Monday, September 16, 2013

I May Not Remember...But Stacey Will

My cousin Stacey remembers everything that happened in her life from the day she was born until the day she turned about 15. I swear, she remembers the weirdest things!

Stacey: Remember that time when we were 3 years old and we were playing with blah, blah, and you said this and then I said that? Remember it, you were wearing that shirt you loved and I had my hair in a ponytail?
Me: No. I don't remember that. And you're really weird.

I feel like Stacey is the abnormal one here and that it is totally normal that I don't remember details of my life and what I wore when I was 3 years old. But I totally love that she remembers things, because then she can tell me about them...because I think I am equally as weird in the fact that I can't remember anything that ever happened before I was like 25.
Today's blog challenge is to write about my earliest memory. I don't know what I remember first in my life. What I do know is that almost every single memory I have from being a kid involved my cousins and me playing - always outside - at either Grandma Stacey's Kelvin Street house, Grandma Whitmore's house, or the beach. I remember very little about my classmates in school, while I remember a million things with my cousins.
I feel very lucky to have had so many best friends just built in with having a big family with so many kids so close in age. I remember crowded birthday parties, busy weekends, and always having a friend to play with, because my cousins were all around.
At Grandma Whitmore's house, it was always me, Tony, Paul and Cory...who ironically I no longer speak to (Paul & Cory, I mean, I still talk to my brother). Grandma used to babysit Paul and Cory, and we'd go over to play fairly often. Grandma had a great climbing tree in the front yard, but she also had an amzing "jungle" on the side of the was just her side yard, which was totally overgrown, but the bushes closed us in with a canopy and it felt very jungle-like. We played back there for hours. And when we weren't in the jungle, we were walking a tightrope on the neighbor's concrete wall, or we were figuring out new ways to climb onto the garage roof. Bad kids! On the rare occassion that we were ever inside, we were upstairs in the little room playing dress up with Halloween costumes, or throwing things down the laundry chute to the basement.
In our adult life, I don't speak to Paul and Cory. There's no real reason that I don't see Cory, other than that I refuse to see his mom or his brother. So my memories with them basically take a screetching halt at a point about 9 years ago.

On the Stacey side, I not only have great memories of being a kid with my cousins, but these good times do roll over into adulthood, as my cousins remain my very best friends even after all these years of knowing each other. :)

At Grandma Stacey's house, we were also very often outside...its like they kicked us out of the house! We played in the far back yard, where there was both a tire swing and a rope swing, and I remember the whole ground being covered in little sheep turds and thinking it was so gross. But we loved the far back. Stace and I always felt grown up playing back there, like we were so far away from the house. We could swing for hours back there.

And then there was the honey tree in the front yard, where a kid could spend a whole day just climbing. Best climbing tree of all time. Seriously, so great. We'd climb to the top, too, just because the older boys could. There were places to sit and rest, places to swing from, and even a few places to jump/fake fall from. I remember more times spent in that tree than anywhere else as a kid...I don't know if you could call it my first memory, but it is definitely one of my best.

In the winter, all we ever did at Grandma's was sled. And walk down to the dinky, which would be frozen over with ice, where we could "ice skate" on our tennies. The dinky was good for berries in the summer, and for sledding in the winter. The whole family used the Kelvin Street hill to sled, not just the fact I think some of my uncles were more excited about it than us kids ever were, and I know my dad was!

I am fortunate, even in adulthood, to have a very close bond with most of my cousins - at least most on my mom's side of the family. My dad's family is close. I don't have much of a cousin-ly bond on my dad's side except for Karen and Laura, and I try to maintain a relationship with Carolyn, but we don't see each other much. I've gotten back in touch with a couple people I haven't talked to much via Facebook, but it just isn't the same as it used to be with that family. On the other hand, I continue to get closer with my Stacey cousins all the time, and I love it.