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Childhood Memories Can Be Positive Reinforcement My favorite childhood place was at my grandparent’s house. My grandparent’s last name was Mountain. Their property had the nick name, “The Mountain House,” I remember wonderful memories of spending time there with my family; eating grandma’s famous potato salad, tasting grandpa’s fabulous barbeque ribs, and most of all eating those wonderful Mountain family cherries. The sounds and smells are truly alive in my memory. These memories are incredibly real for me, even today.

I often drive by the location of my most memorable day, a family reunion at my grandparent’s house. They had a two-story, little white house with green trim. It was a corner house on a four-way stop sign roadway right down the road from the only high school in a cozy small town. Our family reunion happened every year, usually around the Fourth of July. How I miss these wonderful, eventful, and fabulous times at my grandma and grandpa’s property. These are my favorite childhood memories of the “Mountain Family Reunion” they still remain vivid in my mind.

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I woke up that morning with a smile that could light up the world. I jumped out of bed, ran down the hall, and with a loud voice stated, “It’s the Fourth of July and were going to grandma’s house! ” My momma was hurrying me along to get ready and pop’s was loading up the car with lawn chairs, fireworks, and of course my momma’s tasty pistachio salad. We loaded up and set out for what seemed like the longest drive in the world to my grandparent’s house. Finally we arrived, we pulled up to the front of the two-story little white house.

Pop’s always parked out front, just a little passed the front yard, by the side yard so we could see the cherry tree; it was located on the south-side of the house. I barreled out of car; running as fast as I could, practically flying to get to the front door. Right next to the front door, as I Argo 2 would walk up the stairs, there was this giant window, well the largest window I had ever seen, where I could see into the dining room, There was my family all gathered around, they look so happy and joyful.

I whizzed through the front door straight into the living area where my grandma’s prized possessions were displayed. My favorite possession of hers was the many arrays of water-color filled bottles: green, red, purple, and the deepest blue I had ever seen. They were displayed in the front room window seals. The windows covered two walls, from the ceiling to just barely a foot off the ground; so beautiful when the sunlight would shine through the colored bottles, the colors would shine all around the room.

After I reached the living room I would turn the corner into the hallway and run across the furnace, which was built into the floor, quite remarkable. I reached the end of the hallway on the north side of the house and there was the sewing/toy room where many of my cousins were jumping up and down with happiness; we then started hugging each other while jumping up and down, we hugged so hard that we fell down with laughter. We suddenly smelled the spices from the kitchen, and of course the smokey smell of the barbeque coming through the windows.

My cousins and I jumped up and headed out towards the kitchen, on the way, just left to the sewing room was my grandma’s room where I would sneak into on occasion to snoop through her cedar chest; that is where she kept all of our family photo albums. In her room she had an elegant dressing table. I could escape with make-believe by playing dress up with her magnificent costume jewelry. I would play with her make-up and drench myself with her many perfumes: Gardenia, Tabu, and Sands de Sable.

Onwards to the kitchen we go, where grandma was cooking up her famous potato salad; the hot steam, rolled up through the air from the boiling potatoes, all of the cousins raced through to the dining room. In the dining room sitting around the table were the aunts and uncles; laughing, sharing family stories, and passing around the newest photographs. Straight out to the back yard we would go through the big sliding glass doors, we would find grandpa by smelling our way to the smokey barbeque ribs.

Argo 3 By now grandma was setting the picnic table, and it was time for all the families to gather up for the grand feast: ribs, potato salad, deviled eggs, veggies, and of course my momma’s sweet and yummy pistachio salad. After we indulge in all the wonders of the barbeque we headed out to the Mountain family cherry tree; which I loved to climb and pick the delicious, the fruitiest, and the most colorful cherries ever.

I would then eat them until my stomach would swell up. After the cherry tree I would head out to the front yard for the annual fireworks display put on by my uncles. As all the aunts and cousins are on clean-up crew, the little ones were falling asleep as the starry night had arrived. Of course this was my least favorite part of the day when my momma and pop’s would herd me out to the car.

This was the end of a wonderful day with my family; at the “Mountain House,” where on the garage door was a painting of beautifully landscaped mountains. As we pulled away from another memorable family reunion, I watched the mountains on the garage door get smaller and smaller; the smell of fireworks and smokey barbeque ribs on my clothes, the sound of laughter still in my head, and having those feelings of love and comfort. These sounds and smells still remain in my thoughts today.

Remembering childhood memories like these can make the difference in feeling lost and disconnected with oneself; this could have positive reinforcement to help with feeling connected and to feel not so lost. One of the most important things in someone’s life is the connection and support of family. Tapping into these memories helps me to stay strong and focused. I keep these memories going with sharing and passing along photos and stories to my children. Always stay connected with family if possible, for they could be your life line.

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Kylie Garcia

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