My Past

Yesterday was a long, emotional, day.

This is the house I lived in until I was 17 and left for college:


It's tucked up in the foothills above Los Angeles.  


The house doesn't look exactly the same now, of course, but I was tempted to walk right in the front door anyway.

I didn't.

I stopped by my elementary school.  There was a man standing outside and he asked me all sorts of questions.  He was curious, and cautious … and maybe just nosy?  

"Your photos aren't going to end up on that innernetzz, are they?" he asked after getting my entire life's history.  

"That Facebook thing or something like that?" he inquired.

"No," I lied answered.

I admit, I wanted to laugh when he asked me that. 


Put a photo on "that innernetzz"????


It was really strange, I seemed to attract attention everywhere I went.  I think people see a professional looking camera and instantly assume "journalist."

The old neighborhood looks pretty much the same:


I had a sudden realization as to why I settled in my current home with mountains, once again, looming behind me.  Mountains feel like home.  Some parts of my childhood are etched into my soul.

I stopped by my old middle school and high school also, but I won't bore you with those photos.  

I also visited the (very) cute town of Montrose.  When I was a kid it was a big deal to go to the movies in Montrose.  The theater is long gone, but many of the businesses remain the same.


The day was a jumble of memories leaping out at me.  Some of them hurt, some of them made me smile, and some of them were completely unexpected.

There were a few demons to face also, but I'm not sure I did.  I think, maybe, I just averted my eyes and thoughts from the scary places they still hide.  

I suppose life sometimes is best taken in baby steps.

Did I mention, Montrose is utterly charming?

© Twenty Four At Heart 

19 Responses to “My Past”

  1. Michelle

    Baby steps. In your time as you need to.
    Are they jacarandas in the photos? They are one of my favorite trees. Montrose is a very pretty place.

  2. di

    What a beautiful area. Your childhood home is so indicative of the homes at that time. I recall wanting to live in a house that looked like that when I was in school.
    Memories are a funny thing. You just never know what is going to jog those memories.

  3. Karen

    Life is definitely best taken in baby steps sometimes. And I think we all have demons we don’t always address. I still have nightmares or atleast uncomfortable dreams about things that are 25-30 years on my past!
    Your old town looks charming indeed..

  4. Croneandbearit

    it’s hard to go back and revisit childhood places – at least it was for me so I don’t do it anymore. Then again, I didn’t grow up in a pretty place nor with nice people but that’s a different story. I’m ready to get boxes packed and head for Montrose….charming! I love the mountains. I also love the beach and therein lies the issue of where Devoted Spouse and I want to do the “final” retirement thing – can’t make up our minds. sigh…

  5. Siren

    It’s strange how it can look so benign and friendly, isn’t it? When I went back, I was shocked to realize it was a stately house, in a quiet, snooty neighborhood just blocks from a little circle of shops. I saw a woman walking her dog and thought, How could you not have known? Then I remembered how deep some secrets are, how glad I was to be free, and I wondered what she might be going home to.
    I think you’re strong to have left, brave to have gone back. And terribly wise to see and honor the value in the baby steps.

  6. Monamildew

    How utterly weird. When I read yesterdays post I wondered…
    I grew-up and still live in the town to the west. The less desireable, yet more affordable due to it being Los Angeles, of the Foothill Communities.
    Not that I would have actually met up with you or anything (only because I am shy and in constant companionship of small onrnery children), but I wish I would have known earlier that you were going to be in my neck of the woods.

  7. Anne Gibert

    Revisiting the past is full of surprises, whether you do it by revisiting the place or by writing down the memories. As you found going back to your childhood home, one dredges up lost memories. But you also see things from the perspective of time, and time changes places and the way we think about the past. Good for you for making this trip.

  8. Sandra

    Was that elementary school in session? Why was he so weird??
    Your neighborhood was cute.
    Last year in May my childhood (middle school – high school) GF came to visit from VA. She’d moved out there in 1985 after she graduated high school. She was a year ahead of me. We went to our old neighborhood. She and I knocked on the door of my old home. They answered. I told them who we were and they let us see the inside. The walls were painted differently but the tile and backyard were the same from when my parents left in 1999. My GF hadn’t seen it since 1985 so it was very different for her. She didn’t want to go inside her old house. I did take a picture of her in front of her old house though.

  9. shaunna

    remarkable how similar that ranch house is to the one Pseudo & I grew up in… in Granada Hills (before the Great Escape to the beach). @ the base of the mountains in a LA valley. I’ve probably gone back less than 5 times in 40 years.
    Do love the jacarandas, though. They’re one of the few things I like about LA.

  10. DuchessOmnium

    Yes, it is charming. I spent a little time in LA when I was young: your pictures always make me feel nostalgic — and it isn’t even my home!

  11. Jane

    Those mountains look a lot like the ones that ring Salt Lake City, where I live now. I love the mountains AND the beach. I go home once or twice a year (North Carolina)to see family now that my father is dead. It took over 10 years of therapy to deal with my childhood abuse issues. It was SO worth it.

  12. Pseudo

    I grew up in LA and have never been to Montrose. It’s very cute, like a Star’s Hollow with a Main Street and lots of trees.
    Hope whatever haunts you from that time is eeked out at just the right pace to be gone forever.

  13. Linda Tustin

    24 I just want to give you a hug. You are so brave. Did you go alone? Sometimes that is the best way. I have some huge issues in my past that I don’t think about as much now. For years I had horrible nightmares that woke me up in a cold sweat. I belive that the monster is now dead which may be why I feel safer now, but I think it is more a self confidence I have gained with my advanced years. Again- (((hugs)))

  14. MartiniFan

    How wild!!
    I’ve been reading your blog since I moved from Los Angeles to OC (Corona Del Mar) last September. I can’t even remember how I found it but I did and I love it!
    I can’t believe you’re from Montrose – or rather the area nearby, La Canada? Flintridge? Anyway, I had to comment because it is such a small little town and I know it oh-so-well. Were you shocked by all the great new restaurants in Montrose?? Maybe you’ll venture back for the famous Octoberfest!! I think I may have to make the trip myself.

  15. Jason

    What a charming house and neighborhood.
    I think you attracted so much attention not because your camera looks professional, but because of that LONG LENSE.
    “I like long lenses.”

  16. Freda

    Love the photos and the weather. I have mountains but lots of mist and rain much of the time. Every Blessing


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