Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Florida Streams

by Faith St. Clair

Jumping as high as the roof on the trampoline and doing flips, first on my knees, then as high as the roof, terrazzo floors with a blue patchwork carpet of 1’x2’ carpet samples, jalousie windows that you crank open and painstakingly clean twice a year, cracking coconuts open on the sidewalks and eating them, snatching an orange from the neighbors tree as an afternoon snack on the way home from the bus stop, going to the beach every day and cleaning the tar off of your feet with Crisco before loading into the car, sand in my bed from the daycare kids taking a nap there, skim boarding on the large puddles the thunderstorms left, thunderstorms, running in the rain, BB guns used for felling lizards in order to dissect them or to threaten the barefoot-long haired-shirtless-potbellied teenager with crooked teeth that if he didn’t leave your lawn you would shoot him, then having him stare you down and you shooting him in the leg and getting grounded, climbing tall pine trees and swaying in the wind, sleepovers in the sailboat parked in my friend’s back yard, forts on stilts that we weren’t supposed to go into because we were girls and we were too young, sneaking into the fort and having it smell like smoke, running out the back door and hopping the fence to go play with the neighbors and not returning until dusk when Mom “yoooo-hooo”-ed out the back door as a signal for you to come home, 260 Iowa Ave, Melrose Park, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the country club Mom worked in the laundry mat at midnight hours for so she could pay the club fee for us kids to have a place to swim in the summer, laying out in the sun, falling asleep in the sun and getting blisters on your chest, swim competitions, playing spider web in the pool, swimming length to length with one breath, diving, a summer afternoon of Gone With the Wind for the first time at the country club, playing police officer, gathering 1.75 in change to walk to the Ground Round restaurant at the corner for a huge burger, great steak fries and bottomless popcorn and peanuts whose shells you could throw all over the floor, homemade stilts, unicycle riding, pogo sticks, paper trees that smelled like mashed potatoes, roller skating down at the strip mall on the slick concrete, mini biking in the backyard and running into and up the chain link fence, having my right ankle run over four times by my Mom (it was unintentional), closing my eyes and kissing my boyfriend, David, and counting to ten because we didn’t know when we were supposed to stop and open our eyes (we were eight), AWANA, Grace Brethren Church, Mormon missionaries, cabin meetings, street football playing quarterback, begging my Mom who was on the phone to let me eat the steak that was in the fridge - only to find out it was liver!, eating the top of my sister’s wedding cake (reserved for her first anniversary) because nobody told me about that secret tradition, getting hepatitis, getting hit in the head with a baseball bat because the swinger was practicing right next to the base I was running to, playing pickle, playing little league baseball with the boys, playing violin, my brother playing The Eagles, Rene our St. Bernard, Fluffy, our white cat, Grandma coming over for dinner and us serving pizza and she being mortified that she was expected to eat with her hands!, Ft. Lauderdale Children’s Theatre.

I must be getting older because I’m starting to get nostalgic with childhood memories and wishing I got to spend more time with my family – I miss them.

2 comments:

  1. Faith, I had so much fun reading your stream of memories and loved the way your presented it...all in a rush, just the way memories sometimes come to us. I didn't remember hearing that you grew up in Florida.(I feel bad about that.) You had some grand adventures!

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  2. I loved it too. Made me start thinking of mine as well.

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