Our first trip, two years ago, was to Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. This year's trip was to Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. The idea for our tradition came from a trip that my brother and father took to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Our family was on vacation in north Georgia when we got news that the Seminoles had made it to Omaha. Two days later, my mom and I were dropping my father and brother, Keith, off at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia so that they could catch their fl... ... middle of paper ... ...to me than I could have ever imagined.
It reminded me of the times when my parents would pack up the car on a Saturday morning and we would rush down to the beach. The car would be packed to the roof with anything a family of two girls and parents would need. It included various beach chairs, many buckets and shovels, animal sand molds that we never used but still needed, and of course plenty of towels and an enormous cooler filled with snacks. The thought of that past memory suddenly brings a huge bright smile to my face. Even though it is the beginning of October it is funny to see people still at the beach, even when it’s not beach season.
* * * Born in Sydney in the late 90's and growing up through the 2000's was a fantastically boring experience. My childhood dotted with memories of complete and utter desolation. Not the bad civil war type desolation, mind you, just a feeling of complete normality so profound it left me with the uneasy feeling of just being average. But this devastating normality wasn't just a condition of my childhood, but also of the city in which I lived. The beautiful harbour surrounded by the dull gray concrete buildings.
For instance, I would be Virginia with her visiting during the summer and she would say, “Tray, do you want to ride past your new school?” I mean, she knew how much I loved the man and woman I lived with…and how much it would hurt me if I had to leave. How could she do this to me? It was August 30, 2013, the overall worst day of my life. The sun was shining extra bright, just for me it seemed like. It was my fifth day of being a freshman at West Craven High School; I had got off the bus and stood at the end of my driveway waiting for J.A and Diamond, we all grew up together.
She had much disdain for people who accepted assistance when they could go out and work. So after 32 years of loathing her state job she was finally able to retire and that was in 2005. She retired and with her retirement bonus check she took a 2-week vacation on a cruise to Jamaica. I was so jealous and I begged her to take me and when I did she said "Deena remember when we went to Disney world in February that was for you now this vacation is for grandma". I remember when she left we dropped her off at the airport and went back to our house to find that we were out of power.
I ran up the steps to her door. After several ignored doorbells and knocks, I figured, you know, she hasn’t been feeling well, Mom’s been over here bugging her for the past couple days, I bet she’s just taking a nap and doesn’t want to be bothered. I had learned over countless holidays, when all the daughters would visit, and inevitably attempt to clean the house to their standards, that if you cross my grandmother with an unannounced vacuuming session, be prepared for the cold shoulder. I went about my day without giving the matter much more
It was finally here, the last day of school! For me, the last day of school was like being an emancipated slave. I was one of those kids that never liked school (I did pretty well though) and would much rather spend the day at home helping my mother around the house. For that reason, summertime was always my favorite time of the year (I even liked it more than Christmas time) I got up more excited about a day of school than ever before. I got washed and my mom put my hair into two neat puff balls.
It was the summer of 2004, cat calls, car horns and heavy tension filled the air. It was like clockwork, the winter months brought about a little peace on the streets, but the hotter the summer, the more violent the concrete jungle seemed. It’s amazing how even at a tender age I understood the dynamics of the streets, maybe because my home was no different. As the sunlight gleamed into the dimly lit room I found myself basking in the rays in an attempt to escape to the flawless home I so longed for. These walls held stories, but none of Merry Christmas’s, Happy Birthdays, or joyful Thanksgivings.
On a warm July morning in Florence, South Carolina, I feel the summer rays upon my face as I load the rest of my belongings in my mother’s red Kia. I haven’t left my parent’s house yet and I already felt bottom pit feeling in my stomach, the feeling of already being homesick. Finally, I am moving from my nest and I open up my wings to begin my journey to a pathway on finding a name for myself. I knew this is what I always wanted, but I couldn’t believe it is finally happening. I said my goodbyes to pets, they made this move so much harder for me.
I sat anxiously in a hospital waiting room eating the colorful candy, Starburst, with my aunt. The wait seemed to drag on for eternity but finally my step-dad came through the doors exclaiming, “he’s here!” Becoming a big sister brought joy to my family, helped me cope with change, and develop a sense of responsibility. Up until March 5th of 2009, I had been an only child. Many big changes occurred in my life the year prior to the birth of my new brother. My mom became remarried, we moved to a bigger house down the same street, and there was talk of a new baby in the future.