Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Place for Youthful Memories


I didn't know days spent with my cousin Sandra would be of the endless type where molecules of moments are tinged with the golden glow of summer's promise of hoped for maturity before the cooling of evenings bring the reminder of a new school year.  A late in life child spoiled as only they can be, Sandra wore about herself casual confidence born of expected attention. To be in her company was to be in a special place unknown to me. Sandra was popular.


Mornings beginning at our own choosing, biscuits with honey on Miss America Hobnail, North Carolina greetings from Aunt Mildred as musical notes to my ears. Swim Team practice go along, a new bathing suit in my Tourister luggage, an afternoon with Sandra.


Long legs as red brown as the earth, swimsuit blue as the sky, white cap held for only a moment above the edge of the pool before disappearing longer than I could hold my breath. Colorful triangles glimpsed in the final moments, wall tap cheers for her First Place finish. Time for me before joining her friends.


Push off back flips underneath the lip of the pool, water ballet movements practiced again and again, called out encouragement to let me know I hadn't been forgotten. Peeks over my shoulder at the boys and girls around Sandra hoping for the same kind smile.


Evenings of fire flies and front porch lounging, games of cards on chenille smoothed flat with our palms, late night giggles and admonishments to hush from the next room, a place in the heart for youthful memories to take hold in a shy young girl.

I would begin Ninth Grade red brown as the earth of North Carolina and eyes as blue as a summer sky. I would wear about myself confidence of the new kind, ready to meet new friends who would become the Bobwhites. I would be ready for spend the nights and boy crushes, trendy styles, and new adventures. I would write to Sandra a last time thanking her for letting me stay at the edges of her popularity where I was more comfortable and making sure I felt loved and special our times alone.


27 comments:

My Vintage Mending said...

Elizabeth...she is darling. I was getting worried about you. I needed another story. She might just be my new favorite. What a wonderful story. So nice to hear such wonderful memories. I do hope my kiddos have similar ones. Thanks for sharing...smiles...Renee

Scrap for Joy said...

When I was between the ages of 11-14, I idolized my cousin Carole. She lived in Phiadelphia and I in Chicago. Every summer we would drive to Philly to visit the family and I got to stay with my cousin. She was 4 years older than me and I was sure she was smarter than any adult I knew (like my parents!)She would take me (walking, not driving) to Woolworth's and sometimes treat me to a Tangee lipstick. I thought I was so cool...hahahaha!
Your little swimmer is a cutie E...I love her flowered swim cap and innertube....oh gosh, and her flippers. Too, too cute!
Hope you're having some sun by now...we've had some lovely days.
xoxo
Joyce

Cindy said...

What a little summer cutie!! I remember the excitement of getting to pick out an intertube..then all the trouble of blowing them up...lol
I have never in my life worn a swim hat..I had so much hair the coach couldn't get one on me..lol
I had to wear it braided.
Swimming is second nature to me..and so far I have also taught all my older grandchildren to swim.Swim so well in fact that Aleah age 5 has asked to be put on a swim team..she is a natural little fish!
Glad to see you creating and writitng.How's the wedding plans coming along?
Hugs Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

PS. you might want to drop by and see my new little venture. Hugs!

Kim K. said...

I've been anxious for another update. You never disappoint.

Happy Summer, Elizabeth!

vivian said...

Hi Elizabeth! Loved the story and the oh so sweet little swimmer! you never cease to amaze me with your talent for telling stories and for creating the characters in your life! I wish I could remember things the way you do. thanks for sharing your gift with us.
I was missing you by the way!! LOTS!
xo
vivian

My Vintage Studio said...

Your stories and creations are wonderful! Thank you for sharing with us.

Wishing you a wonderful week!
Sharon

ImagiMeri said...

Hey girlfriend,

Your creations are getting cuter all the time. I miss you.

Love ya'
Meri

Ric Rac and Polka Dots said...

Miss E,
I can't tell you how much I enjoy your stories and creations. I honestly would stand first in line if you decided to write a book, and I would pay extra to have you autograph it. Your little creations are absolutely darling, and I congratulate you on yet another job well done! So proud of you!!!
Julie

debsea said...

oh my gosh your swimmer is over the top in cute. what beautiful embroidery! (i'm just teaching myself...your stitches are all so perfect!!)
your stories always leave me feeling like i've just had a visit with a dear friend, thank you for sharing them with us!

annemarie said...

What a lovely creation - you never cease to amaze me with your talent and your stories. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Mary said...

Elizabeth, I have missed you and your posst. Delightful memories and oh the swimmer gal, so sweet. Love the little pearls on her footsies. You are so creative and I am always delighted to see your new crafts. I am making little felt ponies for granddaughter. They are cute but labor intensive ;o) Hope you have a wonderful week.

priscilla said...

so adorable !

thestonerabbit said...

What a great summer memories. . . and what a darling little creation. Thanks for sharing both with us.

Have a good week.

dana

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love your memories...makes me think of summers spent at the public pool at the park! I think this is my favorite little peg girl that you've ever made! And you know I love them ALL! ♥

Jane said...

Such a sweet little swimmer! And yur story reminds me of the summer I spent with cousins outside Philadelphia - brings back many memories! Always so happy to see your posts.
Jane-Jacksonville

Jane said...

oops, that should be "your", of course!
Jane

Angela said...

You have so many wonderful details in your head! They show up in your stories and in your creations!!

Loretta said...

Elizabeth, I never did learn how to swim. Lucky you!

LBP said...

What an adorable little creation!!! I just love her and also your special way of relating your memories, beautiful!

Blessings,,
Linda

She'sSewPretty said...

I remember spending summers at the pool. I even remember having a pink petaled swim camp. I usually had at least two or three brothers hanging around with me though!
Your sweet little swimmer girl is adorable!! You are so talented!

laurie -magpie ethel said...

Good to see you pop up on google reader...had been awhile since I had heard from you in blogland. I love that swimcap -absolutely brillant! Plus another wonderful tale to tell!

Nan said...

E I was noticing how long it's been since you gave us a story. I love the little felt character you created, that is so unique.

lala said...

Thank you so much for another wonderful story, I so looked forward to them, as they made my day. Your little swimmer is truly delightful and is the reason I am smiling as I type.

Holly- Girls At Heart said...

Now I'll be thinking of my Summer cousins all day. Thank you dear E! ♥

(The petaled cap is so perfect!)

Celestial Charms said...

Sweet memories, that always conjure up some images of our own. How wonderful that your sharing of your own personal stories, help to bring back snippets of memories. Thanks so much for sharing yours, as always.
((Hugs))
Maureen

Patti said...

This is the sweetest little creation, and I love your story! I also just LOVE to swim! This is my last week of teaching, and the pool is warming up. You know where I'll be! Thank you for sharing with us!

Sue Paula said...

Hi Elizabeth!
Congratulations! Their stories and creations are wonderful!
Thanks for sharing!
Kisses
Sue