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Postbreak: On Tuesday I asked our postman if he'd had a nice holiday. He told me that he went to the dentist in the morning, and when he got home, said to himself, "I wonder if the mail's here yet..."

[Comments] (2) All Dressed Up and Nothing To Do: We are have a theme-by-department Halloween contest at work. Noelle and I spent some time looking on the internet for cute ideas for three people. Any suggestions?

With no kits to make and no new books to read and no scrapbooking to do, I found myself at a loss this afternoon. Of course, if I had more energy I probably would have put it to use better.

So yes, I am *practically* caught up on my scrapbooking. I still have one Christmas page to do, and Grandpa's funeral. I am waiting until Sunday when I can get some inks from Jamie. I want to use my cute leaf stamps, but I don't have any leaf-colored ink. So that's the holdup. In the meantime, I thought I'd write a bit. Very little physical energy required at least.

Personal History: I was reading an article, in The Ensign I think, about a grandparent who is writing down his personal history in vignettes rather than trying to, you know, write his personal history. So I thought I would do the same with some of my memories I've been wanting to record. Once I got started I kept thinking of so many things I wanted to add. I had to make a list so I wouldn't forget anything.

So if you've been wanting to do anything like this, trust me, it's easy. All you have to do is get started, and type fast enough to keep up with the ideas.

[Comments] (8) Yard Memories: Our house on Napa Rd. had a huge yard. It was plenty big enough for my many outdoor adventures.

I remember Leonard teaching me how to ride a bike. We had an old blue dirt bike - that one was the best, until of course I got my ten-speed. We’d ride around the yard, up the hill on one side, down on the other. I fell and scraped my right knee pretty badly going up the hill one time. I had three huge, nasty cuts that hurt when I washed them in the bathtub. But I thought I was pretty cool wearing shorts to school to show my scabs. We’d also ride down the road to the reservoirs. The guys in trucks checking on the fields were all ok with “we live down the road” when they found us wandering around.

Leonard also taught me how to place tennis, over by the palm tree with the owl. I was so proud that I could hit the ball over the pool.

We loved to go around the yard and find treasures – anything little piece of metal. My collecting spot was in the fenced-in pool filter area.

We grew a beautiful garden into what used to be a horse corral. I remember corn, watermelon, and berries. Leonard also grew loofah on the fences. In other areas of the yard, we had orange, lemon and grapefruit trees and later grew peaches, apples and nectarines. In the summer, I would make a bowl of macaroni and cheese with peas and a big glass of milk and eat it on the hammock under the lemon tree.

When we first moved to the house there was an old “shack” in the corner of the corral. It was probably really just a piece of tin with two sticks on one side and the fence on the other. Leonard was the only one big enough to get up there. That was where he stored the treasures he found. I remember being upset when the “shack” fell during a storm, before I was big enough to climb up on it.

One year, Mom built us a beautiful treehouse. It was big enough for slumber parties and had a hole with a rope through it so we could climb down. It also had a little “porch” with a sign that said “Our Precious Kitties.” And the kitties would actually sleep there! Our two Preskool chairs were up there, and a little white shelf to hold our treasures. The trees it was built on grew collections of seeds with red needles sticking out of them. We used to pretend it was pepper. There was also a beam across with rings and a swing. I used to go out and swing on the swing and sing Primary songs to myself. I remember doing that while Rachel was riding her bike by. We also had a tire swing (how cool was that) and a giant wooden spool – I think the spool was inherited with the house in Arvin.

One of my favorite spots was a tree in the northwest corner. I needed our little Playskool chair to climb up to the main branch at first, but from there I could scamper up the branch and lean myself against it while looking out over the fields. I could see cars coming down Rancho road. I could see across the grapevines to the orange groves. I could see the birds flying across the sky. I could see the mountains to the east. I loved to climb up there and rest myself against the branch and just think. I’ll admit there were some initials carved into the branch, where no one but me could find them. But I don’t remember what they are.

Ah the pool. Elizabeth Velez and I had a synchronized swimming routine that we practiced for years. I also loved spinning around with my fingers just grazing the water. Leonard was famous for his backflips, with his long hair trailing out behind. I remember learning how to dive – and trying to teach Rachel. She was too scared to just lean forward. I loved to swim all the way across underwater. I remember filling up the pool every year and having a little party. It seemed magical, for some reason, when it was only half full. I even remember swimming when the pool was nasty and green. We were just jumping in and getting out, jumping in and getting out. We always had pet frogs, which were thrown over the fence without dismay. But I would go around and carefully “save” any ladybugs, ink bugs or caterpillars I could find.

We had two water tanks, one new and one old. I am pretty sure I remember climbing on them, although that can't have been allowed. There was also one of those cement wells. I always wanted to climb up and see inside of it. I think I saw inside of a different one and it was just dirt on the bottom. But so intriguing!


© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.