The universe broke all laws of physics in the Spring of ’74, rumbling, tumbling, turning inside out at that pivotal moment when my fifteen year old husband-to-be asked me out thus beginng my slippery slope from a West County princess into the wife of a country bumpkin yearning to learn the ways of the past. It was simply inevitable, given his family’s antics, and my six formative years in rural southwest Missouri where Mom’s daily prayers revolved around Dad getting offered a job in the big city. Prayers do come true. (Circa 1965)
It was a great time to be a kid in the sixties and seventies. We moved to the burbs, way out in St. Louis County which used to be the extreme edge of town, one of those fast growing areas with upscale housing and everyone was a first owner. The parents had a nice ranch house with full basement, finished of course, two car garage, new vehicles every couple of years and annual vacations to fantastic locals. For me it was dance and piano lessons, swimming and diving team, Girl Scouts and vacation Bible school. It was playing kickball in the street with the twenty or thirty other kids living on the nearby streets. It was playing cards at the neighborhood pool or perhaps Truth or Dare while jumping off the low dive, hoping no one asked you about your current crush- while he was standing there! Somehow I still preferred sneaking down to the creek to play with frogs, to swing from one of the many hanging vines and run across tree trunks turned to bridges -hoping to arrive on the other side rather than find myself soaking wet from one false move. We planted a weeping willow which became my club house, sitting up there for hours with my friends hidden deep inside it’s trailing branches. That should have been the first clue. (Circa 1970)
Fast Forward to the late 70s. Their daughter, me, attends a private college, graduating magna cum laude with a double major and as a member of several scholastic honor societies, editor of the college paper and writing for the town’s weekly publication on the side. They have dreams. Dreams of their only daughter, only child at that, living the good life, joining the junior league (which I did try), having 2.5 children and breakfasting on the lanai while vacationing in Maui. Dreams can be shattered too. (Circa 1982)
To be continued.