I’m participating in a project called Mommy’s Piggy Tales where I’ll be writing stories about my childhood once a week for 15 weeks, starting with birth and ending with graduation in the hopes that my children, and possibly my children’s children, will one day appreciate it.
I remember very little about actual 2nd grade. My teacher’s name was Mrs. Green, we learned phonics, and I had a seizure that no one even saw during class. That’s what I remember about school.
Outside of school, I played a lot. We had the run of the neighborhood and I was always out with my best friend and the other kids in the area. We’d build forts in the woods, ride bent over trees like horses, and play impromptu baseball games.
One of the favorite games for my friend, her brother, and me was “Bunny and the Hunter”. My friend and I would each grab a pillow case and step into it. We’d then jump around, pretending to be bunnies, while her brother, the hunter, tried to shoot us.
When we got tired of “Bunny”, her brother and I would pretend to box or wrestle while my friend recorded color commentary into our tape deck. She was actually quite good at it and I remember laughing my head off at some of the things she said. I think my stomach always ended up being the part of me that hurt the most after these fighting sessions. How I wish we still had those recordings. I would love to hear what we thought was funny at the age of 8.
Second grade also saw Mt. St. Helen’s blowing its top off. My mom, her friend, and I were driving across the state with my brand new kitten when it blew. They closed the highway and we had to pull off and camp out in the parking lot of a convenience store with a dozen other stranded travelers. My mom and her friend nearly got themselves arrested by trying to break into an Ai&W-type restaurant. (Note: this is very unusual behavior for them, but they were feeling a bit desperate, I think.) When the police arrived and threatened to take them to jail if they didn’t stop, they said jail would be better than staying out all night in the ash. I was so scared! I was way to young to go to jail!
By the next morning, we had made it to the nearest good-sized town and were able to find rooms in a motel (no easy feat, in fact I think the motel was actually closed, but my mom talked a maid or someone into letting us rent a few rooms), but the stress of the last day must have gotten to me because I had two of the biggest seizures I’d ever had in a row. I remember standing over the sink in the motel room, gagging, while my mom tried to help me stand.
Next thing I knew, we were at the hospital…camped out in the hallway because the hospital was overrun with people who were affected by the ash…and eating the one and only McDonald’s Egg McMuffin I’ve ever eaten in my life.
Eventually we made it home, after a week of waiting for the car to be fixed and the roads to clear, but those two seizures were the last I ever had. I give full credit to Mt. St. Helen’s and every year, I mark the date of the explosion as my own special anniversary.