Terry Pruitt tagged me a month ago with the Five Things I Miss From Childhood meme. I was out of town, and when I returned I found that I didn't have enough time to prepare for the class that started the next week and get my grading done before my class started. As it was I was finishing grading into the first day of class in addition to preparing for class, which was next to impossible to complete in the time I had, but it got done. I just didn't sleep enough and still haven't been able to get myself ahead with class prep now that I'm four weeks in, and it's only a five-week course. Anyway, he wanted me to say five things I miss about my childhood. I can now do that, though it's taken me a couple weeks to prepare this post.
1. Our house. My parents moved from RI to NH while I was in college and just left the house there empty for awhile. They sold it not too long after I moved to Syracuse, and I didn't have any chance to go around the property or the house one last time. We had lots of adventures around the property and back in the woods, and we at least have some of it on video from the home movies we made.
2. Pets. Sam hates cats and insists that if we got an animal it would be something boring. We don't have time to take care of them anyway, and our kids are animals enough that we shouldn't want more. Still, I miss having 3-4 dogs and 12-17 cats, sometimes with a few litters of kittens. I don't miss having to take care of chickens, but it was fun watching them. The cats and dogs were real companions, though. They'd run around the woods with us, walk us down the long, tree-covered, dirt driveway to the bus, and cuddle up in bed with us at night. Some nights I'd have a dog or two and/or a cat or two on my bed.
3. Being able to sit for hours at a time to read or play role-playing games or computer games. I'd spend a whole day in the summer reading Tolkien or Terry Brooks. I read R.C. Sproul's Chosen By God in a day. I'd spend a day or two beating Sega's Zillion or Shinobi or those text-based adventure games for the Texas Instruments home computer. We'd spend hours creating characters for role-playing games and having them engage in epic battles. I'd do little else except bathroom and food breaks. We weren't entirely sedentary. We'd go outside and have war games with fake swords and shields. But we could be when we wanted to focus on something.
4. My older brothers. There were six of us, and it was rare that I was alone at home without any of them around. Now I see some of them once or twice a year at most, maybe for a day or two at a time. We're all (those who remain, anyway) getting together later in the month, but there will probably only be a couple days with all of us there. Three of us have families with a total of eight kids. The two who live closest together are still three hours apart when traffic cooperates.
I grew up in their shadow. They got us doing things. They initiated activities that I would never have otherwise been part of. They didn't always include us, but when they did they really didn't need to. The only real friendships I have that endured from high school were their friends, not my own. I'm still in touch with people that were around all the time because of them. There's something that just can't be regained about times like those.
5. My brother Joel. He needs his own spot. He died in 1997, at the end of my first semester of graduate school, ten days before he was scheduled to be married and one semester before he was to graduate from college. We were 17 months apart and did everything together in high school, including growing up musically. He was the one who got us out and about, and I was the one making sure we didn't get into trouble. Often I find things that we would enjoy together that no one else would really appreciate, and I miss being able to tell him about things he'd appreciate. I miss the music we created together, and I pull it out to listen to it now and then. I'm glad I have good recordings of what we did together and excellent recordings of his college band Mustard Seed (who I think had the name before the current group going by that name).
Last five respondents to this meme in this thread:
1. Black Currant Jam: Meme: 5 Things I Miss
2. Allthings2all: I Wanted Green Hair
3. Rebecca Writes: It's a Meme: Snakes and Other Good Things
4. Pruitt Communications: Meme: Five Things I Miss From ...
5. Parableman: Things I Miss From Childhood
If you participate, then remove the blog at No.1 from the preceding list and bump every one up one place; add your blog's name in the No.5 spot. I supposed I'm supposed to tag people, but this thing is old enough now that I don't know who might have done it already, so consider yourself tagged if you're reading this and haven't already done it.