Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Brief Walk Down Memory Lane

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles


Brief Walk Down Memory Lane 

Taking A Trip Down Memory Lane...

I mentioned before that my family and I took a trip down memory lane one Sunday.  We were on the Southside of town where I used to live, work and go to school.  That is also the side of town where I first met my hubby, Ryan.  We had plenty of downtime that Sunday a few weeks ago and were already roaming around there so we asked my son if he wanted to see where Mommy and Daddy used to work and where we met.  

He said, "No, I don't."  We felt let down, of course, but hey, he was being honest!  He quickly changed his response and agreed so onward we went to venture into the past...

Jacksonville, FL, Acura

First stop down memory lane: Ryan's previous job at Acura.  I remember visiting him there regularly since I used to live just a couple blocks away.  I would leave notes on his car, slipping them in between his wind shield wiper blades.  Ohhh, the honeymoon phase...
Jacksonville, FL

As I said, I lived only a couple blocks away so next stop: My old apartment building I shared with a roommate.  I lived right up those stairs, inside the door to the left.  I can still remember the layout like it was only yesterday.

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

Follow the yellow brick where my hubby and I officially met.  He began working here  first and coincidentally, thanks to a job offer, I followed suit shortly after I met him.  We shared a couple years of employment behind the doors of this once thriving mall.  Sadly, it has tumbled down the drain...

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

 ...into what I instantly remarked as "ghost town" upon entering it.  My kids thought that was awesome, though, since no one was really around this side of the mall.  They were able to run freely, peering through the lifeless windows of the abandoned shops as they shrieked with laughter.  They enjoyed hearing their own shrill voices echoing down the long corridor.  

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL
The kids discovered that the play area was still actively used.  By the way, this did not exist when I used to working here.  Surprisingly, there were children playing.  Lyla ran over to quickly join in but we still had more exploring to do.  

We stumbled upon hubby's old job, PacSun, where we first laid eyes on one another; although, he seemed to be avoiding eye contact with me half the time I was talking to him when we first met.  I'm sure it was just his nerves!  He claims he didn't realize I was flirting with him!

First Unofficial Date

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL
Here is Island Cafe, or what this place used to be.  This was where hubby and I had our first (unofficial date) lunch together while he was on break from work one day.  They made delicious Filipino food here.  In other words, it became a popular place for us and my co-workers to grab some food whenever we could.

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

At last we arrived to Best Image, my second home for nearly three years.  I typically worked here daily, coming straight from class or before class and then coming back in on the weekends.  I have so many memories and experiences that I gained from this place.

A nice man walking past us offered to take our photo.  That's exactly what went on behind this gate - I took photos of people, half the time, they were family portraits.  

We knew one of the kids would eventually need a restroom break.  Here is my son, Brody, posing in the restroom lounge.

Brody decided it was time to attach himself to Daddy's leg.
We reached the other side of the mall that had more breathing souls strolling through, lazily walking and shopping.  It still felt eerily calm and quiet like a zombie apocalypse scene where you could find the undead wandering.
Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

That only made me feel more nostalgia as we made our way to the exit.
Brody found this background hanging over one of the closed down shops.  We couldn't resist snapping a photo, of course.

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

Taking a Step Back...

Stepping back out into the parking lot where I used to park frequently to go to work, it was a strange sight to see only our car and one other car waiting for us to return.  Back then, when the sun was still out, this lot was full of cars.  Looking at this picture now, the lonely feeling of this deserted mall is deafening, almost like I could hear the memories of life left behind, trapped within the walls. 

It makes me reflect on the past; where I have come from, where I am now in life and where I have yet to go...

Regency Mall, Jacksonville, FL

Reflecting on Our Past to See Our Present

Life is constantly changing and we go through the walks of life sometimes looking at the rear view mirror back at the road behind us.  Merriam-Webster describes memory lane as "an imaginary path through the nostalgically remembered past."  I think it's a great idea to do that once in awhile; to take time to walk, if not physically then through an imaginary, mental walk, down memory lane especially with your significant other.  When you're married and have children, life rushes by and we get accustomed to driving down the fast lane.  

Change Lanes, Slow Down, Admire the View

Change lanes every now and then.  Ride that slow lane with your partner and admire the view.  I felt a reconnection with my past as we visited important landmarks that day.  I saw how they each linked and intertwined with my present.  It allowed a rekindling between hubby and me, a way to reconnect and remember how we were before, separately and together.  I think that's important to make time for that in every relationship.  After all, your past made you who you are today. 

The kids had a fun time exploring memory lane with us, too.  It was as if we opened a familiar book but took them to a page they've never seen. 

Take care,

BNadyn, B, Bernadyn, B is For

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