July 26, 2005

Childhood memories ...

Thanks to my HOTT Chik-T, I have my very first tag!

5 Things I miss from childhood:

1. From the time I was about 2 weeks old, we would spend practically every weekend camping. My Mom would spend all day Friday packing up the Travel Trailer and the Pea green with fake wood side panels Town & Country station wagon. Or as we called it, The Tank. That car was a BEAST, and Mom LOVED it! It had the far back seat that opened up to reveal a "hidden" small seat, and we ALL fought over it! Oh yes, it was THE SHIT! Anyway, Mom would pack us up, and when Dad came home from work around 3 or 4, he would change his clothes, and we would be off! Ususally not too far, but to us kids, it was a whole world away! There were so many wonderful places to camp in New York, and Canada, and I believe I have seen them ALL! My all time favorite places were the long camping trips to the Adirondack Mountains, or up the St. Lawrence seaway. Spectacular! We fished, we explored, and at night, we were the "beer" runners for the adults. We didn't mind, they always left a swig or two for us to suck down while we retrieved them a fresh one. Well, now we know it was BACKWASH, but we didn't care back then!
We were together, as a family. It was fun, and unspoiled. We were allowed to be KIDS! I miss that .....

2. On the weekends, when we weren't camping, we were marching in various local parades. My Dad is a Volunteer Firefighter, and the local Fire Departments have "Field Days" which consist of carnival rides, games, Beer Tents, live music, Firemens Chowder, and yes, a PARADE! I started twirling baton when I was 5 years old, and my brothers were on the Rifle Corps. They weren't REAL rifles, but they did a military type routine with them. Back then, Teddy's Islettes were HUGE!!!!! They had an ALL GIRL drum corps, the Rifle Corps, Senior twirlers, "B" corps, and of course, the lil' ones! We were GOOD! We took home many first place finishes. These people were like a huge extended family, and it was a wonderful way to grow up! I still love parades, and I get all excited like I did as a kid; waiting to be called out so we can march down the street and do our "number" for the crowd! Sadly, no one does the type of baton twirling I did as a kid, they dance more than they twirl. It breaks my heart. It was an art form. It took skill to be able to maneuver one baton, let alone 2, or a hoop baton, or the best one .... a FIRE BATON! *sigh*
I miss twirling ....

3. My old neighborhood on Grand Island. We lived at 3509 Wallace Drive till I was 7 years old, and I have so many incredibly wonderful memories from that house! It was a small neighborhood, but everyone knew eachother. I was a river rat, literally. Our house was only a few shortblocks from the mighty Niagara River. It had a quaint little beach called Sandy Beach, and our neighbor had put a floating dock a ways out into the river so you could swim out to it and lay out there, or jump off of it, whatever you had in mind! The neighborhood itself was made up of small beach cottages that were transformed into affordable housing for young couples. Who knew that the property would become so desirable due to it's proximity to the River?! Anyway, we had a GINORMOUS weeping willow tree in the backyard, and we would climb onto the shed, then the roof of the garage, grab a handful of willow branches and swing off like we were Tarzan! We got in trouble on MANY occasions for doing it, but it never stopped us! In the winter, we would jump off the garage roof into the snow! There were kids running around all over the place, and at that time, our parents weren't afraid to let us roam. It was sheltered, and it was safe. We had an elementary school over 2 streets and down a few blocks, it had a HUGE field that we would go and play football, kick-the-can, hide-and-seek, you name it! There was always something going on in The "hood"! I miss the sense of community so sorely lacking nowadays ......

4. During the winters, there's not a whole lot to do in Buffalo as an adult. But as a kid? There's a whole world of snow forts, snow-ball wars, instant ice skating ponds, and of course, "pogeying". For those of you unfamiliar, the art of Pogeying is waiting for a car to drive by, grabbing onto the bumper, and going for a "ride" down a slick ice and snow covered road. Dangerous as HELL, but OMG was it FUN!!!!! The trick is try and stay on your feet. But more often than not, you ended up being dragged down the road on your belly! There was also skiing, but I didn't learn to enjoy that till I was older.
There was however,SNOWMOBILING!!!! WHOOOHOOO!!! Strapping your legs around a machine that's racing at 60 mph + over ice and snow. Can you say, HOLY FLEURKING HELL!!! Know what was even better? My brother Ken, who is a mechanical genius,took apart those engines and made them FASTER! Oh yeah!!! My Dad and my Dad-in-law even received commendations from The City of Buffalo during the dreaded Blizzard of '77 for the aid they gave to residents. I no longer miss the snow, but I DO miss the adventures we had during the cold, nasty winters!

5. Both my Grandparents had land for us to explore and roam around on. Both my grandparents had HUGE vegetable gardens and grew practically anything you could ever want! Come harvest time, both my Grandmothers, along with Mom did all sorts of canning. Homemade jams, canned tomatoes, beans, strawberry-rhubarb pies, bread-n-butter pickles .... you name it, these ladies made it, canned it, froze it and stored it in the cellar for us to enjoy throughout the winter! I hated gardening (still do!), but I loved picking fresh vegetables and eating them right there and then. My Grandma Martin (mom's mom) house holds a very special place in my heart. It is a VERY old farmhouse that at one time had several "barns" on it. There's also a fire pit where we would roast corn, and the barrel where she would burn all the paper refuse. Way in the back, was the compost pile that the table scraps, lawn clippings, leaves, etc were put for later use as fertilizer and mulching. Very organic. Grandma Martin was definitely the farm girl! Up until the 1980's, she washed clothes with a RINGER WASHER.
You read that right. I would watch her wheel that big 'ol thing into the kitchen, get the clothes out and start. When I was there, I would help. In the warm months, the clothes were hung outside, in the cool months, they would get hung in the cellar. Which, by the way, still had a dirt floor. The house itself has a wonderful screened front porch that you could sleep on in the summer time. There were 6 bedrooms, 1 and 1/2 bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, and of course LAND. I loved staying in that house. My Grandma is the kind who ALWAYS has several different types of homemade cookies in various containers on her kitchen table, something cooking on the stove, and ice cold beer in the fridge. She's the last of my Grandparents, and I miss her.
I miss the constancy and the simplicity ....

I REALLY miss being a kid! *sigh*

Now, who to tag ....... I think everyone I read has DONE this tag!
Well, if you already have, just re-publish it.

*Spexial's Bey*

Thanks for "playing"!


At 7/29/05, 5:39 AM , Blogger Skinny Dip said...

Wow, what great fun you had. Thanks for that - you've just brought back great memories for me too.


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