Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Life with Cousins Begins

This journey link with Mommy's Piggy Tales has already been sweet.  I have pulled out pictures, stirred my memory and laughed with my children.  Looking back reminds me of how our perspective on life can change who we are and who we will become.  Recounting my earlier days of mishaps had always been seen as funny and never told in the tone of "you were a hand-full."  This has reminded me to keep the joy in re-telling my own children their stories...yes, my heart may have stopped when my daughter rode her bike down the indoor stairs, but the message behind the story has always been what an "overcomer and independent" girl she is.

Reading others stories this past week, I saw such healthy perspectives.  I pray as I walk through the rest of this journey, I will continue to see my past in the light of the beauty it was, because it is my story, given to me by God, the author of my life.

I don't remember stories from my pre-school years, nor can I get them out of my mom, but then again, we are both pushing upward in our years.  I do remember that it was the years of cousins.  I was blessed to have five cousins and my sister, all of us stair stepped in age.  Our mothers must have enjoyed gathering together to discuss their children and the joy of parenting.  Special bonds were built at an early age, along with precious memories of being with each other.

I would visit my grandmother at her farm near Ft Hood on many summer weekends.  My cousins would meet us  from their home in Houston.  My grandfather had this old bouncing swing on the front porch.  We would spend hours bouncing on the squeeky springs, while pushing it back and forth to produce great height.  The swing was an old seat from a truck.  We would hold onto the middle of the bottom of the seat, swinging the seat out over the edge of the porch. Our bodies would glide underneath...of course, you also learned when you let go to move out of the way before it plowed you over.
My grandfather trained horses and we all started riding at an early age.  The thrill of coming from the city to the farm will always be etched in my memory.

Another favorite at my grandfather's farm was the swing he hung from a beautiful sprawling oak.  Another recycled item, a metal seat from a tractor, spun from the branches by  two large chains.
I would enjoy this swing for years.  While swinging through the hot summer breeze, I would belt out my own melodies.  The breeze would flow through my hair as my imagination would take me to places I had never seen.  This swing would leave me a lifetime reminder of it's milestone as one of  my "happy places" with a chip on my front tooth.  My sister, in good sibling rivalry, would race me to the swing to see who would get it first.  I must have been ahead, because my sister pushed me into the edge of the metal tractor seat... it and my front tooth collided.  I can still rub my tongue across the chip that occurred so many years ago. Yes, I do need to get it filled... in so doing I may look better, but I will have removed part of my history.

The other joy was my cousins on my mother's side.  Mom had a younger, single brother who was at our mercy.  We would be sent into his room to wake him. (I can so understand that now that I have older sons.)  We would all attack him at once.  There were five of us on him, all girls, giggling and tickling him.  He was always such a source of laughter in my life.  He later would marry a woman by the name of Jeannette....there would be two of us in the family.  The Lord must have needed his laughter in heaven because he was taken home at an early age.  Like my Aunt Bet, both were single while I was little and they marked my life with precious memories before they left this earth.

At home was my sister and me.  The family story of this time of my life was the fact that I was blessed with a full head of hair when I was born, unlike my sister.  She would be bald for years.  My mother would make every effort possible to keep people from thinking she was a boy.  I guess I felt I should take after my grandmother, the beautician.  When my sister's hair had grown out enough for my mother to put it in a tiny little curl on the top of her head....well, if you are holding your breath, you have guessed.  I took a pair of those scissors that were plentiful around my sewing mother's house, and I proceeded to cut that curl right off her head!  Yes, my mother was horrified.  My sister and I have laughed through the years that I must have thought it looked silly.... who knows what I thought, but it has been a family tale ever since.

One of the few times we had snow in Austin, Texas....I remember making snow ice cream. 

As I read through my baby book, I saw that I had pink cakes for most of my early birthdays.  I was a true girl. This picture is me at age 4 - if the hair was cut differently and you put boys' clothes on me, you would see my four-year-old son now... oh my! The book says I loved to sing and dance at an early age.  Lessons and the love of the arts would follow me throughout my life.

I was also in a neighborhood with alot of girls...so between girl cousins and neighbors, I was raised in a girl- dominated world.  Our precious neighbors would become long time friends.  There was a family on one side with six kids and on the other side was five.  Between our three little houses, there would be 15 children!

Wow! too wordy I know...but this is my story!  To reflect back at His goodness is just amazing.

10 Joining in with more words:

Debbie said...

Janette, I am so enjoying your posts about your childhood. How fun to have so many children to play with. I had to laugh at how you cut your sister's curl. Oh I'm sure your mom wasn't very happy. :)

I can so relate to those photos from the 60's. So glad you kept the dates visible too.

What a wonderful idea to share the story of the life God has given you!

I'm be staying tuned in for more of Janette.

Hugs and love,

Cindy (Letters From Midlife) said...

How fun to read this post! Those photos from childhood are precious and it makes me want to go through a box of them that I have in my closet.

Thanks for sharing.

Theresa said...

Hi Janette. I enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like you had lots of fun. I look forward to reading more.

gianna said...

I love this story! You have PLENTY of memories! And I love the pictures!

Its So Very Cheri said...

I tried leaving you a message on e-mail but it got returned undeliverable.

I hope you had a wonderful anniversary too and i hope you have a fabulous weekend.


myletterstoemily said...

what wonderful cousin memories! i, too,
had loads of fun with my many cousins.

i love your posts!

Debi said...

Oh, I love this! I'm sure I had that same dress - the one with the big white collar. Too cute! And snow ice cream, yum - that's before we knew it was 'contaminated' :)
As I watch my grandchildren relate to one another, I hope someday they have such sweet memories of their 'cousins' too.

You were a 'handful' huh? Is that where Allen gets it?! :)
I'm sure he'd consider that a compliment.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Such precious memories; such precious photos!

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Awww, we could almost share family pics, but my story was so different... After a life traveling I craved a quiet farm where I could nest! Thanks for the great stories and fun look back. I always find so much to enjoy here! If ever you're missing an old tree with a swing, a few chickens to chase or a trail ride - COME VISIT!

Ginny Marie said...

Your memories are not too wordy! What fun I had reading through all your recollections! Your photos are wonderful, too. I'm so glad we are in the same group!

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