Wednesday, May 1, 2013

You Can't Go Home Again, But You Can Walk Through The Neighborhood

This is the street where I grew up in Pleasant Hill, CA. 

Although the house where I lived has been remodeled, it's still there and it looks better than ever. Some things have changed but enough of the area has stayed the same to give me the comfort of familiarity. 

There are a few 300 year old oaks that still reach up to the sky. As a kid I knew every smooth branch in the the buckeye trees. Which ones were strong enough to bounce on, which tree had branches spaced like a spiral ladder leading to a good spot to eat lunch. Which ones could be wrapped with an old canvas to form a tent. 

I've been spending a lot of time in the old neighborhood lately--my parents still live there and they have been getting more visits from all us "kids" more often. This makes them and their dog very happy as my visits usually include a walk up the hill with him. 

I used to walk to high school this way every day. It was where I took my first photo for my photography class. (Thanks Mr. Odegard!)

It was where I shared secrets with my best friend as we walked along (while smoking our first cigarette!), and made plans to live in the hills like Indians.  I didn't get that bow and arrow set for Christmas, so that plan sort of fell through. 

My family lived near the Contra Costa Canal system. We had the use of well water for our yard, although we had to take, what seemed like a long hike as a kid, up the hill to manually divert the water on and off.  It was always my dad and I that went together to handle the task at this now bolted-down cover. 

The wild flowers from the generation of seeds of my youth still grow in the hard and dry adobe soil. They remind me that I am only a witness to their blooms. That my life is limited; they will still (hopefully) be here after I'm gone, giving comfort to the next generation. 

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  1. Well, you know how I feel about this post of memories. I remember this place too. Maybe a block or two away from you... but I do remember the creeks and roads of our childhood and the little one off of Lucille that was always so "country" and private.
    Thanks for the memories. We were so lucky to grow up there.

  2. very pleasant strolling through your neighborhood haunt with you!