Monday, September 14, 2009

Homes and Schools

                          Places I have lived while growing up

Roswell, New Mexico           where I was born

Atwater, California               2306 Linden Street
                                           2302 Linden Street

Salinas, California                709 Fairmont Drive
                                           812 Fairfax Drive
                                           606 La Mesa Drive
                                           6 Pajaro Way

Antioch, California              Camino Peral
                                         Crestview Drive (apartment)

Moraga, California              Bismarck Lane
                                         Magnolia Drive

                            Schools that I went to

                                              Atwater, California

Kindergarten                      Elmer Wood Elementary School

                                             Salinas, California

1st Grade                         Lincoln Elementary School
2nd ~ 5th Grade               Mission Park Elementary School
6th Grade                        Monterey Park Elementary School
                                            (1/2 year)
                                       University Park
                                            (remaining 1/2 year)
7th ~ 8th Grade               Washington Junior High

                                              Antioch, California

9th Grade                          Park Middle School
10th Grade                        Antioch High School (1/4 year)

                                             Moraga, California

10th Grade (remainder of year)    Campolindo High School (3/4 year)

                                              Alameda, California

11th ~ 12th Grade             Alameda High School

                                             Fairmont Drive

     When  I look at all the places I have lived I feel like a gypsy.  We never seemed to let the grass grow under our feet!  I never had a favorite home or a special attachment to a home.  I am certain that until we moved to Alameda my family never owned any of those homes but rented them as it seemed we lived in some for almost exactly a year and then moved.

     I did have some memories from each though.  Some good and some not so good.  Our first home in Salinas we lived on a court.  In the garage the owner of the home had a huge train track set up with buildings, trees, overpasses, tunnels and houses.  My brother was fortunate to be allowed to play with it. It's only too bad that we could not take it with us when we moved as he must have been unhappy having to leave it behind.  I wasn't allowed to play with the train set but could watch.  My brother and I shared a room and it was decorated more for a boy.  We had a trundle bunk bed with a slightly western theme to it.  I didn't really mind as I was more a tomboy at that time.  I was already into horses and made sure to watch any cowboy movie or show that was on TV.  My brother Gene was a good sport with having to share a room with a sister five years younger than he.

     Next door to me was a girl my age.  Denise had a playhouse in her side yard which had a little kitchen set up and the house had dutch doors to it.   What really caught my eye though was her Surrey.  It was yellow and had a striped red top with fringe on it.  The Surrey had a bench seat in the middle for two with a set of peddles, then there was a bench seat up in front for two.  The steering wheel was on the left side of the Surrey just like a car.  We had so much fun peddling on the sidewalk of our court.  I didn't know what envy was at that age but that was when I first really wanted what someone else had.  I have only been on one other Surrey that reminded me of Denise's and that was at a cherished home my parents rented in Carmel when our own children were young.  It wasn't in the same condition either as the fringe top was not on it and it was rickety as well.  Still it brought back those fond times I remembered.  I only wish we could have brought it home and fixed it up so our girls could play with it at home.

     Behind the homes on the court was what we called the gully.  My brother was allowed to play in the gully with the other boys but I was not.  I was too young.  The boys would ride their bikes up and down the sides of the gully as it had high sides on either bank and then a flat area at the bottom.  It was a bit like an empty canal area but made of dirt only.  I am not sure what it was used for as I never saw it with water in it.

     I can't believe that I use to walk home from my school Lincoln Elementary as a first grader.  It was  quite a walk and I think it was just a couple of us kids at the time doing this.  The best part was at one point we walked through Maple Park.   I called it the sunken park as you walked down into the park from a path which at the time seemed more deep than it really is.  The park looks different now with the new play equipment.  Still I have a sweet little memory of kissing a boy in that park who walked home with us sometimes. My first kiss to a boy!   One of those quick little pecks on the cheek.
  Lincoln Elementary was also where I had my favorite teacher Mrs. Shifley.  She came to my birthday party, at my request, and gave me the book "A Fly Went By" which I read to my children.  Written inside by her was best wishes for my birthday.

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