Friday, October 29, 2010

Memories

I love leaves! I love them in the spring when they're new and green. I love them all summer when they offer shade on a hot day. I especially love them in the fall when they turn yellow, orange, red, and brown. I love when they go dancing down the street in swirls, and make a satisfying crunch underfoot.

I love to rake leaves, too. We compost them behind our garage. A massive pile in the fall gets rained on and snowed on, and by spring, is just a little mound waiting to become useful garden soil.

When I was a child we had a big stone wall along the hill in the side yard, which extended into the neighbors yard as well. The wall was part of FDR's work program during the Depression, and we kids had more fun than you can imagine. It was built into a hill, and was wide, 12-15 inches across and ranging from about 5 feet high at the lowest point to maybe 10 feet high at the highest point. It had steps 6-8 feet apart, making it interesting for games of all sorts. In the summer we sat on it, dangling our legs over the side, and sometimes daringly jumping off. We walked along the edge, pretending we were circus performers on the tightrope.

The best fun of all was leaf raking season. We gathered all the leaves from the yard and made a big pile at the bottom of the wall. We leaped off - swoop - into the pile, then climbed back up and did it all over again. An afternoon of five or six kids doing that left the leaves in crumbs, and kids covered in leaves from head to toe. Great memories!

Sometimes we drive by that house and yard with so many of my childhood memories. The wall is still there, and we even got to go inside the house a few years ago. I hadn't been inside since our family moved in 1975. The community was having a garage sale, and the family who lived there participated. We went, and mentioned that I had grown up in that house. Well! The people who live there now could not have been nicer. They invited us inside and gave us a tour. They showed us the pantry door where my mom had recorded our heights as we grew up. They had refinished the door, but preserved those markings. Such kindness brought tears to my eyes.

6 comments:

The Gingerbread House said...

Ladydi, this post brought tear to my eyes and caused my heart to skip a couple of beats..how wonderful to be able to visit a childhood memory..and how awfully nice for the people to give you a tour where you grew up.
After a few years all things change, you had a special blessing to find somethings (like the measuring wall) still intact and saying "I was here"..Thanks for sharing , Ginny

anne from finland said...

Hi Diana, I wish to rake leaves in our garden just this weekend. All the snow is gone and so it is cool but just excellent weather for raking. Have a nice weekend!

Daisy said...

What a wonderful post, Diana. I enjoyed hearing your memories. And, wow, wasn't that nice that those people gave you a tour of your old home. What a thrill to see those measuring marks still there too! I hope you have a lovely weekend. :)

Suzanne said...

How lovely of the new owners keeping those height markers very thoughtful of them and so happy that you could go back to see them. Oh the memories. Makes me think about the 1st house Allan and I had we had this elderly neighbour who had the biggest oak tree and it dropped so many leaves on our lawn. Thinking about it now makes me smile at how happy the kids would be to see it.

Tine said...

what a great post! my parents are in the process of selling the house I grew up in, and I cannot imagine how it'll feel, when someone else is living there. it'll be strange...

Careysquirks said...

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