Thursday, March 19, 2009

Memories of childhood revisited

Do you have a favorite childhood memory that you have revisited as an adult? If you haven't, do you long to return to that memory and go back to early times when things were simpler and carefree? For me, one of those rare but precious memories was revisited yesterday at Mt. Vernon.

I had a horrific childhood, filled with sexual/physical/emotional abuse by my Adopted Mother. One summer when I was 11 my adopted Dad took me, my adopted brother, two step-sisters and his second wife on a whirlwind trip back east. It is my fondest and cherished memory of my childhood. For a few short months I was able to escape the horrors at home and be a child. I wasn't living in fear of what was coming in the next hour. We went to many places on this trip, Boston, Gettysburg, Washington D.C., King's Dominion, The Sacred Grove/Hill Cumorah and Mt. Vernon.

I don't remember what day it was, what time it was or the weather, but I remembered the place. A place that seemed to stand still in time, quiet, serene and something I wished I had at my tender age.

Well, yesterday I got a chance to visit Mt. Vernon and go back to my childhood, it was a GREAT day! The weather here in Virginia was gorgeous yesterday, beautiful clear blue sky and 67 degrees. I got to Mt. Vernon at 11am and amongst what seemed like a million people I was catapulted back to my childhood and those simpler days.

I was amazed at how much I truly remembered. The tour of the house was just the way I remembered it, the outer buildings were just as I remembered them. The beauty and peace of the place was still there, as if time truly did stand still. The house overlooks the Potomac River with massive lawns. The view yesterday from the back porch was breathtaking and as I sat down on the porch chairs I was able to find the peace in my soul that I've been missing. I took a lot of pictures of the surroundings, but I did not take a picture of the back lawn overlooking the Potomac River, this picture I made in my head in a place I only want to see and visit.

The Plantation itself is one to marvel at. I was struck at how large the bedrooms were, there were 9 total and that was unheard of back then. The bedrooms were also different from other Plantation homes I've visited because they all had closets, very unusual. The home was elegantly decorated from floor to ceiling with excellent workmanship that made me stand in awe. I could have looked at the woodworking and detail for hours. I saw the actual bed that George Washington died in and I felt a sense of honor as I quietly gazed at his final resting place.

The outer buildings were fun and gave you a clear picture of what times were like back in those days and at how wealthy the Washington's really were. I have been to a lot of Plantations and this one was the largest I've been too. There were massive gardens, orchards and pastures for the animals. His and Martha's tomb was a short walk from the main house in a serene, treed area. Each day at sunrise and sunset they have a flag ceremony, I wish I could of seen that.

In these fast-paced stressful times we live in, it was refreshing to visit those bygone years and just for a moment step back in time and let all of today's problems wash away. My first trip and my last trip to Mt. Vernon has been etched eternally in my mind.

Now, tell me your favorite childhood memory that you have visited as an adult.


Grace said...

it truly is amazing how when we get the chance to revisit places that we loved as a child that it rushes memories to us immediately. the same thing happens to me. you know i grew up in pennsylvania..only 5 hours from gettysburg but never went there until our kids were born and we went back to see kids were bored out of their minds! oh was great though. thanks for sharing debbie..

my favorite memory is probably going to Bingham...Bingham is a small place about 15 minutes from my hometown. 20 houses sit on this rural country road. This is where my Mom grew up as well as my Grandfather Balon along with this is the place that my Great Grandparents came to when the immigrated to the United in 1893. It's peaceful, quiet and just wonderful! That place smells like Gramma and Grampa still today. I love it!

Loralee and the gang... said...

I love they way you write and the things you write about - always so thoughtful and almost poetic.

I will have to think on the favorite childhood memory, but you have given me an idea for a new post on my own blog, if you don't mind! I have been coming up a little dry lately - although today I posted some fun good news!

See ya in blog-land later...

Kate said...

Great post. I love to hear about everyone's childhood. I do love it there at Mt Vernon also. Hope you have a great week.