Wayback Wednesday: Won’t Take Nothing but a Memory

First things first: Yes, I know it’s Thursday, but I started this post yesterday and ran out of Wednesday before I finished it. Frankly, I’m in danger of running out of Thursday, too, at this point.

Wayback Wednesday: Won't Take Nothing but a Memory
Dad and me, reading on the front porch of the cottage.

The last few days I’ve been listening fairly obsessively to the Miranda Lambert song “The House that Built Me,” a song about the power of place – in this case, a childhood home. It’s no particular mystery to me why this song has grabbed my imagination this week; on our day trip to the Adirondacks last week, Wendy, Shannon, and I drove right past the campground entrance that provided access to the cottage I grew up visiting every summer until my mid-20s. We didn’t make the turn down the road (there wasn’t time) but part of me wishes we did. The other part of me thinks, “You haven’t been there since Dad died. You will dissolve into a puddle before you get all the way down the road.”

Since the cottage has been on my mind, I went in search of a picture of it for this week’s Wayback Wednesday post, and much to my surprise, didn’t have an exterior shot of it – or at least not one I could put my finger on readily. I found this one instead, though, of my dad and me reading on the front porch. Though even the original is a little dark and blurry, I kind of love this picture, because it captures such a typical moment of the way we spent time there. My nose was always in a book – so much so that I remember Dad telling me that I was just like his mother in my voracious reading habit, which I liked hearing because it made me feel close to the grandmother I had never known.

Searching for a picture of the cottage – in addition to making me massively nostalgic and a tiny bit weepy – also reminded me of what actually started me down the road to the Wayback Wednesday series… driving around Albany and Rensselaer counties last summer with Shannon, taking pictures of the various apartments I had lived in up there. I never got around to using them, however, since what I had originally envisioned as a blog series about my places eventually morphed into something more general. I expect that over the next few months, I’ll start interspersing those place-photos into the mix. After all, as my career choice shows, places are incredibly important to me.

If I could just come in I swear I’ll leave
Won’t take nothing but a memory
From the house that built me


Do you have photos from your past that you’re willing to share – and a blog to post them on? Play along with Wayback Wednesday by linking back to this post or sharing in the comments so we can snoop into your past, too!

6 thoughts on “Wayback Wednesday: Won’t Take Nothing but a Memory

  1. Common Loon July 15, 2011 / 9:03 am

    As I recall, your Dad was not always so supportive of your reading habit…I’m specifically recalling one long drive when a young girl claimed she had to use the bathroom. Thus began the process of pulling over, setting up the portable, opening doors for privacy, and of course grabbing some reading material. After a bit of time had passed without result, your Dad was anxious to get back on the road and requested a status report. I believe the reply of that brave young child went to the tune of, “Oh I really didn’t have to go I just wanted a reading break.”

    I look forward to seeing your former digs. I think I should look to assemble a similar collection. It sounds fun!

    • Sarah July 15, 2011 / 9:56 am

      I’ve never had a problem w/ motion sickness from reading in the car, so the version of that story I know does not involve books/reading. As I’ve heard it told, the punchline is, “I didn’t have to go, Daddy, I was just tired of riding.” I’m sure my mom remembers the whole thing and will fill us in…

  2. Mom July 16, 2011 / 8:53 am

    Hi Loon & Sarah — alas, Sarah’s memory prevails on this one. I can still see Dad’s face when the punchline was so perfectly delivered!!! He *loved* his Sweet Pea but occasionally she pushed the button!!!

  3. Common Loon July 16, 2011 / 9:36 am

    Still funny! Hey Sarah, we are following your lead and are about to depart to depart for Wild Development Camp. Gotta leave ASAP as thousands are expected. Let’s hope we get lucky…

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