A Trip Down Memory Lane to Home, Sweet Home:
Last Sunday, on our way home from Corvallis, we drove through Sweet Home.
I lived in Sweet Home when I was 4 and 5. I went to kindergarten there, at Oak Heights school. We lived in a house that was converted into a duplex, and my little friend next door was named Terri. My friend Monty lived with his parents and 4 brothers in the house next to us. I was living in Sweet Home when President Kennedy was shot. I remember that day very well, because when I got home from school, my Mom was watching the black and white t.v. and she was crying. It may have been the first time that I saw her cry ... she's very good about holding it all in. I felt a sense of doom, and, of course there was good reason for that.
My dad was the manager at the grocery store. My mom was a R.N. at the hospital in Lebanon. We weren't that far away from Harrisburg and Junction City, so Uncle Red, Aunt Vete, Shelly and Terry ... as well as Grandma and Grandpa Johnson and Grandma and Grandpa T. came to visit often. I had a world globe, that I was very proud of. One time Uncle Red brought his wild brother Tom with him, and Tom broke my globe. I felt pretty bad about that one.
I learned to ride my bike at this house. I ran through the sprinkler in the summer with my brother wearing only my underpants. The older kids (probably 2nd or 3rd graders) made fun of me, and made me feel bad and ashamed because I didn't have a top on. Never again did I go outside without my top!
The neighbor's dog, Sadie, died when somebody threw poisoned meat over the fence and she ate it.
I lived in that house during the big flood. My dad's store was flooded, but we lived up high enough not to have our little house effected. There were old, unused railroad tracks behind the house that we used to explore.
I went to a sleepover at Monty's in the backyard when they had their tent up. I got up very early and went home because I was a little spooked. When the boys woke up they came over and made sure I was okay. They were nice boys.
Monty showed up later at my high school and we really never connected again. I was nice to him, but I didn't hang out with him; and I didn't tell that many people that he was my best friend when I was 5. I feel bad about that now, but we are now FB friends.
Here is a picture of my dad with a reverse mohawk, my little brother, my baby sister Angie and me, sitting on our porch:
|Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews|
This is what the house looked like on Sunday. It doesn't really look that different, does it? Too bad all those cars are blocking the view. I hopped out of the car with my camera and a lady flung open the front door. I said, "I hope you don't mind, but I lived here when I was 5." Cary said, "Is this a duplex?" He still wasn't sure it was the right house. She nodded her head. I said, "Does it have an upstairs?" She nodded again. I guess she thought we were legit, because she just turned around and closed the door:
This is what my old school looks like now:
My Best Friend Husband is 11 years older than me. He was a senior in high school when I was in kindergarten. We have a standing joke that he walked by my classroom one day, looked in the window, pointed to me and said: "I'm going to marry that little girl someday!" This would have been the school where he found me and claimed dibs. It's funny how 11 years makes such a difference when you are young but not when you are old.
I loved going to school. I remember walking up the long hill from school to home, by myself. Guess what? It is barely a slope, and certainly not a hill. Also, it is only about a half block away from my old house. On Halloween, we were dressing up at school. I wore my costume to school, because that is what we understood we were supposed to do. But, no. We were supposed to bring our costumes to school and put them on for the party. Once again, I was embarrassed. Oh well.
I graduated from kindergarten at Oak Heights School, and when I find those pictures I'll post them someday.
This is my doll Sherry. I got Sherry for my birthday when I was 5. I loved Sherry very much. So did my little brother. He was really a pretty easy going guy at the age of 2 1/2, but he would fight me for that doll. I had to hide her under my shirt just to avoid conflict. My mom and dad decided to buy him his own doll. It was a jester stuffed doll, and Mitch named him Pinocchio. He loved Pinocchio so much that he eventually loved him to death. After a couple of years, Mom and Dad had to get another, similar jester doll that was subsequently named Pinocchio. I think he still has that one. We are kind of a sentimental bunch in our family.
On our drive back home, I was telling my Cary all about my time living in Sweet Home and the above memories. I started feeling really bad about Sherry. I built her a new body about 25 years ago, but currently she was just shoved in the toy box in the spare room. Yesterday, when I was at Bi-Mart, I found a cute doll with extra clothes and accessories on sale. I bought it, came home, dressed Sherry and put her in the cute little doll bed pictured above. I held her and kissed her, and felt really bad that she has been hanging out naked with her arm falling off in a dark toy box. Now she is all spiffed up, as you can see. I showed her to Cary and he said, "Do you still have her original clothes?" I said, "Heck no! She doesn't even have her original body!" Then he said, "What are you doing, holding and kissing that doll?" I said, "Trying to make up for 45 years of neglect."
Welcome back, Sherry. Now I just need to go retrieve Tippy from the (clean) garbage can in the storage unit that holds all of the old stuffed animals.
~ Kathy M., November 2009
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