24 March 2005 @ 04:34 pm
kid memories  
I've been having a lot of memories come to me lately, of childhood stuff. Things I did, but also things I associate with childhood that aren't necessarily particular to it--like the smell of freshly-cut grass, which I could experience as an adult, but haven't much, because since I've been on my own I've lived in apartments, and not in suburbs where you find lawns.

What's great about being a kid, if you're lucky, is that good stuff doesn't have all sorts of cynical associations--you can enjoy the beach without worrying about pollution and the destruction of ocean life, hunt for Easter eggs without worrying if you're cheapening the meaning of the day, capture fireflies in a jar without wondering if you have sociopathic tendencies.

A partial childhood memory list:

making silty mud dams in gutters after a rain
the overripe pears littering the ground on the side of our Maine house
decorating real Easter eggs; Easter morning baskets; hunting for jellybeans and wrapped candy around the house
winter snowball fights and fort building
drawing turkeys using a tracing of my hand
making "stained-glass" designs with wax paper, crayon chips, and an iron
blazing trails through the bamboo-like brush of the nearby swamp
flattening pennies on railroad tracks
the smell of grilling meat at cookouts
playing tag and hide-and-seek
the evening hour just before dinner as dusk is setting, kids lingering outside around the neighborhood
helping my mother make lasagna
the smell of freshly cut grass; lying on the grass
picking yellow dandelions; blowing the puffy seed-heads apart
collecting gumballs from around the trees of my grandparents' lawn
catching frogs in the summer
watching fireflies come out and flicker at dusk
swimming in my grandparents' pool
the cool dimness and smell of my grandparents' garage
helping my father saw and nail planks of wood
feeding ducks
running up hills
making things with construction paper and glitter
buying penny candy
riding my bike around the neighborhood
going to buy school supplies at the beginning of the school year; notebooks, binders, rulers, pencil boxes, pens, erasers
making and exchanging Valentines
decorating the Christmas tree; stockings; Christmas morning
Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners
The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights
Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom
opening milkweed pods
cats having kittens
shooting hoops in the driveway
dreams of flying
raking leaves in the fall and jumping in the piles
going to the beach, body-surfing the little waves, playing in the wet sand, gathering shells, walking on hot dry sand, the salty smell
riding in speedboats
the smell of life preservers
climbing around the inlet rocks in my relatives' cottage place in Maine; picking seaweed; plucking up snails at low tide; watching the fish in tidal pools
starting fires in fireplaces in winter; watching the flames; sprinkling powder to make colored smoke
slumber parties
kneeling in the garden; smell of warm tomato vines and dirt; picking tomatoes and cucumbers
MELODY GLOUCESTER PEGASUSjolielaide on March 25th, 2005 12:45 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful list. I often find myself trying to recapture or somehow get at the way the hot grass felt under my bare feet in the summertime, or the way the mud smelled after a big Louisiana afternoon thunderstorm. I mean, I've certainly experienced hot grass and smelly mud as an adult, but it never quite seems the same.
Anna S.: seattleeliade on March 25th, 2005 12:49 am (UTC)
Thunderstorms! I should have had that on my list. The crack of lightning and roll of thunder--love that. Seattle almost never has thunderstorms. That is sad. On the other hand, now for me it'd be all the more painful to have a power outage--no computer. :)

Kreskres on March 25th, 2005 01:00 am (UTC)
dreams of flying

Oh yes. Do they always die out when you are older? It seems they do.

Dark, dark, heavy blue sky during a storm, the smell of rain, the shhhhhhhhhhh sound of it on the grass.

Thank you for this list. It is inspiring.
Trepkostrepkos on March 25th, 2005 01:10 am (UTC)
"helping my father saw and nail planks of wood"

Isn't the smell of sawn wood great? My Grandad was a carpenter, so I always had plenty of sawdust and wood to play with!
Barb: metarahirah on March 25th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
You make me happ. :)

Adds: building a vast primeval swamp under the citrus trees with a garden hose, for my plastic dinosaurs.
10zlaine on March 25th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
A few years ago I tried to start a paper journal with just my memories, beginning with my earliest. I should pick it up and start adding.

Love the list.

My favorite dairy bar just opened for the season. It's not the same dairy bar of your memories, obviously, but maybe I'll go get the best cheeseburger/onion rings evah with a shake just to toast memories and stuff!

Seems a good excuse...
Sarapanisdead on March 25th, 2005 03:04 am (UTC)
I loved "Wild Kingdom" so much.

A memory I didn't know I had until the smell of cut grass, pressed close to my face, dragged it back to the surface: keeping grasshoppers in a jar with holes in the top. It must have been in elementary school science class, although I'm not sure what the lesson would have been...I just remember staring at my grasshopper, clinging to his blade of grass as he munched his way down.
Kittykittygoslingp on March 25th, 2005 04:17 am (UTC)
Up, up and away on my beautiful moped
I dreamt of flying just this weekend on a sort of moped type thing which was a prototype and everyone was after. I had an amazing flight over the sea at sundown and a sort of acquatic Hong Kong scene. It was so wonderful (I mean I can remember being charmed and delighted in my dream) that I wasn't even worried about the bad guys chasing me just sad when the moped thing ran out of charge and wondering, because it was a test model, would it charge up again or had it only one flight in it.
kaydee23kaydee23 on March 25th, 2005 04:54 am (UTC)
What about spinning and spinning in the yard until you got dizzy and fell down? Also, I remember:

Freeze tag
Hide and go seek
making chocolate chip cookies with my mother
Dancing to American Bandstand
The Monkees
Climbing trees
jumping off the roof of the shed onto the haystacks
swimming (wading) in the bar ditch
watching Bonanza
listening to my mother call me in over and over and over for supper, until I *finally* had to go inside on summer nights
crying over Lassie
writing my initials with those *sparklers* on the 4th of July
pulling peaches right off the tree in our yard and eating them as the juice ran all over my chin and hands and arms
getting caught reading with flashlight under the covers
and so many more :)

Thanks, this was fun!
Pamgoosegirl9 on March 25th, 2005 07:26 pm (UTC)
Ah. That was lovely, and brought back so many memories.

I'll add planting corn, three to a hill.

Sitting on the porch, watching the sheet lightning light up the sky.

Walking in the rain, wearing a poncho. The beautiful green light before it rains.