My sister was here the 4th of July week. On Friday the 8th, the whole family gathered at my brother's to have dinner. Kind of like the "last supper," but instead of Jesus, there was Shannon, and instead of going to heaven, she went to Brooklyn. I said "KIND OF LIKE," not JUST like. Anyways, when you get the entire family together, there's just tons of uproarious laughter, and lots of "remember when..."
SO, on the eve of my sister's departure to Brooklyn, we sat in my brother's dining room, leaned back in our chairs, and laughed our asses off.
We were all there: me, Scott, Shawn, my sister-in-law, mom, and dad. Topic 'o the night: The move to Texas.
We moved to the great state of Texas (from Michigan)in fall of '81. I was in third grade. I don't remember much about anything directly prior to the move, except that my dad had been gone a long time, and right there at the end, my mom and brother left, too. Me and my sister lived with my grandparents. I have no recollection of how long they were gone, but in my childs mind, it seemed like forever. I don't remember them arriving back at my grandparents' house, but I DO remember, quite vividly, not wanting to sit next to my brother, because his legs were covered in ant bites. Apparently, he hadn't heeded my dad's warning that the ants in Texas bite, and he had stood in an ant mound. Well, those ants chomped his little legs up good. He had nasty, pus-sacks (now, isn't that a disgusting description??) from his toes, all the way up his legs and onto his butt. I will say that I never wondered about him, in later years, when he would sit outside and try to light anthills on fire, while chanting, "Die, bastards! Die!" kidding. just kidding. Anyways, a few days later, we packed up the U-HAUL with the few belongings we had, the 5 of us piled into the bench seat, and we were off for Texas.
We were in a small truck--the kind with just a bench seat in the front--seats three, I think. Well, there were five of us. Dad driving, Shawn next to dad, me next to Shawn, Mom, and Shannon on mom's lap. Obviously, this was when people didn't think that kids needed to be strapped into carseats and the like. Hell, you didn't even have to wear a seatbelt. The sleeping arrangements were...interesting. My mom and Shannon slept on the bench, while my dad drove, and me and my brother slept on the floorboard. That just kills me. I freak out when Claire's carseat-strap is loose, and I traveled cross-country, sleeping on the floor of a U-Haul. Crazy.
I remember very little from the trip--most likely because I was near a state of complete asphyxiation from breathing some kind of fumes leaking in through the firewall. In some random state, we crossed a bridge. I had never seen a bridge like it before--it was over a bayou, and was made of steel beams, stretching to form a canopy over the cars. Dad said it was a "wish bridge," and when we went under it, we should close our eyes and make a wish. 20+ years later, I still make wishes everytime I cross one of those bridges--thanks for that, dad. We arrived in Kingwood, Texas in the early, early hours of morning. I remember, as I stumbled into our new home, thinking that it was hard to breathe (the humidity).
And here I am, oh-so-many years later, still in Texas. I don't think that I'll ever move out of this state. Besides, my blood's so thin now, that I freeze in 65-degree weather, so I'm kinda stuck here.
After waking the next morning, I opened the front door, and walked into the oven that is Texas is September. A few first impressions/questions:
-There are no sidewalks
-What are those tall, skinny trees?
-Where are all the horses?
-Cowboys? Where are they?
-Not a cactus in sight.
I also found it hugely disappointing that it was NOTHING like "Little House on the Prarie." I was totally expecting indians and covered wagons, and riding horses to school.