Favourite Finds on the Highway Home

Things I love about my home town:

  • The big, beautiful Columbia River.
  • Mountains. Everywhere.
  • The Odeon (now Royal) Theatre
  • The Italian food
  • The smell of Syringas in June
  • The big old churches
  • That my childhood house is still standing
  • That my mother’s childhood house is still standing
  • The Italian food
  • The dusty alleyways with neighbourhood basketball hoops
  • Butler Park
  • The hot, dry summer
  • The cold, snowy winter
  • Fall, as an actual season. Spring, too.
  • The Italian food.

Took a road trip to visit my hometown this past week and to see a dear aunty who is ailing. She lives in a tiny 1950’s brick bungalow backing onto a near-perfect Mayberry alleyway and graced with big, leafy maple trees out front. There are many things I love about my hometown. As noted, the Italian food ranks right up there (and I admit to fairly gorging myself on the Colander ‘special’ which features spaghetti to die for. Really. And then you go to heaven. Spaghetti heaven). My hometown Italian food, though, isn’t the subject of this post. Chiedo scusa.

Going home always seems to evoke a bittersweet longing – for days past, for people and situations gone. This is the true meaning of the word nostalgia, and what this post is about. It is about the longing for home or at least the longing for the things associated with home. In my coaching practice, I speak about what I call the longing for belonging, but lately I am experiencing the longing for belongings.  It’s common enough, and for me it manifests as a mild and comforting collecting compulsion –  a hankering for the homey household items of my childhood.

Luckily, I was accompanied on my nostalgia trip by my mother and we meandered backwards through her childhood and mine. She acted as my able time-travel roadie and memory coach, not to mention being a ninja thrifter with an eye for a bargain. Here are some of our favourite finds:

nos·tal·gi·a (n-stlj, n-)

1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.

hos·tal·gi·a (h-stlj, n-)

1. When the past grabs you and it won’t let go.
2. And you’d rather it didn’t.

read more good stuff!:

About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.


  1. What a lovely memoire. I enjoyed reading it. And how did I come this far and never had heard the word “Syringa”? [New Latin, from Greek surinx, suring-, shepherd’s pipe (from the use of its hollow stems to make pipes).]. I found “mock orange” and “Lilac”.

    • Thanks Doreen! Syringas are beautiful and they smell heavenly – on warm nights the scent permeates the air wherever they are nearby. It is a smell of ‘home’ to me.

  2. Love this post – and that iron just ROCKS !!

    • Hi Darlene! I had a feeling someone would fall in love with the steam iron(s). There is a Viking and a Mary Proctor. Both working – and they do get hot. I may have to renovate the laundry-room, just to make a space – ha! My favourite is the Mary Proctor, but don’t tell the Viking…

  3. Heather says:

    The laneways brought back memories of my childhood, you do not see many laneways anymore! We had the Big Steam iron too, I am pretty sure ours was the Viking so Heavy! And of course the Pyrex!! EVERYONE had pyrex! Thanks for sharing! Sounds like great new Memories were made!

    • Hi Heather! Love my laneways. There is something about them that is evocative of home and childhood – it’s where we played, waited for Dad, learned to ride bikes. I just loved revisiting them with my camera in tow.

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