Note: I've been thinking a lot lately about my childhood...so here's a short memoir recounting a memorable event at my grandmother's house.
"What in the hell are you two boneheads doing?" my cousin Jamison yelled to us with a swagger as Shany and I dragged pieces of cardboard to the front yard. Jamison is four years older than us and has always had a mouth on him reflecting his lower-middle class, industrial upbringing, but my cousin Shany has always been able to hold her own. "What does it look like we're doing, you nimrod? We're building a treehouse. Go get a hammer!" she shouted back at Jamison who stood on the small four by four stone stoop that jutted from our grandmother's house. Ignoring the banter between my two cousins--the most lively of the nine of us--I continued to haul scraps of cardboard from my grandma's basement--a basement of kids' dreams--mazes of boxes filled with clothes, National Geographic Magazines, and old electronics. But we discovered the jackpot of all boxes: empties.