Tuesday, July 27, 2010

400 Union Street

Some day soon I will no longer visit
Except in a fading memory
--from Erosion (March 3, 2010)

Many of us do not have physical anchors in this day in age. Even people who have lived their whole lives in one “place” have changed houses several times. For the child of a missionary who is now in cross-cultural ministry as well, it is hard to count up all the various places, cities and even countries I have called home. And yet there is a magical building in a little place you could barely call a town where I can physically anchor many of the memories of my life: 400 Union Street.

Driving up to the corner lot, ringing the same doorbell after all these years and breathing in the same smell I did as a five year old all serve as triggers. Walking around the place is like touring a private museum of family life and history. Each visit reveals a few new entries, with as-of-yet no connection or plot-line, but many more artifacts of adventures and stories known only to the select few people who have shared our life there.

It may be an endangered site now. How many more years can something so magical remain? Every trip back is an attempt to soak in as much as possible, and to discover new aspects of the place that were only ever hinted at before. The nostalgia seeker has herein ample ammunition. For 55 years it has been a treasury but now it is fading. As time goes by some of its magic is disappearing naturally and other things are being taken and scattered as mobile monuments and memorials.


  1. So lovely, Jason. You should copy it on Word and send it to MaMa. If you don't have time, I will, but it would be extra special coming from you--and tell her about the book smell.

  2. This definitely makes me pretty emotional. I might have to copy it off for myself as well.

  3. Once again..you made me teary-eyed! There is something very magical about that house...something that is so central to the existance of the Dietz family as we know it. Love this, Jason.


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