The subject for the month of May at NaBloPoMo is PLAY. The question of the day is "Who did you play with as a child."
That is easy for me and for most, if they have siblings. I had my brother and sister to play with most of the time. The brother was the middle child and the peacemaker between sister and me. She and I fought like cats and dogs. Brother was such an even keel person and still is.
If I didn't have them to play with I had an imaginary farm that I would travel with, in my head. My (favorite) Great-aunt Lanore and Great-uncle George used to remind me every time we met about my imaginary farm, they loved it.
When we weren't playing as siblings we had the cousins to pal around with. We spent a lot of time at the grandparents house, nearly every Sunday for dinner.
As we grew and moved I became friends with Jean Ann. She lived next door and we were together constantly from 3rd grade to the fall of 6th grade. I usually spent the night at her house because her house was so cool. (It is now on the national register.) It was a huge two story house with a full basement that had been made into a play room, mostly for grownups. It had a full bar, pool table, and couches. She had a fraternal twin brother Michael and they HATED each other. You would not believe how much they hated each other. The only time they did not kill each other was when their grandmother was alive and lived with them. Nanny (that was what everyone called her) was the calm for them and when she died it unleashed hell in that house between those two. Their parents were gone a lot and they were alone, a lot. I remember a time when Jean Ann picked on Michael so much he just lost it and grabbed a butcher knife and chased her through the house. Scared the crap out of me for sure. Most of the time we avoided him and just hung out, thank goodness. The front porch of the house was a very large screened porch that they kept a lot of their toys on. There was toy kitchen area and little dining table. Jean Ann and I would have tea parties and Nanny would bring us actual hot tea to drink. We also loved banana popsicles. We would break them in two and put them in our hot tea to cool down. It was yummy, banana hot tea!
Spending the night with her was nearly every night during the summer and during the school year nearly every weekend. We were inseparable. Laying in bed at night talking and making wishes until the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes we would sneak out of bed to the kitchen to get huge dill pickles out of the fridge to eat. That old house creaked so much it was a challenge to not wake up her parents.
Sadly, the fall of our 6th grade year I broke my leg, severely. I've written about it here. Being young, out of sight, out of mind comes into play. Since I was not able to go to school or play for several months Jean Ann kind of forgot about her friend and moved on. It just happens. That was at a time when you are trying to find yourself in the hierarchy of popularity status. We lost each other as close friends even though we were just next door. By the time we moved to Junior High and the 7th grade I was not in her circle. She even was in a different section and was extremely popular, being football queen in the 9th grade. That was fine though because it brought me to a new friend.
That would be her on my left...Sharon...
We were best buds for 6 years and now have found each other again, to play again!
Sadly the footnote to this story is that Jean Ann's life did not turn out well at all. By the time she was 15 years old she was still extremely popular, especially with the boys. She got pregnant and dropped out of high school. Shortly after the birth of her son her father died very tragically in a semi-truck accident. It was what sent her over the edge, that and the father of her son coming to take custody. (He was much older and should have been charged with statutory rape.) She ended up frying her brains on drugs and several more children that were eventually taken by the state to be raised. She died about 10 years ago in a nursing home in Arkansas, not even knowing who she was or where she was, and alone. The brother, her only living relative not there. It was a horrible, horrible ending to my friend.