Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 10, 2010

A Walk in the Woods, and Down Memory Lane

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:05 pm
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After reading two of  Kathy’s recent posts, I decided it was time to try a little different walk with the dogs.  As I’ve mentioned before, I usually walk around local sidewalks.  I worry about picking up after the dogs and running into aggressive dogs, often untended in their yards.  I wanted to take a walk like we used to when we were kids, in the woods along the huge, high voltage powerlines and fire roads.  There was something fascinating about the sizzling of those lines in the quiet of the woods when I was a kid.  Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty much a townie so I headed out today not really knowing where I was going, but not really caring; I have decent sense of direction here in town and wasn’t worried about getting lost.  I did, however, lament that I’d forgotten my camera.  Exploring a different walk and I left it at home!  What kind of photographer/blogger am I?  (I’ll share some oldies but goodies with you today to make up for it!)

When we were kids, Jennifer, Renae and I often wandered the many paths into the woods around the street where we grew up.

(L to R: Karen, Renae, Jennifer circa 1986)

A farmer owned lands on one side of the street, behind all the houses.  Further down the road, close to Renae’s house, was the entrance to the powerlines.  I loved walking those paths listening to the crackle high above.  If you walked the powerline paths long enough, you came out to another farmer’s lands, not far from where I live today.

(Farm house close to where I walked today)

  A good portion of those lands, like so many farmers’ lands in this town, have been sold to developers building houses and condos.  Despite the hum of construction equipment, Daphne, Teddy and I carefully strode past the machinery in search of the powerline paths.  We walked past the cornfields that were still there, and at the top of the hill, the fireroads were still there as well.  I hesitated, deciding which direction to turn.  To the left would surely bring me close to the paths of my childhood.  I decided against that direction for fear that Daphne would decide she’d had enough somewhere along the way and I’d be too far from home to attempt to carry a 65 pound dog home.  I could continue, straight and over the hill.  If memory serves, it would eventually come to a wide clearing and another path back into the paths of my youth. I chose to turn to the right; although I’d never been that way before, I was certain I’d eventually arrive at a point I’d recognize that wasn’t too far from home.  I happily followed the crackle and hum of the powerlines and saw many interesting plants and wished I had my camera. (I’m thinking I need to go back, Rebel in hand).  A fierce thunderstorm rained down the night before, and the dogs happily plunged through each puddle along the way as I gingerly picked my way along side them, trying hard not to dirty up these:

Daphne and Teddy seemed especially enthralled with this new walk.  Their noses happily took in every new smell on the woodsy path.  Dragonflies the size of small helicopters buzzed up in front of us.  A couple times during the walk, the path would branch and I had to make a choice; I didn’t really worry about being lost though.  I just chose the one that seemed it would head back in the general direction of home. 

While we walked and the dogs sniffed, I couldn’t help but think back to my childhood and those walks with Jennifer, Renae, and often my dad and our dog, Myrtle.

(Myrtle and me, circa 1981)

My train of thought, which often follows wild and circuitous tracks, continued from the walks in the woods to family vacations. Okay, perhaps this isn’t so far off track (or beaten path, choose your metaphor, I think either is appropriate here).  My family and I will leave for our 1-week vacation this upcoming Saturday, and we will travel to the same beach that my parents took Jennifer and me (and often Renae!) to as children.

(Jennifer at the beach circa 1982)

(The cottage where we stayed; it is no longer there, sadly having been replaced by condos)

You can see that even back then I was into photography!  I had a Polaroid camera, however, and the film was quite expensive.  The shots I still have are precious few. 

My walk did eventually come out at a place that I recognized.  Our path came out behind the local soccer fields.  We walked across a cute little wooden bridge and eventually into the parking lot of the middle school, a short distance from my house – the middle school that I attended (called a Jr. High back then) and that both my girls attended (younger one still attending this fall.)  Isn’t it interesting how things come full circle?

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17 Comments »

  1. Way to go Ms. Karma/Karen! (I thought your name was Karen…maybe read somewhere Scott referring to you by that name. Do you want me to call you Karma or Karen? Waiting with baited breath!) I love your walk. Love how you wove the story together with your childhood. So very special…

    Comment by Kathy — August 10, 2010 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

    • Karen is fine. The story of “Karma” came from the user name that I posted on blogs for several years – “karmardav”: it is the first 3 letters of my first, middle and last names. Once someone referred to me in a comment as “karma,” I’m sure simply to shorten it, and I thought it was cute, so it stuck.

      Glad you liked the post. I’ll definitely go back with a camera!

      Comment by karma — August 10, 2010 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  2. Ha! Nice pictures! Here’s one of my memories of one of those walks – it’s the middle of summer, must have been 1978. I was almost 7, you were 9 and Renae was 8. The mosquitos were biting.
    The previous December, a little movie called Saturday Night Fever was released.
    As we walked, we invented a song with a little dance to go with it, that involved slapping our arms as we sang,
    “Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, Eaten Alive, Eaten Alive! Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, Eaten Aliiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiii-iiiiive!”
    🙂

    Comment by JenniferA — August 10, 2010 @ 8:04 pm | Reply

    • I definitely remember that walk. I think we sang that song for several years to come!

      Comment by karma — August 10, 2010 @ 8:29 pm | Reply

  3. Shit, I still sing that song.

    Myrtle! Such a good doggie she was.

    I would love to see some photos of what that land looks like today. I can’t imagine that would be an easy task while walking those two big dogs though!

    Comment by renae — August 10, 2010 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

    • I’ll give it my best “shot,” Renae! I have taken some pictures with the dogs on the leash, although not with the new camera. Perhaps I can con an assistant to come with me on the walk to hold the dogs while I shoot.

      Comment by Karma — August 11, 2010 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  4. Oh my..what a beautiful story. I felt happy to read it and a little sad. Where did my little girls go? I love having you both as grown up women and friends but I also miss those little ones. I loved those walks we took.

    Comment by Patricia Weldon — August 10, 2010 @ 11:39 pm | Reply

    • I’m already starting to wonder where MY little girls went! How can they be going into 10th and 8th grade in 3 weeks?

      Comment by Karma — August 11, 2010 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  5. You don’t get lost when following power lines! It was nice to take a trip down memory lane with you, Karen, avoiding the puddles and all. 🙂 I’ve seen a lot of helicopter-sized dragonflies this summer, too, even in parking lots in town where they seem to enjoy dive-bombing into slowly moving cars. Those pictures from your childhood are priceless indeed! Have a great vacation!

    Comment by Barbara — August 11, 2010 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  6. I really think I need to get myself a dog… This sounds like the perfect excuse… lol… I can’t believe you’ve not walked these paths in such a long time though… Love the old shots too..

    Comment by FS Photography — August 11, 2010 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

    • I can’t believe I haven’t either, Brian! I think I will have to make the old paths a more regular route. Dogs can be very motivational! I’ll tell you they sure can make you feel guilty on the days you don’t feel like going for a walk.

      Comment by karma — August 11, 2010 @ 8:44 pm | Reply

  7. What a wonderful walking story! Took me back to my childhood when we would walk in the woods without a care in the world. Children don’t get to do that these days, do they? Too many dangers.

    I love looking at old photos. I can certainly relate to the wardrobe and hair! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 12, 2010 @ 6:29 pm | Reply

  8. Thanks! I don’t let my girls off in the woods on their own; but some may say I’m an overprotective mama bear.

    Comment by Karma — August 12, 2010 @ 8:59 pm | Reply

  9. Okay, that’s a great story and all but dang those sneakers are the bomb! 🙂 Stella and I would love to walk with you!

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 18, 2010 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

    • Thanks – I do love those sneaks! Maybe Stella, Teddy, Daphne, you and I could meet up for a walk somewhere sometime!

      Comment by Karma — August 21, 2010 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  10. […] 26, 2010 by Karma As I may have mentioned once or twice, I have been visiting and loving the southern Maine area since I was a child.  I was very […]

    Pingback by Visiting Southern Maine « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — August 26, 2010 @ 10:58 pm | Reply


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