Saturday, May 27, 2006

My Small Town

When I was little we lived on an acre in Arkansas covered in enormous trees with a creek running across our front yard. We played outside in the summer, caught tadpoles, frogs and crawdads, and chased fireflies. We had a fabulous garden where my mom grew tons of delectable vegetables that we ate daily. My grandparents lived three hours away. We would spend several weeks in the summer there sitting on the front porch in the swing, listening to the locusts while drinking sweet tea and being eaten absolutely alive by T-Rex sized mosquitoes. Roly polys were in excess for our amusement and the air in the house was cooled by several window units. I love the smell of that kind of cold air.

I'm not sure what made me think when Terry and I had children it was going to be just like that. Although we do have monstrous mosquitoes! When we moved to Corinth, which is basically in the middle of nowhere, I was surprised at how unlike my childhood it was. We couldn't sit outside and enjoy anything. It was too hot and we didn't have any trees to speak of. I don't think the wind ever blew unless a tornado was threatening to drop down on our house. I did really enjoy the friendships I formed there, but something was missing.

Tonight Terry and I went outside and sat in the front yard. We now live several miles from downtown Dallas. I grabbed the bottle of bug spray (I really think the "Why mosquitoes, God?" will be the first few questions I ask him.) and my sweet tea, which was now more like a simple syrup for all of the sugar that had been sitting in the pitcher for two days. We sat in the lawn chairs under the fabulous old trees and a lovely breeze started to blow. Then I heard the sound of locusts floating through the air. All of a sudden I was seven. Who would have known that God would take me from the "country" where I thought I wanted to be to the city, where I knew I didn't want to be, and give me exactly what I have been waiting for.

We are having a neighborhood Memorial Day parade on Monday along with a ceremony honoring veterans and block party. Reia gets to drive her Barbie Jeep in it, and our house is the corner turning point. So, we were just informed that everyone comes to sit in our yard. I didn't need the country, I needed a small town. And here it is, in the middle of Dallas.

11 comments:

Virginia (Jenny) said...

I am so fearful that I am not making the life for my kids that I once had. Is is that, when I was little, I could ride all over the neighborhood in my bike all day? Now, I could never trust my little ones to do that unsupervised. Is their life boring? Am I not a good mother? I wonder these things all the time.
http://amazingsix.blogspot.com

BooMama said...

Aw, Robin - what a sweet post! It's so nostalgic and hopeful - and you've come full circle! Just not in the way you imagined....

Blessed Beyond Measure said...

Loved your post - your description of your childhood put me right there, and to hear that you found a small piece of it where you are now - doesnt get better than that. Glad to see you out there again - missed hearing what you were up to this past week.

Robin said...

I think I just loved my childhood so much. I know the girls will too, but it will be different from mine,and then it will be different for their kids! Even if I can see them enjoy a small part of what I experienced, I'll be happy.

theresa said...

So sweet, and just think you can add the sound of the locusts and view the trees when you come visit me...that's when we move back to the country!

praynlady said...

Robin, your description makes me long for the innocence and freedom of growing up pretty much the same way, except my g-parents were closer. Now that we are almost settled in the new house, it is amazing that 3 acres of pecan trees, a cement patio with swivelling, rocking patio chairs and of course the iced tea, with the addition of Kaylee splashing in her pool. The cardinals and Martins, the crickets, (even the highway in the distant background) just make home a little more heavenly! God created some of the most awesome things! Have a great weekend and I hope you all enjoy the parade and that the mosquitos don't carry you all off!

Addie said...

That was lovely. How funny, that you found a little bit of nostalgia, right smack in the middle of where you never thought you would. Now that's a blessing for sure! Reia ridding in the parade in her barbie jeep reminds me of old small town parades I was in. I used to think that was the coolest thing! And the fact that everyone comes to sit in your yard! Well, God is just bringing the neighborhood to you isn't he!

Have a blast tomorrow! :)

Sarah said...

Hooray! Have SO much fun--our small town's annual Mardi Gras parade turned at our house, and we always had a big party, and all our friends came and watched it from our front yard. Good, good memories. This year will be the first of many of those for your girls!

Barb said...

What a wonderful feeling it is to know you're right where you always wanted to be. And the fact that it brings back such memories of a happy childhood, why, what could be better than that? This was a feel-good all over post!

Leslie said...

Wonderful! The idea of a neighborhood parade sounds great! Please post pictures of Reia in her jeep.

You know I think trees really help make a neighborhood. We have, wel--had, an established (built in the 80's) neighborhood with huge trees. That is what everyone talks about.

Lauren said...

Very sweet post. I agree that trees make such a big difference in a neighborhood. I enjoyed reading about your childhood, sounds a lot like mine.