It was a night I knew that I would never ever forget.
It was a summer night I would never forget!
It was the very best memory that I can ever recall from my childhood, and I have many but THIS was a night to top them all.
It was the beginning and the ending all in one night.
It was summer time on the farm, I was 18 years old.
My sister Dana was 17, my brother Derek was celebrating his 15th birthday.
Little Daren was 4 years old while on Dana's shoulders Dougie was not yet 2 in this picture. Our Mother made homemade ice cream that evening for Derek's birthday. We were all in such great spirits, we were all getting along in such a peaceful wonderful magical way!
It was the best night of our lives that I knew I needed to grab my camera and snap a picture of it! I knew in my heart and soul I would remember this summer night all the rest of my life!
It wasn't ever bad, wasn't ever stressful or chaotic.
It was that ONE perfect summer night! It was my brother Derek's 15th birthday! I was in such awe of it all!
The scent from the cooling charcoal BBQ where we ate big juicy hamburgers, we ate with our mother laughing and simply delighting in being with each other at the picnic table. The motor sound of the ice cream being made was in the back ground as Dana and Derek took off to kick the soccer ball up and down the driveway while I helped Mom get the little boys cleaned up for our late night dessert.
I washed up the dishes quickly feeling so happy, laughing and singing loudly. Mom joining in with me as she put food away, I was in awe for my mother singing along beside me for usually she had a distracting frown on her face but in this my most perfect memory she sang with me as the whole world was perfect around us!
I glanced out the window to see my sister Dana walking back toward the house as the sun was setting with her arm around Derek and his arm around her. I smiled so proudly just watching them, for it had been a difficult journey through puberty for us all. We had stressful battle lines, chaos and drama. Yet on THIS night while Derek was enjoying his 15th birthday, everything was perfect!
I stepped outside into the cool summer air, after everything was made beautiful in the kitchen and Mom was reading on her couch saying she was so excited to finish her book. I dance under the stars with Daren as Dana blared the radio from her bedroom window out to us in the yard.
Derek brought out the volley ball and it was game on!
Now we didn't have a volley ball net but we did have a pole in the ground so if the ball went through that marker it was "NET!" We laughed so hard till tears rolled down our cheeks, the little boys were right there with us pretending to be playing volley ball as we helped them and then cheer out loudly, we jumped up and down as the night roll out to midnight with such excitement!
Dana had her christmas lights to help us see as it grew darker and darker we didn't stop playing volleyball till 1am!
And we never quieted down in fear, not once did we look at the clock.
The little boys found their sleepy heads on the blankets and pillows piled up in the living room with our mother still reading on the couch beside them.
We teenagers had made a big fort of bedding for them and for us as Dana announced "It's a SLUMBER PARTY! Booyah!" Mom laughed at her and completely agreed letting us all sleep there in one big group!
I told ya this was the BEST memory of my whole childhood/teenage years!
Derek, Dana and I played that volley ball until our arms hurt, we chase off the bats, the coyotes and the June Bugs with such high energy!
We sang at the top of our lungs to every song we loved.
That volley ball game was one of the best ever of course, we cheered for each other we just wanted to keep that ball up in the air for as long as we could!
We never corrected, never scolded or judged each other. We never lost our tempers, never hit or kicked.
I stood back in awe of this night.
I loved the scent of summer, of that great night in June.
Derek and Dana jumped into the ditch water just up from our volley ball "court" our sparkling yard. "Come on Woman! It'll help cool ya down!" my sister called out as I asked "Do rats swim at night????" Derek and Dana laughed so hard when I accidentally slipped in the muddy side and I was scrambling out of there like a wet cat!
They held each other as they were weak from laughing as I laid on the dry ditch bank like I had almost been burned alive, yet I laid there from weakness of laughing at myself too!
The stars were so bright up the hillside away from our home, our mother's lamp gave a soft glow to the window.
Our baby brothers were sound asleep after we had included them in our never ending volley ball game.
After having gotten wet from the irrigation ditch, after having laugh so hard our ribs were hurting as we hiked up towards our grandparents big house. We had soft cool dirt between the rows of all those apple trees that stuck to us like clay as we were soaked through but happily went to our favorite spot in long soft grass of the small orchard it opened up to the moon light above us!
My heart was bursting by ALL the magic I saw!
The stars were like diamonds, the moon was brilliant! We just laid on our backs on that long soft grass looking up into a perfect place in time!
Dana, Derek and I.
ALL was right with the world, ALL was right with the Universe. ALL was right with God and for us it ALL ended to soon.
I leaned into Dana giggling together as Derek explained the how important deep space is to the earth. We were all so happy in this day, we were relaxed and we were friends.
My brother and My sister. We were the best of friends that night! We were there for each other with one adventure right after another!
That one summer night was and IS my most favorite memory of my whole life time in that family! From the past, this is a moment in time that I love remembering, ALWAYS.
The 5 am hour had all of even our mother sound asleep in the living room, to the pink sunrise that surrounded our farm home as we slept so deeply, to the sound of roosters crowing just up the road from us, I knew as I looked around at everyone that this was a moment in time I would cherish, I would to my heart!
As Mom flipped the crepes in the mid morning she smiled and asked Derek "So did you have a good birthday?" He beamed so happily and nodded while dishing up fresh berries and whip cream for those perfectly made crepes, he said "It was PERFECT." I said with a wink "See, I told ya that summer birthdays are far better then winter birthdays...." Derek smiled back at me and nodded.
.......and so 20 years ago today, I still cherish that one summer night!
Happy birthday in heaven my dear brother!
Happy birthday in heaven my dear brother!