I’ve managed to jot down a few memories here and there. I thought I’d share a few with you today. (Reason to be revealed later.)
Here are three I jotted down as just quick memories, and they took place when I was between the ages of 3-5 and lived in Grace, Idaho on a dairy farm. They reveal a lot about me however, including that fact that I’ve always been and adventurer, romantic to the core, and inspired in my writing by my own past. (Me and my Uncle Russell, below!)
(The Adventurer in Me Revealed)
There was my red tricycle. In being quite the little tomboy, I can remember intentionally crashing my tricycle down the hill that was across the street from the house. It was great fun! It was during one of these daredevil stunts that I first tasted dirt. I decided that I really liked it! It had a good flavor and crunched very nicely. I don’t think I really made it a habit to eat dirt very often—just one in a while when I felt like chewing something nice and gritty.
(Romantic to the Core)
I also possessed a red wagon and a little red wheelbarrow. What romantic adventures and fun I would have with these items! The wagon made an ideal princess bed and the wheelbarrow was just the right shape and size to serve as the cradling arms of my beloved. Whether I was being rescued and carried to safety in the arms of a knight, a prince, or my darling Huckleberry Finn, on any given day the wheelbarrow served nicely, and I would lie in the arms of my champion and let him kiss me as much as he wanted. (Heavy sigh!)
(Inspired by My Own Past)
There was an immense lilac bush/tree in our front yard at the Lago house and if one, who was between the ages of 3 and 6, would crouch down, one could enter into the cavity behind and under the lilac tree and play in a hollow—the stuff of fairy tales! It was oh, so heavenly a fragrance to inhale ‘neath the lilac tree as I was playing. And when I was in a more adventurous frame of mind, I could slide down the tin roof of a building (garage I think) that was off to one side of the house, and land softly in a bed of cattails that grew in and around a small creek there. I still adore cattails to this very day. I consider them to also be the stuff of dreams and fairy tales.
Just three little ditties…and by no means life altering (I was being sarcastic before)…but kind of fun all the same. 🙂
Now, as you know, I TOTALLY love to read through things my mother has written! She has such a way with painting a picture, an ambiance, etc. with words! Here are some little ditties from her personal history that I love, love, love! (My mom at age fourteen to the left!)
In the fall, the winds are quieter, the air is mellow, the angle at which the sun hits the earth causes the rays to be less harsh, the air appears to have a golden glow instead of the glaring white of summer, there are smells of warm grapes, apple cider, dill pickles, grape juice in the making, and apple, plum, and peach butter cooking, and the smell of burning apple wood and leaves in the air. Maybe not now, but all these aromas were in the fall air when I was young. Also waiting on the gentler breezes would be the smell of homemade bread again. One didn’t bake bread too often in the summer unless absolutely necessary and then only in the early morning. It was too hot to fire up the stove.
Winter was beautiful with snow, ice, and frost. Clear, crisp nights when, as the sun set, the sky would go through every shade of blue from pale blue to blue green to sky blue to royal blue to dark blue to black blue with the last rays of the sun at the sky blue and royal blue stages turning the clouds from white to gold to light pink to darker pink to gray. The stars would appear one by one—silvery, crisp, and distinct. The Milky Way could be seen stretching across the heavens, and then a crescent or full moon would appear to light up the frost forming in the air and settling on the ground or the frost diamonds resting on the snow of a few days before.
Darkness would have set in before I got off the bus at night. I sometimes would walk from the bus stop to home on the snowplowed road with the moonlight glistening on the snow on both sides. Before I reached the driveway, I would smell fresh baked bread, the cinnamon of fresh baked sweet rolls, and pinto beans cooking. Ahh! There’s not a person on earth who ever ate so well on a cold wintry night. For my after-school snack, Mom would let me have a small bowl of beans with lots of black pepper and a glass of good, cold, uncooked (unpasteurized) whole milk. Christmas is in the air. New Year’s Day comes and goes. Soon spring is in the air again.
Spring was hyper with winds blowing, machinery roaring, plants growing, birds chattering, twittering, singing, fighting, and frantically building nests, some getting intense. Don’t get me wrong. I love birds and do miss their chirping, twittering, and songs as they quiet down in late summer to raise their families, feed, and prepare to migrate. But, there was just a lot of activity and noise in the spring along with the birds.
Another treasure to me, is a manuscript my mom transcribed, of a conversation she had with her mother before she died. You know my mom’s mother…my maternal grandmother, Opal Edith Switzler States (on the right in the photo below). She was my inspiration for the heroine Cherry Ray in my book Sweet Cherry Ray! The discussion these few little excerpts were transcribed from was done shortly before my grandma passed away. I LOVE them! They’re so insightful to the life she lived as a child!
(Trains and Bulls)
After Daddy died, we still had Cousin Wren’s big ole Guernsey bull. Dad had a big padlock on the gate; I don’t know who unlocked the pen. I don’t know whether it was Palmer that called Mom and told her the ole bull was on the railroad track. He tried to get him off and cou1dn’t. When the train come along, he just ran at it sideways and cut his head off. Wren didn’t want Mom to keep a bull after Dad died anyhow. When Mom called Wren and told him, he said, “Well,” he said a’, “I’m glad it happened. I was scared to death you or one of the kids was going to get hurt out there.
(Chasing a Rattler)
Coming back down through there one day, a rattlesnake went and jumped at ole Tony’s (her horse) belly, and ah, I got off the horse and started chasing that thing. It crawled in a hole, and, like a dummy, I got down there and peeked at him. I could see that ole thing, so I stuck a rock in there, and went to the house and got a shovel and came back and dug him out and killed him. Boy! I tell you, that was awful!
So now you may be silently asking yourself, “And what’s the point to all this reminiscing?”
Well…I don’t really have one…Journals (i.e. personal histories) are absolutely one of the most precious things on earth! If you’ve ever been given the opportunity to read an ancestor’s journal, then you know what I mean. Not only do they tell your story for your posterity, but they help you to remember it yourself. They are a treasure…absolutely invaluable, and I regret that I never kept one.
I was just missing my grandma today, I guess. 🙁 Furthermore, I’ve set Monday as my official “Day to Blog” and it’s Monday! Plus, I pulled a name out of my hat for the Princess Diaries DVD and need to let you know what the contest is THIS week on my blog, right? 🙂
Okay, last week’s winner is April Turner (who commented on my Facebook post about the blog)! Congratulations, April!
As for this week’s contest…hmmm…let’s see. How about this: Since I’m feeling very nostalgic tonight, have you ever seen a cute little, romantic, great-life-lesson movie entitled, Flipped? If you haven’t, you must!!! This week my contest is for a DVD copy of Flipped! Just leave a comment…something YOU feel nostalgic about in your own life, here, on Facebook, Goodreads, etc. and you’re entered to win! It’s a great movie!