My mom remembers the days where I would organize the kids in the courtyard of our military quarters to play games, namely the Chronicles of Narnia, which of course necessitated we be properly clothed in any of the enormous assortment of dress-up clothes (and clothes we stole from my mother’s closet). We couldn’t be kings and queens of Narnia in jeans shorts, boxy t-shirts and flannel (it was the 90’s). Susan’s horn was a decorative metal scroll that my sister kicked out of her daybed, and Lucy’s cordial was something awful that I generally concocted out of herbs, spices, condiments,grass, weeds, water and hair conditioner.

Across the street from our courtyard there was the community stone carport which, because of its age still had rings across the back for people to tie up their horses. These were historic quarters after all (which was just code for bat infested). Behind the parking garage there was a large rolling field, like you can only find in the middle of Kansas. In the field there were trees that we named and used as houses. We would play for hours until 4:55 when we would promptly retreat to our houses for some juice and a few minutes of cartoons until the reveille and retreat was over and we no longer had to stand at attention (our neighborhood was  directly across the street from headquarters). Then the citizenry of Narnia would emerge until the bats flew out of our houses, which heralded supper time.

My family spent three years in that house, and we had many adventures, even as neighbors came and went each June/July. Those are fond memories, except possibly for my mother who came to be known as the woman whose children ran around in dress-up clothes.


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