Friday, July 10, 2015

Walking around memory lane

I had an hour to kill and I was close to the neighbourhood where I grew up so I took a trip and parked in front of the lot where I used to live with my parents and five siblings.

I say the lot because the house is gone and replaced by a monster house, and they even changed the street address, so there is that.

I decided to walk around the park which was right across the street from my front door.

And the memories started to come.

Playing in the woods, hiding in the bushes, pretending to be escaping from someone, or something. The dinosaur rock is still there - as kids we used to think it looked like the skull of a T-Rex.

The park house was still there. I babysat there quite a few times. One time there was a gang of teenagers outside making a ruckus. The police wouldn't come when I phoned them. So, I phoned my mum. She came. With a baseball bat. Problem solved - and she stayed with me until the parents came home.

The tennis courts where I roller skated, and where my dad taught me to play tennis.

The equipment shed where all the stuff was stored for the little league team. My dad coached for some years, and also umpired there. The big grandstand is gone, and there are two more baseball diamonds, but still, and all, it brought back memories of sitting and watching my brothers play.

The community centre where I took cooking classes, ballet and archery lessons. It has a much fancier entrance way now, but the main part of the building looks much the same.

The hill from the community centre to the field used to seem so steep - to run down, or ride a bike down, or toboggan down.

It didn't seem so steep anymore.

The house where the two sisters lived that I hung out with - I remember us sitting on their top bunk and spool knitting.

The house where the guard geese terrorized me as I walked past.

The old swingset and monkey bars are gone, but I remember swinging so high and singing "I love you Paul, or yes I do...." Paul McCartney, of course. And I once fell through the monkey bars from the very top - ouch.

There was the lawn bowling club where I would often meet the little old ladies with their Pekinese dogs.

My dad and I used to run around the perimeter of the park. Through him I learned that I liked to go on long distance runs. Through him I also learned I like to do long distance swims, but that is another story for another time.

I walked past the neighbours' houses remembering their names.

I drove down the lane to see if the cherry trees were still there. They didn't appear to be.

I realized I had only lived in that house for ten years, although it remained the family home for another twelve.

I have lived in my house for thirty two years.

This is a rambling of memories that came tumbling into me triggered by a place and things in that place.

It reminds me that I am not lost.

I just need to let geography help me remember and find my way.

11 comments:

  1. ... I loved Paul best too...
    Gorgeous evocative memory inspiring post...
    Forgive me talking about myself, but I had my life-affirming trip around our island on Tbursday... The cold salty air ... The motion of the sea... The grandeur of the cliffs and rocks... And whales... Huge uncomplicated intricately designed creatures of beauty and wonder ....
    Yes... Geography

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    1. Whales are amazing creatures. Water miracles!
      Paul is still pretty darn cute, btw!

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  2. lovely post. I still live in my childhood town, and there are a lot of construction and revovation happening right now, so it's not like it used to be. But even if I never experienced it, I think you're right. Even if you live all your grown up life in a house and only childhood in your childhood home, the childhood home is the primal home.

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  3. Such nice memories! It must be a little bit difficult to see the house and street name have changed. I don't know if I could stand going back to my childhood home on the farm. I think I want to remember it just the way it was, not how it is now.

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  4. I have moved away from my home town a few years ago but I always go back by the first house I lived in, we moved when I was 9 to the house where my mom still lives. But that first house is where so many memories are. It's a brink house so the colors have changed and probably more than one family has lived there. I always have a moment when I want to go up and check the car port to see if our cat prints and my hand prints are still in the concrete. I wonder if people think about who this strange little person was who did that..

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  5. I have moved away from my home town a few years ago but I always go back by the first house I lived in, we moved when I was 9 to the house where my mom still lives. But that first house is where so many memories are. It's a brink house so the colors have changed and probably more than one family has lived there. I always have a moment when I want to go up and check the car port to see if our cat prints and my hand prints are still in the concrete. I wonder if people think about who this strange little person was who did that..

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    1. I wonder what would happen if you ever knocked on their door...

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    2. I have never wanted to knock on their door because it isn't the same house, but my aunt's house just up the road was renovated and sometimes I am tempted to knock on that door. Maybe one day....

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  6. Precious memories. We should all stop and reflect more often and if we can stimulate that by returning to significant places, all the better. Your post took me back to my childhood too... it seems schoolgirls enjoy the same pursuits the world over.

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    1. yes being in a physical place really does stimulate the memories.

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