Thursday, April 22, 2010

Retrospect: Newport 1990-1998

Welcome to the fourth installment of the first-three-decades-of-my-life-in-chapters: Newport, Vermont. I was 10 years old when we arrived and 18 years old when I graduated high school and left home to go to college. Papa got a job preaching at the Newport Church of God (that's why we moved there in the first place). Twenty years later, he's still the preacher, only the church is in Derby now—the next town over. I've been putting off writing this chapter, because not only did I live there longer than any other town, but also because these years include some of my most important and formative moments. So you can probably imagine all of the memories I have. Here are just a few:
  • The first house we lived in was on Pleasant Avenue. We all had our own rooms. My room had a door up to the attic, which we used as a playroom.
  • There was a garden shed outside that we called the turret, because it was shaped like a castle turret. We used that as a playhouse too. There was a stone chimney in the turret. One day, my friend Courtney and I wrote a fake love letter and hid it behind a loose stone in the chimney. I wonder if it's still there?
  • Mummy and Papa had their biggest garden yet at the house on Pleasant Avenue. Mummy let me have my own plot. I was really into fairies then, so I called it my fairy garden and grew mini roses for the fairies.
  • The elementary school was about a 20-minute walk away. I was too shy to take the bus, so I walked home every day. One time I really had to go to the bathroom, but I still had about 5 minutes left to go. I didn't make it. :-(
  • The Junior High School was in Derby, so I eventually had to start taking the bus. Then I started making more friends. Maybe sometimes my friends and I weren't the best influence on each other. One day Monique and I were making fun of our teacher and she yelled at us and said that we were mean and would never have any friends.
  • Another time, Monique and I got in trouble for prank calling the sheriff. We didn't know it was the sheriff at the time. And the prank that we did hit below the belt... The next day, the sheriff came to our house (they had call waiting!) and Monique and I hid in the attic. But Mummy and Papa made us come down and apologize.
  • But for the most part, I was an angel. My sister Emi hated me and called me a "little princess" because I was perfect all the time. (She was always getting in trouble.) And indeed, I always got straight As. But getting good grades and being a dork does not a perfect princess make.
  • High school was back in Newport and I got to ride with Emi from then on. (Hannah had moved to Florida by then.) Emi and I started bonding little by little. We eventually became very close.
  • Freshman year, I was going to try out for the soccer team, but had major anxiety about the try outs and decided not to. So when I found out my friend Mandy was joining cross country skiing, I decided to do that instead. (Who knew that Mandrake was such a skiing machine?!) No matter, it was the best thing I could've done.
  • I also joined chorus and make the select choir sophomore year (or was I a junior)? I went to Allstate 3 times as a Soprano I and senior year I made it to New Englands. I can't even remember where it was that year. Maybe Providence? But I was very proud. My try-out song was O Shendoah. I had to record it and mail the cassette in to the judges. I still think of New Englands and Ms. Douglas coaching me whenever I hear it.
  • I was a much better singer than I was a skier.
  • But I did meet my boyfriend Kyle on the ski team. We dated for two and a half years. We went to 2 proms together.
  • Sophomore year, we moved to the house on Shattuck Hill Road overlooking Lake Memphremagog. It was a great little house.
  • I also got my first car that I shared with Emi: a red 1993 jetta. Great car that one. Except that every time it rained, the engine would squeal.
  • I graduated as the valedictorian of a class of about 250 kids. Not bad!
  • I only applied to 2 colleges—Dartmouth and Middlebury—because Kyle and I were still dating and I wanted to stay near home. I got waitlisted at Dartmouth but got into Middlebury. So I decided to go there. It had a much nicer vibe I thought. Kyle and I broke up pretty soon after I left, but I never regretted going there.
  • Fall of 1998 I moved to Middlebury for my first year of college and never moved back home after that.

Monday, April 19, 2010

blowing out the candles for my big 3-0

Guess this means I'm all growed up now...

More Retrospect installments to come!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Retrospect: Pittsfield 1987-1990

Welcome to the third installment of the first-three-decades-of-my-life-in-chapters: Pittsfield, Maine. Maine's a pretty big state and Pittsfield is a small town kind of right in the middle. Read: land-locked. Read: not close to the beach at all. Read: what's a kid to do there? But at this point, we were used to living just about anywhere. And it turned out, Pittsfield was kind of rad in its own way. I was 7 years old when we arrived and 10 years old when we left. Here are some key points that I remember:
  • We lived in the parsonage right by the big old church on Mason Street. I really liked the church in Pittsfield. It was old and beautiful and had wooden pews. Most of the parishioners were older and they liked to sing the good oldie hymns. We sang a lot in church. That's when we girls got better at singing. And I still love hymns.
  • We had a huge garden out back. As soon as the cucumbers were big enough, I remember plucking them off the vine and eating them dipped in salt and vinegar. They were so good, still warm from the sun.
  • Papa taught me to fish on the Sebasticook river. I caught a pickerel there once. There were lots of pickerel in that river. Bony and teethy, but tasty too! Eventually I got my own fishing pole. It was smoky blue and shiny. Papa’s was black I think.
  • There was never a lot of money in those days, but I never felt lacking for things to do. On special occasions Papa would get us Hawaiian pizza for dinner with cream horns for dessert. And Moxie to drink. Moxie was the soda of choice in our house (if we ever did have soda in the house). It was Papa’s favorite, but we would sneak sips too. I always thought it tasted like a sweet rusty penny.
  • My best friend was Kristi. We did everything together. I had another friend, Yuri, who lived next door. We both collected stickers and we would do sticker trades. I had a tan album with a baby dear on the front. It had sticky plastic sheets to protect the stickers.
  • There was a department store downtown called Reny's. They sold Whatchamacallits for 25 cents each. I used to save up my paper route money and use it to buy toys at Reny's. My biggest and best purchases: a barbie Hawaiian beach hut and a purple Fashion Star Filly.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Retrospect: Boothbay Harbor 1985-1987

Yesterday, I started a rough catalog of my life in honor of my 30th birthday coming up. Here's the second chapter: Boothbay Harbor, Maine. I was 5 years old when we arrived and 7 when we left. For the first year, we lived in the bottom of a big old house right on Main Street in downtown Boothbay Harbor. Growing up by the ocean at that age was a dream.
  • I started school in Boothbay—Mrs. Williams was my kindergarten teacher and I loved her.
  • I made a Christmas ornament at school: it was a little stuffed pillow that said "Soe 1985." I still have it.
  • I learned how to swim—in the ocean and at the YMCA
  • I learned how to read—Mummy would put a big blanket out on the front lawn and I would read through the Primers that we had sounding out words like "mat," "cat," "hat" and "sat "The cat sat on the mat!"
  • Boothbay Harbor was such a cool town and it was all within walking distance from our house. There was a bakery nearby called The Crunchy Snail. They made glazed claw donuts called "Lobster Claws." They were my favorite. There was a restaurant that looked like a giant boat. There was a salt water taffy shop where you could look in the window and watch them pulling taffy. They were all different colors: green, pink, orange and green.
  • There was also a old-fashioned trolly that went around town. One day when my friend and I were hanging out at the house and Mummy wasn't looking, we decided to catch the trolly and take a ride around town. Only thing was it was summer and we weren't wearing any shoes. The trolly driver thought we were orphan runaways. So he called a policeman who took us to the diner for a meal and then when we told him that we had a home, he brought us there. My mother was so worried—especially when she saw the policeman. The policeman was just confused.
  • The second year, we moved out of the house on Main Street and into a trailer out on a country road. We were all pretty depressed about it, but Mummy built a gigantic garden in the yard (although I'm pretty sure it turned to mud) and we had lots of room to play.
  • That was the year my birthday fell on Easter and I got a bunny basket for a present.
  • That was also the year I took Hannah's bike and road it down the dirt road. As I was turning the corner, a car was coming in the other direction and it hit me! The bike went under the car and was crushed, but luckily, I just rolled onto the hood and didn't even get a bruise. The little old lady driving the car got quite the fright though.
  • Oh yeah, here's another memory from the trailer. Hannah decided to have a "seance" in her bedroom. She made a bowl of eyeballs out of grapes or pearl onions or something. And another bowl of cold spaghetti was supposed to be guts. She made us put our hands in the bowl in the dark. When Papa found us, he was not happy. We were all grounded!
  • Oh my gosh, there are a lot of memories from Boothbay, from the time we forgot Emi at the beach to the spawning jelly fish to playing with the sea cucumbers at the aquarium. All of the friends we had. All of the friends we left behind.
  • Papa got a new preaching job in Pittsfield, Maine and so we left Boothbay in 1987.
Do I really have no photos of Boothbay? Mummy do you? I'll keep looking.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Retrospect: Pawlet 1980-1985

I'm turning 30 in a few days. I'm fine with the 30 thing. But certainly a lot has happened in 3 decades and so I think this is a good opportunity to take a look back. I did a little digging to see what pictures I could find. There weren't many from those early days! But I did find a few that bring back great memories.

Wow, I've led a pretty nomadic life, with my family and then later on my own. From humble Pawlet, Vermont to Paris, France, I've lived in more houses than I can count on two hands.

I'll start with humble Pawlet. Here's what I remember:
  • Here's where I grew up from 0-5 years. I was the youngest of three little girls.
  • In the winter, the snow was always above my head.
  • My mother might say I had issues as a small child. I got into naughty things like pills and rat poison. But somehow made it through ok...
  • When I was less than 2, my mother took us girls back to England to live while my parents' marriage was on the rocks. Luckily, Papa got a grip, he and Mummy patched things up and we moved back to good old Pawlet.
  • We started going to church—all the way in Glens Falls, New York!
  • Our house burned down. We lost most of our belongings. But it meant we got to build a shiny new house! While the new house was being built, we stayed in our friends the Winpennys' sugar house for the summer.
  • I loved leotards—I wore them all the time.
  • I loved the color purple.
  • I loved drawing and still remember what I got for my 4th (?) birthday: a carousel filled to the brim with Crayola crayons. I will never forget that.
  • My best friend Aura Joy lived next door. One day I cut all of her hair off. Her mom was mad.
  • I liked to cut my own hair too. That's why I always had short hair.
  • I fell off the rope swing behind the house. It knocked the wind out of me.
  • We had sheep outside. When our sheep Jemimah gave birth to a little lamb, my parents let me name him. I named him Butt Lamb because he would run after you and try to butt you like a goat. Butt Lamb was dirty white with a black face. I loved him. Whatever happened to butt lamb?
  • In 1985, Papa got offered a job preaching at a church in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. So, we packed up our belongings and, on my fifth birthday, we upped and moved away.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

pics from the weekend

Last weekend was Easter weekend and we planned to go up to Newport to spend the weekend with the rents. Colin got in from a work trip late Friday night. So we decided to wait till Saturday to head out of town. On the drive up to the NEK, we met up with Kev at Jay Peak to get in some spring riding & skiing. It was a hot weekend and hit near 80 degrees at the base lodge. But they still had tons of snow on the slopes.

We were in tees and snow pants. But some people were in bikinis. This girl was posing in her hot pink one:

We got a few good runs in. Colin convinced me to try the mini park. It was so fun! He said not to worry about jumping, just to go over the roly poly bumps. But after a couple, I got the hang of it and got some good air off a couple—I even got some hoots from the chair lift. It was so sunny and so hot, that we had to keep taking breaks to drink water and rest. Here's Kev:

Finally, we headed home happy and tired, tired, tired. It was so warm outside, we ate our Easter dinner outside on Saturday night. Papa roasted some of the coffee beans we got him in Hawaii and made us a special brew. Next morning, the Easter bunny definitely came (after church of course!) and showered us with treats. Lovely!

LinkWithin - 4 posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...