As children, my cousin Allison and I were forbidden, by my uncle, to enter his "sacred" strawberry patch under any circumstances. He also forbade us to pick apples off of his tree, but you'll soon read that we were less than obedient. However, I like to refer to it as simple curiosity over disobedience. One day we wanted strawberries so badly that we thought if we picked a few and ate them it would go unnoticed by the great harvester himself. We picked a handful each and gleefully ran into the house searching for the sugar jar. One at a time we reached our innocent hands into the sugar jar coating each strawberry with sweet goodness and savoring each bite. Once finished we freely returned to the world outside where hiding places were waiting to be discovered, forts were ready to be bulit, mud pies ready to be made, trees anxious to be climbed, and dusty roads waiting to be stirred up. The strawberries were far from our mind, but the sugar jar was well aware that it was no longer snowy white, but had remnants of red from the little hands that had so innocently used it to coat their strawberries. Not only was the sugar jar well aware, but my uncle had also made the discovery. This story is seldom told, but here is another one that has been told time and time again.
The apple tree I referred to above was another one of my uncles prize possessions. Allison and I had seen him picking apples, so we decided to help. Much to our surprise we were not supposed to pick every apple with in reach or any of them for that matter. We presented our apples to my uncle with much excitement, but quickly found out they were not ready to be harvested. What can I say we were two little girls eager to help.
I am enjoying this too much to stop!!
Allison and I were in the middle of the road one evening when my dad came driving up. Don't worry we lived in the middle of no where, so the middle of the road was safe. We both stood up arms extended in front of us as we motioned him to stop. He rolled down the window and asked why he needed to stop. We told him he would have to drive around or find another way home, because he could not drive over our mud pies.
We often had lemonade stands at the end of our street that yielded very little, but when your 7 and 8 years old $1 seems like $100.
We would spend hours jumping on the trampoline. Some times laughing, sometimes fighting, but always reuniting the next day to do it again.
We spent hundreds of hours playing house with our barbies, playing restaurant with our play-doh, planning picnics (that sis and I always missed), sitting on tree limbs, riding our bikes, playing kick ball, playing dodge ball, and on and on.
As I sit here and think of all the memories I am smiling from the inside out. My cousin and I were the best of friends for many years. We went through a period of time where our lives took different paths. We still loved one another, but we didn't make as many memories. Then God began to rebuild the strong bond we had once shared. Allison allowed me to live with her for the three months prior to becoming Mrs. Cullum. I feel those months helped remind each of us why we loved the other so much. Those months strengthened what was already a life long friendship. She stood beside me on May 3, 2008 as I said yes to my best friend and I look forward to standing beside her on June 5, 2010 as she does the same.
Allison, I love you girl!!! My life is better because you are in it. Thanks for being there for me and for supporting me.
Now, I leave you with a few funny pictures.
Hey, DON'T LAUGH at me!!
Give me a break, it was MIDDLE SCHOOL!!
So I am OK if you LAUGH.
Thankfully, it just gets better.
I mean PRETTIER!!