4.24.2012

Oklahoma!

For some reason last night I was thinking about things I was grateful for. Perhaps because Sara, my sister, had a horrible break in and some surprisingly positive things came out of that experience (namely many friends of hers donated over $2,000 to her and her roommate to help them buy new laptops or whatever else was missing). I was so touched by the aftermath of her story - the friendships she's made and what they were willing to give to help her (as well as the type of person Sara is for fostering such strong friendships) - that it made me think how thankful I am. I've lived in New York City for almost nine years and haven't had a break in, or anything stolen from me. Yes, there was almost a restraining order at one point, but other than that, I've been safe and protected here and have been very very grateful for that. But this post isn't about my safety. As I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I thought about other things I was thankful for. My parents of course. My brothers and sisters and the friends that we are to each other. I thought about my childhood and the love and support and comfort and confidence I've always felt. And for some reason I thought about Oklahoma, the state of my early childhood. I thought of the house on Orchard Street. Here's what I remember about it.
Snow Kids in front of the house on Orchard: Sara cut her eye by falling out of bed one night and landing on a broken piece of miniature doll furniture we left on the floor. The seventh child is actually our cousin "Shane."
  • 301 South Orchard. 
  • The sidewalk lined with red tulips in the spring. 
  • The clothes line in the backyard. 
  • That huge pile of sticks and twigs on the right side of the back yard - why was it there? 
  • That exotic perfect tree to climb on in the middle of the back yard. 
  • Mom's miniature purple and pink rose bush's. 
  • The broken door that always got stuck going out from the garage to the back yard. 
  • The pistachio green velveteen wrapped steamer trunk located in the loft above mom's "business." 
  • Mom's business and all the machinery we played with: extremely hot plastic sealer, shipping tape dispenser with a rainbow of plastic buttons, bottles and bottles of scented oil. 
  • Dad singing loudly to the Beach Boys and other oldies on Saturday Morning. 
  • Cream of Wheat for breakfast during the school week made with love by dad. 
  • Sneaking extra sugar onto my Cream of Wheat when dad wasn't looking. 
  • Summer evenings catching fireflies. 
  • Crunchy leaves. 
  • Picking dried up bug shells off the dining room windows. 
  • The sounds of locusts. 
  • Bomber and Snowy and always being a little terrified of them. 
  • Teal shutters. 
  • Hanging red geraniums flanking either side of the front door. 
  • Changing the Doorbells tune. 
  • Big fat flickering Christmas lights along the roof line. 
  • That light up snow man. 
  • The prettiest mauve and pink Christmas tree anyone ever saw! 
  • A constant cold draft in the sun room/television room. 
  • Roller skating around the dining room table.
  • The CELLAR! And all the moldy scent that came with it, the haunting churning air filter, below, and the rickety unstable wooden top that in no way would up if there were a tornado to tear our house down. 
  • The sound of tornado sirens. 
  • The grayness of the sky, the calmness of the wind, and the vibrancy of all things green before a tornado hits. 
  • Shooting hoops and riding our bicycles in circles along the driveway. 
  • Mom and Dad's bathroom - I always used their bathroom when I could - probably because I liked looking at mom's "car" artwork made out of an old watch. 
  • Folding clothes in Summer and Cami's room. 
  • Cami's old wooden four poster bed and Summer's white wooden bed with a temple above each. 
  • Summer and Cami's closets - I always loved those! 
  • Playing with Summer and Cami's dance costumes - especially when they were gone. 
  • Brooks' and Blake's bunk bed. 
  • The old school double desk, the wall of windows and playing Risk on the floor in the boys' room. 
  • Blake's junk drawer.
  • Brooks' school photos of his friends.
  • The Celtics, Mets, and Yankees memorabilia in their bedroom.
  • The fact that my older brothers let me play in their room was always appreciated.
  • Sleeping on the floor in their room on Christmas Eve. 
  • Cold, bumpy, cement walls. 
  • The old white upright piano. 
  • The "Lou" sign on the bathroom downstairs. 
  • Mom's shelves and shelves of fabric and hiding in them while playing hide and seek. 
  • Dressing Matilda. 
  • Using the Serger to clean away the fuzzies and making sure it's oiled properly. 
  • Having tea parties with Sara and our stuffed animals with our pink glass Eureka Springs tea set on a white table with four chairs lit by an old fashioned oil lamp topped with a pretty lace shade. 
  • Getting trapped in our bedroom because Sara slammed our old door. 
  • The toy trunk in front of our bedroom window with a built in secretary desk on one side and bookshelves on the other. 
  • Porcelain dolls, barbie dolls, baby dolls, and lots of clothing for each. 
  • The sound of dad's belts rattling on the closet door when mom was about to show you how upset she was with whatever it was you did. Ha! Ha! We can laugh about it now, right? 
  • Dad using the wooden spoon to show us how upset he was with whatever it was we did. 
  • That was always laughable...even as an eight year old. parquet floors in the entry way. 
  • The heating unit or whatever fire hazard that was next to the bath. 
  • Dad pulling out tooth after tooth over the years all while sitting on that toilet seat - how did he do it so we couldn't feel when he took it out? 
  • The sauna of an attic next to the bathroom. 
  • Playing the child size guitar in the hot hot attic. walking to school in the morning with Sara and dad. Mom's notes on my napkin in my lunch box. Walking home from school and reading my report card with all those S and S+. 
  • Old Mr. Right's gray house with a pink cherry blossom tree in the front yard. Drew's house next door. 
  • Chris and Greg. 
  • Midnight in the front yard. 
  • Big oak trees in the front yard with patchy grass. 
  • Slugs and their shimmery trails. 
  • And pouring salt on them to kill them. 
  • Trying to obtain juice from the honeysuckle bush. 
  • Kneeling under the table for the Thanksgiving prayer and always hoping dad would be done soon so we could eat. 
  • Mom's pumpkin pie with home made whip cream. 
  • Getting a new dress for Easter Sunday. 
  • Green milk on St. Patrick's Day. 
  • Westwood and it's open hallways. 
  • Walking along the highway to get to the grocery store and fill a bag with caramels and other wrapped candies (to be paid by weight of course). 
  • Braum's hot fudge Sundays. 
  • Walking around the neighborhood with dad on Halloween and gathering as much candy as possible from all of those college frat houses. 
  • Walking downtown to look at the decorated floats for home coming. 
  • The church bells I could hear from my room. 
  • Theta pond and feeding the ducks. 
  • Dad's office. 
  • Eskimo Joe's t-shirts
  • Playing pool at the Institute building. Going to church on Sundays. 
  • That wood sided Volkswagen with the folding seat in the back. 
  • The library filled with books and mom's best victorian floral furniture. 
  • The library door that opened half way - perfect to use for our bank teller game. 
  • Playing school with Sara. 
  • Playing recorders with Sara. 
  • Filming with Sara. 
  • Creating art with Sara by using the Make and Do books. 
  • Making home made play dough - it was never as good as the real thing. 
  • Hiding in the upstairs closet and turning it into another bedroom. 
  • Playing with mom's wedding veil. 
  • Looking through mom's jewelry box. 
  • Occasionally walking over to the Admiral house and remembering what life was like living there. 
  • I had the best childhood. 
  • And I'm thankful for that. 
  • Who knew Oklahoma could be so...OK!
Here's what the house looks like today.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Your favorite brother said...

Thanks for the memories, Lex. My favorite line: "The vibrancy of all things green before a tornado hits."

April 24, 2012 2:56 PM  
Blogger cardlady said...

I didn't realize you post until I saw this from Sara. You have a vivid memory and I love the way you say everything about your childhood. Thanks for remembering some of the good things about me. Love Mom

May 09, 2012 3:11 PM  
Blogger Ronnie said...

Hi Lexia,

Don't fall off your chair, but it's me Ronnie. You and I exchanged several emails about four years ago when you were getting your first acoustic guitar. You ended up with a Breedlove if I remember correctly.

Anyway, I stopped blogging about my musical life about two years ago. Recently I decided to read the entire blog like a book to stir up some fine old memories. And I came across the posts where I met you and (hopefully) helped you out somewhat in deciding what to buy. I decided to look you up and say hello. I hope all is well with you.

I see that you got married :-) Mazeltov (I'm a Jew). So I have to ask the big question....did you stick with the guitar? Are you still playing? I guess some people take to it, and some don't.

Since I no longer have a blog, if you would like to write me back please use my email address at:

rondog1836@hotmail.com

I hope you hear back from you. I would like to know how you're doing.

Take Care,
Ronnie

August 07, 2012 2:34 PM  

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