My mom died in 1966 in the fall. That winter, walking to school was a chore. My older sister at the time was a sophomore in high school, my younger sister was in fourth grade and I was in the sixth.
The three of us would walk together until my younger sister and I headed up a hill to our school and my older sister would continue to walk down to the high school.
I remember the walks to school, the early cold mornings, gray, icy, snowy. I remember some of the conversations along the way.
It wasn’t until recently that I had a conversation with my older sister about those walks. She mentioned that they were hard times for her. She wanted to cheer us up as we walked. She did a good job, since obviously, I don’t remember them being hard except for the cold weather.
One of the things she would do is sing. The song that reminds me most of those times is ‘California Dreamin’ by the Mammas and the Pappas. I hear that song today and I am transported to walking to school. I can picture a bend in the road and I can remember every detail.
It’s amazing to me how music can transport you to times and seasons. You feel, smell, think and remember with clarity where you were and what you were doing. How you were feeling and what you were thinking. I love that!
California Dreamin’ made me want to go to California. I remember at that young age determining that I would make it one day across the country to that magical state. I always pictured myself as a single girl in Los Angeles. Living a glamor filled life and meeting one celebrity after another.
I did make it to California. My first encounter to the state was San Francisco, where hubby and I spent four days before heading to Japan to live. I fell in love with that city. The hills, the water, the food. I could still eat my way through San Francisco, enjoying each hill and view.
What I didn’t realize in my young dreaming days was that I would live in that magical state for almost 27 years. It wouldn’t be a glamorous life as a single, but a loving life with children and a husband. I saw some celebrities through the years and I met a baseball player who struck me dumb and all I could do was nod my head and smile.
While I had many adventures living there, I spend this winter day thankful for being where I am today. I am thankful for my sister who kept her siblings going forward. I am thankful for the memories that song gives me, how it ties my youthful past into my recent past. I am thankful to be once more on the east coast of this great nation.
Music ties you to many things. Thank you for talking a winter walk through my memories. DAF