Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Honeysuckle & Coke Bottled Glasses

The line between the house where I grew up and the next door neighbors property sat a log. It was halfway in the ground and halfway sticking out ever so slightly, dangling over the hill side our houses sat upon. This is the place where the neighbor kids would gather and play. The next door neighbor and I used to sit there for hours, chewing double bubble and drinking rootbeer from the glass bottles. We'd watch the cars drive by and wave at people as they were taking an evening stroll with their dogs. And at one point in our time on the log, the rest of the kids in the neighborhood would gather. We used to see who could make the jump from the log onto the street, or who could jump and grab ahold of the branch that hung from the tree over head. 95% of the time we would fail and we would fall ending in skinned knees and aching, gravel filled hands. After years of staying on the log, our parents finally let us walk down to the park. It was a little ways away but we were able to go if there was a group of us, we just had to be back before the street lights came on. Normally, it would be until my Aunt, who lived two doors down, would whistle. But since the park was a little distant the street lights became our clock.

The way to the park was like a dream, a grassy field with trees hugging the creek bed that ran straight from road all the way through the park until you hit the furthest mountains. The dirt path was crooked and never ending. There was a large oak tree that had a rope swing; we used to swing over the creek bed and bet on who would fall in first. This tree is where we left our deepest secrets; followed by all of the fears that haunted us about how many snakes were probably near by. But we didn't care. This was our tree.
Captured by my Mother. 

If you keep walking, the path soon becomes narrow and you find yourself in a tunnel of trees on a trail that is accompanied by the sounds of the creek and birds singing above you. On one part of the trail you'll smell the horses from the equestrian center that was hugging the line of trees. We used to sneak through the tall, magical trees and pet the horses that were the closest to us. We liked to believe we were always sneaky, but most of the time we were caught and their owners would just tell us to come on over, we did a few times, but most of the time we giggled and would say "We are Okay, Thank You anyways" as we'd sneak back into the shadows of the covered path. Further down the path you'd smell honeysuckle, a wall of nothing but honeysuckle vines that hovered over the creek dam. We always knew we'd be stopping for the sweet taste of honeysuckle on our way back home. We'd finally find ourselves at the park. A wide, open green space shaded by the tree's that was full of families and children playing. If you wanted to get to the side of the park that had the playground, you had to cross over the little wooden bridge that was set off to the side. That, or you had to walk through the rushing waters of the creek, which we normally did so we could splash around and try to catch the tadpoles with our hands. I can't tell you how many tadpoles we had collected over the years. Dozens, maybe. As kids, you live in the moment. I know we did. We'd often come home in mud stained clothes and ripped jeans with honeysuckle and tad poles in hand. We didn't have a care in the world.

On one particular day, of our horse trail and park adventures, I saw a couple. I'm not sure how old they were, maybe in high school but maybe in their early twenties. And they were sitting in the middle of the park having a picnic. They had a Kodak Camera and were taking pictures and laughing.  I was probably 11 or 12, maybe 13. And I was so interested in this couple. They were drinking coke out of glass bottles and laying on their picnic blanket just looking up at the trees. And I thought, "I want to do that some day." I was so fascinated by watching these two people just enjoy time together, basking in the aroma of the trees and honeysuckle, watching the birds fly from tree to tree, and enjoying being tucked away under the mountains that surrounded us. Of course I'm not sure whatever came of that couple, I'd like to think they are happily married with a family somewhere, enjoying a picnic in the park. But I do know for me, that every time I pass that park, I watch for the romance and memories it may bring. 

In April, Speedracer and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. I already knew the plans I had for our 1 year anniversary photo shoot. I wanted to get back into our wedding attire and relive our day. But I also had some casual, fun photos in mind. A couple months later we met up with a wonderful photographer named Katie who has done photos for us before. And guess what we did? 

We had a picnic in the park, with coke bottle glasses. 


  1. The large oak tree sounds like a place filled with many, many memories. I love how peaceful nature can be & the memories certain places can bring up. :]

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    1. I loved that Oak Tree. Spent many days with that tree...with friends and alone. I filled up a lot of journals with that Oak Tree. It knows all of my best kept secrets and hearts desires!!

      -Ashlee Michelle


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