by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 2, 2012
Many thanks to Lorine McGinnis Schultz for her “Sharing Memories” 52 Week Challenge!
Yes, I know that this is the Week 1 Challenge and yes, I know that makes me four (4) weeks behind! Situation Normal for me!
I have four memories that have to be age 2 1/2 or prior. While I’m not sure which one is the earliest, I think it is this one, as it ‘feels’ earlier than the other three. It’s certainly a funny memory, though I was kind of scared at the time!
I’m standing outside, just about 10 feet south of our farm home, barefoot, with my toes curling in the soft grass. I’m about 15 feet north of the outdoor water hydrant, and about forty feet north of the sand pile!
And honestly, I’m just a bit scared. I’m watching my two (much) older teen age brothers who are chasing each other around and around the yard. (They are 14 1/2 and 16 1/2 years older than I, you see.)
In one hand, they hold water guns, each one shooting a steady and deadly stream of water! In the other hand they carry gallon cans (maybe coffee cans) of water for fast refills. They are shouting and laughing and calling threats to one another as they shoot, dodge and refill their weapons of water annihilation. They are loud, they are rambunctious, and they running around the yard and around me as they jump around to try to miss the other shooter’s stream of water.
I remember being terrified that they might ‘shoot’ me, too, and yet I remember wishing that I had a water gun so that I could join in the fun. I don’t remember any more than that tiny little vignette. Our mom is not in my mind picture at all, so I don’t know if she was in the house or watching nearby, and I don’t remember how it began, or when it ended, or what any of us did next. I wish I did.
2. Another early memory I have is my mother and I stopping at my great-uncle’s home near Wellington and visiting with my great-grandfather, Roderick Remine Stocking, who passed away shortly before I turned three. He was the only grandfather still alive when I was born.
Great-Grandpa Roderick was very tall, white haired, and very distinguished looking. I think it was this combination that put this memory into my mind and also the reason it ‘stuck’ there. I recall that we visited him twice, and then I remember going to his funeral, or perhaps the funeral home shortly before I turned three and seeing him there in the casket. My parent’s had great respect for him and my mother was very fond of him and perhaps that is another reason that his memory has remained with me to this day.
3. One of my favorite early memories is going to the hospital to see my brand-new little nephew, Daryl, my oldest brother’s son! He was born in February, when I was 2 1/2 years old and he soon became my best bud and partner in crime! His little brother came along two years later, and by that time they had decided that children of our age were a danger for contagious illnesses and we were no longer allowed to visit hospitals and so we were not allowed to go see his little brother Brad, or his little brother Marlon, nor either of his little sisters, Tammy & Kris.
4. Looking back over these memories, I remember one more that had to be when I was in the two-year-old range when Gary, the youngest of my two brothers had surgery on his hip in a Wichita hospital and Mama took me along to visit him in the hospital with her. To bribe me, and to convince me to sit still, be quiet, and be good and patient, (not qualities I was long on as a two-year-old toddler) she bought tiny little toys for him to give me to play with while we were there.
Even so, I remember being bored quickly with the ‘be quiet’ and ‘sit still’ required in hospitals and I remember asking Mama “Can we go now?”