Twenty Feet Away

June 4, 2008
By Christian Senko, Slatington, PA

I hope that everybody has some type of fond memory from their childhood. Some kind of moment they can think about and smile. My fondest memory is my childhood. It holds my most precious reminiscences of my childhood, and I would not be the same person without it. Something about how I could walk twenty feet and be at one of my best friend’s doors was a privilege that I am beyond grateful for. There’s not a specific recollection that I can describe, however. The only way to express my feelings for my neighborhood would be to detail an average summer day.

The normal summer grind would consist of so many things. I would wake up and wait for my brother to awaken. After making sure that both of us were conscious, I ate my daily breakfast, normally sugary, soggy cereal. Then, without warning anyone, we walked out the front door and up the street. We were headed to the Heberling’s house, where normally at least one person was sleeping over. Everyone met up there, and you understood that if you wanted something to do, you could do it at the Heberling’s. The whole gang then hung out. The gang consisted of an energetic and crazy Jon, independent and exuberant Shelly, funny and smiling Mel, loyal and wishful Luke, wise yet dim-witted Kyle, and fun-loving and naïve Rachel.

Thought it seems like we were only together for geographical reasons, it appears to me that we were together for more than that. The enjoyment was at a peak. We were most comfortable around each other. Even if we had lived several miles from each other, though the time spent would have been less, the enjoyment would have been the same; it just made it that much easier for us that we were so close to one another.

We had the entire day ahead of us and we took full advantage of the situation. We would jump on the hot trampoline or swim in the cool pool. We would street luge as fast as we could on our unfortunate skateboards, using the bottom of our old shoes as brakes. We would explore depths of our gorgeous woods that we were not aware of previously. We would play an exhausting game of hide-and-go-seek-tag for hours. Sometimes we would just lie out on the plush grass, soaking in the sun, and enjoying each other’s company.

As the day winded down, we would normally find a house or yard to stay in. If there was no sleepover planned, we would camp in that one yard until it was time to go inside. This brought another list of things to do; like playing “Jailbreak,” playing laser tag, kicking around some type of ball, or shooting off cheap fireworks. Then came the moment to pack it in for the night. We would make small talk about the happenings of the next day, and go to our separate homes for the night.

I have an incredible amount of memories with my neighborhood pals. It's a great topic to reminisce about with my dearest of friends, who happen to be the same exact people I grew up with. Maturing in this great environment has helped me to keep things simple. Some of the most fun or most entertaining things you can do is things you have done as a kid. People are always on the look-out for new and exciting things, but if they were to just remember back to the “good ol' days” they would realize happiness will always be twenty feet away.

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