Friday, August 05, 2011

Walking Down Memory Lane….

Or that would be, a visit to my childhood home in Minnetonka, Minnesota!

Last evening we drove to my Uncle Steve’s house to spend the evening and enjoy a dinner with them….

You know how it goes? You are invited to dinner, and you want to bring something. One thing lead to another, and we decided to stop at the Great Harvest bread store in Minnetonka! Which is a few blocks up from where I went to Kindergarten, First Grade, and half of second.

I have such vivid memories of this place! First off….the school itself is right next to a cemetery. Creepy, I know! There is nothing like looking out of your first grade classroom window and seeing tomb stones! ((This put my little 6 year old brain in high gear on many occasion)) And it gets a bit funnier.

The name of the school is Groveland. But we called it Graveland because…well…that’s what it was!

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Here I am, 40+ years later….and the school still looks the same!

Have you traveled back to your first school ever? It’s a really strange feeling isn’t it?

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A short drive away, was the first house I remember living in…

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The street is named "The Strand". We moved here when I was about 5 --- and we only stayed a couple years, but I remember it SO vividly. There are places that I lived much longer…..but I remember the names of my childhood friends, and I’ve tried to find them, but haven’t been successful so far.

Mom was with me and we talked about lots of things…”Remember the lily of the valley that grew under that window?” “I remember planting that tree as a little stick, look how big it’s grown!” “That’s the hill I rode my bike down, and didn’t look both ways and almost got hit by that car!” ((And I was grounded from that brand new birthday bike for 2 weeks after that mishap!))

Mom reminded me of the time I caught a salamander and put it in my little purse…and left it to rot in my closet for 3 weeks. :c/

We talked about the time that we banked up the snow around the perimeter of the little concrete patio, and then using a hose from inside the house through the kitchen window to cover the patio with layers of water over ice to freeze and freeze and freeze until we had our own skating rink in our back yard. It seemed huge at the time I was 6 --- it’s just a tiny patio!

I remember the sand box and swing set and I remember the rhubarb that grew and how we would pick it and dip it in sugar to chew on it. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

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Mom and I at the end of my old driveway, 40+ years later ---My bedroom was the window you can’t see to the far right of the house…it was a corner bedroom and two windows were in the corner…one on the side of the house, and one on the front..and I remember lacy sheer “cross over” kinds of curtains at the window…it was a princess room. I loved it!

Another old memory icon is THIS place:

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When I was little, Snuffy’s was just a little drive in, across the street and down a bit from where it is now. We loved it so much, we named our old black lab dog Snuffy too! This place is always hopping, great burgers, terrific malts and milk shakes, and there is old Minnetonka memorabilia hanging all over the inside….

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It was a great afternoon for hitting just a few of these locations that meant so much to me growing up. Sometimes thinking back to those early years seems like it must have been someone else's life…not mine. And then sometimes I feel like I am still that little 6 yr old girl with the blue rhinestone cat eye glasses and the twin pony tails and the missing teeth riding her new bike down the hill and forgetting to look both ways.

We are leaving for the airport in about 20 minutes so I better end this here and get a move on! I am SO glad I came. This couple of days has really filled my heart with so many things….it’s been priceless!


  1. What a great post Bonnie. I loved walking back in time with you. We lived up north when I was growing up, so I've never been back to the places of my childhood, but I do sometimes remember the smells and the sounds. Isn't it funny how things come back to you after so many years??

  2. Can't really visit my old school they knocked it down and rebuilt I hope a better one. The old buildings were a real mish mash and add ons!

  3. Hello Bonnie,
    my first school grew bigger with the years.When I started school there were only 2 class rooms! One for the 1st to the 4th grade and the other one for the 5th to the 8th grade! Incredible isn't it? And I am still living in the house I was born and grew up (I was only off a few years when I studied). So my past ist still with me in present all the time. That's also a very nice experience.
    Have a good time :o) Doris

  4. I grew up 1 block from the elementary school I attended. My parents still live in the same house as then, but the elementary school building has been incorporated into the high school next to it (which I also attended) and they have built a new elementary school about 1 mile away. I now live about 4 miles from the new school.
    Looks like you have had a fun "sentimental journey."
    Good for you!

  5. Hi Bonnie,
    Thanks for the great post. I never left home: my parents lived only about 20 minutes away and my hubby's parents live only 2 miles away. So, like Doris above me, I live in my past. It is a very nice experience. I am grateful, though, that you posted this because I have sisters who left and occasionally visit. It's easier to understand how they feel when they return. They say, "everything has changed and stayed the same" and now I understand.

  6. Isn't it funny how 40 years can simply vanish in the blink of an eye? I loved reading about your vivid memories! Wouldn't you love to go back and talk to your 6-yr old self and whisper in her (your) ear and say, "You are NOT going to believe what happens next!", but no spoiling the surprises!

  7. Oh my, I am going home on vacation soon, In Minnesota too, and no, I don't have pictures of those places of my youth, but you can bet that I certainly will be taking some serious pictures and strolls down memory lane this time, so when I tell those stories to my kids, there will be pictures to go along.

  8. This is so wonderful! My elementary school was torn down and replaced by a very nice neighborhood. It was sad the first time I saw it, but I guess it's progress. Your mom helped you build a skating rink on the patio?!?!?? What a cool mom! I love visiting places from my childhood...it brings back new memories each time. Though the memory of my blue rhinestone cat eye glasses could have stayed buried!!!!

  9. Thanks for sharing all of that. I loved hearing about all of it. I did laugh out loud a few times, the salamander aging in your purse was one. Another was the name of your street. In my hometown The Strand is a pool hall! And my first school...is now owned by an artist and her husband. I thought that was so cool. I stopped by to get a maple seedling to bring home with me and had a nice chat with her about 9 years ago.

  10. Bet your elementary school didn't have a web-site back then. LOL

  11. Anonymous6:39 PM EDT

    I also went to a school next to a cemetary. It is kind of creepy when you are young. Marla

  12. After 51 years I visited my old high school this past Sunday. Things flashed in my head I didn't even know I remembered. The only thing missing from my visit was my best friend.

  13. I am so glad that you are having some family(down) time... you deserve it!


  14. Great trip down memory lane. My first school was torn down--but they built a new one right next door and it kept the same name. Soooooo-I looked up the first two schools where I taught--and they've both been closed. Hmmmmmm.

  15. Such a cool story (and the last few posts as well). I had those kind of curtains in my room - the lacy criss-cross kind. Thanks for your memories which brought mine to mind. I can see where you got your smile from and your amazing personality. Your mom should travel with you!!

  16. It's funny but I drove past my grade school yesterday with my two nieces and it doesn't look the same - they have added on and remodeled. We also went past the first two houses I lived in, the school I went to for 2&3 grade, and my junior high school.

  17. It was so much fun to see your photos in front of Groveland School and your house on The Strand! I met you last summer in Sisters and we compared notes about your school experiences. I have not been successful to comfirm if I was your Kdg teacher but there is a really good chance that I was. Have you asked your mom about your early school teachers as she might remember? I see the building principal frequently but he said the records were gone as are mine. So glad to hear that your time in Minnetonka was "priceless".
    I heart Snuffy's!!

  18. Sweet :0)
    Your Mom is so tiny!

    Safe travels and
    Happy sewing

  19. Hi Bonnie! I went to the same school from Kindergarten through 12th grade. It has changed a lot but it is still the same in my heart :)

  20. I had blue rhinestone glasses too!!! Of course, I didn't really need them, but I decided that I really, really wanted glasses so I faked my way through the exam. Boy the things we were able to get away with back then :)

    What fun to go back and see all those beloved places of our childhood! You look like you had so much fun! I loved my first school. It was for all grades 1-12, and both of my older cousins were there too, so I felt right at home. Sadly, they tore down the original building and built a new one in its place for elementary grades. The neat thing is that my daughter-in-law teaches there and my granddaughter is in 2nd grade there now! Small world right?

  21. What a wonderful trip down memory lane. It is a weird time warp going back isn't it? Seems so long ago and yet not.
    Looks like it was lots of fun.

  22. How exciting! Such wonderful memories! Actually my son (9) goes to the same school that I did and my parents did! LOL! A very small town, not stop lights at all and the school here goes from K-8 then everyone is bused to the county seat to enter high school. This is one of those towns that everyone knows everyone.


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