at least thirty years ago...

i lived here.

rural ohio.
pataskala, to be exact.
i remember feeling really proud of myself when i learned to spell our town's name.
it was right up there with spelling mississippi and massachusettes.
 palmer road | pataskala, oh

on the back of this photo, my mom wrote, 
"our house under construction last summer."
in her beautiful, swirly cursive writing.
she didn't date it.

looking at this photo brings back so many memories.
i lived in this house all through elementary school.
(etna elementary)
i can picture it in my mind.
our family. our bedrooms. the basement renovation my dad did.
the above ground pool my dad installed...
and all of us swimming in one direction to create a whirlpool of sorts.

i remember walking down that long drive way to catch the school bus.
and during the winter, doing that in a snowsuit and snow boots.

i remember the time we were "ice skating" with our shoes on,
on a frozen patch of water in our yard and i lost my tooth.
it fell out of my mouth and then slid across the ice and into a patch of snow.
white snow. just like the color of teeth.
i was devastated and certain that i wouldn't find it.
we looked forever. (a kid's version of forever, that is.)
and then it was found.
i remember running inside with it to show my mom.
a truly happy moment.

me and my siblings:
(l-r) jean, me, andy
the catholic kids | all dressed up for easter

i remember our neighbors.
there were six houses in all.
set back just as far from the street as our house.
three on each side.
like a perfectly symmetric mini neighborhood in the middle of nowhere.

our next door neighbors had two kids:
jennifer and chad.
(and a cat named katie. whatever.)
jennifer was older than my brother by a year.
and chad was younger than i was by a year.
i played barbies with jennifer which was thrilling
because my mom wouldn't let me own any of them.
but jennifer always took the pretty barbies for herself 
and i would have to play with the ones with really messy hair.
and sometimes she would let me have clothes for them.
and i remember one horrible day that jennifer thought we should go into the corn fields
and play truth and dare.
somehow, i was dared to kiss her slobbery brother.
(jennifer was running the show... i think she wanted to kiss my brother)
i deny it ever happened.
i deny it as my first kiss.
what a waste.
it would be a REALLY long time until i would try that again. ew.

we had a lot of space there as children.
apparently we worked hard too.
child labor
i have no idea what andy and i were working on.
and who knows why those bricks were even in the grass like they were.
but i like that this photo makes us look like farm children.
in a way we were.
it's certainly where we came from. (more on that later.)

as far as i could see behind our house was corn fields.
i have many memories playing in them.
it was like a maze to be conquered.
and if there happened to be a few stalks missing in the same place,
we created a sort of imaginary room
where we could play house.

and there was a farm just down the street from our mini pretend neighborhood.
we would play in the barn.
and swing from the loft into the bales of hay.

while living here, i discovered on our back deck that my dad built
that i was pretty darn allergic to cats.
we had just had a new litter of kittens at our house
and i was outside snuggling and playing with them as if i were one of them.
when i came inside, my mom gave me a startled look
because my face was so red and swollen.

when people ask where i'm from these days,
i often pause.
though my accent reveals a southern place of origin,
definitely, i am from ohio too.
it's all that little girl below celebrating her birthday knew until she was 11.

a birthday i don't remember
with kids i don't remember.

i would love to share one story each post,
but when i took these particular photos out of my box containing a small stack,
there were so many snippets that came to mind.

mini moments.

i wish i could remember more.
i wish i could see more pictures.
and i definitely want to write more down for my kids
so they can remember more of who they are.

i have a plan to write stories from different chapters of my life
as i approach my birthday next week.

i'm turning 37.

and i'm living this really grown up life.
sometimes i'm struck by it all...
i see my four-growing-up-fast children
and think about how we're an "older" family now.
i see my grown up house and wonder how i ever grew able to handle all of this.
and i see this body i'm in growing older too...

but in all of it,
there is this little girl still living inside.

and i wonder if that's the irony of aging.
as i approach those ages
that i viewed others as being so mature and established in,
i never quite feel as mature and established as i thought those others were.

here i am approaching another mile marker.

i want to give thanks for where i am,
as i remember where i came from.

i will share my stories.
(if you are inspired to share more of your stories, please link in comments!)


Anonymous said...

i love that little girl from ohio. she is one of my most favorite people in this whole, wide world! she rocks, always has, always will...regardless of age or circumstance. she is a beautiful friend who sees, feels and loves! it is so good to be known and loved by that little girl from ohio! thanks for telling me more about her! love you...

April Barber said...

I never knew you lived in Ohio! Thanks for sharing. I am loving your stories during your birthday week.

I think I still would have looked up to you, even back then!

Susie said...

That avocado fridge looks remarkably like the one we had outside of Chicago in the late 70's. :) I'm curious how you keep memories for your kids... I'm trying to write things down so they'll have memories of who they were and how God shaped them, but it's hard to find a good way to be consistent. Have you found one? Thanks for sharing your snippets -- love it!!

katie said...

susie... there isn't much that is consistent in my life. this blog and facebook are my public record of their and our lives.
it feels like the most i can do.

i also feel the more pictures the better. through an image, you can really piece things together often.
maybe others here have better ideas though...???

Angie Davis said...

i knew you lived in ohio, but how fun to learn more. farm girl, eh?

keri said...

i'm amazed at what you can remember.
and i feel the same way...still a little girl inside but growing old on the outside. such a strange thing to feel. thanks for sharing snippets of your childhood....i love hearing it!

Jean Joiner said...

made me cry. makes me miss being close to you. i will never forget those gold kitchen chairs. we need dad to tell us some of those stories...maybe record them in audio form? that would be neat to have the kids to listen to later.

i was thinking today that the visit e and i just had there was the best ever. love you!