My View. . .Writing 101

It was the house where my parents fought. I was crouched under the square white table with the brown chairs, watching my mother run as my father chased her with a knife. Her red, black and gray patterned skirt swished as she ran, the Spanish dancing ladies printed around the bottom seeming to run with her. I was two and half years old.

I don’t remember how many houses we lived in before this one, but I remember this one well. It was a wooden shack on a farmer’s property. My father would work on the farm long enough to get drinking money, get into a fight, and get thrown in jail. There was no back door so my mother hung a blanket to help shield us against the winter wind. There was no paint on the outside and there were spaces between the boards. The floor was wood plank and I could see the dirt under the house through them.

My solace was Great Grandma’s house. I’d spend weekends there when I got to be around five or six. There was a small cedar box filled with family pictures, pictures of people I didn’t know. Every weekend Grandma would take them down and patiently tell me again who each person was. I have some of those pictures now.

There were Bible coloring books that had the story that went with the pictures printed at the bottom of the page. And there was the pantry. Mom always told her not to fill me with junk food but the minute Grandma was sure Mom was gone we went straight to the pantry. There were lumps of brown sugar, butter cookies shaped like flowers with holes in the middle, snow ball cakes, and those cookies that were soft cookie on the bottom and topped with pink or white marshmallow and coconut. Those used to be my favorite. There were Fizzies too. They were like Kool-Aid tablets only they made the water fizz when you dropped them in.

Grandma would watch Howdy Dudy with me and Mickey Mouse Club.

There were peach and apricot trees on her property and she had a cellar where she did her canning. She would take me down with her and let me think I was helping her with the canning. I can still smell those fresh ripe peaches as she peeled them. And the apricots were so sweet. Every time I eat one I’m back at her house. It was a refuge from the Old Dumpy House.

OMG Moments

To me, OMG stands for Oh, My Goodness!.  My husband and I became full-time RV’ers seventeen years ago. We had a tw0-weekend yard sale, packed up the stuff we wanted to keep for later years to give to the kids in boxes, and took it to a relative’s house. We are at that house now, opening boxes that have been in a storage shed, going through things, and throwing much of it away.

But then there are those treasures. You know, the photographs you never wrote on the back of, but they bring back fond memories. There is a box with the set of dishes my my parents got for me to take to business school (44 years ago). There are handmade curtains I can no longer use, afghans I had made, gifts that had been given to us, keepsakes from long ago travels.

Memory Lane is such a sweet place. I love my life now but reading back over signatures from my JUNIOR HIGH autograph pages, and my senior memories book and yearbook bring tears of joy as I look back in time. Not all of my school days were happy ones; in fact many were not, but they helped mold and make me who and what I am today. I am grateful and wistful. Some things are wonderful, sweet memories, and others are reminders that I’m glad to be the age I am now.

If you are one of those many people who have been bullied in school, take heart. It’s tough; it’s cruel; but it is training ground for who you want to be. It isn’t easy to ignore the hurts and frustrations, but please, for your own sake, do try. Ignore the taunting. Ten years from now they won’t remember why they picked on you. The bullies will have moved away, or you will, and life will go on, and you will have grown more confident and bolder from the experience. You will learn where your strengths are and they will guide you to fulfillment. My favorite phrase in the Bible is “it came to pass,” because that means it didn’t come to stay. Life is a journey with valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. We need them all. Keep pressing forward. Never give up your dreams. You’ll be glad you did some day. I know from experience.


Lights of Christmas at night

Lights of Christmas at night