Feeling particularly nostalgic today and wanted to record some sweet childhood memories for the feelings and joy that they encapsulated. I cannot wait to look back on these years from now just to get a fraction of those feelings again. Shout out to current me for taking some time to record these seemingly small, yet incredibly momentous pieces of my life that I never want to forget.
Caterpillar Poo and Early Morning Cartoons
Capturing caterpillars during the spring, keeping them in a mason jar with holes poked in the lid. Filling their new glass home with sticks, leaves, white clover, and a mist of water. Waking up early in the morning, each sound filling the air completely because everyone else was sound asleep in bed. Bringing my caterpillars to the living room rug, the comforting brown and green one with big squares and leaves. Watching my Saturday morning cartoons with the TV on low volume, cleaning out the caterpillar jar, refreshing and cleaning out their little home as they crawled around on a paper towel in front of me. Smelling the sweet, soil-like, distinct scent of the creatures and their glass enclosed habitat.
Sneaking In Wet Dogs
Again, waking up early before everyone else in the house (oh how I long for that childlike energy and enthusiasm) after the night’s rain. Letting the dogs in, but in secret of course, because wet dogs should never come in the house, and especially not near the couch. They lie down, a shepherd (literally and figuratively she was) and a malinois (nervous and human-like, much like myself…), next to the couch and recliner. Tiptoeing to the kitchen and slowly ripping off paper towel sheet after paper towel sheet. Tiptoeing back to the couches where the dogs lie. Patting the tops and bottoms of their paws off ever so gently as to not tickle them. Wiping their wet, slicked down fur off. Running my thumb up their muzzles, between their eyes, onto the middle of their soft, rain drop covered heads. Feeling productive, helpful, and prideful as I walked into the kitchen to throw away the now wet, dirty, light brown paper towels.
Afternoon Hunts & Reading in the Dwindling Light
Going after school with Daddy to the woods during the fall and winter seasons, carrying whatever book I was currently reading and a pack of nabs. Stuffing them into my huge, warm camo coat, this too with its own distinct, comforting smell. Although sometimes, I handed the book to Daddy to carry as we climbed the stand. Sitting inside on the cold plastic seats with a small cushion, reading until it got too dark for my eyes to strain to focus on the magical things I was reading, all the while glancing up every so often. A loud, rushed crunching noise would snap my head up to look out the window, only to see a squirrel scurrying by. We look at each other, shake our heads and laugh because how can such a small animal make such a racket. He taps my arm and points at a young deer peering out the edge of the woods. He cautiously ventures out to the corn, followed by his mother. She is at first cautious, but is fairly used to this particular eating spot. We watch these magnificent creatures, so quiet, attentive, and precise. The sun continues to set as we begin to lose clear site of the white tails just feet in front of us on the ground. Slowly and silently we gather our things and begin to climb out of the stand, hoping not to bother the deer. Though of course, the mother’s head and ears perk up, she looks our way, flips her tail in the air, and hops off with her son. I giggle at the sight and think of how lucky I am to get to see such a beauty of nature up close. We walk back to the warm house, greeted with scents of dinner and tell of the creatures, or lack thereof, and sights we saw while hunting.
Morning Hunts & Golden Coats of Sleep
Daddy comes in my room to wake me up, very early in the morning. Side note, but 3am is around the best time of the night because there is an air of peace and freshness, and it is as if the sun is already, or perhaps still, providing enough light to create a blueish, purple glow outside (the sleepover with the soccer team, playing manhunt, gossiping, walking around outside at 3am, deeply appreciating the life, energy, and rareness surrounding me). I get dressed in warm, thick layers as he makes his coffee and my hot chocolate. We gather our stuff and head out into the chilly, refreshing winter air. I take my stealthy steps to the stand, through the crunching leaves, trying to aim my toes to strike the softest, quietest parts of the ground, as we must be very careful not to scare any deer away on our way down to the stand. We climb up, the wood steps cold and smooth on my hands, slip inside the tree stand, slowly pull the door closed, and sit on the freezing plastic chairs. Daddy lights the propane tank, as I await the frightening flame that sparks up when starting the small space heater. The small stand soon fills with the warm air, coating my body and soul in warmth, gratefulness, relaxation, and happiness, a fleeting feeling that I wish would never go. I stare out at the tops of the trees as the sun begins to rise, saturating the sky in richer pinks, purples, and oranges, and coating everything beneath it in a layer of gold. I feel my eyelids begin to heavy and a overwhelming feeling of sleep consumes me as I lean my head to the right and doze off on my Daddy’s shoulder. He gently wakes me up when a group of deer come to eat their breakfast. We stay for an hour or so more, then head back to the house with our empty thermoses and hearty souls to eat a delicious, fulfilling breakfast of bacon, grits, and pancakes.