Thursday, October 22, 2015

Nostalgic Fall Memories

The older I get, the more nostalgic I feel. Maybe it is because I do not live in my hometown, a town I never thought I would leave. 
Jeff LaBrake Photo
This is Main Street, Lake Placid, New York. You can see that it is a small town. There is only one building in the whole town with four above-ground floors, and it is a hotel built in time for the 1980 Winter Olympics.  The photographer, Jeff LaBrake is a friend from kindergarten on - he reminds me of certain kindergarten things I did, too. He coaches figure skaters in Florida now, so I do not get to see him as often as I would like. 

Autumn always signaled the beginning of figure skating season in Placid. To this day, I can remember the excitement of going to Ruthie's Run to buy new skates, relearning how to stand up on the ice, finding out which group we were in that year, and the smells of the arena. 

My best childhood friend, Patrick, plays a part in many of my fall memories. We used to have a lot of fun playing in the leaves in my grandmother's and (her brother) my uncle's yard. (They lived across the driveway from us.) We would rake leaves into a big pile and jump into it from a maple tree. Then, we would rake them into "rooms" and pretend they were our house. 

On year, Patrick's birthday was at his grandmother's house, which was diagonally across the street from where I lived. I was recovering from the chicken pox, but I was allowed to go "if I stayed in the hammock." Well, being hyperactive, I could only do that for so long. At the end of the party, we all ran around the yard breaking the party balloons.

As a Junior Girl Scouts, we went to Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp with the Cadette Girl Scouts, where we would sleep in lean-tos with wool blankets covering the opening. One night, we heard a plane landing on the lake, which was pretty cool. What was not cool was when the pilot, a man walked through our camping site. We girls were hoping he would not lift the the blanket corner. Thankfully, our leader and her husband dealt with him. 

During the day, the older girls laid out a marked path for us to practice our orientation skills. I can still remember the pile of rocks and the arrow. I cannot tell you today what the pile of rocks meant. If you know, can you please leave a comment below?

Halloween time:

The weather on Halloween in LP can be comfortable or snowy or just cold, so costumes had to be big to fit over jackets. Mittens were needed sometimes, which made it harder to open our grocery-bag trick-or-treat containers.

A long-time activity in town was a snake dance led by our school band. Dressed in costumes, we would start at the beginning of Main Street (upper left of the picture) and wind our way back-and-forth across the street and end up at the school. One year, the trombone section - Patrick and Jamie - dressed in their grandmother's clothes; I loved my overalls, so I would dress as a farm girl. 

Photo by Nancy DeGarcia, foreign exchange student from Guatemala.
Funny thing: I do not remember what happened afterwards. Hmm.... 

When we got older, we could participate in "Doorbell Ringing Night," which was October 30. Now, I realize how annoying this was to the people whose houses we would ring doorbells or knock on the door, then run and hide to watch them answer the door with no one there. I promise you I did not do this, but the more mischievous kids would shaving cream or soap cars and store windows on Main Street. Some kids t.p.'d trees, too.

Of course, I remember sometimes making costumes for my own children. My oldest was Batman and my middle child was Robin, the Boy Wonder - the youngest was too young that year. Another year, they dressed as He-Man, Skeletor, and Beast Man. Remember that cartoon series?

Yes, this is a personal memory post, but have my fall memories brought any of yours to mind? Please leave a comment below with your favorite fall memories.