I'm continuing with "recording my youth." (Here is the story of my birth if you missed it.) I mentioned that I've already scrapbooked my earliest years so I don't really have many new stories beyond what I've already written. I'll borrow and try to summarize a few of them.My "preschool" picture on the left...with my lip poked out...I didn't actually attend preschool; we just got our pictures taken on Picture Day.
Like I mentioned before, my parents married young. My mom earned her GED, and my dad didn't go back to college after they got married. Of all the decisions they could have made at the time, that's what they did. (I'm not speaking in judgement toward anybody else and any choice anybody else has ever made that is different from their own. I'm only trying to describe how my family came into existence and how I became the person I am today.)
My dad sold his cool Firebird he loved, and he bought a hay truck to help support his family. He went to work for the railroad, and my mom mostly stayed home with us. She did little jobs like selling Avon and Tupperware to help out, and she worked at the local grocery store for a bit. I think that if I was to say what was the biggest lesson I learned from my parents, it's this: be strong and do what you have to do. I don't know if they've ever came out and told me that, but I learned it all the same.
My grandpa owned land, and there were several great swimming holes we enjoyed while growing up.
We lived in the tiny town (population was probably around 100) that my dad lived in all of his life. My mom moved to this small town when she was in junior high. (She liked my dad before he noticed her...but she was only in the 8th grade when he graduated. She tells the story of how she went to his graduation, excited to see him, and he was looking toward her with a big smile on his face. She thought he was waving at her, and she was so happy, thinking this is it...and he walked past her to his girlfriend standing behind her.) They didn't start dating until 2 years later.
This is the same town my grandfather, at the age of 89, lives in today. There is basically one main road in the town, and my first house (which cost my parents $8,000!) was on that road - right across from my great grandmother's house. (I have a tiny scar on my forehead from a time I ran across the highway to my Granny's - at the urging of my family, "Hurry!" I ran as fast as my little legs would take me, and I landed flat on my face.) These first 3 pictures show the backyard of our house. I wrote about how I remember playing back there with my brother and also at our neighbor friend, Jeff's.
In the bottom right picture, you can see the house of our neighbors on the other side, an old couple named Reggie and Gertie. Sometimes my mom wouldn't be able to find me, and she would go look next door. I would be sitting in the chair, drinking a Nehi soda in a glass bottle. I clearly remember the taste of that soda, and the sight of my mom coming into their house to get me. Reggie would stand at the corner of his house, holding a soda, so I would come over. I guess that sounds a little shady, and I would never let my daughter do that. But really, he was just a nice old man who liked me, and I loved them. My parents knew them well. I even had a Barbie doll back then that I named Gertie.
Running cattle down the road and feeding the calves with bottles was a part of my life (on my Grandpa's farm and later with our own). Most people raise cattle and become accustomed to that way of life: animals being used for food...not me. It had the opposite effect on me, and as soon as I found out where "meat" came from (animals just like my precious pets - not from the grocery store, like my mom told me), I stopped eating it. I'm sure I would have came to that conclusion regardless of owning cows or not.
Those are my 4th birthday pictures to the right. To the left I talked about my favorite stuffed animals, Stuffy and Oscar. I wrote about the time we were spending the night with my great aunt, Mamoo. I was sleeping in the bed with my brother, and I was crying because I forgot Stuffy and Oscar at home. Being the GREAT big brother that he was, he drew me a picture of them to sleep with. Isn't that sweet?
Later, he got mad at me about something, and he ripped up the pictures.
The biggest thing that happened to me during my first 5 years: I became a big sister. Cary was born when I was around 3 years and 8 months old. Aww, look at the adoration. Soon she would outgrow me by half a foot.
I took gymnastics when I was 3 and 4 years old. I didn't get to take them after that because we had to drive to a bigger town to do things like this.
This was my first day of kindergarten, standing on my back patio. That dress is currently hanging in Sissy's closet.
And this is my kindergarten picture. That dress is actually waiting to be worn in her closet, too. Obviously, I get huge amounts of enjoyment from seeing her in these outfits I (or my mom) deemed special from my youth.
I loved kindergarten. My teacher's name was Miss Susie, and I loved her. When I think about kindergarten ,I think about rainbows, my best friend Kristy, the big wooden boat we sat in, and our chef puppet.