Friday, August 29, 2008

Remembering Childhood - The Sandbox

For a couple of months now, I have been meaning to write a bit about my memories of growing up. I have never done this before. Blogging is a great way to share these sorts of things in a relatively permanent way.

That's me on the left, taken when I was 8 months old. Small kid, big bed. Nice curtains, huh?

About the first thing I can remember in life is a sandbox. It was located in the backyard of the first house I lived in. My dad had bought a lot in Arcadia, California, a shiny post War suburb northeast of Los Angeles, and built a house. Since he was in the construction business, he was the general contractor. 618 Santa Rosa Road. 1,300 square feet, built in 1951.

Back to the sandbox. It was located in a rather strange place, sort of off to the side of the driveway in the back yard. During the summer, I remember it as no shade, burning sun. White play sand, put carefully in a circle with little brick pavers around the edge. My Dad was always neat; he liked things put carefully in their place. Some might call it anal. We teasingly called him Norville Neat. I remember that Dad used to get pretty mad when he came home and found I had spilled sand out of the box onto the driveway. He was like that; anal.

From what I can remember, I really liked that sandbox when I was little. I have vague memories of sitting in there for a long time, playing in the sand. I was an only child, and I think I spent a lot of time there, sifting sand and thinking little kid thoughts. Maybe this was the beginning of the often solitary life I lead, growing up in the Smog Belt of Southern California.

Back to today. Earlier this summer, our older girl went to church camp the same week that my wife and younger daughter took a road trip to Texas. I was completely alone at home for a week. I was quite sad for a day or two when everyone first left.

Then after a couple of days, I was surprised one morning when I woke wake up in a very quiet house, realizing I was all alone. Then suddenly, and rather strangely, I remembered playing in that sandbox, all those years ago, on Santa Rosa Road.
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