Friday, April 25, 2008

Y is for Youth

Today's topic is brought to you by Shelly at Scenic Overlook. Shelly asks:
Y - youth. Tell us some of your favorite childhood memories. Favorite toys, best
friends, favorite teacher, favorite family vacation - that sort of thing.

Hmm, you might be more bored with this than you think Shelly. But I'll give it a shot for you.

A while back I have a bright idea to do a long post about childhood memories, I have lots of great ones. But I quickly realized it was going to take me a long time to come up with as many as I wanted. I do have a list that I started, though, so I'll share some of those memories about my childhood.
  • When I was about 3 years old, my dad brought me a little Oscar the Grouch stuffed toy when we returned from his National Guard training. I think he’d been gone for an extended period of time (a long weekend? Two weeks? I don’t know.) I still have the toy.
  • On my first day of kindergarten my teacher met us in the hallway. She told me to find me locker with my name on it. I loved that. And I was the only one in my class that didn’t have to share a locker. I was so cool in Kindergarten.
  • My dad would take me with him to run errands on Saturday mornings, usually to the lumber yard or hardware store. I loved those days with him. I remember those more than times with my mom. Every beautiful Saturday, I reminisce about those days with my dad.
  • My mom got so mad at my sister one night (because she wouldn’t go to sleep), that she threatened to throw her out the window if she had to come up to our room to correct her again. I think Rachel went to sleep after that, but I laid awake worrying that Mom would really do it. I think I cried myself to sleep. Mom says she does not remember ever saying something that mean. I'm guessing Rachel was about 3-4, so I would have been 7-8 years old at the time.
  • I remember almost passing out on a field trip in 3rd grade. We were watching a demonstration in the blacksmith shop at this little village. It was really hot inside and I got dizzy. They pulled me out and sat me on a bench. My teacher was very glad that my mom was a chaperon that day. Mom just sat with me for a while, then we went on with our day.
  • I almost passed out on the risers in the gym when we were practicing for the school play in 5th grade. (Notice a problem yet?) Luckily my best friend was in front of me, so I put my hands on her shoulders until the dizziness passed. Then my teacher told me I was always “dizzy” (ha ha, he was quite the comedian) and let me go lay on the bed in the office for a while. I didn't think he was so funny then, but I did meet his daughter in high school. She's just like him, and she was a great friend through high school and college.
  • I only lost 2 baby teeth on my own. The dentist had to pull the rest, because they wouldn’t found out. I went to the dentist so much, I was not afraid of him. I wish I lived closer to "home" so I could still go to the same dentist. I don't like the one I have here.
  • My cousin and I used to blindfold each other and lead the other around my grandma’s yard. Then we had to guess where we were. It was fun. My friend and I did a similar thing in her neighborhood.
  • My sisters and I used to all crowd in my bed at night. That would have been fine, but my bed was a twin...on the top bunk!
  • A friend of my parents taught me this when I was 2. If someone asked me how my mouth went, I’d move my hand like it was talking and say “all the time”. It was the truth. They thought it was hilarious and asked me all the time to say it. I make Zachariah say it now. He laughs and thinks it's pretty funny. I can see why they found it so amusing.
  • My mom and I talked all the way to work in the mornings. On day she decided she’d see if I still talked if she didn’t respond. I did…for at least 15 minutes straight…with no responses at all from my mom, I just keep chattering. (Proof that the above was true.)
  • When I was about 4 years old, I would sneak in my parents’ room and scoop my baby sister out of her bassinet and stand there and hold her. My grandma caught me in there once. I turned around in a panic and dropped her right back into the bassinet. One step off, I would have dropped her on the floor. The next night my mom moved the baby into a crib and got rid of the bassinet. Apparently I'd been doing this a lot. Luckily I was careful. It explains a lot now about my sister. ;)
  • When I was 2 or 3 my parents sent me out to feed the dog. He would jump up on them, but not me.

Favorite toys:

  • We had lots of Barbie dolls and sets that went with them. I know I went through that phase for a while.
  • I always loved coloring or other crafty type things.
  • I know I had lots of toys, stuffed animals, and other things, but I don't remember any big particulars. We had My Little Ponies, a toy computer, Cabbage Patch Kids, and more.
  • Honestly, I remember playing outside more. Then the older I got the more I read. I would spend hours in my room by myself reading, writing pen pals, and things like that.

Ahh, my best friend. I totally had a best friend in Elementary School. Her name was Sara, and that's the first thing I liked about her. You see, we have the same name. ;) (Mine is spelled with an H on the end, which of course lead to many discussions about who's was right. Mine is, of course! We still pick about it when we get together. Her parents picked her spelling, because of ease of spelling. Mine picked mine, because it's the Biblical spelling.) Anyway, we also had matching boots. I noticed this in Kindergarten when our two classes were combined for a field trip. Then from 1st grade through 5th grade we were always in the same class. We were inseparable. We hung out in junior high and added more friends to our circle. (That's how I met Matt, actually, she was friends with him first.) In high school we drifted apart a little, but we still did things together with our friend group. We ended up going to college together too, so we saw each other a lot. We still keep in touch (as well as the other 3 friends who were close to us), and we had our baby boys a month apart. We even got a belly picture when she came to my baby shower. (Unfortunately I missed hers, because I was in the hospital right after having Zachariah.) I wish that we lived closer, because I still value her friendship.

My favorite teacher (I had many) is probably a toss up between Mrs. Penner, who taught high school chemistry, and Mr. Shininger, who taught high school math. Mrs. Penner was great, I've never thought of Chemistry in ways that she taught us, but it worked. I had her for two years since I took Chem I and Chem II. I would have had her for Physics the next year, but she retired so we had a new teacher for that. That was the year that Mr. Shininger came to our school. His kids already went there, but he'd been teaching at another school. I took 3 Math courses my senior year, so I was in his room a lot. And Matt was always by my side (good thing for him too, or he may not have gotten such good grades) and I helped him a lot that year. I'm a Math geek, so I loved all my classes that year. And Mr, Shininger made it fun. I loved that. It's funny that 3-4 years later my sister had him. At first she didn't like him at all. She was doing poorly in his class. Until I finally told her how to deal with him, she was struggling. I finally talked to her, she talked to him, he helped her our, and she did amazingly well.

Favorite family vacations is easy. There were several places that we loved to visit as a family. Matt and I now love those places too (most of them, there is one he hasn't been to).

  • We loved going to Hocking Hills as kids. We stayed in the state cabins and enjoyed the pool there. We often went with my parents friends, who had 3 kids close in age to all of us. We paired off and each had a friend. We hiked, ate ice cream, and played games at night in the cabins. Matt and I went here for our honeymoon. We stayed in different cabins from what I was used to, but it was great sharing that with the man I love. And we've gone back at least 3 times since then too.
  • We also went to the ocean a lot. We feel in love with North Carolina. We stayed in Atlantic Beach, NC for many years. The last few times we've gone we've stayed at a house in Emerald Isle (which is just on the other end of the island). We need more room now, because our family is bigger. This is where we went last year for vacation. As kids we would spend all day on the beach, visit the fort, shop in Beaufort, and visit our favorite restaurants. Now we pretty much do the same things. We love all the same places, and we go back about every other year. We're a little more adventurous now and try new places, but it's still fun to visit the old faithfuls. I could go on and on about NC. We just love it there.
  • The other favorite vacation I took was to Paris, France. I went with my parents and sisters when I was a freshman in college. (Matt and I were dating at the time.) While I was in high school, my dad's job changed. He did international travel for the company he worked (still works) for. They offered him a job in Paris, but as a family we decided we didn't want to make that life change. I was dating Matt and didn't want to leave him, plus I already had plans to go to a local college. He declined the move, but he traveled back and forth for years. He was in Paris for a few weeks on business, and we flew out after he was done to spend a week on vacation there. It was lovely. It was actually this time of year, and all the trees were blooming in the parks. We were there for May Day (May 1st) which is a work holiday just like Labor Day for us. It was neat to see that tradition that is different there. We went up in the Eiffel Tower, walked around Notre Dame, spent hours in the Louvre (seeing David and Mona Lisa), walked in the gardens, ate at sidewalk cafes (and McDonald's and Pizza Hut, my sisters weren't too adventurous), took a cruise down the Seine to take in the sites from that view, and really enjoyed our short time there. I would love to go back. Actually I'd love to tour all of Europe, but I'm not holding out hope that it will happen.

So, how was that book about my childhood? I'm sure there are many more revealing things I could tell you. And if I had time (or the determination) I have plenty of photos to go along with these things that I could scan. Not today.


Jana said...

Wow! Your family vacations sound wonderful. And I am SO jealous of your trip to Paris. You are one lucky lady to have such great memories of your childhood and family vacations!

Shelly Overlook said...

This is perfect! Takes me back to my own childhood.

I have to laugh - when I first read about your best friend Sarah, I read "Anyway, we also had matching boobs" instead of "boots". That cracked me up. Oops.