Childhood memories: Part 4 of 4

Kristine Gill

Much to your chagrin, I’m sure, I’m going to continue chronicling my childhood memories. This is part four of four.

&bull When I was in second grade, my grandparents decided to take a few of the cousins to Disney World. My sister was in kindergarten at the time, and my younger cousins probably can’t remember much from the trip. What I remember is largely blurred by the fringe of dark hair covering my eyes that summer, as I was growing out my bangs that year. I didn’t need my eyes to experience the glorious wake-up call my grandfather administered each morning of our trip. We woke up to the Mickey Mouse song around 7 a.m. each day and, when we didn’t get up after hearing “M-I-C-K-E-YYYYYY,” in his loudest, most nasally voice, we were literally dragged out of bed by our feet. That’s the thing about vacation. You have to get up early and pack your days so you can get everything out of Disney World and, you know, relax during your time away from school.

&bull One day, my sister and I realized that my father had sported a mullet for the majority of our childhood. Your parents’ hairstyles fly under the radar for the most part until you reach junior high and start to criticize and analyze everyone’s cool factor. It was a heartbreaking realization, but nothing a group trip to Best Cuts couldn’t fix. We told the hairdresser to go shorter, shorter, just a bit shorter, like the guy on the picture, until dad emerged as a new man. It took more convincing to make him shave his mustache, which he promptly grew back, but not before we discovered that he did in fact have an upper lip and just how striking its similarity was to Jim Carrey’s.

&bull Our aunt and uncle lived with us for three months while house-hunting. I was in fourth or fifth grade at the time. When my mom was at work, our aunt would keep an eye on us. One night we asked for soup for dinner. We asked for soup because it’s delicious and also because we knew it was easier to prepare than say, chicken cordon bleu or sirloin steak. Our aunt, however, did not know how to make soup. We were stunned. Soup was just noodles, wasn’t it? Hot noodles? We ate our first Lunchables meal that night: crackers and perfect meat circles.

&bull Late one summer night, when I was 6 or 7, my mother woke us up and took us to the kitchen. Katie and I hid under the kitchen table while Mom dialed our neighbor, who looked out her window to glance at our attic. Two green eyes glowed back at her, confirming our suspicions; a raccoon had infiltrated our home. Katie and I waited under the table while my mom called our uncle to ask him to bring a gun and shoot it. Dad was working late, and we were defenseless. When we could no longer stand it, Mom escorted us by our wrists to the bathroom. We had to pass under the attic fan where we glimpsed at those green eyes looking down into our hallway. The urine flowed freely in the bathroom, as you can probably imagine.

You can read more about the Gills’ experiences with our masked furry friends in my other childhood memory columns online at

Kristine Gill is a junior newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].