In the summer of my 13th year my mom surprised me with a trip to Vancouver to visit my Aunt and Uncle for one week.  My Aunt and Uncle were young and recently married.  They treated me out to a fancy seafood restaurant and I got to sample shark and octopus for the first time. They took me to a fancy dinner at another young couple’s home and had a homemade meal in which the husband and my aunt boasted about the great home made cakes her friend made.  I was excited to try and piece and I remember thinking this is the driest cake.  Even then I had a great love for cake and knew what was good.  My aunt took me shopping and with my piggy bank savings I bought the coolest poster of an old english sheep dog with a caption on the bottom of the poster that read, “A dog is the only thing that would love you more than he would love himself”

The summer of my 14th year, we went shopping at a new clothing store in Walnut Creek.  We entered the store and there in the front was a brand new trail motorcycle, a Honda 125 with a poster that had written on it you could win this. We filled out cards for everyone in the family and entered them into the big drawing box and went home.  I forgot about the drawing, which is not unusual for me. We got a call from the store congratulating ME.  I had just won a brand new motorcycle.  We had more fun on that little bike.  My older brother would take me up into the hills and all around on that motorbike.  I was a lightweight and wasn’t too steady on the bike by myself.

By age 15 my parent’s marriage ended. My older and younger brother took it very hard.  I was sad and felt really sorry for my father, because he had to find another place to live.  It did puzzle me why I did not take the divorce as difficult as my two brothers did, (My baby brother was too young to understand). I know the answer now.  It was the beginning of suppression, a survival skill that has helped me over the years to get through one of the many difficulties that has occurred.

Some times I feel like I live in a fog, clueless. I did not even know 16 years old is a special year.  When I turned Sweet 16 my mother set up the fancy dining room with the good china and the pretty glasses.  (That was a surprise to me.) We only ate in the fancy dining room on Christmas, Thanksgiving and one or two other odd occasions.  So to eat there on my birthday was a real treat.  Mom fixed a lovely dinner and when I entered the dining room, there on the table was a beautiful bouquet of pink roses. The first bouquet I had ever received.  What a treat.

I did not really want to drive.  So I waited and extra year before I got my driver license. At age 17 I took the test in my mother’s new Mustang.  I took the driving test in Walnut Creek, that was a big city compared to Danville.  I remember driving around, my hands dripping with sweat and then the Test Person asked my to parallel park.  It was like he said it in slow motion.  My reaction was, Oh my goooooooooooosh.  But, long story short I past, by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin.

When I was 17 the dance class at my high school took a field trip to Berkeley, I cannot even remember what for.  We all met at the BART station and rode BART into Berkeley.  I was sitting with a group of really cute girls and we were like a bunch of noisy birds just yapping and giggling away.  This is another one of those fog moments.  This guy got up said something to my friend and gave her a piece of paper and walk off the train at his stop.  I thought, wow, he’s not bad, my friend who by the way was knock out really scored on that one.  She got up and came over to me and told me that same guy asked her to give me this, and she handed me that paper. I open it and it had his name and phone number written on it. I said no this is for you, she said that the guy was staring at me the whole time. I was total flattered and sat there in disbelief.

Age 17; in a blink of an eye one day I was in California going to school with no thought of moving and they next day I was on a plane moving to Utah.  A place I lovingly refer to as, The Arm Pitt of the Nation.  I finished my last semester of my senior year at Orem high school in Utah.  I must say I met some really nice friends there.  The experience was one that made me realize just how lucky I was to grow up in the area I did, to live a life of where we were sheltered from the hardship of unemployment, low wages and all that goes along with those predicaments.  Never the less it made me a better person, more appreciative.

I tag anyone who wants to play this meme.