Of course, these all come with instructions, to wit: First, share memories or thoughts of childhood or adulthood sister-friends. Funny, sad, whatever.
My sister-friends are my college buddies/roommates from my undergraduate days. There were six of us who met freshman year, and stayed together throughout college. Last November, I wrote a post about introducing Miss Chef to them at a wedding. We've moved, married, lost parents, and one of us has even reproduced. We don't talk nearly as often as I'd like, but the ties are still there.
Senior year, five of us rented an apartment together--many, many memories. Can I pick just one? Of course not. There was the Couch Monster that sucked Michelle in every afternoon, the Star Wars marathon, the housewarming party Shelly invited the entire Campus Dems group to, the Family Dinners where Amy showed off her cooking skills by tossing a salad, the Saturday nights at the ATO house with Pork Chop and Elvis, the many, many evenings at Saloon, with Sue leading us in a parade of $1 tips for our favorite bartender--where there's a Will, there's a mighty fine drink.
I remember their understanding and acceptance of my own foibles, from my self-righteousness, to my uncontrollable ebullience on Monday nights after the weekly meeting of our improv troupe.
And I still owe Audrey a phone call, just to catch up.
The second part of the instructions is, of course, to pass the award on to however many bloggers you'd like to share this with- but to make sure you share this award specifically with bloggers that you feel a kinship with. Bloggers you learn from or feel that you teach, bloggers you've connected with in a really familiar and friendly way.
As usual, the ones I'd like to award have already received this award...but maybe not all. So I'll pass it on to Alix, at Casa Hice, who swept me up into her blogger arms and whirled me into this little community; to Claire, at Whispering Acres, who, I suspect, wouldn't know how to be unfriendly if she had to; to Joanna at BooneDocks Wilcox, for her unfailing honesty and willingness to share--and back to Liz, who's so full of love, it almost oozes out of the screen.
Our next Award Award goes to Alix, of Casa Hice: the Beautiful Words Award for the wonderful things she said about me when presenting the Keepsake Award.
Okay, instruction #1 is to post a funny or sweet Keepsake Memory that tells something about myself. This was a very hard choice for me... but the final selection is clear. I asked Miss Chef, and she immediately responded with a memory that I'd had in mind. One that she wasn't even there for, but which makes her laugh.
A hot July afternoon in Suburbia, Ohio. A small gaggle of young children--aged 3 to 7, maybe--play in the fenced-in area around a large in-ground pool. There are several bikes on the wide concrete patio surrounding the pool, including a classic red tricycle. The young golden retriever with them is enjoying all the hubbub, gamboling about from child to child. They are all watched over by a young teen girl from across the street.
The gaggle of kids at one point starts to promenade around the pool on their collection of bikes & trikes. The dog, happy to join in, decides to assume one of its favorite positions: front feet up on the back "step" of the tricycle, back feet walking along as usual.
Except there's one problem: the force of the dog's landing on the step propels the trike forward unexpectedly, effectively pushing it straight into the deep end of the pool.
Now, I'm not 100% sure that it was Buffy's fault I drove my trike into the pool; I may have simply been distracted, or got too close to the kid in front of me. But the end result was me, on my trike, sinking down into eight feet of water, and feeling more than a little bewildered.
I did know something about swimming, though I still hadn't graduated from using my styrofoam "watermelon" float in the pool. I was not unfamiliar with being in the water, and so I don't think I was particularly frightened. I wasn't worried about myself, but about getting my bike out of the pool.
My first reaction was to pedal--as hard as I could. Somehow I thought this would at least propel me in some direction: if not up, then at least closer to the shallow end I was more comfortable with. Needless to say, it didn't work. So I frantically pedaled my way straight to the bottom, where I'd never been, and landed there, still astride the trike.
The neighbor's girl, Sharon, immediately dived into the water to save me. Bless her! For once she reached me, she actually had to pry my fingers from the handlebars. I don't remember every detail about this event, but I do remember clearly that I was convinced my parents would leave the trike in the pool. I don't know why--as punishment? Who knows. But I was determined that if they wanted me, they weren't getting me without the tricycle.
Well, being a three-year old, I didn't get my way, and Sharon finally pried me off the bike and whisked me to the surface, saving my life and undoubtedly earning the eternal gratitude of my parents. They probably even let her get my trike out of the pool, too. I don't remember. In fact, I don't have any other memories of that tricycle, in spite of its obvious importance to me at the time!
So, what does this memory tell about me? I asked Miss Chef, and she said, "That you're hard-headed....or, determined." Depends on what kind of spin you want to put on it. I think it also points out some less flattering traits, such as my attachment to material objects, and maybe my taking for granted the things other people do for me. (Like giving me blog awards, hmmm??)
Now, instruction #2 is to award this to 10 other blogs. Sorry, but I'm not sure I read 10 other blogs...and again, y'all have pretty much already gotten this award. So I'm going to choose ONE blog which I find particularly memorable: Lisa's, at Laughing Orca Ranch. She has been sharing with us the heartbreaking and heartwarming story of recovery from a serious horseback riding accident, and her love / fear relationship with her beautiful paint mare, Baby Doll. Plus, she takes amazing photos of her New Mexico countryside.
(Phew, this is taking longer than I thought...but these awards programs usually do run over, don't they?)
Okay, next up is the Out of the Blue Award, which goes to Daisy Soap Girl, for popping up on my blog to offer me the Kreative Blogger Award.
This is indeed an honor, as much as the others, because I do really appreciate creativity, and it's flattering that you find my little collection of words and pictures creative enough to commemorate!
This one, ironically enough, comes with lots of rules!1. Recipient is to place the award logo on their blog. (done)
2. Post a link to the person who awarded you. (done)
3. List 7 things you love.
4. List 7 blogs you love and awarded.
5. Leave a message for the 7 blogs you awarded.
Ok, I like #3! Seven things I love:1. Family and friends, with a Special Mention for Miss Chef
2. Dogs, with special mentions for Amber, Charlie and Rosie
5. Reading and books
6. Teaching (oh, and I have big news about this, but it's gonna have to wait--I'm such a tease!)
7. Pseudo-farming--growing some of our own food, and one day having a small flock of chickens. Like Joanna, I'd love to spend time puttering around a small, animal-filled acreage without having to go to a job.
Seven blogs I love...let's see, I bet I could come up with seven (in no particular order):1. The Fifty Factor: too funny!
2. Goats in the Garden: unvarnished truth about life with animals
3. Whispering Acres: such the overachiever up there in Iowa
4. Casa Hice: you never know what you're gonna get
5. Eternal Lizdom: like moths to light, love attracts us all
6. Stuff Parisians Like: evocative of a very special year in my life
7. Cake Wrecks: Jen is hysterical, every single day
Okay, I'll be off to visit my 7 loved blogs in a little bit, for that whole notification thing... but there's one last award to hand out. The Aw, You Shouldn't Have Award goes, again, to Liz, for doubling up, and giving me the Love My Friends Award.
"The Love My Friends Award is given to those bloggers who aspire, inspire and share the most beautiful of human attributes: art, wisdom and friendship. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more."
Well, this is getting serious...hm, art, wisdom and friendship. Well, I'm going to re-write the rules once more, and award three bloggers, one for each attribute. Art: Laughing Orca Ranch, for Lisa's amazing photos, and the way she shows us as she experiments (you didn't know you were doing that, did you?). Wisdom: right back atcha, Liz! For friendship, I'll have to award two: Alix at Casa Hice for always being there, and Claire at Whispering Acres, for connecting in real life.
Ok, cue the orchestra, it's time to leave! But I would like to just cram in a last general thank you, over the tinkling music, to everyone who's created this circle of friends in Blogland. Thanks for coming to my little party; I'm having a great time with you!
Those of you who have actually read all the way through this enormous post deserve to know that I'll be headed out of town next week, so you won't be hearing from me for a little while. Please come back whenever I resurface, as I expect to have at least one or two interesting tales from my trip to Chicago, where I'll meet up with some great old friends!