The prompt for Lain Ehmann's Layout a Day challenge for Day 16 was - These are the people in my neighborhood.Journaling reads:
Growing up on Rolling Acres Dr. in Ortonville, our next door neighbors were the XXXXX. They had three kids, the youngest two were girls that quickly became my best friends. I met them when I was five. XXX was six months older than (and a grade ahead of) me and XXXX was 8 months younger than (and a grade behind) me. I was in the middle, and not just by the measurement of age or grade, but I was in the middle of almost every argument the two of them ever had. I was often forced to pick sides, and I gravitated towards the older, and who I thought was the cooler sister, XXX. XXX XXX was my best friend for years. No, not the tennis player, she was ten years older and spelled her name with a “y”. My best friend spelled her name with an “ie”. XXXX, while still a close friend, became more of a little sister to me as the years wore on. I saw the XXX girls every day during the summers because my mom, being a teacher, had the summers off and watched them and their older brother, XX while Mr. and Mrs. XXX went to work. Even when it wasn’t the summer, I still saw XXX and XXX all the time. Considering we each had ten acres, though, I’m not sure how “next door” we could really be considered. It was a little too far to go over and knock on the front door with a “Can XXX come out to play?” So, we would call each other to determine at whose house we were going to play. (I can still remember their phone number: 248-627-4513). We would always meet the other person half way, so that we could keep each other company for at least half the walk. Once we knew where we were going to play, our next decision was which route we would take. Would we go the creek way, which was faster but involved a steep hill down to the creek from my house and then a steep hill up from the creek to their house and required us to cross a sometimes not so stable bridge across the creek? Or would we go the road way, which was a much longer route, but also less treacherous. As much time as they spent at my house, I, too, spent countless hours at their house. I remember their finished basement distinctly. We would play marbles for hours because the carpet was a short, smooth surface. Or we would play with their doll house, Cat’s Cradle, or Chinese jump rope. We could also play Utopia on their Intellivision game system for hours on end. I can also remember each of their bedrooms completely. XXX's room was yellow and was a clown theme. She had pictures of clowns, clown figurines, clown dolls. And XXXX's room was green with a monkey theme. Again, pictures of monkeys, monkey figurines, monkey stuffed animals. I probably remember every detail because when I would sleep over at their house, I would lie awake for hours after we went to bed. Eventually going downstairs to where Mr. XXX was up watching TV to tell him I had a stomach ache so that I could go home…every time. By the time junior high school rolled around, the XXX moved to another house a couple miles away, but XXX and I remained best friends. Our lives drifted apart in high school when XXX moved even further away to live with her dad a couple of towns away. But every time we reconnected, it was as if no time had passed at all. In our early twenties, when we were both on our own, we again lived in houses that were right next door to each other., albeit briefly As we approached our late twenties, our lives drifted apart, and back together more than once. Each time we reconnected was as if we had just spoken the day before. The last time I saw XXX in my adult life was 11 ½ years ago at my wedding in 2000. She was, of course, a bridesmaid. Unfortunately, she had a bit of an episode and passed out on the couch in the bathroom during dinner. (So, of course, XXX and I had to take a picture with her, because that’s what “sisters” do). We lost touch completely after that until she heard about my Dad’s death in January, 2011. When she called me with her condolences after 10 ½ years of having no communication, it was again as if no time or differences had passed between us. It was as if we were next door neighbors and best friends again, sharing every detail of our lives. We talked for a couple of hours. And even though we haven’t spoken since that marathon phone call over a year ago, I know that if I were to call XXX tomorrow, the conversation would feel like home to me.
Some observations about the process and the products used:
- This story kind of rambles on, but once I started writing about these sisters, I couldn't stop. And there's a type-o in there, but I'm not re-doing it at this point. Unless my OCD perfectionism rears its ugly head.
- Supplies used: 1 sheet 12x12 kraft colored card stock, 1 sheet 12x12 patterned paper that I cut down to 8 1/2 by 11 on which to print the journaling (it doesn't show up well in the photo, but the paper looks like watercolors), 1 photo collage, 1 Heidi Swapp silhouettes sticker (home), 1 rub on border
- OK, now that I've re-examined this layout, I should have switched the locations of the photo collage and the title. Lesson learned for next time.
- The three of us were pretty much inseparable for years and years and years.