First day of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Here we go.
A is for.....Appleton.
Appleton, Wisconsin, is one of the places I lived growing up. We moved to Appleton from Port Washington, Wisconsin, when I was in 4th grade. I still remember the day my parents called me into their room to give me the news. Just that morning my best friend at the time, Tommy Kent, had gleefully told me that his parents had bought one of the lots right behind us. My best friend was moving a stone's throw away, and I was moving to some place called Appleton.
I was devastated.
Luckily, you bounce back quickly when you're 10. There were lots of kids my age in our new neighborhood, and it didn't take long to find running mates. We had a lot of freedom in those days. Appleton was a small town, the kind of place where parents expected their kids to play outside all day. It was the kind of place where all a kid needed was a bike.
We rode to the fields that bordered the neighborhood to play Dukes of Hazard. We rode to the softball fields to collect aluminum cans. We rode to Open Pantry to play BurgerTime and Dig Dug. We rode to the tennis courts at Einstein Junior High or the public swimming pool at Herb Park.
When winter came the bikes went into hibernation, but there was still plenty to do. We built snow forts and waged epic snowball fights. We laced up our skates and spent hours on frozen ponds and flooded backyards. We took the bus downtown and played basketball all day at the Y.
Life uprooted my family again when I was 16, shifting us 30 miles north to Green Bay. Even though my time in Appleton was relatively short, it remains a big part of who I am. The memories of my Appleton days are always with me.