I've had one of those weeks - you know the type - when everyone is telling you what to do and what you're doing wrong? Except, I'm an adult, so I'm supposed to be thinking for myself. Anyway, I was about ready to retreat into a hole, when my younger sister Michele emailed me. She'd read my blog bio and was commenting on how she too loves Don McLean's American Pie, and shares that impressive party skill of knowing lyrics and artists of any song that comes on the radio.
It got me thinking about all the things we used to do as kids, and I was lifted from my reality for a while. I decided to share a few of those memories here as a sort of Ode to My Sisters (only without the lyrical poetic format that Keats would write.)
We grew up way out in the rural outskirts of Fairbanks, Alaska in Musk Ox subdivision (seriously, that 's what it was called). Now it is sprawling with houses, but then it was sparsely populated. We had nothing but wilderness and a few neighbors for miles. So, what could three girls possibly do to keep busy out in the boonies?
- took turns being Wonder Woman, pushing down the dead but still standing trees with our awesome super hero strength. We did the same when we played "Oh Mighty Isis" with an old silver Buddha medallion my mom had in her jewelry box.
- searched for fairies and gnomes under the big orange toadstools that grew wild all over our property. One of us always spotted a gnome or pixie, but we could never quite catch it!
- played Little House On The Prairie for hours outside. My sister Marianne was Mary, and I of course with the appropriate name and birth order was always Laura. Michele was Carrie.
- would try to scare each other by making up things we'd seen. We fooled Michele once into believing we'd gone through a time warp while walking along the power line. We actually had just turned our watches ahead, but she believed us and freaked. Another time I soaked a ripped rag in red food coloring and got everyone thinking there was a mass murderer in the woods somewhere. That mystery lasted for weeks!
- played chemist, mixing any liquids we could find. Luckily for us, we never actually mixed anything that caused a chemical reaction!
- played astronauts (well Michele and I did anyway) with our big winter 'moon' boots every morning while waiting for the school bus.
- played radio station. We would record ourselves being the DJ and playing records. We even recorded our own music. My niece Nikki (Michele's daughter) still has a recording of my infamous original "Here Come the Mosquitoes" - one of these days I will confiscate that tape!
- made sno-cones, or I should say, 'snow' cones, with snow and Coke, sometimes maple syrup. It was good.
- dug a pool for our Barbies. It didn't work though. The dolls ended up taking mud baths.
- used to sled using a huge piece of clear plastic from the top of our property where our house was, down the cliff, across the road, and into the deep ditch on the other side. It's a really good thing there were few cars around!
- somersaulted off the top of the kitchen counter onto our bean bag - well until Marianne missed and smacked her head.
- played jail in the unfinished workroom next to Marianne's bedroom. There was a hole at the top of the ceiling where we could fit a pail attached to a rope. We locked Michele in the room and lowered food and dolls and such down to her - the game ended when she had to go to the bathroom and we discovered the lock was broken. We couldn't unlock the door. A friend of my mom's had to come all the way out and take the door off just to get her out. OOOPS! (I think she had to pee in that bucket too while she waited)
- pretended we were Olympic badminton players. That actually carried over to several years later when we sold the house and moved into the city. There was an annoying girl that MIchele tried to avoid, so when we heard her coming down the street, we'd pick up our racquets and say we were practicing for the Olympics.
I could go on and on - but I won't. I just wanted to say that it wasn't just books and radio that kept me occupied and fueled my imagination growing up - my sisters had a huge hand in that as well. And someday, when I do get published, readers will see a lot of these things in the books I write - sorry Michele and Marianne, there's just too much good stuff to let it go to waste!