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 decor 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


15 thoughts on “The value of a memory

  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. 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.


  3. 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!


  4. 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!


  5. 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.


  6. 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.


  7. 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.


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