Friday, August 14, 2009

Snail tales, in summer

(Just a few summer memories... whatever comes to mind)

* Portland, Oregon. Age... ? Let's say... ten. Ish. Staying with aunt & uncle for a few weeks one summer. Stay overnight at their neighbours (well, neighbors I suppose) because they have daughters my age. We watch several horrifying movies including this. And then we DECIDE TO SLEEP OUTSIDE IN A TENT. I don't decide this, obviously, but I go along. In the darkest part of the middle of the endless night something scratches the outside of the tent. The other girls giggle fearfully and go back to sleep. I don't close my eyes, even to blink, for about 48hrs. There are WEREWOLVES in Oregon, didn't you know?

* Somewhere above the clouds. Age: 5. Am sent to visit grandparents in Denver, Colorado. First time flying, and I am doing it all by myself. Sit next to business man who teaches me a few words of Mandarin. Peek out the window and marvel at seeing the TOP of the clouds.

* Waterslides. Loooooooooooooooooooooong lines, feeling the sun burning my shoulders, my hair getting stringy and dry from the chlorine. Slowly making my way up the stairs and platforms behind the slides, wishing for shoes (feels gross to stand on the old sodden wood in bare feet). Finally my turn. Sit down and WHOOSH, the running water carries you into the pale blue plastic straw-like slide. Slipping along the curves and up the walls: WILL I FALL OUT???? Zip zip zip. Over too fast. Splash! At the bottom, into the waiting pool. Next time: The Rapids.


* Summer camp for les jeannettes (hmm... no links. Basically: French Girl Guides). Big open one-room shacks, making bannock, sneaking around at night, cute boys, non-sensical games (ex: make spaghetti for supper for about 20 girls then don't allow them to use regular utensils... someone got stuck with an egg beater. MESSY.), going fishing (one fearless girl poking the eyes out of a fish with her BARE HANDS), ghost stories, pillow fights (for real... actually kind of vicious and painfull), truth or dare... and camp fire songs: "You must never laugh when a hearse goes by, for you may be the next to die ... worms crawl in, worms crawl out... they play parcheesi on your snout..." or "Baden-Baden POW-weeeeeeelllllll" (there are hand moves for that one).

* LOTS of time spent at my cousin's place in Ruskin. Watching scary movies, making forts in the forest, riding our bikes on gravel roads, tire swings in huge empty fields, listening to Corey Hart, swimming in the ocean, wearing enormous stuffed bras and laughing too hard to talk, playing with her Barbie empire in the basement (wolf spiders as big as my hand!!!), deer wandering up next to us in the front yard, nearly getting kidnapped at the hall and running for our lives in matching pink jelly shoes. Good times.

* Several dozen visits to the Aquarium. Face to face with killer whales (we didn't call them Orca yet then). Being afraid of the piranhas (there was a cow carcass in the tank for god's sake!), but not the snakes (large they were, but seemed so sloooow... quite drowsy), intrigued by the octopus, in love with the otters. Back then the belugas were in that small pool, in between the main inside area and the killer whale tanks. Way too small for them. Whale shows: SPLASH ZONE.

* Harrison. Sigh. So many visits to Harrison beach. SAND SCULPTURES. Lots of other lakes too, and of course the REAL beach: the PACIFIC OCEAN. (Mainly White Rock, I think).


* Spending time at The Cove. My grandparents still lived on their boat back then. It is so nice to sleep on a boat. Rocking, ocean sounds, fresh air. And everything on a boat is so neatly made, space used so efficiently (at least this is true when the boat is built by my grandpa). Little cupboards and hidden storage areas absolutely everywhere. Everything, even the table, has a lip for when the sea gets rough. Running on the wharf, peering over the edge down into the depths of the cove, looking at anemonies, fat purple sea stars, transluscent jelly fish. Hearing about my mom, when she was a little girl. Visiting the Georges (who ran the marina), who had brightly coloured hanging baskets, a deck with a great view and a painting (Mrs George was an artist) that featured the cove and a tiny little figure that was my mom.

Deep Cove marina.

... And there are so many more! And now I'm homesick. SIGH. Still, that was kind of fun.


  1. loved that! loved your memories, loved your writing style... loved living your life for a few minutes

    you are blessed, girl!