- Winter! Especially the Blizzard of '77 during which my father was stranded in Rochester, NY for two weeks until he followed a plow home and my mother boiled pots of melted snow on the gas stove to keep the house warm because the electricity was out.
How my father would bundle up, even in more normal winters, using a scarf my mother knitted, to plow the snow from the driveway.
- Summer! Especially all the tennis we played.
Those long, exploratory bike rides, especially to Hamlin Beach.
Those rare visits to my dad's brothers in Newfane for block parties. The even rarer long walk through the vacant lot to my aunt's neighbor's pool, seemingly abandoned. The murky, cold water, the overgrown weeds around the chain-link fence, the feeling that we were trespassing, a sense of the deserted. Fourth of July at the family friend's farm, the smell of the barn, pig roast, wagon rides, fireworks in the distance and softball games.
The ability to predict my mother's whereabouts at any time of her workday as a letter carrier in our small town and riding my bike to ask her for whatever was on my mind. I was sure she had the best job for a mom, better than a school teacher.
Not being able to wait for school to be out so that I could spent time studying what I wanted to study, referencing my parents' paltry library, the decent public library in town and the larger one in the county seat. When home life stunk, the library was my sanctuary.
- My newest brother, the youngest, coming home from the hospital after five days on my fifth birthday and Mother's Day.
- My husband's valedictorian speech at high school graduation.
- Flipping off my high school cross country coach when he teased about not having any water on a long run. And his little red car! And all those hills we ran!
- My father's restaurant and his bankruptcy. And his rotten luck as a rate clerk for the trucking industry. He took me to an office in Buffalo when he cleaned out his desk. A secretary put me on her lap and had me type my first name using the home row on her electric typewriter. I realized then my first name is all on the left hand. I remember how my dad used a calculator, collected bicentennial quarters - I wonder who has his collection now?
- The moment I realized that my older sister was growing up and would soon be leaving home and how much our lives would change as a family. Including getting our room to myself! Painting it and wallpapering it.
- Playing around in my friend's building, the town's former middle school, in the summer before it was renovated into senior housing. Including, but not limited to, sunbathing on the roof.
- Working graveyard shift summers during college at the town's only 24 hr. convenience store. After getting off third shift, riding my bike six miles to the YMCA to lift weights and swim and riding home again, in order to be in shape for Fall cross country at school.
The night a kid asked to write me an I.O.U. for gas. And the night a guy asked me to unlock the beer cooler after hours. I wisely said no to both requests and called the police in the second instance.
My friend who lived across the street coming home from her job at McDonald's and giving me whatever "expired" food she's managed to take away.
Staying awake for about 30 hours after pulling a double shift (2nd and 3rd) then day-tripping to Sherkston Beach in Ontario with friends. It's been built up some since, I guess. I feel asleep on the beach, briefly, then worked third shift so sunburned I could barely stand. My stovepipe pants stuck to my swollen, blistered legs.
- 1978-1982: Three Mile Island, Love Canal, JPII's election, Lennon's assassination, the royal wedding. Getting cable TV. Playing Atari. Jeff's TI-99 and Commodore 64 home computers.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Top 10 Childhood memories, a meme: