Old haunts

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” - Elizabeth Lawrence

Yesterday I paid a visit to my childhood dentist, Dr. Parker. I think I've written about him on here before, probably sometime last year. After my dental check up and two cavities later, Reuben and I decided to hang around Lakewood (it was considered Tacoma back when I lived there - Lakewood only became its own city after we left) a little longer. Since I haven't been there in who knows how long and because Reuben's never been, we decided to pay a visit to 7914 Sapphire Drive - the house where I lived the first seven years of my life.

It's funny how much I remember, and how much I don't. I remember living on a golf course, but I didn't know that our house was actually IN it- golf course all around.

Although I unmistakably knew it was my house, it had changed so much. The current owners had opted for blue trim instead of the pea green paint we had. Our climbing tree out front was taken down and a tiny one put in its place. Lame. No more ferns or flowers in the front yard. That plant that Dylan told me would talk back to me if I talked to it? Gone....I think.

They fenced in the backyard, where Dylan got bit by a goose one time, where we used to build snowmen and jump in great piles of leaves. We used to set up a lemonade stand and sell golf-balls that we found had haphazardly landed in our yard. This picture makes the place look so much manicured than I remember - it IS on a golf course after all and has to be tidy, but what I remember as a child is getting dirty in the sandbox, stepping on goose poop, and endlessly raking leaves (child labor?).

One side of the house is now empty, now landscaped with grass and a tacky trimmed tree. We used to have a sandbox which was constantly water-logged, a swing set, and a patch of strawberries that always disappointed me every year (by their very small size, as I now know are the best and most flavorful of them all). The other side of the house now has a shed. Before, this is where Kerry's pet turtle made its mysterious escape and where I remember finding a spiders egg sack (I still shudder when I think about all those baby spiders exploding out of there when I touched it).

I also remember the frogs. Just a short distance from our house was a small pond that was home to a population of frogs that made a great deal of racket. Dylan and I used to go there to catch tadpoles. I don't remember being on the golf course itself very much, but I DO remember wanting to ride those golf carts really bad.

The street, Sapphire Drive (the picture is the sign of the street perpendicular to ours) has memories as well. I remember the first time I was able to ride my bike without training wheels on my red banana seat Schwinn. Speaking of bikes, I remember (waaaay back, repressed memory!) when I rode in the carrier seat on the back of my mom's bike. Hahaha the thought of her on a bike now makes me laugh. I also remember once when Kerry and I were walking our dog, Sable and we came across another dog who tried to attack her. Kerry picked Sable up to protect her and I remember being so mad because I thought she should have protected me instead. I remember riding in the Volvo P1800 with Darcy and her swerving around on the road....dangerous teenage driver. I also recall walking to the next door neighbor's house and buying a present for my mom at their yardsale.

Coming back here and thinking back to my early childhood makes me recognize that most of what I remember came from my time spent outside. I do have vivid memories of watching the Little Mermaid, stepping on a sewing needle while wearing Strawberry Shortcake socks, and my bedroom closet which I swore something was going to jump out of while I was sleeping.

Oh, the days of childhood!

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