Friday, August 14, 2009

No Gold Medal

Sweet memories are flooding back. I have all these memories of my childhood, my family, and just being little-when all you worried about was finding your shoes, and not slamming the door on the way out (or leaving it open too long, or you hear, "Shut the door!"). I have found some cousins I haven't seen in absolute ages (amounts to about 20 years, give or take?). They were beautiful things I adored getting together with-just to play at Grandma's house. It just takes me back to visits, eating with extended family, my grandma's pork chops, her letting me make the mashed potatoes, playing out back on her stained concrete (before it was in style), spending the night in her room with the windows open listening to the train or the cicadas, sitting in her old crabapple tree out front, pretending it was a fort, or collecting a coffee can (remember those?) full of crabapples to do nothing with. Oh, happy times. Now the tree is gone, the house is sold, my grandma is in Heaven, but I have my pocket full of memories. Memories no one can take away. Things turn golden over time, don't they? I'm so glad.

There was a time when I spent the night with my grandma and I was in sixth grade. I was supposed to go to the Little Olympics the next day. My grandma drove me dutifully to the field where the games were, and I'd practiced so hard for two weeks, and (as I remember) I had the fastest time (or one of the fastest times?) of the other kids who were practicing for the obstacle course. My grandma pulled up and parked, and I couldn't get out. I don't know what happened. I don't know if I knew she was going to drive away alone (and geez, she didn't even drive across Hwy 71Business, and she was on the other side of it! and how would she get home alone?), she couldn't stay (for fear?), or if I was scared to get out and go up there alone. I don't know. All these things flashed through my head: my team not winning without me, me not finding my school/team/friends, me alone, my grandma alone, the afternoon I'd miss with her if I stayed. It was all too much. I just sat frozen in the car (back when you could sit in the front seat. And maybe not even wear a seat belt?). She just said, "Let's go home." And we did. I felt awful: for my team, for my fear, for my grandma, for how things would go in life. I just had this feeling. I had a good afternoon, and we went to the library (our usual), and she shared her love of books with me, and we probably had frozen pizza and refrigerated Reese's. Two things I don't eat now without remembering her. Anyway, I wouldn't trade the afternoon for anything now. Gold medal, or no.

So, this brings me back to my cousins. I love them, and I love that we share history. And the blood of family. It seems I have less family every year, so I cherish what I have while I have it. I hope my kids carry some history on to their kids. Don't you wonder what little things will stick in their minds?

What memories do you still carry around?

A few more of mine: Eagles blaring in the car-me in the back seat, getting Nerds at the gas station, washing dishes with an apron, fingerpainting on the sidewalk (yes, on paper), playing dolls, playing Star Wars, more music: Johnny Lee, Oliva Newton John, Princess Diana's wedding, roast beef, carrots, and potatoes, chocolate pies, old cars, no air conditioning, the Dukes of Hazzard, Love Boat and Fantasy Island, Wile E. Coyote, Fruity Pebbles, Kangaroos, lots of rainbows, purple Nikes, sleepovers, I think I could go on all night. : )


Gigi said...

How lovely your thoughts brings back memories for sure. We miss those sweet girls and their families and the years that are gone and can never be recovered. Remember when Angie came and we went to the Grove Street Park and everyone played like they were seven?

You are making memories with your own children every single day. They won't remember the things you think they will, they will remember the little oddities that have somehow escaped you. The big things they take with a grain of salt, it is those tiniest of moments...those precious moments that forever live in ones mind.

Now you know why no matter what hour of the day, if the kiddies say, "Gigi, I want scrambled eggs" I just stop and make them. No matter what, they won't forget. It's something Sissy can have, Clay can have, and Ethan thinks we are all nuts. lol But just wait..he will join in soon..

Maybe the Eagles blaring is the reason I cannot hear well today and yes, I remember the refrigerated Reese's peanut butter cups and they were very good indeed! Mom fed us Baby Ruth candy bars and Pepsi when I was a wee lass. Then there was fried chicken, corn on the cob, iced tea, mashed potatoes, with cream gravy and her breakfasts were to die for. Mom fed me the toast I love today, broiled on HI for two minutes with a butter happy face, and chocolate gravy, bacon and eggs with pancakes.

My memories of childhood are being little wild and crazy kids. You have heard all the great the stories. We literally pulled all the stops, gone all day, cruising Peacetree Avenue in Atlanta on a twenty-inch bicycle in morning traffic, me being shot at with a bb gun, going into the forest all day, eating muscadine grapes wild on the many vines and catching crawdads in the little streams for fun, almost getting drowned in a swift current creek and big brother saving my life (actually that happened in Georgia and Arkansas more than once), traveling to Arkansas (with my Dad already here) and my Mom going into a truck stop, (back when truckers were to be totally trusted) and asking one of the big rig guys who was going to Arkansas? She would drive at their rear bumper and stay there, stop when he stopped, go when he went. What a life I had. And no seat belts eighty miles an hour no less.

My Mom always had a new car, something that has always eluded me. Maybe I had 'enough' new cars and old works well enough?

Day trips to Stone Mountain were precious. Of course that is when you had to walk up, not drive up ramps, and no fancy lights yet, etc. and going to Grant Park for the Atlanta Cyclorama history lesson with the steam engine and the swings that seemed twenty feet tall.

I will say this: My Mom made sure we saw the zoos, parks, the fun stuff. Every Saturday night we went to the drive-in theater and sat on top of the car, hood of the car, rear of the car and if my Dad went he chose to back the car into position by the speaker. We ate ridiculous junk food and made messes and my Mother didn't even care, and sometimes she joined us on top of the hood or trunk etc.

On Saturday afternoons after we came to Arkansas, we drove down to Evelyn Hills and ate the fifteen cent plate dinner while she shopped for groceries. What grocery store would do that today? While we were there once, they had Bonnie and Clyde's real 1934 Ford in a tan color with all the bullet holes still in it. And it was on that day, I fell in love with '34 Fords and I was intent on owning one.

That dream has come true, owning two of those sweet '34's.

Even our mudball fights were a step up from todays technology. First we found the best rocks, rolled them in good, wet mud, dried them in the hot summer sun for days, then we were ready. I am not sure what we were ready for, but we were ready for a mudball fight when the time came.

to be continued on next post..

Gigi said...


You have heard the stories of all my head injuries. The tree story, the horse story, the second horse story, the third horse story, the ball bat story, just being beat up for no reason story, the being hog-tied and pulled across the floor furnace story, the go-kart collision story. This is the reason I am the person I am today. My brain was shaken just a wee bit too much as a child. Exciting, yes, very exciting, but methinks just a bit too much brain moving uncontrollably inside my skull.

If you know what a 'pole truck' is, me on my hands pushing the brake, older brother steering and younger brother shifting the gears. Deadly fun we had that day. But nothing happened, no one got mad. In fact, we learned how to lower and raise the headache ball all by ourselves.

We made fishing sinkers with melted lead in a smoldering hot fire and heavy molded patterns. You melt the lead, pour it into the molds, before the lead sets up, you stick in the wire that attaches to the fishing line, and viola', you have sinkers that take your fishing hook down to the waiting fish with a grimy earthworm attached. hhehe..

We fished, boated, hiked, swam, set up road blocks charging the neighbors a quarter to pass by (until they told my Mom), we went to the parks, spent our summers in Florida, traveled a lot, and generally had a great life.

It was a free for all..and you remember I had a pet alligator...that is five thousand words on its own..

Summers were spent in the oceans around Florida getting tanned and stung by jellyfish and playing in the sand. At sunset the waves would roll in much bigger because of the tide coming in and massive schools of fish would be in those waves and right behind would be the sharks jumping in the horizon coming after those schools of fish. The parents would all start screaming, "SHARKS", and I would try to swim out to meet and greet. But my Mom would scream at me until I came back to shore..

Just let me back chat my Mother and wowza, she was like a bee being attacked. And she could run, she would chase me around the chicken pen or the massive garden we had, with her chasing me crazily with that painful peach-tree switch.

Today they would call family services and the family would be ripped apart, but not then. I learned not to talk back, okay, well, sort of learned. At least not to talk back to her....

Childhood was a glorious time. In my whole life I have never known anyone that had the fun and adventures that I had. When I read Nancy Drew, I thought to myself, how boring....

And yes, my Mother taught me to read, took me to the library religiously, and read I did. I still read. How pleasing that my daughter and son read real books with hard back covers, and my grandchildren are all readers. The amount of reading they do puts me to shame but how pleased I am to hear about your books from you.

I think a good tip for young ladies looking to marry or vice versa would be: does that person own a book, do they read a book, do they know who is the President, what the capital of Alaska is? If they don't know the basics, they aren't going to know the complicated facets of finances, baby formulas, oil changes, anniversaries, well, you get my point.


Open House today..

Anonymous said...

Everyone look at this beautiful LASSIE dog. I had one growing up and they are faithful, loving and so well-behaved.

Who will step up to bat and give this girl a life-long home?


Holly said...

You are sweet-I love that you care about the animals! : )
I remember Lesley's. Peanut used to let me tell him secrets! : )

Ps- I may finally post again.....been some kind of busy.

Gigi said...

Busy Mom Indeedy! Hopefully we have the house sold...

Thank you again for all the help!

I hope I helped MC in some small way by coming over this p.m. Bless her heart, she has so many mountains to climb in her lifetime. Someday we'll have a cure!


Holly said...

thank you. I think she's asleep. She came down again with a tummy ache, and I have her some ibu. We'll see how it goes. She had "cup of dirt with worms" at TGIF's, so it may be a long night! : P

Keep praying for a cure, it's just not fair.

Anonymous said...

White light, bright light,
Take away my fright.
Don't let the darkness scare me
There's nothing here to fear.
Let me sleep the whole night long;
For I am safe in here
White light, bright light,
Protect me throught the night.


Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to the Lord. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4: 6-7

Holly said...

This is one of the first Bible verses I took the time to memorize. I love it. Thank you. I have to look up and have faith most days.

I just hand my life over. If I was doing it alone, I wouldn't have gotten this far. God only works through me. He gives me the energy, enthusiasm, and somehow the time to do what I do. I'll pray more for Him to guard my heart!