Kamis, 18 Juni 2009

Take A Walk With Me

Today the temperature is going well into the 90's which isn't so bad but the humidity is 100%. So it is time to go for a trip down memory lane which leads to taking a dip in the pool. That's me on the right, mouth open. That happens less and less now, I hope! Those suits are beguiling. What happened to fashion? The yard was my backyard, jungle, library, forest, parade route, theater, swimming hole, campgrounds, and playground.

I had to share it with Grandma who held title to the veggie and flower gardens, see the white picket fence? The cherry trees were hers too, as well as the chicken coop-turned-tool shed which the photographer must be standing in near. It was the cherry tree in the photo background that I used to climb to pick and eat the cherries. I managed to get some for Mom and Grandma to make pies too. I had the kettle I used for cherries, right up till last year.

Oh, and half the yard had been converted to a parking lot, or maybe always was. Pre-Kate era. Grandpa was a mechanic and had a 3 car garage. Grandma rented "tourist rooms" and there was parking for guests. My dad's truck was always parked outside.

One of the tourists was a snappy, young lad, probably 24-28 and he had a car that matched - a zippy, 2 seat red convertible. I was too young to be appreciated by him but I knew what I liked and it was that car! So I just hung around, touching it when he wasn't there. It was an MGB. Now I think Grandma should have taken his car in exchange for a place to live and in time I would have had a slick ride for myself.

Come to think of it, this may have been my first sign of a love for cars. It became an obsession: I used to lay in bed, look out the window, tell myself, "1956 Ford Fairlane", "1960 Chevy BelAir" or whatever was passing by.

So the yard sounds huge and it was then, when I was little. It is, still, in my mind. It was a full day of activity, an adventure-land to visit. Some days there was laundry hanging out to dry and dashing between sheets was a game. The next day the line would be left up so a tent could be set up over it for camping out (day camp). The day after that the tent would come down and become a screen for a play or puppet show. We'd haul out folding chairs for dolls and trapped family members. After the final performance we'd swing and spin around on the monkey bars.

Then there'd be a day of running a library and the neighborhood kids would come and we'd read. Imagine that! Soon there'd be a game of tag or ball to wear us out before dinner. The pool was obviously above ground and a source of much cool fun, as is evidenced above. When the pool wasn't "up" we'd have pet parades and every cat and dog on the block was encouraged to participate.

The garden was the best though. Row after row of carefully tended to plants that yielded beans and lettuce, tomatoes and rhubarb, parsley and probably some stuff I wouldn't eat so don't remember. I do recall weeding and the associated excuses for not being able to do it...not just yet. The excuses failed; the weeds were gone. I was outnumbered by grownups.

Well, thanks for taking this quick trip with me around the back yard. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of my only-child past. It was a close knit neighborhood where every mom was Mom, every dad was Dad, and every kid was like a brother or sister.

Or at least that's how I remember it.

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