In the beginning, there was Marvin.
We grew up together, and we played together all the time. Outside. All day.
As long as I can remember, Marvin was a part of my life. We were born 3 months apart; I was a baby in the blizzard of '78, and he was yet to enter the world. We grew. And we knew each other well. And it was good.
Marvin's older sister, Heather, held us both. There are pictures that prove it. I don't remember when I became aware of Marvin. He was always just there. When we were old enough to start playing by ourselves, we did. My memories playing together probably start with when I was old enough to use the phone.
A typical summer day began with one of us getting up and calling the other house. 884-7667, or 884 POOP as Marvin liked to brag.
"Is Marvin there?" A pause as he is called for.
"Hi can you come over and play?"
"Let me ask." Muffled voices. "Yes."
The Ground Rules. Simple, really.
1. I didn't go over to Marvin's house much, if at all. I was told the reason was because of my allergies; their house was in the woods. I didn't know all of the real reasons when I was little.
2. We weren't allowed to play inside. Mom was a neat freak. Plus we were kids and should have been playing outside anyway. It never bothered us.
Marvin would ride his bike over, either up his lane and down my driveway (he called it a lane and I called it a driveway) or through the field. When the plants were still small, we'd pick a bunch of them out to make a path. As years went on the paths became more complicated with curves and row shifts. I think I even remember two paths one year: a simple straight one and one that curved; I suppose this allowed for choosing what kind of path he felt like that day.
Those are the basics. Our days outside revolved around playing with each other most days, for most of the day. Breaks for meals or errands were taken, and then we resumed. There are many, many memories and I don't want to forget. This is my childhood.