Every once in a while, something that happens will spur a thought - a memory. I find myself getting lost along the road to times gone by. Of all the things I remember, I always wonder what of my life I've forgotten. My sister will tell stories from our childhood and I won't have a clue what she's talking about. A friend will want to reminisce and I don't have a clear picture of what they're bringing up. But what I do remember, what I do have stored away in the picture albums of my mind, is so worth the resurrection.
I'm not proud of all of the choices I've made in life; not proud of some of the ways I did or said things. I'm proud of the fact I've made it here, though, and of the realization I'm not perfect, no matter that I thought I was close to it once upon a time. I remember some of it - but only so I can learn from it and not make the same mistakes.
I remember drinking from the elephant cup. I remember swimming lessons. I remember the hardwood floors of the house on Woodland. I remember Rick and Edie coming to visit. I remember going to Tawny's house and counting the train cars, and her sneezes. I remember Mom taking us to the pier at Pismo for walks. I remember the BBQs John King hosted. I remember Eric - and how much it hurt when the state said he couldn't be a part of our family. I remember Brandon Watson daring me to eat dog food at his house. I think their dog's name was Checkers. I remember Christmas Eve at Grandma Vida's. I remember the ride home with Uncle Steve after eating at Pea Soup Anderson's. I remember Steph's imaginary friend, Piggly Wiggly. I remember Roslyn squirting water in my ear, then helping her feed the rabbits. I remember stinging nettles. I remember the nieghbor's garage on fire, and shaking as I peered out the blinds of our living room window. I remember my first boyfriend, Brian. We never spoke, but somehow we were in a relationship. I remember Mrs. Jones, the librarian, and how no one rocked shorts and tights like she did. She was the coolest. I remember Mrs. Meagher telling me she would miss me at 6th grade graduation. I remember my "big bro" Dave, letting my sister and I ski behind him in the dirt as we hung on to the sleeves of his sweatshirt. I remember softball and running smack in to Sean Lindsey who was guarding first base. I flew backwards about twelve feet. I remember the first time I shaved my legs, and how it made me feel like the most beautiful and sophisticated seventh grader in the world. I remember (yesterday) wishing I didn't have to shave my legs. I remember having an enormous crush on Taylor - that lasted for years. YEARS. I remember Judy swiping pictures of him for me. I remember going back to visit and going to the movies with Taylor. I remember thinking of names for our children.
I remember moving from California to Wyoming, and how much I hated it. That didn't last long. Wyoming is my home now. Always will be. I remember Amy and Lizza and the ridiculous nicknames we had and the fits of laughter that erupted. I remember how Tiffani and I overcame our intense dislike of one another to become best friends - almost 17 years now. I remember getting Maloa's letter when Mary died. I remember walking, singing, crying in the fog. I remember walking to Jamie's house every day for lunch. I remember being paid to type papers for the boys. I remember being the mascot and sweating buckets during basketball season. I remember baking cookies. I remember fighting with Mom. I remember sitting on the hood of the car and watching the sun rise. I remember the house in the country. I miss that house. I remember being baptized in the pacific ocean. I remember hating life. I remember swearing I would never let a teenager pull the wool over my eyes, even though I was one. I remember the accident....and the other four. I'm much better at driving now. I remember the shooting stars from the southfork highway. I remember when Dad thought I was smoking. He was a couple of years premature on that accusation. I remember "dude" and Corral West. I remember being a size two. I remember my first apartment. Yuck. I remember the hike up Deer Creek. The longest hike of my life. I remember thinking my lungs were going to explode, but trying to pretend like I was fine. I remember waiting tables and the interesting people I met. I remember the Brass Rail. I remember teaching Justin how to two step.
I remember Tennessee. Nashville. Grand Ol Opry. Travis Tritt. My first tattoo. I remember those bugs on campus. I remember sitting on Jenni's roof. I remember breaking Brent's heart. I remember Aaron breaking mine. But the singing - lawh the singing. I can still hear the harmonies in that outdoor courtyard. Still taste the Taco Bell nachos. Still hear those bugs. Those blasted, huge bugs.
I remember being so sick right before my wedding. Salmonella. Strep throat. I remember Brent not wanting to dance. I remember crying in to our checkbook register. I remember him cooking me dinner when I was sick and learning that minced onions is an entirely different ingredient from chopped onions. I remember being content. Completely happy with where I was. I remember moving to Fargo. In the winter. Yesterday marked our 5th anniversary of moving here. I remember being surrounded by friendly people but having no friends. I remember the landlady's eye shadow. I remember the Las Vegas trip. My husband going to Mauritius. I remember auditioning for American Idol and Tiffani right by my side. I remember buying this house. I remember regretting buying this house. I remember our anniversary trip to Mapelwood. And the mosquitoes. I remember finding out I was pregnant. I remember being unexpectedly admitted to the hospital. I remember holding Haley for the first time. I remember the surreal feeling, realizing I was a mommy. I remember bringing her home.
And now it's the start of another year. Another opportunity to make more memories. To capture more snapshots of life and store them away in my mind. Another chance to reflect on everything life has offered me, and be grateful for the chance to remember any of it.