Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Early Memories

Between the ages of two and five, I lived in San Francisco. I have a lot of memories of that place, most of them brief snapshots:
  • counting with beans and buttons in Kindergarten
  • the two-headed snake in the reptile section at Golden Gate Park
  • giving money to beggars on street corners
  • practicing holding a baby and changing a diaper on a cabbage patch doll in preparation for the birth of my sister
  • going on long walks with my mom up hills so steep the sidewalk was bordered by a set of stairs
  • the cubbies in my walk-in closet and my fears there was a bear hiding in the shadows
  • eating Better Cheddars in our tiny kitchen
  • learning to answer the phone ("hello, this is Lindsay")
  • clapping my hands until they hurt as my dad graduated from dental school
  • walking through all the apartments in our building with my mom (the apartment manager) and the bug spray man
  • the whales on our bathroom shower curtain
  • sprinkling sugar on my Wheaties and Kix (the only two cereals we usually had because they were cheap)
  • the window in my bedroom that faced the window of a super nice gay couple in our building
  • feeling out of place at the baby shower for the birth of my sister until a sweet woman arrived with a gift for me: a delicate gold butterfly necklace that I still have in my jewelry box
  • visiting my aunt in her studio apartment when she moved into our building
  • standing in my white nightgown (the one with little red hearts) and feeling a little scared as my mom prepared to drive a pregnant teenage girl who lived upstairs to the hospital. She sat in our living room, tears from pain and contractions and fear running down her face.
  • two different dreams and two hallucinations
  • when my cousins and grandparents from Utah came to visit for my dad's graduation: they stayed in our tiny one-bedroom apartment, and we terrorized our poor babysitter
  • the parking garage and little drugstore across the street we could see through our living room window
  • driving to San Jose to visit Grandma, who always had cupboards full of Lucky Charms
  • the blue flowered couch with the pull-out bed my parents slept on every night
  • spinning around in circles as fast as I could and then jumping on the couch where I watched the room spin and pretended I was Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz when she was caught in a cyclone
  • making a "guitar" with different sizes of rubber bands and an empty shoebox
  • feeling jealous when my sister would toddle around the apartment carrying my pink lunchbox
  • going to daycare at a woman named Barbara's house. She had long hair and a child gate I couldn't climb over
  • feeling sick and anxious every night before preschool because I hated nap time and I was scared of Patricia, a dwarf woman with red hair who was one of the teachers
  • crying when my mom left to teach college night classes
  • accidentally swallowing a fruit snack without chewing it
  • taking trips to Utah, just me and my dad, and putting melted Andes mints in the slots of the air conditioner to slowly firm up
This post was initially going to have a completely different focus, but once I started reminiscing, I couldn't stop. I love SF: the Giants, the 49ers, the bay, the parks, the skyscrapers, the hills, the colorful people, the constant overcast sky and 60 degree temperature. I've been back several times since, but my favorite memories of San Francisco are the ones where I saw it for what it was through fresh, young eyes.


  1. I love you.

    This post is so sweet.

    I think I may have to do the same.

    I could not help but laugh when you mentioned the view from your bedroom window. Too funny!

    Your parents are such wonderful, hardworking, true hearted (is that a word?) people. I love them, too.

  2. Hello! The cake was delicious! Make sure to share cuz it's SUPER rich. (Then again I guess you could freeze it... darn! Had I only thought of that sooner... :)I just had the last piece yesterday. MMmmm....
    And the coasters are made with tiles, mod podge and patience. Lol. I'm still trying to figure out the best materials to use. It's becoming an addictive hobby, but they'd make fun gifts, right?

  3. It's nice to know my kid might have some good memories of apartment living/student days.

    I went to see your dad the other day (because we live in St. George now!). He is so nice..fixed my teeth right up. I think he wants grand kids, but you probably already know that. :) Good luck with the new semester!

  4. I can't believe you remember all that, I have a few memories when I was that young but not that MANY. That would be nice..