Looking Back On Memories Of Southwest Washington
I spent some time yesterday looking back on memories of Southwest Washington, my childhood home. Childhood perceptions are remarkably different than the reality we see through our adult eyes. Raised on a dairy farm in southwest Washington for the first 13 years of my life, I attended a small two room school.
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Still functioning today, it is one of the last of it’s kind in the state. For several years before there was a school bus available, my sister and I often walked to/from school. Our route was along a 2 lane highway that, to this day, has absolutely NO shoulders. We had to go through a railroad underpass that I thought, as a child, was big. Not!! It’s so tiny that one vehicle at a time is all that can pass through. Interesting to me that it hasn’t been widened over the years.
A Creek Provided Many Hours Of Entertainment
We passed by the creek where my older sister and I spent many hours playing on a wooden raft constructed for us by our dad. The creek back then ran clear and cold. The beavers built dams on a regular basis and there were fallen trees that we used to gain access to the other side. The creek, like our entire farm, has become overgrown. It moves more slowly, is smaller and has become more stagnant. I have to wonder about the development upstream that has apparently changed the life of this once gurgling lively creek.
The Farm We Knew No Longer Exists
The dairy farm I grew up on no longer exists. Oh, the property is still there and the original buildings still stand. They are, however, now so dilapidated and rundown that any resemblance to the farm it once was is but a memory. Deserted car hulks and overgrown grass all but obscure the buildings.
Winlock’s Famous Egg
Venturing on to Winlock, the nearest town to my childhood home, I saw the egg! Winlock advertises itself as home of the world’s largest egg. I remember Winlock’s Egg Day celebration and noticed as we pulled into town, signs announcing the upcoming Egg Day June 16-17, 2017.
Much about the town of Winlock has changed over the years (one way streets and 2 hour parking are apparently a new addition!) Businesses have moved on and new businesses have taken their place. The Winlock Historical Society has done an outstanding job of renovating the old fire hall and city library building. It now houses a museum but retains the exterior look I remember as a child.
We found these egg quotes in store windows all over town. Each one different. Locals supporting the egg theme that originated because Winlock was, at one time, the egg capital of the world.
A Church Long Ago, Now Again A Church
The photo above is my childhood Lutheran church. After the Lutherans moved out it housed a variety of things before the Bible Missionary church made it their home. They have completely renovated the interior and a perfectly lovely lady, who was on her way inside to worship, invited me in for a quick peek. Interior design is much as I remembered it but with the renovation it has been given new life and worship songs were bouncing off those old walls as I left.
A New Restaurant Turned Out To Be A Great Find!
We had been exploring for most of the day and The Husband and I were both getting hungry when we noticed a sign in a downtown window advertising the Winlock Eggspress Cafe (#notsponsored). Better yet, it said their hours were 7 Days A Week ~ 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Since it was a Sunday and we were in small town America, this was truly a find!! And what a great find it turned out to be! Friendly, courteous staff, fast service and good food.
The Husband opted for breakfast (which they serve all day) and I opted for the Eggspress (one fried egg, your choice of meat and cheese, served on a toasted buttermilk English Muffin). Yum!! If you are traveling with children there is a child friendly menu and a great little play area. Traveling I-5 through SW Washington and you are getting hungry? Put 202-A NE 1st Street, Winlock, WA into your GPS. It’s not far off the freeway and your tummy will thank you for this decision.
It’s said you can’t go home again but I don’t think that’s entirely true. I think it’s all a matter of having the right mindset. Know up front that some things will have improved, some will have fallen into disrepair and neglect. New stories are being woven there now. It was an interesting day wandering around in the life I lived as a child. I’d love to hear your memories! Please feel free to share in the comments section below and as always, feel free to share our blog with your friends an family.