Chapter 1- Genesis

I. Genesis

Tales from the beginning, New Hampshire snow, rambunctious pre-school days, tee-ball, lessons learned, flirting at Disney, giving props to mom, and everything else I left out.

 “I must confess, I was born at a very young age”. Although this Groucho Marx quote has always been considered one of humor more than anything else, I believe there to be some simplistic truth to it. Yes of course we all we’re born young, quite young actually, but the main aspect I derive is that we were all born with nothing. That “nothing” is not based off economic wealth or material possession but rather the lack of knowledge, experience, and time we have under our belts. The old adage is that we are all given a blank slate or canvas and what we do with it symbolizes who we are. Once you are born that empty slate is quickly filled with your environment, your parents, the doctor that delivers you, the television shows you grow up viewing. It all is connected. Nothingness is immediately gone once we are born as our life begins to unfold. I can’t attribute who I am today to any one specific event,person, or idea. It is the sum of all of these things minus what I deemed to be unfitting for my life. I have emulated certain characteristics of others, stayed away from other traits, creating my own “style” if you will which in turn creates me, and you, both products of our own self but also the millions around us. The thing about life and opinions is that they are always changing, always adapting to situations. Certainly maintaining strong morals or ideas about whatever you believe in is vitally important but at the same time realizing no one knows the absolute truth, we can only search to find it. While searching for it we tend to find our own idea of “the truth” or whatever you wish to call your direction in life. That direction might change, you might wish you had gone a different direction, you might hate the direction you’re going, but it’s your choices and everyone and everything around you that pointed you in that direction.

Luckily in my case I have been surrounded almost entirely by positive people and placed in an environment which was favorable. I am forever indebted to my parents for putting me in a position where the opportunity to succeed was so present. Success in my mind being; the ability to engage in an activity you have a strong passion for, and make a comfortable living while doing so. My parents have always respected my interests whatever they may be and have been adamant supporters of mine whether it be music, athletics, or simply reading my poetry. It was their hard work, dedication and foresight that gave me access to these various options and allowed me to grow. It also permitted me the ability to become familiar with an eclectic array of activities, lifestyles, and people. Being a part of different teams, clubs, and groups has rendered the advantage of meeting people from all walks of life. In high school in particular I found myself hanging out with kids from all different social groups and getting introduced to new things daily. While interacting with differing cliques and crews I always maintained and still to this day sustain the relationships I have with my core group of friends. This group is composed of some of the most hilarious, thoughtful, energetic, down to earth people I’ve ever come across and being able to call them my closest friends is an honor. We have all shared countless days and nights together doing everything you can imagine and more, some of it stupid, all of it fun. The great thing about our group is we can have a good time doing nearly anything. Having a destination or an event to go to is nice but it’s not the focal point, it’s simply being around good company, having good conversation and making lasting memories.

I suppose I should do this in some sort of chronological order although I know it’s a matter of time before I start bouncing back and forth from year to year and story to story. Until then, I’ll talk about my early years. I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town . The town’s being Wilton, New Hampshire and Mattapoisett MA, respectively. My 5 year stay in Wilton was short yet sweet and although I was very young I still have very fond memories of that house and that area. Our house had a huge driveway that was set on a large decline leading down towards the garage. This driveway proved to be a perfect place for riding my bike, drawing with chalk, and playing any other sport/game you can think of.  The only negative side was that during New Hampshire winters our driveway was seemingly difficult to dig out. I can remember a huge snow storm on my birthday one year, maybe I was four, and my cousins were coming up to visit from New Jersey.

Before they arrived we we’re out in the storm working to clear a path for them. I should clarify, my parents were working. I most likely was simply holding a shovel while jumping around in the snow messing up their progress. That night sticks out to me because it was the first time I had a small realization about how endless and awesome things were. I can still vividly recall just looking up at all the snow and seeing the garage lights illuminate everything around me and I was just in awe of everything. I can’t describe it accurately but it’s always been in my head, that quick snapshot of snow falling from the night sky yet everything seemed so bright. I’m not sure the significance or if there is any but it was a memory nonetheless. I also remember once my cousins did arrive we had a late night cake for my birthday. It was decorated to look like a football field with goalposts and little guys on it and everything, props mom.  My mom has always been creative with things of that nature. Every birthday during my childhood I can remember her having different themes I would enjoy and even just in everyday looking for unique fun things I might enjoy trying. She carries that same mentality about gift giving. She’ll very rarely be caught giving a boring present to someone. She’d much rather search for a practical gift the person will truly enjoy and get some use out of than taking the gift card route, which is certainly appreciated by the recipient. I’m drifting. Back to New Hampshire.

 

Firefighter Stage

As well as a large driveway we also had a very spacious backyard which offered endless possibilities for a young curious kid. Every kid has their stage whether it be a cowboy stage, cop stage, ninja stage, and for me it was the firefighter stage. The firefighter stage lasted a while and I actually really miss it. I used to stand in my backyard and spray the hose at the woods pretending there was a huge forest fire I had to put out. Hours and hours would pass and I would just be infatuated with spraying different parts of the woods trying to make sure “it was all out”. I apologize to the citizens of Wilton at the time who used town water, almost ran the tower dry a few times.   It’s amazing how much fun I, and young kids can have with nearly anything. It’s all new to us at that age and we just have the constant desire to explore. I believe the human mind above all things, is curious. We should all carry a little piece of that with us, just remember that young mind who just wanted to see everything and do everything and absorb as much of the world as we could. It’s hard in the busy lives we lead and some would say unrealistic to think we can live like children but if you can accomplish maintaining some of that analytical mindset, that’s huge.

I wish I could say my obsession with becoming a fireman came from wanting to save lives and help people during a crisis. But truthfully I just loved spraying the water. Oh, and of course the poles they got to slide down, those were a big attraction too. My parents used to take me to the fire station and I got to sit on the truck and honk the horn and put on the sirens and everything, it was a blast. I used to play “fire” in the basement with my dad, he made me a fire truck out of cardboard which I absolutely loved and would play in every day. There’s another example of the simplicity of childhood. We used to make something out of nothing every day, just creating and exploring and having a ball doing it. Think of your own life you probably made forts out of couch cushions and blankets at least a few times growing up. Think of how fun that was. We have to, well I believe we have to keep some of that innovative outlook and apply it to our lives now on a larger scale. Maybe the couch cushion analogy is a bit of a reach but you understand the concept, create.

Not only creating but just being active and getting engaged in something, anything, has always been a main theme in my life. I have loved sports since day one. Anything that keeps me moving is enjoyable to me.  I honestly don’t understand how my parents did it because as a kid I was off the walls. I used to wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and go in to their room wanting to play hide and seek. That’s cute for the first couple of days but it definitely got old, fast. If you know me now you know I can be a little wild sometimes, my wildest now was my absolute tamest back then. Just constant motion constant questions constant dialogue. Although, that sounds really annoying and I’m probably over assessing myself because that’s just what I tend to do. But even still, I was loose cannon. I used to have this Tasmanian Devil T-shirt. For those unfamiliar, “Taz” was an animated Looney Tunes character who was notorious for being off the walls and sometimes outright crazy. I was attracted to that amount of energy, I wanted it. Getting out that energy was an absolute must and I generally turned to sports. Baseball used to be my favorite sport by far. The tee ball days were a blast and the little league days even more so.  I’ll save little league tales for later though, for sake of staying with somewhat of a timeline.  I still remember a couple of my tee ball buddies Evan and Tyler who I’d always hangout with. I just realized the amount of times I’m going to say “I remember” during this is outrageous; I’ll try to be conscious of it. I remember when I was in, gotchya. Sorry, I tend to ramble and although stream of consciousness is a useful tool for writers, it’s probably annoying for you guys. So, let’s get back in the swing of things, literally.

Backstop

One memory in my head which was actually somewhat traumatic came from on the baseball diamond. After the games we used to all run around the field, running the bases, tackling each other and you  know just being boys. One night while doing this one of the kids decided to venture over to the backstop fence and climb up it…not the brightest move. Needless to say the parents were all yelling to him to come down and it turned into chaos. One minute he had been running around the next he’s 20 feet up on this thing holding on for dear life. The next thing was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen, especially at that age. He inevitably fell from the top and it was just the worst sound thud/crack I’ve ever heard. That too happened so quickly it was hard to even comprehend. Within minutes ambulances and what seemed like dozens of other rescue/police vehicles were there, it was scary. The kid was screaming in tremendous agony and no one really knew what he had hurt or at least I didn’t I was just standing there in shock. No offense to whoever the parents were but had that been me Pammy Ellis would’ve been there pulling me down after the first 2 steps, props mom. Luckily for the boy he only suffered a broken leg and a broken rib or two, not by any means pleasant injuries to go through but it could’ve been far worse, fatal even.

It’s amazing to think one decision like that could put your entire life in jeopardy. I don’t need to lecture on the impact one event can have on your entire life but it is true and my father has always stressed that to me. The notion of “there are many things you can do wrong and learn from, and that can help you later one, but there a few things that if you screw up, they are irreversible”. It’s certainly something to think about and keep in the back of your mind. We sadly see young people pass away far too often due to circumstances that could’ve easily been avoided. It’s a shame. There seems to be a constant theme of keeping things in the back of your mind, or front, either way (youth, repercussions of actions) just maintaining a clear perspective, which is easier said than done. When something serious (oftentimes negative ) happens people have a tendency to reevaluate their own lives. It’s important to not only think a certain way immediately after a serious event but to carry those feelings with you and let them serve as a reminder. That can be burdensome and difficult to do at times but in the long wrong it will benefit, or I believe it will at least help you’re overall outlook. That’s just me.

My parents have both played a large role in shaping my overall outlook and more specifically my core values. Having strong morals is something both my mother and father take very seriously and it has always been admirable to me. I began to notice these traits when I was merely a child and certain events always stuck out to me but I couldn’t really identify why until later on. Sometimes you don’t realize the importance of something, or why that particular thing happened until much later on and then you look back and think, wow, that makes sense now. It’s a small revelation. A few instances come to mind from my early years where at the time I knew wow that’s pretty amazing, but what does it mean? And now thankfully, I’ve discovered what they do, sort of.

There are undoubtedly moments right now I will look back on and say wow, that meant that? Or ohh that’s why that happened. I definitely subscribe to the idea that things, people, situations are put into our lives for different reasons. Not all positive, but all opportunities. You can gain or take something away from every interaction if you really choose to. Some more influential and monumental than others but regardless everything is a chance to grow, change, evolve. I don’t wanna get too philosophical, yet. But I’ve recently had this grandiose idea in my head about how each action no matter how small has an impact on your whole life. Sounds like common sense right? But truly everything you do, the words I’m writing right now, they’re all part of something much greater. I’ve been calling it the ripple effect theory, kinda corny. Some of you are probably thinking I’m spinning off the world after reading that little rant but I assure you I’m plenty sane, as far as I know.

Movie Story

Okay, back to it. Sometimes I get carried away with my own thoughts, I’m sure you’ve been there. Anyways I was about to touch on a key occasion where my parents actions had a moral impact on me. Bear in mind there are millions of these occasions but for sake of time and ink I will just share this one I remember specifically from my New Hampshire days. It’s incredible to me how some moments, no matter dated become lodged in our memory so well and how you can relive them so easily. Oftentimes I can remember a certain event from 7 years ago better than a happening that took place 7 days ago. I don’t mean to ensue I have Alzheimer’s or memory loss or something but it’s crazy to me how certain things your mind holds onto. I think that goes back into not knowing what the moments mean until later on, even miniscule interactions might later on reveal themself to you, everything means something. Take this example. At the time I was probably 3 or 4 .  I was being punished for something, for what I’m not sure, there were plenty of reasons.  The main penalty was that I wasn’t allowed to watch my favorite movie for a couple of days. This movie was my absolute favorite I can still see it, it had a red cover, there was a blue covered one too but that one was rarely watched, red was where it was at. The movie showed all these different jobs like pilots or train engineers and of course the reason I watched it, firefighters. It had this catchy song “take a look around the world and see, just what I wanna be”, anyways that’s neither here nor there, the point is I watched it nearly every night and no longer could. However, there was a catch. My mom was the one who had decided on the punishment and apparently hadn’t mentioned it to my dad.

So, when my mom was out of the house and my dad asked me if I wanted to watch the movie I was surprised, excited, but also felt wrong doing it. I could tell he had no idea mom had forbidden it otherwise he definitely wouldn’t have suggested it. Anyways, I didn’t know it at the time but I was at a mini crossroads. Do I tell him the truth knowing he was oblivious to the rule and suffer through not watching the best movie ever made. Or, do I keep my mouth shut, enjoy the movie , and run the risk of receiving the wrath of pammy. I also realized even this young that not only would I be in trouble but my dad most likely would take most of  the heat for this. So what did I do? I told him. I know, I know, I had the movie right there in my grasp, no one would know, my mom probably wouldn’t have found out, but my conscious prevailed.  What happened next was so unexpected and only further reinforced that telling the truth was the right thing to do. My dad was so proud of me for being honest with him that he allowed me to watch the movie anyways. I had the approval of my dad and of course the access to firefighter movie. It was a really cool moment. I had gotten the best of both worlds because I was up front in a difficult situation. Of course, not every time you tell the truth will it turn out to be “the best of both worlds”. But in this case I was granted almost instantaneous karma. I’ve always thought back to that moment and admired my dad for the way he handled the situation and how he rewarded me for doing the right thing. He has always stressed to me the importance of honesty even in trying situations. Oftentimes it is tremendously difficult to say or do what you know is right. Especially if you know the outcome isn’t what is ideal at the time.

A quote that’s always been a personal favorite touches on this very dilemma and states “People seldom do what they believe in they do what is convenient, then repent.” The quote is nearly completely self-explanatory but I’ll give a brief analysis of it for kicks. It’s really hard to do what you truly believe in when that belief is not the most desirable at the time. I know I myself have been effected and steered away from my views on something’s because of it simply not being “convenient” and also other factors, peers,media,etc who may or may not deem the behavior acceptable.

Many people, including myself would rather go against their core belief for the sake of it being easier in the moment and hoping the repercussions are not negative. The idea of saying sorry for the action is a lot more appealing than missing out,which shouldn’t be the case but often is. I’ve found however that if you try, at least try to consistently do the right thing, I mean no one is perfect we all have slip ups, but if you make the effort, good things will in turn happen to you.

The author of this quote Bob Dylan is no stranger to doing what he believes in especially in his music and writing.  I’ve been a Dylan fanatic for years now. The stories he tells in his songs and poems are hauntingly true and resonate with so many people, including myself. His ability to tap into your emotions is incredible while still leaving much of the lyrics to your own interpretation. The lyrics often will leave the listener and or reader with the opportunity to decide for themselves what it is truly about, to them. I could talk about Dylan and his work for hours, and probably will at some point later in this but for the sake of your boredom I’ll stop. I don’t have the energy  to delve into that now.

So, after talking about how Dylan leaves things up to the reader I guess I should let you take whatever you want out of the movie story. I, took out that doing the right thing when no ones looking is hard  but ultimately is still the right thing, in this particular case I was rewarded. It was like trying to decide whether or not to run a red light in the middle of the night, you know you’re not supposed to but you also know you could get away it. It might’ve meant a million other things to you too but it was a really defining moment for me on the importance of right/wrong and honesty and I applaud my dad for the way he acted in the situation.

Father and Son

I’m certain I’ll be applauding him multiple more times in this book as he really is my biggest role model and the person I strive to be like every day. His honesty, work ethic, and overall demeanor is that of a gentleman and even in the face of adversity he maintains composure, and 99% of the time makes the right decision. I have always aimed to make my father proud of me. He has given me the world and instilled so much wisdom in me and I want him to see that it truly is sinking in and having an impact. I want him to see some results. I want him to know I was actually paying attention not only during the life talks we’ve had, but in observing how he interacts with others and carries himself.

I guess wanting to make him proud started quite young too. Being a part of the New Hampshire swim club I can remember always wanting to win and then being able to show off the ribbons to my parents. More than anything it was just fun, just swimming and hanging out with kids in the pool, sounds good to me. But really, after anything competitive or sometimes even during I’d look to my parents for approval and see them cheering and it just felt cool. It was a mix between feeling great that they were there supporting me, and me wanting to impress them. One time I tried to impress them too much and I shortly realized after it was dumb of me, but pretty funny. They had gotten me this baseball sticker book and you could put the right players on the right teams and stuff. But there was also a ton of reading in it, a very extensive, thick book just about baseball history and the game in general. The stickers were right up my alley but the reading was probably at a 5th grade level and I was definitely not “smarter than a fifth grader”. Lame joke but I had to.  The thing was I could obviously read I just hadn’t ever read a full big book and the vocabulary was just way over my head. The intentions were mainly to use it for the pictures and stickers but I didn’t understand that. I wanted to read it. More so I wanted them to think I read it.

So, one night I can recall  going  upstairs while they were making dinner or something and just literally skimming through the book. I would just look at each line of the book and breeze by it, in my head if my eyes saw each line I was reading it. I knew that wasn’t true but I was trying to simulate how long a good reader would take to read it. Needless to say I got bored of just scanning through words with no meaning or plot so when I told my parents an hour or so later at dinner I had read the entire book they were skeptical to say the least. It was funny though; they didn’t come outright and tear my claim down. They knew I hadn’t read it, it was nearly impossible the book was huge, they couldn’t have read it that fast. But, they let it play out and instead my dad in a way called my bluff. “Awesome, let’s hear it after dinner!”. Caught. It was another learning experience where I just thought why, why did I try to pull that with them, they can read, and clearly they can read bullshit too. Looking back it’s hilarious, it was probably the first time I felt embarrassed actually, well that I can remember. I’m sure I peed my pants or something and felt embarrassed about it before then, who knows. All I do know is that nothing has changed as far as “showing off” to my dad goes . Whether it be behavior, grades, sports, music, values, or the ability to read up 5 levels the core desire to show him I want to grow up to be the man he is will always remain.

He’d without question say the same thing about his father. I’m certain from talks with him and simply in how he has lived his life that making his dad proud was always very important to him.  My grampie raised 4 boys and did a hell of a job doing so. He taught the same values my father has passed down to me. Being a loyal, hard-working, honest, friendly, and helpful gentlemen was the recipe for how a man should carry himself. Pretty solid recipe I’d say. Speaking of recipes, while my grampie did do a tremendous job at his role, he’s got nothing on my Grammies famous deserts. When I was younger I was always envious of grampie for getting to eat the sweets and  amazing food grammie made on holidays, every day. I was under the impression for a while that grammie brought out huge spreads like that for grampie every day. Nevertheless she makes the best desserts I’ve ever had. They were so good that even after a turkey dinner , you know that feeling where you just want to pass out from being so stuffed?

These desserts make you forget that. They make you eat 5 peanut butter/chocolate rice krispies and a frosting filled cupcake without hesitation. Now of course, everyone’s grandmothers have some awesome recipes and I’d be willing to bet you have a similar appetite for some of their stuff. But, I still stand by grammie ellis’ work 100%. Put her in Eddie’s million dollar cook off and she’d be the front runner no doubt in my mind. For those of you who were pre- or post Disney channel era, you probably didn’t catch that reference, but it’s there. What happened to Disney Channel? It fell off quick huh? Even Stevens, the jersey, even lizzie mcguire. I’m not even sure what’s on now but I would gladly take Kim possible over wizards of waverly place any day. I digress.

Back to my grandparents. Sounds like a boring start to a paragraph but really elders are so vitally important. At a young age we were always told to “Respect your elders”, but ere never really told why. Sure they were older, but what did that mean when we were young? Hardly anything. As the years went by I started to realize, wow they have been through it all. The majority of our generations grandparents have been through some serious stuff. Great Depression, WWII, the moon landing, Berlin Wall, to name a few. They have been through not only our country’s ups and downs but nearly a centuries worth of ups and downs in their own life. After only a couple of decades it’s amazing what we have discovered, now multiply that by 4 or even 5. It’s wild.

Regretfully, I only started to really appreciate and take advantage of this in the past couple of years. Having a conversation, even a short one with a grandparent or any elder for that matter is so beneficial to both parties. They have more stories than you can imagine and you can learn a tremendous amount by simply sitting back and listening for a few minutes. Sadly both of my grandfathers have passed away but what remains are the wonderful times we have had together and the stories told and lessons learned. Being able to sit down and speak with a grandparent is a luxury and a privilege, not a guarantee. It’s scary to think about that but its reality. Make a point to just reach out once and a while to your elders, thank them, talk to them, it’ll make their day and most likely make yours as well.

While learning from our elders, we must also remember to pass down and share this knowledge and insight with others. Many of you probably have older or younger siblings so you know the impact someone like that can have on you, positively or negatively. I myself am an only child so I basically looked up to my parents, and a few older kids . But, being able to transmit the right things to younger folks, is vital. At young ages, and even now, we are all so very impressionable. We see someone doing something, we respect them, we start to do it. In fact, sometimes respect doesn’t even have to be there. I mentioned before not knowing why we were told to “respect our elders “but we did. Even if those elders were just 3 years older we still looked up to them. And what they did, we did.

As not a brother but an older cousin I try to portray a positive image for my younger cousins, as positive as I can. It’s tough to toe the line between being a “cool, fun cousin” and one they can learn from and continue to respect. My older cousin Ryan was always good at finding that happy medium.  I hope that I have done that for my younger cousin Jake and that he continues to do so for my youngest cousins Jonah and Neil.

It all hit me how much he really looked up to me when his dad (my uncle Rich) told me about something Jake had said to him. Jake had actually not only said this to his ad but also to his school teacher. What he said was that he wanted to be like his cousin Bradley; he wanted to play sports but also do well in school. I’m not one to pat my own back but just hearing that really made me feel good about myself and what I was doing. And even more so it showed me that I truly was a role model to him and I needed to continue to live up to that image and expectation. We often have role models or super stars or celebrities who for whatever reason passion,fame,hardwork,skill, attracts us to who they are. But there is something to be said when a role model is close to you, in this case family. You can see and identify some of the tangible things you are doing and how you are having an impact. More so, you can see that the overall way you carry yourself has a direct effect on how whoever is looking up to you will lead his or her life. It’s an incredible responsibility but also an honor to know you can reach someone in a positive way.

Jake is my man, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and although he’s a little crazy sometimes, who isn’t. Maybe he gets that from me too. Anyways, he’s a great kid and just likes to be active like I do. Starting at a very young age he was really into hockey. He loves it. I can remember going to one of his games a few years ago and the way he flew around the ice was amazing. He’s got a cocky side but rightly so as the few games ive seen him play, he’s always scored. This past year he played on the highschool hockey team as a freshman which is pretty impressive. I’ve got to tip my hat to em, he’s been working at it for years and years and it’s paying off. I’ve got a couple hilarious Jake stories . I’ll split em up into real short stories so you can decide which ones u want to  read. Or you can read both.  Or you can just pass them and go to the next part. Your choice.

Man Overboard

This story I will remember forever as it is the first an opefully only time I will ever see this happen. Judging by the title I bet  you can imagine what is going to happen. So, we’re on oour power boat (23 ft Sea ray) and had been on the water all day, I think we went to some islands/the beach. Anywho earlier in the day when we had been tied up and anchored on the mooring jake and I had been jumping off the back of the boat. Which is normal, because the boat is not moving and the engine….is not on. Being roughly 6 or 7 Jake unfortunately failed to realize this concept. Instead, when we were returning home and we started to get close to the boats and the moorings, he just decided to jump off the boat. Now, I’ve jumped in while a boat was moving and we weren’t exactly in neutral, we were moving. But I can imagine its similar to the worst belly flop you’ve ever done to the nth degree. I think he attributed seeing all the boats and just the general area with swimming. “Ya I jumped off the boat kinda near here before, let’s do it again…while the boats going”. Granted, he was young, he hadn’t been in that environment before but still, ahhh  my man jake, what were you thinking. Anyways, his dad was naturally heated at this situation and I can still remember him grabbing him out of the water but although he was pissed he still kept his cool explaining why he couldn’t do that. It really could’ve been bad for obvious reasons and luckily it didn’t amount to anything but a learning experience but it just was a crazy scene overall. Conclusion, jumping off boats is fun, when they are stationary.

It was in reverse

I should’ve made this disclaimer earlier. None of these stories are meant to bash Jake, they just all are pretty funny/wild stories I felt should be shared. And looking back he more than anyone finds hilarity in these times. This next one, I actually wasn’t home for when the incident took place. I came home to the aftermath minutes later however which was just as interesting. We were having Jake and Rich down for a beach day and forever reason when they arrived none of us were home. My dad had gone down to the beach to set up chairs and get the boat ready and if I recall correctly I was, maybe getting ice or doing some sort of errand. Any who when I got home I immediately noticed something, a hole in our garage. I really had no idea what could’ve happened. I knew or was almost positive, that my dad would’ve have hit it with the car, but I couldn’t think of any logical explanation for it.

I honestly for some reason considered someone could’ve been trying to or had broken in. Even in the broad daylight, in Mattapoisett it was still a slight possibility. Turns out it was luckily not a thief at all but rather a poor judgment call and a slip of the foot. We, and nearly the entire rest of our neighborhood all have golf carts for cruising around and going to the beach. Jake,  had decided it would be a good idea to hop in the driver’s seat of that golf cart. Of course the button/lever was in reverse rather that drive and he like any other young kid would, hit the gas. Yes, the inevitable happened as Jake crashed into, or should I say through the garage. I still to this day give him grief about it and am also still a bit skeptical about him driving the golf cart, and rightly so. I’ve seen him play those Nascar video games.

As  I said, these stories weren’t intended on displaying how crazy or foolish my cousin is, although he is at times. But rather just a funny recap of some memorable happenings. I myself am guilty of far more foolish,stupid,idiotic things as you will come to hear and find out about throughout this book. We all have our moments and if we’re lucky enough we can look back and laugh at them and just say damn, I was being a dumbass.

Now, I just realized neither of those last two stories took place in the 0-5 age range I was hoping to stay on for this chapter. 7,000 words in and I’m already going off script. I feel like this whole project will be somewhat “off script” to a certain extent. I’m writing when I think of a memory, when I feel inspired, when something exciting happens, when I want to. As of right now I’m almost solely writing stream of consciousness and hoping to just get out as much content and stories as I can right away and then worry about editing and formatting later. Who knows this paragraph I’m writing now might not even make it in the actual book. I just feel like letting myself spill everything and then determining what to cut out and how to make it concise will be a useful method. Hopefully. That’s why I like songs/poems they capture so many feelings in a concise way, and then that feeling is done, at least for that song. It has a beginning and an end. With writing in general it feels like I could go forever. Like I am now. Okay end of paragraph.

I slowly veered away from my childhood stage so let’s step back into that. I got sidetracked when I was talking about family. My grandmother and grandfather both have been huge supporters throughout the years. Even as young as pre-school I can remember them coming from their home in Natick, MA to come see my pre-school, or maybe it was kindergarten graduation. Whichever it was I am certain that they were there and  I also am certain I was dressed up like a mouse . Our class had done a play to “if you give a mouse a cookie” and I can remember having to wear these whiskers that itched so badly. It was like having hair on your nose at the barbers shop but u couldn’t knock it off. Besides that it was fun, I suppose. I just can remember thinking “grammie and grampie are here!” I realize now how much that really meant, they took the time to drive to new Hampshire and be apart of that moment in my life. They’ve continued to be supporters in everything from my little league games, to concerts, to simply caring enough to call and see how things are going. Getting an unexpected call from someone who just genuinely cares how you’ve been doing, is an amazing feeling. We need more of that. Well hey, who am I to say what we need more of. I personally think  it’s great though.

Disney

I haven’t even mentioned arguably the most memorable part of my  New Hampshire years. That being, going to Disney. Disney, as the world knows is like heaven to a little kid. It’s got everything  a kid dreams of packed into what is essentially a small city. It’s overwhelmingly fun. The preparation/announcement that we were going to Disney was almost just as exciting as being at the actual park. My parents were trying to keep it quiet for a while in hopes of surprising me. They surprised me alright. I actually had never thought the idea of going to Disney was possible for some reason. It just was some far off fantasy place to me. So when I caught my mom spelling out D-I-S-N-E-Y to my dad,  I lost it. I could tell it was supposed to be a secret by the way they reacted when I said Disney. I was so excited. My dad used to do this thing where he would pretend to fly me around the house in a “spaceshiP’ which was simply his arms but I could control where we were going . It was the highlight of my night every night. Whenever it was time for bed he’d carry, or I should say fly me to my room and we’ always have a  “crash landing” into the bed .That used to be a blast. So, naturally when the cat was out of the bag about Disney we went flying around the house simulating what the plane was going to be like and just completely thrilled at what I was about to experience. Damn. Hearing that news, soaking up that excitement, that was a great feeling. Thanks guys.

While I don’t remember much about the plane rides (besides my ears popping) I do know that the few days we were at Disney I embraced every second of it. I had one of those autograph books that you could get characters to sign. The book was filled front to back by the end. I was obsessed with getting everyone’s autograph, especially the ones I liked. The first part of the park we went to was for Ariel from the little mermaid. I thought it was cool because water was shooting up from the ground while u were waiting so I kept running in between the sprinklers n’ stuff. Even waiting in lines at Disney was fun at that time. We also met Pocahontas; guess I was going after all the girls. When I got up there for the autograph she asked me where I was from. When I said New Hampshire she mentioned she had never seen snow before. That was sad to me I thought everyone deserved to see snow especially since I loved it so much. So, I told her I would send her a snowball in the mail so she could finally get the chance to see it.  I was actually laying on some solid game back then.  Clearly I didn’t take into account the fact that it would without question melt within minutes of being in the mail, but I really wanted her to see some snow. Should’ve told her I’d pay for her ticket back to New Hampshire with me, now we’re talking.

As much as I wish I could say I loved going on all the rides, I really don’t remember too many of them. There is however one exception. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Apparently the ride was actually at Disney prior to the movie coming out, beats me. So there I was, 5  years old all excited to be at Disney, excited to go on this cool pirate ride. But then. Then I peeked in to see the ship that you got on and noticed that they were shooting cannonballs that were landing awfully close to the ship. Even as a child I realized it  was obviously a ride but I actually believed that the cannonballs were real. I thought they had workers trained to shoot them close, but so they would not directly hit the boat. I didn’t trust the workers, at all. My dad stood there and tried to pacify my worries but nothing would comfort me at that point. My mind was set, I would not go on that ride. I still feel a little bad, it looked like a fun ride, and my dad definitely wanted to go, oh well.

We would have plenty more boat adventures of our own in later years, and still have many to come. We tallied countless hours out on the sail/power boats throughout the years fishing,tubing,cruising,jumping off(while anchored-jake), wakeboarding, you name it we probably have done it out on the water. Our neighborhood breeds boat owners and beach goers. It’s truly a beautiful place to live. I’m very fortunate to have the luxury of not only beach access but living in an area where so many kids my age grew up. We really raised one another, of course with a little help from our parents. But in all seriousness, the older kids showed us the ropes and we, followed suit and taught the younger kids the ins and outs. Granted some stuff we shouldn’t have heard/seen /done as early as we did, but that was the neighborhood and it shaped who we are today. From playing football til dinnertime everyday afterschool, to shoveling driveways on snow days, to riding bikes around the farm, to coming in late, waiting a little bit and  then sneaking out, to going fishing for entire days, that was and is the neighborhood. Neighborhood Shenanigans, nothing has changed to this very day.

The Ocean, the neighborhood gang, both are deserving of their own chapters. I’m sure they will surface in various other chapters as both are very influential parts of my life. I just feel in order to do the two justice they need their own sections, they won’t be short by any means. Especially the neighborhood chapter. Between our crew of friends we could talk and tell stories for a week and still be leaving events out. That’s one thing I plan to do in this book. Share others perspectives as well as mine. A memoir is well and good but at some point you want a change of pace, you need to jump into someone else’s shoes. So, I will be having friends, family, teammates, anyone, write passages and stories and just share occasions they think would be cool to have in the book, and I’ll throw em in. I also will have times during this book where I will tell a story and just leave it as is. Sometimes it’s nice to have that “moral of the story” outlook, but other times I feel it’s important to simply let the reader take what he or she may take out of it. Let the story stand on its own.

It’s difficult to say for sure what the lesson or overall message of any one event is. Sure, there are definite learning experiences you can draw on but to point at one circumstance and say “this is when I learned not to lie” is naive. It’s a culmination of so much more than that. In fact, I’d say we are never fully reaching that complete realization of values,beliefs,etc. They are always changing even in the smallest ways. The most Christian man still will be tempted and tested by his faith and that inevitably will change him. But not only that, everyday life will change him and his opinions, as it does ours, even if so subtly and almost subconsciously.

Just as we are changing, this book and the structure of it will always be changing. Right now I think I’m at one of those changes or at least the conclusion to the chapter, for now. I’m sure I’ll be adding to each chapter as I go along but until then I think I’ve captured what I can. There are other memories and moments I remember and millions more I don’t.  But, to document everything would be tedious for me and boring for you. While on that, I hope to not bore you as the reader. This first chapter was setting the stage, giving a brief glance at my childhood.  But, know that the dynamic at which I will be writing will be switching throughout. If this was boring to you, there is excitement to come, there is sadness to come, there is regret to come, there is love to come, there is more to come.


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