Monday, August 1, 2011

the keystone state

When I was 16, my family moved from North Carolina (where we had lived since I was a baby) to Pennsylvania. It was hard. There are five kids in my family--I'm the oldest--and we all struggled a lot the first few months. We blame my mom because a few years earlier, she felt like our family needed something to bind us together more strongly so she started praying for trials. Then my dad left his job and was out of work for 18 months, we got in a car accident and my mom lost her spleen, and we moved from the house my parents had completely remodeled into a 3-bedroom apartment. My dad finally found a new job, albeit a temporary one, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania and we moved about a month before I started my junior year of high school.

So, it was really hard at first. That first day of school, all five of us came home in tears. But my mom got her wish: we became so much closer as a family.

This month marks ten years since we moved. Ten years! My dad got promoted to corporate headquarters in Tennessee when I was a freshman at college, so my family only lived in PA for about 2 1/2 years. I think it was just enough time for what we needed.

I ended up absolutely loving PA. I made the best friends ever there and had some wonderful experiences. To celebrate my family's ten-year-PA anniversary, here are my ten favorite memories.

1) When President Hinckley came to Philadelphia, we all rode the train into the city to listen. And by "we all", I mean basically my whole stake. It was so fun!

2) One night when there was going to be a meteor shower, me and all my friends from church got up at 3 in the morning, drove to the church, and watched the meteor shower together in the field next to the parking lot. Then we slept until seminary began at 6:15.

3) For my friend's birthday one year, a bunch of us rented canoes and canoed down the river. The lady that rented them to us told us she'd be at the pickup spot in 3 hours. But we had so much fun swimming, splashing, and exploring that I think we didn't get there for like 6 hours. Sorry, lady.

4) We used to go sledding on the VA hill behind school and then go to my house for hot chocolate.

5) The Strawberry Festival was always on my birthday!

6) Going to the Jersey shore for the day every summer.

7) Halloween. It was so much more fun in PA than it ever was in NC!
8) Fall will always, always, always remind me of PA. I guess because we moved at the beginning of the most beautiful golden, blue skied fall I have ever seen.

9) Getting water ice from Rita's during gym class (our lazy teachers let us count walking to and from as exercise)

10) Finally, going to church in a haunted mental hospital was pretty crazy.


KNL said...

Kate! I loved everyone one of these memories. Its fun to look back on the good times we've all had. Its crazy how time moves on but you just are the cutest best mom ever and I am blessed to have lived with you in TWO states! Hope youre enjoying your summer! Love, Kalan

Claire said...

I am so glad you posted this- your family brought so much fun and life to our youth, those were some of the best times! I remember feeling so special when I got to hang out with you guys because I thought you were so cool :)
p.s. KNL - what thehelllloooo I didn't know you had a blog!! you're super, love it!

Jaida Hancock said...

Loved #3. That was such a fun day! But who's birthday was it?

Kate said...

Kalan--I couldn't find you on Facebook and your blog wouldn't let me comment, but thanks for your sweet comment! If it weren't for the Larsons, we never would have moved to PA :) Congratulations and good luck on your mission!
Jaida--It was Chris Ryan's. At least I think it was. Maybe I am mixing memories. Nonetheless, it was fun!