Sharon B has posted the challenge concept and palette for February. The challenge concept is a questions this month:
What are you old enough to remember?
And the color palette is
I'm going to work with the palette this month for sure and I'm already working an idea in my head but the questions is intriguing and I thought I'd at least spend some time thinking about it.
If I think about the question as "what are my early memories" I'd list:
- My earliest memory is of my parents talking about the President being shot. I could tell by the mood that it was bad but I didn't know who the President was and what it meant to me.
- I remember when the Jackson 5 became popular and realizing that we are not all created equal. Michael Jackson and I are about the same age. I was riding a yellow school bus to a rural elementary school and he was touring the world because he was born with real talent. That was the point where I realized that I needed to work hard to get my tour out of that town. I didn't have that talent.
- I remember how excited my Mom was to get carpeting in her dining room. I remember me and my brothers setting it on fire (near the door), melting some of the carpet, cutting away the melted parts and being very careful for the next year or so to keep the doormat over the spot.
- I remember my Mom being pregnant with my 3rd brother. Everyone wanted a girl except me. I've never prayed in my life like I prayed for that baby to be a boy. he was born the day before my 8th birthday and I was very excited to have a baby to care for. I quickly learned that babies are a lot of work and that they turn into PITA toddlers. I am thankful that the baby was a boy and that I was old enough to learn that I have absolutely no maternal instincts!
Which led me to thinking about "what do I remember from my childhood that my youngest brother wouldn't remember". This is a conversation that I've had with a friend of mine recently who is also the oldest of 4 children. Depending on the age gap and the dynamics of the family, the oldest and youngest children can have totally different childhood experiences. I was talking to Mom recently and we thought about some of the things that I remember that David probably does not. My middle brother, Tim, reads my blog so I'd be interested to know what of this stuff he remembers. Here are some of the things that I think I remember that David does not.
I remember Great-Grandma Rakes, the quilter. I believe she died when David was about 1 year old. I don't remember her liking children very much but I have vivid memories of seeing her sew pieces of fabric together for her quilt tops. I was fascinated.
I remember my Granddaddy Dove. He actually got a job at my elementary school as a janitor so that he could see me and my brother Eddie every day. My Willie is named for him.
I remember when we actually spent time with my Dad's parents. I'm pretty sure that had cut back pretty dramatically by the time David arrived on the scene. Things started going downhill when they told my parents that they only wanted to spend time with their Granddaughter but not their Grandsons.
I remember our babysitter. We called her Mama Nowlin. Apparently we were cruel enough at some point to actually just refer to her as "Mama". Our real Mama wasn't too please with that so the babysitter's name was modified to "Mama Nowlin". She lived in a small 4 room house. It only had running water in the kitchen sink. We had to use an outhouse (I'm sure David doesn't remember that!), she sometimes cooked on a wood stove in her kitchen, she sewed on a treadle machine and she loved her "stories". We got quite an education watching "Days of Our Lives" with her every day. I also remember watching a show called Dark Shadows and Perry Mason at her house. She also had diabetes and died on Christmas Eve when I was 12.
I remember a Ford Falcon station wagon that it seemed that we had forever. Eddie and I were upset when they were going to get rid of the car. We wanted them to leave it in the backyard so we could play with it. Yes, we were rednecks even as young children.
I remember the distress of a Christmas tree with only blue lights. From Dad's point of view, blue was the only color in the world. For years every car was blue (including the Ford Falcon) and for a few years (seemed like forever), the Christmas tree had only blue lights. I'm still scarred.
I remember Mom teaching us about economics. If we bugged her to buy something for us she would pull out the checkbook, show us the balance and ask if she should spend the money on whatever toy we were asking for or food. She said that over time that we developed a habit of asking for something and telling her that it cost "x plus tax". Yea, Mom, we got the message.
I remember Hurricane Agnes in 1972. It was probably the most traumatic experience of my youth. I didn't think the rain would ever stop. The flooding in our town was horrible and we had 4 or 5 feet of water in our basement. After the water receded everything in our basement was covered in mud and we had about 3 feet of white sand covering the entire backyard. But the worst part were the people driving up and down the road in the middle of the flood just to gawk at the damage. Here we were working with the neighbors to try to save things in our homes and people were out sightseeing. It was one of my first experiences being disappointed with the behavior of adults. For years I would get anxious during heavy downpours. Give me a thunderstorm any day.
Mostly I remember a time when we could go on all day adventures into the woods and no one worried. In the summer we didn't have a bunch of organized activities so we could actually PLAY with the other neighborhood kids. Dad would out up a tent in the backyard and all of the neighborhood kids would sleep over - until Dad started telling his ghost stories.
I remember when I first discovered Louisa May Alcott books, the train under the Christmas tree, a dog named Snoopy and a cat named Pounce.
Well, that was fun! So Tim, what do you remember? I need to call David and compare notes. Eddie, my oldest brother is only a year younger than me. We remember everything together because we did everything together, including making misrepresentations to our parents when we were teens. Mom is still a bit bitter over that.
If you stuck with me through this long boring walk through my childhood you deserve a gift. So here's a shot of today's sunset.