Saturday, August 6, 2016

Trees, Olives and Nursing Homes: Growing up with Moriah (a guest post)

{By Elijah S.}

Once upon a time, there was a girl talking to a tree.
*Uh, Elijah, that opening's been taken.*
Shoot. Oh, well, continuing on, she was sent on an incredible journey with a dude named John. This story, though, starts long before Moriah even knew what CEF was. (Okay, maybe that's stretching it a bit, but it's probably true)
To ask when I met Moriah is to ask when I met, say, Heidi, my older sister. In other words, as far back as I can recollect, she's been there.
*When'd you meet me, Elijah?*
Be quiet, bro. (Sorry, I have conversations with myself a lot)
Moriah had the worst of luck growing up, because she was a year between myself and Andrew, who's two years older than I am. Now, the way we did Sunday School during those years, we had two grades together. So, one year, she would be with Andrew, and the next, with lil' ole me. It alternated, until we got into High School, where both Andrew and I were in a class with her.
The strain was too much for Moriah's mind, and she retreated back several grades. Well, kind of. She went back to help the teacher of a lower grade. I mean, the grade he taught was lower, not that he was a low grade teacher.
*I think they got the point, Elijah.*
Who's telling this story?
*Technically, both of us.*
Good point.
*Moving on?*
Definitely. Now, it was somewhere around this point that I was introduced to the wacko world of email. Over this mystical creation, Moriah put forth a proposition. She asked that I join her and her sisters (of which there were only two at the time) performing for nursing homes. What else could I do but say yes?
*You could say no.*
Really, man? Just lay off, willya? I have such an attitude, you know?
*You can say that again. And before you say it again, get back to the story.*
Wait, did I just insult myse-
Right. So, nursing homes.  Um...Where to start?
*First show?*
Can’t remember it. Can you?
*Of course not. But I was probably wearing a button down shirt, and a pair of slacks, and those really tight brown shoes.*
Oh, yeah, those were bad. Anyhow, we started at St. Camillus, then spread to Loretto, Camillus Ridge Terrace, and Van Duyn. Our group, the Tree House Creation Players, or something like that, went from me and three sisters, to me, my sister, five Peters sisters, and a few others off and on: Natalie Knodel (singer) Andrianna Gaj (dancer, last name pronounced ‘guy’) and Andrianna’s sisters, once or twice in the works.
I met John at Van Duyn. I will admit, I was a bit shocked at, well, him. John, how to put it delicately, wasn’t exactly what I expected. I was thinking someone extremely thin, with big glasses, brown hair and clean-shaven. Instead, I got John.
*The effect equates to something like this: Expecting a huggable plush owl and getting a real-life bear.*
Yeah, that about sums it up. And yes, John, I just called you a bear. And no, I don’t expect you to be talking in Russian because of it.
John watched the show, went to ice-cream with us, then got a picture with Moriah (and if I remember correctly, I tried to photo-bomb them, but was stopped in time) and went on his merry little way. I had no idea how deep their attachment ran, nor how soon I would find out about said attachment.
*Um, bro, you’re going into drama mode.*
But I like drama mode!
*Yeah, I don’t.*
But you’re me, and I’m you, so we should like the same things!
“That’s not how it works.”
*Who are you?*
“The third member of the personality trio.”
What in the world? How can there be three people here at once?
*You seemed fine with two, how is-*
“Story, people. Focus. Please.”
Right. If Asterisk hadn’t interrupted me, we would be on our way already!
“This isn’t about us, No-Punctuation. Get back to telling the story.”
I use punctuation. See? There’s a period, and question mark, and apostrophe, and comma!
“You know what I meant.”
*Still, that was-*
“Back to the story, I saw John just a little bit after that, at a church get-together. We didn’t talk much, but I kept trying to get my brother, Andrew, to talk to him, because he (John) reminded me of another friend.”
After that, however, we didn’t see each other until Moriah’s seventeenth birthday (directly after her mono). It was interesting to get emails from Moriah, because in person, she’s kind of...Formal?
*More like refined?*
*That sounds like yogurt, bro.*
Either way, over email, every other word is ‘LOL’, ‘:)’, ‘:(‘, ‘;)’ etc. Totally different. I actually think I got annoyed with her about that once. Something about her words on email not equaling the words she spoke on a daily basis. Anyway, slight sidetrack there. Then she said, “And my awesome mommy has been planning this birthday party,” (Or something like that,) and I thought to myself, ‘Since when does Moriah talk like that?’ Whatever. Totally random thoughts come out of this brain of mine.
“That’s because there are three of us up here.”
*Technically, there’s four.*
“Don’t think about it, Asterisk. We don’t mention him. Ever. You know this. Sorry, No-Punctuation. Continue.”
Of course, to go to a fancy ball like this, one must be prepared. Unfortunately, my cane was banned. Then again, I might not have had my cane at that...No, wait, I definitely did, because I pulled it out in the parking lot....Or was that the second time we went to Spaghetti Warehouse? Maybe....I lose track of time so easily....It all begins to blur....Anyway, I put on my best. The brown shoes referenced earlier no longer fit, but I found a pair of black dress shoes, perfect against the matching slacks, tie, and suit jacket. My shirt was white, and I had a brown flat cap (also known as a newsboy’s cap) on. In the picture, I have an odd smirk. I’m not sure where that came from.
*That was probably my fault. I don’t know what I thought of that was so funny, but it must have been pretty epic.*
Well, I’m glad someone’s willing to take the blame for that. Throughout dinner, and through the movie afterwards, I was impressed (though not completely surprised) at how much John acted the gentleman.
After we parted ways once again, I must have retreated under a log, because I didn’t see John until that autumn, when we got together for my sister’s birthday party, once again at Spaghetti Warehouse. I remember making some stupid joke about being able to pass John off as a 21 year old (So I could drive with him. As of this writing, I still don’t have my license.) The next time I had contact-
^I like pickles!!!!!^
Oh, my word, who let Elivs out? Put him back, put him-
^We is free! Long live the queen! Forward the buffs and never look back!!!^
“Oh, dear. Guys, Elivs is rampant. Does anyone have the sedative?”
*We should probably explain who and what Elivs is, right?*
^Oooh! Let meeee!!!!!^
I think I should. So, I don’t know about you people, but there are some days when I get the urge to say something really stupid.
*e.g., ‘Yes, that dress really does make you look fat, Mom.' Or, ‘I think we should jump into a lake full of crocodiles.'*
Not quite what I meant, but those examples will do.
“But if they’re not what you meant, then why would he say them?”
Don’t quibble over details, Quotations. You heard our conversation about that earlier, and even you said ‘That’s not how it works,’ remember?
Anyway, my name for that impulse is Elivs. I once let him out on Moriah, in a conversation that is best forgotten, and has long since been deleted from the databanks of our emails. I do remember, however, it ended with Elivs yelling ‘Ellipsis!’ a lot, and John threatening to throw me and my ‘Olives’ into a river, or something equally threat-worthy.
“Just so you know, an ellipsis are those three or more periods that show someone is trailing off in the conversation. Kind of like me, now....”
Thanks, Quotations. Oh, and John’s reasoning for throwing me into a river was because I apparently gave Moriah a migraine. Or, I should say, Elivs did.
*Dude, Elivs is you.*
^Pinochle!!! Sugar and spice and every-^

So, that brings me to the final day Moriah wrote about: picnic day. I was picked up by Heidi from work, from where we drove to Moriah’s house, picked up John and Moriah, then drove to Onondaga Lake Park (after making two pit stops along the way: Heidi’s (now former) employers, and Stewart’s (For Root Beer)), where we spent most the evening. Heidi and Moriah raced to the swings, Moriah chased me because....I don’t remember, and John laughed quite a bit. I danced, while Moriah sang step in line. In other words, we just kind of acted like our goofy selves.
But my part in the story doesn’t end there. Just a few months ago, Moriah and I met up with one of our other mutual friends for a ‘grad party’, so to speak. While waiting for the third party to arrive, Moriah relayed some shocking information. Along with wanting me to play the piano at her wedding (Heidi would do it, except she’s the Maid of Honor), John wanted me to be one of his groomsmen. ‘Why? I asked, a reasonable question by my assumption.
‘He likes you,’ Moriah replied simply. And now I eagerly await an actual invitation by John. (Hint, hint...)
Okay, time to get serious here. No more Elivs, Quotations or Asterisk. Just me.
Once, there was a girl talking to a tree. A guy introduced himself to her because of that. Now that girl has grown into a beautiful woman, and the guy...Well, we’ll call him ruggedly handsome and leave it at that.
How does one end a post like this? With a blessing? A joke? Both? We try that last one, I guess. Moriah and John, you have been through so much together. So, as your dear friend (or ‘lil’ brother, even though I’m taller than you, Moriah), I plead with you: GET MARRIED ALREADY, WILLYA?
Thank you for putting up with this, and have a wonderful day/afternoon/night/morning (check one that applies)

(You can read his ramblings, as well as some others, at his blog: Glorious Mess!)


  1. XD XD XD
    This post..... X'D
    Highly entertaining to say the least!

    1. Alllllllllllll of his emails are just as entertaining....

      ...well probably 85% XD