Sunday, May 1, 2011

Taking a walk with my camera

Just under one year ago I moved into a small condo apartment within walking distance of my childhood home. I walk by the house frequently on my walks.

 The little bungalow on Mullin Avenue often has visited me in my dreams in powerful, sometimes shattering ways, although in the last three years or so, after one particularly vivid, visceral dream it hasn't seemed to be a part of my dreaming.

Sometimes when I walk by the house or down the back lane I wonder if I might catch a peripheral glimpse of my child self, or the players in my life at the time - grandparents, aunts, uncles - I wish to but not sure if this would be good for my today adult self.

Mom loved entertaining family, she was a good cook, and a gracious homemaker - much loved by her sister - in- laws. She took lots of pictures of us growing up, leaving me a visual history which is precious. I just know Mom would have LOVED blogging!!

Here is a picture of me and my younger brothers on the step of our house.

Dylan Thomas is a favourite poet of mine, and one poem we studied at university Fern Hill, describes so well remembering one's childhood as an alive, fresh new time in our lives.I love the lines:

"Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,"

So I believe in some way the sense of freedom and easiness of early childhood is why I still enjoy walking this street.

Let me take you along the street as I saw it today.
Really the sidewalk plays a big part in my memories, I guess because children are close to the ground.

As a child I was lucky to be apart of a neighbourhood of kids who played together for hours. We really only came in for meals in the summer. The sidewalk and street was one of our play spaces. We had parades, pulling the youngest in wagons. We once spent days hammering  rocks on the sidewalk (without protective goggles of course), experimenting with turning stones into powder. And of course we played hopscotch, skipping and ball. I always had a bouncing ball, and endlessly played games either with friends or solely.Do you remember the bouncing, clapping ball games of your youth? I want to research  some of the games and songs children had for ball play.

The back lane was the other major play space of my childhood. Here some of the original fences still stand.

We had so much fun in the back lane. Running races organized by the older children of the neighbourhood; building snow forts in the winter; and playing in piles of cut grass, and leaves i n the fall. Now we have modern plastic garbage bins, but in those days there were metal garbage cans, and wooden fence like boxes to hold the cans in.

This is what is left of the original fence from our house, Mom built this fence. The rest of the fence is long gone, replaced with a more modern style.

Here is another of the original fences of a neighbour's from my childhood.
 I have clear memories of walking to school on my first day of kindergarten. I went to my friend's house, and her older sister walked us to school. We climbed over this fence, went through another yard and through to the street leading to our school. This was the route we took together for years. This fence is at least 51 years old!

This is the street leading to our school.
I plan to explore this further at another time. Just thought it would be interesting to post as is.

(As I've been working on this post my son and I learned of the death of bin Laden. I stopped to watch the breaking news on t.v., and watched President Obama's speech to the people.This feels very momentous - I will stop blogging now, just to personally process this)


Geraldine said...

I'm not familiar with this particular area but I did enjoy this walking tour via cyberspace. Oh what memories to treasure eh? What a cutie you are!!! I remember your brothers too, such a sweet photo.

Happy Week, G

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Well, thanks Ger!

sandy said...

What a nice visit!

Teri C said...

This is a wonderful walk down memory lane. Sweet post and as Geraldine says, what a cutie you are.

Teri C said...

I just noticed that one of your writers that you love is B. Kingsolver, me too and she lives somewhere in Tucson, AZ!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for checking in and your nice comment, Teri!
I really enjoy Barbara Kingsolver too! I especially loved her series with the little girl Turtle, and her adoptive Mom, and grandmother, etc.

Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said...

This is Great Brenda! You are such an Awesome storyteller! Wonderful memories! Love the pictures! Thanks for such inspirational stories!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments.
It's always nice to have you check in!

oldgreymare said...

Very similar memories of childhood summers in Peters Township PA.

It was difficult for me to send the kids to their father a few miles away. Now they both live thousands of miles from both of us. Luckily darling daughter returns for the summer on Wednesday.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Suzan, thanks for dropping in. This experience of sending our kids to visit their other parent has never been easy, but it's what we had to do.I'm finding that through the blogging world that some of my experiences are not much different than others either just across the border, or across the ocean. (Of course there are many differences as well, which is also so interesting to learn about!)

Childhood memories of summer always seem to me to be the most vivid, and joyful!

I'll bet you'll have a wonderful time with your daughter!