Category Archives: childhood

Remembering 2nd Grade

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I am not sure what made me think about this particular childhood memory. It made me smile to think about it. It was when I was back in 2nd grade. It was the best time I have ever spent in all my years in school. Because of the teacher I had. Mr Perlish. He made learning fun.

He would take pictures of those of us in the class. Not just in the classroom, he would take pictures of us outside playing or on field trips. Even when we were all in the auditorium. It wasn’t til many years later, we would see why he took the pictures. 

The pictures that he took, he saved to give to us when we were older. What he did was he made the pictures into postcards and would send them to us on our birthdays. He would wish us a happy birthday and would let us know how he was doing. I think from 2nd grade until I was in high school, I received a picture postcard every year of when I was his student, of things we did back then. I still have some of them. I saved as many as I could. 

It’s funny how some memories stay with you and are so vivid, that you remember how a room looked or what activity you were doing. There was one day where we had all the desk and chairs back against the wall all around the room. So we had a big open space to spread out this big sheet of brown paper. Then had all the colors of paints and brushes for us to paint. We all picked which part of the paper we wanted to paint on. Once we chose the colors we wanted, we all went on to paint. I don’t remember what others painted, but I remember I painted a flower. I think it was a daisy. I didn’t know how to paint anything else. When we were all done, and all the paint had dried, he hung it outside the classroom in the hallway for everyone to see when they walked by the room. We were all so proud of our work.

Not sure how this was exactly, but I remember having index cards with words that I needed to learn how to spell. Each day, if we were able to spell the word correctly, it would be crossed off and then it was on to the next word. There were ten words on the card. If you misspelled the word that day, you would be given another chance to spell it, if you still misspelled it, you would have the next day to try again. You wouldn’t move on until you spelled it correctly. He wasn’t mean about it or made you feel bad. He would suggest different ways of learning how to spell it. 

Recess we would play on the swings and run around as kids do. There was a sandbox, but I didn’t really play in it that much, because I didn’t like getting the sand in my shoes. On rainy days, we spent recess in the classroom drawing pictures or just messing around. Everyone got along, no one got out of control. We all liked our teacher, so we all wanted to be there so see what fun thing we would learn that day. 

Most of us didn’t pack a lunch, there were a few that did, but most of us got our lunch at school. I don’t remember a lot of what they had for lunches, it was the usual for school lunches. What I do remember is when I had a Mr Goodbar candy bar. Everytime after that, I made sure that I had the change to get one when we went to lunch. When I have one now, it takes me back to this time. I even remember how the cafeteria was layed out. 

I know this is short, I just wanted to share a childhood memory that made me smile. I hope this helps to take you back to a time in your childhood that makes you smile. 

Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Happy reading!

Memories of Oak Orchard(part 2)

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One year, we had my uncle, aunt, cousin, my uncle’s friend and his wife came with us for a week. Also, my other uncle and aunt, and my five cousins were there too. Everyone had their own place and we would meet up on the pier to catch crabs. After lunch, all the cousins and my brothers and sister and I, would walk down the street and buy candy.  We would try to save it for as long as we could, but after a day or so, we would have to walk back up to the store to get more candy. It wasn’t a busy street, we didn’t worry about traffic. 

This one memory of my uncle and his friend sitting at the end of the pier one night. Trying to fish by flashlight. You would have to have known my uncle to understand that this was a cool idea. He could convince an Eskimo to sell ice water. Anyway, It was dark and us being us, we wanted to have a little fun with them while they were trying to fish with the flashlight. 

We went back to our cottages and got a few boxes of Whoppers, and then went back out to the end of the pier. They didn’t hear us come back out behind them, my uncle was so focused on seeing if a fish was on the line. Then we started throwing the Whoppers one at a time over their heads into the water. My uncle would shoot the flashlight to where he thought he saw a fish jump out of the water. We would wait a few minutes and then do it again in a different spot. Then we would throw one over and then another one right after that, having him think that there were two fish at the same time. They realized it was us when we couldn’t hold back laughing so hard we had to sit down on the pier so we didn’t fall off the pier into the water.  They didn’t sit out on the end of the pier after that. 

I don’t remember if we used the squid we had sitting on the pier for the crab baskets, but I remember it was there. Because a few of us stepped on it. And we did that gross funky dance when you step on something disgusting and you feel that you can’t get it off the bottom of your foot. Makes me shiver just thinking about it. 

Did you know that you can catch a flounder in a crab basket? Neither did I until it actually happened. As I was pulling the string up from the crab basket, I could feel something moving around in the basket, I just thought I had caught two crabs. NOPE. I held up the basket and just kept yelling, “I caught a fish!! I caught a fish!!” Everyone came over and saw it was a flounder. We got a separate bucket and filled it with some water and put the fish in it to take back to the cottage later. We weren’t done crabbing for the day.  Back then, I didn’t like fish, so someone else ate the fish. That was the only time I got a fish in the crab basket. 

One memory I have that still makes me chuckle to this day, is the wooden screen door that we would let slam as we would run out the door to go out to the pier. We would open that door wide, and we would be half way around the front of the cottage, and then you would hear SLAM!! I can’t tell you how many times we were told not to slam the door. Would never fail to happen. 

Happy Reading!

 

Memories of Oak Orchard

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When I was a kid, every summer we went to our favorite place in Delaware. Some people would not consider this place a hot vacation spot. But we loved it. We would look forward to going every year. It was a place called Oak Orchard (we would pronounce it as O-Gorchurd).  There were no telephones in the house that we stayed in, no television. It was a time where families spent time doing things together.  Slept with the windows open to get the cool breeze at night. 

The sun would just be coming up, and my two older brothers and younger sister would wake up and throw on some shorts and shirt or put on our bathing suits and sneakers (these were important to wear while in the water, I will explain later). There was a wrap around porch at the house we stayed in. Right outside the kitchen we had two or three crab baskets that we used to catch the crabs. Bait was raw chicken. Which was kept in the fridge. We would grab a basket and some chicken, making sure the chicken was tied to the basket so the crabs couldn’t run off with it. Then we would tie a rope long enough that we could tie it to the pier and drop the basket in the water. Once we picked a spot at the end of the pier, we would sit next to it. Every few minutes, we would pull the line up inch by inch, checking to see if a crab was inside the basket. When we could see a crab in it, we would pull the rope up quickly, trapping the crab. Then we would yell, “I got one!” After a while, we mastered how to just open one side of the basket to dump the crab in the bucket we kept to collect the crabs we caught. Most days we would spend all day out on the pier catching crabs. We would stop when the sun was setting. Sometimes, we would just set the baskets open on the pier and come back for them the next day. Since we were there only ones there, we didn’t worry about anyone using them.

When we would get hungry, we would take a break and go in and get something to eat. Then back outside. Majority of our time was spent on the pier or on the little patch of beach when the tide didn’t come in. Here is where the sneakers come in.  The bottom of the ocean was so dirty and muddy, sneakers were required. Otherwise you would get stuck or cut yourself on whatever was underwater that you couldn’t see. 

We invented a game to play while playing out in the water. It was called, Who Flung Poo. How it worked was, you would reach down underwater and grab a handful of the mud and throw it at whoever you wanted to. As you threw it, you would yell out, “who flung poo”, and it would hit that person unless they ducked under water or swam away. Majority of the time it was a direct hit. By the time we were done playing that, we stunk and had to get showered before sitting down to dinner. There was a bathroom with a shower by the back door near the kitchen.  My mom got us a change of clothes because we were too dirty to go upstairs for a change of clothes. 

Dinner, you guessed it, was the crabs that we caught that day. It was so good, mom would fill the tray with crabs and everyone ate as many as they could eat. Then once we were all full, we would go play card games or board games. Then off to bed to rest up for another day of crabbing

A few days before we were to leave to go home, we would all pile into the car and head to the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ. That was fun. It was where we would go to the arcades and buy souvenirs. Mom would buy fudge and salt water taffy.  The boardwalk was a perfect ending to a really fun vacation. 

It was the best vacation our family ever went on. We all have great memories of our time there. I am sure I will be posting other stories of my time there again. It was good to remember this. Happy ready!

 

The Oak Tree

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When Molly was younger, her family lived on a street that had a polo field for everyone that lived on the street. It had two small baseball diamonds, a soccer field, down the hill there was the playground. With a basketball court in between a swing set on either side, two metal slides next to each swing set, and then a teeter totter. Molly and her friends would play out there until it got so dark you couldn’t see in front of you. Or til your mother called you in for the night. 

Sometimes on the weekends, there would be a baseball game or a soccer game happening. Molly and her friends would sit on the bleachers behind the fence behind the one baseball field. They wouldn’t watch the whole game since they didn’t know anyone on either team. Just watch a few pitches and then go down to the swings or if the basketball court was empty, Molly and her friends would play jacks. There was always something to do at the polo field. And plenty of kids to play with. 

There was this big thick oak tree that sat on the one side of the swing set closest to the row houses that Molly lived in. The tree acted as a starting point for tag or hide and go seek. It was for when friends were coming over and agreed to meet at the oak tree. A green bench sat on one site of the tree, but hardly anyone sat there. All the kids were too busy playing to sit there. 

When it was winter, the kids in the area would bring a big box and flatten it, so they could slide down the big hill. They would go so fast, they would make it to the one swing set to the right of the basketball court. One time, Molly was sliding down the hill on a box and she wiped out and rolled down the bottom of the hill, she was covered in snow. Instead of stopping and going home to put on warm clothes, she stayed outside and her pants froze and she had a hard time walking back to the house. When she did make it home, she took her pants off in the back room off the kitchen. They stood on their own because they were so frozen. Her mom had to wait for the to thaw out before she put them in the washer. 

As the years went by, Molly and her friends still spent time on the polo field, but not as they got older. The girls would have slumber parties and go to the mall or go out to lunch. Though Molly would go out and spend time on the bench under the oak tree and write in her diary. She wrote about the time of her first kiss with a neighborhood boy that lived around the corner. They never dated because his mother was very strict and didn’t allow him to spend time with girls. Her friends set up a secret place for them to have their first kiss. It was in an ally way between two stores right by the main street in town. It was just a quick peck on the lips, but Molly was happy because she had a crush on him. A year after that, his family moved away. She knew they were never going to date, so she just happy her first kiss was with him. Then a few years later,  Molly and her family moved away. Life was moving on. But she knew someday, she would return to visit, because a few of her friends still lived here. 

One weekend after Molly moved away, her friend had a slumber party. It was in the summer and they carried old peanut butter jars with tiny holes in the lid and picked some grass and put it in the jar. It was a contest to see who could catch the most lightening bugs. No one really caught all that many because they were too busy talking to each other about boys. Laughing and giggling too much to notice lightening bugs flying around them. When they lost interest with that, they came inside and made bowls of popcorn and grabbed some soda and sat on the floor in a circle on their sleeping bags and continued to talk about boys. About once a month, they took turns at the places to hold the slumber parties. 

When they got to be teenager, they spent less and less time together. Some had boyfriends and lost touch, others started working jobs. They tried hard to stay in touch, but everyone’s interests changed and little by little it was time to find new friends with the same interests. It took her a while, but Molly has a great new circle of friends. 

Molly recently went back to the old neighborhood. She parked her car on the same street that she used to live on. Standing at her car for a few moments, looking out onto the polo field, it was different. That feeling of being home wasn’t there. Like she didn’t belong there. She saw that the oak tree was still there, and the bench. She walked over to the bench and sat under the tree. And just sat in the quiet that surrounded her. She smiled because she felt the comfort of sitting with an old friend. The tree has always been there. It could always be counted on like a friend. The tree and her have had some good talks when she was younger. She came to rely on the tree when she didn’t feel that she had anyone to turn to. Molly wouldn’t talk out loud to the tree, just sit and silently talk with the tree, having a feeling that the tree knew what she was saying without saying anything at all. 

The oak tree helped her get through some pretty tough times. Sometimes it takes someone you don’t know to help you through something. Could be an object, a tree, the ocean. Whatever gets you though, that is all that matters.