They say that you can’t move forward without knowing where or what you’ve been. The memories of being a child have fostered the creativity that I hold today. Today’s entries are parts of what have made me who am I today and comes in a variety of forms.
Not all of these were taken with my DSLR. As a matter of fact, I decided to go back to the days of my first having even a small Sony-DSC80 point and shoot to give today’s content.
Welcome to Throwback Thursday.
I grew up in a small town called Orange, Texas and was raised by a single mother for most of my youth. I knew unlimited love from her and my great-grandfather in a house near the bayous of Southeast Texas. When I got to babysitting age, I stayed with a woman who was a well-known local seamstress. She also happened to be the daughter of old sharecroppers who instilled in me the fear of the switch for acting out of line, but also was my tie in to technology at an early age. Thanks to her, I got my first comic book and learned the joy of television and the supernatural. My mother gave the assist by teaching me how to read and taking me to the library where I could expand into so many realms of knowledge that I never knew existed before.
I remember thinking I would never be tall enough to touch the top of that door frame for that porch you see in the pic of the decayed, white home. Bittersweet achievement knowing that she isn’t here to see me be able to do it, but I thank her for her belief in me all those years ago.
That exact same porch saw a young me bring a Fisher-Price record player with me numerous times to play records that I brought from home. When my mom was home on weekends from working at the hospital, she would go to aerobics classes or sometimes dance in the living room. The natural rhythm and love for music I have stems mostly from her and is still one of the strongest bonds that I have with my mother. All the records you see pictured here (in the case of the Disney records) were bought by her for me (in the case of the Pet Shop Boys) or to enjoy on her own right.
I still remember helping my mom clean the house on Saturday mornings with the windows open and music blaring.
It was one of those morning that I first heard the Deodato 2 album and the song “Super Strut.” Both it and the Marvin Gaye album are standouts in my memory.
When I grew old enough to get into forming my own trends and collections, I got the Optimus Prime that you see pictured above. I went through Transformers, Legos, and ultimately through a Tandy TRS-80 and ended with the introduction of a Nintendo Entertainment System into my house. I was still strong with my book learning, but experienced the storytelling that video games brought and was hooked from the get go. I began to bring my NES with me instead of the records and Transformers and was always keen on visiting my great-grandmother’s home on Galveston Island during summers in the 1980s.
I saw my first fireflies around that home, experienced the charms of beach living, waffles at early hours of the morning, the drift of the coastal breeze across tepid summer nights, and even survived Hurricane Alicia in 1983 there. The lights went out and the wind roared louder than lions THAT night, but I remember my great-grandmother praying and telling my mom and I that all would be well. We all went to sleep somehow and the very next day in the quiet still of the next morning we discovered that she was right.
That house is no longer there, but the memories linger still and run deep. A house is just a place to stay but home is where YOU make it.
I chose not to put up a picture of my family home in West Texas because there is a mote of sadness that still hurts too much to describe. I’ve lost 4 people that I loved dearly in that home and while the house was not the cause, the fact that those souls no longer reside there is what hurts the most.
The tones of home that we paint with brush of memory are what last the longest. I recount these things so that I know they are never forgotten and not just to give myself a sense of who I am. Without even just one of these things I think I would be entirely different than I am now, but I am glad to be the creature that I am today. I’m still evolving, but at least I know that home IS me as long as I’m confident enough to believe it.
AND I DO.