Memories

The original 30 things about me list is a list for people who have children. I hope to one day have children, but for right now…I don’t have any.

Anyways….post #19 is supposed to be: Describe how you felt the moment you became a parent. Well, that is impossible for me to do, considering that I am not a parent yet. Soooo, we are going to skip that one and add a different one in later on. =)

Soooo…the new post #19 is: Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what that means…so I will pick one tradition that I grew up with, one memory that was slightly traumatic, and one that is slightly funny. I had the best childhood in the world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have so many fun memories, so many adventures and so many things that I could write about on this post.

1. Picnic Rock. Now that I am a grown-up, I look back and wonder how my parents did all that they did. When I was growing up, we lived in a small African village in the middle of nowhere. At first, we did not even have electricity. We sometimes had running water. We all learned the language, we all lived with the people. But sometimes we just needed to get away. There was no such thing as just spending the night at a hotel, or driving to the next town to spend the day touring, or going to the pool or even going out to a restaurant. So my family started a tradition of going on a picnic to a place that we called ‘picnic rock’. Now, this is sub-Saharan Africa…the picnic spot that we picked really did happen to be just a rock. Apparently, there used to be volcanoes around where we lived, so the rock was from old volcanoes. We would make some food, pack some water, lace up our shoes and drive a short ways out of town to have a picnic. We always had to go during the evening, or it would have been too hot during the day. As soon as it got dark, we would head back to town and usually play a game as a family. I loved this tradition. As my brother and I got older and headed to boarding school, my family would go to picnic rock almost every time we were home on vacation. There was absolutely nothing significant about it, except for the memories that it held.

Here is the landscape of Picnic Rock, with my Mom (I have no clue what she is doing)…

My parents at Picnic Rock…

Picnic Rock as kids…

2. The day/week/month my brother started having seizures. We shared a room, and I was the first one to see him have a seizure. That was pretty significant in my mind, and to this day I hate it when people joke about having seizures. Along with that memory, comes the memory of the day he was med-evaced to Paris due to his seizures. I remember standing in the airport, waving goodbye, trying to catch a last glimpse of him. I didn’t know if he would be ok, or if I would ever actually see him again. (I know, I’m over-dramatic). It turns out he was fine, but it was still a really scary experience for me. That was when my faith really started to become real. I had to have faith in God, because I couldn’t have faith in anything else. My parents couldn’t stop the seizures, my brother couldn’t stop the seizures- and lets face it–my parents and my brother were the people that I trusted in the most at that time.

3. Fording the river. One day, when I was a young’un, my family was traveling from Tera to Niamey.

We did this trip often, so it wasn’t a big deal. However, on this day, it turned into a big deal. The trip usually takes 3 hours, maybe 4, depending on the ferry. However, it was rainy season and a bridge had washed out. There was a detour, and we had taken it several times before. On our way down the detour, we got a flat tire. So, we fixed it up with the spare, but then had to get the regular tire fixed. Some of the details are a bit fuzzy, but I slightly remember some of us staying behind while my Dad went and got the tire fixed. But maybe that was just something that was discussed, and it never actually happened. Sometime around this point, I remember eating corn flakes for lunch, because that was all we had in the car. Fast forward a couple hours until we have the tire fixed and we are ready to cross the raging river. It really was raging. We had to hire a guide to walk through the water in front of the vehicle since the water was so muddy we couldn’t see any holes or trees or whatever might be underwater. I remember walking a short ways into the water, and practically being sucked underwater. It was pretty scary. We were advised to wait a little while until the water went down, so we waited around a few more hours. Keep in mind that this is literally in the middle of nowhere. The only people we saw were the guides, a shepherd and a herd of cows. There wasn’t very much to do. Finally, we decided to cross the river. We locked the car into four wheel drive, and my Dad gunned it across. I remember being so terrified that I put my head down by my knees and squeezed my eyes shut. I opened them just in time to see water coming in under the door. Of course, in my memory it was a whole bunch of water, but I think it was only about 2 seconds of water, because obviously the engine did not die. The crazy thing about this story is that stuff like that happened to us all the time. Crazy adventures, unpredictable circumstances. That was just a way of life.

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One thought on “Memories

  1. Beth B. says:

    I love that first picture of you and your brother with the kittens! As for number 3 it sounds eerily similar to a camping trip that our family took to some dunes. In the middle of the night it started raining and we packed everything up and jumped into the truck to head back across a dry river bed we had crossed. We ended up having to ford it too and I can remember looking out the window, seeing the water half way up the door and wondering how in the world we were going to make it out. I will never forget that experience! I loved this post, Suzanne!

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