October 14, 2009

A Visit to the Past

I could say this is a statement. I could write up something about consumerism and waste, and whatnot. But that's not what this is.

Yesterday, after a so-so week, I decided that I was going to do something different. So I went and re-visited my childhood. Well sort of. I went to one of our old houses. We lived with my grandparents from the time I was four until I was almost eleven. They lived not too far from where we live now on a big property. My grandpa was the pastor of a church that lad a good two or three acres behind it and the parsonage down below it. This is where we lived.

I've talked before about how much I loved growing up in this scenery. It wasn't ever particularly beautiful, but it was and is to me. I have man many good and cherished memories from living there (as well as many, many bad ones, but that is a post for another day). I liked having basically a wilderness to play in. Granted I'd have liked one with more trees and maybe some water or sorts, and less dirt for that matter, but all the same I really did love it. So today I drove back. It is literally a five minute drive from my house. The first few shots are from the actual Church property. These rocks were my safe haven. Bad days, fights, childhood dramatics, adult dramatics that I didn't understand, were all healed here. Everyday that we lived there I would go out to them climb up to the top and lay down on my "bed" and watch the stars. Once we moved, we still spent every holiday here and so each holiday I spent a good portion of the night out on these things, dreaming of the future. I'd like to think that those rocks would be happy with the way my life has turned out, and excited for my new horizons.

(^ favourite)

Across the street from our house was an orange grove. It's one of the larger orange groves in Riverside, taking over miles (at least a good six or seven). Every year in the spring the orange blossoms would bloom and the air would be fragrant and sweet. My dad is allergic to oranges. It was actually pretty funny to see him hold his nose as he walked outside, at least to six year old Ashley. Down the road from the orange grove was a field. My dad once told me they held satanist meetings there, but I'm pretty sure he only told me that to keep me from wandering off by my self (something I have been known for my whole life). I always really loved this field. There has always been a gloomy, romantic nostalgia to it (those are the grown up words. The kid words are "creepy and cool"). It's always haunted me in a good way. Going back today I think I know why. It seems like it's frozen in time. even though I know that it changes, and has infact changed, it seems like it's a different world from the busyness of the nearby streets. I would ride my bike in this place or walk down there and just wander. This is the field in which the game of "Russian Peasant Girl" was born. I seriously think I spent more time playing that game than anything else.

As much as I believe in recycling, and keeping things clean, and strictly no littering, there is a part of me that loves the abandoned junk left here. It congers up all sorts of images of Pioneers carrying all their worldly possession, and leaving behind what they cannot carry. Not that I equate televisions and mattresses to anything a Pioneer would have left behind, but there is still something romantically macabre about it. Beyond all that I just like old things. I like broken things, and I like things that everyone else forgot. I think that's something all people who love vintage or antique things feel. There is somehow life amid the decay (which would be an awesome emo band name). The bed frame is my favourite of the things there. I wish I'd gotten closer to it. Frankly I'd like to take it and give it a new life, but my childhood fear of snakes won.

I don't mean for all this to sound sappy or nostalgic. It just found it all really beautiful and I loved the way these photos came out. There are more (plus the un-edited ones) on my Flikr here. I'm trying to develop my photography abilities, so any input is much welcomed!


  1. Great photos!

    For all things fashion:

  2. That's amazing story behind the scene... looking healthier and a little bit fatty. But so cute ...These awesome... It just all really beautiful and I loved also the way these photos came out from your's.
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