Sorry, to my precious readers, but I’m afraid that this entry is not really intended for you. It’s for Maichie and Eyesore, my two older sisters. We’ve had a difficult month and I thought we could all use a dose of some good memories. We did have them, and we are continuing to make them, no matter how challenging things may seem today. Here are my top ten:
- Sitting in the Big Room as a family on Saturday nights to watch The Love Boat and Fantasy Island (even better, when they had the two hour cross-over episodes) – if that dates me, I don’t care. Everyone had their spots – Maichle in the leather rocker, Eyesore on the other leather chair, Mummy on the gold couch, Dad on the leather sofa and Rascal in front of the fireplace or next to his favourite person – we all know who that was. The only one who didn’t have a spot was the baby of the family – me. I drifted from ottoman to ottoman, or wherever i could squeeze in. Sometimes, if it was a really good night, Dad would make popcorn for us on the stove.
- Swimming in the pool on the few hot nights that we had in Sydney. The pool felt warmer than during the day, and it was so fun swimming with just the flood lights on. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about bees or wasps chasing me into the pool.
- Going to movies with you both was a highlight and always made me feel like “a big girl”. I remember lining up with you both to see Star Wars at the Vogue having no clue what it was. Then, being totally freaked out by the Sandmonsters and Darth Vader. We all slept in Maichie’s room that night. You two lying in the normal sleeping position, me across the top of the bed because I was too scared to sleep on the floor. I remember Mom forcing you to take me to Charlotte’s Web, but I knew that I was really doing you the favour. Best movie EVER!
- Speaking of Charlotte’s Web, I loved reading that book aloud to myself day and night and all of you telling me to SHUT UP over and over again. Thanks to the verbal abuse from my older sisters, night after night, I finally did learn to read using my inside voice.
- Remember when we went to Miami and Disney World for the first time? It was my first time on a beach and I couldn’t quite get the hang of sandcastles, but you guys tried your best. I’ll never forget, at Disney, the old woman coming out of the parade and hitting Dad on the head with her rolling pin. It didn’t knock any sense into him, but it sure was funny. I remember Goofy coming up behind Mom and covering her eyes with his hands – only he and I knew what was happening. Mom yelling – “Larry, would you cut it out!” then Goofy revealed that it was really a top dog playing a trick on her. Goofy took a picture with me and I’ll never forget that moment, especially since Mickey and Minnie dissed me earlier in the day. I remember you guys went on Dumbo together and were soaring! I was on the ride with Mummy and every time I’d try to make Dumbo go higher, she’d push the lever down so we were closer to the ground. She pretended it was so that I wouldn’t be afraid, but I knew the truth.
- I remember FINALLY getting to go to school like you two. It was one of my best memories. Argyle was the only time that the three of us were in the same school together because I was so far behind you both. You both protected me at school – Michele fighting off the bullies and Donna telling me who I could speak to and who I had to avoid because they were one of the “bad kids”. You even taught me to play hopscotch.
- Sitting outside, under the umbrella and having our barbecues. Remember how a nice day in Sydney was the nicest day ever – no humidity – just warm and sunny…
- The odd time, getting to play games together as a family. Monopoly and Pay Day – it wasn’t often – Dad didn’t have the patience and Mom didn’t like to lose (she still doesn’t). They were still fun memories. Later board games were replaced by cards. Gin, black jack, bloody knuckles – whatever we felt like at the time.
- I remember your high school graduations – you both got to wear such beautiful white dresses. I was a little disappointed that you didn’t have the mortarboard, but I got to wear that. Bobbie came to both graduations, and she was bursting with pride. I was too – but happy/sad – as proud as I was, I knew how badly I was going to miss both of you in the fall when you went away to school. I learned a valuable life lesson when I went away to school a few years later – it’s always easier leaving that being left behind.
- Best of all, I remember the days when the power would go out. Maybe nobody liked it as much as I did, but we all got to be together with no distractions. We didn’t have to go to school. We got to sit near the fire…toast marshmallows…our enterprising mother cooking our dinners in the fondue pot…taking naps together because there just wasn’t a lot to do…but it was just nice…
These are just a few of my highlights…I welcome yours.
To my other older sister – Babs – thank you so much for today. It was the best day that I’ve had since my father died. Thank you for making the mani-pedi appointments, taking me shopping and picking the dinner location. I’m so happy that I got to hang out with you and it was so nice not having to decide anything more stressful than what shoes to buy.