Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Overgrown Memories!

Here as I sit—the sunlight on my face,
   And shadows of green leaves upon my eyes-
My heart a garden in a hidden place,
   Is full of folded buds of memories.
   Archibald Lampman  (1888)

Can you see it?

While standing on the side of the road near this farmer’s field that is overgrown with bushes and trees and has this fragrant sweet smell coming from somewhere unknown, I am transported back in time. I search through those memories overgrown in my mind much like this field. I search for that special memory that has been neglected and hidden for so long. This is a place where great memories hide.

My friend BA and I would spend hours here. All my brothers and sisters and every kid I knew in the surrounding county would come here through the summer and after school. The rich kids and the poor kids like me all sharing the one thing we all had in common. Fun!

Have you found it yet?

 It is very well hidden with the trees and bushes that are trying to erase it from our view, much like our minds being constantly filled with new memories which try to overgrow or erase the old ones.

 Have you guessed? It is the backstop of a baseball diamond that I pass by most days without a thought, today was different. This time amongst the trees and bushes and long grass I notice this very old forgotten backstop. Why I have not noticed this before amazes me. I had assumed it was long gone. Just like those memories that pop in your head for no reason. You do not know how long they have been sitting there just waiting to be noticed.

I used to stand in front of the backstop behind the batter for hours; I was the catcher on a baseball team my Mom always signed us up for. My Mom always signed every one of us kids up, I have no idea how she could afford it but she thought it was very important; we were there constantly every summer through till school started. I remember I was the catcher till a thrown bat hit me in the face and made me lose my nerve. I then moved to the pitcher’s mound, it turned out I was pretty good at that too. Everyone in my family was good at baseball we had our own team of ten plus BA and her brothers, so there was always practicing in the empty field beside our old house.
 My brothers and sisters were very fast runners as we had to keep in front of my Mom, if you know what I mean. These skills made us flourish in baseball. My Mom played on a league into her sixties so I guess genetics played a part.

This is the canteen that sat beside the ball diamond; it is also overgrown and was hiding from my memory. Now I remember the smells coming from that building during a ball tournament. BA and I would sit on the bench and watch her brother play here. The smells of the hotdogs filling the air making me long for one of those big hotdogs with lots of mustard and sauerkraut, a dream I never could fulfill as we never had any money.

One very hot summer day while watching a team of boy’s play, BA’s brother took us over to the canteen and asked what we wanted. I of course wanted one of those juicy hotdogs I had been dreaming of since the very first time I had visited this place. I slathered it with mustard and sauerkraut making sure I had it completely covered. I waited anxiously for BA and her brother to get theirs and we headed over to the bench with a cold bottle of Coca Cola. I was so excited, the anticipation making me hurry to take that first bite. I bit into that big hotdog; it was just as I had imagined, except the part about the mustard running all down my chin and onto my shirt. It tasted so good and I remember BA and her brother laughing at me but I was smiling ear to ear.

You can always find memories like that, overgrown or not, sometimes it just takes some time.



  1. I see it! Sounds like fun memories! I can smell the hot dogs and taste that refreshing Coke!

  2. What beautiful memories.

    Sports do give you the ability to work with a team...and to learn how to gracefully lose and win.

  3. awww, love it-funny thing about memories; they are around evey corner!

  4. Thank You, Thank You. Yes I remember, H laughing and teasing as you wore/ate your hot dog. All of us playing ball and you and I sticky together on the team when the cool girls thought we didn't belong.
    Memories are wonderful and making them with you was the best part of being a small village kid.
    Love you lots.


  5. Lovely to read this. At first I thought what I was looking for in the photo would be a memory.

  6. i was never great at playing, but i loved to watch the softball tournaments in our small town. maybe it had something to do with the boys playing in them. or maybe it was just the sound of bat hitting ball.

  7. It was waiting for you...for just the right time to bring back a flood of warm memories for you.

  8. Wonderful memory, and it seems you did so enjoy playing your baseball and eating your hotdog. Just wonderful. Love M xoxoxox

  9. Happy times...make you smile. :)

    Lots of hugs.

    Auntie M...

  10. your words paint such visual pictures that even if i can't pick it out, i'm right there with you!

  11. Great writing and great memories! Sometimes our happy memories are hidden and we get lost in our worries of the day! Thanks for making me aware of not forgetting those special times!

  12. Great memories! How fortunate you were to grow up with so many sibling and to have a mom who cared so much to make sure you had fun and got plenty of exercise.

  13. I saw it right away! What a tremendous memory to cherish. I also can smell the hot dogs right now.

  14. What great memories. Thank you for sharing. It reminded me of when we would get out the softball stuff and our little family would play. It was a homerun if you hit one all the way to the house. Funny how summers back then lasted forever.

  15. Nothing beats a sweet summer memory!!
    I can see it:)

  16. Your telling took me back with you in time, even to the yummy hot dog.Beautifully told , and with love.


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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