Friday, February 20, 2009
A Walk Down Memory Lane
I was lying in my bed tonight trying to sleep but my mind kept drifting. I was thinking about some friends and how short life really is and then I started thinking about my earliest memories. I don't know if someday I'll lose my memory so I thought I'd better write these down while I still can remember them. I don't remember how old I was for this one but my mom was babysitting a little boy and girl. The boy was still a baby and took a bottle. I remember thinking that I wish I could have a bottle so one day when mom wasn't watching and the baby wasn't in the crib, I snuck a drink from his bottle. I remember thinking it wasn't as good as I remembered it and I'm not sure if that was the last of that desire. Then I can remember, being four years old. My brother and sisters were getting on their winter coats, mittens, stocking hats and scarves and rushing out the door heading for school. I stood at the window in the den watching them walk down the sidewalk in the snow for as long as I could, wishing that I could go too. My mom was sitting at the desk in the den working on bills or something. On that desk she had a very old fashioned stapler. I remember being fascinated by it and playing with it, probably whenever she wasn't in the room. Then she would type on those big calculators that print out the paper and her fingers would fly over the keys. I remember thinking that I wanted one of those when I was older and I would practice on it, again, probably when she wasn't around. I still have not gotten one of those things, I don't know what they're called but they do still make them.
She worked early in the morning cleaning Pizza Hut and would get back home, normally before we would even get up, but one morning I woke up before she got back. I sat on the landing of the stairs watching for her to walk through the door. The landing brings back even more memories. We got pajamas with feet in them every year for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa. We loved those pajamas and would run and slide down the hallway on the carpet wearing out the bottoms of the feet. Then we would bump down the stairs on our bottoms, wearing out the bottoms.
One day while I was home and my siblings were at school my mom called me into her room. She said, "I have something for you." It was a big green box and there were Phonics activities in it. Each month I would get a new shipment and it had a big poster with a huge tree on it and in each shipment would be a new elf and some more ladder to put on my tree. I loved those activities, they taught me my letters, numbers and had fun games, you would slip a sheet underneath a transparency sheet and write and erase. Just recently my mom gave me that box and I gave them to my daughter. I think I took much better care of my things then my daughter does. I still don't trust her with my barbies. Yes, I still have them.
Another memory at 701 N. Jefferson St. is my birthdays. Every year I would get to pick my birthday meal and my dessert. I don't remember what my meals were but my dessert was always angel food cake with homemade ice cream topped with black raspberries and strawberries. My Grandma and Grandpa Pickens would come for our birthdays and we would sit on the porch on the side of the house and crank that old ice cream freezer, usually trying to throw ice down one another's shirts.
We used to have Big Wheels, I'm sure some of you remember those. We had a hill on the side of our house and we would race down that hill on our Big Wheels. In the winter time we would sled down that same hill and then when we were frozen we would rush inside and Mom would have some hot chocolate ready in our brown, orange, red and green Tupperware mugs. We'd sit on the wooden bench with the leather seat that Grandpa made us.
We also had a park right beside our house and I learned to ride my bike on the basketball court, riding round and round in circles. I spent hours in that park, playing with those little seeds, from some sort of tree, that would whirl around like helicopters. I liked to tear them apart and use the seeds for pretend cooking.
This is turning into a book but the memories keep rushing back.
Kindergarten finally came! One day I had to attend a funeral of some great aunt so my mom sent me to school in the ugliest dress I can remember, (now I know where my daughter gets her pickiness), I'm sure the kids must have all laughed at me that day. Another day I felt sick in the morning but started feeling better before lunch so my mom made me my first sack lunch but instead of a cool cartoon lunch box, my lunch was in a brown Tupperware box with a big plastic handle. The kids did laugh at me that day. I remember getting in trouble one time in Kindergarten but don't remember why, I don't even remember my Kindergarten teacher at all!
I do remember having a tornado warning one day and I was sitting in the book section, watching the weather outside and worrying about my mommy at home, I did cry that day. My first crush was in that class, Matt Dalbey. I was worried he would think I was a baby so I was trying to hide.
Second Grade, Mrs. Brill's class - the first and last time I ever cheated. I got caught!
Third Grade, Mrs. Gray's class - the first and last time I ever got my name on the board, complete humiliation!
We moved from 701 N. Jefferson St. the summer before my fourth grade year and to the school my very best friend attended! Kari Kerkove :) Yep still friends! Also the school of my first "true love," yep, Kari knows who that is also. Unfortunately they both moved away to Missouri before the year was over and I was crushed. Kari and I went through our rough patches but it only made us better friends today. Okay, enough sentiment for one night, I'm about to bawl. Maybe I'll do a second half to this some other sleepless night. But it's 2 AM and I need to get some sleep.