Thursday, January 12, 2012

Morsels of Joy

How many times have you read a blog of a friend recalling an event from their childhood?  I'd be willing to guess, more than once.  Me, I've written about plenty of escapades from childhood.  Those days when we first learned how to make friends, how to take turns in a game of jacks, how to fight over a doll and act the next day as if it never happened.

Our childhood friends played a huge part in how we interact as adults.  I can tell you that some of the tolerance I have now as an adult is hugely due to dealing with a neighbor girl who was sick and spoiled.  Everyone, out of  sympathy for her poor health, allowed her to dominate play time; I learned to follow.

A very close childhood friend was left home alone a lot; I learned to care.

I remember a boy around the corner who played with the girls and was somewhat sissified, I learned to accept those who didn't fit the mold.

And then there was the family next door. This family moved into the neighborhood shortly after ours.  It was a new track of homes built in what once was an orange grove. When my parents first purchased the house only my two older brothers were born, my sister and I hadn't been released from the confinement of mom's ovaries yet (but I'm sure we were cute even then).  The family next door had two sons and a daughter.  By the time I came around, they had already had their second daughter leaving us one short.  No one saw it coming but my parents competitive edge came out seven years later when my sister (referred to as the Consolation Prize by my dad) was added. It was a proud day for my parents knowing the Jones' had nothing on us; Score 4-4.  And what did I learn from this you might be wondering; competitiveness,  because a few years later I learned that just when you think your on top someone comes along and steals the gold; the neighbors added one more for a final score: 5-4, Neighbors. Humility. We tried.

Both families stayed in the neighborhood but as with most, us kids began to take off in different directions. All the years of playing and fighting, falling off bikes, church picnics, birthday parties, sleep overs, skating, swimming, board games, patio discussions, Easter egg hunts, Christmas and New Years Eve parties and making tamales seemed to fade away.

My dad passed away.  Their dad passed away.  My mom; then theirs.  By this time we'd completely lost touch.

Thank God for memories.  They help us hold on to the past that made us who we are.  They keep us from forgetting where we came from and if we remember the positive stuff, they help us to direct our own children in how to grow, tolerate, support, love and appreciate.

And oh right, here's where one of those little morsels of joy come in.  Yesterday I had lunch with Karen; The "Tie Breaker".  We found each other on Facebook, and I know you're not surprised.  I think we can all say thank you to FB for someone.

A while back I went a huntin' on FB looking for any sign of the Ezree's and Bingo!  Found one. Totally excited, we talked about getting together; a reunion but, time went by and nothing happened.  This Christmas my brother, Rusty, who is the family gynecologist...Oops!, I meant genealogist, put some CD's together with family pictures.  Seeing as how the Ezree's were at our house almost as much as we were, they were in quite a few still shots and some of the film.

The Consolation Prize and the Tie Breaker don't make much of an appearance in either the photos or the film because they were really young when most of my dads horrific photography and movie making was in full swing.  I guess the excitement wore off at some point and all equipment got shoved into the closet, never to emerge again...Until, I got married and had a family.  At that point I threaded the movie projector found a white wall and showed the kids how stinkin' cute I was as a kid.  Unfortunately my bedroom walls were really textured so we all looked a bit frankensteinish.  

Yesterday's lunch felt way too short but it was fun.  Besides the fact that Google Maps is not to be trusted and we ended up being 15 minutes late when after exiting the freeway we thought we would be 10 minutes early, it was a joy to sit with Karen and catch up on some of the goings on's over the last 15 years.  We ate like...well, like Pigs, and promised to get together again soon to do more catching up.  I can't wait.

Life is full of little morsels of joy, sometimes you just got to search for them because they might not come looking for you.


Ruben Rivera said...

Hi Marie
So good to see you here again. I enjoyed your post. The biggest thing that stood out to me is your words: "Thank God for memories. They help us hold on to the past that made us who we are. They keep us from forgetting where we came from and if we remember the positive stuff..."

This is so true. I think I realize more than ever in my life the importance of cultivating positive memories. It means living consciously and I was much younger I didn't always live with the idea that what I was doing would be a not so good memory. But let's face it, that's the reason they say that "youth is wasted on the young." Speaking for myself, better late than never.


bunny said...

Not only are the memories waning...but I had to put on my glasses to read this. Next time you see Karen...tell her "hey" for me.
When are we appose to get together with Sharon and everyone...come on...make it happen already!


Debbie said...

I commented on this post - but you emailed it to me?? Glad to see you back to writing again!!