They tell us about our first trip to Walt Disney World. I was two and Uncle Buddy was in Nana's belly. They have slides of me kissing Pooh Bear, but I don't remember it.
I do remember singing Away in a Manager during the church Christmas Cantata when I was four. Kristy was baby Jesus and Mike and Starlene were Mary and Joseph. She cried the whole time I sang. I remember thinking if I touched her she would stop crying, but instead I almost knocked her and the manger off the stage. At least, that's how I remember it.
I remember going to the Woodzo Drive-in with my best friend and cousin Suzanne to watch E.T. in 1982. Your Papaw would fill brown paper grocery bags full of homemade popcorn. We would take a cooler of ice and two liter drinks. The little speaker detached from the pole and hooked onto the window of the car. I'm not sure how many times we saw E.T. at the Woodzo but it was several. Over the years, we saw several different movies there. Unfortunately, it closed while I was in college. There are still several drive-ins in East Tennessee. Taking you all is on my bucket list.
I remember during a solar eclipse standing at the front door. Nana kept repeating,
"Do not look at the sun. Do you hear me? You will go blind."
Guess what? All I wanted to do was prove her wrong. She wouldn't let us out the door though so one of these days I'll find out if it's true.
In kindergarten we had a wooden boat in our classroom. Two people could sit on each end and rock. One day a mouse ran across the room and everyone outside the boat had a fit.
I also received my first, but not last, at school spanking in kindergarten. The way I remember it, Mrs. Weller, had told us to leave the cafeteria in order. If we had a tray, we were to go to the tray return, otherwise, dump our trash and line up on the wall outside the cafeteria. The most important part was that we were to line up in the order we walked out of the cafeteria.
I lined up in order, Tim did not. Tim will probably still declare that he was in order, but I gracefully placed my metal Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox into the side of Tim's head. Tim went to the nurse and I went to the bathroom for three licks with Mrs. Weller's paddle. Of course, in true what you get at school you get at home fashion, I also received three spankings with the belt when Papaw got home from work.
I remember my Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather Reece. They lived in Del Rio. They were complete opposites in size. She was very short. I'm not sure she was even five feet and round. He was six foot something and skinny. But they were a hoot.
Mattie's middle name was my Grandmother Brook's maiden name. She is your Papaw Gary's Mom. She was sick most of Papaw's life. She raised him for several years as a single mother. When I was in sixth grade, I think's when it was, she was 60 and dying. On Christmas Eve, Papaw worked it out for us to visit her in the hospital. The nurses disappeared as we came down the hallway. We weren't old enough to go back to her room. Our Cousin Phyllis, worked at T.J. Maxx then. Mamaw and Papaw had given her money to buy Christmas presents. I have no idea what anyone else received, but I got the best present ever. A denim skirt and a salmon colored sweatshirt, that slid off one shoulder just a smidgen. It became my favorite outfit, because it was from Mamaw, Phyllis had picked it out and no one else at school would have one.
Mamaw passed away on New Year's Eve at home. We had sat with her for a while and then Papaw Brooks told Daddy to take us home and shoot fireworks. It wasn't long after we got home that he called to tell us she had closed her eyes and took a breath and went to sleep. She was gone.
She was overprotective, that's where your Papaw gets it from, (love you Daddy). Yes, I wore that Christmas outfit for her funeral, house shoe and all. Uncle Buddy stepped on my toe the morning of her funeral and broke it. It was swollen and crooked.
I wish you could have met my grandparents. I'll tell you more about them another day. I could go on for days with stories. But these will have to do for today.
If you are reading this and have a memory you would like to share, whether I'm in it or not, please share!