countdown: 19 days

Okay, I’ll just say it: my birthday is coming up.  And it is one that ends in a 0.  It is not: 10, 20, 30, 50, 60 or 70, so think about it, I’m sure you’ll get it.  In commemoration of this fact, one that I cannot avoid, I thought I would write a few posts about where I’ve been and what I’ve done these 40 years.

Background: I was born in Louisiana but grew up in Tucson.  I consider myself a “true” southerner even though I have no accent.  I have to say that upon reflection, Tucson was a cool place to grow up.  We lived 1 hour from the mountians (fact: the southern-most ski sloped in the US are in Tucson) and yet there were vast deserts around (and lots of cacti).   My earliest memory is of my parents buying their first house.  I was four and I can remember going to visit the house before the previous couple had moved out.  My Dad had me on his shoulders and we walked throughout the house looking at the rooms and stuff.  He showed me the room that was going to be mine.  The couple that was living there was using it to store packed boxes and I can remember asking my Dad “Where’s my bed going to go?  There’s no room…”

I had what I consider to be a normal, well adjusted childhood and I have no complaints about anything.  There were lots of kids in the neighborhood, so there was always someone to play with.  We made kites and flew them.  We played Tin Can Tommy all over the place.  There was a car wash up on a hill and we would ride our bikes up there and then zoom down…probably to the dismay of any adult watching.  There was a nearby Arcade and Miniature Golf and movie theater.  And lots of other stuff for kids to get into trouble with.

Life was so much simpler back then (in the 70’s) and I wouldn’t trade it for today’s generation.  (Except for one thing: cell phones.  Only because once, when getting back from a Band trip in High School my Mom forgot to pick me up and I had to wait for about 4 hours – until she realized that I was missing and where I was.  A cell phone would have come in handy.  Just sayin’.)

My best friend from 4th – 12th grade was Alex.  She and I made a very odd pair – she was entirely cutting edge and very “punkish” and I was mostly plain and demure (except for a few “experimental” stages) – but we got along really well.  I can’t confess to everything that we did (because my parents are still alive and probably still have the power to “ground” me, and besides, I’m not sure I want them to know everything…) but we were quite the mischievous pair.  Think “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and Madonna together and you’ve got us pegged.  (BTW – I am secretly glad that I have outgrown my Madonna phase…)

Well, tha1t’s enough walking down memory lane today.  Maybe I’ll write some more soon.