Friday, July 23, 2010

It's all about me

I'm back again and I figured I'd give you a little more back round about me and my life. I'm an Army brat so I moved around a lot when I was younger. I have a younger sister who is two years younger than me and we are polar opposites. We also have many other "siblings" but more on that later. We lived in Germany until I was four. Picture this if you will, me as a toddler with a speech impediment (think Elmer Fudd) and a southern drawl trying to speak German. Hilarious I know.

After my dad retired from the military we stayed put in Tacoma, Washington. I didn't know it then but apparently our family wasn't "normal". OK so that's not really a surprise to me. Our house was the house where everybody came to hang out. During the summer our friends would stay for days, my mom would feed them and do wash their laundry so they could stay longer. My mom was the one to go pick up my friends after they snuck out of their house. My mom would be the one to take us to Denny's at 3 am in the morning just because. Did I mention my mom also worked full time for the local sheriff department.

My mom was also "mom" or "shorty" to a lot of kids she didn't even give birth to. Whole hockey teams in fact because my sister played hockey (both co-ed and girls teams). If any of our friends got kicked out their house my house would be where they would come to. It was very common for my mom to call home before leaving work to find out how many of her "kids" were at the house. There were times when the number would be well into the double digits. Did I mention we only had a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house. When it came to sleeping we became very creative.

As teenagers my house would be the house where our friends bands would come to practice. Not in the garage but in the house, again did I mention we had an open floor plan. In other words no doors to shut if the phone rang. Although who am I kidding between the amps and the sub woofers there was no chance of hearing a SWAT team breaking down the door let alone the phone. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Even as an adult my mom never really got a house to herself. I joined the Army Reserves out of high school, where I recieved my schooling and training as an X-Ray Technician. I met my husband while in training. My sister was dating a guy from his unit. My mom and sister actually picked out my husband but had the good sense not to tell me. What 19 year old listens to their mom. What started out as one little date turned into a three year serious relationship. My husband and his Army buddies would come over and invade the house for the weekend (or week). Why go to the Army chow hall when you have a mom to cook for you.

During any holidays our house was filled with people. I thought everybody had 20 - 30 people over for Christmas and Thanksgiving. I mean who doesn't cook two 15 lbs turkeys for Thanksgiving? Everyone has both turkey and ham for Christmas right? My mom had holiday feasts (and I do mean feasts) down to an art form. She knew the exact timing of when to do what. The biggest fear in our house was that someone would go home hungry and if they did it was their own fault. That's the Italian and Portuguese side coming out.

Now as an adult I still take great joy in holiday cooking, although I have had to learn how to downsize. Cooking for 6 is a lot easier. Our holidays are still spent with family. My mom moved to Michigan to be closer to her grandson about four years ago. Both my in-laws and my mom only live 10 miles from us. Talk about a great support system, not to mention I have on call babysitters.

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