Post 8 in the A to Z Challenge. Here are the Letter H entries in my memoir encyclopedia.
I have a strange relationship with my hair. I like it sometimes, and other times it frustrates me. The best description is that it’s naturally wavy, but in reality, there are pieces that, when allowed to air dry, dry straight, while others dry curly or wavy. This results in a mess of hair with an identity crisis. Somedays, I can tell my hair just wants to be curly. On those days, I add a bit of product (usually sea salt spray) and let it be its curly self. Other days it wants to be more straight, so I blow dry it. I end up with straight hair in the front and wavy in the back, which drives me crazy, but I just try not to think about the back.
I have naturally blonde hair, and I’ve yet to color it. I’ve definitely considered it as I’ve gotten older and it’s gotten darker, but I can’t bring myself to do it (also, I have yet to find a hair dresser who will do it…they all say the won’t touch it). Despite never coloring it, almost everyone assumes I do because the sun gives it natural highlights akin to something you’d get at the salon. For the most part, I like my hair color, but I do wish it was lighter. If it ever turns brown, I’m pretty sure I’ll color it. I identify as a blondie, and can’t imagine being a brunette.
I like my hair best when I get a blow out at the salon. My hair ends up being straight, but with a bit of body, and it looks blonder and feels silky smooth. I always want my hair to look this good, but I can’t be bothered to mess with it everyday, so I settle for the occasional really good hair day and try to be okay with it the rest of the time.
My most vivid memory with my Uncle Henry was when I was about 8 or 9 and Andrew was 4 or 5. At the time, I think Uncle Henry was living with my grandparents, but he could have just been visiting. Anyhow, we were all in the living room, Mamaw in her rocking chair, Granddaddy in his recliner, and Uncle Henry, Andrew, and I on the floor. The TV was on, presumably tuned to Wheel of Fortune, and we had just finished our supper. Henry, being the goofball uncle that he is, was on the floor on all fours. I was on top of him, riding him like a horse, and my brother was on top of me. Uncle Henry bucked us around the room, trying to knock us off while we held on for dear life. We couldn’t stop laughing and never wanted this game to end. Mamaw and Granddaddy were also splitting at the sides.
Somewhere in one of my photo albums back home is this picture. Every time I see it, I’m taken back to that place and time, where all that mattered was that moment. There were no worries. Life was good. Nothing mattered except the love we had for one another and the fun we had together. I have many good memories like this of Uncle Henry from my youth. I wish he hadn’t moved away for so long. I’m sure I missed out on lots more fun times.
Our neighborhood park, about two blocks from my house, was Heritage Park, but we just called it ‘The Sidewalk Park’ on account of the maze of sidewalks throughout it. Heritage Park had a beautiful gazebo in the center, and occasionally you’d see a small wedding there. The park was filled with loads of trees that gave off plenty of shade, and there were a smattering of benches underneath some of the trees. A spiderweb of sidewalks coming off the gazebo in all directions zigzagged across the park and ran along the perimeter. There wasn’t any green space to run about, although you’d find grassy patches in between the sidewalks that were just perfect for stretching out on for a quick snooze or to gaze up at the clouds.
Andrew, Nicole and her siblings, and I would ride our bikes and rollerblades around the park for hours, twisting and turning, racing one another. When I went through my running phase in middle school, I’d run on the sidewalks while listening to my portable CD player. The crappy thing is that if I ran too fast, my CDs would skip, so I had to slow down in order to listen to Mmm Bop and Bone Thugs and Harmony’s Crossroads (I had diverse tastes even then.). Since it was serene and quiet most of the time, I’d sit on a bench to read or write in my notebook. I loved that park.