Antique Childhood

Impulse Does Not Come With Reverse

And now, time for a pointless story. Oh wait. They are all pretty much pointless.  Very well then. So then, the other day Sean dropped a gummy bear on the floor. He picked it up and started to put it in his mouth.  In keeping with Section 2, Article 4, Paragraph 3.5 of the Mothering Handbook, I instructed him not to eat it and to put it in the trash instead.  I’m not one to freak out about that kind of thing too much. I’ve been known to eat a potato chip or two off the…

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Antique Childhood

Jeanette’s Strawberries

The strawberries I saw in the grocery store yesterday were resplendent!  Plump and scarlet, like a box of rubies.  The clear plastic containers could not contain the sweet aroma of ripeness and readiness.  I was powerless to resist their allure so I put them in my cart and took them home. As I sat in my kitchen dipping each fat nubby strawberry in a tiny bowl of sugar, I thought of Jeanette.  Jeanette lives across the street from my parents and has for about the past 50 years.   She used to plant a big patch of…

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Antique Childhood, Christmas, Narcissism

Random Christmas Stuff About Me You Weren’t Really Itching To Know

I’ve never owned a Christmas sweater. I’ve always felt like maybe I should have one. On several occasions I’ve even carried one around the store.  But I just can’t seem to take the plunge.  Just seems like too big of a commitment. As well, I’ve never owned a pair of Christmas earrings, little dangling bulbs or ornaments or whatever.  I guess I’m not all about festive after all. The red turtleneck is my standard holiday party outfit. I’ve always wanted some nice Christmas china but never wanted to spend the big bucks on it or spend…

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Antique Childhood, Wivian

The Paisley Dress

I love paisley and I always have. I think paisley adds a touch of class to nearly anything. Once, when I was a young girl, I was looking through our family photographs when my eye was drawn to one of the few color photographs in the box. I pulled the picture from the box and studied it closely for a long time. It is a picture of my mother. She is a young woman. She is wearing a paisley dress, cyan blue, the color of a shallow tropical sea. She is seated deep in a chair…

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Antique Childhood

Wherefore Art Thou Coppertone Girl?

One summer day, when I was about four-years-old, I sat in the front seat of the grocery cart as my mom did her shopping.  As she wheeled the cart around the corner, there on the end cap was a giant cardboard cutout of a little girl whose panties were being pulled away by a frisky little dog.  Her backside was exposed for all the world and the local grocery shoppers to see.  And I was mortified.   I clapped one hand over my mouth in disbelief and pointed at the offending image in horror with the other. …

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Antique Childhood

Liquid Time

Have you ever looked at your child and seen your own face? And maybe your child doesn’t look so much like you, but there is something that he does, some little expression that he makes that is unmistakably yours. And just for a split second, the thread that has stitched all of humanity and history together is brilliant and visible and eternity suddenly makes sense. Last year, when I was in Illinois visiting my parents, a neighbor brought over some old Super 8 movie footage that had been hiding in a closet for 40 or more years.…

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Antique Childhood, Faith

Albuquerque

When I was five-years-old, my parents and I drove to southern California from Illinois in their light green unairconditioned Oldsmobile.    I remember quite a bit about being in California and later, the train ride back to Illinois with my mother, but I don’t remember anything at all about the long drive to California except that we stopped and spent the night in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   As a five-year-old, everything about being in Albuquerque was a new and electrifying sensory experience.  Even the name – Albuquerque! — was exotic and lyrical and fun to say.  …

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Antique Childhood

The Pearl Necklace

I was going through a box of jewelry the other day when I came across a matching set of pearl earrings and a single pearl drop necklace that I had stashed away years ago.   I realized, as I pulled them from their velvet hiding place, that I have had them for 30 years.  How could that be? I don’t even think of myself as being 30-years-old.   I ran my fingers along the delicate silver chain of the necklace.  I pulled up my hair and fastened the clasp behind my neck.  I put on the earrings and…

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Antique Childhood

The Prize

On the news last night, there was a story of a woman who won a house. A house! A lot of people say, “I never win anything.” I am one of those people who say that. I never win anything. Except a pumpkin. One time I won a pumpkin. The year was 1969. It was Friday, October 31st. Halloween. I was a skinny scrawny fourth grader at St. Cabrini Catholic grade school. The entire month of October, the teacher had a big fat pumpkin sitting on her desk. Just before the bell rang, she decided to…

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Antique Childhood, Faith, Mildly Amusing

It Made Sense At The Time

Whenever I’ve talked about how that at St. Cabrini, where I attended Catholic grade school, our 4th grade class saved up to buy a pagan baby, I’ve gotten one of two responses.  People who did not attend Catholic school in the 1960s will look at me in stunned silence as though I were from Mars.  People who did attend Catholic school will nod their head knowingly and sigh at the utter absurdity of the notion. How does a fourth grader go about buying a pagan baby you might wonder?  Well, we brought our scavenged pennies and nickels…

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