Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Describe three significant memories from your childhood.

This is tricky because choosing three snapshots can make you think so many things about the whole portrait of my childhood. I will try to be fair to the overall feel of my childhood without being too maudlin. :)

1. I will start early - I remember sticking "It's A Girl" stickers on See's lollipops with my big sisters Rachel and Blair, to announce the impending birth of my little sister Rebecca. In the midst of a lot of bad and painful memories of that time, this was a really jolly one that showcases the love my sisters and I had for each other (and for candy). 

2. Next one is sort of a cluster of memories from when my mom divorced her second husband and got sober and we were on food stamps and had a car that barely worked. We lived in Seal Beach in a one bedroom apartment and shared a room. I was ten years old. I remember the food stamps and that she had to work while I had to come let myself into our apartment after the after-school care was closed. She tells me we had to get food from a food bank and that sometimes we had to eat that at the end of the month to make ends meet. I don't remember that at all!

I do remember the little yellow Datsun 210 that seemed to never work and needed a milk crate to hold up the front seat. I had to get up early and push start the thing while my mom was in the driver's seat. It eventually got so bad that we had to reverse push-start it or push it to a hill. I still think about these times with great joy...a few songs will forever be embedded in my memory from this time. "Already Gone" by the Eagles, "Hold My Hand" by Hootie and the Blowfish, "Lights" by Journey, and pretty much the whole Crazy Sexy Cool (TLC) and One Hot Minute (RHCP) albums.

3. The last one is I guess the end of my "childhood" per se, even though I was 18 at the time. It was the sick feeling in my stomach I had at the airport as I prepared to fly off to college in Sydney...a city I had never seen and where I knew no one.

I remember being terrified and thinking that perhaps I had made a terrible mistake. After many years of dysfunction, we had finally started to gel as a family (in my mind, at least), and it was right then that I had to leave and make it on my own. My step-dad hugged me tight and told me to ask for help when I needed it. I went up an escalator at LAX to the TSA checkpoint (9/11 had happened in September of my senior year of high school) and watched my family grow smaller and smaller and I sobbed uncontrollably. I looked absolutely terrible and felt about five years old. Just when I thought I had control of my emotions, I handed my ticket to the TSA guy and I hear a loud chorus of "We love you Cassie!!" and I burst into tears all over again and it was all I could do to not drop all of my belongings and just run back and beg to stay home.

But of course college in Australia was one of my favorite times and eventually we must all leave the nest in some capacity! 

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