Childhood Reminiscing

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3104 Jackie Court
I still have the address of my beloved childhood home memorized.
More than an address, it was a place where memories were created that I will always hold dear. And it was a place where I learned some of life’s greatest lessons.
Tiny frogs inhabited a large plant in our front yard. I remember catching them and feeling the warm trickle of frightened froggie pee in my hand.
I remember examining the leaves of this same bush for slimy snail trails. I loved to watch the snails ripple slowly along the leaves. I loved to poke softly at their little eyes and watch them immediately retract and pop out again a minute later.
Here, I learned about life, about how amazing each of God’s creations are.

I remember helping mom plant marigolds in our front yard. I loved the marigolds, they were beautiful, but I loved them even more for the vistors they brought.
Cabbage Butterflies, Monarchs and Tiger Swallowtails we’re regular visitors. My mom showed me how to catch them with a technique I called shadowing.
It took patience and stealth. A sudden shadow falling over the butterfly would scare them away. But a slowly moving shadow, like the shadow of a passing cloud would not disturb.
And so, in the hot, bright, California sun, I slowly moved toward the butterfly, letting my shadow gradually fall over them, crouching carefully down until I was within grasping range. With a quick motion of hand, I held a butterfly, by the very tip of closed wings in my fingers.
Whenever I caught a butterfly, mom would bring out the butterfly book and we would identify it. Then I would release it. I once, with my little 5 year old fingers, caught the smallest butterfly in North America according to that book.
One night, we had a severe dust storm. The morning sun light showed traces of it everywhere. Some branches and leaves strewn across the yard, our marigolds looking haggard. As I checked the damage, I hoped the butterflies would come back. And then I saw it, something on the pavement, gleaming in the sun. I walked over to what I thought was shattered glass. I realized I looked at shards of Swallowtail wing.

Here, I learned about death, how fragile life is, and how quickly life can be taken away from us

We had a neighbor, a woman in her 40′s and single. Her name was Norma and she was my friend. I think now of how kind she was to let a little 5 year old visit her on a regular basis, playing with her doll and doll house collection, and eating the candy out of the glass jar on her coffee table. I loved Norma.
The memories I have from my childhood home could span a novel. Maybe someday I’ll write one. But for now I’ll list other key remembrances.

Some favorite memories from my childhood home:
*Learning to ride a bike
*Hot pavement under bare feet
*Digging a hole in the backyard with my brother, filling it with hose water and then playing in it with our toy dinosaurs
* My mom’s tea cup and mug collection
*My neighbor friends Ashley and Mary Kay
* Playing on the Slip n’ Slide through the sprinklers on the front lawn

Some not so favorite memories from my childhood home:
*Getting splinter after splinter from the backyard fence and dad pulling them out with tweezers
*Getting my first bee sting
*Crashing my bike and getting a rock stuck in my knee

Good or bad, I cherish each memory I have from that wonderful magical place in which I grew up.