Thursday, November 22, 2012

mare island

For a place that I called home for such a short time, Mare Island sure holds a large piece of my heart. So when I found out there was going to be a 5k on Mare Island I knew I had to be there. 

Im pretty sure we lived there from 1977 till 1979. I was 3 years old when we moved there and 5 and a half when we left for a larger home in Vallejo.  

Now, 33 years later I live just about 20 miles away from Mare Island.  Back in 2002 when my mom came out to visit, we tried to go drive around and find our old house but the guard wouldn't let us on base. (Even though the base had been deactivated years before I think it was extra security from 9/11.)  We were pretty bummed.  When my big brother came out to visit in 2008, the guard was gone and we just drove right on.  Right over this bridge.  And in moments he was saying "there is the bowling alley"   and recounting memories from the old days.  We then made a few turns and found ourselves on the road behind our old house.  We had lived in a duplex that was in a row of duplexes-all the same-so we had to do it by memory.  And there it was.  The plum tree was still there and the hydrangea. It was surreal.  The duplexes are now abandoned and dilapidated.  So much smaller than I remembered.  We parked my car and walked around a little.  Looked into the windows and recalled snippets of our childhood. Easter photos in the front yard, birthday parties in the back.    

Until this past weekend, I hadn't been back.  I have driven by on my way to Sonoma here and there and I always just look over wistfully and nostalgically.  So when we crossed that bridge again, I had to snap a picture. Then I saw the chapel and had to take one of that too.  
St Peter's Chapel

the bridge over to mare island 
I had sent a message to my oldest friend Becca (we met on Mare Island back in the day and reconnected via Facebook after many years searching about 4 years ago) to tell her about the race.  She said she would be there.  I found her at registration and we chatted before the race started.  We felt pretty proud (at least I did) to say to anyone that cared that we lived there when it was an active Naval Base.  

The race started and we ran by the old hospital, then my old school, then my house.  I told Red we would have to drive back over after the race to check it out again.  And that we did.  I strangely have so many memories from that place.  It just makes me happy to be there. 
Becca and I decided to make it an annual event. Can't wait to do it again.

back window

"maids quarters" in the back-basically a studio apartment above the garage- which would have made a sweet  spot for a teenager.

back door, enter to the door and go right and you are in the kitchen
me and the family, Easter 1978, in the same
spot Im standing in the pic on the left!

me, post race, in front of the old place

me and becca-met on mare island and came back to run it.

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