Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where I Come From

We took a quick trip to my hometown today to pick up the fridge my parents were getting rid of so we can replace the even older one in our garage that we use for sodas, beer, and freezer overflow.  It's only an hour and a half away, so it only took a few hours, and my parents were at the crazy UNC football game that was going on today, so we just loaded it up and headed back down the road pretty quickly.

Reidsville is a small town in NC, just north of Greensboro, in the middle of nowhere, but 30 minutes from everywhere.  Growing up there, I couldn't wait to move to a bigger city, but as I got older I realized why my parents had made the decision to raise a family there.  There's just something about a small town.

The neighborhood I grew up in is a decent size, and there were plenty of kids, but when I think of my neighborhood, I really just think of Arbor Lane, the street I lived on, and Ridgewood Avenue, the street that made an "L" with my street.  On those two streets alone there were about 30 kids, most within a year or two of my age.

Of course that was also in the days when TV had 4 channels and there was no internet or video games so we spent hours at a time outside playing one thing or another.  We had bike trails in the woods, crawdads to catch in the creek, and piles of leaves to play in.  We had plenty of kids to make teams for baseball, basketball, or kickball and when it got too dark for that we played Ghost in the Graveyard or Kick the Can.

We had acorn fights that were vicious and neighborhood "wars" where no one really hated any one, but you chose a side, until it was time to choose another.  On the rare occasions it snowed in the winter we built snow forts and lobbed snowballs at each other, those had acorns in them too.

We never had "play dates" like kids do now.  There was no need.  If I wanted to play I walked outside and some one was always out there.  Hours could pass without our parents really having a clue as to where exactly we were or what we were doing.  Of course some parent on one of the streets always knew, so our parents didn't really have to worry.  When Mom wanted us to come home she rang the big dinner bell on the back porch and that was our signal.

Even as close as it is, I don't get there all that often.  There's always too much to do around my own home on weekends.  But every time I do, I think of growing up there, and as much as I may have wished to live somewhere else at the time, and I would probably never choose to live there again, I'm glad it's where I come from.

Who did you play with as a child?  Where do you come from?


  1. Oh I loved this. For 5 1/2 years we lived on a street that was exactly as you describe, although there, we had no snow. The freedom was amazing and truly I feel as if it shaped a portion of my independent nature. Our mother had a conductor's train whistle that she would blow, I really don't remember being inside much beyond days where the rains blew in.

    1. In hindsight I realize how lucky I was to grow up in such a neighborhood, it was only as a teen that I hated small little Reidsville really. And we didn't get snow very often, so when we did we spent as much time as possible in it!