I had a great childhood. I blissfully played through life for the first 10 years. I was born in Philadelphia, Pa. I think my entire clan got off the boat at Ellis Island and said “We gotta go to Philly!”. My Dad got a job in Florida working in the Space Industry, so to pre-Disney Winter Park we went. My Uncle and his family were already there. I don’t remember much of that move, I was not yet 3, but my Mom said I wanted to go on a Pirate Ship, not a plane. Knowing how poorly I travel, I probably threw up the entire trip.
I thought my oldest sister was the bomb! At eight years older than me, surely she knew all and any attention I got from her was cherished. She was the director of our fun. With an extremely creative streak, we did all kinds of fun things.
One night, when my parents went out, older sis created a game called “Purple Cow”. It was great fun. What she did was blind fold mid sis and I one at a time, put our hands into some household item she found in the kitchen and described a body part of a cow. For example, I had to put my hand into something that she told me were eyeballs. Turns out they were olives, but they felt like eyeballs to a 4 year old! When it came time to do mid sis, she got really creative and put her hand into a bowl of something she told her was cow poop. Well my mid sis screamed and flung peanut butter all over the kitchen! We spent the rest of the night trying to clean up before mom and dad came home.
You never knew what would come out of her mouth. She is the reason I took a maxi pad to Show and Tell in the first grade. I found a box of them in her closet. Not knowing what they were, I asked her about them and she told me they were blankets for Barbie Dolls. Seemed reasonable to me, and absolutely something I had to share with my friends, so to school it went. I don’t really remember getting punished, but I’m sure there were consequences.
Older sis taught me all the important things. When I got older, and we moved to Virginia, she was in college. She would come home every now and then and we would go out riding around the town. That was when she taught me to smoke cigarettes, what sex was all about, and what music I should listen to. She was very opinionated, and if you didn’t agree, she would make this face, turn up her nose, and make a sound that came from her throat.
The night before she died, in her drug induced state she said she wanted to get off the bus. She was taking a trip without me, having a new adventure. And in the morning left me behind. I don’t like being left behind.