a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing

Memories of Home I - Lowry City

The first home I remember is in a place called Lowry City, Missouri (that's pronounced low, as in loud). In fact, there's a good chance that my earliest memories of all are from that place. Memories being what they are, they can sometimes be difficult to identify.

I remember that the house lighting was always kind of dim. I have an impression of blue-green shadows, a dark hallway. An unfinished bathroom? Maybe.

I remember jumping up and down on a bed, in a bedroom that was near the front door. The bed was a nice squeaky one, and had a metal tube frame in a burnished color. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I remember that same bed (or at least the frame) through several succesive homes. I remember specifically, one afternoon jumping up and down on the bed and having a sudden brain freeze of burning pain shoot through the base of my skull. I stopped moving immediately, and remember being afraid to move my head for several minutes because I didn't want that pain to happen again. Eventually I moved anyway, and it didn't. I never found out what caused it, and it's continued to happen periodically throughout my life, sometimes, if I move my head too quickly.

I think that it was in this house that I first became old enough to start brushing my teeth myself. I remember, at one point, being very excited to go into the bathroom alone and brush them by myself. I had to have been very young. Walking, apparently, but very young nonetheless. I remember my fifth birthday fairly clearly, you see, and by that time we had already left Lowry City behind.

I remember my father bringing home wheels and cylinders of red and black wax-wrapped cheese (he worked here), and that he always gave me what he called the heart of the cheese. What that meant was that he'd stick a knife in the center of the cheese, and twist it around to cut out a cone-shaped chunk. It always made me feel very special.

I remember frequent fishing trips with my parents; probably on the weekends. I used the bamboo fishing pole (very simple, no reel or possibly an oversized one) that we kept around for general use and for guests. The adults all had their own poles.

I have a very vague memory of my older brother coming home with his entire arm scarred; the keloid running like a snake from his shoulder to just below the elbow, and that I was fascinated by the different skin texture and the scarred dots on the sides of the main scar.

There are also things that are remembered about that time and house that are family lore; I don't remember them myself, but I've been told stories about them by parents and siblings.

Stories like:

-Apparently, sometime in that period, we had a horse or horses. Seems the horses liked to feint bites in my direction (as horses will do). My response was to search the yard for fallen branches and chase them around the yard waving said branches (presumably intending to whack them with said branches if I could catch them).

-Or that my parents at one point decided to raise chickens. They mail-ordered a bunch of fertilized eggs, and from somewhere acquired something called a brood hen. For those of you who didn't grown up rurally or around farms, a brood hen is a hen who is for whatever reason unable to have eggs herself, but is used as a surrogate parent/heat lamp for motherless eggs. Brood hens are apparently not child-friendly. A favorite family fable is that I liked to pet the little chicks once they'd hatched. One day the brood hen attacked me for doing so (even though by all counts, I was very gentle with them). Apparently she frightened me horribly (to this day I dislike chickens), and had scratched and pecked me enough that the parents considered her a threat to me. Dad strangled her that night, and sometime in the next little while, we had a chicken and dumplings meal of her.

-There's a picture of me, wearing a pink dress (for Easter, I'm told) and a sweater, and standing in the yard with our Saint Bernard puppy, Buster (named so because I was goofy about the dog in the Buster Brown shoe commercials. And possibly because I had new shoes. Or had been wanting a dog. After 30n years, the reasoning becomes a bit muzzy). The puppy is, in the picture, nearly as tall as I am (if my mom still has the picture, I may steal it away from her and scan/link it).

-I also know from family history that the scar I remember my brother having was from a surgery he had. Seems he had? contracted? some sort of bone disease that caused the bone to essentially rot in his arm. I also know that the surgery was undertaken by a hospital in Rolla, Missouri because it was such an unusual and unique illness. Or maybe it was a research hospital, and an experimental surgery. Or geeze, maybe it was just the biggest hospital in the area (I'm guessing maybe it was this place, now that I'm poking around a little bit). Something like that, anyway.

I didn't know any of this stuff until long after the fact...I just knew about the scar when he came home with it. The dots on the sides were from the stitches used to hold the wound closed. I'll have to remember to ask Mom and Dad about the details, just so I have my family history clear.

So those are my first home memories. I've other memories that I can't really place...but I'll detail them in another entry sometime, as well as memories of other homes.
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