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I went for a walk today to see some old friends about a mile away. I’ve been in this town for over seventeen years and lived in a few places. (I call them my nomad years.) Today I walked through one of my old neighborhoods. I went up the hill I used to start my morning run on while my children rode their bikes. I passed the house I helped reroof many years ago and several others that brought back memories—my children’s friends, wonderful families, the man who helped my son get his eagle, and the woman who made the best biscuits ever.

I also saw some odd things. Like faux giant ants (at least 6 inches) climbing up the side of a house, a grave marker for “Maya Mother Cat Jones,” and about a dozen police vehicles from two counties parked on a quiet residential street. There were men in military-style khakis and a couple of uniforms, stealthily approaching an innocuous looking house. I increased my speed, wondering if I’d hear sniper fire as I retreated.

But nothing happened and I was secretly disappointed.

The visit with my friends was great, their grandchildren are increasing, and well, life goes on. They’ve changed; I’ve changed; we’re both still the same.

Coming home I felt nostalgic and a bit sad as I retraced my steps back up the hill to the young neighborhood I’m in now. Though I am thankful for new friends, I miss the good people I used to interact with regularly.

And then I wonder: how would giant ants look sitting on my garden boxes. . .