Write on Edge: RemembeREDThis post is just for fun! I’m writing from Write On Edge’s weekly memoir writing prompt, RemembeRED. It’s my first time attempting memoir so let me know what you think! The assignment was to think of a sound or a smell that reminds you of something from your past and write a post about that memory. Can you guess what inspired this post?


White fifteen-passenger vans lined the lot. The desert sun hadn’t yet stretched its hot arms over the mountains, so dew drops still glistened on the rocks and spiny leaves of the low-lying trees. A haphazard rainbow of suitcases, sleeping bags, and duffel bags tumbled behind each van like vomit.

summer camp

Hordes of rumpled twelve and thirteen-year-olds bounced between vans, the only morning all summer they’d be so energetic so early. Adults with sweatshirts tied ’round their waists wandered around with clipboards and steaming cups of coffee.

I’d gulped down Cheerios at my mom’s insistence, but my stomach agitated like a washing machine from nerves as I climbed out of the ancient Corolla. My dad and I grabbed my contributions to the rainbow – a green sleeping bag, blue plaid suitcase, and blue backpack and approached a clipboard-wielding adult.

“What’s your name? Joy…. Ahh, here you are. Permission slip is signed… you’re riding in van #22. Throw your stuff behind it, except what you want to keep with you.” She crossed my name off and headed toward the bedraggled duo behind us.

My dad walked me over to the 22nd van in the line-up, threw my gear on the pile, then turned to look at me, hesitant about how to say goodbye with all my friends (and boys) around. I threw my arms around him, squeezed tight. “See you in a week, dad.”

“Have a great time at camp, honey” he replied, then hurried back to his car. I thought maybe he didn’t want me to see his face.

I hopped over to my gaggle of girlfriends, squealing and scoping out which vans held the cutest boys. The adults began herding everyone into vans. Somehow glass and metal had to contain our hysterical energy for the ten-hour drive across the desert and into the mountains.

“So, like, what did you bring to eat?” Tiffany demanded, as we bickered over bench seats.

“I’ve got the biggest bag of Smarties I could find,” Kim pulled her contribution out of her bag and tossed it into the middle.

“I’ve got Reeses!”

“Popcorn!”

“Tootsie-rolls!”

I dug into my backpack. “Jolly Ranchers for me!”

“Ohmigosh, I like totally LOVE those things,” Carolyn squealed. “Do you have watermelon?”

I fished around and tossed her two fragrant red candies. “Anyone else?”

Kim asked, “What do you like best, Joy? You brought ’em.”

“I like ’em all, but prob’ly watermelon or apple. Don’t you think it’s like so weird that they don’t really taste like fruit?”

I popped one in my mouth and around it, I wondered aloud, “Do you think Todd would notice me if you french-braid my hair?”

***

P.S. You get a two-fer today. I also posted on Deeper Story: Unbreakable.” I know – craziness. Don’t get used to it.

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