This week, when I was eleven…


6th grade basketball
6th grade basketball

I feel the need to give you some background on the small town, Arlington, that I grew up in.

Population 475 (give or take a few), which meant that the school had a very small headcount. I usually had 10-12 kids in my class, except for 7th & 8th grade when we combined classrooms. It was also not a very ethnically diverse town. I was not racist, I was just ignorant.

One of my classmates was my cousin Chet. This was sometimes good, but mostly bad. Whenever it was a matter of kids taking sides, Chet usually chose the opposite as I did. It was only about my junior year when he and I started to see eye to eye on things. Mostly that we couldn’t wait to get the heck out of dodge after graduation! When we were Seniors Chet insisted that I be class President, and he Vice President. That way he could “get all the credit while I did all the work”. Not sure that’s exactly how that works. What I do know is, as Senior class President I am in charge of organizing our class reunions. It’s our 15th this year, and I have yet to do this. My sister tells me that each summer in Arlington they have a weekend designated for all class reunions to take place. So perhaps this year I’ll try and get in touch with my other 9 classmates and get this planned. Does anyone know what happened to Carlos?

Johanna was my best friend that I met in first grade when we lived in an even smaller town called Echo, Oregon. A year after I moved to Arlington, she then moved to Pendleton but we managed to stay friends, writing letters back and forth and spending weekends when we could arrange it. I’m very sad to say that I have lost touch with her. The last time I saw her was a very random day in Lincoln City, sitting on the beach I heard a “Melissa?” and there she was with her husband, newly pregnant with baby #2. I haven’t talked to her since. Claire shares her middle name with her.

Tawna was my really good friend in the 6th grade, she later moved to Condon, the next small town just south of Arlington. She lived in the biggest house on the hill, she also had a Nintendo (I did not) and I remember making a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and eating it while playing Super Mario Bros. And if it wasn’t cookie dough, it was nacho cheese Doritos. These are things I didn’t have in my house. My Mom didn’t like to buy us junk food. A very smart woman she was, too bad I didn’t feel that way then.

I was involved in 4-H from 6th grade until I graduated High School. It was such a wonderful thing and I am very thankful to my parents for encouraging my participation. I took Cooking from my Great Aunt Jean (if you remember from my favorites, she is indeed my favorite!) and as you will soon read, I wasn’t very good at it. I took Leathercraft from my Dad, who is an amazing leather designer still and has a shop in the hardware store in Arlington he now owns with my lovely stepmom. I took Hobby Horse (which was a collection of animal focuses including chickens, rabbits, sheep and of course horses) from my Grandma Brooks. Yes, folks, obviously it was a small country town. I was surrounded by many relatives, it was awesome! I also took Sewing, which has become my passion. (Unfortunately for my husband and children, the cooking thing didn’t stick, sorry loves!)

Here is the month of March, 21 years ago:

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Post-commentary:

It’s pretty bad when you feel like your own slumber party’s are boring. And Hally – for the record – I remember having a lot of fun when staying at your house. I remember making up dance routines, playing tag, playing dress up and just hanging out in your room which was in the basement and I remember thinking that was super awesome. Not sure why, probably because my house didn’t have a basement.

Tiffany was my first rock concert. I remember she had a cold and her voice was really scratchy, she kept apologizing but I didn’t care. I went with my friends and a couple mothers as chaperones. It was in a town about an hour and a half away, so I remember it being quite a big deal!

I love that my Mom gave me the advice “no fighting allowed or else” when I told her about my first boyfriend. I wish I had actually listened.

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Tune in next week for the month of April! This is kind of fun!

xoxo



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