In this touching column from The Catholic Thing about living in and leaving Manhattan, the focus on life with others in bars and restaurants as foundational memories, caused me some reflection on similar memories, but for me, those foundational memories are of home and family.
The small duplex in Arden Park where my wife and I met and lived until our daughter was born, with the huge backyard which we filled with a koi pond with a waterfall into another pond where crawdads and toads were born, a rock enclosed herb garden, and rustic wooden patios providing views of each; and the towering trees that shaded our backyard heaven from the hot Sacramento nights.
The large home in Gold River—where all the homes were the same color, the roads were private and homeowner regulations publicly onerous but secretly loved—where we moved when our daughter was still an infant, right along the American River and big enough for the three of us to spread out, put a playhouse in the much smaller backyard, a horseshoe pit and a big hammock and this is where we brought our first Scottish Deerhound, the lovely dog whose company enriched our lives for so many years.
Then, some 12 or so years ago we moved to the Sierra Oaks cul-de-sac, our home for life, and surely one of the loveliest neighborhoods in Sacramento, with our townhouse backyard with brickwork encasing the gardens, a lovely pool, and our daughter got her own bedroom suite with bathroom and walk-in closet, and short walks to the American River and short drives to the finest restaurants in the region; so centrally located that we can get just about anywhere in less time on the arterial streets than the freeways.
In all of these the memories are of evenings and weekends at home with each other, happily pursuing largely our own pursuits while remaining contentedly together, and spending holidays around the fire, the dinner table feast, barbeque and pool.