I am going to begin this entry with my “I’m Thankful For…”
I’m thankful for a brother who is interested in maintaining a relationship and is willing to experience life with me.
Yesterday my brother and I went on a journey into our past. We started our day with breakfast out and my nephew “Mr. Zan” in tow. We were going to see the houses of our childhood. On our drive over to the town we exchanged stories of what we remembered growing up in each of these houses. I have not returned to these neighborhoods since we left in the early 1970s so it is not a surprise that as I exited the highway and started down the streets to the first house, nothing looked familiar to me. Thank goodness for “The Brother’s” iPhone and GPS! It wasn’t until we came up to the street that I knew we had arrived! The house looked exactly the same. The trees had grown and the front door was now red, but it was the same house. We reminisced about fun times…..football games in the front yard….. the night the sleep-walker banged on the front door in the middle of the night……and about eating watermelon under the streetlight in our yard. “The Brother” told his son about the time he was pretending to drive the car and threw it into neutral causing the car to slowly roll out of the driveway and into the street. Our Dad ran frantically across the yard and jumped in to stop the car before any damage was done. Yes, lots of memories.
We continued around the corner and down the street to house #2. Yes, we moved around the block. It is a spanish style house that is now trying to be “country” with that railing across the front. Don’t quite know what these owners are thinking, but whatever. We told stories about the cork wall in our playroom that “The Brother” put his head through one day as we were “playing” and the pit (a sunken living room) that we had. It was quite deep. We always wanted Dad to fill it up with water so we could have an indoor swimming pool. That idea never was very popular with him. Hmmmm, wonder why?
Our next stop was our “home away from home.” We were one of 3 families that spent a lot of time together. We all went to the same church, the same private school and spent many weekends together. There were fun games in the front yard of one particular house. The Anthony’s house was the place to be! They had a heavily wooded yard and at night we would play “gorilla” amongst the trees. It was fun and scary all at the same time. A kids dream world! Right across the street was the second family we played with. I was older than the kids at this house, but “The Brother” and “The Sister” were dear friends with the kids and hold fond memories of times together.
It was wonderful to see that the Anthony’s house had not changed. It was almost like the side door would open and out the family would come. “The Brother” brought me right back to earth when he announced, “You know, this all took place 44 years ago.” Well, THAT made me feel old! I was having such a wonderful time in my mind, back in the days when we were all carefree and having fun.
We went on to see the grade school we attended…..I was fortunate enough to attend 1st through 8th grade at the same school with the same kids. (and people wonder why I don’t like change as an adult….I had stability!) As we drove up I was excited that one end of the school had not changed. We walked up to the cafeteria windows, peered in and it was the same as it was all those years ago (I prefer not to dwell on the actual number). The tables even looked the same. It is an open air school, there are outdoor corridors. The classroom doors opened on to the 2 corridors (one on each side of the building). Our first stop after the cafeteria was “The Sister’s” first grade classroom. “The Brother” yelled, “Hey, they even have the same desks we used. Wow, that took me back.
Not much had changed to the part of the school I attended, but changes do occur and there are newer buildings added on. We walked over to the church and walked inside. Nothing had changed! I mean nothing. I could walk in there right now, open my guitar case and get warmed up for 5:30 mass. OK, well maybe not, since I haven’t played guitar in over 20 years. But it felt like I could!
After leaving the school/church, we drove around the corner to a house we stayed in for only a short while. It was funny that “The Brother” and I remembered the same thing as we drove up…..”Remember the night of the fire?” Yes, we do! The house next door was built very close to ours and it was on fire. In the middle of the night we were bundled up, put into our car and driven down the street to watch the fire engines come to fight this frightening fire.
I retold a story about the time (while living at this house) I saw a commercial on TV for a free Beltone hearing aid. So I called. Yep, wanted to know what one looked like and how it worked……curiosity. The hearing aid came, I played around with it…..no big deal. Then a few weeks later a man came knocking at the door wanting to know who at this address needed a hearing aid. Well, you can imaging this conversation…….”no, we do not need a hearing aid…….I was just curious……thank you for your time”……..Opps. I still recall that event every time I see a Beltone commercial today.
Our drive home was a happy one. We relived many good and not so good memories from days gone by. ‘Mr. Zan” really enjoyed his time hearing us talk about “when we were kids.” At one point as we were driving through an older neighborhood (ours) he stated, “This is really cool, all this old stuff and old architecture.” “The Brother” and I chuckled as we looked at each other with that “are we old?” look. I guess to “Mr. Zan” we are……but for a brief couple of hours, we were in the Anthony’s yard at night yelling “GORILLA!!!”
Thanks, brother, for a lovely day!