Recently I’ve been reading a book with an entire chapter painting the picture of a town the author grew up in. It gave me so many feelings reading it and inspired me to write about my town, my childhood, my experience. Just fragments of what I remember. I don’t want to forget more than I already have because the truth is, my childhood was lovely. I feel lucky, really. And I want to write about it.
I remember my neighborhood, all the houses looked different and none were the same color. I remember sticker stars on the ceilings and wood panel walls. I remember friends and me playing in the street, kick the can and sardines. I remember long walks through our quaint town down to the movie store for endless rentals. I got a fit of heat exhaustion there once and went to a Mariners game the next day in the King Dome. I remember the haunted house my friends and I broke into and told spooky stories in. I remember light as a feather and stiff as a board. I remember the guy asking for directions with no pants and my homeless friends living under the power lines. At one end of that trail under the power lines we had a pizza joint where we’d get free breadsticks just for stopping by. I remember riding my mountain bike on the bmx track, probably pissed the boys off but that was my awkward way of flirting. You’d think we weren’t fed because I also remember having permission to break into my neighbors house by way of the doggy door just to eat cheese and bologna out of his fridge. I remember my cat Jingles bringing live animals in the house and how she’d only drink out of the faucet, that must be why she lived to be 22. It’s the water. I remember a turtle named Gwen, an Iguana named Gilmour, a Snake named Nate and a Chinchilla named Chico, just to name a few. I remember my aunt Char’s celebration of life and hearing Comfortably Numb for the first time, that must be where my love for Pink Floyd first started. I remember sun river and being told by my friend with my same name my dad wouldn’t be home when I got there – I remember he was and I remember seeing him cry. I remember peacock feathers and pizza afterwards. I remember parties at Gary and Linda’s off Lilly Road and oysters on the BBQ at their neighbors. I remember learning five card draw at their house before I was twelve and I often wonder how they are and where their kids ended up. The house was demolished long after my last day there, meth, I guess I’m not surprised. I remember birthday parties with my neighborhood friends, cakes made by my great grandmother, and trips to sun lakes in the summer. I remember dial up Internet and my v-tech telephone in my bedroom. I remember long walks to school and sometimes being a real asshole to the people I love the most these days. I remember riding bikes to my grandmas and the smell of thanksgiving. I remember ribbon salad and family Christmas Eve, once I ran with a knitting needle and landed on it – mouth opened with a knitting needle sticking out, luckily no damage – but how does that happen in a house full of adults. I remember my daybed and jumping off it, landing on a tack and my big brother having to pull it out of my heel. I remember having surgery when I was 10 and waking up to my mom sleeping at the foot of my bed and my dad singing me to sleep at night and playing guitar…the nurses would open my door so they could hear it too. I remember going to work with my mom so she could take me to dance team early – she never missed a performance. I remember stealing my grandpas teeth and hiding them from him and his most excellent impression of Donald Duck. I remember Christmas shopping with my grandma and her being so sneaky with our gifts. I sure loved those trips. I remember camping at riffe lake and sliding down the grass hills on blocks of ice – grandpa was so creative with fun. I remember walks to the gazebo hidden nearly in the middle of our neighborhood – so close yet so away from the world. I remember feeling love for the first time. I remember my first day of high school and how scared I was even though I might be the most social person I know. I remember seeing his smile and falling in love almost instantly. I feel so lucky knowing how real that was. I remember the day my best friend told me she was moving to Japan and how broken I felt knowing our dreams of lemonade on porch swings and being neighbors was probably out the door. I remember heart ache and smiles and the warmth of growing up in a town my parents grew up in, and a house my grandparents built. We didn’t have a lot of things but we had so much love. I feel so lucky to have grown up in this town, I didn’t realize it then, but I realize it now.
To everyone who stuck with me, even during my worst years – believe it, I’ve been shitty to people who never deserved it, thank you, I love you. As I get older and maybe even wiser I realize the value in the life I’ve had – and I hope you know I appreciate your part in it 💚
Till next time friends, stay beautiful.