Places I’ve Lived

3 Sep

I can’t even recall all the places I lived growing up. Too many places, too many short stays with relatives, too many different schools. See my father was in the military so we bounced around a lot. I mean A LOT.

Both my sisters and I were born in Germany but I don’t remember much about living there. We lived on a military base so it was a lot like just living in America. With the exception of school field trips being to the local grocery store to buy nuts and swimming pools being nudist swimming pools. Kinda weird right? School field trips to buy nuts, who does that?

The first place I actually remember living was Georgia. And I only really remember the flood. Waking up in the middle of the night to find the whole neighborhood outside watching the water rise up to the point of parked cars just drifting away. The only other thing I remember about Georgia was a little curly brown-haired boy about my age, nameless, faceless, just curly brown hair.

Now the first place I remember loving living was in California, I was in fourth grade. We lived in a little town about an hour southeast of San Francisco called **Patterson. We lived with my aunt and her family in a beautiful house that I plan on buying when I have the money one day. I remember that house as if I was there yesterday. The beautiful vaulted ceilings and sweeping staircase as you open the front door. The big kitchen leading out to the backyard where us kids spent most of our time. The trampoline we’d beg our parents to let us spend the night on, the rose bushes, the grape vines we’d eat from when our parents weren’t looking. But most of all I remember the swing set, with the little pebbles lining its floor. Those pebbles had a distinct smell to them, it was like dirt and ocean water mixed with sunshine on a hot day; it was the smell of my childhood. On the rare occasion when something smells like that, I go back to that backyard instantly in my mind, with the fondest of memories. Jumping off the roof, playing in the rain, smashing pumpkins, the Swhwan man, climbing the fence, running to school.

I also loved Louisiana. We lived in a few places and I loved everything about them. Maybe it was because I was at that age where your parents start to give you a little freedom. Me and my sister were finally allowed to walk to the shop-ette (this is what they call the gas station on military bases) to stock up on bubble gum and chips. There was also this fantastic wooded area behind the park that was behind our house. We’d spend hours in there with our friends just exploring and talking about building a fort, talking because the actuality of building a fort was more than any of us was up for. I have a lot of great memories and firsts from my time spent in Louisiana. Oh and on a side note I’d like to point out that their school lunches were the best! They even had little baggies of milk instead of cartons, yup bags of chocolate milk at lunch that you had to jab a straw into to drink!

This brings us to Long Island, New York. I like New York but would never choose to live there as an adult (as a child we lived there several times). The only real benefit to New York for me is the majority of my relatives and most of my 27 cousins live there. I do love the Atlantic Ocean though, so different from the Pacific. The Pacific Ocean reminds me of summer, beach volleyball, the sun, Santa Monica Pier and surfers. But the Atlantic ocean reminds me of the color grey, lighthouses, Montauk, and a winter day walking on the beach during a light snow. Snowing at the beach trumps the California sun everyday of the week, it’s like magic.

Even though I’m not one of those people who can say they have a “hometown” at all, if I had to sift through everywhere I’ve lived and give one place the “hometown” credit it would be Colorado Springs, Colorado. It’s the place where I attended the most consecutive years of school in one place, first real boyfriend, wrote and directed my first movie for a video production class (that I still have coincidently because I forgot to turn it in, I apologize to anyone else whose grade suffered from my lack of follow through), it’s where I learned that I only pretend to be tough, where “the beach” was a run-off from down the mountains that was filled with sand, endless nights of playing capture the flag till dark, Skate City with friends, and where I realized my older sister was my best friend.

I’ve left out a few places we lived and couldn’t even begin to go into detail on specific years or the order from place to place. This might sound strange to an outsider, because after all this is the life I’ve already lived, but the details and reasonings get blurred to a child who has no say in the matter anyway.

**Patterson. My husband and I are moving to Patterson at the end of this month. My aunt and her family still live there as well as my husband’s sister and her family. When we first started dating and he told me his sister lives in this same small California town it was definitely one of those it’s a small world moments.


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