Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - G for Growing Up

Growing up in Queens was like a kaleidoscope of people, sights, sounds and colors. Weird but I do have a few memories as a baby.  I remember crawling on my grandmothers kitchen floor.  I can still picture the pattern of the linoleum as I made my way through the maze of chairs that where lined up around the table. My other memory, I am standing in my crib, my sister is still asleep, in her bed across the room.  I am leaning out looking down the long hall outside my room.  The front door to our flat was directly ahead of me.  The front door opens and my father who worked nights is coming home from long night of driving a NYC sanitation truck.   I can still hear the clicking of the refrigerator door opening and closing as my mother makes him something to eat.

Each morning during the school year my sister and I would get up each morning and  walk the ten blocks  to Our Lady of Miraculous Medal.  At lunch time we would take the trek home again, eat quickly and walk back to school for the afternoon lessons.  Our playground was the street where we would play baseball and games like red rover with the all the neighborhood kid.  We would play until someone would yell "CAR COMING!" we would immediately all move to the side of the street until the car passed and then like there was no interruption at all would resume our games.

Snowstorms brought school closings and sleigh rides down  Dead Mans Hill which was at the top of my street.  My sister and I  would come home to hot chocolate, sitting in front of our black and white TV, wrapped in a big warm blanket watching Million Dollar Movie.

In the summer we would all congregate on each others front stoops and read the piles of comic books that were collected over the winter.  We would read the same ones over and over until we would decide to pool are pennies and go down to the corner candy store to pick out new ones.  In the evenings, after dinner, parents and kids alike would sit out enjoying the gentle night breezes. Some nights we would get an old mayonnaise jar with holes poked in the top and catch lightening bugs or sit around in a circle listening to Mr Stark tell us ghost stories, that would scare us all but we still stayed to hear more.

I look back at those time and smile at all the fun times I had growing up.  Life was so good back then. So, what I have learned is that I need to bring some of those care free feelings of my youth into my adult life and try not to take life so seriously.

I am certainly not going to run after lightening bugs, hmmm or maybe I will.

Mary Ann


  1. GREAT memories. I love this.

    My rural world is so far from your Queens world. Isn't so interesting to find out how different and yet how alike people are.

  2. Great post. It reminds me of a quote. "Don't take life to seriously; you'll never get out alive."
    Thanks for sharing! Happy A-Z!

  3. Did every neighborhood have a dead man's hill. we had one in our's on long island where we rode our sleighs when it snowed it was near a golf course! Funny right?
    I'm not sure where in Queens you lived but the school and church my parents belonged to and I was baptised in was Most Precious Blood.in Astoria. My brother went to school there for a few years before we made the trek to LI.