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Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This August 6, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in Personal Observations.
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DSC_0002 I spent the day yesterday immersed in memories of my childhood—I remembered things that I hadn’t thought about for a long time.  And since I had a happy childhood, it was a good day.

I went to visit the town where I was born, a small town in the panhandle of Texas called Borger. Borger was what was referred to in the old days as an oil boom town. Lots of people moved in to work the oil fields and related industries. My dad was one of those ‘related’ workers—a research chemist working with carbon black. He moved there in the early 40’s ,during the second World War, from Boston because it was the only place where he could find a job in his field. My mother joined him in 1943 and they got married there. I often think of how courageous they were to move to a distant part of the country that was so different in culture,geography and climate from the New England where they were from. I still have the letters that my father wrote to my mother, one of which included a rough map of the apartment they would be living in. In the letter he asked my mother if she wanted him to buy the furniture and outfit the kitchen or wait until she got there. Bet I know what her answer to that question was.

We left our home in Borger in 1961 when I was 14 years old and I had never been back since—until yesterday. The first place I visited was our house which is still there and looking pretty spiffy. Of course it looks nothing like it did when we lived in it but I could see the old bones still there. The picture included in this post is one that I took of the old place. I also went to visit my old elementary school which is now a senior citizens’ center…hmmm think that means anything?  I went in for a look around and was struck by how much it looks the same—very comforting. It was a four-grade school with one classroom for each grade.

That brings me to another observation. As I viewed things through my adult (well, I like to think so anyway) eyes, I saw how small and close things were. As a child I thought that the school was quite a hike from my house but yesterday I noted that it was only a 10-minute walk from the house. Not that I was walking yesterday—it was 111 degrees there . That’s  another thing I don’t remember. Wonder if it got that hot back then..or was I simply oblivious like kids often are?

As I thought about my parents and brother and the life we had, I realized that we were a happy family. Yes, we had our ups and downs but we were happy. And that brings me to a philosophical comment—you knew I’d get there eventually, didn’t you?  Don’t be tempted to write off your present life as not important or good enough or exciting enough. Your  life is on purpose—everything that you experience is part of a growth process that lasts until you take your final breath. And even the challenging parts can often be looked upon as positives.

What part of your life are you disregarding? Or willing to go away? Or trying to ignore? Or completely undervaluing? I guarantee you there is something. Whatever it is—take another look. Wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to know in the present that life is good?

—Amara

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