Monday, February 24, 2014

Plastic Pools and Flashlights

There is something about growing older that makes you long for the simplicity of childhood. The fairy tails, the mud caked hands, the calloused bare feet, and the slobber from puppy kisses. Reminiscing about the beautiful days of the past have just brought a smile to my face and for good times sake, I'd like to share it (if not just to bring a smile to my baby sister in Cali, my baby brother somewhere on an oil-patch, and my older sister taking a break from a crazy day of teaching.

Best Memories---by far.

1.  Traveling to Canada
The terror! The fear... but stopping to teach a lesson somewhere in the midst of the chaos. We were traveling to Canada on our wooden over-sized rocking horse. We would pack him up, Adam Jay would be the baby, or the cowboy, or the dad (depending on the day)... Lexi would be the school teacher... Casey would be Pocahontas in her costume constantly braiding the white yarn horse mane, and I would be the momma corralling a Pocahontas, a 4 year old boy, and trying to boss around a 12 year old all for the sake of the game. We were dressed and ready to escape from Texas, away from the Alamo and all its wars (I think Lex was just learning about it in 5th grade!!) we had our imagination soaring or better yet, on the run! 

2. Camping
All I am going to say is: soaking wet, burnt marshmallows, long hikes.... lots of fun.

3. Sharing bedrooms
I think one thing I will most definitely have my children do is share a bedroom. My little sister and I shared a bed (our choice!) until I was in 6th grade. The we shared a room until high-school. But the years we shared a room were the years we were the closest. Even with bunk-beds we would still line up our dolls, read them a good night story, and chit-chat through the night.

4. Hay-Bale tag
Yes! Jump up on some hay-bales and run across playing tag. Beware!! Don't fall in between (AJ!)

5. Cow-Patty Fights.... 
Okay, this might be a term coined by the Crocker Twins or someone outside the Viertel family, but something about good ol' country kids running around 100 acres of ranch land picking up dried or wet patties and chunking them at each other says something... (not sure what but it does!).

6. Front Seat Fights
I'm sure like every family my parents had a million ways for us to win the front seat. From Dad's card games (whoever draws the highest card) to mom's we will rotate every 30 minutes... it didn't matter how hard they tried or how logical their thinking was it was still a crying fest when not all four children could fit in the front seat. Yep... I will never have one, I'll just tear it out or something. ;-)

7. Back Yard Camping
Setting up that old pop-up trailer and seeing who would be the last to come into the house was always a fun game... pretty sure I lost every time. I mean, it was pretty scary out there.

8. "Uno Momento Por Favor"
Well, living in the south you have a lot of "travelers" coming by asking for food... or camping out in your barn or playhouse without you knowing it until the morning. But my favorite time was when a few "travelers" came to our back door asking for food as we were getting ready for school in the morning and my little sister tells them in her best broken spanish "uno momento por favor". All I can say is .... my poor mom. :)) The rest of the morning was an adventure.

9. The Tornado
It was a stormy afternoon and my mom decided to walk all four kids to the movie store down the street to rent Pee-Wee Hermans Big Adventure. Well... on the way back a tornado cloud was forming. She rushed us home, made macaroni and cheese, as we were eating the tornado touched down so she stuffed us all in the bath tub. Casey decided she couldn't live without another bite of Macaroni and Cheese so my mom grabbed it and under the mattress in the bathtub you can only imagine what happened. Casey spilt the macaroni on me, I was screaming, the tornado was coming and the world was ending (or at least in my mom's eyes). But who cares... we survived. I think only one tree was torn out on our street, no big deal. Right?

10. Snow. 
Sorry AJ you're not in this one. It was Christmas Eve 2004 and Alexia, Casey and I went to the Christmas Eve service in our hometown. We drove from my Mom's where we were spending Christmas break to attend. As we left the service we noticed it was snowing and the roads were icing up. So we drove to our house down the street to call my mom and let her know we couldn't make it back. I have to say this is one of the best Christmas' ever. We spent the night making little snowmen on the bar-b-q grill, then came inside and cuddled with Jake (our old lab). The next morning us Texas girls with nothing warmer but sandals and socks strutted outside enamored by the perfect white pillows all around. The snow laid untouched... until snowballs were formed, laughs echoed the quiet street, and the evidence of snow angels soaked 3 teenage girls backs. No pictures were taken, there were no cellphones to track the memories, but that is one memory my heart will never forget. The greatest, most simple Christmas morning I've ever experienced.

These memories are my own. My favorite. Their simplicity and joy remind me of how beautiful and precious life can be. The smallest moments become the greatest. Just remember money can't always buy memories... sometimes just being and living creates the things you remember most.

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