It is funny how some connections and relationships you make in life just stick with you.
(my) third grade to ninth grade, my family lived in a house on a
street of all brand new houses. Before that, the street was a cornfield.
So no trees unless you planted them (and we did). No fences unless you
put them up (we didn't).
We lived on the part of the street that
dead-ended at a fence and on the other side was a pretty brown horse
that all the little girls on the street dreamed about taking care of. I
used to collect long hairs from her tail that ended up stuck in the
fence wire and made a little braid out of them.
We liked to
roller blade up and down the street, and one time my sister ran right
into that fence by the field and broke her arm. The neighbor kids were
all friends and we played an interesting form of baseball in our front
yard almost every evening. Frisbees served as bases.
New construction across the street meant huge piles of dirt just perfect for climbing and building forts.
a neighbor moved away and the house left vacant for some months, the
grass in the backyard got so high that you could practically hide in it.
To my parents, an eyesore. To us, a jungle! We pretended the wooden
playset in the backyard was our treehouse and we waded through the grass
to get back to it, being careful of tigers and snakes, etc.
family had a little dachsund at the time who loved to bolt outside when
given opportunity (remember, no fences) so we spent many evenings
chasing her frantically through the neighborhood to bring her home.
Sometimes neighbors would call the house, "Peanut is in my yard, send
the kids this way."
My sisters and some neighbor girls and I had a
lemonade stand (yes, on that dead-end street) and we wanted to give
all the proceeds to the flood relief efforts in the midwest that was
happening at that time. Everyone from the neighborhood came to buy some
lemonade and some grapes from my parents fridge and who knows what
else. We raised something like $40. Someone on our street knew someone
at the local paper and had them come down to take our picture. We made
it into the newspaper! The fame! The glory!
The neighbors on one
side of our house were an older couple (actually, my parents are now
that age!) Their driveway was twice as long as ours, and for some
reason twice as smooth. Luckily, they were happy to let us rollerblade
on their driveway. We adopted them as an extra set of grandparents. You
can really never have too many. She was an avid sewer and had fancy
machines and know-how. My mom taught me how to use a sewing machine,
but she sent me over to the "Norf's" house when I wanted to turn an old
pair of jeans into a skirt. I spent the evening there working on it
and in the end I had my skirt. (Probably with a lower hem than I
originally envisioned, thank you very much)
We moved away from
that house after my freshman year. 1999. My parents kept in touch with
the "Norfs." They came to my wedding 8 years later.
Now, 12 years
after moving away, my mom suggests I call to arrange a visit with my
littles. We caught up some over the phone and talked about the "old
days" and about my new family. I told her about how I am still sewing
and looking forward to getting better at making clothes. She told me
she wanted to give me something that she no longer uses and would love
to see it being used. So the littles and I made the trip up to visit
with our old neighbors for a few hours. Talked about who moved where,
who is still around, what all my little neighborhood friends are doing
now. A really nice visit.
And look what I was sent home with: