(I know my mom is not going to like that I posted this picture. Sorry! But it's the only picture I have of us in this house. I love your blue eyeshadow.)
In the mid-80's my family lived in a 3 bedroom, 1-level ranch style home on Hales Drive. For most of the time it was just my parents, Sam, and I. Kent joined us in July 1985. In this picture I am 6 and Sam is 4.
I remember the family room with dark wood paneling, the maroon couch and love seat set, the small tv with antennas and a round dial which you used to manually change the channel, and even the speckled brown carpet.
I remember my black & white cat named Cuddles who liked to do her business in the corner by the front door. She didn't last long with us (we're not cat people) and eventually went to live at the dairy where grandpa worked.
I remember watching The Last Starfighter on that tv, knowing the dialogue by heart, and while repeating the dialogue out loud I managed to say my first (and only) curse word. I'm pretty sure my mom washed my mouth out with soap.
I remember one time running around the kitchen with Sam, around and around in circles, until we got too crazy and one of us (I can't recall who) knocked mom's ceramic brown & white spotted cow off the counter and broke it. We got in trouble. I'm pretty sure she glued it back together.
I remember having a fish aquarium in my bedroom, and sometimes when the door was closed I would reach my hand into the water and take one of the fish out and just hold it.
I remember the time my mom threw a birthday party for my 6th birthday and she even hired a clown. It was pretty amazing.
I remember my parents inspecting at Sam's hands at the dinner table. His palms were green because he would carry a few pennies around in his fist all day long, clutching them tightly.
I remember laying in bed and listening to my parents watch movies at night. Sometimes my dad's best friend Ben would be over. And another friend, Wendy?
I remember telling my parents that I was going to marry Ben and that I would make him sandwiches. With alfalfa sprouts.
I remember being afraid of monsters or aliens in my closet and under my bed. Like, seriously afraid.
I remember sleep-walking one night and waking up to find myself trying to climb into one of the dresser drawers.
I remember having my first sleepover there with a group of girls from school. One of the girls was scared of the dark. Another girl told stories that I thought were inappropriate. Even though sleepovers seemed like the ultimate activity to do with your friends, I learned that they weren't all that great.
I remember there were 2 old wooden spool tables in the backyard that Sam and I would roll around and do stuff with.
I also remember that Sam had a little golden pocket-watch. I don't think it worked and I don't know where he got it from.
One day I was assigned the chore of vacuuming the family room. We had one of those old vacuums that consisted of a tank that rolled on the floor, attached to a long hose and nozzle that you held in your hand.
I must have been in a grumpy mood. Because when I saw Sam's pocket-watch lying on the floor I was annoyed. Why don't people pick up their stuff? And I was much too lazy to pick it up myself. So . . . . I vacuumed it up. Yep. Heartlessly I just sucked up that pocket-watch that I knew he loved and listened to it clank-clank it's way through the hose into the tank.
And I said nothing about. Even when Sam noticed that it was missing I said nothing. After a while it was forgotten and I never fessed up. Yep, I might have had an issue with honesty. But mostly a fear of getting in trouble -- because I was a people pleaser and the "good girl".
The years went by but I never mentioned it. Even though I thought about it from time to time. Then last year, about 28 years after the incident (sheesh!), I decided this was silly and I needed to come clean. A small thing, maybe, but I felt like I owed Sam an apology.
I had been assigned Sam's name in our sibling Christmas gift exchange. I considered finding a new pocket-watch for him and did a little searching. But eventually I settled on a really neat print of a pocket-watch that I found on Etsy. I framed it and included a note explaining the story along with my apology.
I talked to him on the phone after Christmas morning and sure enough he still remembered that pocket-watch. He said he always wondered where it had disappeared to. And so we reconciled, laughed, and all was well -- and it was actually a really nice adult moment that drew us a little closer together. Good communication can do that.
In conjunction with Story Sunday I plan to share one idea, resource, or bit of inspiration to assist others with sharing & recording their story.
Here are two posts from Becky Higgins' blog that have stood out to me recently:
Before you had kids, you had a story: Loved how this woman documented HER childhood in a project life album. I did the same thing with Scott's childhood photos a year ago and it turned out great (I'll have to show you sometime). I intend to do the same thing for my childhood photos as well.
We noticed - a mother's journal: Remember when I talked about the journals I keep for my kids? My journaling is sporadic at best with gaps of years in between entries. Well, Becky just blogged about the way she does this form of journaling. It's a new years resolution for her. She purchased 3 simple spiral bound notebooks and has made a goal to write one thing she noticed about each child, each day. Funny, serious, a quote, whatever. But the point is to keep it short. Two sentences works.