What are the earliest memories of the place you lived in as a child? Describe your house. What did it look like? How did it smell? What did it sound like? Was it quiet like a library, or full of the noise of life? Tell us all about it, in as much detail as you can recall.
As a child of the 70’s in a small town in Texas, no we didn’t have horses or ride to school in wagons, my greatest memories are of playing outside in my backyard. Our house was a modest house. My parents were both public school educators, so we had everything we needed. The house wasn’t extravagant, but our backyard was, at least in the eyes of an 8 year old. Before Atari, computers, and cable TV, the inside didn’t have much to offer. Oh, I could read. But why read inside when I could sit in a 50 year old cottonwood? The wind would blow through the trees as I read the likes of Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, or Judy Blume.
But the trees weren’t the only things that beckoned me to my backyard. We also had a jungle gym. No ordinary swing set, mind you, but a set that included monkey bars, a set of rings, a fireman’s pole, in addition to a swing. Our imaginations soared! In the summer, my neighborhood friends and I would have contests to see who could cross the monkey bars first, who could walk across them, who could jump the highest off of the swing. It’s a wonder none of us ever broke anything! We would hold a circus on Saturdays for anyone who wanted to come see our daring tricks, complete with my dog playing the role of a clown, costume included. Of course, only the youngest in the neighborhood were gullible enough to spend a quarter to watch us.
As we got older, my friends and I would leave my backyard for better things; the mall, movies, hanging out in the Jack in the Box parking lot. The monkey bars grew rusty and the rope swing frayed but the memories remain of the backyard of my childhood.