Thursday, June 19, 2008

9 X 5 (Happy Birthday to Me)

What can I say? Forty-five ain't nothin' but adult. No reasonable excuse for feeling youthful (which I do) or for feeling like a cool kid...'cuz there's just no kid left. Ah well...I've found, and I'm sure you will all agree either now or in due time that it just doesn't feel like it sounds... I still feel about 25 but with more smarts, more money, more love, less drama. (I won't mention that remark made by a good friend the other day that I "look good for 45". I mean, really? What does that mean?)

So feeling a wee bit older and thinking about being a kid, I played around with Google Maps which is just getting cooler by the minute:

View Larger Map
Point A would be the street on which my family took up residence for the majority of our years in Spain, beginning in 1972. (Our apartment was in the large bank of buildings facing the park). I was 9 years old and Spain was so very different from what I knew of the US and certainly different from what it has become with the end of years of Franco fascism... these were really exciting years with more freedom than you could possibly imagine granting a 9 year old in the US even then and certainly now. I was allowed/encouraged to explore, sent on errands, miles from our apartment on foot: to the large market "in town"; to the fruit stand, the bread shop, the wine shop that were immediately surrounding our apartment. I'm glad to see these images match my recollection so well and that things are still lovely and that using Google Maps, I was able to retrace some of my usual jaunts, pick out friends' homes, etc. I should really go back.

Memory Anchors
Two kinds of information are strong triggers for my memories and they are music (surprise) and smells. The smell of diesel fumes takes me right back to summer evenings in Alcala with the terrace doors open and the rather heavy commercial traffic immediately in front of our building. Also, olive oil and garlic late in the evening as continental diners got things rolling.

I've spent the last couple of evenings trolling YouTube for music clips that are strongly linked to youthful memories. The girls have really enjoyed it and I've laughed at the questions about clothing styles from the little 5-year old... but in honor of me, those pre-teen years in Spain were alllll about The Spinners, Stylistics, Delfonics, Chi-Lites. A video playlist:


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kat. It's always nice to go in the "way back" to a life and time more simple, happy and full of life. Memories are God's reward for "moving forward". Have fun on your strolls down Memory Lane. LYFE Cousin Nonna

Don said...

Happy Birthday Kathy.

Special K said...

What? It's your birthday?!? Happy Birthday!!!!!