I miss...

… my mom’s cooking, especially when it came to Vietnamese food.
… having freshly made rice waiting right there in the kitchen. So, I can prepare a small meal with rice and whatever meat we have on hand. Instead of eating yet another can of soup or ramen noodles or tamales or hot dogs.
… listening to Vietnamese music from my dad’s truck or from the radio speakers. And listening to people talk Vietnamese on television, whether it was the news in my grandparent’s living room, some cheesy sitcom, movies, television shows, performances, skits, etc. All the while, only understanding a little bit of what is being said.
… listening and watching some Vietnamese performances on screen. Or some kind of action movie that my dad bought home.
… eating pistachios with my dad during dinnertime.
… watching The Amazing Race or America's Got Talent or The Simpsons or whatever television show was on.
… petting my healthy, soft, Siamese cat. However, I do not miss it when he wants to play and decides to scratch me. Especially since the last time he did that, it made me bleed again (thankfully not much).
… my fluffy, white dog Chafer, and a terrier mix named Pony, and a pretty, little Chihuahua named Venus, before they were taken to the animal shelter.
… watching, occasionally helping, my dad fix up the cars.
… grocery shopping with my mom and siblings, especially when it involved going to an Asian store.
… walking towards the store, to pick up whatever it was that my mom wanted me to pick up. However, I still don't miss guys catcalling me or throwing stuff at me when they were driving by. Of course that didn't happen very often, which was nice.
… the days when I would randomly go out to my car, and just read a book or to simply think.
… I miss home, not the house that I currently live in, with the deer roaming the backyard.

… knowing that if I overslept and that school is going to start soon, I can simply walk or even run there because it isn’t too far. And make it on time.
… the public library in my hometown. Where I would usually go for the books or to volunteer or it was because I missed the bus.
… waiting for my dad to pick me up from said library.
… the bakery that used to be across the library and their delicious afghan cookies.
… the movie theater that was across the street from McDonalds, and how they had comfy couches in the lobby.
… swinging on the swings at the local park. 
… the library in my old high school and how it looked like it had more fictional books. Also it had a comfier reading space, with a couch and some armchairs.
… exploring the downtown area of my hometown with my twin, Tracy.
… having street lamps and sidewalks, because walking down a dark street is never ever fun.
… my neighbors decorating their yards for Halloween or for Christmas or for some other holiday.
… the town that I grew up in.

… walking to the library with my siblings when I was small.
… getting a free cookie at a Smiths grocery store because they were free samples.
… my older sister buying my siblings and me ice cream from Arctic Circle.
… riding my bike around the neighborhood.
… watching my dad fix the bikes up, so they can be ready to ride.
… going around the junior high that’s behind my house, most often riding my bike.
… going to the park as a family when I was a baby.
… going to McDonalds nearly every weekend after we picked up mom from work.
… the purple van my family used to have, before it was replaced by a gray truck.
… drinking canned soy milk that tasted very sweet.
… eating Asian style duck.
… watching PBS before and after school because there wasn't anything better to do.
… hanging out with various girls who lived in the neighborhood or at least nearby.
… occasionally going out into the yard at night to look at the stars.
… watching fireworks from my front porch or backyard.
… playing in the swimming pool that my dad would set up in the backyard during the summertime.
… playing Mario Party or even some kind of war game on the GameCube, with my younger brother, and with my twin occasionally joining. That was before the GameCube started to become pretty boring and the controllers having decided to disappear.
… playing various games on the Nintendo DS. Games that included Brain Age, Petz Dogz Fashion, Tamagotchi Cornershop 3 (before it got lost), Pok√©mon, and other games.
… it when my twin, brother, and I would go out to the broken white car that used to be in the driveway, and just hang out in there, creating various games and such.
… occasionally hanging out at my older sister’s friend’s front yard. Though I didn't miss it when her goose started to chase me around the yard that one time. Which was a scary thing for my young self to have experienced.
… playing on the swing set in the backyard before it got old and rusty.
… climbing onto the shed's roof every once in a while, because why not.
… going straight to the backyard after school, to enjoy the warmth of the sun and to read a book.
… drawing with chalk on my back patio or driveway.
… me trying to create a little pond in the backyard, with my siblings’ help. But that only made my dad kind of angry for some reason.
… my dad's old messy room down in the basement before he gave it to my brother.
… going to the window by the front door of my elementary school, during the summertime, to see which teacher I was going to have for the following school year. 
… getting money in a red envelope at the Vietnamese New Year's celebration, before I got too old. 
… playing on the giant lawn out back of the cultural center where said celebration was taking place, with my siblings. 
… getting ice cream from the ice cream truck.
… going to school book fairs especially at the elementary school that I used to go to. And get a few books, some of which that I haven’t read, even after all those years.
… going to the elementary school fair or even the fair at my junior high.
… getting cookies or candy at the local credit union whenever my parents went there.
… getting candy, mainly butterscotch, whenever I went to my dentist. This was before they took the candy away forever.  
… going to see Santa Claus at my mom’s work place, and take a picture with him. However, the only reason why I bothered going was because I got a stocking full of goodies in the end, such as a new beanie baby and other various sorts of amusements.
… playing solitaire on my older sister’s first computer, before it decided to be a jerk and shut down.
… the old couple that used to live in the neighborhood, and how they used to hand out cookies to kids if we asked nicely. That was before they stopped doing it a few years back. And there wasn’t anything creepy and sexual about it at all! They’re just nice people who like handing out cookies.
… trick or treating and being one of the few in the family determined to stay up a bit late so I can get the most candy.
… making a blanket fort in the living room for no reason at all.
… watching Disney movies with my siblings, using the classic VCR that has been around since forever (or at least most of my life).
… my childhood in general.

… going to the beaches in California.
... playing with my gray-haired uncle’s pet dog, Koko.
… my paternal grandparents kicking my siblings and me out of the house and into their backyard, so we can get some exercise and fresh air. Even though it mainly included us walking around, before one of us suggests a game like tag.
… my siblings, dad, and I walking to the Payless store that wasn’t far from my grandparent’s place to get some new school shoes. And then, getting some ice cream on the way back and maybe stopping by the park.
… going to California in the summer before problems started to arise. 

And now the weather:
~ Stacy N.


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