Today is the first day of spring. Although we woke up to snow on the ground, spring is still in the air. I even saw some crocuses popping out of the ground. Soon it will be time for bare feet and playgrounds...
One spring, back when I was a little girl, just five years old, a new family moved into the house two doors down. They had three children, a girl about 7, a boy of 5, and a one year old baby girl. My earliest memories are the boy and I riding circles in the street on our tricycles. That summer Al and I picked flowers in the back yard for his "mummy", cooked mudpies in a spot of dirt, and shared a good many afternoons driving our tricycles through the back yard where he was confined to play. In the fall we started kindergarten and our mothers became close friends. They shared coffee in the afternoon while their little girls played together and I'm sure shared a good many secrets as women often do. There were pets in the house two doors down; first a shaggy dog named Laddie, and later a white German shepherd named Bianca and a black and brown collie named Ace of Spades. Al and I not only went to kindergarten together but first and second grades too. We shared the same bus stop and when the roll was called at school my name always followed his. His father had a wonderful voice and often played the organ and sang. I loved to listen. In June of 1972 my mother's friend died tragically and suddenly. It was a terribly sad day etched forever in my memory. Without their mother to care for them the family was packed up and moved to Canada where they lived with relatives for the next two years before returning to the neighborhood home. By then circumstances had changed somewhat and the children were discouraged from spending too much time at our house, but our friendships had been forged in steel and nothing ever stopped Angel, Al, or myself from being together. I have so many good memories; 4-square in the street, hide and go seek in the dark, campfires in our backyard, walks about town, and late night knocks on my bedroom window. In August of 1979 a cousin came to visit my friends and ended up staying indefinitely. Eventually he and I were married and the friends two doors down became family. As a child I'd never known her as "Aunt" Sharon, but I had known her, and my husband never did. Now sometimes when I look at my daughter or see her smile, I catch a little glimpse of Aunt Sharon in her lovely face, and once in a great while I have to smile myself when I notice my son reminding me a little bit of Al.
5 hours ago