Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, January 9, 2017

in mind and memory

 The last few mornings I have been walking down memory lane. I admit it is a place I spend a lot of time these days. The reason is a simple one, it is a comforting place to be. I hear you should live in the moment and that is good advice but I do enjoy reliving the past. The strange part about it is that I constantly learn new things. The past isn't always what we remember it to have been. Do you know what I mean ? It does take having an open mind about it though. One thing I have learned over the years is to not be so sure of the past. Too many times I found I didn't have the whole picture, just a small piece of the puzzle. Then, in my mind I filled in the missing pieces. More than once it wasn't the picture it should have been. I guess what I'm trying to say is the past isn't written in stone after all, it is written in our minds and memory. Both of those things can be wrong.
Yesterday I learned I lived at number ten Hunting Road. That is what it says on the map today. When I lived there we didn't have a house number that I  was aware of. That old dirt road didn't even have a name ! At some point, I don't remember when, Mom told me the town said our road was Hunting Lane. Well, no matter, now it is Hunting Road according to Google maps. And Google is the final word, ain't it ? I last set foot on that road in 1993 following Dads' funeral. I've seen that road when it was dry and dusty and when it was covered in two feet of snow. Learned to ride a two wheeler on that road and to drive a car. It was and still is an old dirt road. Just up a bit from number Ten on the left hand side my dog is buried. Laddie boy lies under a massive old pine tree, a place he enjoyed on those warm summer days when we would run and play. He went under there to take his rest and shall forever be there.
 I began thinking about all of this when I saw the final piece of history offered for sale. I've since been told it has been sold. And so now all the homes on that dirt road have changed owners. The old neighborhood is gone. Truth is, that neighborhood has been gone a good while. It has taken 63 years for me to learn my house number ! What more did I miss ? One of my readers mentioned that she heard the sound of John Boys voice when reading some of my stories. I'll take that as a compliment.  
 Now John Boy lived on Walton's mountain. We always said we lived  "on the hill. " It is true that that dirt road does rise from the main road as it heads into the woods. At the far end of the road there are two hills. The first was a small one and directly behind that the " big " hill. That is what us kids called it. It was a marker. If you said, the big hill, it was immediately understood where you were. Seldom did we brave a sled on the big hill but the smaller one was well used. I expect those hills are still there. It would take quite a bit of excavation to change that landscape. Just before those hills there was a clearing. In that clearing wild blueberries grew in abundance. Picked many a pint from there.
 I guess in some ways I do think like John Boy, observing things as time goes by. I have always been one to notice the subtle things in life. It can sometimes be a curse as it can leave you feeling sad. When I was just a little guy I had an Uncle that called me the professor. I'm still not sure if it was because I wore glasses or a compliment. Being the youngest there was much that wasn't discussed in front of me. My brothers were four and six years older than me, bigger, stronger and for the most part not concerned with me. My sister is two years older. When we were small we played together but soon outgrew that. I spent a lot of time entertaining myself. I like to read and did a good bit of that. Wasn't much else to do in those woods. Spent a lot time thinking about stuff. I think if computers had been a thing I might have become a " geek. " Well maybe I was ! There were geeks back in the fifties and sixties but they weren't proud of it. " They say time changes all it pertains to, But your memory is stronger than time, I guess everything does change except what you choose to recall. " are a few lyrics from Merle Haggard that ring true to me. Time does change all it pertains to and memory is stronger than time. and the things you recall do not change much. You gain an understanding of them over time is all. History doesn't change, you do. I'll always remember that old dirt road and the neighborhood. Memories can't be sold, only shared.