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Liora [userpic]

Memory

February 10th, 2010 (12:12 pm)

 
 


My first memory is of lying on a blanket in the grass, under an alder tree on a sunny day.  My mother is chatting and laughing with someone nearby.  It is warm and I lie there and watch the breeze move the leaves, and the meadow grass waves next to me.  I might have been 3 months old, or one year, or two.

I remember the first day my brother went to school, to kindergarten, and my mother and I watched him from the front door as he boarded the school bus.  I was three, and I swung by the brass door knobs, kicking my feet off the floor.  I was eager to spend a half day alone with my mother, and anxious to see this new thing called "homework" when my brother returned in a few hours.

I recall climbing out of my high-sided crib early on a Saturday morning, going in to my folks room and taking great joy in squashing their down comforter as I snuggled down between them.  Mom would get up to start the fire in the stove, and I would cuddle down into her warm hollow and talk to Dad.
 
At Samish Island, my grandparent's farm, my older cousins played hide-n-seek with my brother, but he did not want to play with me.  I was a girl, and too little to play.  They pretended to let me play, and then ran off.  I wandered around looking for them for a while, but they always ran when they saw me.  Walking back to grandma's house along the oystershell driveway, I started to cry and had to sit down on a car bumper.  My oldest cousin, nine years my senior, found me and carried me back to the house.

Walking half a mile from my aunt's house to my grandparent's, a pack of summerhouse dogs starts to chase me.  Hunching my shoulders and burying my hands in my armpits, I back up against the woodshed as the pack surrounds me, barking, lunging, nipping at my clothes.  I am five years old and most of the dogs are taller than me.  Grandpa comes out of nowhere, yelling and brandishing a large chunk of firewood.  He hits a few before they flee, but their numbers have made them confident, and they only go as far as the end of the driveway.  As Grandpa escorts me to the house, he tells me I should always walk with a good strong stick, to never run, and to yell, "You go home!"