Having Mom staying in the household has brought back a myriad of memories. I decided one day to list the first five happy things that I thought of when remembering childhood, followed by the five worst memories -if you do one side, may as well do the other. After a while, I likely thought of more but these are my answers. I think it’s quite fun to quiz yourself sometimes, or interview yourself. It can be quite entertaining! 😉 I’m going to bullet point these instead of numbering, as they are not in order of importance.
Positive Memories from Childhood
- Vacations. Our vacations were mainly taken to Florida and these were my favorite. Usually to Panama City or Daytona Beach. I loved everything about it. I took stuff to do in the car like reading, puzzle books, small toys or gadgets. I loved the places we got to go out to eat. I loved the water, looking for dolphins, swimming in the pool, and staring at the ocean, the boats, and walking on the beach.
- Pool Days. Mom and Dad had friends that managed an apartment complex and on Thursday’s if it wasn’t raining, we would get up early, clean house, pack our bags, and lunch and head to our friends house, who had a big long house amidst the apartments in Columbia,TN and was beside the apartment complex’s pool. (For those in Columbia, it was the Colonial House Apartments on Nashville Hwy). In the younger days, my grandfather sometimes took me to the KOA campground. One time I got sick from it though, some type of virus or flu, and we never went back, until I had a friend whose family camped out there and then I went again!
- Christmas. Christmas was always special, a magical time. First the decorations. Coming home and seeing the tree all decorated and then the house. Everyone seemed happy and the momentum built both at home and at school for THE BIG DAY. I usually got to “put in my order” for Santa which would show up under the tree. And the gifts were so special. I loved having Mam-ma come in to stay. She brought fudge too. Someday I’ll do a blog entry about Christmas Day as a child. It pretty much happened the same way every year. I could do a whole post on this one. Maybe I will one day.
- Breakfast on the Back Porch. It’s funny and only fitting that this would pop up as one of my first top 5 that I thought of: FOOD! I loved our outside family porch time. It was rare and different. I mean usually it’s too hot or too cold, too rainy, but some days the weather landed just perfectly outside. We had a top on the patio. And mom would fix bacon, eggs, toast, or biscuits, jam and molasses and butter, juice, cantaloupe a lot of times. I think it’s why I love breakfast so much. It was like a little celebration for weekends and holidays and down time.
- Going out to eat with church friends. Our entire family would go out to eat after church with other families. The adults would sit at the table with adults and the kids would eat at their own table. We would laugh and talk and be silly. This happened mostly every Sunday and Wednesday night. It was always something I looked forward to.
My Worst Memories from Childhood
- Tension in the household. Every household has it, some worse than others. Some for different reasons than others. Some on certain occasions. I think mainly the things I remembered were just daily being afraid I’d do something wrong to make someone yell at me, or slap me, or whip me. I was yelled at a lot, slapped at much less, but it was something you never forgot. I was in a very strict household, where everything had its place, everyone had their jobs, and everything went in a certain direction, and on a pretty much set schedule. Work always came first, play second. (That is not bad though!) Often there were certain raised voices in the household and it when it came toward me it made me nervous and anxious and afraid and I would cry. As I grew into a teen and began to exercise my own voice and opinion, it could be volatile and very explosive at times. I learned to keep a lot of things to myself so nothing would explode. The less said, the better. It was what it was. I am what I am. And while I won’t go into detail about it, I DO KNOW I WAS LOVED and I do think they were doing the best they knew to do to try and FORCE things to be a certain way. Some things just can’t be forced to be effective I guess. But that said, our home was mostly safe, secure, happy many days, as long as you kept your thoughts to yourself. :-). Maybe that is why I’m so quiet and introverted huh?
- Mowing. I hated mowing. Well I liked it if it weren’t so dreaded hot when it needed to be done. I didn’t have to do it all the time but sometime I was asked to do it or told to do it and it was all fun til I would realize I was too hot. I would come in, drink ice water and lay across the bed to recover from nausea and just being overheated. Today I look back and think gosh – I mowed mid day sometimes and it was 90 something and it’s a wonder those times weren’t heat exhaustion.
- Not getting to be in the band or play piano. I wanted a piano and wanted to learn to play so bad. I thought it was so pretty. But we couldn’t afford a piano. Then in junior high when the teachers told us about the band, I wanted to sign up so I could learn to play the flute. I thought it sounded so pretty. But Mom talked me out of it as I guess she had a bad experience. However, I watched my friends join, enjoy it, and had amazing experiences from it. I always feel like I missed out on that. I love music. I would have loved learning the scales and the new songs. It was an avenue I never got to explore until one day when I bought a keyboard. But then life happened and so I never really got to “go down that road” during my learning and formative years. Well, they bought me a guitar, but I just really didn’t have the desire to play it like I did the piano or flute.
- No one believed I needed glasses. I remember while talking the neighbors next door, we did what kids do – “hey let me try on your glasses”. I was shocked at how much better I could see. I told Mom but she felt like I was just wanting to be trendy like my neighbors and didn’t believe me. Until the teacher sent home a note that I failed my eye glass test at school. I was having to pull my eyes sideways to read the chalkboards. I could always see when I did that. My grandparents took me to the eye doctor and to pick up my glasses. I will never ever forget being able to see the leaves on the trees. Everything had detail instead of just being blobs!
- Getting lectured. One parent liked to yell, the other lectured. lol. And they were long drawn out explanatory with bullet points and outlines and pretty much a complete sermon or talk series. It went on and on long after I had gotten the points. I remember wanting to dig a hole or just be able to go do something else but I had to sit and listen – I’m guessing they lasted from 15 min to an hour. I’m not saying it was bad or good or was needed or not needed. I just remember not liking it. lol
So all of these things – again – not saying they are good or bad, not trying to bring judgment upon anyone. I just simply sat down to do an exercise and this came from it. I’m sure there were probably many good things I should have remembered first and I’m sure there were probably more horrible things that happened that I should have remembered also, but both sets of bullet points were truly the first things that came to mind! So they must have made an impression.
It is what it is. It is what it was. EVERY FAMILY has had its good days and bad days. Ours was no exception. What would YOUR childhood list of the “first fives” look like? What did you like or dislike about your childhood?
I had the best lunch yesterday from Santa Fe. It was their enchilada meal. My boss went out for take out and she asked me if I wanted something. So I got this meal and gave her the $ for it. Oh I’ll have to get this again. Nothing fattening about it huh? lol
I’m so glad this morning to have been able to sleep in a couple of hours. I’m about to dive into laundry, a shower, breakfast, more coffee, and fall decorating.
What are you all doing today?
Meanwhile in Texas
Awwww, I feel for my daughter in this moment. Bitter Sweet it is. He’s taking formula now that they are back to a busy schedule with jobs and summer over. And he is learning to eat table food and had been on baby food for a while. It’s hard to leave each stage behind, but in other ways it’s a relief. On to new stages, new ways, and new details to manage. It’s a beautiful process. It’s hard work. But so worth the time and effort and patience to raise a well rounded, patient, persevering, spiritual minded, mindful and productive human being. Love that little River Roo! And my daughter for the lovely person she has become. Katy is a good Mom and Cody is a good Dad. And they love their little Chunky Monkey!
Ya’ll have a wonderful day and I’m going to set about mine!