky, teenage girl I couldn’t take those jeans one more second. That meant a stop at Walmart for some sweatpants.
Most times this Walmart was our last stop to pick up things to take to Grandma’s house. It could be soda/pop, food, or books. Whatever you think you might have needed in the days before the internet and smartphones. Grandma lived pretty far out in the woods, and even the small town of Dillsboro was a bit of a hike to get things. The fun part about Walmart was it was Grandma’s favorite place. More than once when we were stopping to pick things up, we’d run right in to her and Wayne! 🙂
The last familiar sight before our turn!
Nine miles from Walmart, you come across this! It’s that last familiar sight before you know you are almost there. I don’t know if anyone else does this, but we have a tradition in our family. On road trips, we designate landmarks to break up the trip. It’s not fun saying you will get there in 638 miles. Instead we’d say, oh Walmart is coming right up. Another favorite is, I know you’re tired but we’re almost to the silos! The silos meant we were about to make our turn into Dillsboro, Indiana!
Oh boy, we finally made it to the Dillsboro turn! Just don’t blink because you will miss the turn. That happened to us more than once after a long trip. Actually, that’s not the turn we take. This is the one that SAYS Dillsboro, but this isn’t the one we take. We take the next, super secret unmarked turn!
This is the entrance we always took into Dillsboro. This way we didn’t have to drive the whole length of the town. It’s a more straight forward route to Grandma’s house.
Genealogy Break: Since I’m a genealogist, I have to point out a few things before we turn into Dillsboro. You might be wondering how Grandma and Grandpa Wayne ended up all the way in Dillsboro (and you haven’t seen the trek to the house yet). Well, Wayne actually grew up in Dillsboro. It’s where his children grew up and live and probably where his parents grew up also. When he retired, he bought a house in his hometown. Dillsboro is also where Wayne is buried with his first wife. If you take a right turn instead of the left into Dillsboro, you’ll head straight into Oakdale Cemetery where Wayne is buried.
Technically this isn’t a town square. It’s more of the intersection at the heart of Dillsboro. It’s important to know the other ways into to Dillsboro because when they have their carnival, this intersection is closed off and you can’t drive through at all! Now you know why I mentioned the other entrance. You always have to know these kinds of things, because this was before GPS and Google Maps!
Through the intersection, to the intersection? Huh?
When we come to this intersection, we have another choice to make. We can go right, or we can go left. If we go right, we can go to the IGA which is your closest source of groceries once you get to Grandma’s house. If you go left, we’re heading to Grandma’s but we still have a bit of a journey to go. Since this is my Google Earth Adventure and since there are no gas tanks to fill, I’m going to take a peak at the IGA!
Oh man, that used to feel a lot bigger to me! That seems to be a running theme as I get older. Everything used to be so much bigger. I didn’t think it was possible to miss a grocery store, but I sure do miss that IGA. There are so many memories of it. Probably not as many as Walmart, but plenty of them all the same.
Over the river and through the Woods, To Grandmother’s House we Go!
It was always a running joke in our family that we literally had to go over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. Once you finally got to Dillsboro, you thought your journey was over. It wasn’t though, it was just getting started! You still had 5 miles of twisting, turning road to go! This is because technically, Grandma and Wayne lived in a little borough called Farmer’s Retreat. It doesn’t have a post office that I’m aware of, just a Lutheran church and a small park that was our last “landmark” on the trip to Grandma’s house.
I finally made it to Grandma’s house! There it is! Except the trees are blocking the front of the house. Lucky for me, Street View has some older photos of the house.
Here’s the little house I remember from my childhood. It didn’t have internet, cable TV or video games. Grandpa Wayne would wake up with the sun, and then wake you up right along with it. There would be blackberry picking if you were there at the right time of year. There was a back porch that everyone loved and remembers. I don’t just remember my Grandma and Grandpa Wayne here, I remember our whole family here. Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, and Great Aunts. To this day I can remember the exact layout of the house. I can remember the furniture. I also remember the Grandfather Clock that Wayne made for my Mom that sat in the family room. Well, it did until Wayne told Mom she was to take it or he was selling it!
It sure has been bittersweet visiting Grandma and Grandpa Wayne’s house after all these years. I wonder if a house will ever make me feel the same way again. Or will this house always be that house from my childhood, the one I remember with nostalgic fondness.