Day 3 of the November photo challenge brought on some unexpected nostalgia.
Today's prompt is fall leaves. I figured I'd snap some random picture of a pretty tree dressed in orange and red leaves. You know, something beautiful and representative of a typical Oregon autumn. (My favorite season, by the way.) That's not exactly how it worked out. Bear with me for a moment and allow me to give some background.
Presley didn't sleep well last night. Her restlessness is my sleeplessness. I muddled through work as best I could being so tired. It didn't help that Presley decided to fight her nap for about 3 hours. She finally dozed off for about 25 minutes or so, but was startled awake by some noise in the office. At this point, I knew a drive would soothe her back to sleep, and since it was close to quitting time anyway, I strapped her into her car seat and took the scenic route home.
Along this drive, there is a 4-way stop. I have the option of going forward to continue homeward away from heavy traffic or I can turn right and get home via the highway. Then again, I can turn left and drive down the road I once lived on when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and the road my Grandma Wilson lived on for many years, as well. With a bit of time to spare, and not wanting to park and risk waking a cranky baby, I turned left.
Most of this road has been developed, with large, upper class homes in place of the fields and run down houses that I remember from my youth. My Grandma's tiny house is gone and the market across the street is out of business and shuttered. However, the trailer I lived in is still there, abandoned and run down.
I pulled over and just looked at it for a moment, reminiscing of my time spent there. It wasn't a great trailer even way back then, but the yard was the redeeming factor. There was plenty of room for my brother and me to run and play. I remember riding my bike up and down the driveway, with a little am/fm radio attached to the handle bars. I remember the Christmas we spent there in which I got a life size doll that creeped me out for years to come. I remember the time I got off the school bus and was greeted by my frantic step dad saying my brother was missing. We drove down the road yelling Mikey's name out the window of our Datsun pickup. (We later found him sound asleep, having wiggled himself into a hidden spot under the cushions of my Grandma's couch.) I remember hitting my head on the edge of the kitchen counter and cutting my eyebrow pretty bad. That was the one time I recall my step dad being exceptionally nurturing, and is one of my fondest memories, strangely enough. This place also represents the end of my childhood oblivion. After we moved from this trailer to another one in the next town over, I soon became aware that my parents were using drugs. It was the last home we had before my step dad started beating my mom. Before we left it's wood paneled walls, I wasn't fully aware of how poor we were or how dysfunctional my family was. This was the last place I was truly a child.
Now it's just a dilapidated mobile; an eyesore amongst the newly constructed tract homes. But to one pair of eyes, looking upon that trailer and the changing leaves on the trees around it, it's a piece of history. It's a reminder of where I came from and the circumstances I've overcome. It's a time warp to the fall of 1987.