Thursday Thirteen #29 - 13 Good Childhood Memories
Yeah, we all have issues with our childhoods. Some of us had horrid ones, others had idyllic ones. My childhood wasn't that great. But rather than lament, I have chosen to remember the good times. I thought about reminiscing about Christmases past, but then I thought perhaps I should reminisce about childhood in general, and for once, focus on the good things that happened to the child I once was.
1.) I still remember, clear as day, the time back in 1983 when I had my picture taken for the local newspaper. My second grade teacher had published one of my poems in a book called "Nevada Young Writers of 1983", and I was awarded the book in front of the entire school. I even got a letter hand-signed by the governor. I can remember being pulled out of class and told to go to the principal's office, thinking I was going to get in trouble. I was a little scared, admittedly. But once I saw the photographer, I knew he was there to honor my writing for the newspaper. I thought, "Hey, this is kinda cool!" And in that moment, an author was born. :)
2.) When I was really young, 1st - 2nd grade, we had horses. One of them was a Shetland pony, an appaloosa, who's only spots were on his rump, the other a mustang, saved from a negligent owner. As you might expect, we never did break that mustang, but the pony used to be a show horse. And boy, did he have an attitude. If he didn't like you, he'd buck you off. I was scared of that horse. But he'd behave himself when my sister was around, so the times I got to ride him were with her. Those were happy times.
3.) I was in kindergarten, and I believe it was my birthday, because I remember coming home from school to a special scene. I have no idea where my mother got them, but when I walked in the door, the entire living room was FILLED with stuffed animals. She told me I could choose 10 of them as my own. I don't know where the rest went. But that one moment was so magical, it stays with me to this day.
4.) I remember waaaay back, when my folks used to live in Lomita, in California (it's next to Torrance, where I was born), my sister and I were hunting for Easter eggs. My mother and father told my sister (who's 5 1/2 years older than me) not to take the obvious eggs. LOL I don't know why that stays with me, but I remember climbing the porch and looking in the hanging plant and running around in the yard. I couldn't have been older than 3 or 4.
5.) I ate those different colored dog biscuits around the same time, and I thought they tasted pretty good. :P
6.) I don't remember going to see the movie "ET" in theaters, but I DO remember the drive home from the movies. I remember doing such a great impersonation of ET that I got the little leather (or was he pleather?) ET doll in my stocking that Christmas. I desperately wanted to be Drew Barrymore's best friend.
7.) I remember putting on the soundtrack record of the movie "Annie" with my then best friend, belting out, "It's a hard knock life!" It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized Tim Curry was in "Annie", making me love the movie all the more. LOL
8.) The day we took in my uncle's dog was one of the best days of my childhood. That dog took to me as if I were her own puppy, and from then on until her death (about 9 years), she followed me everywhere I went. And I mean everywhere. She was my shadow, even if I forgot something in my room and then walked back out to the living room, she'd be right there. Her name was Kema (pronounced Kee-mah), and she was the best damn dog I've ever owned. In fact, she was so stubborn about staying with me, she was 16 when she died. Very uncommon for a German Shepherd.
9.) I remember when I was 13, I was so lonely and so unhappy after my parents' divorce, that I would crave going over to my friend's house, whose family was openly Christian. They had pictures of Jesus, they would pray before eating, and they were so *happy*. I wanted that for myself so badly. So I bought my own picture of Jesus and hung it in my room to comfort me, and it didn't take long before I asked Him into my heart. I still have that Jesus picture to this day, and it's hanging proudly in my office.
10.) With this same Christian friend of mine, we searched her house high and low for the doorway into Narnia, even going so far as to climb into her attic via her washer/dryer closet. LOL! Never found it. Darn.
11.) When I was 15 1/2, my father started teaching me how to drive. He wanted me to learn on a stick shift, and even though we had a car that was an automatic, he refused to take me out in it until I mastered the stick. But the stick shift we owned was a crazy Japanese one (1978 Datsun F-10, bright yellow), and first gear was over to the left and DOWN. To get into reverse, you had to push down on the stick and go over to the left and up. So if you weren't used to it, you'd forever be grinding the gears trying to get the damn thing into first. LOL My father worked the swing shift in the Hilton hotel/casino in Reno, NV. We lived in Carson City, about 35 miles away. He'd come home from work about 2am. During summer vacation, he would teach me to drive on the deserted streets in the wee hours of the morning. And when we were done with our lessons, he'd take me out to a "late night" treat at the 24 hour Denny's in town. But 9 times out of 10, we ordered Second Dinner rather than some hot fudge sundae. :D Those days were special times for me. My dad is a little nutty now, but I'll always cherish these times.
12.) The day the boy from my youth group told me he loved me was one of the happiest days of my life. However, it also confused me. You see, I was smitten over this guy, and he knew the crappy hand life had dealt me. So one day, he offered to give me a hug and I jumped at the chance, just to be near him and touch him (as he didn't believe in "dating", but rather "courting" when he was ready to get married). I knew nothing would ever come of whatever it was that we had, at least, not back then, not at that moment. When he told me he loved me, it kind of shocked me, as it was out of the blue, and I was left wondering if it was for real or if it was just that "friendship love", what someone tells another person to cheer them up, you know? It wasn't until after our youth pastor's wife drove me home one day (with him riding along for whatever reason) that I realized it might be the real deal. I was in the front passenger seat and he was in the back. He got out to take the front seat when I got out at the curb. For no apparent reason, he pulled me into his arms and told me he loved me again, in a softer voice, so as the pastor's wife couldn't hear him. He gave me a squeeze and got into the car and they drove away. I was so confused at the time, but thinking back now, I think he did love me, as we always hung out. But he never asked me out because of his beliefs. Dang it. After that, we moved apart (as he was a grade above me in school), so he graduated and I had one more year of high school. I only saw him a time or two after he'd gone off to college. But he was indeed the first boy to ever tell me he loved me. More than once!
13.) And the best memory of my childhood has to be when I was older, a senior in high school, when I met my DH through "Prodigy", an early precursor to the Internet back in 1992. I didn't have a computer, so I'd jam over to my friend's house to check her email to see if "I'd got mail." LOL After that, DH and I became pen pals, then we called each other, then visited each other, and the rest, as they say, is history. I grabbed on to the next boy to tell me he loved me and this time, I wasn't going to let him go. :)