turns 45 today. I haven't seen her since I was six, because that's when we moved away. But she was my very first friend and even though I do remember having some rather intense arguments with her, I couldn't possibly ever forget her. I even remember that today is her birthday (I'm pretty sure, anyway).
She lived across the street and she was the youngest of nine kids, which was extremely interesting to me because at that time I only had one brother (I did get another one a year or two later). One of her sisters babysat us sometimes (she was very cool and nice), she had a brother about a year older than me, a slightly older one who also hung around (the rest I didn't really get to know) and they had a huge sandpit with a tunnel in the back yard, which I of course wasn't allowed to go in. I did though. The sand was super-fine and golden, possibly because our street wasn't too too far from a great big lake.
I tell Charlie stories about her and her family. Her life experiences, like those of my other neighbourhood friends, taught me lessons about how the world was, which was not always a nice safe place. She had a fairly prominent burn on her arm from playing with matches (that's how the story went as I remember). I also remember her house always smelling like baking, and I remember sitting on the floor of her living room with various other family members watching Petticoat Junction. And one time, we went into the kitchen and her mom was making cupcakes with smarties in the icing (OMG!).
I heard that some time after we moved, she and her family moved to Australia (could that be any more far away?).
I've never been able to track her down but I sure would like to see her again someday.
Happy Birthday, Jane!
PS: Isn't google maps great? I can even see that our old house is not only still standing (no monster-home replacement) and has a pool where the cherry tree used to be.