The value of a memory

Summit house72
Texture by Kim Klassen; Luminous, 80% Multiply
Snapshot frame action

Sometimes you will never know the value of some­thing, until it becomes a memory.
~Dr. Seuss

During one of our trips to Kansas City last summer, Entrepreneur drove by one of my child­hood homes. I was struck by how large the trees in the yard had grown. I remember helping plant those trees when I was in third grade.

It’s funny what we choose to remember about our past, isn’t it? I remember the exact floor plan of this house, and the arrange­ment of my room…down to the last 1960-70s beaded décor detail. I remember helping build a stone wall and foun­tain on the patio in the back­yard that fed into a stone creek that trickled by my mom’s rose bushes to a little water­fall. I remember mowing the @#$% zoysia lawn. I remember run­ning from ground wasps that lived around the back­yard patio!

I remember end­lessly exploring the neigh­bor­hood with friends until it was way past dark thirty. I remember climbing huge piles of dirt and having “dirt wars” when­ever a base­ment was dug for a new house…an activity I think would never be frowned upon and never allowed in this this day and age of risk management.

I remember get­ting ready for school dances, day­dreaming for hours while sit­ting on those court­yard walls, and lis­tening to music (with head­phones, of course) on the stereo con­sole in the living room, which was dec­o­rated with Scandinavian-style furniture.

I remember bringing Entrepreneur home to meet my par­ents while we were in col­lege, and bringing our first child to visit Grandma at this house.

And I remember when this house was sold. And all those mem­o­ries took on an entirely new meaning. Why? Because the source of them was no longer mine. Never again would I be able to step foot inside and feel the good…and bad.…times. The sur­round­ings I thought would be there for years and years to come sud­denly weren’t. And the mem­o­ries attached to them became more valu­able to me.

How many times do we take for granted the mem­o­ries we’re making? We make mem­o­ries all the time by the activ­i­ties we do and choices we make. But how often do we con­sider what kind of impact those mem­o­ries will have in the future? Sometimes The Investigator and The Golfer share snip­pets of things they remember while growing up. And while it warms my heart that some things imprinted pos­i­tively on their hearts, there are a few things I wish they would forget!

And speaking of wanting to forget…I assure you I’m not selec­tively choosing only the good mem­o­ries to remember. Like any family, we had our fair share of bad mem­o­ries. It’s never good to pick and choose which mem­o­ries we only want to remember. To remember only the good or the bad ones skews our per­spec­tive, and is not an accu­rate rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how things actu­ally were. Yes, we need to embrace the good mem­o­ries and acknowl­edge the bad ones. The only deci­sion is which ones we choose to take precedence.

Same for Peanut and Twix. For now, our pre­cious grand­babykins live under our roof and mem­o­ries are being made every day. I feel blessed to be a part of that process and acutely aware that every word I say and every action I take will imprint upon them one way or the other. What they see, hear and expe­ri­ence in these years, they will take with them forever.

But some day, this child­hood home of theirs will be sold and they’ll be left with nothing but mem­o­ries. And while I know there will be mem­o­ries that aren’t all rain­bows and but­ter­flies, I hope the ones of the fun they had, love they felt and spe­cial moments they expe­ri­enced rise to the top of the list.

What sort of mem­o­ries are you making for your chil­dren? What will they remember about growing up and what will they value when they look back at the photos of their lives?

Linking up with Texture Tuesday, Texture Twist and Life Through the Lens.
Texture Tuesday   texture-twist  Life through lens


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  1. it’s inter­esting what we remember, isn’t it? I remember sum­mers on some lake in Minnesota — bits and pieces. Taking our family boat out and exploring the lake with that summer’s friends. I remember a house with a wrap-around porch in Beverly, Ohio, and a pome­granate tree in the side­yard. I remember … scat­tered things, good and bad. I choose to think of the good most often.

  2. Oh what a post down memory lane! And the older we get the more we have. Sometime soon I want to journal some of mine.

  3. Some mem­o­ries are price­less!
    I went back to my child­hood home a few years ago and the cur­rent owner let me tour the grounds and even gave me a tour of the house to rem­i­nisce and see all the ren­o­va­tions. It was a won­derful trip back in time.

  4. A very insightful post thank you for sharing your thoughts on a very impor­tant topic.

  5. This brings back such, well, mem­o­ries, Lisa!
    I am about 2 hours away from the home that I grew up in, and although I only go back about once a year, the first thing I want to see when we get there are the two red maple trees that my father planted when I was born. Still there (thank good­ness), and enor­mous now, I just love them and all the mem­o­ries there.

    This was such an enjoy­able read, Lisa. Thank you!

  6. Childhood mem­o­ries are so pre­cious, I’ve ejoyed reading your post.

  7. Lovely post Lisa. When we get together as a family none of us have the same memory of how things used to be — the color of the kitchen, or the pat­tern of the wall­paper — funny how we could all live in the same space and have dif­ferent memories!

  8. These are all beau­tiful memory, Lisa and the house looks gor­geous still!

  9. What a lovely, thought-provoking post. I often wonder what my chil­dren will recall of their child­hood with its ups and downs… I hope their mem­o­ries are kind…

  10. Ahhh! Some beau­tiful mem­o­ries and thoughts about mem­o­ries here, Lisa. And what you say is true, we have to take the bad along with the good. I can relate to the tree story. Some time ago, my hus­band and I were in a town where we used to live and drove by the ‘old home­stead’. The trees we’d planted were so huge, I almost didn’t rec­og­nize the place! But they did exactly what we wanted them to do when we could only see them in our mind’s eye.

  11. Home is where we make it, yet places can bring back memories.

  12. Lisa, reading this beau­tiful post brought back so many mem­o­ries for me and my child­hood as well.

    And isn’t it some­thing how just by looking at a HOUSE, your mind and heart are filled with so much emo­tion? A house con­tains such vivid mem­o­ries. I remember when I first moved back east and vis­ited the house I grew up in. I sat in the car and cried because it was like re-watching a doc­u­men­tary film of my child­hood, and all the things that took place in that house.

    Yes, we need to embrace the good mem­o­ries and acknowl­edge the bad ones. The only deci­sion is which ones we choose to take precedence.”

    You are so right about that!

    Fab post, my friend! And thank you for sharing it.

  13. Wonderful. I saw the house I had in 1960 in 2012. I could remember all the things I had done there. After all these years it still looked about the same but some of the plants were no longer there. The house was the same color. Amazing memories.

  14. I hope the mem­o­ries we are making are as good for them as they are for me.

  15. what a fab­u­lous walk down memory lane… good food for thought too. Thanks for linking up!!

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