Jennifer’s mom was kind enough to pitch in for the roast. She was the first volunteer in fact. She was also the first person to turn in a story. That must run in the family.
Ms. Sigrid Brozek takes the mic:
In this life there are those people who never have a nickname … and those who have nicknames galore. Jennifer is one who “collects” nicknames. One of the nicknames she had was “Calamity Jane”. She earned that. It started with all the usual childhood accidents/injuries/mishaps that everyone goes through, then added a few more notable incidents.
- She and her twin brother were born in Alaska at Elmendorf AFB outside of Anchorage. When she was three, Mom, Dad and older sister were in the backyard working. She and her brother were supposed to be taking a nap – or at least having quiet time. Well, Jenn really, really wanted to be outside with us. Not sure exactly what she was trying to do – watch, or escape through the window, but somehow she got stuck half in and half out of the window (no screens). She couldn’t go the rest of the way out and she couldn’t get back inside. We were called to the window by cries of “Help me, somebody, help me!” She was clearly stuck and in no danger. It was so funny, I laughed till I cried. It has become a watchword in our family.
- Belgium was a dangerous place for Jennifer.
- She went to school in a Belgian school that only spoke French (she didn’t.) and survived.
- That was also where she decided to see if a 220 light bulb was hot and stuck her thumb on it. It was! She got a badly burned thumb for her efforts.
- She cut her hand to the bone with a bread knife and had to be rushed to the ER.
- She tried to drive and put the car into neutral causing it to roll out and completely block the roadway. We lived on a very sharp curve, not 90 degrees but probably 75 or 80. It was down the road a half mile or so from a sugar beet factory and huge trucks raced past our house all the time. Needless to say, it ended well.
- And there was the time she fell from a second story window inches from an old style water pump. We were living in a 300 year old house that had 18 foot ceilings. She should have been badly hurt. But another trip to the ER showed only a small bruise on her shoulder.
Through it all she was usually stoic and didn’t complain. She has always been my adventurous one. She always wanted to try new things and was never afraid of getting lost. She wanted to be different. She wanted to be the eccentric auntie. She’s pretty much achieved whatever she set her mind to. It was not easy most times, but if she set the goal, she kept at it until she attained it. If someone else set the goal, maybe she would do it, maybe not, depending on whether it suited her.
I am a danger to myself though rarely to others.
I suppose it is a good thing that I don’t remember much of Alaska. It might have been traumatizing otherwise. However, I have to admit, the image of a kid, perfectly balanced in a window so that they could not go forward or back, is a funny one. Especially Mom’s mimic of what I apparently sounded like.
Belgium was an interesting time. To be fair, I was actually trying to turn off the light when I stuck my thumb on it. It was Dad’s “Oh, look, fried thumb for dinner” that made me holler louder. Actually, the more I think about Belgium, the more surprised I am that I survived it.
And people wonder why I’m content to be the weird aunt to my nieces. I know what kids do to themselves.
Oh, and the part about getting lost… I can’t help it. I have a heroically bad sense of direction.
That’s a wrap for the Jennifer Brozek Roast. Please visit the landing page for more entries!