Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mem-o-ries from the Street Where I Lived!

This past Thursday, driving home from an appointment in Sandy, I drove past a street bearing the name Crocus Street.

When living in Germany, many, many years ago, I lived on a street named Crocus Way (Weg). As I continued my drive through Sandy, bound for the interstate, I began to rehearse in my mind all the names of the streets I've lived on...

Ross Drive - a perfect street to grow-up on! With the big island right out our front door and the middle path right next to our yard, we had it made moving about the neighborhood. The Arc Light, as we called it (street light) was right across the street at the base of the big island. If we were out playing, we knew we had to be home when the arc light came on. Dad would whistle for us when it was time to eat, or Mom wanted us home earlier than the arc light would dictate. We almost always heard his whistle.

At one point, there were three policeman living on our street. We did have a 'stalker' which caused us scary times but otherwise, life was great.

I learned to ride my bike, without training wheels, before my older sisters, I might add, on Ross Drive. Jane and Charmalee were arguing about taking turns with our only bicycle and so Mom sent them inside, to their room for time out. Gloriously, I was able to stay outside, just the bike and I, where I mastered the art of bicycle balancing! That's how I remember it and I'm sticking to my story!

Grandpa Long, also lived on our street, a widower who always had a sucker for us when we'd knock upon his door.

Party lines were the norm in those days. We shared a line with Mrs. Spickers, a beloved Primary teacher of mine... when Primary Days were during the week.

It seemed like I never had a penny for our Primary Children's Hospital bank... a model of the original hospital with an opening in the chimney where we could drop a penny or two during opening exercises each week.

The front door in our house on Ross Drive didn't lock. One evening, my parents were out on a date. Corey Jenkins was our babysitter that evening (boy babysitters seemed so much more fun, they would actually play with us). Anyhoo, I always worried that the front door didn't lock and on this particular evening we were playing a board game, in the living room, in front of the front door. Suddenly, someone knocked on the door which sacred me to death. Corey answered the door to two strangers, a man and woman. The man was wearing a hat, much like our aforementioned stalker, and they both had glasses with tinted lenses, but not as dark as sunglasses. It was dark outside, we didn't know who they were and so Corey didn't invite them in.

The next morning, I came upstairs and who do you think were sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast? That man and woman! I thought my parents must be daft. Turns out it was my Mom's Aunt Mary and Uncle Arlee Robbins, from Salem, Oregon!

Uncle Arlee worked at a paper mill and kindly brought us about 5 reams of paper, all different colors! I sure was glad my Mom let them come inside.

2050 West - street numbers are so, boring. We moved to this house the summer between my 7th and 8th year of school. This house was on a corner and it was my responsibility to do the yard work during the summer. We had so much grass, mowing was a torture. It was easy to get up on the roof and I remember a few times sunbathing up there.

We hosted some pretty fun parties at our home on 2050 West. Mom always prepared the most yummy treats and she and Dad would join the fun, playing games and mingling with our friends. Our parties were some of the few that didn't garner a visit from the police. Must have been our fun parents, eh!

My parents also hosted a garden reception in our beautiful backyard for my sister Charmalee and her groom, Reid.

Even though their wedding and reception were in late June, Dad insisted Charmalee have a back-up location and list it on the invitations... In case of inclement weather, the reception will be held at...

Lucky for her, inclement weather held off until later that evening while we were cleaning up.

Thelma Drive - a street without fences and many, many pools. Mom would build a fire in the fireplace even in the summer months. She loved fires! Some days we could smell the bitter aroma of a bad batch of Post cereal, many miles away. We'd often say "Someone must have burned the Cocoa Puffs."

Walkmuhl Strasse - a beautiful Afghan dog lived on this quiet street and there was a cigarette vending machine on the corner, across the street! We roasted a pig on our next door neighbors patio for my birthday one year. The sight almost caused an accident on this otherwise quiet strasse.

Krokus Weg - another quiet street where we experienced an ice storm on winter day. Even after all these years I can still see, in my mind, the face of a cute little German lady with a fearful but ironic smile on her face as she slid into our car. It was barely a tap and we both went about our cold day, driving ever so carefully.

Earl's Court Gardens - My living accommodations were dormitory style with bathtubs, no showers and the water heaters were only turned on for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evenings. It was virtually impossible for all of us to bathe each day... too many girls. I washed my hair in cool water on more than one occasion. Did I mention how much I loath baths.

Pooper scoopers, or responsible dog owners were in very short supply in London. Dodging dog droppings really kept me on my toes when I'd walk to the bus station. Going in the opposite direction, when I'd take the Tube, the sidewalks weren't as 'littered'.

Each Sunday morning, while walking to church, I'd go out the door, turning right, head to the corner, turn right again, walk a short distance to the next corner and turn left. As I walked down that street, I'd slow my pace and look at the town homes, imagining how wealthy the tenants must be living inside. Clean sidewalks, groomed gardens leading up to the doors and crystal chandeliers in the entryway (visible from the clerestory windows).

The spring/summer we returned to the USA was the same year Lady Diana married Prince Charles. Through all of the press coverage I learned that she was one of the tenants, living in one of the town homes, on the street I'd slowly walk along, on my way to church!

200 North - where my sister Jane opened her home to me. I didn't want to return to Thelma Drive, with my parents, so Jane let me dwell with her, and her family. Jane's daughter Jennifer, was about 5 years old then. One day, she and her friend, Laurie, came downstairs with a feminine pad and asked me what it was for. I said she should ask her Mom and Jenny replied, "She told us to ask you." Ha! What a nice sister. :)

These are just a few of the streets I've lived on. In the future, I'll add more streets, and most likely more memories from the ones already listed.

What streets have you lived on?


Marguerite said...

OH MY GOSH!!!! How ironic, we have lived on many of the same streets. WOW, what a coincindence. It would be great if in future posts, you could include the state or country in which these streets are located.

Melinda said...

I love your writing style :)