My Top 10 Fondest Memories From Childhood

In this past Sunday’s Sunday Snippets, I read one of Kathleen@ So Much to Say, So Little Time‘s posts about her experience in looking for a new car. In her post, she shared some awesome pictures of the vehicles her grandparents used to cart around 10 children before the days of SUVs.

Reading her experience and looking at those pictures brought back some wonderful memories; so for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I thought for fun I’d share a few of them with you. πŸ™‚

1. Going to the Drive-in. This was the first memory I thought of when I read Kathleen’s post. This was back in the day when seat belts were non-existent and drive-in movie theaters were the norm. (I’m giving away my age here, aren’t I?!!) My parents would jam-pack me, my sister, my brother and a bunch of my cousins (along with beach chairs, blankets and snacks!) and head to our local drive-in. It was a steal. Once price per car for TWO movies! Truth be told, most of us wouldn’t last through the second movie; our eyes just wouldn’t stay open. πŸ™‚

2. Hide-and-go-Seek in the dark. This was a double thrill because we got to stay up late AND play one of our favorite games. πŸ™‚ We usually played this game inside, but sometimes we’d play outside, too. Playing in the dark definitely made finding the “hiders” that much more difficult!

3. My First Holy Communion. After all these years, I still remember my first communion like it was yesterday. I was so excited and nervous beforehand, and so happy. After the mass, my Aunt Virginia, who was a waitress at the time, brought me to the kitchen to sow off my communion dress to her co-workers. I have a picture of my dad scooping me up in his arms and gave me a big kiss. I felt like such a princess!

4. Thriller with Aunt Flo. Some of my (ahem) younger readers may or may not be familiar with Michael Jackson or his Thriller album. Well, me and many of my cousins were big Michael Jackson fans in our pre-teen years. My Aunt Flo (may she rest in peace), had the Thriller video and would do the most hilarious imitation of the graveyard scene!

5. Hitting the boardwalk with Papa. Growing up my parents would go in on renting a bungalow for a week with some family and friends in Keansburg, NJ near the boardwalk. One year, right before I started high school, my godfather’s dad (whom everyone called “papa”) came with us and one night he took me to the boardwalk. I don’t remember going on the rides, but it was a special time of playing the games, getting something to eat and just talking with him.

6. Rockin’ the rides with Big Aunt Betty. Speaking of the boardwalk: As kids, we always thought Big Aunt Betty was old; but, looking back she must have only been in her 60s. Anyhoo, whenever she came to an amusement park with us, be it Coney Island or Great Adventure, she would go on almost every ride with us – including the roller coasters! It was so amazing to us! Then again, Big Aunt Betty was an amazing lady. πŸ™‚

7. Early mornings at Sandy Hook. You can’t be raised in NJ and not go the beach. During the summer, my dad would get us up and out by 6am on many of the weekends to get to Sandy Hook beach. It gave us the opportunity to beat the traffic, get a good spot near the water before the crowds, and enjoy a little of the cooler weather before the sun came bearing down.Β  we always had such a blast – in spite of the sun burn I’d get EVERY TIME.

8. Walking to the roller rink. (Or riding our bikes.) The roller rink has been long gone from Airport Plaza, but before we had a car, my parents would sometimes walk us the 3 miles (seemed so much longer!) to roller rink to skate. This was even before the days of [gasp!] roller blades, when we skated on 4 wheels. It was cheap fun and good exercise. The hard part was walking back after we tired ourselves out from skating!

9. Family barbeques at Veteran’s Park. Between Veteran’s Park and the swim club next door, we had hours of fun over the summer growing up. The best were the years we had family gatherings with the extended family and friends for a day of swimming, eating, and games.

10. Sledding in Holmdel Park. The hills at Holmdel Park have always been perfect for sledding – and still are! The best part of sledding of course, was the hot chocolate to warm us up afterwards!

I look back and I realize what a grace it was to have such a good childhood. My parents weren’t rich, and struggled at times, but managed to provide us with what we needed – and more. There were definitely more good times than bad. I am truly blessed.

Now it’s your turn. Come share your fondest memories with us in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

(Also linked to Works for me Wednesday, since remembering the good ole times works for me!)


  1. I have so many happy memories! The one that came to mind as I read yours is going to the Oklahoma State Fair with my grandfather. My dad and brother and I went to the fair every year while visiting my grandparents for a weekend, but they never came with us except that time, when I was 6 and my grandfather was 70. He was very dignified, so I was surprised when he asked me to choose a prize I wanted from a game booth and he would win it for me. And then I was VERY impressed when he threw darts and won me that purple teddy bear! I didn’t know he could do that!! He died when I was 14, but I still have the bear. πŸ™‚ Oh, and another happy memory: The last words he ever said to me were, “You’re growing up to be such a beautiful young lady.” My parents always avoided appearance-based compliments, and my looks were not in style at the time, so my grandfather’s words meant a lot to me.

    Thanks for sharing your memories!
    ‘Becca…recently posted…A Nonviolent Strategy for Action HeroesMy Profile

    • SimpleCatholic says

      Those are beautiful memories, ‘Becca! Thank you for sharing your memories, too. It’s funny how we think we know someone only to discover something else about that person. πŸ™‚

  2. Oh, so many memories from NJ!

    I don’t really know the Highlands but I’ve taken the kids to Twin Lights, Sandy Hook and seining at Bayshore Waterfront Park. I live so close to GA (that is, Great Adventure, not Georgia!) that in the winter, when the trees are bare, I can see the tallest roller coaster! Worked for many years at AT&T in the Holmdel Bell Labs building on Crawfords Corner Rd.

    Try either of these links for video of my kids seining last summer.

    • SimpleCatholic says

      I used to drive past the Holmdel Bell labs all the time. It’s a small world, isn’t it?!

      I’d love to live closer to Great Adventure, but if I did, I’d probably try and live there. LOL!

  3. Oh, I’m so glad to know I inspired you! πŸ™‚

    I still have never been to a drive-in movie. I really need to put that on my “bucket list.”

    I love your list. We, like you, lived simply, and I complained a lot in childhood. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I will have to keep that in mind when Alex complains that he never gets to do ANYTHING fun. πŸ˜‰

    • SimpleCatholic says

      Oh, drive-ins are a dying breed, so I hope you get to go sometime. We almost went this weekend when I was visiting a friend in Virginia, but it didn’t happen.

      You know, I complained a lot too when I was a kid. We don’t always realize what we have (had) until we look back and realize how good it was.

  4. Great list. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Here’s mine!

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