A Single Place Filled of Endless Memories

January 17, 2008
By Brittany Lipkea, Grandville, MI

Many would say their neighborhood suits them well. Well, my neighborhood suits me exquisitely. At times it can be very calm and quiet, but I believe this to be a good quality in a neighborhood. It’s very peaceful, except for the occasional bash in the neighbor’s driveway on a Friday night in which a group of friendly neighbors sit around the bonfire with their drinks listening to old rock and talking about their teenage years, their week at work, or what’s going on in the world. I grew up next to my best friend, who lives about five houses down. I met her on the first day of third grade. I had just moved school districts, houses, and inherited a new step-father. While I was standing out on the bus stop in the pouring rain, alone, she pulled me out of the storm, cleaned me up, and invited me to wait with her inside. I guess you could say it has been that way ever since, hypothetically speaking that is.
In my neighborhood I am constantly running into people from school. Luckily for me if my car ever decides to break down or something of that sort, at least I know I’ll have a ride to school. It’s not so lucky when you recognize their cars flying past the house at 7:35am, reminding me how late I really am. I even have that boy next door. Although he is not literally right next door, the neighbors have joked about us getting together since the fourth grade. In fact, we did about two years later. He was my first real boyfriend, and my first real kiss. Who would have thought? Well, it was all a fairytale until he dumped me on Valentine’s Day exactly four months later. A day filled with tears, and plenty of chocolates, which I had to buy myself due to my misfortune. In my neighborhood, the side walks are smothered in my tears from falling of my bike time and time again. I even remember the time my brother and I duked it out on the front lawn. My mom had thrown us out of the house that day vowing not to let us back in until we learned to get along, which we finally did many scrapes and bruises later.
There is even that one spot on the lawn where I have stood a countless number of times taking pictures for homecomings, twirps, and proms since I was just a freshman. I still get that feeling when standing on my front porch where that one special guy had dropped me off at the end of our flawless first date, right before sneaking around the back to my bedroom window just to say goodnight one last time. I grew up at the park right down the street, and going back now, there is no doubt that I have grown because I honestly don’t think those swings got any smaller. I still visit that park, probably more often than someone my age should. My grandma, who had lived across the street, had taken me there more times than I can remember. And since she passed away about five months ago, I find myself there more trying to recall every single visit. I also wrote down all of my predictions for the upcoming school year, and hid them there, praying I will still remember where they are when the year comes to a close and I can pull them out just for laughs. In my neighborhood, in my backyard, I have spent countless hours stressing cheers, motions, jumps, and throwing an ungodly number of back handsprings the night before a big competition, just to limit the butterflies I knew would be in my stomach the following morning. So, you ask me why my neighborhood is so special? It’s because of the endless amount of cherished memories I have there. In that specific place lies memories of my past, memories of the present, and memories that I will forever carry with me in the future.

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