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Memory Monday-Apples and Deer

Memory Monday…It’s a thing.

At one point, the house I grew up in was full.  Divorces and other people essentially abandoning their kid brought family and friends to my Grandmother’s doorstep.  From the doorstep, they came into the living room, we doubled up in bedrooms, and converted a small utility room into a bedroom.  Then they all got remarried or grew up and moved out.  Granny and I were the only two left in the house.  I was in high school and had to ride a school bus about an hour each direction.  I think I had to catch the bus by 630-645a so we could get to the school in time for kids to eat breakfast in the cafeteria so I had to be up by 6a to get ready.

Granny and I were night owls, preferring to sit up and watch TV or read until the late hours of the night.  I would try to go to bed by 11p, but it wasn’t uncommon for her to be up all hours of the night.  Her bed room was at the back of the house and she had a nice view of the apple trees that lined our back yard.  Deer would could out of the hills at night and eat the apples that fell to the ground.  I was never sure if she heard the deer or if she actually watched for them, but she would wake me at 2a or 3a in the morning to watch the deer with her.  I didn’t complain, I just went with it.  We’d watch them eat the apples from her bedroom window.  Sometimes, we were lucky enough to slip out the front door and stand in the side yard watching them.  We didn’t talk.  We didn’t need to talk in those moments.

My grandmother died midway through my senior year of high school.  It’s been over 20 years now and it’s rare that a day goes by that I don’t think about those mornings with her.  Like a kid, I would love to have just one more…one more morning with her.

My advice:  Cherish the small moments with your loved ones.  You never have as much time as you think you do with them.

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Memory Monday-First Trip

I’ve been getting ready for a work related trip over the past few days. A quick 5 day jaunt across the U.S. from WV to WA. While I love traveling, my travels have been somewhat limited. I’ve been to a handful of US locales and three international spots.

I took my first trip when I was about 6-7 years old. I had family in Bradenton, FL at the time. My mother, grandmother, and I took a bus the 900+ miles. Oddly, I think I have more memories from the bus ride than I do the actual stay in FL which even included a trip to Disney World. Here’s what I remember about that trip:

  • I was traumatized there were no mountains in FL.
  • We crossed a really long bridge and a man on the bus swore he saw dolphins jumping out of the water, but I never saw them.
  • I met a little girl on the bus and I was captivated by her. She had brown eyes, black hair, and brown skin. We were watching the little hills coming up on the highway and wondering how tall they were. She said something about a hill that went all the way to Jupiter and I played along even though I didn’t know what or where Jupiter was. I didn’t want her to think I was dumb.
  • A very hateful old woman was on the bus. At a bus stop, she was trying to get on the wrong bus. The lady wouldn’t listen to the drivers. My grandmother tried to help her and get her back on our bus, but the old lady was mean to my grandmother so we walked away. Our bus pulled out and the old lady was still arguing with the driver for the other bus.
  • There was some commotion over a hitchhiker or a woman that needed a ride? She might have been a prostitute? There was a lot of yelling.
  • I saw a lot of lizards in FL.
  • We went to Disney World. I remember riding It’s a Small World and crying on my second ride on Space Mountain.  I also rode the Dumbo ride, but I don’t actually remember that; I know I did because we have a picture of me on the ride.
  • We went to the beach a lot. The sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico were pretty.
  • I lost my two favorite dolls somewhere during that trip.
  • I fell asleep on the bus on the way home. When I woke up, there were mountains again and I yell out: “Mommy, we’re home! The mountains are back.” I was overjoyed to be off flat ground.

To this day, flat places make me a little nervous.

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