Friday, September 9, 2011

Back Where I Grew Up

Hurricane Irene left us without power for several days last week.

We were fortunate to be able to pack up and head to my parents' house, just a few miles away.

My parents are at the lake, so we had the place to ourselves.
We had power, but no cable or internet :(
But we were able to save our freezer stuff and take a nice hot shower :)

We were armed with plenty of good books.
(The girls are currently enamored with the Dear America series.)

 and plenty of DVDs
"Booky's Crush" is an awesome movie
about the 1930s with a great moral twist that lead to an excellent discussion on ethics:

 That first day, we all literally laid around in our jammies.
{absolutely, positively exhausted}
and so, so appreciative of things we take for granted: electricity, running water (we have a well, operates on electric) and hot showers.

The next morning, 
when P got up she told me
"I had a really good sleep. A REALLY good sleep."
We were all so exhausted from the wrath of Irene.

It was fun for me to be back in the house where I grew up.
I think we should spend a few days there every summer.
Like a mini-vacation.
How awesome would it be to be able to go back in time for vacation???

This is the street where I grew up:

the street where I grew up to the right

and the left

This is the field across the street from my parents' house.
If my nose was not buried in a book,
I was playing with the rest of the neighborhood kids there.

My girls were shocked to hear that the boys (our neighborhood was mostly boys) used to set up bike ramps and I would lay underneath and let them jump their bikes over me.
We pretended the bike riders were Fonzi or Evil Knievel.
(Read: I am OLD!)

My brother used to climb the arbor vitae that lines the top hill and jump off.
directly across the street from the house where I grew up

 There is a path from the top hill in the photo above that leads down three hills.
It was a different time.
As 7, 8, 9 year olds we spent all day down there.
Alone. No parents.
No one worried.

Down the first hill...

Down the second hill...

 And now heading down the final hill...

 the piece de resistance...
a childhood dream...
a playground for the imagination...
the affectionately termed "Brook"
by ANYONE who ever grew up in our neighborhood.

 This is where I spent most of my childhood, peeps.
The boys built dams.
We all caught tadpoles and kept them in aquariums until they turned into frogs.
We also caught frogs.
We caught crayfish...and accidentally boiled them in the sum :(

 I was am a HUGE Little House on the Prairie fan...
I WAS Laura down here...
On the Banks of Plum Creek...
On the Shores of Silver Lake...
I fetched water in a pail and built a shelter and pretended dried mud that I formed into food shapes was our food.
While those boys built dams, I was the little woman, doing my own thing.
Sometimes it was a little like
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

 For a girl who LOVED Laura Ingalls Wilder,
this place was pure awesomeness.

Yup, we played in that water.
And no one worried about bacteria count.

 Then, when I was in middle school, I would walk home this way.
We had rocks strategically positioned so we could get across the water.

 THIS is also legendary in my old 'hood.
The sewer pipe.
We always dared each other to walk through, we knew all the connections.
Sometimes, in my imagination this was a cave where we hid from wild beasts.

Sadly, although the old neighborhood is THRIVING with children,
not a one seemed to be playing "down the brook"
these days.
Parents are scared.
Pedophiles and bacteria and drowning and all of that.

Ah, but the way freedom in a place like this could make one's imagination soar...