Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Remembering Things

When my sisters and I were young we had our favorite colors and many things that belonged to us were recognizable by their colors because we insisted on these signature colors as a means of identification. When our Aunt Ruth asked us one year what color we wanted our Christmas present to be we had a ready answer. My answer was blue, Paulo's was yellow, and terries was pink and with these replies, although we didn't know what the present would be, we knew the color and would wait in anticipation to see what would be under the tree. That year she surprised us with hand-made pajama bags which were made like little round pillows with a silhouette of a cat sew to the top. I still had that little pillow until April 2002 when it was destroyed by the fire.

My grandmother always tried to please us with hand-made dresses in our signature colors and I have fond memories of her sitting in the bedroom in front of the old singer sewing machine with it's foot pedal, patiently making our Sunday School dresses out of gingham and seersucker material that she'd saved the money to buy.

These memories brought other memories of favorite dresses that come so clearly to my mind as I sit here. Although not blue, I had one dress, also sewn by my grandmother, that was brown with a pattern of little beige flowers scattered all over it. The skirt of the dress was straight and the bodice had a high neck with a tiny ruffle around the neck made from the same fabric as the dress and the sleeves were long. I loved that dress and it made me so sad that I was only able to wear it for a few months because I had a major growing spurt over the summer and it wouldn't fit anymore by the time school started in the fall.

When I was in Jr. High school, while living in England with my father in the late 60's/early 70,s, I had a blue, wool, pleated, mini skirt and pastel stripped sweater that I adored. I remember wearing it when our literature class went to London on a day trip in the early spring of 1969. It was to be the last time I'd ever wear that skirt because on the bus trip home I started my period and a spot got on the skirt and no amount of cleaning would take it out.

The only other dress I remember from those times was a borrowed dress that I wore for the Jr. prom when I was asked by an "older, young, man" even though I was just a 9th grader. I felt so totally elegant and grown up in a peach, organdy, sheath that fell to my ankles. It was a little difficult to dance in that thing so I'm sure if any photos of me were taken during that prom, it was with the skirt hoisted up past my knees so I could get my groove on to the music.

It's funny how some things will come back with such clarity because I can still see those little beige flowers scattered across that brown dress.

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