I'm so happy that it's Friday, think it's my favorite day of the week. Anyway, it's time for another story and I thought I would share about my earlier years and the place we used to live in.
We lived in Povoa de Santa Iria, a district in Lisbon, Portugal.
When I started writing this post, I went to Google Maps to try and find our old home. I had a bit of trouble at first because I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the street. Now you have to remember I was really young, 4 or 5 years old. But the memories that I have of those younger years in those apartments, have stayed with me forever. I remember quite a lot from those younger years.
Looking at the pictures now, I almost wanted to cry. The amount of times my little 5 year old feet ran on those cobblestones, played hide and seek behind cars parked in these same spot, ran up and down the cul de sac with all the neighborhood kids. I just can't even wrap my brain around it. Certainly brought a lump to my throat.
The building above was our building, and we lived right where the highlighted area is. I can still remember my great-grandmother, leaning over the window and letting us know it was lunch time, or dinner time, or telling us to get inside and get ready for school.
Our friends lived in all of these buildings around us. Sprinkled throughout.
That area that is highlighted on the left bottom, that used to be a little store. We would go in there for fresh bread and other supermarket goodies. I still remember my stepmother went in there one morning to get something, and there was a little girl in there with her mom. For some reason the little girl pointed at my stepmom and started yelling out "that's the crazy lady, that's the crazy lady". LOL
My stepmom was so offended, she quickly bought what she needed and left.
The store owner used to have all these plastic crates stacked up outside his store, and at nighttime, the bigger kids in the neighborhood, that lived just above the store, would tie ropes to the crates, and start pulling them all the way to the top of the building, then drop them making this huge bang all over the cul de sac.
That building right there in the middle, is one that was etched into my very young mind and I've never forgotten it. Where the van and the truck are parked right now, used to be just sand and dirt. We used to play on there as kids. There was this specific game we played using pocket knives (don't ask hahaha). We would throw it down on the dirt, then throw it again and draw a line from one point to the other. Then the next kid would get a turn and so on. I don't quite remember the object of the game, but we would try to connect all the lines and close them off and so on.
Anyway, back to my story. I was sitting outside my building one afternoon, it was either a Saturday or Sunday, and the next thing, I noticed a big lump of something falling from the top floor of that building. I remember hearing the thud as it hit the ground, and not knowing what to do or how to react. Some kids and adults ran towards it, I just hung in the background, and I'm glad I did, because a young girl had jumped from the very top.
To this day I see the whole thing playing out in my mind. She was wearing a long white gown and that is exactly the lump I saw falling down. Terrible thing to witness as a young child.
OH my word the memories. This structure is part of an old aqueduct that ran through the area. See how high it is off the ground?
Well my brothers and I, and the other neighborhood kids, would walk across it. I actually cringe thinking about it now, what the heck was I thinking?
But we would start right here on the edge, walk right to the wall thing, then cradle it and hug it and shuffle from this side to the next, and then walk all the way down to the other side, do the same, then climb down, and run back and start again. We are extremely lucky to never have fallen off, matter of fact I don't recall anyone ever getting hurt on there.
We spent many years in this neighborhood and I have SO many stories to tell you, and I will tell you as our Story Time Friday goes on.
It just made my heart ache looking at these buildings, still standing almost 40 years later.
The memories, the sights and sounds that are deeply ingrained in the tar of the road, the cobblestones on the sidewalks and even the walls of these buildings. Amazing!!!
I'll leave you with a photo of what I remember our kitchen looking like inside. This isn't our kitchen, but it looked exactly the same, all the apartments were almost carbon copies of each other.
I can almost see my great-grandmother standing at the counter, making soup for dinner. :)
Like I said above, I have a ton of memories from our lives during this time and I'll tell them all, or at least all that I can remember, so if you're interested or curious, be sure to come back next Friday.