Tuesday, May 10, 2011

On Growing and Remembering...

Summer Savory

Well, nothing is actually growing, yet, other than the plants I purchased as plants. But if all goes well, we will have heaps of herbs, tons of tomatoes, pounds of potatoes, lots 'o lettuce, and plenty of peppers of all varieties.

I have never tried potatoes before, but I figure if they can be grown on almost every continent, in almost every condition, by almost anyone, I certainly can get them to grow in my yard. I purchased a small bag of seed potatoes, although supposedly you can use the ones you get from the store. They can be treated with a product to suppress eye growth, so that is not always successful. Seed potatoes are, so I have read, the best bet.

In other news, my parents graciously gave me a new camera. I have been jonesing for a dSLR, and now I have one!! A Canon Rebel iT1, I think. It is at home, I am not. But it is definitely a Canon Rebel. I was a bit overwhelmed by the buttons and doodads and features, but at least I have figured out how to take a basic picture, using auto focus AND manual focus, and I can download them to my computer. The rest is stuff I can figure out when I have time and brain power. But it did allow me to document the spinning that goes on during soccer practice:

Ah to be young and carefree again.

Finally, today is May 10th. Since I can remember, I have always thought of May 10th as Donna's Birthday. She was my first best friend, someone I had known from birth. She and her large Irish Catholic family lived next door to us for the first 8 years of my life. She was a year older than me, with firey red hair and freckles, with the kind of skin that went straight to 2nd degree sun burn in one afternoon. We didn't always get along, particularly when I didn't agree with what she wanted to do, such as Swing and Sing. It is exactly what it sounds like, we would swing on the swing set in her back yard and sing really awful renditions of the latest songs. In particular I recall singing Bobby Vinton's Beer Barrell Polka (Roll Out the Barrell). I often wanted to ride bikes. Especially after my fifth birthday, when I scored a very sweet ride, metalic green I think, with a banana seat and streamers on the handles. It looked much like this:

Who WOULD NOT want to ride that all afternoon long? Donna. She would call me a creep and go in her house and tell me she was never going to play with me again. But she always did. It was my first lesson in how mean kids can be to each other, but I still recall our hours of playing together, making up an entire world of people who lived in the woods next to our houses, and story lines to go with all of these people, with extreme fondness.

I went to her first communion, which as a non Catholic was a very odd and fascinating ritual. All I know is I was seriously jealous of the very cute little white dresses and vails all the girls wore. Congregational churches are so BORING.

I stayed at her house the night my brother was born. I remember very clearly my dad coming into their kitchen first thing in the morning to tell me I had a baby brother.

I remember her uncle - there was always some extended family member stopping by their house - who owned a Vespa or some similar type of scooter. I wanted to ride that SO BADLY but sadly my mother, who loves and adores me I KNOW, did not allow it. Something about safety and dying a horrible tragic death.

Donna was diabetic, severly diabetic, and over the years struggled with it. She was a real life Steel Magnolia. After having two children, her body no longer could handle the stress, and began shutting down. She was on a list for a kidney and pancreas transplant, getting dialysis daily. She lost that fight years ago. The last time I saw Donna was at her oldest sisters' wedding back in the late 1980's. Yet, someone who was so pivotal in your early life lives on in your memories, and every year on May 10th I remember Donna and the fun we had. Happy Birthday, my first very best friend.

1 comment:

Dproudmama said...

I cried over this one. I, too, remembered her birthday.
Here's to best friends.