Sunday, June 22, 2008

5 places I've lived

Name 5 places you've lived. Be as specific or generic as you like.
List 5 memories associated with each of those places.
Tag 5 others. (I tag not; neither do I sleep.)

I got this from Frank whose life has been way more exciting than mine, who had a VW van in 1969 and a boat in New Orleans during Katrina. Frank got it from Colleen who had it from Places I Have Called Home, which had thirteen places, in England, Hong Kong, France. That's intimidating for me and my wimpy past. Keith has offered to move us to places, and would've had jobs, but I'm just too used to green chile enchiladas and having a large house that's not so expensive. So I feel guilty for sticking Keith to the ground. Oh wait! That wasn't the question.

The question was where have I lived and what do I remember.

Vesta Farley Road, Fort Worth Texas

1) Rolling the magnets that went with my piano-lessons music-learning magnet board down a hole after a big beetle. Couldn't figure out how to get them back out. Went to get my mom, then couldn't find the hole (we were on a couple of acres out in the country where other plots were defined but not many other houses were built). Driving downtown (rare; I remember going downtown only three times) to get more magnets, the store had just closed, and my dad got a ticket. I tried to explain to the policeman about the bug hole and my piano lesson. Somehow that wasn't helping.

2) Going from having an outhouse to a real indoors bathroom and being in the shower when my mom turned on the kitchen faucet and the water went all totally hot. That could NEVER happen in an outhouse, or in a bath in a washtub.

3) Pulling a four-drawer chest over on myself trying to get the remote control car off the top to show guests. It was a blue Ford convertible, and the hard top would go into the trunk. The remote (had a wire) had a little steering wheel on it.

4) A rain so big and so long that all the puddles had stuff growing in them. Tadpoles. Crawdads. Some kind of whippy water worms that looked like little snakes.

5) Moving halfway through the first grade to a brand new school within easy walking distance. W.M.Green Elementary. It had a community bombshelter under it! All spiff. We could choose a hamburger instead of the regular plate meal and we could choose chocolate milk instead of plain, and there were LIGHTS everywhere. Flat parts of the ceiling lit up! (Drop ceiling with flourescent lights, I knew later, but at first it was like modern magic.)

The Ranchero Motel, Española, New Mexico

I had written the memories and then I went to look for the photo. It has the swings, too!

1) My cousin Nada living with us and having her doll Pat. The doll's name was on the back of its neck. "Pat Pending." We didn't know until later... (That's Pat in the middle, in Nada's right arm. The other kid is my sister, Irene.)

2) Meeting Annette DeLay and her family.

3) Starting second grade at San Juan Pueblo, only wearing "thongs" (flip-flops) and getting goatheads all in them on the playground. Crying. (We were rezoned to Española Elementary early in the school year. I still cried a lot.)

4) Playing on the cool steel swingset at night on the lawn in the middle of the motel.

5) Watching the big boys climb up and rearrange the letters on the Starlighter Drive-in Theater sign while we waited for the school bus.

Lower San Pedro Road, Española, New Mexico

1) Starting to own my own books and records.

2) Getting my piano back, playing clarinet, learning to play guitar. I remember lots of music in that house—my mom singing and playing guitar and inviting musicians over after the bar closed a few times. I had my grandmothers big old former-Sunday-School upright there when I was a teen, and after reading that when the Santa Fe Opera house burned they went ahead with their show elsewhere, and put thumbtacks on the piano's hammers to simulate a harpsichord, that piano became a dedicated simulated harpsichord. (For a few years I really did have two pianos in one house.)

3) Riding my bike wherever I wanted to with the wind in my hair, and coasting down the long twisty dirt road (Petra Lane) between Upper and Lower San Pedro, straight to my yard.

4) Having a few boyfriends—some very nice guys I still remember fondly.

5) I remember feeling that life was long and good.

That was followed by seven years of college dorms, living temporarily with people, in little adobe houses, and in trailer houses, and another rambly adobe farmhouse from 1915 or so, somewhat like the one I had lived in for so long in San Pedro. (The neighborhoods have names, in the Española Valley. Few people actually live "in Española." I never did. Out of town we'd say so, but in town, only one small part west of the river, between Guachapungue and Hernandez, was Española proper.) I had two serious long relationships in that time, but neither involved a house of my own at all.

8116 Princess Jeanne NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1) The SCA was GREAT at and from this house in the late 70's and early 80's, and we had a long string of excellent SCA housemates. This was the house Keith's parents bought in the late 50's when they moved to New Mexico. They moved to Alamogordo when Keith was still very young (he was born in 1956). He was the last of the boys to go to the big city to college, and ended up buying the house from them.

2) We had babies! Three good ones.

3) We had worked on our yard gradually over the years and the kids could go barefooted out there and roll around and there were zero stickers or rocks, and the broken glass and all that renters before us and some of Keith's roommates (before I came along and spoiled a portion of the party) had thrown out there was long gone.

4) My memories of La Leche League and "The Goof Group" unschooling park-days play group involve that house.

5) We had some great neighbors (and some weird ones), and I'm still friends with Mo Palmer who lived just east of us.

Tahiti Court, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1) The kids finally had their own rooms after sharing one.

2) Finding out that the reason we weren't getting trick-or-treaters is that our house was "the nut house." Kids that age had been told their whole lives to stay away from this house. (It was a halfway house for schizophrenics and recovering drug addicts for nine years, and then empty for a year or more, then us.)

3) Watering the yard and discovering there were lots of long-neglected plants down there just waiting (ten years) for some water!!

4) Philosophy discussions and beautiful vigils by candlelight in the library.

5) Having enough room for people to come and stay and visit and laugh.

It's not in the category of a memory yet because it's still unfolding, but I'm sure that ten years from now if I'm asked for a list of five things, this house will be remembered as the place I watched my children grow into adulthood.


Frank said...

Cool, Sandra! Thanks for playing. That was an interesting one to do for me cuz it dredged up a lot of old scent memories which I hadn't thought of, in a coupla cases, for many decades.

You are truly a Southwest girl!

Sandy Feet said...

What are the goatheads that you got in your sandals??

This was wonderful reading.

Sandra Dodd said...

I had a goathead in my shoe just this morning. Poked right through. I thought of trying to photograph it but it wasn't a classic one. It wasn't Plato's one true goathead or anything. And they're small and my camera does distant better. But here's someone else's photo: but these are magnified. A goathead sticker is about a centimeter across on its best day, but can still work at half a centimeter or less. They have one primary sticker with a little stand to hold it upright, but they can stick in sideways, too.

I've had this page a while, and I forgot, late last season, to go and look for a BIG plant. One sticker/seed can create hundreds of stickers. Probably over a thousand, if conditions are good.

When people came out here for a Live and Learn Conference a couple of years ago, I forgot to mention goatheads. I didn't figure they'd be bad at the hotel. But some people went bicycling, and got flats.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Sandra, its so nice to see a meme unfolding on blogs here and there, yes, I lived in thirteen places in the UK, Hong Kong and France, but I love your part of the world. I love the photos too.
If only I could work out how to get some of my old photos up onto my blog.
I will be reading much more of your blog in the future, as I am just about to start homeschooling my two girls.
You have some fascinating stuff on here, thanks for your participation!

Lune x x x

Sandy Feet said...

Thanks for the goathead info. Very interesting. They sure look nasty! We have no such foot/bike hazards that I can think of around here in New England. But plenty of burrs and pricker bushes that catch on your clothes when one is off the beaten path.


Sandra Dodd said...

I wrote this comment in 2016, to go with the photo of the house on Lower San Pedro.

Found a photo of the front of my house. It doesn't look as pretty here as it did when the yard was green, and straight-on to the porch with THREE adobe arches (three windows and an entry). And the "windows" were places to sit, too. It was a great porch.

The sidewalk was built up about two feet, without a railing, with a pipe through so water could flow, because the property was a 2.5 acre orchard with irrigation and there was an apple tree past that sidewalk. 🙂

There's a photo of the house from the side in this post: