How do you feel about writing? Journaling? Maybe I’m just a bit sentimental but I wish I knew more about my grandparents and how things were; I wish I knew more about what it was like when my parents grew up; I wish I remembered more about my own childhood (though some of those high school/college years I wouldn’t mind forgetting!); I wish I’d written down more about when Chad was a baby, a toddler, a school boy (again . . some of those times I’d like to forget!).
When I wrote the other day about my Catholic friend with the holey tennis shoes, mom called and reminded me of a story when I was about 3 or 4. We were walking down the street and met a nun. I had probably never seen one before. Mom said I just couldn’t stop staring! As we passed her on the street, I stopped, turned and watched her. Mom was holding my hand and trying to drag me along so I didn’t blurt out something and embarrass her. I don’t know how I knew she had something to do with religion but when we got home, I went in the bathroom, draped a towel over my head; walked into the room where mom and dad were and said “My name is God!”
Back in the days before seat belts, I remember dad driving at night with the lights on bright. There would be a little round light on the dash that showed the lights were on bright. There was a little button on the floor that dad hit to dim the lights. Anyone remember those? Now it’s all on the lever on the steering wheel! Anyway, I would lean over the seat and blow and dad would dim the lights and I always thought I was blowing the light out. Didn’t take much to entertain me as a child or as an adult! 🙂
My dad’s mom was old when I was a little child. Dad’s dad had passed away when dad was a teen so I never knew him. Granny Miller had given up housekeeping. I only remember her house being abandoned . . never remember her living there. Even my oldest memories of her, she was old. She probably seemed older than she was but I don’t even remember her being any younger than 70-ish. She would ride the Greyhound or Continental Trailways buses and spend a week here and a week there with her five children. She had 7 or 8 or more kids but some of them were no longer living. She was pretty cantankerous. The three daughters-in-law seemed to have lots of problems with Granny. Mom was the only one of the three who worked so Granny spent less time with us than with the other four families. It never seemed fair to me as a child but now, oh goodness . . I can’t even imagine having my mother-in-law (don’t have one anyway!) coming to spend a few weeks with us several times a year.
Do any of you use Vicks VapoRub? Our family seems to be addicted to the stuff. My friends laugh at me because I never go anywhere without it. There’s some in my car, I sleep with it under my pillow. There are jars of Vicks all over my house! Both sets of my grandparents were the same way and mom and dad are too. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s about the consistency of Vaseline.
Granny was staying with us once and she was sleeping on the sofa. As always, she had her little glass jar (they’re plastic now) of Vicks sitting on the end table next to the sofa. It was dark and all the lights were out. Without turning the light on, Granny reached over to the end table to retrieve her Vicks. She was laying down, and was holding the bottle over her head as she unscrewed the cap to run her boney little finger over the top of the salve. Mom and dad were in bed and heard Granny exclaim “Lord, God . . what have I done?” They went running into the den and there was Granny . . covered in ink! She’d grabbed the glass jar of ink and since she opened it with it upside down, the ink had dumped all over her face, all over the sofa . . what a mess!
These are a couple of funny stories but we’re living in historic times. The events of our day (presidential election, economy, technology) will be the things our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. read about in history books. Not everyone, but hopefully someone in future generations, will find our stories interesting. My grandchildren or great grandchildren may find it interesting to read about life before cell phones; before computers; our feelings watching the events of September 11, 2001 unfold; our experiences and memories of an election year when America elected the first African American president.
As a child, my parents and the parents of my friends got a job and stayed with the same job for their entire career. Anyone doing that these days? Think many of today’s young adults will retire from the same company they went to work for fresh out of college? Will anyone even believe it was possible to have done that back in the 60’s and 70’s? Just little things that we take for granted may be an amazing story to someone 50 or 60 years from now.
I had mentioned taking Jessica Sprague’s Stories in Hand class. Whether I’m writing a journal, diary or recalling stories I remember, I want to save these memories for future generations. The Stories in Hand class has been a tremendous help for me and if any of you are halfway interested in writing, you might want to watch for the next class. I’m so glad I took it!