Thursday, October 22, 2009

Talk Thursday: The Fabric of Connections

For the better part of fifteen years I lived in the same neighborhood. Six kids on my block were in Mrs. Espinosa’s kindergarten class. I remember Michael and I sitting on the flagstone BBQ in my backyard staring at the school on the Mesa waiting for the morning kindergarten to be over so we could go to school. Excitement, I doubt I slept the night before. Our moms walked us – holding hands, envelops with milk money pinned to our shirts down the hill and the four blocks to the school. Five of those six kids graduated in 1974 - together.

Growing up we ran barefoot and wild, roaming our neighborhood from dawn till way past dark during summer playing hide and seek, ditch-it (on bikes), and Red Rover (not on bikes – duh!) There were swim parties at the Taylors and the Meyers, neighborhood sleepovers in my back yard, and when we were older there were parties- birthday, graduation, and finally my going away party.

Several years ago Ducky and I went back to La Mirada, to my old neighborhood. Despite 28 years past some of my old neighbors still lived there. Our names are still etched in the corner piece where Mr. Timmons had cemented because we spun on the street pole so much it wobbled and leaned. All of the olive trees are gone, pink stucco has replaced much of the avocado greens and butter yellows once worn by the track houses and now looking at the three blocks that made up our neighborhood, an area that had seemed so huge to me before, was in truth really quite small.

On September 26th several of us gathered again in Las Vegas for a reunion. It had been in my mind several years to invite all of the kids I grew up with to a gathering of sorts. Ducky and I had flown in just that day. My sister, her husband and their youngest son (he’s 28) had been in Vegas since Thursday, I was looking forward to hooking up with them for margaritas after dinner that night.

Never close to my cousins, I was envious of friends who had close relationships with their. I had none of my own to claim visual ownership to. So Judy and I became cousins. To this day she is my cousin, Psam calls her Aunt Judy, and despite time and distance we have remained close. Judy brought Lori with her for a long weekend. It was Judy that Ducky and I first saw as we checked in.

Despite having just said I had no cousins to be friends with, that isn’t entirely true. I have one cousin who is my age. Lynnie Furby. He lives in Ohio. See there’s the distance factor. But for one year Lynnie lived with us, went to seventh grade with me, made friends with my friends and then he moved back to Ohio at the end of school in 1970. Yes, it has been forty years since I’ve seen him, or really had much contact with him. Seeing him made me feel the loss again, while regaining him and his wife. I won’t lose them again.

Michael showed up looking like his dad. We’d played doctor together when we must have been four or so, I wonder if he remembers? I’m sure he remembers I broke is race car set in a snit when I was about six. Pretty bratty of me, I’ve often contemplated sending him a new one out of the blue.

Pammy was the sheltered kid in the neighborhood, but I really liked her. I have three songs that inevitably bring her to mind so I think of her often. She brought her husband and daughter along for the trip. Very down to earth, smiling people.

Growing up there were six Morin kids: Paul (Gene), Mike, Dale, Vicki, Julie, Janice. Sadly Paul passed of a heart attach July 29th. Mike, Dale, and Janice all showed up in Vegas bringing spouses and grown children.

Cheryl lived on the fringes of our neighborhood, but she and her brother Rod were always around. Her dad having passed just two weeks before it had been questionable if she’d come – but she did.

Eleven and company gathered three weeks ago in Vegas and had dinner, relived moments of our past, but more importantly we caught up on the people who’d been important to us on the road to becoming who we are today. They are my past, a part of my present, and thankful a part of my future.

Sadly my pictures did not come out as well as I’d have liked.



JulieAnn said...

I am honored to be a part of the beautiful cloth that is you....


Cele said...

JA - I almost blogged about the fabric of blogging and the connections we make. It would have given me a chance to show my thanks for my blogging family, thank you for being a part of that cloth.

Maya said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun reconnecting!

foundinidaho said...

Wow. It's amazing that you all got together after all these years...but not really, knowing you. You've got that air about you that is welcoming.

You were having too much fun for your pictures to turn out. :)

Anonymous said...

You make me smile.

Cele said...

Maya, I had a blast.

Fii - Next time I will get more to show up. Thank you for the kind words.

Sid - you make me smile, too.