Thursday, January 27, 2022

My Fourth Birthday Party, 1971

Back in mid-November I wrote a musing looking at a picture from my fifth birthday party, and I wrote (among many other things) this:

...the cake was decorated with a plastic horse and cowboy. Sometime after this party, later the same day or the next day, perhaps, I took them out to play with in the neighborhood, and I left them on the curb a street or two away when Mom called me home for supper. I went out to play with them some more, later that day or maybe the next day, I'm not sure, and I was incredulous that they weren't still there on the curb where I'd left them. Someone stole my horse and cowboy from me!

Well, it turns out that the cake I was remembering was from the year before, when I turned four, as shown in this picture--if you look carefully you can see the white-topped plastic wagon I remember playing with atop the cake, and you can kinda-sorta tell there are horses there too. (The green icing on the side of the cake was supposed to be cactuses (cacti?), I think, but I didn't play with those, of course, I just ate them.) It was these decorations, from my fourth birthday party, that I remember being stolen.

Much easier to distinguish in this picture is my cousin Scott, right beside me, with the business end of a cap gun in his mouth. (I'm not actually sure which end of a gun is the "business end," I just really wanted to use that phrase.) Behind him is my aunt Danelle, her head cut off in this picture, holding my brother Jeff and, it appears, a red balloon; Jeff would have been only a little more than a year old here. (You can't tell it's either Danelle or Jeff in this picture, but I have other pictures from this birthday party in which you can.) Also shown in this picture, sitting down and apparently smoking, is a woman whose name I don't remember; she lived in our neighborhood, I think, and was a friend of Mom's. The little boy beside her is her son, whose name I think was Anthony.

This whole affair--my fourth birthday party, I mean--took place, like my fifth birthday party the following year, in the finished basement of our house in Clarkston. I'm sorry to say that I don't really remember this party, except for the sad business of the stolen cake decorations. I do, however, remember the basement well. I have no memory of my bedroom in that house--I was five when we moved away from it, after all--but I do remember the basement clearly, and with great fondness. At least a couple other pictures I have written about here show this basement, and my attraction to basements probably started here. (I also have a fascination with attics, but that isn’t necessarily connected with this basement; I blame by C.S. Lewis and The Magician's Nephew for starting the interest in attics.)

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Goodbye, Leaf!

Today we took our Nissan Leaf to CarMax and sold it back to them.

We bought it back in 2016, almost five and a half years ago, and it was a great car for a long time. Lately, though, its battery--the big one, I mean; the one that makes an electric car like a Leaf go--can't deliver a charge for a long enough drive to make keeping the car worthwhile, especially since we have two Hyundais (an Accent and an Elantra) that have no range limitations, so we decided it was time to give the Leaf up.

Here's Anna pulling out the garage and heading off to CarMax: