I remember summer days when I would ride my bike for hours and hours around the block.
I remember the smell of oil on our gravel road. The smell reminds me of summer.
I remember the big mud puddle in front of our house, filled by the sprinkler. We would concoct worlds in that puddle.
I remember Star Wars.
I remember Star Wars cards.
I remember the school across the street, through the field and over the fence. It was our world away from home where we could have contained adventures.
I remember the sweet scent of grass in the summer heat. Picking dandelions. Looking for four leaf clovers.
I was standing on Mt Hood alone at twilight. It was 2009. I had just applied for my job at Sandy Library – or maybe I hadn’t applied for it yet. I think I was thinking about applying for it. Raf and I decided to have a getaway vacation in late August so we stayed at the Timberline Lodge for a couple of nights. The first night there we went for a walk behind the lodge up on the trails. Raf went ahead of me on the Timberline Trail to see what was up there and I stayed behind, taking pictures of lupines. The sun was setting and the light was beautiful.
I was in a stressful place in my life at that time. I was really unhappy where I was. I hated living in Spokane and so did Raf but we felt stuck. When I was on Mt Hood that evening all of that stress and unhappiness melted away for a few moments while I stood there. I shot my photos and stood up and took a breath. I was alone on the trail. I looked around at the beauty around me and was in awe of it. I let the beauty sink in. I felt the cool breeze. I looked at the carpet of purple before me that I was photographing. My senses seemed to be tuned in – superpower style – to that moment. My sense of hearing kicked in and I heard a strange sound. I heard the sound of thousands of bees buzzing. It was an amazing sound and I tuned in a bit more. I just sat there and listened to the bees for what seemed like an eternity. I was in awe. I was in this amazing, beautiful place, listening to thousands of bees going about the mundane business of pollinating flowers. In that moment I realized that I was happy. I felt happiness. I felt pure happiness.
It is a strange thing when you realize you are feeling happiness. I don’t feel pure happiness very often. I can probably count the times I have felt this feeling on one hand. Each time has been special and I remember these times with great clarity.
This particular time was accompanied by a sense of peace. That everything would be fine. Everything would work out.
It still blows my mind when I think about the fact that I had no idea I would be moving to Mt. Hood two months later. It is amazing how much can change in such a short amount of time. My whole life changed from that moment.
I hear the sound of the computer fan. The sound of it is incessant and the heat from it warms up my hands as I type. I can hear cars outside in the distance driving by. I hear the typing of the keys. I am staring at this computer screen and I am seeing the words on the page being typed out. I swallow hard. It hurts my throat. And again, it goes, with the incessant fan and the car. Fan and car. Fan and car. And a door closing in the distance. I sit in this chair and there is a pain in the back of my head radiating toward the front of my head. Not a terrible pain. I wouldn’t notice it if I didn’t “notice” it. I can feel my feet inside my shoes. I breathe and I can feel the air fill up my lungs and my diaphragm. The air feels cool as it goes down. My eyes are tired. My head is tired. I feel sleepy.
My first day of kindergarten was the first time I would take a bus anywhere. The yellow bus picked me up right in front of my house. My mom reluctantly handed me off to the bus driver and away I went to school. The trip to school was fine. It was getting back home that was the problem. I didn’t know what to do. The bus driver drove and drove and drove as each child was delivered home. I ended up being the last person on the bus. I sat there, all alone and afraid. The bus driver asked me where I lived and I don’t remember what I told him. I remember being very afraid. I am sure I cried. Eventually we made our way back to my home where my mom was waiting for me. I am still not sure why this happened. I think I was too shy to tell the bus driver to stop.
I remember the snack that first day. I remember being give Cheez-its for the first time for my snack and describing them to my sister later on after I came home. I thought they were the most delicious and wonderful food I have ever eaten. I was fascinated by thier size and the tiniest hole in the middle of them.
I have a vague memory of playing Wallball and Four Square.
I remember feeling out of place. I remember being shy with the other kids.
I used to drive a Ford Pinto. In fact, it used to be Doug’s car. He actually gave me his old car when I learned how to drive. I think about that and it makes me cry. He taught me how to drive! He was the only person in the world who had the patience to teach a 15 year old girl how to drive. What a guy.
Anyway, my pinto. It was orange. Bright orange with racing stripes. Yellow racing stripes. I bought two funny bumper stickers for it. One of them said, “0 to 60 in 15 minutes.” The other one said, “Warning, this car explodes on impact.” Yes, even as a teen I had a sick sense of humor. But then again, someone actually made the bumper sticker so I guess I am not the only one. I loved it when people pulled up behind me. I would sneak a look in my rear-view mirror and smile at the reaction. They would usually be laughing.
I don’t have any photos scanned of my old car so, instead, here is a photo of me on my 7th or 8th birthday.