When I drive past the very first house I grew up in, I’m amazed at how small it appears. Not only the house, but the front yard as well. As a child, I had many fond memories playing inside and out.
What features do you remember about the inside of your first house?
The laundry chute made a great hide-and-seek spot. We would climb up into the bottom of the chute and cover ourselves with the dirty clothes. Of course, if no one found us in ten minutes, we’d climb out.
In my sister’s room, there was a small attic space near the dormer. We would sit in there and light incense, or melt a candle to make wax seals on paper or envelopes. Surprisingly enough, Mom never knew about this until years later.
What were some features you liked about your neighborhood?
There was an empty lot right across the street, which was great for group games like football, kickball, capture the flag and red rover. Because we lived on a dead-end street, the kids would also ride their bikes, play basketball or jump rope on the street.
Behind our house, was a wooded area and then a small lake. There was no swimming in it, but some would fish there. The woods had many trails for walking or riding your bike; or for sledding in the winter.
What are some events you’ll always remember about your neighborhood?
When I was 6 or 7, I took an initiation test to join a fort that was made out of sticks, limbs, and branches of leaves. To pass the test, I had to take off all of my clothes. (I don’t remember hesitating, because being included into that club was important to me). So I followed through. As soon as I had all of my clothes off, I heard my mom yelling for me to come home. I yelled back, “OK, I’ll be right there!” I hurriedly put my clothes back on and ran up to the house from the woods, as the newest member in the club.
Another time, my friend Susie and I were walking along a path close to the water’s edge when we spotted some cans tied to a string. She reached in and pulled them out. It was beer. She proceeded to pull the tab on one of the cans and took a sip and then handed the can to me. I took a sip. I can’t remember much of what happened next by my sister tells me that she spotted us leaving the woods and looking a little tipsy.
I have been blessed with many more memories that will be shared in my book – Around Robin Hood’s barn – due to be published in TBD.