Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Memory Lane

I am currently previewing a book for the Book Club.
It is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.
While I am conflicted about whether or not this
is a good second book for the club, due to the
very graphic nature of the text, it is a very
well written and heart wrenching account of this
woman's early life.

This got me thinking about my childhood.
It was so sweet in comparison.

Our family has always been very close
and I did not have to worry about alcoholism,
rape, physical abuse or any of those things.

The closest I got to an alcoholic was a neighbor
man who would stop in to see "The Preacher", my Dad,
on his way home from the bar every now and then.
We learned from him that the abuse of alcohol is
a very ugly thing. It has never crossed my mind
to follow in those footsteps. It was always an
adventure when this man came to call.

My memories involve things like learning to swim
in Penn's Creek on hot summer days.

Sometimes if it was extremely hot
our whole family would pile into
the car with provisions for a picnic and drive up the
mountains to a park called Tall Timbers. The trees
were indeed very tall. The mountain stream was so
cold our feet and legs would sting. There was a
wall of rock that my brother always wanted to climb.
Idyllic. Truly.

Since my Dad was a Pastor, Monday was his day off.
He would spend many Mondays standing in Penn's Creek
as it flowed behind our home casting and recasting
his fly rod. He would bring home beautiful rainbow
trout which we would eagerly watch him clean.
I never learned to love the taste, however.

Every spring the wild strawberries would ripen up
in the woods behind our parsonage. I could not
wait to go out and fill a tiny bowl with these
tart treats.

All summer we were busy in the woods building
forts. I am not sure we ever finished one...

In the winter the little swamp between us and the
creek would freeze over. My brother and I would
head there with our skates and ice skate between the
catty-9-tails and elderberry bushes that stuck up.
It was a bit of a maze.

There was a large row of maple trees across the street.
Every fall the leaves would fall and my brother and I would
take our rakes and make paths through the fallen leaves.
We enjoyed running through these paths faster and faster
until we just could not do it any longer.

There were the skinned knees and lost layers of toes as
we had minor accidents on our bikes...we lived next to the
church and we would ride as fast as we could around and around it.
Occasionally the gravel along the edge of the road would slide under
our tires and down we would go.

I remember so many wonderful things about growing up in that
country environment in a home filled with love and support.
It makes me ever so grateful for the privilege I have been
blessed with.

As a Pastor's child there were positives and negatives...
of course...But as Garry and Ruth's child.
I was truly blessed!

Hmmm, maybe we should use this book for the club.

It certainly has made me reflective and grateful!

2 comments:

Bethany Hissong said...

It seems summertime is a good time for memories, isn't it? Thanks for visiting my blog show today!!! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

SweetAnnee said...

You were truly blessed a great young life..no matter what our life
brings..it makes us what we are..
Love ya
Deena