Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Years Ago

Two years ago I was living in windy Wyoming in a cute rental house across from Hobby Lobby.  The girl's best friend lived next door, and we spent a lot of time with the Kohlers.  Gianni couldn't keep from stripping and streaking constantly and so for about three months he wore backwards pajamas with the feet cut off.  These were the only thing he couldn't unzip, unbutton, and go all Full Monty with.

Four years ago I was largely pregnant and I wasn't sure what the heck I was going to do with a man child.  I had short hair and a puffy face and Kary was a little whippersnapper and tried to eat my jewels.

Five years ago my ten year old was half the age she is now.  Whimper.

Six years ago I lived in a duplex in the north end of Boise.  Everyday I'd hitch up our dog, Molly, to the wagon, plop the girls inside and we'd walk to Sunset Park.  We had neighbors who were all male, and every weekend they'd have a yard sale and the only thing they'd sell was women's shoes.  Hundreds - OK maybe dozens - of women's shoes all laid out on the lawn.  It was creeptaculous.

Seven years ago Anna rocked the mullet and talked nonstop.  Cora was obsessed with horses and wouldn't play with anything else.  As you can see, she practically became one.  HAHAHHAHAHA!

Eight years ago we lived in an apartment across from the Boise cemetery.  We had strange neighbors there too.  They had a very obese baby who only ever wore a diaper and drank chocolate milk and soda out of a bottle.  The mom was pregnant and smoked.  They would bring homeless people home with them and charge them rent to sleep on their couch.  They thought people were tunneling under the apartments to break in and steal stuff.  To this day, I wonder about that family, but not fondly.

Nine years ago we had baby Cora who said "yeth" to everything.  I was carrying Anna and craved roast beef sandwiches.

Ten years ago Cora was our one and only.

Eleven years ago I was throwing up on our first anniversary.

Twelve years ago we were married in a Christmas ceremony.  Mike planned the whole thing.  I picked out a dress and showed up.  I had wanted to elope and he didn't, so as punishment he got to plan the shindig.  Don't let him tell you how awful the receiving line was.  Sheesh.  It wasn't THAT bad, he exaggerates grossly.

Thirteen years ago I weighed 115 pounds.  Nostalgic sigh.

Fourteen years ago I got to vote.  Sarah Culver, are you reading this?  Your mom came over to my house and educated me on why, how, where, when to vote, the candidates, and their positions.  I will forever be grateful.

Fifteen years ago I  performed with the Idaho Shakespeare Company and Idaho Dance Theater.  I worked as a barista at Moxie Java.  I drove a battered up, multi colored Subaru with no radio, air, and a few working parts.

Sixteen years ago this country mouse became a city mouse.  I rode the bus for the first time and practically worked myself into a tizzy.  I didn't know how to make it stop and when my destination came and went I walked up to the driver and whispered, 'can I get off now, please?'  I worked at BSU in the catering department and had to be to work as early as 4 am.  I made David Copperfield chicken noodle soup and The Eagles coffee with filtered bottled water.  I walked to dance classes everyday and tried to fit in with college kids who were 3-6 years older than I was.  It worked about as well as you would think.

Seventeen years ago I lived in Baker City, Oregon.  I remember babysitting my nephew who was about three at the time and we didn't have any apple juice.  He really wanted apple juice.  Badly.  My sister and I bundled him up and walked him into town to the nearest restaurant.  It was winter in Oregon.  It was dark.  Three year olds don't do walks in the dark, especially ones that are longer than 1/4 of a block or so.  This was a lot farther.  We had to carry him.  My back still hurts.  By the time we got back with the apple juice he no longer wanted, he was red faced, snotty nosed and screaming like a banshee.  We put him in a hot bath and hoped we didn't cause him a horrible death.  We expected his frost bitten digits to fall off and float around the bubbles.  I don't think we ever told his parents.  Ahem.

Nineteen years ago I lived in a log house in the Oregon country, nestled under a mountain.  We had chickens, a horse named Cherokee, a horse named Thunder, dogs, Kammie, Dodge and Princess, and there may have been a cat in there somewhere.  Oh yes, a cat named Sergeant Tibbs.  We had a homemade swing big enough for two.  My best friend Aerie, and her sister Tan, lived a mile or two down the road.  We rode bikes a lot.  We had a strange neighbor (why do I always have strange neighbors??) who built speed bumps in our shared driveway out of the gravel and shot my dog with his BB gun.  Somebody, but I swear not us, kept putting a For Sale sign in front of his house which was a little bit hilarious.

Twenty years ago I went off to summer camp for the first time, and saw my first scary movie.  It had the lady from Who's The Boss:  I think she played a ghost.  Anybody remember this movie?  We were obsessed with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and we danced around to Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now.  It's possible that song came out a couple years before, but this was middle of nowhere Oregon and we were always a few years behind the times...we still had claw bangs and banana clips too.  I remember panicking in a dressing room because I had tried on a pair of stonewashed jeans that were so tight at the ankle - right by the stonewashed bow - that I couldn't get them off...makes me laugh because that's how they're making them nowadays once again.  Yes, I did buy a pair of jeggings!!!  I am loving the big baggy tops again!  Bring on the leg warmers!  Amen!

Twenty-one years ago...

I was born!


Sorry.  Seriously now.  Twenty-one years ago we lived in Elgin, Oregon, a tiny little logging town.  I made homemade bread every week and delivered it to my loyal customers in a laundry basket for $1 a loaf.  I saved up enough to purchase Cherokee.  I had read every Nancy Drew twice.  My favorite memories of this time period was packing a lunch and going outside of town a little to a campground and doing our school work there, riding bikes and fishing and playing with our Breyer horses in the streams and meadows.  My other favorite is watching old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals with my mom and sister while eating a big platter of cheese, crackers, pickles, olives, and apples.  It was probably my mom's answer to a very tight grocery budget, but to this day, it's a favorite lunch or dinner of mine.  We lived in an old house that was adorable after my mom finished sprucing it up.  All the curtains were sewn by her and the pillows and probably the dust covers for any and all kitchen appliances because my mother is seriously obsessed with them.  It's like a game show in her kitchen.  What's under Dust Cover #1??  It's a brand new toaster!!  But anyway - love you, Mommy, even though you need help - last time I drove by this house, the Strawberry Shortcake curtains were still blowing cheerfully in the upstairs bedroom window.  I love that house.  I've loved all our houses.  I had my one and only ghostly, supernatural experience in that house, but I don't want to shiver your timbers so I won't mention it.

OK, enough about me.  Why don't you talk about me for a while?


  1. You didn't mention me! I was a strange neighbor too!!!
    I loved this little trip back in time. I could really picture your cute houses, idyllic times and strange neighbors.

  2. Ok Laura Ingalls-Wilder, didn't you ever do anything bad? If I tried to recount my childhood I am pretty sure it could be used against me in a court of law. I remember being there for several parts of all of that stuff, wow we have known each other for a long while....I sure miss Anna rockin that mullet!

  3. sniff. you really shouldn't suddenly have memories while I am pregnant and hormonal and you are thousands of stupid miles away!
    your receiving line really was the world's longest! I swear you didn't know half those people, I still wonder if mike paid them to come to punish you for wanting to elope. Then you got kicked out of half the places in Tahoe because you weren't 21.
    Remember the mystery of the closing door at the apt. on Lincoln? It was only the exercise mat after all but, boy, did we pee our pants over that one.
    How about hearing "Maudy!" screamed by our nice neighbors in Elgin?
    And the not-so-nice neighbors in Summerville screaming "Sheeba!"
    I'm glad you suddenly have memories, just make sure they are filled with good ones of me!

  4. I haven't had dust covers since house #4 in Boise! And I didn't make them--I found them in thrift stores where they were quietly screaming, "10cents?! For me? A high quality, hand-stitched appliance cover for 10 cents?! I feel so used." And I felt sorry for them and took them home. Also, I had no cupboard space and if those durned appliances had to hang around on the counters, I thought they ought to look good. And not like appliances, which are boring. Handy, but boring.
    But I did make all the adorable curtains! Wait till you see the new ones!

    ps I am so impressed that you are memory-ing. When can I say, "Do you remember...?" and you won't fix me with a steely-eyed glint and say menacingly, "WHAT did you say?"

  5. The for sale sign is a LOT hilarious. Your mom is so cute.

  6. I preferred Jess too. And he is my friend's cousin, but she won't sneak me into the family reunion. ;)

    I watch Parenthood as well. It is VERY realistic.

  7. Wow - maybe i could even remember enough for 1 paragraph from each of the last 20 years. My photo albums would help me for 18 of them. :) Then again, maybe my trip down memory lane would end up as a blank page. I think I'm going to do this writing exercise. I'd need to go back 30 to get to childhood . . . but, we can't all be as young and beautiful as you are.

  8. i only know you have hobbit-feet... and so i thought i'd come read some more about you. and this was an awesome way to do it. i felt like i just grew up with you!!!! just, in different places and houses with TOTALLY different neighbors and stuff.
    anyway, i like this idea. i might mirror it too. (if i can remember well enough)
    ~nice to meet you.