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Random memories: This morning, for some reason, I was thinking of the year we lived in Montgomery, Alabama, when I was 12, right before we moved overseas for 6 years. I was in 6th grade. My sister and I were alternately best friends with Jackie, the girl next door, as each of us fell in and out of favor. We lived in community housing, and had a POOL in the back, but it was the same year that Jaws came out, so none of us would swim in the deep end when everyone was playing in the pool in the evenings. I remember:
  • being obsessed with making jewelry from colored, coated wire

  • a big German Shepherd dog tied up outside a store scaring me to death by suddenly lunging and barking when I went to pet it, causing me to have great respect for all strange animals forever after

  • exploring the "creek" for miles and playing in a sort of subterranean fort with friends

  • "make out" sessions with an older boy named Roman that consisted solely of lying on top of each other in total stillness

  • my sister getting a full page spread in the local paper with 3 photos of her walking her rabbit on a leash

  • reading The Witches of Worm which scared the hell out of me, and House of Stairs which filled my head with images I've never been able to shake.

  • jumping off a high wall onto a huge trampoline and then into a swimming pool

  • playing catch 'em kiss 'em with the neighborhood kids

  • reading Jaws and The Exorcist because I wasn't allowed to go see the movies and discovering that the books were much more graphic than a movie could probably ever be

  • raising a flashlight "rope" in front of an oncoming car with a friend and then scrambling like hell when the driver stopped, jumped out and starting chasing us

  • seeing giant black cockroach palmetto bugs for the first time in my life *shudder*

  • my brother and sister and I forming the "Red Bird Club" because of some book I'd read, and transforming our closet into our clubhouse with drawings and paintings of cardinals covering the walls

  • a stray Siamese cat who joined our family and was baptized Woodstock

  • being completely grossed out when Jackie ate dog food on a dare
There are more memories from that year, but that's all for now.

Happy dance: My colleague Niklas brought me back a big bag of 3 Musketeer bite-sized candy bars and a bag of 3 Musketeers Popables from the States. Woo hoo!
mood: contemplative
music: Otis Redding—Dock of the Bay


Oh, I like this post! You just reminded me of my first kiss, when I lived in Rupert and the neighbor boy, what was his name? Darin? Derek? Something like that. Mom told me many years later he asked her if he could marry me. We were seven. :)

Thanks for that.

You're welcome :) I think 12 was a really good year, but I've probably blocked out any bad stuff, LOL!

lying on top of each other in total stillness

I love the innocence of this and for some reason it evokes a whole host of other thoughts about childhood in me that I had forgotten were there. Thank you.

Innocent is right. ;) As a mother now, I'm a little jarred by the things we did and places we went as children. Anything could have happened to us. :)

I've heard so many people say similar things. I think all humans have done some crazy, scary stuff as kids that we're all amazed we lived through. Probably human nature. :)

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

well, we moved around so much that most of my memories are fairly specific, at least to the point where I can identify where we were because of what house/neighborhood/friend it's dealing with.

This is such a great post. When I was that age I was obsessed with reading every book ever written by Zelpha Keatly Snyder (is that her name, anyway the Witches of Worm author). A few years back I took a graduate course in children's lit and re-read some of her stuff and can't believe I liked it. Witches of Worm is very, very disturbing to read from an adult perspective. I think I've grown up to be too sensitive.

It was really disturbing to read from a 12-year old perspective, too! I have no desire whatsoever to re-read it, and I never read any of her other books because of it.

Me too! I love ZKS. My favorite by her was The Changeling, closely followed by The Truth About Stone Hollow...

Thanks for sharing those memories with us, lizardek... I'll be in NostalgiaLand all day, now! :)

12 years old, that's like 1,000 years ago. Richard Nixon was running for President against John Kennedy (guess who won). I bought my first 45 (Jimmy Clanton, "Venus in Blue Jeans"). I'm trying to remember if The Twist was popular then or if I was still doing The Bop and The Continental (loved to dance). I was reading all of Louisa May Alcott and crying when Beth died.

I still read all of LMA and cry when Beth dies!! :)

It's an obligatory once a year read, complete with tears. I was doing that about 2 weeks ago and Anders kept saying, "But you know how it's going to end". Men just don't get it, do they?

LOL! no, they don't. :) At least not our men. Mine rarely reads and when he does it's usually Henning Mankell or those Röde Örm books. I just read through all the "Little" books by LMA a couple of months ago as well as Jack and Jill which I've always loved. I know some people think they're the heighth of sappiness, but I can't help it. :)

No, they're not sappy, because although her kids try to do right, they so often have enormous temptations to go through and they're real human beings, getting into trouble, etc. I cry when Charlie dies in Rose in Bloom as well.

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