Growing up in Southern California, I didn’t have the four seasons. Summer meant sloshing on the Slip n’ Slide and sticking the garden hose inside my dad’s inflatable lifeboat to fill it up for our own homemade swimming pool. Winter meant we might need a jacket while playing outdoors.
All in all, I grew up in a world of sunshine, orange trees, blooming hibiscus and bougainvillea.
I don’t recall much about Thanksgiving at our house. We usually had a turkey dinner with no one invited to join us. My dad had ongoing feuds with relatives, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with us dining by ourselves. One Thanksgiving my dad’s Aunt Myrtle invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner at her house. This seemed like a wonderful treat to go to someone’s house for Thanksgiving. Aunt Myrtle’s daughter, a teenager at the time, passed me a bowl of peas soon after we had all seated ourselves at the table and the prayer said. I passed the peas right on by as I hated peas. The teenage cousin said to my mom in a haughty tone, “Aunt Bev, shall I make her eat peas?” My mom told her it was okay for me to not eat peas. As you probably have guessed, I was never fond of that cousin after that.