My friends from childhood...Phousily, on the left, was my soccer buddy in Elementary School. And Monica, I knew from the time I was four. My Mother had told me that a new little girl just my age had moved in near us, and that I ought to go ask if she could play. It was the start of a great friendship, though we were almost completely opposite in every way.
Though Monica went to a different Elementary School, she ended up moving to West Jordan and went to Jr. High and High school with many of my good friends from Elem. School (unfortunately, we had moved to Salem, UT by that time). So we knew the same people even though our relationship started out in Orem, UT just after my parents had divorced. I remember being so fascinated that Monica could speak a different language and would ask her all sorts of questions about how to say things in Chzeck. Also, the fact that she was an only child made it more exciting to go over to her house where she had all sorts of expensive foods- like Cocoa Puffs- and toys, like her own little school desk and dress up clothes that I loved. We have some great memories of the little Hartland Apartments as four-year-olds...eating ice cream cones near the mailboxes; sitting on skate boards and riding down the parking lot ramps; playing at all the fun playgrounds around the apartment building; and my favorite, walking to school and having to cross a bridge over the river. Monica would tell me all sorts of stories about the dragon who lived in the river, and how the white tree branches floating on the water were actually people's bones from the bridge. I was the sort of child that took everything quite literally, and whenever Monica wasn't with me, I'd run across that bridge like my life depended on it.
I enjoyed the different desserts that her Mother would prepare from Chzeckoslavokia (that's what it was then) especially when her Grandparents came to visit (although we couldn't communicate because they didn't know any english).
Those were the days...happy, young and carefree.
We kept in pretty good contact over the years, but I haven't seen or heard from her pretty much since I got married, when this picture was taken. I hope we run into each other eventually again...I miss her and always wonder what she's up to. Is she still eating Cocoa Puffs? Is she still going to school. Is she happy? Only time will tell.
One other small memory of those Apartments is that I started vacuuming regularly...I was finally big enough to manage that huge vacuum, and that became my chore. Believe it or not, I love vacuuming now just as much as I did then.

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