Back in 2006, I began a series of blogs on my My Space, which has long since been deleted. I compiled them later into book form and added pictures. The book can be purchased if you’d like, here at lulu.com. http://www.lulu.com/shop/anne-sikes/my-book-of-memoirs/paperback/product-1319813.html?showPreview=true
I thought that since as I said in my last post, I don’t have much to say right now, that I would post the original blogs, which I still have saved in my computer, complete with the dates of the original postings. The book will be mostly the same, but edited for book form. For now, here is the first one.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Who Am I?
I guess I’ve pretty much already given a visual sketch of who I am now. But I thought if any of you are interested in knowing how I came to be the ‘me’ that I am now, I’d give you a little history. I thought I’d do it in installments, and really it’s not just for you the reader, but also for me. Sometimes writing down stuff is a good therapy, and keep in mind I’ll be remembering this as we go, so I’m not sure how it will come out in the end. Alright…here goes…..
I was born in a small town in California in 1957. My mother was 34, and my father 37 when I was born, and my 3 older brothers, Art, age 10, Bob, age 8 and Steve, age 2. My mother was a homemaker, as most women of that era were, and my father didn’t hold jobs down for very long. He had a bit of a drinking problem. He worked as a painter once, and putting up fences once, to name a couple of the jobs, Mom was the oldest of 4 children born to Italian immigrants. My grandfather worked for the railroad. Mom had been born in Superior, Wisconsin, but when she was an infant they moved to Stockton, CA. Dad was in the Army at the time when he met Mom, and stationed in Stockton. Mom was working at a department store, and Dad came in there to buy some tools, and eventually invited Mom out to go dancing. Dad had been born in Okmulgee, OK and was the eldest of two boys born to a very typically Southern couple I guess you could say. Especially my Grandma. Grandpa’s parents had immigrated here from Germany, but Grandma’s family had lived here in America since way back.
I have a few memories of those early years…my first 5…when we moved around California while Dad changed from job to job. Most of my earliest memories involve food, interestingly enough. But that might be another story. I was told one story of when my mother took my brothers to buy them new shoes when I was probably 2. When she arrived home she found my father asleep in a chair from his drinking, and me sitting in the middle of the kitchen table eating sugar out of the sugar bowl. As horrible as that probably sounds, it’s funny to me to think about that and imagine the scenario.
When I was 5, we moved to a small town in the northern Texas Panhandle where my father’s parents lived so that he could work there with his father and uncle, my grandfather and great uncle, in farming and cattle ranching work. It was a huge change from California, but not as hard for me as it was for my older brothers, especially Art and Bob I guess, since they were 13 and 15 at the time. All 3 of my brothers had attended Catholic school, but I had not yet begun my school years until our move to Texas. That was where my parents would stay until their deaths, and where I would stay until after I graduated high school and married David in 1975.
When we first moved to Texas in 1962, my grandmother told me that the lady who lived in the house next door to me, Grace Bennett, taught piano lessons. Grandma asked me if I’d like to learn to play the piano. She was going to pay for the lessons for me…a whopping $2.00 per lesson! Well, I didn’t really want to, and I think I was actually kind of scared about the whole thing, but I also didn’t really know my Grandma all that well yet and wasn’t comfortable at all saying no to her. So of course, I said yes. It turned out to be a life-shaping decision for me, and certainly a decision I’m now extremely grateful I made in that innocent childhood moment.
(to be continued)