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Recreating Memories with a Twist

Recreating Memories with a Twist

By Susan Williams

Memories – it’s what we tightly hold to help us remember where we’ve been.

The other day I was reminiscing with a friend about how we used to go to the drive in movies as kids and how much fun it was. 

I recalled how we would put on our pajamas, make tons of popcorn, pile into our parents station wagon and head off to the drive in.  Once we got there we would go to the playground with all the other kids in their pajamas and rush back to our car when the movie was about to start.

We even continued going to the drive in as we got older. 

As teenagers, we would jump in the car (often trying to sneak a few extra people in) and would just hang out with our friends under the stars and occasionally even actually watch the movie.

Many years back while on summer vacation at the cottage, we happened to drive past a drive in. 

We hadn’t seen a drive in in years and thought it would be great to share this experience with our kids.  So that night, we went back to the cottage, got our kids in their pajamas and headed over to the drive in.

Once we arrived and parked the car, we happened to notice that the people in cars around us were using duct tape to tape mesh screening into their window openings.  We thought it was strange but didn’t give it much more thought and headed over to the playground with the kids. 

At the playground, I decided that maybe letting the kids play there maybe wasn’t the best idea.  The metal slide was literally the same age as the one I had used when I was a kid and given that I wasn’t exactly sure whether the kid’s tetanus shots were up to date I decided that they probably shouldn’t play on it.  The kids were also quick to point out that they felt very awkward as there was not one other kid in the playground who was wearing their pajamas. 

We quickly went back to the car – the movie was going to start shortly anyways.

Trying to explain the concept of a drive in to the kids was interesting.  They just didn’t understand why we didn’t stay at the cottage and watch a DVD there.  I told them that they would miss out on the whole outdoor experience of the drive in if we did that.  They nodded as if they understood and then started to fight with each other as to who was going to sit where as they couldn’t see from the back seat of the car.

Finally, the movie started. 

This was about the same time the light bulb went off for us as to why people put the screening in their car windows. 

Mosquitoes which seemed like the size of small birds suddenly invaded the car.  The kids started to scream and took great joy in slapping each other as they tried to kill them.  My husband quickly put up the windows as we continued to squash the mosquitoes against the closing glass.

About fifteen minutes after putting up the windows, the car got really hot and we needed to turn on the air conditioning. My husband started the car only to discover that we couldn’t do this without the running lights turning on. As our lights glared on the big screen, the other cars around us were kind enough to alert us to this fact by loudly honking their horns.

This was about the time my daughter reminded us that we had lots of movies and food back at the cottage with the added bonus of it being cool there.  We decided to cut our losses and left the drive in to go and watch a movie back at the cottage.

The point of this story is that sometimes when we try to recreate great memories it doesn’t necessarily go the way we remembered it. 

In our case, our childhood memories of the drive in is not the same memory that our children now have – but we did end up creating a new memory together. 

My husband and I still laugh with our kids about the time we all went to the drive in and we secretly smile as we know that we created a memory with them that they will now carry forward in their lives.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.

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