Thank you so much for all the good thoughts, everyone. I finally got a good night’s sleep last night, for the first time in several nights, and am feeling a little better this morning. Not quite back to normal yet, but I feel like I’m moving in the right direction and have some glimmer of hope that I’ll be back to perky and non-germy by the time I get to see Morven. Yay!
I’m even going to give a shot to a real post of sorts - answering this past week’s Getting to Know You questions that Tammy posted on Create a Connection. I’d intended to do this days ago, but my good intentions whomped me over the head with a germ-infested club and took off to pave a road to Hell. But since I’m more-or-less conscious again…
1. What was your favorite childhood family vacation? Where did you go and what do you remember most about the trip? (this doesn’t have to be a big trip… even a camping trip - or whatever you remember!)
When I was a child we didn’t really do vacations in the usual sense. During what time my parents had off from work, we’d usually take off on a road trip (in a car with no air conditioning!) to visit my grandparents. Both sets of them lived in different towns in southern Kentucky, about 4 hours from where we lived and something like an hour and a half from each other. The visits were sometimes lots of fun, sometimes not so much, in the usual way of visiting extended family.
The first “real” vacation I remember was when I was 17 and the whole family drove down to Florida (still in a car with no air conditioning!). That was partly a trip to visit relatives too, as my mom had a lot of family in northern Florida, but we did “real” vacation stuff on that trip - spent a couple of days at Disney World, went to some other touristy places, and spent one day at the beach. It was the first time I ever saw the ocean and I fell in love with it, immediately and forever.
Mark (my brother), me, Sandy (my sister) on a beach near Jacksonville, Florida
2. If you knew your grandparents, what do you remember most about them as a child? If you didn’t know them, what stories do you remember being told about them?
I knew them (see above!). All of my grandparents were alive until I was 18, when my maternal grandfather died. I lost both my grandmothers within the past 5 years. My paternal grandfather is still living.
What do I remember? Let’s see…I remember my Grandpa M getting up at the crack of sparrow fart every morning and listening to a radio show with his first cup of coffee. I can still hear Tennessee Ernie singing “How Great Thou Art” in my mind while I picture Grandpa M having his fried eggs with Tabasco sauce. I remember Grandma M making grits and pancakes because she knew how much I liked them. I remember the sound of their voices, especially my grandma’s laugh. She had the sort of laugh that made you want to laugh too.
I remember my Grandma K’s voice too and that I always thought she was one of the most beautiful and elegant Southern ladies I ever saw. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how much strength and will was wrapped up in that soft, sweet exterior. When I picture her in my mind, I picture a weathered, immoveable chunk of granite wrapped in fluffy pink clouds. If you only saw the clouds, not what was underneath, you were in for a shock if you pushed too hard.
I remember Grandpa K expecting a lot of everyone around him. He was - and still is - a difficult person in many ways. But I know he loves me and is proud of me, and that counts for something.
3. Do you have siblings or not? What do you remember about growing up with or without them?
One brother - Mark, one sister - Sandy, both younger. I remember we fought like cats and dogs, but also had some great times together. Luckily, now that we’re adults, the fighting has mostly given way to the having great times together.
Here’s a photo of the three of us, along with three of our cousins, taken at our maternal grandparents’ house around 1971 or so:
Sandy very much did NOT want to have her photo taken.
4. What did you like best about summer vacation from school?
Sleeping late. Riding my bike. Roaming around through the cool shadiness of the woods near our house. Wading in the creek. Walking to a nearby store for ice cream cones.
5. Did you like school or dislike school? What is your most memorable school moment?
Some of both, I guess. School was always pretty easy for me, which was nice in a way, but I was often bored in class. I liked the social aspects of it - you know, lunch, recess, that sort of thing.
I really can’t think of a “most” memorable moment.
Bonus: Post a favorite photo of yourself from your childhood!!
Here’s one I like, taken one Christmas (that’s my mom in the background):
I was, let’s see….3 I think. Yeah, had to be, because we moved from there right after I turned four. My parents had gotten one of my cousins a stuffed leopard with “emerald” eyes for her birthday in early December and I saw it, totally fell in love with it and thought it was for me, and was pretty much crushed when I realized it wasn’t. So Mom and Dad got me one for Christmas that year. I was pleased. I couldn’t even tell you how many years I kept that stuffed leopard, but I know by the time I finally let it go, it was missing one eye, all it’s whiskers and I’d loved away most of its fur.
I did a poetry exercise once that had to do with writing a poem based on childhood memories. If you want to read it, you can find it here.
Here’s today’s DAT, taken before a late freeze wiped out our pear crop. Gggrr….
“Pear Blossom” (clickable)
I’ll hope to catch up on some emails, comment replies, and blog visits over the next couple of days, as my energy allows. Thanks again for the good wishes, y’all! They’re much appreciated!!
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