Maggie has graciously written today’s Throwback Thursday. Having such a wonderful friend has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. Please pop over to Maggie’s blog to read how other bloggers have responded to today’s questions.
This week’s prompt is: Spaces and Places
- Did you grow up in an urban or a rural environment? How would you describe the geographic area where you lived? Was it mostly buildings or mostly trees? Four seasons, or always warm or cold? I lived for the the first 12 years of my life in a low income suburb. All the small houses were alike. We lived across the street from an orange grove and strawberry farm. It later became a high school that my older brother became the first class to attend. There weren’t really four seasons here. Typically, it felt like spring most of the time with a little wet weather in winter.
- What about the place in which you resided? Was it a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a boat, or something else? Did you like it and do you miss it now? Our small house had three bedrooms and one bathroom. When I was very young, I shared a bedroom with my younger brother. Then I had a bedroom to myself, which I loved. I have driven past that house a couple of times. The neighborhood seems very different now. Most people added on to the houses, including the house I grew up in.
- What about the bedroom you had in the home? Did you share it with someone or did you have it all to yourself? If you shared, with whom? How was the space decorated? I don’t remember how the bedroom was decorated when I shared it with my little brother. I do remember when I got the small bedroom to myself, it was painted pink. When my mom married step-dad number 5 we moved into his house. I was devastated to leave my sanctuary. We lived in his house for a few months before they divorced. Then we moved into an apartment which was strange to me. Then off across the country with another step-dad. We lived there for a year before returning to CA. I hated leaving my state, its weather, and my comfort zone. When it snowed on my birthday, in late May, I knew when I grew up, I would never live where it was cold. The house we lived in had three families, each living on their own floors. That was something I had never seen in CA.
- When you did family activities at home, in what room did you spend your time? What did you do together? TV? Cards? Board Games? Reading? As a youngster, we only had one TV. If my mom was home, you could bet westerns or violent dramas were on. I didn’t care for either one. If my older brother was home, anything sports would be on the TV. I grew to hate sports of any kind. I spent most of my time alone in my bedroom.
- Did your friends’ living situation seem similar to your own? Did you prefer to be at your friend’s home or did you prefer your own? Did your friends like to hang out at your house? The few friends I had from the neighborhood lived as I did. I understood at an early age, that having multiple stepfathers was not the norm. I never wanted to talk about the spouses coming and going at home. It was hard to avoid the questions from elders I was taught to respect. Until high school, I rarely went to anyone’s house, nor did friends come to my house. The year we lived back east, my best friend lived on the floor above us. She was my saving grace in the strange world I was living in. We were at each other’s places all the time.
- What kind of school did you attend? Large or small? Religious or secular? Public or private? I always attended public school. I never even knew there were private schools until I hit middle school age. We didn’t move from our house for all my elementary school years. The area was growing rapidly and they changed the boundaries every couple of years. I attended four different schools but never moved from my house. My neighbors were all in the same boat. We just accepted that whatever the district said, we did.
- Did you attend church, synagogue, temple, or some other religious facility? If so was it large and ornate, or small and homey? Did you feel comfortable there? My family attended synagogue when I was very young. I have no memories of it. When Mom divorced bio-dad he refused to stand up to his agreement to pay for synagogue fees. We stopped going and never went back. As a teen, I asked to attend some functions at the one synagogue near us. It was a resounding failure. The kids were all in a clique and I was an outsider. I was not welcomed, and they made it obvious.
- Did you have a hang out spot? Skating rink? Mall? Burger joint? Bowling alley? Friend’s house? As a teen, I would try and get out of the house as much as possible. I had two dear friends whose parents were willing to give us rides to places. We didn’t have a specific hang out other than each other’s homes. We did go miniature golfing, bowling, to the movies, and out for burgers. I babysat to earn money for anything I wanted to do.
- Where did you typically go on dates (if you dated)? Movies? Out to a restaurant? At home watching tv? Library? Gym? Dances? Clubs? Mall? Dating was usually going to a nearby passion pit, aka a drive in movie theater. We would grab a burger or pizza, but never a real restaurant. I never brought anyone home to meet my mom. When I started dating my first husband, I was 16 and he lived down the street from me. My mom had met him, but had no idea about how serious we were. When we got engaged I was 17. We married when I was 18.
- What kind of place did you live in when you first moved away from home? Was it a big adjustment or were you ready to strike out on your own? Describe your first place. My spouse and I first moved into a rental property his parents owned. It was little more than a shack. The bathroom was an after thought. It was strange living on our own and I see now how much I wanted to get out of my mom’s house. I did not like how I had to make all the adult decisions, but I did like that I was truly living like an adult.