Hey You, with the Pretty Face! Welcome to the Human Race!

On February 14, 1912 Arizona became the 48th state of the United States of America. Today, she turns 100 years old.

In honor of my beloved home state I'm going to tell you the following:

This winter has been more mild than last year. That fact in and of itself makes me very happy. It has not snowed in a few weeks now and the sun is often out. In the afternoons the sunlight comes through my window and makes  squares of sunlight on my floor and on my bed. Sometimes I lay in those spots and I close my eyes and in my mind I can see the first house I ever lived in in Phoenix. The house on Edgemont.

The house was small and it had a west facing living room window. In the afternoons the sunlight would shine through the windows and make a square of sunlight on the living room floor. My mom tells me that when I was very little I would stand in that square and begin babbling, then I'd fall to the floor laughing. Yes, even at such a young age I was hilarious. My mom thought I would grow up to be a comedienne.

I don't recall doing that, because I was so very young. I do however recall laying on that floor. I can see it now. Mom's rocking chair, the blue couch that I threw up on. The wood paneling on the wall, Mom's Norman Rockwell painting. The front door with the small window panes that I always thought were stained glass. The wall paper on the hallway wall. The kitchen with our dining room table and the one stool we had at the breakfast bar. The sliding glass door. The screen door that had the hole in it that I am certain Shadow tried to climb through once and got stuck, but maybe it was Misty.

I can see the backyard, the huge backyard with the giant tree we used to climb that had that one branch that made the perfect seat. The garden with the fence that we had painted artwork on. The grass that we used to lay on and use Dad's binoculars to look at the stars sometimes. The swingset, back when it still had the teeter totter. We used to climb on that thing so we could look over the fence and see the movie theatre (Harkins 8), the Safeway, and the old empty Gemco store on the other side. The tree by the swing set. I never knew what kind of tree it was, we just always called it the bee tree because the flowers attracted them (and there was a hive in it once... or twice?)

The old lawn mower that I would sometimes push around the back yard and pretend I lived in "the olden days" before people had mowers with motors, and blades that were sharp and actually cut things (dad.). The chain link fence to our neighbor's yard and in the back corner, Misty's headstone.

Back in the house, down the hall with our pictures on the wall and then, first room to the left is mine and Alicia's. It's pink and I see it with the trundle bed. I also see the hearts my mom sketched above our closet. My little red piano that we used to pin a blanket around and I'd hide under it and pull the keys down so it looked like a ghost was playing it. The light, that I think hung from a chain. The next room is the boy's room, it's blue. It has the bunk bed dad made them, and the roll out little chair thing that mom left by the bed because Aaron sometimes managed to slide underneath the wooden slat and fall off the bed (a feat he could not now accomplish I believe.) Then my parent's room, where sometimes when I was a little girl and had a nightmare I would sleep. I'd lay there and listen to my mom snoring and tell myself to dream about nice things instead. The bathroom with the little window above the shower.

The front yard with the hill, and the plant that I just called the palm tree bush. Sometimes the yard was full of kids, sometimes full of terror. Either way, we had a hill, and we could pretend we were climbing a mountain. Or we could ride our bikes around the cul-de-sac. My pink bike that I named the Pink Panther. I'd ride almost every day. There was that time we were getting a huge dust storm and the wind was so strong we couldn't move forward and the entire sky was red and we loved it, but then mom made us come inside. You could hear the peacocks and cows and rooster from the farm, and sometimes at night the peacocks sounded like a cat or a crying baby. Sometimes the rooster would jump the fence and walk around our lawns crowing loudly.

All of that is bundled up in the little patch of sunlight on my bed here in Vermont. I close my eyes and I can see it. Then it evolves into my family today, which includes Madalynn and Jake, Korina and Jessica, Kyle, Shyanne and Jayda, and will very soon include Adrian. A different house, with different furniture, and different memories. That is my home. Warm, and full of sunlight, and things I can always see when I lay in a small patch of sunlight and feel the sun's warmth.

Happy Birthday Arizona. I love you.

Comments

Madalynn said…
I love you Lindsey (:

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