Today is the day.  I turn twenty-seven today, and I think this is the first year I have had snow on my birthday!  So, I thought I would take some time today and write about some of the fondest childhood memories I have – this could be a long one – but I will keep short. 

Olney School.  I am saddened by the fact that they shut it down, I think that is why I was drawn to Knappa – small schools.  Olney was a tiny school K-8 grade and only a total of sixty attended at any time.  Each classroom taught two grades at a time except kinder-garden.  There was only eight kids my class at the end and two in the grade below me.  We didn’t have much choice in friends, so it didn’t surprise me when we hit high school that we all kinda went our own ways.  But, I miss that simple time when half the school would get together and play red light green light on a rainy day in the gym.

Our Trailer.  We where poor as kids.  My mom rented a tiny single wide trailer for $200 bucks a month.  My brother and I had to share a room and that was not fun.  But it was home.  I remember my brother sitting on the heater vent with his shirt puffed up while we watched cartoons in the morning.  We had to walk down a hill to catch the school bus, and I remember all our animals sitting and waiting with us and greeting us when we got home.  Behind out house was a forested hill.  We had a clearing in the middle of it where we buried all of the pets that had passed away.  Our animal graveyard.  Right before we left, they logged it and we could never find it again. 

My Stepmoms House.  When my dad met my stepmom, she had a great house in Naselle.  She was within hiking distance of the Naselle river.  I remember hiking along that river for hours.  And on hot days, we would go swimming.  When I had the chickenpox, we went down to that river and I worked on homework.  It was so nice to be outside for a while.  We also went smelt fishing down there once – what an amazing thing to go do.  From what I understand, they don’t come up the river anymore.

My Dad’s Trucks.  My dad always had an old Ford.  We even bought one from him as adults.  They where always big and shiny, and bouncy.  When we where kids, he always took us to Dairy Queen (when they had hard ice cream) and my brother and I would get chocolate chip mint.  One weekend, Jon lost the top to his on a bounce in the old Ford, I gracefully gave him mine.  That was the second time I did that for him.  The other time, we where on a school wide field trip to Tillamook to visit the cheese and air museum.  I looked over at him while at the cheese factory and he was licking his ice cream off the ground.  His big sister stepped up.  We where poor, so it was a treat to get just half an ice cream.  My bro was so crazy, he had is own chaperon the whole trip.

I could go on and on, my life is full of things to be thankful for.  I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and takes this time to be closer to family and friends.  You never know when they might not be there.

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