Friday night and I was determined to get some of my chores for the weekend started. As I went through the junk mail and unrequested magazines, I found an article written by someone who described how the exits to our city had taken her to places that helped build her life here. I thought that was a cool idea, and as I hadn’t yet written my slice, decided to try a one with this model.
Exit 23: Spring Valley Road * Liberty Junior High-This exit sends my car to the only school I can call home. I started there when I was fresh-faced, new-out-of-the-box novice and only left for a bit to begin my family. Twenty-four years later, my car drives itself there. Though our student population has changed drastically, the familial atmosphere hasn’t. * AMC Movie Theater- An avid movie fan, I relish my time escaping into the dark rooms to be transported to different times and locations. What was once the state-of-the-art cinema is now the dollar theater, but I still enjoy my visits.
Exit 24: Belt Line Road/Main Street * Our first home- as newlyweds and new parents. This house will always be my favorite. Even though it was only 1200 square feet, it was “my Christmas house.” When I I picture that snow-tinted house on Christmas cards, this is the quaint cottage that I see. With a tiny, cracked pool and secret cabana, my sweet family began here. I can still picture the house-high sunflowers Sammy planted as a toddler and the washer and dryer in the middle of the kitchen. *Amigos- the first happy hour choice for many Richardson teachers. It’s always funny to see the variety of school t-shirts visible on a late Friday afternoon.
Exit 25: Arapaho Road *Richardson Gymnastics- Many hours of my daughter’s days were spent spiraling through the uneven bars and over the balance beam. And, of course, that meant much time spent waiting there for the rest of us. To kill the time, I joined a Tai Kwon Do class there. While I really enjoyed learning the patterns and the workout, when it came to sparring 11-year-old boys, I was out. It’s OK, dude. You win! * All Saints Catholic Church- Since one of my sons needed a special needs CCD, this church became our home 20 years ago. Wow! I can’t believe it was that long ago! I have been catechism instructor and lector, as well as volunteer. Since the kids have left, I’ll admit that I don’t do as much volunteering as I used to. But it’s still an important part of my life.
Exit 26: Campbell Road/Galatyn Parkway * Our current home- We have lived here for 15 years, and I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. This house keeps memories of my children’s youth and teenage years, filled with joyous celebrations and hard realities. When my kids think of their childhood home, it will probably be this one. * The Eisemann Performing Arts Center- Oh how many Nutcrackers and ballet company performances have we seen there. Nuff said.
Exit 27: Renner Road * Sweet Firefly- While this ice-cream store isn’t exactly one of our most frequently-visited places, it is my favorite spot for sumptuous, creamy deliciousness. Chocolate Orange is my ice-cream of choice. * Starbucks- Yes, this had to be on the list somewhere. I am not a Starbucks addict, but I do like a little treat now and then.