One of my first memories is being with my mom. She tells me this happened when I was three, and it's a little vague. I remember we went out on the porch to eat tacos, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever! It's funny, because the "porch" was one of those that is a concrete slab just big enough for the screen door to open out on to, with maybe three steps leading up to it. We put a TV tray out there and ate. Fun times!
Another car memory: I was sitting in the front seat (no car seats back then!) and I remember that I loved to sit up front with my mother. I couldn't see out, I was too small. The dashboard seemed so high and the glove box was at eye level for me. My mom and I were coming home from somewhere, and were close to home. She turned a corner, and my door swung open! I fell out! (No seatbelt laws then, either!) Of course, my mother stopped and ran back and picked me up. I was fine, just a little scraped on the elbow, but there were no band-aids in the car, which I thought was too bad. The worst part of it, for me, was that I had to sit in the back seat after that, because that door stayed shut! I think it was far worse for my mother, really.
When I was five I began to live with my dad and step-mom. One of the neat things about where we lived for a while was the lemon tree in the back yard (this was in California). I loved that lemon tree! For one thing, sometimes my mama would let me pick a lemon and she would cut it in half and give me a bowl with a little sugar in the bottom and I would dip the lemon in the sugar and suck all the juice out. Mmm! I still love lemonade.... Another great thing about the lemon tree was the slugs. Great huge fat ones lived in it, and I would find them and play with them. I liked to make grass houses and decorate them with flowers and put the slugs in them. Too bad the slugs did not appreciate my efforts! And it's also too bad that we have to grow up. There is no way you would catch me playing with slugs these days, but back then an afternoon with the slugs was always loads of fun!!
The summer I was six, I managed to break my arm. I was playing with some friends and one of the boys had caps for a cap gun. We were pounding them with rocks to make them go off while sitting on a low wall. Once in a while, Randy, the lucky cap owner, would let me bang on one. He dropped a roll and I decided to jump down and be all helpful and get them for him (maybe he would let me have some more!) but I neglected to remember that I was kneeling and one cannot jump well from that position. I launched myself into space after the caps (it was only about three feet up from the ground) and landed face first, and with my arm under me. My mama heard the shriek from inside and came running out. I remember that it was hard to get her to understand that it was not my face that hurt, even though it was pretty scratched up, but my arm. Finally she understood and we went to the hospital. When we came home, I was the proud owner of a cast. With the cast and my scratched up face and my missing teeth (NOT a result of jumping off the wall-- I was just six) I looked like a real troublemaker! The best thing about it was my mama felt so bad she let me eat a whole can of Spaghettios instead of half a can--which I could not finish, being only six! I spent the summer keeping my cast out of water, which was really not fun, and got it off the first day of first grade, in the morning, so I was late for school. But I was sure happy to get that cast off! (That's me on the first day of first grade, in the picture on the right, with my cast kind of hidden!)