Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A little nostalgic today

Ugh! Spent another day driving to Washington and back! Got the thumbs up on Lisa from the doc. She's good to go. I have so much on my plate for today I shouldn't even be sitting here writing this. But I want to real quick post a couple pics for my family.

On the way home from Washington I stopped by the house we lived in a long, long, long time ago. Right after I was born. I lived there until half way through the 5th grade. I have fond, fond memories of this neighborhood. Playing in the woods, ice skating on the swamp and the lake. Sledding at the mansion. Buying penny candy at the J-mart. Oh and having to get your permission slip signed by your parents before you could swim in the Moomey's above ground pool. It was traumatic for me when we moved away.

My Dad kept the yard immaculate. He planted the magnolia tree and the hedges. He put up the white picket fence. There were grapevines, a cherry tree, a peach tree and I think an apple or pear as well as a vegetable garden in the backyard. I would have loved to walk back there and look. Too chicken. Of course it was nothing like my father had it. When we lived there there wasn't a weed anywhere. He used to line all seven (maybe not Carla) of us across the lawn and set a timer. We would weed until the timer went off. Then it was freedom for us and he'd sit on a lawn chair in front of the garage in his v-neck white t-shirt smoking a Winston and drinking a Tab from the grey smoked glasses collected with a fill-up at the gas station.

The place isn't tidy any more. The fence isn't exactly white. You know...you can't go home. I went by the elementary school and there was graffitti on the fence. As I drove past the homes I could remember all the families names who had lived there. The Angelo's (who were in witness protection supposedly), the Delala's, the Dean's, the Walkers, the house where King the biting dog lived, (remember to give wide berth when walking by),the Kinter's, the Pittinger's (One of whom lit the house on fire one night I think by playing with firecrackers in their room. I can remember watching the fire from the upstairs bathroom window. The bathroom had wallpaper with pink poodles sitting on a chair talking on the phone.) I went by the mansion to see if those good sledding hills were still there. They didn't look as pronounced or big as I remember but they were there. The MANSION, which when I was a kid was Town Hall, is now a museum. I tried to go in but of course they were closed on Monday.

I definitely wanted to go to some of the old stomping grounds. Take the old road to the woods. Look and see if Frankensteins grave was still there. Cross the highway and see if I could find the swamp (Rita was that a hockey puck that gave you the concusion or did someone throw a rock at you?) and J-mart. Walk to Foxhill park.... Good memories.


Blogger Grogal said...

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4/08/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

It's never the same. The hills I use to sled down are homes. The pool is still there and alot of the old stores are gone from I grew up. Even the house I grew up in looks different. It's wierd to try and match my memories and what is looks like now.

4/08/2008 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm glad that Lisa is doing well.

Sounds like great memories, Mary. It's sad to see that the current owners aren't taking care of the home like your family did.

Like Brandon's hills, the hills that I used to sled on are now homes, also. Where can a kid find a good sledding hill these days???

I think the saddest for me is that the home in which my my kids grew up has been demolished for a McMansion that doesn't fit in with the rest of the area. My kids already can't go back...

4/08/2008 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

I stopped taking those trips. They were too painful.

"You CAN go home again. You just can never stay anymore."

4/09/2008 12:40:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

I really enjoyed this. Frankenstein's grave and the goat man stories (I was told he attacked near those woods). I heard some local dj's refer to the goat man stories and they grew up in Bowie too. I was so young but my memories of that house and time are mostly good.

4/09/2008 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

really wonderful...very brave of you to go home...and so good to treasure what is still inside you....

4/09/2008 06:22:00 AM  
Blogger Guhn said...

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4/09/2008 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger la bellina mammina said...

Thanks for sharing this - The Mansion is gorgeous...

4/09/2008 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger JM said...

I'm SO glad to hear somebody else nostalgic about free glasses at gas stations. Although these days I'm more likely to be nostalgic about cheap gas. I'm always surprised when I make these pilgrimages to places I remember as a kid that they seem so much smaller.

4/10/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Antonio said...

What a heart-warming post. I quite enjoyed that.

4/10/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Coffee Messiah said...

Memories are simply that.

Where I grew up, it's now called "little manila!"

Plus, there's no open space left anymore! ; (

The other memories of course can always stay fresh, as long as the mind holds out...... ; )

Glad Lisa is doing well too!

4/10/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

1 of the houses I grew up in was lost to a fire in 1978, and the other one was torn down by the State of Ohio after they bought the property.

Sometimes though, the houses that are still there are the most haunting ones of all. My mother left us on the 14th of February, and the insurer requires that somebody live there most of the time, or the insurance on the house will be canceled. That house is still very much Mom's house, and I feel like a museum curator.

When she was ill, she usually napped between 3 and 6PM, after which she'd come out and we'd talk, or I'd cook something for her. Around 7 every night, I still find myself listening for her to come out, any time I'm there.

4/11/2008 04:26:00 PM  
Blogger Robert Rouse said...

The farm I grew up on is now occupied by strip malls, apartment buildings, subdivisions, condominiums, gas stations, and eating establishments. In fact I think there might be a bar or two on the land as well. It's really sad to look back at how things used to be. All these hundreds of acres were my playground, now they're just a waste of space for consumers of all varieties.

Bummer, man!

4/11/2008 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Brandon- It seems like we all have a sad experience going home. :(

Carol- Unfortunately around here we don't even get snow any more. I had visions of my oldest daughter discovering the bliss of sledding when she went to college but instead here reaction was more like "ewww, icky snow".

TUA- It did bring a flood of memories that made the rest of the ride home go faster for me although my daughter had to listen to all those memories ALL the way home. Hey, she learned a little something more about ME. Someday she will be glad for that.

Carla- Of course your memories must be good. You're the youngest! Go on with your brand new red tricycle self.

E4E- Exactly! I will never lose those memories. Well...maybe I will but for the time being anyway.

La Bellina- Isn't it? Very old building.

JM- OMG! So much smaller. I mean I used to think I would NEVER make it to the end of the block.

Antonio- Thanks!

CM- I guess all we can do is hope this generation of kids living in our old spaces can work out some kind of fond childhood memories. It doesn't seem possible when they are sitting in front of video games.

JR- I don't think we ever quite stop expecting those we've lost to turn the corner or show up. Especially our parents.

Robert- I hear you. That couldn't be a BIGGER bummer. After the home I speak of in this post we moved a little closer to DC. I gladly left there 20 years ago. ALL the farmland was turned into homes and malls and just SO depressing.

4/12/2008 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dem Soldier said...

Wow, U do have good memory and the house and the area look great. As a child, my family moved alot, and I can relate to the things U describe here and really I always get emotions when I visit my old childhood towns and cities around the world.

4/15/2008 01:34:00 AM  
Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

You have such fond childhood memories, Mary! I wish mine were as rich. We grew up beside woods, but the whole area has since been turned into houses.

Why didn't Carla weed?

Too bad the lawn wasn't kept in shape. This post reminded me of the time my father nearly set those woods on fire by placing hot charcoal on the ground to cool!

4/15/2008 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

I just did a stint cleaning & clearing the house we moved into when I was 5 years old. Let's just say I am near the 1/2 century mark now.

It was like the Smithsonian of our lives (my Sister & I did the cleaning & clearing). Funny metamorphasis though.... we realized Mom did not get rid of stuff- so we were very careful about what we chose to keep, so as to not repeat the same mistake.

The neighborhood is changing though, and the house needs new project oriented life to be in it!

After reading about so many other's having their old homes no longer there, I guess I feel lucky to have the opportunity to visit the old place.

I used to think the yard was huge--- before Mom had a garage built... but it looks pretty small to me now.

4/16/2008 01:16:00 AM  
Blogger peter said...

thanks for a nice post Mary. My yard is weedy. I set my timer and if I do 10 minutes a day I can get it looking good. peace, peter

4/18/2008 11:23:00 PM  

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