For those of you who don't know, I was actually born in Nebraska.  I still have several relatives there - aunts, uncles, cousins, and a new generation of cousinlets.

I lived in Nebraska from when I was born until age 5, when we moved to Arizona for Dad's opportunity to open his own bookstore.

In Nebraska I remember my two best friends, the neighbor kids, my early babysitters, my preschool, and my kindergarten.  When I was little I wanted to be so many things: a firefighter, a ballerina, a teacher, an actress, President.  Just a few dreams...  Mostly I wanted to be married evidently I pretended I was married to most of my parents friends [though I don't think I ever claimed that with any of the neighbor kids.  What can I say, I was 3!]   We used to go camping a lot back then, in Arizona too.  I fully think my parents are to blame for my sense of adventure, my love of travel, and from the stories Dad tells my fear of heights!

I remember snatches from several family trips we took when I was very young.  Either in the Ozarks or Silver Dollar City we went on a ride where we were given bags of "gold" and boarded a riverboat.  Partway along the ride we were boarded by "pirates" who came to steal our "gold".  I remember being distraught that they were going to take away my gold, and Mom explaining that it wasn't real gold and was part of the game.  Oh, to be 3 again.  [You'll notice everything I remember about Nebraska I was 3.  I was probably 2, 3, 4, or 5 in various memories, but it's easier to say I was 3.]

Other memories include playing basketball with tiny short hoops in preschool, taking nap time on those multi-colored rag rugs in Kindergarten, walking to and from school via a field of tall clover.  [OK, so it was like 18 inches high, but when I was little that was really tall.]  I remember making snow-angels in the yard with my brothers too.  And at the babysitter's I remember Spaghettios, little golden books, game shows like the Price is Right and 10,000 dollar Pyramid [well, that's all it was then], and watching KISS concerts on TV.  {Yes, little Golden books and KISS concerts it was a slightly warped but wonderful childhood.  =)}

I still go back to Nebraska regularly for Thanksgiving.  As you probably know, football is big in Nebraska.  So big that one of my uncles and two older cousins were listening to the game at one of my other cousin's weddings.  Not the reception mind you, the wedding itself.  I love my family!  A few years ago at thanksgiving I made Nebraska cookies with University of Nebraska colors and shaped like little footballs.  [My younger older brother, Don, gave me this great collection of cookie cutters for my birthday one year.  As all my friends know I can't cook for anything, but I can bake (especially when Pillsbury does all the mixing and all I have to do is bake and decorate.)  My oldest brother, Greg, [there are just the 2] helped me cut, bake, and decorate the cookies, and they were a hit in the living room as we all cought bits of the game [and watched Nebraska get creamed by Colorado.]  I'm not a huge sports fan, but like corn (my favorite food), football just goes with the territory of being from Nebraska.  Go Cornhuskers!

The other place I regularly travel is Arizona, where I spent most of my formative years.  Now that I'm moving to California, I'll have to add Washington to the list of places with fond memories and a requisite visiting schedule.