Tag Archives: memories

Memories.

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Sometimes Facebook makes me cry.

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This popped up on my “memories” feed the other day and I admit it made my eyes leak.

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My mom passed 8 years ago but it’s amazing how fresh the grief still feels.

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Sadly, the lovely tulip tree we planted did not appreciate the cruel Maine winters and was dead two years later.

Mr. White, our beautiful long haired Japanese bobtail Manx is no longer with us either.

So many reasons for leaky eyes.

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Let’s play.

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Because you know I’ll never run out of these.

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The instant I read this a mental image of my mother standing impatiently waiting for me to get to the point flashed through my brain.

I was a creative child who loved to read, one more apt to be found at the library than the playing field. A good story always held me spellbound. So when I’d come running into the house anxious to tell my mother something interesting… but in the telling ended up weaving a long disjointed tale that made me forget the original thread…. she’d always shrug her shoulders, turn away and say, “It must not have been very important.”

To which I always wanted to scream, “Now I remember! The house is on fire.” … like that would teach her to take me seriously.

Ah, childhood.

Good times.

What did your mother always say to you?

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Book memories.

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Retrieving our two boxes from the husband’s uncle’s attic last week resulted in a few tears from yours truly. Bittersweet memories overwhelmed me as I unpacked a few of my favorite childhood books.

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I’m not sure how I managed to hold on to these over the years, but flipping through Moldy Warp the Mole immediately transported me back to my father’s lap, listening to that story being read in his marvelously deep and melodic Scottish voice … and I admit my eyes started to leak. No matter how old I am, I’ll always be a daddy’s girl at heart.

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The other books in the box were all over the place subject wise. Civil War buff? Yup. Sap for everything James Herriot wrote? Most definitely.

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As evidenced by another childhood book…Man, Myth and Magic…. I was a strange child. This was a 24 volume series of the supernatural that came out in the ‘70’s. My mother refused to let me have it, so naturally I found book #1 and hid it under my bed.

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Judging from the current listing on eBay, I should have smuggled in the whole set.

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That person was my husband.

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The year was 1984. I had met and married my husband in 6 days. (He was on leave from the Marine Corps, had to be back on base in North Carolina in a week and was determined to take me with him.) I stuffed clothes, shoes and jewelry in black trash bags ..crammed as much as I could in the back of his Datsun 280ZX and off we went.

I’d just turned 20 and was journeying into the unknown. Married to a man I hardly knew, leaving home for a brand new life. His family was shocked. My mother was hysterical. I was young and in love… life was good!

Until we pulled into his rental bachelor pad down south. The house was small… and bright turquoise. Inside and out. Not his color of choice, but he didn’t change it either which speaks volumes. It had all the prerequisite bachelor ecoutrements…. plywood and cement blocks entertainment center, mismatched thrift store chairs, beach towels in the bathroom. But as awful as that was? I was undeterred. Men are works in progress, I could rebuild him.

And then I walked into the bedroom.

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Not my picture, but it could be. I ignored the fact my man only had one pot and 2 plates in his kitchen cupboard. I turned a blind eye to the boot stand made from a power line wooden spool. I shrugged off the dented foot locker coffee table. But a waterbed? That I would actually have to sleep on? That was a bridge too far.

The husband didn’t mind with me filling his kitchen and bathroom with appropriate items. He encouraged me to buy new furniture and paint the walls a less objectionable color. But he loved that abominable liquid monstrosity and refused to give it up.

We lived in the sea sickness inducing bachelor pad for 8 months and then bought our first home. It was considerably larger than his extremely shabby and not so chic rental abode so we purchased a dining room set, an office suite and den furniture. We built a deck and loaded it with porch furniture, a fire pit and a grill. It was great! Until I realized we had run out of money before we reached the bedroom.

I spent another year sleeping on that horrible rubber life raft but my husband still balked every time I broached the subject of replacing it. I dreaded going to sleep at night. Every time the husband rolled over, a wave rippled under me. It was bizarre.

And then one night, Morpheus smiled upon me.

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No, not that one.

The God of Sleep heard my prayers and we both woke up shivering at 3:00am. For those who don’t know, you can’t just fill a waterbed and call it good. There’s a heating mechanism under the mattress that keeps the water warm. You can’t sleep on cold water, it will draw out your body heat in an attempt to level the temperature difference. And that’s just what the last vestige of my husband’s bachelorhood did.

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The heater broke, the water temperature dropped and we were shivering popsicles by morning. I was ecstatic! The husband was bereft. I did a happy dance of epic proportions. The husband may have wept.

We stripped the bed, siphoned out the water…. not a small task…. and discovered that not only had the heater ceased to heat, it had completely burned out and scorched the wooden frame beneath, dropping burnt ash on the carpet. I suppose being burned to death by a waterbed is technically impossible since the flames would eventually be extinguished by the burst of water…. but that’s a wood fire- burning rubber- electrical nightmare I’d rather not be slumbering on thank you very much.

The waterbed went bye bye and I said good riddance. I really wish I could find the picture I took of the husband that morning. (pre digital so there’s no telling where it could be) We were curling up the rubber mattress to push the last bit of water out the hose and he was sitting in the corner, desolate, head in hand… watching the last drop (literally) of his single life go out the window (literally).

Good times.

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Where we speak of brains, groceries and memories that make us cry.

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It never ceases to amaze me what’s currently popular on Amazon.

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Is there really a plethora of suburban housewives eager to present a Jello brain at their next dinner party? I have my doubts, but whatever.

Being retired military, my husband and I try to take advantage of all the benefits that provides. For years we bought cheaper, tax free groceries at the commissary…. until George W. Bush closed our local base. There was a huge outcry from retirees in our area and talk of shuttering the base but keeping the commissary open. Sadly that didn’t happen, and now the nearest base is over two hours away. A four and a half hour round trip for groceries seems extreme but with the prices of everything going sky high, we decided to take a day and check it out.

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Perdue boneless skinless chicken breasts for under $3.00? I’ve been paying close to $9.00! Needless to say I filled a cart and then some. Even using half a tank of gas I still saved mucho dinero. Looks like we’ll have to make a monthly pilgrimage from now on.

If you’re on Facebook you’re familiar with the “memories” that pop up on your feed. I don’t normally pay much attention… ten years ago today I posted a picture of a woodchuck? Shocking! Please alert the press. But the other day this picture gave me pause..

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Not because we were younger and thinner.. although, damn. I really do miss thin… but because when I took a closer look, I realized four of the 13 family members pictured have passed. My husband’s brother, brother in law, mother, and aunt. Being an only child of an only child, my list of relatives is ridiculously small. I’ve lost both parents so I’m pretty much done. But the husband is one of nine from one of six, so the chances of someone missing from his side of the family photos increases exponentially.

😰

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Screw you Facebook!

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Like it isn’t bad enough we haven’t travelled anywhere since Christmas 2019.

As if I don’t miss the annual large trip and three smaller vacations we used to take every year.

Because Covid hasn’t made life as sedentary and boring as possible? Facebook has to twist the knife in a little deeper with their constant “memories” feature.

On this day three years ago you were happy!

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On this day three years ago you were exploring Sedona Arizona!

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On this day three years ago you had no idea life would soon come to a screeching halt!

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So cut it out Facebook!

I don’t need to be reminded how much I loved traveling… I realize it every time we treat walking over to the man cave/Barn Mahal like a weekend getaway.

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I totally saw a yacht at sea.

How pathetic is that?

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Let’s play.

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Stop groaning, this one is easy.

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I’m sure I must have seen other movies before this one… we had a lovely old fashioned theater in my hometown complete with velvet covered balcony seating… and I’m sure my mother took me to all the Disney classics, but the first film I have full actual memories of seeing is The Poseidon Adventure.

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It was 1972 and Irwin Allen’s gigantic blockbuster disaster movies were all the rage.

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The premise was simple. Assemble a huge cast and blow them up. Or burn them down. Or in this case, sink them.

I’ve seen the film many times since then ( not by choice, because the husband is always tuned to the old turkey channel ) but my first time will always be special… because I was with my dad.

My late father was not a movie person. Hell, we didn’t even have a television in the house when I was young and when we finally did get one …. it was banished to a small rarely used room.

But on that day my mother was busy and my father offered to take me to the movies. I was an only child, a total daddy’s girl and the mere idea of it was heaven.

We picked the perfect seats and had the perfect snacks. (Hot buttered popcorn and Milk Duds in case you’re wondering) The lights dimmed, the music swelled and I settled in for a wonderful afternoon. I chattered like a magpie in the beginning and my father patiently and quietly answered all my inane questions.

Then it was happening. The actors were in place, the music changed to something ominous and then… the wave. The huge wave was about to sink the ship! It was loud! It was thrilling! People were screaming! Oh, the horror! I glanced over to gauge my father’s reaction to the cinematic magnificence before us….. and saw that he was sound asleep.

I didn’t have the heart to wake him… he worked long stress filled hours as the Vice President of a stock brokerage firm…. so I sat silently and watched the rest of the movie by myself.

He roused near the end, and pretended to have seen the whole thing. I pretended to believe him. And after all these years, it’s still one of the silly little memories of him that makes me cry.

So how about you?

What was the first movie you remember seeing.

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Random drivel.

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I don’t usually pay attention to the Facebook memories section, but this one from an old blog friend popped up the other day and I had to laugh.

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It really does.

🤣

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That sounds simple and delicious.

If you try it before me? Let me know.

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And for Brian at http://brianlageose.blog

Because we were chatting a while back about the ridiculous old station wagons we had to drive as teenagers. Here’s my husband and I posing in front of my parent’s ‘62 Ford Falcon.

Complete with wood on the side… because we stylin’.

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If you look closely you’ll see the entire passenger side is crumpled from me side swiping a telephone pole when I was 16.

Oops.

This baby had a top speed of 51mph by the time I got her…. complete with vacuum wipers, a manual choke, and AM radio. I was the envy of exactly (count ‘em) none of my friends.

Please don’t judge the head to toe stone washed denim… it was the late 80’s. We had to.

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Finally, here’s Lord Dudley…

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In typical goober mode.

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He should, but thank God he can’t.

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Who remembers these?

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I admit I’m old enough to remember a penny candy store in my hometown. It was pure heaven for a child and the experience went something like this:

1. Your mother gave you a dollar.

2. You jumped on your banana seat Schwinn (with glittered streamers hanging off the handlebars because yeah, girlfriend… you rocked!) and pedaled like mad until you reached a hole in the wall shop by the railroad station.

( It was next to the Wo Lee Laundry run by your friend Wanda’s family. They lived upstairs and her mother didn’t speak a word of English. Poor Wanda missed a lot of childhood events helping her family clean rich people’s clothes. But it’s okay, don’t feel badly. Wanda was one smart cookie and graduated Harvard Med with honors. Somebody’s probably washing her clothes now. 😊)

3. You breathlessly entered the tiny store and the bell over the rickety old door clanged loudly enough to raise the dead. An elderly man hobbled out from the back room and took up position behind a miraculous display case filled with nothing but large jars of candy. He whipped out a small paper bag and said… go!

4. You spent a tense 10-15 minutes getting the mix just right. A dollars worth of penny candy was 100 pieces! 10 Bottle Caps or 15? 5 Pixie Sticks or 5 Razzles? Malted milk balls or Bit O Honey? Chuckles or Necco wafers? These were important decisions.

Most of the candies from my youth are gone, for which my teeth and hips are probably thankful…. but I saw this ad on Facebook last week and damned if it didn’t take me back to the mouth watering anticipation of having a bag filled with 100 pieces of customized candy.

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The original gummy candy. Why fish? Why not….

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If you’ve ever sucked on a root beer barrel? You know the exquisite combination of pleasure and pain. To hell with S&M kinky sex, slicing your tongue open on a razor sharp sliver of this sugar filled deliciousness is the very definition of ‘so bad, it’s good’.

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Nope. Those putrid pillowy abominations never made it into my bag. Uh uh.

🤨

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Lots of kids loved these, but I’m anti nut and always took a hard pass.

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Melt in your mouth little pockets of goodness right there. If I’m ever lucky enough to see them on the hostess stand as I exit a restaurant? I make everyone grab a handful and fill my purse with the bounty. Some opportunities can not be overlooked.

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Is it possible to die laughing?

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After hanging a seasonly appropriate wreath on the Barn Mahal’s door, I wandered inside.

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Which is where I found my husband knee deep in nostalgia and flipping through his high school yearbook.

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First we smiled at the graduation photo.

The hair. The prominent ears. The innocence of youth.

But then…

Then he showed me something I will never be able to erase from my memory.

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My husband… was a … gymnast?

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And not just any gymnast. No.

He was a covered from head to toe in silver paint gymnast.

What. The….

What????

He can’t remember exactly why they struck that pose…. But that’s him, crouching on the lower right.

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And I’m afraid the image is burned onto my retinas and into my frontal lobe.

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