As I've grown up I'm realizing that many of my childhood memories are faded. It's not like I'm old...yet, it's just that there are periods throughout my time growing up that seem to be much more muddled than others. I won't hurt your feelings and tell you which memories I can barely remember...but I wanted to share some memories that are as clear as day even though it was 20 years ago!!
In December/January of my 4th grade year my family moved to Holland/The Netherlands. No, my dad was not in the military, but he worked for Amoco, an oil company. We stayed in Holland until the end of my 5th grade year. There are many things about living there that I remember as if it literally were yesterday. I'm butchering some of the spelling but I'm going off of memory and phonetics!!! Here are a few memories:
Shopping: I remember that we lived right down the street from the local grocery store (Albert Heijn). I remember that Joni and I would get a grocery list from Mom and go by ourselves. We pulled a little black cart on wheels to bring our things home in. I remember 'secretly' spending some extra change on candy. (sorry if you're hearing this for the first time Mom/Dad) I remember the building right by our house (may have been Albert Heijn) having a digital flashing clock and temperature. I remember trying to guess what the Fahrenheit temperature was based on the Celsius shown (yes I was even a nerd then!). Looking back I think it was really neat how we'd park our car/bikes and walk down a big long street with shops. I think it was called the Longstraat or something like that.
Bicycle Rides: I remember packing up our bicycles and riding them around the sand dunes in Rotterdam. (I think it was Rotterdam). My bicycle had really big fenders and a basket.
The American School: I remember riding in charter buses everyday to school. That was the school bus. I remember school dances and 'head-banging' for the first time. I remember being dared to do many things at those dances (ask guys out, run into the boys restroom...). I thought it was so cool that in 5th grade you got to take an overnight field trip. We went to a monkey zoo where monkeys roamed freely. I remember a talent show during the trip and we used a sheet we decorated as the back-drop. I remember "Mr. Small But He's Tall", Mr. Klein. I remember forging my parent's signature for the first (and only!!!) time in Ms. Parmeter's class. I think I had to write sentences for that one! I remember having my first class that I really, really struggled in, Dutch!! I can still count, say 'I am Jodi' and...umm...that's about it. (My favorite number is 88 because it's fun to say in Dutch)
Food: I remember these big GIANT pancakes (called Panokoken) that we used to get at 'The Pancake House' in the nearby town Liden. My favorite food was Stroop Waffles. We would buys these fresh, hot off the griddle by a guy in Albert Heijn.
'Home': Our house was a 4 story (if you counted the basement/garage) row house. Joni and I shared the top floor. We had a big window in the back and birds used to smack into it. Our backyard sloped down to a canal below. I fell into the canal on my first visit to see the house. It was frozen (but not all the way) and I fell thru. Before we moved in our house we lived in a Holiday Inn. The Holiday Inn had a life-size chess set and putt-putt inside.
I'm really not sure why I'm writing all this, but some of these memories came back to me recently and I wanted to share. Aside from my years in high school band, the year and a half I spent in Holland was probably my favorite memory of growing up. Thanks Mom and Dad for allowing that to happen!!!
**To confirm some of my memories after I wrote this, I just went to Google Maps. Surreal. Wassenaar, The Netherlands
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