My small hometown hosted a lavender festival this weekend. This was news to me. I only knew about it after I noticed a flyer posted at the coffee shop in my current town of residence (which is about 15 miles away). Apparently this is the 6th year for the festival, but as far as I knew the only event there'd ever been was Derby Days.
I haven't been to my hometown in a year or more, because it makes me sad since my family doesn't live there anymore. I know I should think of the happy memories, but typically the sadness is overwhelming when I have been there. My solution? Geographic avoidance. I'm sure that's totally healthy.
As we reached the city limits (town limits - it's really small), I breathed deeply while thinking happy thoughts. I was still doing this when after a few blocks I spotted two women and two kids walking together. It took me milliseconds to realize who it was: my friend J, her two kids and her mom, and they were one block away from J's mom's house. J must be visiting this month from Alaska! I turned the car around and pulled into their driveway, where the look on their faces clearly showed what they were thinking: who in the hell is the crazy woman who waved at us, turned her car around, and is now parked in our driveway?
(Ha! The joke is on them because I also exclaimed with joy at seeing them, but my car windows were up and they didn't hear it!)
OC is the same age as J's daughter, while her son is one year younger so they almost immediately played fairly happily together while we chatted.
After our visit, OC & I headed to the lavender festival, which consisted of one block of tents and a little Victorian house which has been converted to a cute store. It was here that I searched each person's face looking for someone I recognized but there was no one.
We had lavender lemonade, looked at all kinds of lavender-related products as well as jewelry, and then we got hot so we left.
It was good to go to my hometown, but I am really glad to have seen J, a longtime friend whom I wouldn't have seen had I stayed away for fear of experiencing bad memories. Instead, I had a good day and the nice surprise of the company of an old friend.