From memory, describe in as much detail as possible the street you grew up on.
If your window overlooks a street, snap a photo of it, and post it.
I’m going to write about four streets. Two from my childhood, one from my children’s childhoods and where I live now.
I was born and raised in Seattle, and grew up in two houses in the north end of the city…one just north of the “U District” where the University of Washington resides and a house a little further north close to Lake City. My children lived their entire childhood in a house north of Lynnwood which is about 25 miles north of Seattle. I now live about 100 miles north of that.
The first house was a 1908 1 bedroom, 1 bath cottage with an attic. The attic is where we three kids slept. This was at the height of the baby boomer in the early 50’s and the entire neighborhood was full of kids. It was a great place and time to grow up. As kids we had lots of freedom and roamed the neighborhood in a pack… from one end to the other. To the south they were building a new “shopping mall” and the construction site was a goldmine for kids looking for cool treasures… rusty old nails, odd pieces of wood, odd and ends, whatnots and whoseits. A big park was there to explore. The library was to the north and in between it was kid central. We made up games and played well known ones like tag and hide ‘n seek. We rode our bikes all over, often dragging handmade toy hydroplane boats behind us. Hydroplanes were big in Seattle. We played fly up in the middle of the street with someone designed to call out “car” when we had move out of the way.
When I was 11, we moved to a bigger house and now I only had to share a bedroom with my sister. There were pros and cons to moving. I was starting the six grade and at my old school finally achieved the 6th grade privileges that didn’t exist at the new school… a locker, the chance to work in the school kitchen, flying up in Campfire. The only advantage of the new school was that it was a lot closer, just a two block walk.
We made new friends and again rode our bikes all over, could walk down the hill to the beach and hung out on the school playground to play kickball. Now we also had skateboards. At our old house, we had sidewalks and regular concrete streets. At the new house, there almost no sidewalks and basically a packed gravel road. At the old house the mailman walked up to porch to leave the mail. At the new house we had an old fashioned mailbox.
I lived in that house until a graduated from high school and move back again a few times after getting my own place.
In 1979 I married and bought a brand new house in Lynnwood. We lived there for 20 years. Both of my children were “born” there and lived their entire childhoods there. My daughter died in that house in 2000 at the age of 16 and I moved away shortly after that.
While my children had a lot of friends around the neighborhood and we were considered pretty rural at the time, these kids didn’t have the freedom I had when I was a kid. Kidnappings and stranger danger had taken over their lives. Now, of course, we had stranger danger when I was a kid and we were cautioned to never talk to strangers. Girls were taught that strangers would rape you. The irony of that was that I was raped four times and all by known trusted family friends.
I think for our kids, us adults kind of went overboard with the fear mongering. So I tried to provide as much entertainment as I could for my kids and for my daycare kids, for a business I ran out my basement for 11 years. I had blocks and cars and art supplies and dolls and dress up clothes and puppets and a puppet theater, and much more to keep them busy inside and outside a cement court for riding bikes, a big dirt area for digging, a swingset and a climbing toy and a basketball hoop. The state demanded that I keep my kids locked inside and other kids locked out. If they had to be prisoners at least they would have fun doing it.
My son grew up and went away to college and my daughter died and I moved away to a tiny town up north. Now I was really living in the sticks. But I have a beautiful view of the bay, it’s quiet and secluded and quite frankly, I’m bored stiff of it. It’s too far from town to go in for any entertainment or night out, so it only happens during special occasions, which is rare. I was planning on downsizing and buying a much smaller house IN town and was in the midst of house hunting when Covid 19 shut everything down. At least it’s spring and summer so being here won’t be all that painful. But I hope I can move this fall. I don’t want to spend another winter with power outages way out here.