We'd played in the snow all morning - sledding down the hill at McMurray's where the kids at the bottom watched out for cars for the kids at the top. We were a snow dusted, ragtag bunch. Kids didn't come outfitted in squishy snowsuits back then.
Snowpants? Nah. We toughed it out in layers - a pair of long underwear, jeans, some fleece sweatpants if you had them. On top we wore more layers - those itchy long underwear shirts, a turtleneck that choked you, maybe a sweater, a thin coat and all of it covered with an enormous hoodie you dug from the back of the hall closet.
We were shrouded in knit scarves until they became too caked with snow and became a nuisance. We discarded into a colorful pile of knit hats, lonely mittens and the occasional odd boot.
We wore our fathers' old work gloves when we couldn't find any dry ones (someone forgot to turn the dryer on) and whatever hat made us look the least dorky. I remember my blue and white knit cap with Rising Sun Shiners emblazoned across the front. By the time I got home, the words were twisted around to the back. But who cared? What mattered were the number of times you made it from the top of the hill to all the way across the street without turning over, colliding with a tree or crashing into one of your siblings. A crash with them could turn into a brawl.
We breathed in the cold air, but didn't really feel it. Just like when you jump into the pool during the summer and your skin tingles and goosebumps cover you, it only takes a few minutes to get used to the cold. And besides, you had so many layers on you looked like that poor kid in A Christmas Story and you were sweating down your back anyway.
After hours of that, we finally dragged ourselves inside to thaw out in front of the television. New Christmas toys still held their novelty. Kelly from next door - the same little blond beauty who had once paid the ice cream truck man with gravel - wanted to play at my house. Her mom had worked the swing shift at Seagram's or was it Schinley? and she was asleep in her perfect blue bedroom with her super chic sleep mask over her eyes. Kelly's brother Michael who was dying of something I never quite understood would yell at us if we got too loud and he'd ask her to bring him stuff - one thing at a time. He was dying angry and who could blame him? He never got to have a life the poor kid.
If we played at Kelly's house, we'd have to be quiet. If we played at my house, we'd have to put up with my little brother. We chose my house and settled in front of the TV - we were probably watching soaps on ABC before the afternoon reruns of The Brady Bunch and Gilligan's Island came on - I dragged out the TV trays so we could play beauty shop.
My aunt worked for Kenner and so we got a lot of cool Kenner toys for Christmas each year. That particular year, I got a styling head based on Lindsay Wagner aka Jamie Sommers, the Bionic Woman. Kelly had the classic Barbie styling head. There's a photo of us on that day. My sister took it with the Polaroid camera she got that same Christmas.
I wonder what ever happened to Kelly? Did she keep her Barbie head? I can't believe my mother saved Jamie Sommers. She kind of creeps me out sitting on the shelf of this weird little closet over the stairs, but I can't bring myself to toss her out. She's bionic, after all, and I might want her around to keep me company after the kids put me in a home.
|Jersey Shore Style|
P.S. I'm kind of sick today and our internet connection is full of attitude so I'm not sure I'll be back to put up links. Don't forget to check out what Randal, Geoffrey and Summer are getting up to. xoxoxo
Geoffrey takes a stroll down Memory Lane.
Eeek - it looks like Randal has what I have.
I could use some of Summer's bad habit.