i remember crisp fall days, walking to my dad’s aunt mary’s house from school in my blue and green plaid uniform with shorts underneath, swishing my tennis shoes through the fallen leaves. i remember chalk lines on the blacktop playground, standing in line to have my turn at foursquare, hoping against hope that i would end up i the #1 spot. i remember drawing the same square with a stick in the gravel dirt driveway, always getting the #1 spot because i played against my siblings, all younger than i. i remember the front yard of the austin house, the cement slab steps leading to a front door no one used, a small roof over it anchored by white pillars. i remember summer evenings my dad sitting on the cement steps, sometimes my mom joining us, and him telling us each where to race to ( all different dependent on age and ability), lining up, waiting for GO, putting every ounce of energy into a short run, slapping a tree, then running back, hoping the length of my older legs would outrun the speed of liz’s legs. i remember going to bed with the sun still up, hearing the yells and shouts of the neighbor kids, wondering why i had to sleep. i remember twilight, watching the fireflies slowly blink into existence, one, then all suddenly and all at once. i remember catching the blinky bugs and watching as my dad smeared the butts over his shirt, giving his shirt a fluorescent glow where the goo stuck. i remember the length of the yard, thinking it was the longest piece of yard ever, the short hill in the driveway a mountain, the trek down to the bus an endeavor likened to mt. everest. i remember coming home from school and tearing up the driveway, especially in springtime with report cards in my bag. i remember trees tall and towering, grass that never seemed to brown, days that never seemed to end.