This summer, Heidi and I took our kids to Ontario to visit my family and to go to the place where I grew up. There was a high school reunion (I’m not saying how many years…) that we centered our trip around. The reunion was fun, but equally as fun was taking my kids around the town I grew up in—Bowmanville, Ontario—and sharing with them the many memories of my childhood.
MEMORIES OF MAX THE DOG, AND RABBITS, AND…
Most of these memories were ones that took place in the summer months. Like:
- hunting crayfish in Soaper Creek
- having soccer tournaments with my brothers on the sod farm behind our house
- racing through the cornfield on a hot day across Liberty Street
- excitedly welcoming new baby rabbits for the third time in one summer
- chopping down an entire tree in our yard with my dad and stacking the wood beside the house for the cold winter (we made 50 cents per block of wood that moved from the backyard to the wood pile)
- picking up our dog Max from the pound for getting himself in the neighbours chicken coop for the third time in a week. Max was also the dog that got hit by a car and lived (unlike multiple other dogs we owned).
DAYCARES & SUBDIVISIONS
Interestingly, what used to be a small (of course what I thought was huge) house in the country, is a now a daycare centre, the corn field across the street is now a subdivision, the sod farm is another subdivision, and what I thought was a three mile bike ride to the creek to hunt crayfish is only a few feet over and down a hill.
Our old neighbours—the Kilmers—still live in their same house, and Liberty Street is still a busy street that is most likely still running over pets to make young children very sad.
While driving around town, I spotted my grade 8 teacher walking with her husband. I stopped the car, got out and said, “Mrs. Schievink! Hello!” We hugged, shared a few stories of our families—she was impressed at how big our kids were and I marvelled at how she was exactly like I remembered her so many years before.
OUR KIDS’ KIDS
Bowmanville is full of summer memories that I will never forget and it was so good to share them with my kids. Lord willing, Heidi and I are creating similar opportunities for our kids to have summer memories that they bring THEIR children to see and experience.
But first, another school year.