Monday, May 27, 2019

When We Were Young by Belle Calhoune

Recently I've been suffering from nostalgia. I find myself yearning to go back in time and relive

certain portions of my childhood. It always seems to me that those times were far less complicated,

and as a child, I was able to view everything through rose-colored glasses.

I grew up in a small suburban town about ten miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. I had a really

great childhood. One of five kids, my parents were devoted to anything and everything that

enriched the lives of their children. The grand three-story home we lived in was located directly

across from a  public library. It's no small wonder I became an author since I was always across the

street with my nose in a book. Our house was always a bustling place--lots of laughter and chatter

and debates.

Since my mother was a doctor and my father was a biologist, there was also a lot of scientific

discussions.  Those were never my favorite but I learned a lot.

Summers were spent at our summer house in Cape Cod where we would swim, sit in the sun

(suntan lotion wasn't a big thing back in the 70s), catch crabs and boil the occasional lobster.

We had a favorite place to drive to for ice cream once the sun went down. Four Seas Ice Cream.

I remember my father always ordered the Pistachio while my mother loved the sherbert.

One of my funniest memories is when a lobster escaped the pot and my mother screamed

the kitchen down until my father rescued her. Sadly the lobster was eaten and his escape was short-


I think a lot of this is tied up in missing my mother who passed away in 2000. Sometimes

we think we're past the grief, but then unexpectedly it rises up again and plunges you into yet

another stage of mourning someone you love.

I miss the sound of my mother's voice and the tinkling of her laughter. I miss being mothered

by her.

I miss her tiny wrists and her wisdom. I miss her being only a phone call away.

I miss my father calling her  Anne. I imagine I'll never stop missing these things.

My dad is going to be selling the house I grew up in. It's really too large for him and he's

held onto it for far too long. Although I know this in my head, my heart is already mourning

the loss of my childhood home.  So many beautiful memories were made within those walls.

The winds of change. The permanence of grief.

It all makes sense to me as I ponder the way I've been feeling lately. Memories transport us back in

time to a place where the ones we've lost are still present. They are comforting and tie us to

our past.


  1. Beautiful memories, Belle. They brought tears and had me remembering my childhood. The good times. And the ones that are no longer with me here in the present. Thank you for sharing this. Grief never goes away, but it does get somewhat easier through the years and I think it's important to . go back and remember the past. It's what made us who we are today.

  2. Hi Mary. Memories really are everything. They bring me a lot of comfort when I'm longing to speak to people who are no longer here. I'd give anything to have one of my mother's hugs or a joke from my brother. You are so right. The memories make us who were are today. Blessings. Belle

  3. I do think a lot about my dad who died in 1997 and my grandparents who died in the early 2000s. Every once in a while I'll think to call them & then realize I can't. It gives me a moment of tears but then I thank God I had them in my life as long as I did.

    1. Hi Christa! Yes, I think memories are wonderful things to hold on to. Loss is really hard to deal with because we never truly stop missing them. Blessings!

  4. Belle, your mother sounds like an amazing woman. To have both a doctor and biologist for parents had to make for such an intriguing household. How blessed you are!!

    I agree that grief comes unexpectedly even years after the initial passing. Memories keep them alive in our hearts.

    Thank you for this touching post!

    1. Hi Sharee! She really was a wonderful woman. Every summer we would travel as a family to her medical conventions. They were always in cool places like Orlando, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans. It was great way for us to see the country. I miss her every day. Blessings.

  5. Ah, memories. They can be both a blessing and a heartache. Your Four Seas Ice Cream brought back memories for me. My mother-in-law lived in Osterville, so my husband introduced me to Four Seas the first time we went up there. We got engaged at Race Point, so the Cape holds lots of memories.

    I'm sorry about the loss of your home. We moved 4 times when I was a child, so it didn't have the same effect on me when my mom sold it. I have lived in the same house for 32 years now though, and I wonder sometimes how it will affect my children when I leave because it's the only home they ever knew.

    1. Hey, Cate. How romantic to get engaged at Race Point. I love Osterville and the Four Seas has such great ice cream. Nothing quite like it. I'm sure when the time comes your kids will feel certain emotions about their childhood home. But I also feel happy that another family might move in and have wonderful experiences like we did.

  6. I love that you lived across from the library. <3

    1. Hi, Katy. That library was such a big part of my life. I truly think it is one of the main reasons I became a writer. I absorbed all of those books at an early age. Blessings.

  7. Belle, what a beautiful family and lovely childhood! Thanks for sharing a bit of your delightful youth!

    1. Thanks, Debby. It was really a charmed life. There's something about the innocence of childhood that really pulls at my heart strings. Blessings!


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