Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Miss...


hop-skipping down the hot black top driveway across the street to lean over the fence and see if the grandkids could play, hoping they'd invite me to swim in their pool, because unlike the one in my backyard, they had a diving board.

I miss...

walking home with my girlfriend, stopping at the halfway point, and then turning and running the rest of the way home by ourselves so the never-seen Boogy Man couldn't get us.

I miss...

coming home after church on Christmas Eve and heading next door to exchange gifts and have cheese and crackers.

I miss...

knowing that if I forgot my house key I could go into the shed next door to get the spare one off the hook where it always hung~ unless I'd forgotten to return it after the last time I forgot.

I miss...

taking the phone off the hook so the piano teacher next door couldn't call to remind my mom about the piano lesson I was so hoping she would forget about.

I miss...

watching the dads carry the pitchers of beer they poured from the "everybody owns a stake" kegerator in the basement next door from yard to yard.

I miss...

special, full-size candy bars set aside on Halloween just for my sister and me. 

I miss...

playing frisbee in the road until someone yelled "CAR" and we all scattered to the curb until it was safe again.

I miss...

the creak of the glider as we sat on the front porch surrounded by a crowd on summer evenings, knowing we'd know almost every soul that walked down the sidewalk.

source
The things I miss most about my childhood neighborhood are the sense of community... the security of knowing that someone had our back... the reality of the notion that it takes a village ~or a neighborhood~ to raise a child.

For the first 23 years of my life, I never lived anywhere else. My parents still live there and the houses all remain the same, but the people are different. As one of the youngest couples on the block when they moved in almost 40 years ago, many of the neighbors have passed on. For their part, in their retirement, my parents spend a good part of the year down south, so even they aren't there.

When I go home to visit, it's not the same

I miss it.

Mama’s Losin’ It
1.) What do you miss most about your childhood neighborhood?

20 comments:

Angelwithatwist said...

Awww your hometown sounds like mine did when I was much younger. Though I still live here it isn't like it was when I was young, not even close.

Tamara Vellozzo said...

So sweet and lovingly written. I didn't live in a neighborhood, but grew up just a few hundred yards away from my grandparents. I just wrote my 101 Grams a short note about how much I loved that. You've made me nostalgic! Well done. :)

Diane said...

Ah, sweet nostalgia!

I finally went back to GA to visit my dad last September for the first time in over 15 years since he usually comes up to see us. We drove over to the neighborhood I grew up in and pulled into the driveway of my old house. All the big pine trees were gone, apparently taken out by a tornado years ago, and the house looked almost abandoned, with weeds, tall grass and overgrown bushes. It made me sad.

Tamara Camera said...

So nice! I miss my childhood neighborhood a lot, but no one I know lives there anymore. We're all scattered in other places and I rarely get back. I'm hoping to stay here for several years or decades, and give my kids a great place to come home to.

The Dose of Reality said...

We know exactly what you mean. There was something special about that time in all of our lives, and it does seem like neighborhoods used to be more neighborly.-The Dose Girls

gretchen said...

What a great place to grow up! We feel really lucky to have found, in the heart of the big bad city of Los Angeles, a great little neighborhood where everybody knows each other. We have 3 or 4 neighborhood block parties a year, the kids all babysit each other, I feel totally comfortable sending my son up the street to borrow an egg or whatever. It's really been a blessing.

B Nickerson said...

So beautiful---wonderful memories.
I don't think there are that many neighborhoods where people share life together and are safe like that anymore. Too bad. Our kids today need that.

Mary Johnson said...

I just love your post... Makes me miss my neighborhood too

Jerralea said...

Yes! The sense of community describes my childhood neighborhood, too. I think it's sad we don't have that anymore ...

Aleta said...

I remember all of the kids on our block getting together to climb trees or play games. It was safe to go into any of the homes and the parents all knew each other.

But right now, I miss sleep and snuggling with some alone time with my husband.

Katherine Phillips said...

This was a very sweet post. I miss those things too even though we moved a lot we seemed to always find places that felt like family.

Blond Duck said...

I miss swinging.

Ilene Evans said...

walking home with friends and getting the spare key from a neighbor and snacking next door on Christmas eve - more inncocent times - that I miss as well!

Dawn Saros-Kirk said...

I used to meet my friends half-way to walk to school or to meet up after school. I'd forgotten that memory. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories!

Andrea B. said...

I get this. I miss what I had, what I know, and what I want for my daughter. But you know that already. :>

Kate Eschbach said...

Oh, I so relate. It makes me want to make strong, strong memories for my kiddos!

Wendys Hat said...

Great thoughts! Lucky for me I've raised my children in just that same type of neighborhood with their grandparents 4 houses away too. This sense of family and community is the best thing you can do for a child. We've worked hard to have that. The biggest change i see now is that so many of my children's friends are over-scheduled and weren't allowed to just be children and have fun. Thanks for your thoughts. I enjoyed thinking back on my childhood.

nancygrayce said...

I grew up in a neighborhood much like yours! Loved it and I miss that too. Even my older children grew up in a similar neighborhood where we felt everything was safe and secure. I'm afraid it's changing now and we don't know our neighbors like we used to and that's sad!

Heather said...

Sounds like my small town. I would miss the playing in the street - we used to have bike races up and down our street.

I also miss open windows on summer nights with that cool summer breeze cooling you off and just being covered in a thin sheet. I never even considered an air conditioner in my house until I graduated college and moved into an apartment building in Boston.

lifesolovely.me said...

Sounds like a great place to grow up :) I remember very well playing in the street and hearing the "CAR!" yell.

Visiting from Mama Kat's :)