Kate and Simba

5 September 2014


What a good companion he has always been.
I received Simba as a gift from my neighbor, Kate, when I was about 7. We lived in Anchor Point at the time and Kate lived (and still lives) in a red house across the street. For quite a while, she had a big turquoise flag with a peace sign on it, hanging on the front of her home.
When we first met Kate, my older sisters, Holly and Stacy, went to her house and drank tea. I remember them not being too fond of the tea, and I remember being excited to meet her and spend time with her. When I went to Kate’s, I remember always drinking lots of hot chocolate. I’d hang out over there with her a lot. It was nice. And I remember I’d always shake my belly and hear the liquidy hot chocolate rolling around inside of me.

Kate has travelled quite a bit I think, and I remember being fascinated with all the treasures and trinkets in her three story home. I always remember a rainstick, and especially liking the library upstairs. This home across the road from mine, belonged to multiple friends and families through out the years. Most notable were the Ballentines of course. I remember playing on their pulley zip line thing, playing cops and robbers, and perhaps hunting easter eggs, though the easter memory could be false. There were two other families, the Woods and Schluckabeers, who had girls my age to play with! Emily and Alicia I think. That’s what I remember. The house still belongs to Kate now. I think I need to go have some hot chocolate or tea with her in her memory filled home.

We actually ran into each other at the post office the other day. I told her how I was still so attached to Simba. I explained how he’s traveled a lot with me. He accompanied me to BYU-Hawaii, Jerusalem and other places in the middle east, my mission in Brazil, staying with my grandparents in California, visits to Utah, and he’s even been on plenty of kayaking and backpacking trips here in Alaska. Where I go, Simba goes. It’s sort of like the Ruth and Naomi thing. ;)

My dear friend Kate said she has a little stuffed snow leopard that she’s been quite attached to over the years too. She encouraged me to ponder and think more about why I’ve been so drawn to my little lion cub, Simba. Interesting thoughts. But yes, Simba, Kate, her snow leopard and I need to have some hot chocolate and tea soon, just like she and I always used to.

After all these years, I always remember Kate’s phone number, and even part of her license plate number. When I first received Simba from her, I remember taking him on a bike ride with me down the dirt road. Somehow he fell off (silly lion) and got dirty. I was sad about that because he was nice and new and mine and I wanted to take care of him. While I was on my mission, my beloved twin friends’ mother sent me a little felt missionary tie for Simba. He still wears it proudly. Today, Simba’s fur is quite matted, and the black on his eyes is very worn. Every so often I recolor his eyes with a sharpie to make him young again, and to keep myself young too.

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