Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memories from Blount Street

Looking like a platinum Jacqi O'Nassis with her sixties stylish hat on, Momma ushered me out the front door with Kimbies & Curty Boy.
'Don't let her off the porch, Kim'
With cow-patty eyes as big as the moon, Curty-boy bellowed up 'What about me Momma?'
'You can go down there,' and she points to the circular drive at the base of the steps, 'but don't you put one big toe past that sidewalk. You'll get hit by a drunk driver.'
'I wanna go down there too.'
'No honey, your'e not going down there.... Kim, I mean it, she's not to go down there. She'll run into the road.'
She pulled the mammoth front doors shut & scurried inside to prep for her afternoon party.
Concrete and brick. Columns. In the shadows & on the front porch.
Curtyboy ran into the grassy section between the sidewalk and the driveway. He had a waffle bat & a ball & he was laughing.
Kimbies sat on the brick steps, her long brown hair neatly parted on the side and hanging over her left shoulder.
'I'm cold.'
'It's not cold out, Paige'
'It's cold here.'
Kimbies gets up & spins around, then smiles, 'You're in the shadows, Paige. Here, come over here.'
She leads me to my dictated corner of the world.
The corner that sits between two columns and to the far right of the porch.
The corner that has a slice of the days sunshine tapping on it.
The corner where the brick is warm. (I have always wanted more than just a tiny little slice)
'Better?'
'Yea'
Kimbies goes back to her look-out tower at the top of the wide steps.
Curtyboy is running, laughing, calling out to her.
I sit down & the brick lined concrete is no good for me.
The bricks are rough & the concrete is cold. I stand back up.
I look out at the expansive world before me.
Kimbies is chasing Curtyboy's ball. I sure would like to chase that ball.
A bird is whistling but I cannot see him & I so want to see him whistle.
The grass is greener when it's in the sunshine & I really want to sit in the sun dried grass.
A car purrs by like a gentle lion & I want to jump in that purring car & go where-ever they go .
I walk away from my slice & towards the steps.
Kimbies calls out 'Paige you stay right there. You heard Mom. Stay on that porch!'
'OK'
I look down and I can see life just below me.
An entire army, a colony, a city of life...nestled right there beneath the shrubs that surround the porch, the steps & the house.
Bugs. Crawling bugs. Flying bugs.
Groups of bugs & bugs going solo.
Black bugs, orange bugs, red bugs & more black bugs.
I squat, firmly resting my rump on my heels. I stare & my knees become a platter for me to rest my chin upon.
A ladybug is crawling & suddenly takes flight, landing on a leaf nearby. I want her. I want her to crawl on me. I want her to be a part of my world up her on the cold concrete.
I reach, reach, reach but she is just too far away.
I look up at Kimbies & Curtyboy. More laughter & running.
Well, they can have the bright green grass & that big dumb ball.
I have these bugs.
I make it down the steps unseen and then, through the pinestraw mulch & behind the shrubs I wonder Where did my ladybug go?
"Payyyy-aaage! Keeeee-yummmm! Where is she?! Where did she go?!"
I looked up & could see the top of that net-lined hat.
'Here I am.'
'I told you to stay on this porch Paige!'
'But...'
'No buts child, get up here & you stay on this porch & Kim, for dawgs' sake, watch her!'
'Yes Ma'am. C'mon up here, Paige'
Kimbies snaked her long legs through the shrubs to pluck me from the mildewy dirt. Batting cobwebs from before her face she exclaimed 'Why on earth would you want to be down here anyway?'
'I dunno, it's where my friends are and they wouldn't come up to there to see me cuz it's too cold up there.'
'What friends?'
'Um, the ladybug & the ants & daddy longlegs & stuff.'
'C'mon Paige, I see a friend that's waiting for you up in the sunshine.'
'Huh? Where? Who?'
'Come along now'
Kimbies, my big sister...not my biggest sister, but my big sister, takes me by the hand. I can see the sunshine makes her brown hair look not only brown but also a sparkly red, orange, yellow, gold & bronze. I love the sun. She leads me through the shrubs and back up the brick steps.
She points to a miniture armadillo on centipede legs and says 'Look, he was coming to see you.'
'What is it?'
'It's called a roly-poly.'
I crouched down, again bootie to my heels & chin to my knees. . . perfectly happy in my little corner of the world in my little slice of sunshine with my new friends.
Friends... you never can tell what form they'll take or where you may find them.

This is one of only two memories from the house I was born in. Blount Street. We moved from there when I was two. Some folks say that memories don't go back that far, but I think not. Having talked about first memories with perhaps over 100 people over the past 20 years, I have found that girls/women seem to have memories that reach further back than the menfolk.

23 comments:

piktor said...

Skinny, thanks for your lively comments and for visiting my new blog.

Orhan Kahn said...

Simply beautiful, as usual.

Good to see your mother was so very protective of something so precious ;)

singleton said...

Well, you were there baby....and of course you remember it! Your first few words confirm that..... Mama looked exactly like that, the porch, the lawn, Kimbies, EXACTLY like that! And you sat just like that... often... rump resting on the back of your ankles.....I know, because we often sat face to face in a little/big "same as you are" stance......
ILYSVVM little SLB!

Bardouble29 said...

awww...such a sweet story.

Scott from Oregon said...

My first love-- in the first grade-- was named Paige.

And I think you are right. I can only remember back to four-- which is a shame, we left Jerusalem when I was still four-- and my sister and mother go back-- they claim-- to two and a half or three...

One of my biggest sadnesses in life is caused by the fact that I've never been able to squat on my heels and put my chin on my knees...

Mel said...

What the world needs is more friends.
And more rump on heels time.

What a precious memory.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Piktor~ TY...your work is always amazing to me.

Orhan ~ You are always so kind

Singleton~ GILYSVMS. I have only one other memory of the house and another one that didn't involve the house, but the car.

bardouble ~ Lol, when we look at our little ones, it's hard to imagine what it is that they will remember & what just gets filed away.

Scott~ Lol, first loves. Funny how we always remember them!
Don't feel too bad about the memory thing...it seems yours actually goes back further than many a mans. Most go back to first grade, it seems. Likewise, many men cannot take that squatting position. Subtle differences between guys & gals.

mel ~ TY, so how far back does your memory go?

wreckless said...

Very very cool. My girls ask me to tell them stories of when I was young. They listen intently, and I relive the moments as poignantly as ever. What a great thing memory is. Nice post! I felt bad that you had to stay on the porch, but at least you made the best of it.

SpongyBones said...

Wow, why is it your stories often remind me of my own childhood. I hate to say this, but maybe it's because I am a boy, but I always wound up stepping on my friends. Not cool, not cool at all.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Wreckless~ I remember savoring my Mother's childhood stories, as your girls do now. The older I became, the more valuable these stories have become. As a teen, I remember trying to get my brother to understand that 'Mom' was so much more than just our Mom & I had to call upon many of those stories to remind him that she once was just like us...
Lol, I felt bad for myself too being stuck up on that porch, but I deleted the words that would let the reader know how young I was. I was actually in cloth diapers with plastic panties that day...so I was very young & probably could not be trusted too close to the road.
Spongy~Perhaps you too are a soulmate ;) I believe in these things ... I eventually became the kid who speared all anthills & still cannot walk past an one without a strange compulsion to totally disrupt it.

vicci said...

That's a good memory...I think its strange though what our minds choose to remember...I remember choking on a button at the very first house we lived in....

she said...

wonderful read!

i was the worried mom..

the young, but responsible older siblings...

and you; making friends with roly pollies in any patch of sunshine i could find

kimbies said...

I still love Rollie Pollies!!

Anne said...

I eventually became the kid who speared all anthills & still cannot walk past an one without a strange compulsion to totally disrupt it.
:) I don't do that to bugs, but I love to upset people's mental anthills and make them think. Seems like you do too.
...one of my sons got in trouble at school when he was very small for peeing on an anthill, right out there on the playground in front of everyone. He didn't like the ants. lol

I, like the view said...

sorry, all I can think about is ladybird ladybird fly away home your house is on fire and your children are gone because of that wonderful ladybug photo!

Nithya N said...

why not? memories definitely go that far. infact i remember those days of my life more vivdly than the later years.

piktor said...

Skinny, read the May 9 post by Luxie. It's a keeper:

http://simplylux.blogspot.com/

skinnylittleblonde said...

Vicci ~ You are so correct! Our mind is a magically complex thing. It's amazing the things that we take in & then the things we somehow hold onto. When I was 3, I remember choking on a poker chip & my father reached into my mouth to get it out, as my mom whimpered in the background...'your hand is too big.' He got it though!

She...lol, so you've been with me all this while & I've only just now discovered you! What a pleasure!!!

Kimbies ~ Me too! Thank you for turning me onto those crazy little marbles with centipede feet!

Anne~ Lol, at your son peeing on the anthills. Despite his efforts, I know he really did no harm to the ants. As long as he doesn't pee on everything he doesn't like, he'll be ok. Hahaha

ILTV~ Now I've got the song in my head too! Funny, my mom used to sing it & I always wondered what the author meant... surely her house wasn't really on fire.

Nithya~ Yes, the older we get, perhaps, the more selective our memories become. As far as guys vs. gals go, I really don't know but it does seem that guys don't go back as far as girls.

piktor~ TY for the referral... will check it out! ;)

linalani said...

like a scene from picket fences skinny:D...coincidentally i jsut wrote something on my sisters as well...hehehe...mother's day cum sister's day for me

ahve a good weekend:)

phaseoutgirl said...

Hi skinny,

I just posted something about my memories of my grandfather who passed away when I was five. I too am amazed at what we can remember.. Your story is beautiful...

cheers,
Cecilia

skinnylittleblonde said...

linalani~
Even the blogosphere is full of cowinkydinks & cycles! TY & have a good one yourself!

phaseout~
TY & it seems like there has been a whole round of us making posts on our pasts lately. Our minds are magical things.

Deepak Gopi said...

Happy mothers day

skinnylittleblonde said...

TY deepak