Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Childhood Memories

Going back through my archive, I came across this post from last August. It tells a lot about where and who I came from and rereading these poignant memories brings a smile to my heart during these long, hot days. If you can remember, too....wasn't it all wonderful?


Riding on the tractor with my dad in the fields...
Catching tadpoles, and checking each day until they turned into frogs.
Sailing high on the lap of a gunny sack swing...
Watching The Carol Burnett Show on Saturday nights.
Straddling the coolness of our propane tank, pretending it was a horse.
Birthdays of grade school friends I haven't seen in years...
The smell of cool, wet carbon copies...fresh off the machine in the days before Xerox.
When AIDS was dietary chocolate squares, intended to help one lose weight.
The wooden marble game in the children's waiting room at the doctor's office.
My mom and dad, waltzing during The Lawrence Welk Show.
When we had to get up to change the TV channel....and when there were only 3 stations.
Saying "Dibs" to reserve our favorite chair...
How I prayed all summer not to get Mrs. Shirley for 4th grade...and I got her anyway.
The wonderful display of sparkling rings to choose from at the dentist office.
Paying 25 cents a gallon for gasoline up at the county line...
Walking a mile to I - 135 before it opened for traffic...and riding my bike down it with my mother.
When those rubbery shoes known as "flip flops" were called "thongs".
Record players, the Hi-Fi and reel to reel tapes...
How I hated tacos the first time I ate them...yet how I love them now.
Sitting on top of the ice cream bucket to hold it still while my dad turned the crank.
Party lines and rotary phones...
My mother's beautiful, black-lacquered music box.
Richard Chamberlain and Ricky Nelson LP's.
Making forts in the currant bushes in the ditch across the road from our house.
Our bus driver making one ornery boy ride on the steps halfway home from school.
When we could get six ice cream cones at Dairy Queen for a total of 30 cents.
Colorful, knitted ponchos and purple jeans.
Davy Jones and the Monkees.
Wearing dresses every day to school.
The Wonderful World of Disney at 6:00 on Sunday evenings.
Cross-country tennis shoes - the black ones with white stripes.
Fizzies - little flavored tablets you put in water to make it taste (supposedly) like soda pop.
Roller skates with keys...that never seemed to stay on.
Bobby Sherman records made of cardboard on the back of a Raisin Bran box.
Making little dolls from the flowers of old-fashioned HollyHocks.
The BIG snowstorm in the early 70's...walking beside the clothesline on top of the drifts, and getting out of school for a week.
Riding in the back of the grain truck with the grasshoppers.
Playing Barbie's with my sister in the low window of our bedroom on the farm.
Colored cups made of tin - one for each member of the family (mine was dark blue).
Seeing a bright star in the east early one Christmas morning.
My little brother and I sliding across the kitchen floor in our socks.
Making Calico and Numpy books, Julie and I, after our two favorite cats.
Throwing up in kindergarten..and hating that last "airy" taste at the bottom of the milk carton.
Playing in the sprinkler on a hot August afternoon.
Rabbit ears for "great" reception...
When gas stations were called "filling stations"...and they were full service.
Popcorn and no-bake cookies on Sunday nights.
That horrible sounding bell they aired on television during a tornado warning...and my brothers making fun of me because I was terrified of storms.
Showing new puppies to Henry, our rural mailman, when he delivered our mail.
The wonderful tree house my cousin, Joe, built one glorious summer...
The fat tummy chair and the big corner cupboard.
The porch swing under the big elm tree and my mother's beautiful flower garden.
Matching dresses my sister and I wore, especially the one with fuzzy cherry material, a white pleated skirt, and a big red sash.
Sibyl Carey, my mother's dear friend who lived up the road....an artist and poet....my first inspiration.
The wonderful farm where countless memories were made and a family of eight lived, laughed and loved.

We were the richest kids I knew.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


It's a silly thing, really. Funny how such little things can make my day and yet, there it was...right under my nose. Insignificant in itself but with a bigger meaning on this day.

It's been hard: moving furniture in hot hallways amidst 100% humidity. We were all tired by 7:00 a.m. and tempers were short as exhaustion coupled with the Kansas heat took their toll. Later we scattered in different directions, one being the gymnasium where I began scraping bleachers and floors in preparation for an upcoming basketball tournament. As I was scrubbing off sticky soda pop under my feet, something caught my eye. There beneath the painted concrete was a distinct and perfectly shaped heart. In other places on the floor, the humidity had raised little circles or irregular shapes, but there was no mistaking this familiar icon; the symbol of love.

On a difficult day it was just the sign I needed. There in the most unexpected place I was reminded that I am loved and that there are so many who hold a place in my heart as well. Something simple, something profound. The greatest of these, the greatest gift.

Even when its found among the bleachers on a dirty gymnasium floor.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hello World!

Wow. It's been such a long time, or at least it seems like such a long time, since I've written on here and with the lengthiness of my absence, you would think I'd have a lot to say. And I do....
Unfortunately, my time is short and though my minutes are brief, please know that I haven't forgotten all of you who have become a part of my daily thoughts.

This summer has been challenging. I'm up at 5:00 a.m. and here at the school at 6:00. We work 10 hour days so we can have Fridays off (YES). It hasn't been the most pleasant few weeks, and it is hot, hard work. But....each day still brings a kind of joy and how thankful I am to be able to work. Though the days are long, I am blessed to work with a group of fun women who make the hours more bearable and who don't take themselves too seriously in this summer madness!

I do miss checking in with all of you, seeing what is going on in your lives and reading your blogs. My online time is rare, so I try to catch one or two people each time I'm here. I haven't forgotten your friendship and support and promise....PROMISE that I will be back to writing. Until then, to Bonnie, Mellissa, Mike, Clew, Martie, Naive, Cheryl, Pete, Rebecca, Network Chic, Alan, SRP, Nelly, Jacqueline...to anyone I've forgotten, and everyone who may read here, I send my fondest thoughts and wishes of health and happiness to you all and look forward to catching up on a daily basis again.

'Til we meet again....