Saturday, January 1, 2011

Memories Not Forgotten

We all have memories of our past, of places, people, events, situations, and whatever else we remember. Some memories fade away over time. Some don't and evolve into something resembling reality but not really. Some are clear as yesterday. And some just exist quietly in corners like shoeboxes in mental closest which accidently fall out and spill out into the consciousness.

One such memory is when I was 6. I have a visual memory. I remember places, scenes and landscapes, and this is no different. We lived in Wherry Housing on Mountain Home Air Force Base. We had moved there from Sculthorpe, England where we lived in the country (1952-55) and found ourselves in the southern Idaho desert.

We lived in the end townhouse of a row of them. It was a two-story house with a small backyard and a fuel oil tank in the back near the gate. The townhouse had two bedrooms and one bathroom upstairs and a master bedroom and bath on the first floor with a den and the rest of a normal house with a living room, dining room and kitchen.

My parents decided that my year-older sister and I were a bother to his work and her social life. So they emptied the den and gave it to us to play. My sister didn't want it and used her bedroom. I used to create cities with my cars. I collected those metal cars called Dinky Toys and Corgi Toys, and created cities with books and magazines and anything else I could find (really steal for awhile).

I stayed there for hours. It was then I realized, and really looking back where it started, I like being alone. I hated being in class, in groups or playing with others. I never changed from there, and all through my life have always been most comfortable being alone. I'm rarely lonely, which is a big difference, if you don't know.

In that room it was just me and my imagination. No one to interfer or intervene. No one to tell me what to do. My parents just left me there, and while in later years tried to get me to learn other things, like Cub Scouts, guitar lessons, etc., it always failed and I eventually started stuttering which lasted through high school and is always there which reminds me in some situations.

I still have the box of about 40+ metal cars which I added when we moved to Germany 3-plus years later. I loved Germany but missed that room. Outside the townhouse was a big open field, which was encircled by the rows of townhouses. It was designed to give kids a safe space to play. My brother and I though chose the desert out beyond the townhouse.

We loved to walk endlessly around the housing areas isolated between the enclaves of other developments, the school a mile away, other housing areas in the distance separated by more desert, and the commercial area with the base exchange and grocery and other places for adults to be and socialize, where my Mom went most days.

And out the main gate the long road to the town of Mountain Home where my brother went to high school, only an elementary and junior high school on the base. We often took our dog, Judy, a Boston Terrier, who was dumb as a post but loyal and obedient. He always came back when called so we never worried if he ran off chasing jack rabbits.

But it was always that room I remember most from that time, my world and universe. Everything I needed and wanted, at age 6. I don't miss it but often find myself in my own mental room with the same feeling, where I'm most comfortable, like sitting here writing this about a memory not forgotten.

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