Lost Objects and Found Memories

Ridge Road Elba New York

Long-forgotten memories can be found again at the most unexpected times.

The photo above may not look like anything special but it's the place where i grew up. Many of my memories were made in that little town in Western New York. Our house was on a dead end road that transitioned into a field path. To the right is the driveway that led to our former home and little has changed since i was last there in the late 90s. Even the posted sign seems on one of the poles seems to be the same one. The little 'garden bed' is new, having replaced the bushes that used to be there. But the maple tree and the blue spruce tree are the same ones that were there back in the 90s. At one time there was a tall paper birch tree near the spruce tree, to the left of the garden bed, but it died from an insect infestation around the year 1996. The road itself still looks as beat up as it always has. They paved it in the early 90s, when it was nearly worn to gravel by then, and i'm sure they've paved it within the past few years though.

Across the road is the field where my siblings and cousins used to play in as children. We'd wait for the corn to get high enough and play a game that we called "ghost". We'd attach a piece of window plastic to a tall stick (the ghost) and run through the rows of corn chasing someone until we caught them. Then they'd become the "ghost". Everyone would have ten seconds to get away and hide and/or keep moving before the "ghost" started chasing while holding the stick of plastic and making ghost sounds. Sometimes, if we had enough sticks and plastic, we'd continue until everyone was a caught and became a ghost. I remember we'd usually play a little before sunset too. It was a game of tag, more or less.

Beyond the field, on the edge of the woods, my brother and i made a small, partial tree house in an old tree that leaned at an extreme angle. It was a large, healthy tree with a massive trunk that just grew strange. Given its size, the tree was at least 100 years old. Near that tree were remnants of what was probably a small building of some sort. The old, crumbling bricks and stones were hidden in the grass and in the dirt, along with remnants of a foundation. On old maps there is no evidence of anything ever being there. So we never knew what it actually was in the past. Further in the woods was old fence wire likely left over from when there were no trees there. Near that were two names carved in a tree that were at least ten feet up. The carving was kind of elaborate and definitely looked like it took a while to carve. I cannot remember the names but they'd certainly still be there.

One of the biggest memories i have though, from when i was around eight, involves the field path. We had neighbors around our age that'd we play with all the time. One summer the neighbor girl, who was my age, and i were running down the path. We ran all the way to the end and she'd realized that she dropped her necklace somewhere along the path. It was one of those colorful plastic bead snap-together necklaces. We searched the path and couldn't find her necklace anywhere. We gave up after a while and headed back to my house. This would've been around 1988. Years later, in 1997, and years after her family moved away, i was walking that path and randomly spotted the plastic necklace in the tall dry grass. It was along the path and about halfway up it. The necklace was worn and its colors had been faded by the sun over the decade. This was long after i'd forgotten about that day but picking it up triggered my childhood memories of that summer day. Almost like the memories themselves were locked up in that faded, worn, and dusty toy necklace.

Though we only lived there for around twelve years, my memories of that place are endless. I have so many memories of the people there, in the town. And they of I. I remember so much that i could probably write a short book on the years spent living there. Despite being a small town, it was definitely a lively and interesting town that i was glad to have lived in.

The Daily Post Prompt: The Things We Leave Behind
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