Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Short Trip Down Memory Lane

I took a walk today through a section of my neighborhood where I used to live when I was younger. Before leaving my house, I didn't even think about seeing my old house or those of my childhood friends. I simply grabbed my ear buds (which I can not stand!) and decided that tonight would be the first of many walks to keep me active during the last two months of my pregnancy. But what I saw as I walked brought me back to a time of sprinklers and roller blades; I really enjoyed it.
I saw a part of the sidewalk that was broken and sticking up in the air, caused by a tree whose root was growing out of the cement. I remembered it being there when I was younger, but I couldn't pin point an exact memory surrounding it. Until now. My sister Amber, friend Katrina, and I used to ride our bikes around our neighborhood constantly--I remember joking that I loved my bike so much that I wanted to be buried with it. We had a special formation that we would ride in (I was a bossy child, so I was always in the front), a meeting place (that we always went to together), and a club name (that I wish I could remember!). And then there was that broken piece of sidewalk that acted as a ramp for our bikes. Funny how a broken sidewalk can bring back so many memories.
Next was the white fence that surrounded a neighbor's yard at the end of my old street. The man who lived there used to water his grass with a sprinkler, which would spray out over the fence and onto the sidewalk, just enough for us to get wet. Amber, Katrina and I would run up and down the sidewalk every time we noticed that the sprinkler was on. One day, the man who lived in the house told us we were welcome to come into his yard and play right in the sprinkler. In that moment, we were the happiest kids alive.
I passed an old lady's house whose grandson's name I couldn't remember, but I knew that we couldn't stand her. She was the "mean old lady down the street."
Then I came to my old house, whose porch was once a nail salon, classroom, tent... There was a little girl on the porch, with a big smile and short, dirty blond hair. The front door was open and the living and dining rooms--with their hard wood floors and bright white walls--were empty. Voices echoed through the house and I remembered when we first moved in. I remembered my pink bedroom, playing video games in the living room all night during sleepovers, falling down the porch steps one morning (and smearing the cream cheese from my bagel all over my face!) before school... I wanted so badly to walk inside and ask for a tour, as I'm always curious to see what the insides of my old homes are like today.
I passed the church whose parking lot served as our playground, with its big, metal fence that we used to be able to slide under as kids. In front of the church is a ramp that we used to roller blade down to gain speed. Sometimes, we would pretend that our skates were permanently attached to our legs, in place of our feet.
After the church came the alley where Katrina lived, whose house I spent many days and nights in. We used to hook up a sprinkler to her sliding board, creating our very own backyard water slide. At night, we'd leave the door open on her balcony while we slept on the living room floor. In the morning, her mom would make chocolate chip pancakes and Katrina would play "Love Shack" by the B52s. We'd laugh at how we were "almost" related, as her mom had dated my uncle when they were in high school.
I passed other childhood friends' houses and thought of how much fun we had, just being outside until the sun went down. Normally, thinking of those times makes me a little sad. But as I walked today, I was surprisingly happy to be reminded of the times I spent on that little street when I was younger.


heidi said...

great memories sarah!

Ashley said...

i love reading your blogs. you're so creative with your words. darn you!! haha just kidding, love you

thevandusens said...

I love it. Wonderful memories.
When I go back home nothing really looks the same. The large fields I ran around in are now yards to million dollar homes, but I still can see the sled trails and the forts in the trees. And now we get to help make memories for our little ones.