Looking for answers to life's questions

A couple of months after my eighth birthday mom brought home another little brother. So there we were, an eight year old, a three year old, a one year old and an infant. I’m pretty certain that is why my sister managed to be so elusive for my mother. Our play was required to be quiet and sedate. Not exactly descriptive of my sister. We were in military housing and things had to remain perfect for our exit inspection. They always were. No hand prints and no marks on the walls or floors. Kind of a neat trick. Go outside and play was the constant refrain.

Mom and dad must have somehow managed to afford a shiny new 24” skinny tired bicycle with green fenders for my 8th birthday. I was so surprised and delighted with this vehicle of freedom that I was off riding any of the few spare moments I had.

One afternoon I was inside helping mom with my little brothers when something caught mom’s eye. There were GI’s in the windows of the barracks across the street  with frantic looks on their faces.

Mom knew that look. She had seen it before and probably would again. “Where is your sister” she said. I went outside but didn’t see her at first glance. A moment later I saw a flash of green flying by. My three-year-old sister was straddling the lower curve of my bike with her arms outstretched to reach the handlebars and her feet and legs back behind her peddling for all she was worth. I stared just like the GI’s with my mouth and eyes wide as she weaved expertly in and out of the parked cars in front of our building. Then she turned in the other direction and rode back down the side of the street where no cars were parked for some distance, turned,  then repeated the pattern between the parked cars.

I was sure she would hit one but somehow, she managed to awkwardly turn the handlebars at just the right moment and keep going. When I finally had the presence of mind to call her name, unable to apply the brakes at that awkward angle, she just jumped off the bike and let it crash-land. Apparently, she had taught herself to ride it while I was in school but hadn’t figured out the braking part yet. All those crash landings would take my bike from shiny new to well-worn to all but destroyed in a matter of months. Somehow she remained unscathed.

So much for my freedom rides. My sister had them now. The odd part was she looked so happy riding that bike and I rarely had time. Nothing was going to slow her down.

 

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "SUZY Q The Bicycle" (42)

  1. You have a real talent for suspense-writing, especially when it comes to your sister’s adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. She could do that at only three years of age? Your baby sister was a savant!! I wonder if the GI’s kept an eye out for her – I can just imagine them saying to each other “Whad’ll that kid get up to next?” 🙂 Great writing Marlene xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • My sister had no fear of anything and I can’t imagine how she taught herself to do that. She was laying in the curve of that bike! The GI’s couldn’t tell which apartment she came from so they couldn’t come pounding on our door. It was always something with her. Thanks for the kind words. Trying to get some order to these stories. We were talking about some of her later antics the other day when she was visiting. More to come. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bicycle riding as a kid and how you learn it, is big touchstone for me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t even remember learning how, I’m pretty sure my German friends loaned me one of theirs and taught me. My sister could have taught herself to ride a motorcycle had there been one to access. Anything for speed. 🙂

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  4. Your sister was a pistol! You’re such a great story teller, Marlene. I’m loving this series of posts! Have a safe and wonderful weekend. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder how many hearts skipped a beat on reading this? I felt as though mine did. I can imagine your sister quite well; it’s more how you survived than how she did that I wonder about. I’m pretty impressed by her early skills, too. I have to say that at least you both have great stories to share! And I;m loving the way you tell them as much as the stories themselves. Warm hugs, Marlene. ~ Linne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Linne. I’m hoping to get them all completed before her time runs out. She lived her life in the faster lane than I did. I was cautious and fearful, she went all out with no fear. Her life is the interesting one. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback. Hugs and have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a delightful narrative, and what a wonderful and patient big sister you must have been xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jill. I was very patient with her because our parents were not. She was mine to care for. Thanks for the visit. Heard about your deepening water restrictions. Hope you will all be ok.

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  7. Smiling … love this Marlene ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This kid was a legend in her own time! And you, my friend, were a saint! Any other 8-year-old would have gone nuts to have her bike usurped like that!

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    • You will soon find out how legendary she was. The bike made her happy and I was always too busy taking care of them. Still got the occasional ride. Things haven’t changed in the last 60 years either. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Kerry.

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  9. Well, certainly no dull moments with you two. LOL ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Marlene, I really love your story telling ability! It’s a good thing that you weren’t too alike. Have a good weekend! 🙋

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember learning to ride my giant bike on our gravel driveway. I crashed more than once! I love how you tell these stories with humor, tenderness and reflection. Have a great week, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a great story! I cannot believe your sister was riding your bike at 3yo! What a great older sister you were to her. Can’t wait to read more stories. What a wonderful gift to her to share these and immortalize her in our memories also.

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  13. I love your storytelling, Marlene. You’re an amazing writer and a good soul. I beg to differ on one thing, though: you are an interesting person with a fascinating life. You’re also an observer (most writers are) and that’s probably why her life seems so interesting. I’m glad she’s had you from the start. I have no doubt you saved her then and now. These stories are a gift to her, to her family and to all of us reading them. Love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh my goodness, Suzy Q. What a daredevil, and a third terrific story about her. Amazing that she was unscathed. Thank you, Marlene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • More stories coming. She was a daredevil and I know she had a host of Angels watching out for her. She did get banged up on occasion. For another time. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure, Marlene. Always look forward to reading your stories. Suzy Q most definitely had a host of angels looking out for her. Best to you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh my! This must have been a real shock! I’m torn between admiring your 3-year old sister for having figured out to ride a much too big bike all on her own and feeling sorry for you and your mum for always having had to keep an eye on this little whirlwind! 😄 Some part of you must have ached back then at the sight of your shiny new bike getting a beating again and again, but of course, better to have damaged a lifeless object than a precious child! She must have had a whole lot of protecting angels at her side!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m absolutely certain she has a host of Angels watching over her. She had important work to do here and it required her kind of energy. She did get banged up on occasion but managed to survive everything so far. 🙂 Bikes are not that important in the overall scheme of things and I was never attached to things. We usually ended up leaving so much behind with each move that it was the best way to be. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I love your stories and the way you tell them, Marlene! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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