Monday, November 28, 2011

The rockstar side of the family

Long ago, in a land far, far away lived my grandparents. This land was called South Dakota, and in the town of Rapid City they had a house that I visited during the summers of 1984 & 1985. For those of you keeping track at home, I was 3 & 4 during those visits. It was probably the '85 visit that I remember. Those memories are pretty limited but include the following gems*:

1) My first memories of being on an airplane were completely consumed by the Care Bears. I was a big fan of those bears, and I don't know if you remember this, but they were supposed to live on top of the clouds. So of course, once we reached our cruising altitude, I spent the entire trip looking out the window to try to get a glimpse of the Care Bears. Actually, I probably only spent 15 minutes or so doing that, which in kid years is forever. My mother would probably have a more accurate description of how I spent my time. Just like all I really remember from my first skiing trip was that I had purple Daffy Duck long johns, but my mom insists that I spent the entire time crying. I don't remember that--just the long johns.

2) My rockstar family. So, my dad's folks & sisters all lived about 90 minutes away from us when I was a kid and I saw them all pretty frequently. My mom's family was scattered all across the world: South Dakota & Virginia Beach & Germany. Because I rarely saw them, they were like celebrities. My only older cousins are my mom's middle sister's kids. They are close to my brother's age, which is 7 years older than me, so at the ripe age of 4, they were pretty much the coolest things ever. I adored my cousin Aaron and wanted to grow up to be just like Vicki, or maybe my Aunt Dorothy who was tall and willowy and had red hair, so of course, since I also had red hair, I was DESTINED to be just like that when I grew up. My Aunt Cher was an artist and a dancer, which made her 14 kinds of cool, and she had a little bit of a southern accent, and if she & my mom talked on the phone for any length of time, my mom wound up sounding like the cast of Steel Magnolias. Uncle Mike lived in Germany, which might have been next to the moon, because when he came to visit it was like the circus and Christmas and your favorite movie all came to town at the same time. Anyway, in '85 my mother says we were visiting for Aunt Dorothy's wedding, in which I was the flower girl. I was very excited. I got a fancy purple dress and I think my first pair of heels. If I recall, come the actual day of the wedding I pretty much scowled down the aisle, refusing to smile, and since my basket had flowers, not actual petals, I didn't have anything to toss. Either that or I tried to schmooze with everyone in the pews on the way down. I'm pretty sure it was the former though. I was still shy back then.

Well, not too shy, because of course, there was this picture:

The Bean: age 4, long before she'd ever heard the words "body image" or "self esteem", in the days when her cousins called her Cyndi Lauper and she thought that was the coolest thing EVER

*I call them gems because that makes them seem fancy or special or something


Vicki Page Hodgkiss said...

Awww, it did make it to your blog. I have some somewhere of you with a Sock Monkey. I've got to find them. Those trips to SD were epic! My favorite memories of SD are Dinosaur Hill, Mt. Rushmore and of course going to SDSMT to see Granddad's office. I could have spent hours looking through all those drawers at all the rocks. I remember going there once to get helium to fill a bunch of balloons - not sure if it was for Dot's wedding or not.

Michael said...

Probably 1992 for your Grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. I know we had ballons for that. I don't think we had them for Dotties's wedding. Grretings from the moon ;-))

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