Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Journey to Now - Part 1

I decided a few days ago, I wanted to recount my life experience up til now. A little way to fill everyone in on my past. My new family and I know each other as who we are today, and will know each other for who we will become in the future. But no one knows how I've gotten to today. This first post will be my earliest memories. Before we moved from Ohio.

My first memories of life are of when Mom and I lived at Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Mick's house. I recall spending most of my time there, mostly with Grandma. Grandpa was a truck driver, and was gone for a few days at a time. I can remember spending a lot of time with Grandma because Mom was at work.

I can remember running errands with Grandma, cooking and watching t.v. One of the memories that sticks out the most is sitting in the family room, on Grandma's lap watching Heathcliff and Press Your Luck and eating grapes. I recall family dinners around the table with Mom, Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Rob.

One of my favorite things to do was when we heard Grandpa pull in the driveway from work, I would hide behind the couch or chair, and jump out when he walked in the door. I would also hide little cars or toys in his shoes while he was getting ready for work, and then when he put his shoes on to leave, he'd always act so surprised and laugh when he put his foot in his shoe.

I also remember spending time with my Great Grandma Dorie. She was my Grandpa's mom. I remember helping her cook. She would always let me "mash the potatoes" when we cooked. She would put them in the mixer and start it up. It was my job to keep an eye on them. When ever I use a mixer to this day, I ALWAYS immediately think of her. I remember sifting flour when we made peanut butter cookies on her big farm kitchen table. It was always my job to use the for to put the marks in the cookies. My favorite food to eat of hers was her homemade macaroni. I remember loving to go to her refridgerator and finding a leftover bowl and eating the cold macaroni straight from it.

Dinners (lunch) at Grandma Dorie's were the best. I can remember sitting around the table, Grandma at the head of the table on the left of me, and Grandpa at the head of the table to my right. When we were all there, usually on a Sunday, dinners would include them, me, Mom, Grandpa and his brother Bill, Uncle Rob. I absolutely love remembering all those family members around the table.

When I was at Grandma Dorie's, my afternoons were spent with Grandpa Bob on his bed. He had a hospital bed set up in his bedroom, which was directly across from Grandma's bedroom. I would curl up with him in his bed after dinner and we'd listen to Paul Harvey. Some days we'd go sit outside in the swing under the tree. I'd play with one of the many cats, or ride a trike up and down the sidewalk. Those have got to be some of my fondest, earliest memories.

When I got a bit older, I remember going to Preschool at a lady's house outside of Dupont. It was an okay place, I have some deep rooted resentment from a couple kids that went there too. I can remember having music time, where we could pick an instrument from the shelf to play while we sang songs. I ALWAYS wanted to use the tambourine. There was one girl who would NEVER let me have it. If she didn't get it and keep it for herself, she would get it and give it to one of her friends. I also remember going downstairs into a room and playing Farmer in the Dell before parents came to pick us up. I always wanted SO desperately to be picked. The WHOLE time I attended that preschool, I was NEVER picked. The same kids always picked the SAME kids to go in the middle. This all wasn't enough for me to not enjoy preschool, for the most part. I would go every day with my hopes up, but it was just never in the cards for me.

When I was two or three, Mom went on a trip to Hawaii to visit her cousin who was there in the Navy. I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa at home. I remember being in the family room one day. Grandpa and Uncle Rob were there watching tv. Grandma was in the kitchen cooking. Grandma called out to Rob to get her a Coke from the garage. The door to the garage is in the family room, and it's a big step down to the cement garage floor. At that time, Coke was still in glass bottles. Nobody but me heard her. I said "I'll get it..." but nobody was still paying attention. I remember opening the door, and kneeling down. One hand on the door frame, and one hand reaching out into the garage. I had my hand on the bottle, and was about to stand up when I lost my balance. I fell out onto the garage floor, bottle in hand. It shattered in my grasp, and then there was the blood. The next thing I remember is sitting on my Grandma's lap, Grandpa driving the van as fast as he could to Defiance. The next thing I remember after that is being back in the emergency room. I was hysterical. They had to ask my grandparents to leave. They put me partially in a straight jacket. They needed to sew my right hand up. Had the cut been any bigger, my thumb would have been barely hanging on my hand. I remember having a big thing of gauze wrapped around my hand for weeks while my hand healed. To this day I have a crescent shaped scar, and scars where they had stitched my hand up.

I think it was not long after that incident that Mom and I moved out. Mom got a place in town, in Oakwood. It was a small cottage, but it was finally a place of our own. I can remember being in the kitchen while she made dinner, or while we were eating or cleaning up from dinner. Mom had a friend who lived a couple doors down, and from our dining room window, we could see into their kitchen. I always found it fascinating to watch through their window. Mom would always call me a "Peeping Tom", which I always thought was absolutely hilarious.

Not long after that, we moved into a trailer that was put in the yard next to Grandma Dorie's house. I can remember when everyone worked on the trailer to get it ready for us to move in. I can remember trying to help Grandpa hammer - trying being the key word. I absolutely remember smacking him in the finger with the hammer.

As I have said in a previous post, it was around this time that I started to realize that my small family was minus a member. Realizing I didn't have a father in my life was nothing more than a few quick thoughts here and there at this point. It wasn't something that I put much thought into yet.

My days were spent outside a lot. I loved to be outside. I can remember running around the yard, there was so much space. I would go out behind the barn and the chicken coops, in search of Mother Nature. I distinctly remember at that age, I thought she was real. I believe she was a little fairy lady, and that one day I'd find her. I can remember sneaking around trees, sheds, the back corner of the barn - hoping one day I'd be quite enough to see her growing a flower, or putting some dew on the grass.

If I wasn't searching for Mother Nature, I was probably playing with the cats. There were always lots of cats outside. Farm cats. And they were my friends. I had them all named, and I just adored them.

It was also then that my world was about to be changed. I can remember being at Grandma Sandy's house, sitting on the couch with Mom. I remember Grandma was in the kitchen. Mom told me that we were going to be moving away. With that one statement, my world shattered. I knew nothing outside our small rural town. I had all these people here who cared about me, and moving far away was not anything I wanted to hear about.

Mom was going to marry a guy she had met on her trip to Hawaii, and had kept in contact with. He lived in Washington state at the time, and was in the Navy. I remember screaming. Crying. Absolutely REFUSING to go. All I knew was it meant that I was not going to get to see my grandparents anymore, and it destroyed my little world.

I have two memories after that, before we left. I have no idea time frame wise how quickly she told me we were moving, before we actually did. I remember meeting him when he came to the trailer for the first time. I also remember we left shortly before my fifth birthday. I remember having a huge early birthday party that year. Not only was it a birthday party, but a goodbye party. I remember lots of people being there, and having a good time. But I also remember being painfully sad that I was not going to see these people for a long time.

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