Friday, August 30, 2013

Nothing But A Memory

We've all felt it ~ sometimes you find yourself at a point where you need to feel grounded. Whether it's returning to our childhood home, or having a particular food that reminds you of days gone by, at one point or another we all seek it out.  I felt that way recently, so I decided to head back to to the home where many of my fond my childhood memories live. I connected my iPod to my car's stereo and played The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert on repeat the whole drive.  When I arrived, I got out of my car and just stood there for a while, frozen. I couldn't even get my camera out of the trunk for about 10 minutes because I couldn't seem to put one foot in front of the other.

I can count on one hand the times I've come here in the last 2 1/2 years.  Not because I don't miss it, but because it's not the same. In fact, I've spent so little time here that one of the neighbors tried to kick me out like I didn't belong.  After a little explanation of who I was, he decided I belonged and let me on my way.

It was where my parents brought me home from the hospital when I was born. I learned how to pick the right lure, tie my own line, bait the hooks, and cast away right there off the dock.  I learned that when the cobwebs were floating on the breeze in the twilight, you needed to grab your rod and reel and head out to the water.  I learned what peace really sounds like, and what a beautiful sight it is when the little fish jump out of the water after tiny bugs and shimmer in the sunset.

All that's left of my "happy place" is just a bit of melted boat trailers and some artichoke plants.
August 19, 2013, Taken with my iPhone 5. No edits, straight out of the phone.

My Grandmother's house burned down four days after my son was born in January of 2011.  It used to be a 3-Story house and a 2 car garage that my Grannie and Papa built with their own hands in the 1950's. You can see the walkway and the stairs still stand, leading to nowhere.  The firemen had to just let it burn because there were live power lines they couldn't cross. Every family heirloom, all of my Mother & Grandmother's jewelry, every photograph, keepsake and memento collected over the last 60 years is gone, including my Mother's wedding ring, her collection of spaghetti poodles, and her wedding dress.  Not to mention the fact that my Papa's ashes that were on my Grannie's nightstand. (Grannie said he wouldn't have left the house anyway).

This is the only image I have of the damage. I couldn't bring myself to take any more as I stood there with my husband and just...cried.

January 14, 2011 - Taken with my iPhone 4S. No edits, straight from my phone.

It is always a little rough going back, but I hiked up the walkway (you can see it on the left in the first picture, still just like it's always been) to the top of the levee and stared at the boats and the Delta. I decided since there wasn't anything left of the house, I'd head down to the dock and sit there a while.

As I've grown, I've begun to look at things in a different light.  Sitting on the junky old dock that I spent so much time on growing up, looking at the boats floating peacefully in their berths covered in dust and bird crap, I realized that memories have nothing to do with money or luxury.  They have everything to do with time. Here are some images I took with my "big girl camera" that reminded me of parts of my childhood.








If nothing else, take a minute today and connect with a memory - whether it's chasing down the ice cream man for a Rocket Pop, calling a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, or going to a place that holds a special memory for you.  It will brighten your smile a little.

And now you understand why I call myself a "Moment Preservationist". You never know when the photos of those special places and times you have shared will be all you have left of your memories. Cherish them and have copies made. Share them with everyone so if something tragic like this happens to you, copies are out there.


  1. Very beautiful, Samantha. So touching and brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate someone who values these things because it's so important to me, as well. I am taking a lesson from you and trying so hard to archive what I have before it, too, is gone someday. I really felt like I was there right with you.

    1. Thanks so much, Pumpkin. This was a hard one for me, but I do feel much better now that it's out there. Grannie loved reading it, too.

  2. Oops, Samantha - Wasn't sure if you realized it's me, Kristen (I forgot my name comes up as Pumpkin! I did that a loooonnng time ago). I bet your Grannie felt very honored by what you wrote. It's a very loving tribute :)