Thursday, December 01, 2011

My life in 5 places - Sunset Drive

If you had to describe your life in five places, which sites would you choose and why?
I love questions with that kind of history and depth to them. Also, I like when someone or something else tells me what to do. Also, I can take this to mean anything -- cities, locations, houses, etc.  That is why I've decided to show you the 5 most important places that have shaped my life.

This is the first in a five part series:

Sunset Drive
We moved to Regina the fall I turned 7 years old.  The house on Sunset Drive is the house in my memory when I think of being a child.
Shaped like a milk carton and decorated with bits of stone and glass, it was a perfect house for small kids: three houses from the school, a huge backyard, near tons of other kids, and close enough to walk to the library.   This house is the background for my favourite memories.
It is the place where my playhouse was built.  The place where I soaked my neighbour's birthday party with the garden hose.  It's where we tied my little sister to the tree and where she ran away to Canadian Tire before anyone noticed she was gone.  It's where my brother broke the window playing baseball and where my Mom watched us play out the kitchen window while she baked bread.  It is the house where Dad and I would put lights on the huge fir tree in front during the coldest blizzard in November using two long sticks nailed together with a T bar on the top.

1 - Regina Sunset 1
Front of our house on Sunset Drive.

It is the backyard that holds the most importance for me here.  This is where we spent most of our time.  It's where the neighbourhood kids congregated and where I felt the safest.  It was also where I spent a lot of time being grounded for doing stupid things outside the yard, but that's a different story.
The left quarter was where Mom's little garden was and our playhouse was built on top of the sandbox once we outgrew it.  Three lilic trees grew along the back fence and created a perfect hideaway for scented excursions.  But the piece that meant the most was the playset.

1 - Regina Sunset 3
The centre of my childhood. The swingset my Dad built for us.
Dad installed this shortly after we moved in.  We spent hours climbing the rope, swinging the swing as high as it would go, trying to make the entire structure sway.
It was part of the set up in our elaborate game of K!ll the Russians (can you tell we knew all about the Cold War?) where you had to climb the rope, jump down, climb the fence, run around the house, climb the gate, climb the tree, jump off the playhouse, and get back to the swing set.  I'm not sure what the rules of this game was, but I know we didn't actually kill anyone.  And, honestly, we like Russians now. (Hi Russian Step-Mom!)
We moved from this house when I turned 12.  My sisters remember the house, but don't have the same attachment to it that I did.  They have childhood memories in the house on Pasqua whereas I was a surly teen and stayed in my room for 4 years.
I drove past the house the other day when I was in the neighbour hood.  They have cut the huge Christmas tree down from the front yard.  They removed the playset from the backyard and painted all the trim on the house blue.  It is no longer the same home I knew and has likely seen many other families since ours roamed it's narrow halls.
I loved that house and the time we spent there.  And, while it's true you can't go home again, it will always be one of my favourite places.

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