Thursday, January 21, 2010

Memory Lane...and Friday Photo Flashback

I was a chubby little toddler in this picture!

When I was a child photographers came into our neighborhood with a pony and they would sell you pictures of you sitting on that pony. This day my mom had them take a picture of me and also of my baby brother Danny. I can remember it, so I think I had just turned five, and it was the summer just before I started Kindergarten. My brother was just over two.

Friday Photo Flashback
I joined in on Friday Photo Flashback today with my Memory post. If you would like to link up too...just click on the button above and find out how.

Memory Lane
The older I get, the more I find myself wandering down “Memory Lane”. It’s a pleasant place to visit and I enjoy my time there. The memories are vivid, and the stories that play out in my mind bring warm fuzzy feelings and happy remembrances.

It seems as though it was just yesterday, instead of decades ago, when I lived these scenarios, and I see them as clearly in my mind as though I were truly there today. This is so strange, because there are so many things in my life today that I don’t remember from one day to the next, and yes, I have the episodes like most Seniors do, when I can’t find my glasses or my keys, or other things I have misplaced around the house. But in-spite of the “Senior Moments”, my memories of my youth are embedded in my mind and I shall treasure them always.

This morning as I awoke I realized I had been dreaming of the ocean and in my dream I was a child walking along the sand looking for shells. I could feel the warmth of the hot sand beneath my feet in my dream, so I quickly went to the water’s edge and let it bubble over my feet to cool them down. As the water receded I could see little shells and tiny creatures in the silty sand and I would reach down and scoop up a hand full to see what treasures I could find. In my childhood I never tired of this, and my visits to the seashore are among my happiest memories.

As I awoke and remembered parts of my dream I lay there in bed with feelings of contentment. I arose and slipped on my house shoes and came in here to my front bedroom where I am sitting in my wingback chair typing this out on my laptop computer so I can carry on with these feelings of contentment, and relive my childhood memories once again.

A few days ago my husband pulled up a map on the internet of the area where I grew up. It was fun to show him on that map, all of the places around my home where these memories played out when I was young. As I pointed on the map and said things like…“the Elementary school was here, and the Junior High here, and the High School further down this street…oh and several blocks up this way was the park where my brother played baseball and my friends and I would walk down to watch him play. Across the street from the Elementary School were a barber shop, and a gas station where we would put our quarters in and pull out a big frosty bottle of pop from the icy cold water in the pop machine. Next to the gas station was the Post Office, and across the street was the little neighborhood market called Cliff and Maudie’s and the Dime Store was next to that! Both of those little stores had small houses behind them where the owners lived. I always thought it would be so cool to own a store and live behind it like that.”

I went on and on and I showed my husband the streets on the map that we took when we drove to the beach and the bay areas, which were only 7 miles away. When we were little we went to Newport Beach and Newport Bay, and further on down to Balboa Island and Balboa Bay. Balboa Island had an arcade area and an amusement park , and there was so much excitement and a lot of fun activities going on as we walked along the boardwalk. There were flashing lights and bells and music from the machines, and food areas where you could buy corn dogs, and snow cones, and cotton candy…and just about anything you could ever want to eat! There were boat docks and big beautiful sailboats out on the water, and you could also rent boats, or pay and go out on cruisers with large groups of people. I only remember doing that once or twice…but it was a fun adventure for me.

At the beach there were so many seagulls soaring around and landing everywhere, and you would see them walking and even running on the sand. They would even dip down and snatch up a fish now and then as they flew low over the water. Balboa always had a lot of activity going on, but if we just wanted to lay on the beach and tan, or go for a swim, we preferred Newport Bay. It was a much quieter place and it even had a little floating dock that you could swim out to and climb onto and then dive off or jump off of.

As we lay on our blankets relaxing in the warm California sun, with our little transistor radios playing Elvis or Ricky Nelson, or some Frankie Avalon songs, we would often hear the chimes from the ice cream truck as he pulled up into the parking lot. Ice cream never tasted as good as when we ate it at the beach. As a matter of fact, for some reason we always got really hungry when we would spend a day at the beach. Usually we would take a picnic lunch along too, but by the time we got home for dinner we were ready to barbeque some hot dogs or hamburgers and some corn on the cob, or bite into some juicy, ice cold, watermelon!

I lived in that same house until I was married, so there are a lot of memories from that house and that neighborhood. And lots of memories from our little white steepled church where I attended as a child. In my mind it seemed like it was several miles away from where we lived but John showed me on the map that it was only about 3 miles away. On my last visit to California I didn’t go by that little church. I wonder if it is even still standing today. It was pretty old when I was a child, so it may have been torn down by now. Buildings may come and go, but as I said, my memories will remain forever.

I find it fun to write my memories down and leave them here in my computer, or to put them in my blog posts. I enjoy my strolls down Memory Lane, and I hope you do too. When you walk along with me you may hear a repeat now and then...but I think you will also pick up new nuggets along the way on each walk.



Debbie said...

I love those Memory Lane strolls too. You were so cute in those photos. I know the older I become, the more I want to document those wonderful memories of years ago.


Kristin said...

I love reading about your memories! Those pictures were so adorable of you!! I miss our memory lane walks over at Lynnette's blog :( Those were fun!

Autumn said...

Love the pictures, your memories and dream made me want to go to the beach lol. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

(Has the butterfly always been in your header? I just noticed it today!)


3 Blessings said...

I love strolls down Memory Lane :)

Kathy said...

I enjoyed sharing your stroll down memory lane. My brother and I have similar pictures of us that were made on horses--several years apart. I've always loved those old pictures! When Mama died he took his photo and I took mine. Mama always kept them in a double frame together. Isn't it amazing how we can recall events in our past clearer than more recent ones? Do share some more strolls soon! Kathy

Christy said...

I love your stroll down memory lane!! I have to say I love to listen to people's memories, especially growing up stories, I think it helps you get to know them and see them in a different light, and helps you understand them more.

Kathryn said...

You know i spend part of my week in that area, each & every week. I lived at Westminster & 17th Street (about 2 miles from Balboa) for almost 15 years. What's the street your church was on, i'll drive by & look next time i'm there (& the weather is better!)

Thank you for sharing your memories. They are so sweet. :)

cindy said...

Sweet, sweet memories!

Lynnette Kraft said...

And you made me grow up in Kansas! Just teasing. :) I love Kansas and it's flat lands. I'll never forget driving into Wichita when moved from Colorado. I was looking around thinking - This is it? After the beaches and the mountains it seemed so BORING! Well, I've decided as much as I'd love to be near the ocean or the mountains, I do love my Kansas... my farm... my dirt roads... my 100 year old home... and my family who lives close by!

Your memories are so much fun to read. I feel like I'm right there with you.


Alicia said...

Those are great memories, indeed! I'm in NOrthern California, by the way.

That's so true about being hungry at the beach!! Food always tastes better there or at a swimming pool!

When my husband was little, he said there was a man who drove around the neighborhood with a pony. Can you imagine if that happened now? My kids would love it!

OH..and I love your little halter dress. So adorable!

Erin said...

Wonderful memories...isn't amazing how much we remember of those kinds of things? I love the first picture of you...too cute.

Verna said...

I love reading your memories.

Love ya,
Hope you have a great week end.
Verna @ Coleman2

chubskulit said...

Precious memories to look back to, love the photos!

I am too late for this but still catching up.

Please check out the Music in Me when you have time.

Joops said...

Whosss it was long but its worth the read, I enjoyed it.

We just got back from Baltimore so I am late with my Helmet Head

Adoption of Jane said...

Laughing so hard I am choking on my Coffee! That pic of you on the saddle... PRICELESS... my moms from North Dakota and lets just say every Auntie, Cousin, & Long Lost relative has the same Pic!!

You just made my day with that one!!

His Unfailing Love said...

wow, so nice to be on the saddle, you are so cute... I love it!

Holly said...

I love going to the beach. In fact, I just watched a video of Kyndra last night that was her first time in the ocean and we were in Hawaii. In the video she took a fistful of sand and ate it! lol

It really is fun to look back on such great memories!