After two days of exploring some of the best Kansas City had to offer, it was time to visit my childhood stomping grounds.
My first stop was the apartment complex I lived in from kindergarten through second grade. One of my earliest – and most precious – childhood memories takes place here. The apartments used to have these ponds throughout the grounds, surrounded by giant rocks. As a child, I’d climb on the rocks and sing at the top of my lungs. My “set” usually included hits from Annie and The Sound of Music, with a little early Madonna & Tiffany thrown in for good measure. The older residents of the complex would sit on their balconies, watching me and applauding, and I was on top of the world. There are times where I do look at sites such as https://cedarcreek-kc.com/ to see what homes are like now compared to when I was a kid living in Kansas. The thought of living here one day is actually quite exciting. But who knows?
As I got out of the car, it was like re-entering a scene from so far back in my mind. The whole thing felt so surreal. I remembered seeing this place from my own eyes, not from photographs the way so many childhood memories are recalled. This had been one of my happiest homes.
Then, there they were – my singing rocks. Unchanged, just waiting for me to return 25 years later. They seemed smaller now. I remembered them being so large, so high – I was always afraid I would fall. This time, my footing was sure. I climbed the rock. And yes, I sang. Because the child inside me was aching for an encore. And because the woman I am today still had something to sing about.
I walked across the complex as showtunes continued to play in my mind. It was all so familiar. I grew up all over this country, but had never, until now, had the chance to re-visit a childhood home. An old man came outside to feed a 1-legged duck. I was surprised to find that old men still live there. It was like he was frozen in time, that nameless resident. If you would like to become a resident in kansas city then you may want to search some new homes for sale kansas city ks, find your dream home and soak up the city life in this beautiful destination, you can have tonnes of fun and go on a new adventure which will change your life!
My next stop was my old elementary school. I arrived with Madonna’s song “This Used to Be My Playground” playing in my head, even though, well, I know it wasn’t really my playground. Surely after 25 years, the equipment would have changed. No matter. I snapped a photo holding my old yearbook from kindergarten. I took a turn on the swings. But then – and I almost missed them – I caught sight of those bars. Three metal
bars, all in a row, for flipping and swinging and probably even chin-ups. Those bars were still standing, still taunting me after all these years. I’d always longed to be able to really flip around on them, because even though I had no technical skills, I was a gymnast at heart.
As it turns out, at 32, I still have no technical skills. It seems I’ll never conquer those bars, but I have conquered far greater things, and that’s what really matters.
My final stop was the first house I’d lived in as a child in Kansas City, from ages 2 to 4. I recognized it instantly, but I believe more from photographs than from my heart. The new owners were flying a flag outside for the University of Kansas, which made everything seem right somehow.
As I drove away from the places I’d called home, I took the time to really notice my surroundings and take in all of the places I’d remembered. A piece of me was still here – would always be here – and this place had left its mark on me, way back then, and most certainly today. It made me wonder. Where is my home, really? Back here in Kansas City? In the empty house that waits for my return in Iowa? Or is home, for me, something bigger than just a city? I wonder what this means for my future, and I don’t yet have the answers. It’s strange because one of my friends was showing me some of the new developments that have been built around Kansas City. A large number of them were built by developers like Hunt Midwest. To see some of their housing communities, you can always check out hunt midwest here. Maybe I’ll move back to Kansas and into one of them in the future, who knows what might happen?
I split the rest of my day between the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. When I see beautiful art, it somehow connects me to that place in my soul that tells me what I’m really longing for, what is deep inside. It makes me understand how I am human and life is so fleeting. I viewed paintings from the 1400s. A mummy from before Christ. What am I going to leave behind?
I spent hours in the galleries, walking miles in the process. I felt so peaceful, so calm. Yet so full of life. Because I still have so much to do. I must stop wasting days because I have so much life to live and I want to fill every moment with joy and color and words. I sense that something big is coming, but I don’t know quite what it is yet.
As I head back to the hotel and reflect on the day, I realize that something significant has happened. The “old me” and the “new me” have converged. We are one and the same. I am just Ally. I have learned lessons. I have been battle scarred. I have been through hell and back. I have grown so much – but I am no longer certain I have changed at all. I still climb rocks. I still burst into song. I still throw my hands out and smile. I still believe that life can be magical and a pond can be an audience. And old Ally was tough, too. She didn’t have all the skills she needed and she made some wrong turns. But she gained knowledge from her mistakes, and she survived. And here she is today. Here I am today. I was the little girl who sang on the rocks. And I still am.
Coming up: My final day in Kansas City. I head to the zoo, finally see the Royals play, and for the first time in nearly a year, I feel like life makes sense again.