Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Sometimes I find myself getting a little nostalgic. This week has been one of those times for a number of reasons.

First, it's my mom's birthday tomorrow (today by the time many of you read this). As most of my blog followers know, my mom passed away in January after a very long and difficult illness. We took the kids up to Grass Valley last weekend to leave flowers at the spot where we scattered her ashes. Grass Valley was one of her favorite places, and for many years it was her childhood home. She still has relatives there, including her cousin and her husband, as well as her aunt and uncle. We spent the afternoon with them, visited the site, enjoyed lunch and reminisced.

It was the first time we visited the spot with the kids. It rained, which was a bummer but also fitting, so we couldn't stay long. We did stay long enough for the kids (and my husband) to enjoy the Halloween Oreo cookies that my mom's cousin brought up with us, along with a quart of milk. Being so close to my 40-pound weight loss goal, I didn't partake in the indulgence.

I took what is one of my all-time favorite pictures of the kids that afternoon. They had Oreo cookies -- with bright orange frosting -- stuck in their teeth, so I asked them to smile with their mouths closed. I love this picture and hope mom was smiling down on us as she watched the kids enjoying their cookies, milk and each other after they each laid a flower down for her.

I've also reconnected this week on Facebook with several of my elementary school-aged friends, something  prompted by me being "tagged" in a 5th grade class picture from John Cabrillo Elementary School in Sacramento. The original post, which was made by a classmate who I am now friends with on Facebook, had "dunno" as the caption for me, something I gave him a bit of a hard time about given I thought I was somewhat more memorable than that.

He promptly told me that he just couldn't remember my name, but remembered that I was Christen's friend. Of couse he did. All the boys knew Christen, who was my best friend from Kindergarten through high school. Sometimes (actually a lot of times) I felt very much in her shadow, especially because a lot of the boys had crushes on her. I distinctly remember my mom telling me -- in elementary school, no less -- that the boys like her because she has "bedroom eyes." She added that my eyes are more "Let's go out and play basketball" eyes. I recognize that it's a bit of an unusual comment for a mom to say to her fifth grade daughter, but she was right.

In this fifth grade class picture. I'm the one in the yellow snoopy shirt on the far right in the second row. Christen is in the fourth row, smack dab in the middle. I have to say, it was probably not only the eyes, but the amazing feathered hair that caught the boys' attention.
So it struck me funny when my fellow elementary school buddy and my new Facebook buddy, Annette, today commented online how she remembers she and I would get in trouble because we wouldn't go to the library with the girls, but would instead go play football with the boys.

Now I will let you in on a little secret. While I was very much a genuine tomboy growing up, by fifth grade, I believe my primary motivation for playing football with the boys may have indeed been the possibility of an accidental tackle now and then. But I digress.

So as a tribute to my childhood and my week's walk down memory land, I would like to list my Top 10 favorite memories from my youth:
  1. Hello Kitty
  2. Trading stickers
  3. The ice cream truck
  4. Atari
  5. Hopscotch with chicken rings (do you know, my son doesn't even know what chicken rings are?? I guess they use rocks now).
  6. Must-have accessory? Comb in the back pocket!
  7. Roller Skating at Cal Skate (and, yes, the boys would ALWAYS ask Christen to couples skate, while I stood on the sidelines)
  8. My friend Christen's car, a red VW bug convertable with a black top, broke down on the way to high school on what was "Nerd" dress up day. She dressed up; I didn't. She ended up having to get out in traffic and push the car (with taped, horn-rimmed glasses, plaid skirt, knee high socks and all), while I steered us to safety.
  9. Going to my very first concert, Wham!, with Christen and our moms
  10. The day my longest friend and neighbor, Barbara, came to my house after school with one side of her formerly long hair buzzed with a cross shaved into it. The other half remained long. She was in high school at the time, and she'd had a dream about this particular style and decided to go ahead and do it without getting permission from her parents. She asked me to come home with her because she didn't think her mom would yell at her if I was there. It was her parents' anniversary. With a bouquet of flowers in her hand and me by her side, poor Barbara opened the front door to a very surprised mother who very promptly and sternly asked me to go home. That was the only time Dorothea ever asked me to leave their home.
To all my childhood friends: Love you guys and am so glad for Facebook to have a chance to reconnect with you.

To my mom: Happy Birthday and I miss you terribly.

To my faithful followers of my journey to lose 40 pounds by my 40th Birthday(ish): I am pleased to report that I'm down another pound this week, thanks to Weight Watchers and putting in some more time at the gym. This brings my total weight loss to 37.5 pounds.

2.5 pounds to go! Here's this week's picture:

Until Next Week,


  1. SMOKIN' hot picture this week! Is that a new dress, or (even better) an old one that you can now fit into again?

  2. Thank you! It's a new dress, new boots (with more wiggle room in the calves!)