Last week one of my favourite bloggers John James over at The stuff that comes out of my head… wrote an insightful and interesting post about the street he grew up on. As you may know I love to reminisce the past and look back in the rear view mirror every once in a while and this post prompted me to do so.
Unfortunately though, I ended up rambling along in the comments of the John’s blog prompting him to ask if we should do a blog-hop on the topic. Of course I said yes! So here I am.
Unlike John I didn’t grow up on just one street. I was often envious of others growing up in the one house, creating long-lasting memories an attachment to place. Now I’m older though, I realise my memories of many different ‘streets and houses’ are not any less important or meaningful, they are just different.
I was born on a dairy farm, well not literally, but that was my first home. I don’t really remember much of it apart from photos I’ve seen and stories my Dad tells me. Stories of his favourite dairy cow ‘Sweetheart’ that I used to love, and how he would let me at the tender age of two steer the tractor on his lap. I have vague memories of the sunlight and the smells, but wonder if they are real or induced by the stories and photos.
From here we moved to another farm, but more a hobby farm. It was only a few acres and the house was designed by Mum and Dad. I remember living in a caravan on the property for a few months as the house was finished. I remember hiding on my top bunk of the caravan peering out into the annex where the old TV was and watching The Incredible Hulk, hiding beneath the covers when he turned green and mean. I also remember having a pet turtle in a bath tub, but don’t recall what happened to him/her!
I have quite a few memories from living there. The old Cocky ‘Sam’ that Mum saved from a neighbour who had him cooped up in a small bird cage. Dad built a large extension onto the chook pen for Sam and he seemed to love being able to spread his wings. I remember the old rusty swing set that I used to spend hours on. I’m sure the monotonous creak as I swang back and forth must have driven Mum crazy. I remember leaving for my first day of school and being terribly nervous, just wanting to be back at home playing with the tadpoles in the front pond. (Which was more of a hole in the ground than a formally built pond).
From here our biggest move was when I was about 7 and we moved states from NSW to Victoria. We stayed for a while in a rental property and then my parents bought a ‘country pub’. Yep, we were publicans. It was a small country town in a blossoming wine region with winter snow traffic. I loved living here.
I used to love hanging out in the bar with the ‘locals’, pinching cherry ripes from behind the bar, helping Dad restock the cool room, and heading down into the cellar with the musty smell of stale beer. Rumour has it Ned Kelly used to hide in the cellar and use it as an escape path when the police were chasing him. The cellar used to be joined to another building across the narrow road and he’d evade them every time. Or so the old tale goes. I’m sure a few beers were consumed as the story became a tale over years and years.
I remember Dad letting me play the computer games (you know the ones at the table that you sit at a player each side – games like Frogger and Popeye. He’d open the top and flick the credit switch to give me free credits. I also used to use the hotel ‘lounge’ area on Sunday’s (no Sunday trading back then) and Dad would give me free credits on the juke box so I could sing and dance all afternoon.
When I was about 11 the time came for us to move on, I remember being quite sad about it. And even though I can go back and see the pub now, it has been renovated and has lost its country pub charm and the walls don’t hold the same memories for me. They remain though in my head and my heart.
From there we moved to another farm, then a couple of miscellaneous houses. And then into ‘town’ (or the major regional town in the area) where I lived across from my best friend for three years from the age of about 11-14. They were the best years.
Living across from your best school friend was pretty awesome. We had so many good times, a few bad ones, but times that shaped who I am today. And times that concreted a life long friendship. We got up to a lot of mischief and fun, but my favourite memory was simply just walking around to the corner store to buy 50 cents worth of chocolate mates or fizzy sours.
From there we moved out of town. I think I kicked and screamed as a 14 year old when I was told we were moving. Not my proudest moment. Then mum died and we moved back into town, where I’ve stayed (again in about nine different houses) since then.
I think moving in in my blood. I see myself getting itchy feet after a few years in the one house, but I also have kids to think about now. Part of me would love them to have an attachment to a home that they grew up in, rather than scattered memories of many houses. But, as I said earlier, it’s no better or worse either way. Just different.
Now for the blog-hop! I’m tagging the follow two lovely ladies to share their thoughts on ‘the street where you live’.
Feel free to join in yourself and blog about your street where you grew up and pop back to post the link in the comments below!
What are some of your memories of the street/s you grew up on?