Friday, May 23, 2008

A snip-it

How about a little background?

I have never been one to journal. I like the idea of having documentation to refer back to when I’m in my senior years.

The idea of a blog came to me from my brother Matt when he started Matt-Speak; from whence he got the idea from our sister Christi who created MacNelly Family Adventures. That’s about the way things work in a large family. We learn from each other’s success and failures.

We are constantly challenged to up our game. You are not allowed to sit quietly by and observe others living their lives. You know the saying that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link? That’s exactly how the dynamics of our family work. No matter how well you are doing in your own life, it means nothing if your brother, sister, mother, or father suffer.

It is like viewing the most spectacular sunset you have ever seen and having no one there to share it with. We all share each other’s success and feel each other’s pain. My mom and dad divorced when I was about 7. I am number 5 of eight children. My father adopted Christi when he remarried which brought the number to 9. My dad once stated that we kids were so bonded to each other that he hoped we never had to choose between one of us or him because he felt certain he would lose that battle. We truly hold a bond like you hear twins have. We would fight to death if asked for help.

Being number 5 was perfect! I have three brothers older and three younger. My sister, Leigh Ann, is 4 years older and Christi is 6 years younger than me. I seemed to dodge most of the sibling scuffles that took place on a daily basis. Leigh Ann and I had our bouts.

I remember trying so hard to win her over that I asked a clerk for an empty sample perfume bottle of “Charlie” (her favorite at the time). Ha, not a great gift for sure. I am so appreciative of my things today because of all the hand-me- downs we endured over the years. Leigh Ann being the eldest girl even had to get hand-me-downs from my cousins.

Even though I felt everyone at school knew how poor we were, they always thought we were comfortable if not better off than they were. In second grade Mom received a bag of clothes from our cousins. There was a dress in there that she held up to me and said “Priceless”. She washed and ironed it for me to wear to school the next day. I cried when I got to school. My teacher asked me what the problem was. I told her what Mom said about the dress and it embarrassed me to wear a dress that was not worth a thing. She tried not to laugh as she explained to me that priceless was good and did not mean cheap!

I can still remember the smell of my dresses when Mom dressed me. Most of them had starched white or print aprons that tied in the back. They smelled fresh and clean. I really loved it when she dressed me right after ironing my clothes because they were so warm.

My first grade teacher had large wall paper sample books. I simply adored getting to cut out shapes from those gorgeous papers. Some had velvet designs on them. Those were my favorites. I didn’t go to kindergarten and in first grade we really didn’t do much but take naps and do art. Now days the kids are reading and writing. Wow, were we behind!