I don't know if it just a natural part of growing older or it is because I am retired now and have more free brain space, but I often find pictures and memories of my childhood running through my mind.
From out of nowhere, a picture from that long ago past, a name, a place, an afternoon game will all of a sudden float through and (usually) bring a smile to my face. I truly enjoy being able to retrieve these things from my past that I had thought were gone forever.
I grew up in a sleepy, dusty town in Wisconsin. Sleepy, dusty towns in the 40's and early 50's were truly that - sleepy, dusty and isolated in a cocoon. We had no television or Internet to connect us to the rest of the world - or even with that town 30 miles down the road. For those of us under 12, our whole world was what happened within our own town borders. In my case it was in a little place called Winneconne.
I remember swimming in the Wolf River. I remember the walk home when we would all pick apples from a tree along the route. We always stopped at the grocery store and bought a Popsicle. They were a nickle and we could split them. Sometimes we were able to splurge and buy a dreamcycle. They were only a nickle too, but we did not split these so you got to have it all to yourself.
I remember playing Annie, Annie Over across the roof of our old, tattered garage. I remember long afternoons of Jacks, Jump Rope and Uncle Wiggley. I remember Jane, Margie, Mary, Lucille and all those other wonderful "best friends forever" from my childhood. I know we can't go home again (well we could but it just wouldn't be the same now that we are all grown up) - but sometimes I think it would be nice to go back in time for just one day and once again feel that warmth and freedom and innocence of being 10 in small town America.
So, thank you Winneconne for hosting my childhood and filling it with such wonderful memories and providing me with a venue in which to just be a kid. Thank you!