Saturday, December 05, 2009


Tonight I was at a party talking to one of my Utah friends/acquaintances. He served his mission for the LDS Church in my hometown. Tonight we made the connection that he was actually a missionary in the Centreville Branch during the time I was a teenager there. Chances are we probably met and knew each other. But for now, neither of us has any memory of the other. ("Branch" is the term for a very small congregation covering a large geographical area in the LDS church.)
He told me a story about how the teenagers in the branch, lead by 2 brothers I remember all too well, toilet papered the missionary's cabin on Doc Mouser's farm. (Another place I recall all too well- the cabin, the farm, and the accompanying peacocks!) It was fun to hear the story, and to wonder if I was among the kids doing the teepeeing. It was a regular activity amongst our little crew. We teepeed. We loved to teepee. For our little crew, it was a sign of love and acceptance, and its how you knew you had friends, to wake up and find your house covered in toilet paper on a Saturday morning. I kind of miss those days.
When my baby brother was born (yes, the same brother now living with me) the youth in our little branch came over and teepeed our house to welcome his arrival. It was a classy job with banners and streamers, as well as the requisite toilet paper. I was away at camp that week and was very bummed to find out I had missed out on the teepeeing. But my parents took pictures for me, and even kept the streamers in my brother's baby book. To my knowledge, my brother was the youngest person in our branch to ever get a birthday teepeeing. (Another tradition- birthday teepeeings.)
If I recall correctly, my mother even drove me to my first teepee job. She even took me to the store to buy the toilet paper, and then drove a whole slumber party of teenage girls over to the house of some boys who had recently teepeed my house. (Joanna, if you are reading this, Andy, Nathan, and Tom were the targets.) (I have also always wondered if she called the boys' mother to make sure it was okay first. I heard her on a mysterious phone call earlier that night, and have been suspicious ever since.) It was such a common activity we didn't even hide it from our parents. (There is one fun story though involving a few kids having a run in with a Redskin defensive lineman while teepeeing his next door neighbor's house.)
I miss the good old days back in the branch where we were all young, and innocent.We had a fun time growing up in that sweet, little, safe neighborhood.

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