...the up side.
My cousin has worked for the Hiawatha, Kansas, Walmart since it opened. One year they had a contest. Employees submitted designs for sweatshirts and the winning design would be made into a garment. My cousin's design won, and this was one of the sweatshirts that was made with her design.
I love Hiawatha. I love northeastern Kansas. I would retire there in a heartbeat if all my immediate family didn't live here.
My cousin is only three weeks older than I, and we've been spiritually close since we were about eight. In fact, now that I think of it, the first non-school writing I did was our correspondence over the years.
We used to to drive to Kansas about every third year to stay on my uncle's farm for a couple of weeks during harvest. Dad would help my uncle, Mom would help my aunt feed the houseful plus. And, as I recall, I would sit and giggle. My aunt and uncle were two of the funniest people I ever remember knowing. Uncle would come in from harvesting wheat or feeding hogs or whatever the work of the day was and recite poetry. Oh, how his eyes would twinkle!
I remember one year during my cat-crazy days they had a couple of dozen kittens of various ages and I thought I'd hit the jackpot. Another year uncle had been tilling my aunt's kitchen garden and came in with a nest of tiny baby bunnies cradled in his hands.
And fireflies. I guess Californians should be happy that we have such nice weather all the time, but I would gladly trade some of our 70-degree winter days for a couple of weeks of fireflies.
The sweatshirt is way too big for me now, I'm happy to brag. But it (and all the memories attached to it) stays. I'm so thrilled to have found it.