I was born and raised in this city. I grew up downtown pretty well most of my childhood. We didn't move around much and most of my memories up until age 11 come from living in the apartment. It was a low rise; only 6 apartments in the L-shaped building, and situated on a corner lot. It was a small 2 bedroom unit, and Wee and I shared a room.
There was no yard to speak of. I remember the activity of choice was digging in the rock hard dirt out back. Gramma used to get mad at me a lot for losing all of her spoons out there. Wee and I weren't allowed to play anywhere but in the back yard, because Gramma was afraid we'd either get hit by a car or abducted (seriously!). I was quite content to play out back as long as my friends were with me, but they were allowed to venture around the building and when games like tag or hide and seek were being played I would lie and say I didn't want to play because I didn't want anyone to know I wasn't allowed out of the yard.
My favourite activity had to be building forts in the crawl spaces and cubbies in and around the building. We lived right across the street from a corner store and they had the biggest selection of penny candy ever!
When I turned 11 we moved to the outskirts of the city, and I've been here now for 30 years. That was an exciting time!
My own room!
Freedom! I had to take the bus to school and even though Gramma followed behind the bus in the car ... I was still on the bus by myself!
We moved to a small townhouse complex, complete with tennis court, swimming pool and playground. It was honestly the fanciest place I had ever seen. It was full of kids my age and I made friends quickly. My time was soon spent rollerblading, swimming, playing jumpsies and baseball. Just hanging out. I was the perfect age for the move and I took advantage of every opportunity I was presented with. Back then, there were still farms in the fields around the complex and one of my earliest memories about moving there was a huge barn fire one spring. The entire area now is of course of shopping plaza.
I've driven you all through the area many times over the years and shown you my house, my hangout, my friend's house etc. One day it will mean more to you then it did then or does even now.
One day, I'm sure you'll drive your kids around showing them where their Gramma grew up. Only then, when you're older and have kids of your own, will you appreciate my now-boring stories of my childhood.
And then you'll drive my grandchildren around to show them the area that YOU grew up in.
perceptions askew / leaving nothing but shadows / of obscured visions ♦ family visit / rekindled relationships / lost too long ago ♦ tear away façades / fr...