|Me and Mom|
I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Philippians 1:3
It seems to be human nature to remember negative experiences and feelings more than the positive. I know I have some pretty negative memories from my childhood...being blamed for things that my younger siblings did, or worse, being blamed when one of them got hurt. My dislike for card games and board games stems from negative experiences playing games with my brothers. My fear of water comes from almost drowning as a child. My fear of snakes comes from my mom screaming whenever she came across a snake in the garden. My dislike for public speaking comes from being embarrassed in grade 5....and I could go on and on.
So many of our fears and dislikes are rooted in something that happened to us as children. The ones I've listed are pretty minor. I could talk about more painful, destructive memories but that isn't my purpose today. What I want to do is focus on the positive. So, I decided to just sit down and write a list of memories from my childhood....I wrote them as they came to me...no particular order, just the positive thoughts that came when I thought about my childhood. Of course, negative memories came too, often mixed in with the good, but I purposely ignored them! Some of these memories may seem small and inconsequential, but sometimes it's the little things that make the difference, and perhaps have a lasting impact on life.
So, here is my list:
1. Going to Jackson's Lake in the summer time. We'd look forward to Dad getting home from work, so we could bug him to take us, or in later years, let us borrow the car! Yes, I have a fear of going under water, but I still loved going to the lake!
2. Sunday drives with Mom and Dad...sometimes to the gardens in Morden, or to Mount Nebo. I'm not sure why these are good memories, other than that they broke up the monotony of everyday life out in the boonies!
3. Coming home from school to supper...I'd imagine everything Mom might have made, and by the time we got off the bus my mouth was watering! After supper, I'd sit on a stool and dry dishes and tell mom about my day....about the only alone time I got with Mom!
5. Playing with our dogs and puppies. We always had at least one dog. The first was Yip, then Dad brought home Heppy...and thanks to Jack dog down the road, we often had puppies. The last three dogs we had when I was at home were Big Pup, Teddy, and Sandy. I guess we ran out of puppy names to end up with 'Big Pup' Of course there was also a Little Pup at one time too!
6. Walking.....on sandy roads that burned my feet so much that I'd try to stay in the shady spots; along railway tracks and gravel roads looking for shiny stones; on cool, damp, freshly graded roads...flattening the tire tracks; out to frozen ponds in the field to skate on; down the road to the Collie Hills to play in the spruce trees, or to slide down the steep hills in winter; out to the west bush to pick nanny berries, down the south road, or across to 'Ron's bush' to pick choke cherries;
7. Our 'world' (a bit of a continuation of previous) - The garden...making a meal just wandering around...pulling up a carrot, picking some peas, and then raspberries for desert! And the flowers...when I was little..zinnias, cosmos, carnations, snow on the mountain, bachelor's buttons, portulaca (especially the mound in Auntie Bene's garden) oh, and scarlet runner beans at Auntie Bene's place, and her apple orchard! ...and my very own rock garden with a cement bird bath that I made myself. Oh, and wildflowers...blue bells, crocus, cowslips, buttercups, tiger lilies, lady slippers...
And trees...climbing trees, making houses in the center of the 'big willows', swings hung from trees...and especially the sideways tree...even though I was knocked unconscious when I fell out of it!
8. Family - weekends or family reunions....my aunts, Jessie and Marion and their families,...Uncles, Gordon and Dot, Bert and Pearl, later...older cousins and their kids...and going to stay at Uncle Gordon's house at Justice, sometimes alone, or with cousins...and Grandma Blair's house in Brandon...the one I like to point out when we drive by...just to bug Brian! It had a very distinct scent that I associated with her. I never realized what the smell was until we bought a house that was saturated in cigarette smoke! I remember admiring Grandma's little ornaments, roller skating in her basement, and finding paper dolls. I claimed them, even though they probably belonged to a cousin!
Grandma Roberts coming from Toronto to visit in the summer. She always had stories to tell, she taught me to sew, knit and crochet...though I didn't learn very well...I enjoyed the one on one time with her. One summer I got to spend a night with her in the old house on our property...exercising and listening to her '45' records. Another time, I stayed with her at Auntie Bene's and went on a road trip with them to visit extended family, like Aunt Grace, who had at least 30 cats! I don't know if the other kids had those times with Grandma...maybe I reminded her of mom.
Auntie Bene's house...Because Dad worked in Carberry, and we went to school four miles from home, we spent a lot of time at Auntie Bene's house, just down the road from the school. She would make us home made soup with bread and butter after school...served in the blue willow dishes I now have. Uncle Jim had a loom, and he taught us to weave. It was sometimes set up in their living room, but sometimes in the basement...and I can still remember the smell of coal down there. When I was older, I was surprised at how much smaller the loom seemed...and Brian still bugs me about that! This is also where I learned to play Chinese checkers (I still have the board), and of course, there were the shelves of puzzles. Funny, we now go to Mom's house and do puzzles!
Siblings...I realize these are all very self centered memories, but hey, I was a kid...Terry taught me to tie my shoes, and to tell time; Earl made me a box for my rock collection, and warmed up my feet when I followed the boys to the Collie hills in the winter, wearing sandals; Lynn showed me on a map where Santa Clause was on Christmas Eve; Glen lent me money and drove me to town when we were teens; Mike wrote to me when he was in B.C....Jamie and Vicki...I think I was a little older before I had an appreciation for them! (ok, that was a bunch of memories all rolled into one)
9. The Worby store and rink..'coke' and chocolate bars were a real treat, and so was going to the store. The rink...watching Dad 'pebble' the curling ice...and when they weren't curling, we got to skate there...I remember one time, the boys stuck 'glow balls' to their skates and turned off the lights...kinda scary on the narrow sheet of ice! I also remember when we went to Arizona School, sometimes the bigger kids would walk to the store, and anyone who had money would send it along to buy something. I remember mojos..probably cause it's all I could ever afford to buy!
10. Christmas and New Years...we always had Christmas at our house, with lots of presents and a big meal...poor Mom! Auntie Bene and Uncle Jim, and Jock, owner of the Worby store, would come over too, and then on New Years, we'd go to Auntie Bene's house. Jock usually brought oranges and I think pop for us. New Years, the adults would play cards, and us kids did puzzles...I know, sounds really exciting!
I could go on, but I'll stop there! I meant to keep this short, but once I started thinking about things it was hard to condense it down to 10 short points. I really was blessed with wonderful parents, and had a good childhood...not perfect or without difficulties, but I'd rather remember the good times...wouldn't you?
I know I don't have many regular readers anymore, but if anyone out there decides to make their own list of good memories let me know. It really is a great exercise.