A Trip Down Memory Lane
Favorite Childhood Memories
Not long ago, I took a little day road trip to where I lived as a child. It’s fun to do that and I recommend everyone to do it at least once. You would be surprised by the memories that are attached to places and buildings; good and not so good.
I will spare you all 100 pictures. (Yes, I am that person, “Hey, wanna see some family slides?”)
This is the house where I lived another lifetime ago. It is across from the tire swing, down the road from the barn, up the road from the pond, and sat on 100 acres. Our closest neighbor was the mailman, and we didn’t see him on Sundays.
This house is filled with many good memories and some bad memories. This is the house where I stopped believing in Santa. (Ooops, spoiler alert: Yes, Virginia, there is no Santa.)
My family did not have a lot of money, but we never went without the necessities. Thanksgivings were filled with family, relatives, and friends. I remember one Thanksgiving having so much food that we had to keep passing plates around because there was no room on the table. Inevitably, and still to this day, my mom would forget to put something out and we would find it in the refrigerator or on the stove later.
We had cows, pigs, and chickens. Sometimes the cows would break out and my dad would have me run and herd them back into our field. I was a fast runner. I loved to run. I think because I felt approved by my father when I succeeded.
I remember one evening my cousins spent the night. I do not remember where everyone else was, but we were alone. For some reason, we got spooked and we all crammed into a doorframe, too scared to move. LOL
Upstairs in the attic is where I hid a baby bird I found and was trying to love back to life. I ended up burying it in the field next to a calico cat.
The Barn: A Child’s Carnegie Hall
I was surprised this old barn is still standing. Now you may look at this barn and think there is nothing special about it. But let me tell you, this barn was our Carnegie Hall!
My cousins and I spent many summer days on the stage (a.k.a. hayloft) singing into our corncob microphones. The crowd went wild! And for those of you who wonder if farmyard animals make a good audience, I can assure you that they do.
Picture it…. a car full of kids, an aunt learning to drive, and screams!
A long time ago, some hippies from the city had a go at the “country” life. They lived in this house, Outside, probably close to where this statue of Mary is, was an outhouse (for those who grew up civilized may not know, but it’s a wooden shed with a hole in the floor, and it is stinky).
I digress… let me finish the story… so my cousin is “trying” to teach her mom how to drive. She darn near killed us!
Thank goodness we were all screaming so the hippy knew to run out of his outhouse before she crashed the car into it. (OK, so she didn’t crash the car into it, thank You, Jesus.) But that was a bathroom break that hippy will never forget.
All roads lead to somewhere, right?
Well, almost. This little road (path) led to great adventures when I was young.
If you walk to the bottom of this road and turn right, you will see a big open field that leads to a pond. In the winter my sister and I would ice skate on it, she always wanted to be Dorothy Hamill, until she fell and cracked her lip open, totally disqualified her from the Olympics.
The best memory is one winter night when my cousins came over and we rode sleds. I think we may have even had a bonfire going. We hooked our feet into the sleds behind us and made a train and slid right on down that hill.
The warning was, “Now, you all be careful. Roll-off your sled when you reach the bottom because there is a barbed-wire fence down there.” My Uncle Royce went first … we heard him scream! No, he did not heed the warning.
To the left of this little road leads down to a creek and walnut trees. Our hands would be so black from throwing those walnuts into the creek (and at each other). Further down were old abandoned little houses. Why they were there I will never know because there are no roads to those houses. We would play in those old houses and pretend they were a part of the underground railroad and I was Harriet Tubman.
We may not have had a lot of money when I was a kid, but we had imagination and the great outdoors!
To the untrained eye, this would just look like an ordinary tree, but it’s not. Years ago (how many years ago isn’t important), before that house in the background was there, a tire swing hung from this tree. And yours truly would swing and swing and sing and sing. In my young mind, I was destined for greatness! Marie Osmond? Aretha Franklin? Michael Jackson? Shew… move over! Little Stacey is singing on her tire swing!
Of course, this was before cell phones and video games. Ancient days when kids had to play outside and use their imaginations. Do you see the woods in the background? You may not know this, but there was an ancient burial ground back there. Deep in the woods were ancient Indian artifacts. Yep! True story. Sure, the untrained eye that lacked imagination would just think it was a bunch of broken glass, but we knew, we knew…
These are pictures of what is now a volunteer fire station. But, back in the day, it use to be a 4 classroom school. For those of us who grew up watching Little House on the Prairie, well I lived it!
The school was called Piney Plains, it was close to the border of Allegany and Washington County, Maryland. It was so small we had to eat lunch in our classrooms at our desks. I was a puny kid, very skinny. The kitchen staff didn’t think my parents fed me, so they would always come to get me and take me to the kitchen in the mornings and feed me. I had no idea they thought I was undernourished, I thought they just liked me because I was special. Ha!
This is where I had my first crush. He was an “upperclassman,” practically grown, in the 6th grade. I saved all my bazooka joe gum wrappers to buy him a gift. I forget what his name was. Imagine that! Guess it wasn’t true love after all.
This is also where I debuted in my first on-stage performance. I was the angel in the Christmas play. I still remember standing on stage, with my wire tin-foil halo, looking out at the parents, I felt like Mary Katherine Gallagher, for one brief moment I was a… ssssuperstarrr!
Outside now houses the firetrucks. But back then it was grass. I remember field days. I ran the races. It was one thing I was good at. I wasn’t good at math, and my dyslexia was a nightmare, but boy-oh-boy could I run! The playground equipment is still there. Old and run down, but still there.
I am thankful to my God for taking me on this journey down memory lane. It brought back a lot of memories. Some good, some hilarious, and some…. well, I will just say thank You to my Savior for showing me how He was always with me, how my past helped shape me into who I am today, and by the grace of God, He is still doing a work in me.
Thanks for taking this trip with me. And thank you to my cousins for all the good memories. We don’t realize it when we are young, but those moments turn out to be the most precious.
How about you? What are your favorite childhood memories? Comment below to share a memory from your childhood.
Be Free & Stay Free