From My Neighborhood Map

Sketching your neighborhood map and labeling or placing speech bubbles in certain places can help a writer find many topics to explore. Neighborhood maps can  include maps of your backyard, the school playground,  your grandma’s kitchen, or a favorite vacation spot like the beach. Here is a story from my childhood neighborhood in Philadelphia.

I spent most Tuesdays and Thursdays attending Hebrew School at the Jewish Community Center across from my elementary school.  On Fridays, I attended evening services. Most of the time, my father picked me up during the winter months when it grew dark and cold quite early.

One December evening, I stood and waited for a small eternity. These were the days before cell phones, so I couldn’t even call my mom to let her know that Dad had not appeared. I trotted to Thouron Avenue to peer down the main street in both directions. Nothing. Then I trotted back again to the side entrance of the synagogue. I grew cold and frightened as I realized Dad was not coming. He had forgotten me.

I took off down Gilbert Street, shivering at the strange shadows and the sounds of barking dogs. The side street was dark and unfriendly. Mt. Airy was a Jewish neighborhood, so the houses did not shine with the twinkling lights of the Christmas holiday that was fast approaching. I was panting loudly as I continued to jog across Durham Street without stopping to look for cars. I sprinted down my street, up the steps, and onto the stoop of our house. When Mom opened the door, I rushed into her arms, sniffling and sobbing. I could hardly speak, but I was safe at home.


8 thoughts on “From My Neighborhood Map

  1. Great small moment! I love that you ended the story just at the moment when you entered. I have been trying to convince my students that small moments do not need to continue until you go to bed. It must have been so scary!


  2. We did this in class yesterday, although I gave the kids options. Some chose their neighborhood, some their house. One girl chose her trash can! She had more stories in there than I thought was possible.


  3. A lot of nostalgia in your writing, Lynne. Being mindful can also be a key factor to increase creativity . Past, present and future. Experiences and vision come always together. Experimentation beyond scripts and safe happy path makes our lives much more interesting.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s