Joining Mommy’s Piggy Tales this week in recording my youth.
My biggest memory this year was of my bed. It was this year, when I turned 10, that I got a day bed with a trundle underneath it. I loved that bed. I remember getting to pick it out at the store. It was a grown-up girl bed and I was happy to have it. Plus it was so high off the ground!
I used that trundle bed a lot. My friend Cara who lived next door, came over often (my mom watched her while her mom went to work) and slept in it. I had sleepovers at my house and my friends slept in it. I used it to store my Halloween candy on. Hidden from sight. I hid a lot of things on that bed or behind it.
This was the year that I stopped taking dance lessons. I think I gave my mom the excuse that tap dancing gave me a headache. Nonsense. And I’m sure she knew it. Honestly, I think I stopped doing it because I knew I wasn’t great at it. AND, my feet got too big to wear the little girl tap shoes and I needed to get tap shoes with heals. I was NOT interested in wearing heals! So here ends my dancing career.
That year I passed all the swim lessons my pool was offering and I joined the swim team. And I was good. I was fast. I loved the water. I could hold my breath a really long time. And I was competitive. I still have all my ribbons for the several meets that I went to. I never got lower than 2nd place. I remember having to be at the pool every day for practice. I remember watching the bigger kids on the swim team try and fish out a boulder from the 10 foot end of the pool. I guess someone threw it in there for fun late at night? Whatever their reasons, it took 4 of the big boys to swim it to the top. Then they dropped it and it sank faster than I thought it would.
When it hit the bottom of the pool, a shock wave went through the pool and the ground. You could hear it reverberating around the pool grounds. Also heard, the swim team manager swearing. He was worried that the boulder had damaged the bottom of the pool. Aside from a huge white mark on the blue bottom of the pool, the pool was fine. The boulder cracked into 3 big pieces though and the big boys were able to get those out with some difficulty. And swearing.
They also fished out a lot of dead mice and rats and even a couple of rabbits who saw the pool as a water source and fell in. One day, we got there and saw a mouse still swimming in the water, desperately trying to get out. The pool manager got out his long net on a pole and fished the mouse out. He put it in the bushes where it promptly died. I used to wonder why the mouse died after it had been saved but now I think I know. But how do you explain to a 10 year old about feeling relief at being rescued and stopping to struggle with anything?
I remember doing a lot of fishing and hiking with my parents that year. I was still very active in girl scouts and had been camping with them several times. I believe this is the year that my dad came along to our week long camping trip and told his famous (to us anyway) ghost story about Ben De La Tour. There was a tiny cabin (that we had found earlier in the day) with a stove and a headless person involved. Screams were heard. Sleep did not happen that night for several of the girls in the camp.
Or maybe this was the year that I had strep throat and spent most of my time sleeping in my dad’s tent on his futon he brought along. I didn’t know I had strep throat until I got home. But I did miss out on a lot of hiking and campfire stuff that year.
Or maybe they were the same year? I can’t remember.
Also this year was the year that I went to Canada for the first time. My grandparents took my cousin Kathy, my brother, and me to Alberta. I think my mom came along too? My grandpa loved to drive (still does) and this was a very fun road trip for us. We went to Banff and I fell in love with all the beautiful mountains. I still remember what the view from our hotel room looked like, all misty and beautiful.
And in the hotel, my cousin Kathy, who was 5 years older than me, met a few boys and she did a lot of flirting with them. I took some careful notes that trip. The hallway where we sat and talked to them was dim, the carpet was gray and purple flecked, and the boys both had glasses.
While driving on this trip, I discovered that Canada has a lot of wheat fields too. And there was also a full eclispe of the moon one evening. I spent the whole time staring out of the window watching the shadow of the earth slowly cover the moon. And when the eclipse was full, I remember looking out over the wheat fields we were driving past and seeing a very eerie light. I’ve only seen one full eclipse since then and there’s always that same eerie light.
5th grade in school was the only time I ever got a pink slip. A pink slip was a bad thing. Bad enough to send you to the principle’s office. And why did I get a pink slip? One of the boys in the class was bugging me. He was drumming his pencils and just being fidgety. I finally grabbed his pencil and hit him over the head with it in hopes that he would stop. Our teacher happened to be walking by at that moment and I got in big trouble. I hated seeing that lower mark on my citizenship portion of my report card. Because a pink slip automatically lowered your citizenship grade.
I also remember being asked to change classes at the very beginning of the year. I was so happy to be in class with my friends that year. And the first day of school, they asked me to move to another class. Not only was I mortified (because my name wasn’t even on the teacher’s role and she thought I was in the wrong class) I had to leave my friends. I did okay with the new class but it wasn’t a stellar year.
The best part about school that year was that I won the Young Inventor’s competition at school. A lot of people made games for their mandatory entry. I couldn’t think of anything until about 2 days before. I had a dream that night, about my friend being cold on the play ground. She forgot her coat. So I unzipped mine, took off only half, and handed it to her. When she put it on, it was a full coat. And mine had become a full coat as well. I used that as the base for my invention.
I won! My invention went to the state level. It probably would have won if I had a working model to send them, instead of a lot of fabric pinned on a teddy bear of mine. Still I think I got 6th or 7th place at state which was pretty amazing.
I had a lot of good friends growing up. There was always someone to play with. And my next door neighbor was at my house a lot still. A good group of girls.
And we spent a lot of time giggling that night, I’m sure!
Christmas with my brother, MusicMan.
PS- Pictures are coming…just too late to get them tonight!