Place: Pitman, South Jersey

A sense of place. New places and old places. Noticing the things--smells, accents, architecture, interactions, tastes, character, history--that make a place unique. I love it. Place is my favorite thing about traveling, even perhaps about photography. Keith and I went up to Philadelphia and South Jersey this weekend. This was not a new place to me. The area where my family comes from, the small town where my parents grew up, this place is in my blood. Somewhere in the folds of this place lie hidden tangents of my own history that I will never know, but will always imagine. Its not the most beautiful or exciting place on earth, but it doesn't matter. This place contains some of the most deeply familiar fragments of my memory--the sound of my grandmother's voice, the sight of lightening bugs on her lawn, the taste of cheese steaks and soft pretzels that can only be found there. And every visit contains new as well. We will never get used to the growing gulf between my grandmother and the rest of the world as the mysterious current of Alzheimer's carries her away from us. Also new, it was so wonderful to bring Keith there for the first time and show him a place that is so much a part of me. Just as I deeply enjoy visiting his grandparents and being introduced to the layers of his history, I loved getting to introduce him to mine--showing him the house I once lived in, my elementary school, favorite convenience store ( shout out to Wawa for any northerners), favorite foods, and telling countless little stories as memories emerge. good stuff. Here are the pictures, I'll post about our time with great friends in Philadelphia tomorrow.Mom and Kim ordering cheese steaks.Keith with the bag containing his first real Philly cheese steak. yuum.
Pitman backyardsMy maternal grandfatherMy maternal grandmother


Shireen said...

Looks like a sweet time, Elaine. :)
Thanks for sharing.

Patrick Sewell said...

Cool post. I didn't know you guys went to Jersey, too.