Growing up with Grass

Once upon a time there lived a little girl without a penthouse or a college fund.  She played hopscotch on the sidewalks and tried her best to jump double-dutch; however, getting her little feet to step in time to the pounding beat of a double rope was tough.

She lived in a land called New York, foreign to most, but home to her.  Every day the voices of a dozen languages would fill her ears and she would become intoxicated with the smells of exotic foods.  People were bad.  They fought in the streets and filled her kiddie pool with glass.  Once she stood outside the  fence in the photo blowing bubbles when giant bolts of lightning glass started raining from heaven.  They were called flourescent lightbulbs.

A great movement pushed through New York, scalding souls and leaving families homeless.  She wouldn’t know that these flames were named until she became an adult and a fireman mentioned to her the ‘areson wars’ he fought in her very neighborhood.  She just knew that during the black of night, smoke filled the air, choking life and clouding her dreams.  She would wake to watch another building burn.

Don’t feel sad for the little girl in the picture, because she didn’t know life could be any different.  She thought all the world was New York.  One day she moved to a neighborhood with a park waiting right at the mouth of her street.  It had grass and swings and she thought that in an eight minute ride, she moved to the country.

After she was nearly grown, she went away to college and found out that all the world wasn’t like New York.  It shocked her to learn that grocery stores close at night and that McDonalds doesn’t always serve fries 24/7.  She learned the definition of  ‘subdivision’ and found out that most people cannot parallel park.

She discovered that there is life beyond New York and it is very different.

Today she is thankful that her children don’t play around crack vials littering the street, but knows that if it were necessary, it’s not a death sentence.

Some are curious about what it was like to grow up in New York.  I guess I could tell a million stories of my childhood, but I don’t think they’d be so different from most.  Some places just have more grass.

I didn’t grow up in New York City, I grew up in Yonkers.  Yonkers boarders the Bronx, was home to the Son of Sam, and is considered upstate to all city people.  It is the picture of suburban life.  I guess.

I’ve linked today’s post to Mylstones’ Flashback Friday.  Click the photo below to read more great stories!

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16 thoughts on “Growing up with Grass

  1. Pingback: Alive Again « the domestic fringe

  2. Erin

    I used to be able to parallel park, back when I dated a boy who lived on a street where that was the only option. I have lost my ability since then, though. And I’m very glad I don’t live in the big city. Sometimes Des Moines traffic is too much for me. Which makes me sheltered and pathetic, I’m sure. But I’m okay with that.

    Reply
  3. Dawn

    it made me chuckle to read this… after reading about your dream house a couple weeks ago! what a difference! i loved hearing your story…

    Reply
  4. joyce

    Fantastic pictures! I can parallel park like a pro. I lived in England and that’s pretty much all there is.

    I loved the peek into a childhood in the city. Great Post!

    Reply
  5. Jo@Mylestones

    “She learned that most people cannot parallel park.” Uh yeah, I’m one of those people. I can’t fathom growing up in what Caed calls “The Big City”, but I know so many who have, and to them, they can’t fathom anything different. Great post! Thanks for linking up!

    Reply
  6. InspiredDreamer

    Hey you, that is such a beautiful post! Thanks for stopping by my blog so often and commenting, I’m only just trying to catch up. Glad I finally came by though, you’ve got a great blog here and I’m finally following you now! 🙂

    Reply
  7. robinaltman

    Wonderful pictures! I’ve never heard of the arson wars. That’s terrible. My brother-in-law and his wife are raising their daughter in Harlem. It seems really quaint when we visit. Maybe I’m a bit out of the loop.

    Reply
  8. Patti Lacy

    Again you have written a literary masterpiece on a blog.
    LOVEEEE the photo.

    Sigh. Tis a long way from a girl who grew up in a boys’ athletic dorm till age eight, then moved to Louisiana!!

    Did I tell you how well you write?

    Reply
  9. Jill

    Sounds very different to a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. We had grass. We had double dutch. (I couldn’t do it either.) We had crime. We had the Mob. Wait a minute! Maybe it doesn’t sound so different after all! : )

    Reply
  10. red.neck Chic

    LOL Sounds fun to a girl that grew up in Crawford, Texas…hmmm… yuck. heehee

    I’m thankful that your kids know what grass is – but in my opinion – you turned out pretty good hopscotch!!!

    😉 Happy Monday!
    robelyn

    Reply

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