The first storyteller I remember hearing, often and vividly, is my mom. Her stories are so much a part of who I am that it's difficult to tell the difference between a memory and a memory of her stories about me and my brothers. The memories of my sister are a little easier, because I was old enough to hold her childhood almost as close and precious as my mom did.
When we were little, we lived in Vancouver and we went to the beach. I remember the coast as a place of surprises, a place where you could wake in warm sunshine and drive high enough into the mountains to toboggan (even in June). I remember the endless suspense of the traffic jams on the way to Stanley Park and gazing longingly at the drive-in. I remember looking for four leaf clovers with my grandfather.
Once we drove south into the States. I remember being sure that 60 degrees farenheit was warm enough for swimming in the ocean. Once we stopped so my brother could be free of the car (he was always carsick), and found a small, fabulous beach covered in driftwood. I was mad that my parents wouldn't let us swim.
And somehow, with my mom's laughter in the background, I remember that my brother ate his peanut butter sandwiches with real sand at the beach.