Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good-bye, Old Friend

without knowing it was coming, i was forced to say good-bye to an old friend this morning.

this morning, a heavy-machinery crew dug out the grassy "turn-around" in the cul-de-sac by my parents' house and will, presumably, replace it with asphalt. suzanne and i happened to be out for a run as the crew arrived and so we had an opportunity for one last look as a childhood landmark slipped away.

funny how things seem so big as a child, like the hill we ran up today that as a ten-year-old i could never climb on my bike. like the grassy turn-around near where my parents' house sits in their spacious subdivision.

several years ago, someone had the two large trees that sat in the middle of the turn-around removed. even then, i had no idea this day would come.

the memories i have of the turn-around . . .

[cue fade-away and nostalgic music]

when i was growing up, our neighbors' older father lived with them. our houses were separated by about two acres of wooded land. "grandpa" would often work in the yard. and, mom would often walk me down to their house, which sat on the turn-around, so that i could play while she visited. one day, randy and i were playing outside when we noticed grandpa in the yard and sauntered our not-yet-five-year-old selves down to see him. without. telling. mom. ooooo, we were in trouble when she realized where we were!

i grew up in a small suburb before the days of bike helmets. when kids could roam free during the summer without parents worrying about someone kidnapping them. before kids' "free months" were packed with day camps and sports camps and over night camps and church camps and other mandatory fun. back when kids planned their own agenda each day.

the turn-around. the place i learned to ride my bike. the first place i fell off my bike. the place i fell off my bike trying to ride without hands. the place i taught myself to steer my bike without hands. the turn-around was base when we played bike tag around the neighborhood. we spent many hours many summers riding 'round and 'round the green grassy turn-around trying to decide what to do. and we spent many sunny mornings gathering at the turn-around before we set out on childhood adventures. the turn-around became a large boat as we played "orphans" running away from home.

when i jogged with dad, the turn-around was the last few minutes of our run and as we'd round the last part for the straight-away toward home he'd call out to me, "pick up the pace, katherine!"

the turn-around was a pivotal part of the summer during my growing-up years.

turn-around, you will be missed. good-bye, old friend!

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I am seriously about ready to cry. :)

The turn-around will definitely be missed.