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Posts Tagged ‘memories’

Yesterday, I listened to a podcast of  This American Life about camp.  Memories came flooding back – waiting for the bus, wondering if I would make a new friend, a bit of homesickness when letters from home arrived, being outside, eating and singing and living with my campmates.  Life at camp was so different from life at home.  I haven’t thought of camp for a long time.  And while the camp I went to had a different mission from the camps featured on the show, I connected to so much of what I heard.  And I wondered what happened to that camp that I so loved.  So I typed in the camp name and up came this beautiful website.  The buildings have hardly changed.  When I saw this picture of the mess hall, I began to remember again.  And it gave me a sense of peace and joy to know that 40-some years later, kids are still climbing on buses and heading to the mountains for a week of summer camp.

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I don’t sew on this machine.  I have a lovely, much newer machine.  But I am thinking this would be a great machine for doing some quilting.  And, it belonged to my mom.  It hasn’t been used in at least 15 years and it needs to be repaired or cleaned or something.  I brought it home in November when I was helping mom and dad move.  Mom taught me to sew when I was seven.   I learned to sew on an older Pffaf but it was in this cabinet.  I have fond memories of trying to press the knee lift with my little seven-year old legs.  So I am hopeful that I can save this machine and maybe, before too long, I will be using it to finish a quilt or two.

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look upIt is almost impossible to believe that one day, I could lose the ability to name the colors in my world, that I wouldn’t know how to pack dishes or what my daughters like on their sandwich.  Watching mom lose these bits and pieces of her memory have made me want to pay attention to everything, to take pictures, to write it down.  It wouldn’t make a difference in the end but for now, I am trying to remember to look up.

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Lunchbox memories

new lunch box

I don’t have much memory about taking my lunch in elementary school but I do remember lunch trays, the benches on the cafeteria tables, and lunch monitors who made you “try” everything when you bought lunch.  And I remember how my own daughters did not want to buy lunch but I made them buy at least once a week (so they would try new foods!) until I started helping with a lunch time reading program and saw how awful the food really was.  After that, they pretty much brown bagged it except for an occasional pizza day.

This weekend I bought a new lunch box – a la 2009.  It has wonderful little places for different foods and an ice ring that fits inside the lid to keep things cool.  And today I started the new year out by taking my lunch – but now brown bag for me.

More Memoir Mondays at TwoWritingTeachers.

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tappa moves out

It has been almost a year since she packed up the essentials and moved into her own apartment.  This weekend she came over to begin the process of sorting through the memories.  There were two large boxes of things from elementary school.  Lots of  class books and writing journals.  There was some pretty funny things in there but what really struck me was her question.

“Is it okay if I throw away this stuff ?” 

Then we went to visit mom and dad and they are asking the same question as they prepare to move out of their home.  So much stuff, things kept that don’t really hold memories. 

So my responses to her and to my parents, go with your gut.  You know what memories are important, they are your memories.  Sort away, toss if you need to and keep the ones that are precious, the ones that make you laugh and cry and want to tell a story.

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You were really fun little girls.  You really knew how to play, how to imagine, how to create.  I think of these memories all the time.  But those memories are mostly in my head and there are things I want you to know.  Stories of who you were as you grew from little girl to young woman.  Not just what you did, said, liked or didn’t like.  But stories that will someday help you to see how you became the women that you are.  I long to hear these stories from my own mom, but she doesn’t remember much and has trouble tracking in conversation.  I have a whole list of questions I wish I had asked her, but it seemed there would be time.  You wouldn’t think to ask these questions, not yet.  Maybe one day, when you  have children of your own.  But maybe I can put these memories down now, answer those questions that your gramma won’t be able to answer for me.

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Summer reading

taylor reading

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”  Anna Quindlen

Our library had a fun summer reading program for kids.  They signed up in June, received a folder for recording the books read, and were promised wonderful prizes for completing the program.  Our summers were filled with weekly visits to the library, returning books read, collecting new books, and depositing little slips of paper into the Summer Reading prize box.

I don’t remember if the girls ever won a prize.  I do remember that there was a lot of reading going on, in their rooms, on the deck, in the garden, even in that cool hide-out they “built” in the woods behind the house.  An it made me happy.

For more Memoir Monday, visit TwoWritingTeachers.

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