I remember my childhood in Austin, growing up in our big brick house on Summit View, learning to roller skate on our long front porch, taking walks with Mother from our house to Rainbow Bend, a steep hilly street nearby.  I remember playing on my swing set, climbing the weeping willow tree, playing dress-up with Mother’s old clothes.  I remember Sunday afternoon rides, sitting in the back seat and, in springtime, seeing the bluebonnets.  I remember my first day at Pease School, being so nervous I threw up my breakfast, but liking school right away.  I remember playing hide and seek with my sister Betty, seven years younger than me.  I remember high school and football trips and plays put on by the Red Dragon Players, my group of rather immature friends who went to football games together and went out afterward in one of the boys’ station wagons.  I remember the University of Texas, the Tower that stood tall and turned orange when the Longhorns won a football game.  I remember my worst day at UT when I caught fire from a gas stove in my room at the sorority house and my life changed.  Not my life, perhaps, but my skin would never be the same smooth skin as before.  Luckily, no one can see the burns because they are on my back and legs.  Even if they could, I doubt it would concern me.  I’ve never been like my mother, overly concerned about appearance.  Mother was not my mentor; I was Daddy’s girl.  From him I learned that your word meant something, that you shouldn’t be a quitter and to stand up for what you believed.  I’ve never been so good at the last one, but the others have become my creed.  After college, after I graduated a year late because of my accident, I moved to Houston.  I remember the apartment I shared with Naomi and Rachel.  The building still stands—unusual in tear-down, build-new Houston.  I drive past it every couple of years to remind myself about that year—learning to be a speech pathologist (therapist in those days), making my own money and budgeting $25 a week for groceries, entertainment, etc.  Imagine that!  $25.  How far would that go today?  Barely a day’s worth of expenses.  My second year in Houston, I ran into Mort, whom I immediately fell in love with (one of my worst decisions).  We were married that spring in a beautiful ceremony at the Driskill Hotel.  My high school buddy Terry always reminds me when we meet that it was the most beautiful wedding he ever attended.  Early marriage, days in our cute apartment on Kapri Lane, the day a mouse got in and I spent the afternoon sitting on the kitchen counter until Mort got home and “took care” of it, my first pregnancy and the move to our 2-bedroom where I would bring Lori home and 2 ½ years later, add Michael, my nearly 10 pound baby.  No one could believe someone as little as I am could give birth to such a big, strapping boy.