When I was a child, I could walk through the chicken yard to an old dilapidated gate. Once I opened the gate, it was a straight downward slope to the ground below. Then I would find myself on this lonely dirt road. 

For some reason, I don’t really recall much of the road in one direction, to my left. I see it briefly and then it fades away. I more vividly remember the road that hitched to the right. 

An Intersection:

Down a ways, it intersected with another road where fields of tall grass loomed as far as the eye could see. I could then take that road to my great-aunt Bertha’s house. 
 
It was an idyllic setting really. Shaded and quiet. A lonely dirt road edged by weeds and rarely frequented.

Back then, I felt lucky to have that stretch of road to myself. To poke at the brush with sticks and gather rocks for my pockets.

My Great-Great Aunt’s House:

At my great-great-aunt’s house, what I most remember is her garden out back. It seemed to stretch to infinity with row upon row of tall cornstalks that blocked whatever lay beyond. 

We all had big gardens out in the country. Fresh vegetables and fruit fed us through summers, and then were canned to feed us through winter as well.

Out of the blue:

This particular memory only came back to me a few months ago out of the blue. I don’t know what summoned it up. 

I found that if I laid awake at night and emptied my mind of the detritus of my day, bits and pieces of that time would slowly flow back to me.

A little girl with dark curly hair not easily tamed, meandering along a stretch of road surrounded by cow fields. Gathering rocks along the way. 

I can see that place easily now, a memory captured and held in place. Framed by low hanging trees on either side of vast fields, with a red dirt road running down the middle.


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36 Comments

  1. Thank you for your memories, Brenda. Your memories trigger my own childhood recollections. After suffering with depression for many years, my memories are coming back to me too.

  2. I once lived on an old dirt road when I was a child. You took me back. I love the country! Brenda you do have a real talent for writing. I bet you could get some short stories published in magazines or in a collection of short stories.

  3. Thank you, Brenda, for sharing your memories of a childhood scene. I usually enjoy recalling pleasant moments or details (how the rooms layed out in the house I grew up in, etc.) of my childhood. It balances the unpleasant memories. This time of year, I love remembering shuffling home from school through the blanket of leaves covering the sidewalks. My white anklets would be full of dust when I got home!!!! Also, thank you for teaching me a new word . . . "detritus" is a GOOD word!

  4. Brenda, I loved this simple memory of yours and could picture you as a little girl walking down it. I believe these memories are not only precious to us but could for us to recall.

    I can't remember which author it was, but I remember reading that is is good for us to keep the child we were in our mind because that is our essential self. She even advised to keeping a childhood photo of ourself on a desk or in a bedroom. When I read that I pulled some out for myself and my husband and it helps me so much. We can't lose sight of the child we once were.

    Very nice, Brenda!

  5. You wrote this so well I felt as though I walked along with you. It's a nice memory and one that I expect few children would make today. I am grateful for many childhood memories and the fact that we had more freedom as a child then.

  6. What a beautiful memory. I had very similar childhood experiences at my grandparents' house. The creek, the barn, the dirt road, the chicken coop, the garden, all memories I cherish still.

  7. Hi Brenda~

    What a beautiful memory, very fitting for a beautiful fall afternoon.

    I love to try to remember all the memories that are sometimes only brought to the front by the change of seasons, or a smell. There is a certain smell, that I can't put my finger on, but when I smell it, it reminds me of my grandfathers home. It's a old smell, old in a good way, one that I would love to recall and smell more often.

    Thank you for helping us to remember with you – it was a lovely dirt road!

    Hugs,
    Barb

  8. You describe your memory so beautifully. It's like I can see you walking on that road, to your Aunt's home, and can picture the garden. Lovely memories..

  9. What a great memory of your childhood. I have to say Brenda I enjoy your style of writing. I think you are missing a big opportunity to not write stories and get them published. You have a knack of capturing the readers emotions as they envision your words. I think you should write more on your blog too. I love these short stories and memories you write.
    Kris

  10. These are the kind of posts I like. Puts my in a relaxed, meditative mood, and reminds me that the best memories are of the heart satisfying little slices of time.

    I remember a flower garden we had in our side front yard. It was surrounded by a white picket fence. I had a swing and I loved to swing back and forth and look at the flowers. It was peaceful and quiet, no road noise. Our house was not in the city proper, but also not quite country, just on the outskirts of town. Plenty of space for a child to enjoy rambling around in.

  11. WHAT A LOVELY RECOLLECTION !
    WOKE TO A TEMP OF 58, GENTLE BREEZE AND BIRDS ON THE WINDOW LEDGE. THE JUVENILE CARDINAL WAS BACK FOR MORE SUNFLOWER SEEDS TODAY.
    HAVE A GREAT DAY!
    SNUGGLES TO THE PUPSTERS

  12. Brenda you really should write a book…..I love reading you every day and today it sounded like the beginning of a story
    Give the Pupsters a hug and a kiss, love seeing then

  13. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory. It is beautiful in it's lack of embellishment, it's simplicity, it's honesty. I love that you write that you cannot see to the left so much. 'cause it is funny that that is how memories and dreams often are. The navigation and perception are unique. Anyhow, it is a wonderful memory. The more so because I have an Aunt Bertha… but that is a whole other story. Blessings! Cynthia

  14. What a sweet memory. Sometimes I have 'flashbacks' of something from my childhood and it's just hard to believe that was really me, a long time ago…. time flies and we had to grow up! It's great to have those memories surprise us and take us back sometimes!

  15. I can see your dirt road as you describe it. my grandparents and aunts and uncles lived on dirt roads. I lived in a town. I could hardly wait for summer vacation to begin so that I could go stay with them and walk the dirt roads, play in the spring run, and walk in the woods to pick wood violets. so many good memories there. I have written several stories for my writing class about those times.

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