I knew Ashley from our elementary school days. We lived in the same neighborhood and we were really good friends. Back in the day, we would spend almost every day after school riding our bikes through the neighborhood. Back then, there wasn't much fear with kids playing out in the streets. There were plenty of adults watching over us from inside their homes.
One time, the two of us, my younger sister Emily, and her younger brother Mark held a wedding in her kitchen. I was the bride, Mark was the groom, Emily was a witness, and Ashley officiated. Ashley had some pets, so her cats and dog were also witness to the moment. I don't remember much about the wedding. I remember the kitchen and the room we were in. I remember the white dress I wore (borrowed from Ashley). Mark and I didn't have the best marriage. We decided to part as friends a few hours later.
When we weren't riding out bikes or playing wedding, we played kick-the-can. Who else played this when they were kids? The game is simple. Get a can. Put it in the center of a designated area. One person is "it." Everyone go and hide. The person who is "it" has to go find everyone is hiding. It is basically hide-and-seek. The twist is that those who are hiding have to find a moment to run out of their hiding space and go kick the can. Once the can is kicked, game over. That was one of our favorite games to play. We would set up the can in a cul-de-sac across from Ashley's house. It would be us and whomever else from the neighborhood was around. We would play the game until dark. The game got even more fun when it was dark because all the hiding places got better.
Ashley moved when we were in middle school to the Houston area. When I moved to Austin start my first year at St. Ed’s we met up and had lunch. We caught up and talked about everything we’ve been up to. It was so great to see an old friend from my childhood! This year Ashley graduated University of Texas with a degree in biology and pre-med and she will be going on to med school in the fall.