When I was growing up during the summer I rode bike almost everywhere, Eric taught me how to ride bike but I was so afraid to ride on the sidewalk because I thought I would fall, but then when I tried to ride on the street it just clicked and I was riding immediately. Darrin and I would play bike tag where we chased eachother around the neighborhood on our bikes, and a friend of Darrins had a bike racing track in his backyard. Darrin and I would go to the river city speedway almost every Friday to see the races, then we would go to the pits to meet the drivers, my favorite driver was Sunny Mack and Darrins was Todd Mack. We would come home just covered in dirt but it was alot of fun.
We spent alot of time at Sandy and Dannys house, and Betty and Glenns house because they both lived in Grand Forks, I have a lot of great memories of hanging out and playing with my cousins, cousin Paul would play video games and Sara would play dress up and barbies with me. We got to play with the computer in Bettys basement, and Glenn has a Model A car that we would sit in and honk the horn. They would come over to our house sometimes and in the basement we would play hockey using pillows from the couch as goals and a ball that we would hit back and forth it was so much fun.
We also would travel to Grygla from time to time and visit grandma Mabel and grandpa Karls house, where we would get fed amazing home cooked meals and grandma would have cookies ready for all of us grandkids, and grandpa would make huge pancakes each morning. We had corn cob eating contests, and would play at the tennis court nearby and the park that was right in the backyard. While we were there sometimes we would go to grandpas cabin and he had a garden, and he had a water pump with a cup hanging where we would pump well water and it tasted like pennies but it was really cold. The drive to Grygla was always kind of exciting we would wait until we got to the 6 mile mark where we would turn to drive into town, and there our grandpa would always say because of the curve in the road the water tower would jump from one side of the road to the other. We would go to Julie and Steves house where they have a farm thats just outside of Grygla, they have cats and dogs outside that they would feed (I actually tried to tame one of the wild cats once it didn’t work very well). When we were there we got to ride snowmobiles, we rode in their combines, and would play in the trees next to their house with our cousins Adam, Greg, and Keith.
My grandpa would show me his bird book with an owl on the front of it, which I now have and it was always fun to look through. Grandpa always told me that grackles, which is a type of bird, are the meanest birds and that polar bear liver is poisonous. At their house when it was cold we would all fight for a spot in front of the heat vent where there was a leather seat that would get super hot. They always had bird feeders in front of their windows and I remember yellow/black birds all over the place, and hummingbirds would sometimes come and eat. Grandma Mabel was always so nice and loving but was also very funny, she would shake her fist at Grandpa Karl and call him a stupinagle when he did silly things. She was could also be very stern and strong but was very faithful when it came to her beliefs. My grandpa was a really warm, funny guy with a lot of great stories to tell who loved to play horseshoes.
Every year we would go to Grygla for the fall festival where we had oofda tacos, tractor pulls, a parade, and frog jumping contests (we all took this very seriously and would search for frogs by our grandparents house, looking under the mats of the horseshoe throwing course worked best) It is a ton of fun if you go and grandmas house which is now where Sandy and Danny live is right where the parade route used to be, and dads (your grandpa) car used to be in the parade.
I was always going around the neighborhood visiting the dogs, at the green house on the corner there used to be a collie, the blue house on the opposite corner had a big white dog, and there was a house accross the alley on the opposite side of the street that had two dachsunds that I would visit. I have always loved animals and nature, when the birch tree (one of my favorite kinds of trees next to cherry blossoms and sequoias) in our backyard was struck by lightening I cried, and I saved a peice of it in a cooler for about a week.
On holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas we would all get together as one big family but when our homes got too small we had to rent the community center in Grygla, at Christmas there was a ton of awesome food and we played a game where the kids would draw names and buy eachother presents, and the grown ups would all sit in a circle having bought a girl/guy gift and they would pick one, then they would have a chance to “steal” other peoples open gifts but we haven’t done that since my grandparents passed away. But now we have the big family Christmas at Julie and Steves, and Thanksgiving has been at Eric and Amandas the past few years.
Eric and I haven’t always gotten along mostly because of the age difference, and because I was always telling on him and I would scratch him (I was pretending to be a cat, and was a bratty little sister). He and Darrin also liked to torture me by giving me purple hearts, and snake bites. I did get into theater and speech because of him, because I always looked up to him, and it turned out to be really awesome. And as we have gotten older I have realized he is a pretty amazing brother.
Darrin and I fought a lot when we were younger too, but were much closer in age so it was much more of a love hate relationship. We used to drive the people at united daycare crazy together, mom always said we were fine when we were apart, but when we were together we fed off of eachother, and we were eachothers best audience. We became best friends because we shared so many of the same interests like cars, music, food, tv, games, and movies. We would sit in his bed for hours either watching tv, or I would watch him play metal gear solid or gran turismo, and we would have deep conversations about just about everything (we really liked watching ancient aliens about how ancient cultures all were building pretty similar and advanced structures, even though they had little to no contact with eachother and they used techniques that were advanced even by todays standards, our theory was that aliens had to have helped) we also joked around a lot. We used to watch sprint car racing, and rally racing together, and he would tell me about all of the cars. I was absolutely devastated when he passed away in August of 2010 but then I found out a few months later that I was pregnant with Eleanor, and that really kept me busy and not depressed. Then a few years later we were really excited to learn of being pregnant with baby Gloria.
I had many nicknames from my brothers andrettia fart, fart sack, oliveoil because I was really skinny like the character from popeye, and bones (which is a nickname given by my dad). Darrin also said I had eyes that are black like shark eyes.
Once Eric convinced me to go out onto the deck and punch Darrin in the face when I was maybe 8, then when I did Darrin came running after me, I ran inside and Eric was waiting for Darrin to punch him again. Sibling rivalry is kind of fun sometimes.
Another time Darrin, and I and a couple of his friends were driving home in his 64 galaxy and it was really icy, he decided to whip circles in the middle of the intersection, as we were spinning we could see the flashing lights of a police car. Needless to say Darrin got a ticket from the nice officer.
My mom and I are very close, we used to argue a lot when I was a teenager but its because we are so alike, but I can talk to her about anything, she is so loving, funny, and nice just like my grandma. We love watching reality tv together and having discussions about them, especially house hunters and love it or list it. We also really enjoy shopping, and going to craft shows together. She is also an awesome cook, her burritos and meatballs are awesome, and the carmel chocolate brownies she makes are like heaven.
I remember when my mom came to my friend heathers house because it was dark out, I was supposed to come home before it got dark, but we were playing flashlight tag and so I got in trouble. She was driving the cyclone if I remember correctly.
My dad has always worked on cars since I can remember, he can often be found out at the shop, but now he also has a big garage in the backyard to work closer to home. He can be very quiet and laid back, but is also very funny, stubborn (I picked up the stubbornness, and being laid back from him) and when needed though he is very protective of his family and is more sensitive than he lets on.
Once when we were at back to the 50’s Darrin got an eye infection from the hot tub at our hotel. My mom, Darrin, and I took him to the hospital, by the time we were driving back to the hotel it was dark and mom was driving but doesn’t see very well in the dark so Darrin was helping to see the lines on the road, this was before we all had cell phones so dad was so worried and was calling frantically to find us at the fairgrounds and at my aunt sandies house.
My parents have always been there to support me, and have worked hard to give me everything I could want. I am so grateful to have such amazing parents.
I used to hear about my dad going to back to the 50s, and then as we got a little older my parents would bring us there. There are tons of awesome cars, amazing food like cheeseburgers with fried onions, sweet marthas cookies baked fresh and served with cold milk, raspberry/pinneaple soft serve, and cheesecurds. They also had a swap meet and some crafts, its pretty awesome. On the drive home there would always be bad weather, one time it rained so hard the whole time and it took six hours to get home because we had to pull off the road and wait, another time there was large hail being reported so we hid the cars in a car wash, the scariest time was when we couldn’t see anything as we were driving Darrin and I were in his 64 galaxy hard top, and mom and dad were in their 64 galaxy convertible. Darrin and I couldn’t get the windows to not fog up so we were moving to the left side of the road I told Darrin to move to the right side of the road, just then a semi zoomed past, we managed to pull over to the right side of the road where the parents already were, dad got out so that he could drive Darrins car and just as we were all getting in lightening struck in the ditch next to us.
When we were kids my brothers and I were outside all of the time just running wild in the neighborhood, we would spray eachother through the kitchen window with the sprayer thing, and lock eachother out of the house. Then when one of us was locked out we would usually just break in through the kitchen window. I was always really afraid of thunderstorms but Darrin would encourage them saying “is that the best you can do”. I left my window open almost all of the time even in the winter, which is probably why I was sick so often.During fall we would play football in the front lawn (if it was darrin and i on a team against eric we would try to tackle him by grabbing his legs, but sometimes i would be on erics team and darrin would be on his own, then eric would give me the ball and just block darrin), then during winter we would sometimes if the snow was high enough jump off the back deck into the snow.
We frequently had family get togethers at old mill state park where we would swim in the lake and we would have a picnic with a lot of food. My aunts, uncles, and grandparents would usually be there it was tons of fun.
We also went to italian moon darrin and i would usually get salad bar for the awesome chicken noodle soup and creamy clam chowder, i really like salad with sunflower seeds and hard boiled egg on it and sometimes grapes. We sometimes got pizza and that was really good too, i haven’t been there in a long time though so i don’t know if its as good. Eric worked at italian moon for a while also.
I have always been strong willed and have a mind of my own, in elementary school one time they asked me to go get paper and when i came back with a different kind i just said that i liked the one i picked more. My mom also said one time i kicked my grandma because i thought she had killed a turkey, so clearly i am an animal lover.
In school my favorite class was always art, biology, and geography (i liked knowing the different countries and their capitols mostly).I got in trouble for talking too much in class which mom says i come by honestly because our whole family is pretty chatty.But in school i did get into speech and theater, i always was super nervous about public speaking so speech sort of helped and my category was dramatic duo so we would practice our speech and then travel to different schools to compete and perform our speeches.(it was fun to travel around and perform, then the great part was getting to spend time with friends and the possibility of winning a medal)
During the flood of 1997 we were sandbagging during school and then they said they were closing the bridge to the point because it was close to being covered with water and that was the only way on or off the point. It was kind of scary because the sirens were going off, there were army halicopters landing in oleary park, and in the field down the street from where the parents live there were earth movers working desperately to get enough dirt for dikes. We had enough time to save most things from our basement because we knew ahead of time since it wasn’t a flash flood, and we were going to stay to make sure the basement didn’t flood but as the water started slowly creeping up the street we decided it was better to just go. The decision was made a little bit difficult because at that point we had two choices one was that they could drive us in a big military vehicle over the flooded bridge and they weren’t sure if the bridge was still structuraly sound or we could be airlifted out. We chose the airlifting option (one of our neighbors who took the bridge later told us that it was a very terrifying because the bridge was completely covered and they could feel the water pushing the huge truck and it seemed to take forever). Since we took a military helicopter we figured our cat snowball would have a heart attack and since we didn’t have a cat carrier we figured it would be best to leave her in the house since we knew the upstairs would stay dry and we left food and water. We stayed at my grandparents house in grygla until the water started going down and we went to school for a little while there. I was just so worried about snowball and we did have firefighters check on her they didn’t see her of course because she was terrified of strangers but they noticed her food was being eaten. When we were finally able to get back home there had been about 6 feet of water in the basement and our cat was so terrified even we couldn’t get her to come out, we ended up having to take apart the bathroom closet in the basement which is where she was hiding and when we were carrying her out she was just howling and crying.
In middle school we went to wolf ridge on a school trip which was amazing because we got to go for nature hikes(it rained the whole time we were hiking so i got sick of course but that was ok), canoeing, we got to see real wolves, and do biology tests on the algae in the lake water. I took a bunch of pictures but most of them were ruined by water, thankfully eric was kind enough to give me some of his wolf ridge pictures.We also went to a big open pit mine which was pretty cool and on the way home one of the buses got a flat tire so we had to wait a really long time for a replacement bus.
I got into theater in high school, I never really minded that i got small parts because it gave me more time to socialize backstage with my friends, and i still got to pick out costumes and get my hair and makeup done. There was a girl that i went to school with that looked just like me and one time we were on stage with practically the same hair and dress and darrin who was recording the show realized halfway through that he was recording the wrong person. During the process of practicing for the performance we were all assigned a f.u.b. or fire up buddy that would give little gifts until the night of the performance when you would find out who they were and they would usually give you a bunch of gift.
Kia and Alicia were my best friends in high school we were always together (kias sister lani was my dramatic duo speech partner and her older sister shaina has always been a sweetheart) We grew apart over the years but have tried to keep in touch despite having crazy busy lives. I remember going to alicias house where her dad bread sled dogs and we had bonfires and the occasional cast party after a theater performance. When i went to kias moms house i loved seeing her dogs and cats and hearing her mom tell stories about when she was a kid, then we would go to her dads house who always had cool antiques because he bought and sold that kind of thing an there were two cute little miniature pinchers that he had.
We took some family trips too: We went to montana which was beautiful we got to see mountains, camp, and see old faithful. I got to ride horses when we stayed in a motel next to the mountains, there was also a tram that took us to the top of the mountain i was so scared but once got to the top it was so worth it because the view was amazing. We also went to aunt stellas, she was a very sweet lady but her house was a little creepy at night especially. I remember wlking through a pasture trying to avoid cow pies and we went to a ghost town where there was a dark hole in the ground that must have been a well at some point but it was very scary because we didn’t want to fall in.
We also went to Florida where we swam in the ocean (it was so nice and warm but swallowing salt water or getting it in your nose is really not fun and it hurts, Darrin said while he was swimming he thought he felt the tale of something touch his foot which really creeped us all out), went to disney world (it was awesome there was so much to do and see, and eric was giving me crap because everytime i saw a duck i wanted to take a picture of it) , and kennedy space center. It was amazing and we even visited relatives there who had a pool in their backyard which i swam in until it got dark outside, then on the drive back we stopped in washington dc and stopped in knoxville at the car museum.