July 16 ē 06:46 PM

It's true, girls just wanna have fun

June 18, 2008
So I'm standing in line at the Almont Food Center just waiting to pay for a couple of items that I can only find there. Important stuff like Del'Allo Italian hot pepper bruschetta marked 'diablo' on the label for a slight indication of how hot it is. This is one hot sauce that isn't adequately defined by the word 'diablo,' and I say that as a high compliment. Many so-called picante sauces say 'hot, hot, hot,' 'super hot,' 'fiery hot,' etc. etc. I have a whole container shelf on my refrigerator door dedicated to such ruses. Half-eaten jars and bottles of half-hot sauce that's nowhere near what their labeling implies. But this Del'Allo brand 'diablo' stuff is hot. Really hot. It's one of those that give you the under eye sweat right away and the full head perspiration activity within just a couple of bites. Sorry if this is TMI, but for hot sauce afficionados this is important information. Like me, many hot sauce freaks I know have wasted pockets of dough on bland stuff that doesn't deliver the desired affectation. The bad news is, though, the Almont Food Center is out of it. I've bought it all jar by jar. Even turned my sister Virginia on to it. She wants another jar and I'm all out too so that's why I'm in the Almont Food Center. That's when I see the girls.

There are two little girls, probably sisters, and a brother along with their mom in line in front of me. The oldest sister looks like she's about seven and the younger one's four or five at the most. They're neatly dressed, long shiny hair combed, skinny little girl legs poking out from under shorts and skirts.

They're giggling their heads off playing a little game. It's a game I'm familiar with but haven't seen in ages. It requires no computer, no batteries, no gadgets or accessories:

The littlest one keeps trying to pick up the bigger one. She wraps her arms around her older sister's waist and hoists her up into the air—the bigger girl's feet rising a few inches off the ground. The lift lasts only a minute followed by side splitting giggles and cackles from the girls. The more the little one tries to pick the bigger one up the harder they laugh. They're having a blast.

Pretty soon from the laughter and the repeated hoisting attempts the girls start stumbling a little. They're not in danger or anything, but they're starting to list into a nearby discount item shelf, grazing its contents ever so slightly.

Little brother is busy looking at the candy bars and chewing gum, quiet as a mouse. The little girl keeps trying to lift the bigger little girl up and they keep laughing and laughing. I start to chuckle, too.

I know this game. My sisters and I would play it every now and then, why I don't really know. Except maybe that it was crazy fun.

We had a somewhat early curfew when we were kids, had to be in the house at dusk, take baths and all that stuff to get ready for bed. We didn't have any tvs in our rooms or computers or anything like that so while the folks said it was bed time, we often weren't exactly in a sleepy mood. Sometimes Dawn and Virginia and I would meet in the hallway for reading out loud. I say "meet in the hallway" and it makes it sound like our house was huge. It was plenty big, but by today's standards where 3,000 square feet is the norm it's average, if not small. Dawn and I shared a room across from Virginia's and we'd meet in the hallway to make it easier to scatter into our own rooms once we heard Frank's creaky knee coming up the stairs. Back then we secretly called our dad 'Frank' to each other (Dawn started it) because it was also one of those things that made us laugh like crazy. She'd hear the knee and call out the alarm 'Frank! Frank! Frank!" and we'd race into our rooms and dive under the covers so we wouldn't get in trouble.

Anyhow, I was the oldest, don't exactly remember how old, but Dawn's three years behind me and Virginia's three years behind her. We'd get in these moods to challenge each other to see who could carry whom the farthest down the hall. Now you'd have to picture little Virginia, all legs and ribs, trying to heft Dawn or I down the hall a few inches. It was crazy, but it was a riot. Dawn—the consummate competitive swimmer—always won. She had some upper body strength going on, even back then.

Today we wouldn't dream of trying to lift each other off the ground, what with backaches, tendonitis, bad knees and all. We lift each other up in different ways. And sometimes, especially with Dawn, it's just as funny.

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Castle Creek
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