This little excursion via Facebook reminded me that I did a real-life trip down memory lane earlier this summer with Annie. We went to Richmond to check out the Chocolate Trail. While we were there, I took the time to show Annie some of the places I remembered from my childhood.
Places like the house I lived in, which smelled like incense when we first moved in. (An Indian family had lived there before us). It had an opening next to the fireplace through which you could crawl from the sunken living room into the kitchen.
I got my first kiss in that house. I was in the 3rd grade, wearing my pajamas. Danny Wissel had come over to our house with his mom. He kissed me on the cheek and I was in luv. (Note to self: Look for Danny Wissel on Facebook.)
We drove past the really cool dome house just down the street from ours. Except its not so really cool anymore:
I told Annie about the time my friend Paige and I went from her house to mine, walking across freshly laid asphalt in our bare feet. I still remember sitting on the edge of the bathtub, eating popsicles while my mom scrubbed out feet with lighter fluid.
Annie almost didn't believe me when I told her about the day I walked two blocks away in search of the ice cream truck. I bought 4 cones with my own money as a surprise for my mom, sister and brother. But I couldn't carry them all, so I happily accepted the ice cream truck driver's offer to drive me home. I climbed aboard the truck anticipating how surprised and happy my mom would be at my generosity. That was not exactly her reaction.
I remember Valerie Duffy's older sisters crying and carrying on because some guy named Elvis died. I didn't get it.
Then Annie and I drove through town and found ourselves in front of St. Mary's, where we went to school. There used to be a metal jungle gym in the right-hand corner of the lot, next to the windows.
My teachers while I was in school there were Sister Julia, Sister Shirley and Miss Barth. Sister Julia had a plastic apple filled with peanuts. If you got the right stamp on your paper, you could go pick one or two peanuts out of the apple as a treat. No allergies to deal with then, I suppose. One day during indoor recess, someone broke Sister's plastic apple. It was replaced by a red and black plaid lunchbox. The neatest thing about Sister Julia was that she could eat anything because her taste buds had been destroyed in a car accident.
I was happy to find that the church was open. This is the church where I received my First Communion -- two weeks early because my baby sister was due on First Communion Day. It's the church where Fr. Van Benton scared the daylights out of us when he came out of the confessional and yelled at us in his deep and booming voice because not everyone had the Act of Contrition memorized. It's also the church where my dad and I would go to evening Mass twice a week when he was out of a job.
We moved from Richmond at the end of 3rd grade. I wonder how my life would have been different if we stayed there? No regrets. Just wondering.