My Childhood, and a Memory

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Tona, 1992-

“To this day, one of the sweetest childhood memories I have is just driving up and down the 101 with my dad. The radio playing, the music, swerving around in the redwoods, my feet on the dashboard.”

I was born in southern Oregon. My parents, hippie folks, were travelling, just as I am now with my kid. We lived on the road for a while, and then my parents split up. My mom decided to settle down, got two jobs and a place of her own. And life stopped. Mom constantly working and stressed out, she never could hang out with me and my siblings anymore. There was love, I understand, but it took away so much. I was miserable.

At fourteen, I moved in with my dad, travelling up and down the West Coast, and that is when I was happy again. He figured things out, I was fed and cared for. We are still close; in fact, he just left this morning, after staying with us at my place for a while (referring to her yellow bus).

To this day, one of my sweetest childhood memories is driving up and down the 101 with my dad. The radio playing, the music, swerving around in the redwoods, my feet on the dashboard. When I’m driving up and down there now, I’m still thinking about it sometimes, wishing that I had a radio, she laughs.

It wasn’t even all that exciting, but it was nice. Just looking out the window on all those things. I saw them differently back then because I was a child. They were more crisp, more new. Now, when you’re an adult, everything is ‘Oh, I know all about that thing.’ Only once in a while we get to experience them as new again.



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