Archive for the ‘Rememories’ Category

h1

Rememory Friday 4

January 9, 2009

Courtesy of Jen at ConversionDiary

Today turned out to be a day for movie theater memories. Enjoy!

~

Inspector Clouseau

Inspector Clouseau

Good memories can transform mundane or ridiculous things into beautiful nostalgia, reminders that we are loved. For example, the first time that John ever put his arm around me was in a movie theater during the Steve Martin’s version of The Pink Panther. What would have otherwise been an experience I would have been glad to forget was transformed into a favorite memory.

~

Want to know another movie theater first for John and me? No, nothing risque – minds out of the gutter, folks. Well before we dated, during my freshman/his senior year of college, he let me wear his coat during The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (I had mine there, but wearing his was way more fun). The conversation went like this:

I get cold just looking at them,

I get cold just looking at them,

John (noticing Sarah sitting with her arms wrapped around her): Are you cold?

Sarah: No, I’m fine

(John proceeds to reach for his coat and place it over Sarah.)

Little did he know that he would be handing me his coat to wear for many years to come.

~

Do they really? I guess I will never know.

Do they really? I will never know.

My parents taught us kids early that it is completely okay to walk out of a movie that is a total dud. We were party to these boycotting experiences many times. I mean, Mom even pulled us out of All Dogs Go to Heaven because she said it was just too weird, and I think there might have been a scene set in hell to boot. The details are a little fuzzy, probably because we only saw ten minutes of the movie.

~

Hubba hubba

An example of Redford in his best years.

Women in my family have a deep-seated appreciation for movies featuring Robert Redford in his prime. The mention of his name usually results in someone patting her chest and murmuring, “Be still, my beating heart.” Even Gram has been known to be susceptible to Redford’s charms. I know this because she took most of us grandkids to see The Horse Whisperer about four times – and he was way past his best years at that point.

~

It wasnt this one

It wasn't this one

On the night to which John and I attribute our first real meeting, we went with several friends to see a truly awful movie. I had agreed to go with the group before knowing what the movie was, or else I probably would have backed out. However, I accompanied them anyway. John was my saving grace. He talked to me through the whole thing, much to the frustration of some others who actually wanted to hear what the characters were saying. Did I mention that I love John? I’ll have to flesh this story out more another time…

~

Tom Hanks = good war movie

Tom Hanks = good war movie

Dad has gone to see just about every war movie that has come out in the last fifteen years, I think. He loves their strategy, history and bravado. When Saving Private Ryan came out, there was great controversy over whether or not we kids could see it. So, always the sacrificial lamb, Dad took Uncle Mike to see it first, as a screening measure. They then agreed that we could come to see it, as long as we covered our eyes and ears when they told us to. And to this day, after seeing this movie multiple times, I still have not watched or listened to any of those forbidden parts.

~

Most embarrassing movie theater moment

What can I say? I was inspired.

What can I say? I was inspired.

The Nutcracker was made into a movie and came to our theater when I was young and apparently quite uninhibited. Mom took us kids to see it, but of course, no one else did – which meant that we had the movie theater completely to ourselves. Now, when you combine a wordless movie featuring ballet with an empty theater, the result is inevitable – an awkward young girl is going to dance up and down the aisle and across the front of the theater… until she realizes that other moviegoers have entered the theater unexpectedly late and are looking at her in confusion, while her family members are up in their seats and on the verge of keeling over from laughter.

Advertisements
h1

Rememory Friday 3

January 2, 2009

Courtesy of Jen at Conversion Diary

~

One of the worst memories I have of Christmas preparation in years past was the tradition of wrapping the handrails in our stairwells with fake ivy. There are several reasons for my hatred of this holiday ritual. First, I was often in charge of doing the wrapping of the ivy around the railing. Second, the ivy was super scratchy and painful to the thin, sensitive skin of my young hands. Third, we had two stairwells. Last, with the handrails encased in plastic, scratchy, awful stuff, no one was able to use them. It was a security risk of serious proportions.

~

The best part of our home school day was when we would gather around Mom in the living room while she would read “literature” to us. The books ranged from Little House on the Prairie to Cheaper By The Dozen. We did try a few books which we ended up not finishing. One was The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew – Mom said it had too many adjectives. That was a-okay with us, since the book was pretty boring . We really wished Mom had felt the same way about The Illiad.

~

Most families hang their Christmas stockings on a mantle in hierarchical fashion. Well, we had that second part, but we totally disregarded the mantle. Our fireplace was made of uneven green-gray bricks with not even a hint of a nice wood mantle for stocking hanging. So we compromised – we hung our stockings on an unsuspecting wall. It seemed normal then, but now it just seems random.

~

My cousins Adam and Aaron had a tiny little bear when they were growing up. Adam referred to this diminutive family member as “bear” (pronounced BAY-er). He apparently had little opposable thumbs which could be made to grasp things. For each holiday, they dressed him up in corresponding little hats and coats. A green hat and shamrock jacket for St. Patrick’s Day; little Santa hats and red and white coat for Christmas. He would even carry little gifts around. Now that is what I call serious holiday decorating – I’ll bet they didn’t have any terrible ivy wrapped around their banisters.

~

Have I told this story already? I may have… well, if so, we will see how close I can make this second dose to the first.

When John was little, he was a complete gentleman to everyone. He was superbly polite to strangers and acted grown up most of the time. One of his parents’ favorite stories to tell about him is the time he spotted some neighbor children playing in the yard next to his. Wanting to make friends and establish new playmates, John used his sweetest, most grown up voice to get their attention. At the age of three, he called out, “Children! Children! Come play with me!”

My John didn’t need advancing years or impressive stature to call it like it was. They were, in fact, children – just probably older children than he was.

~

It has always been pretty important in my family to have plenty of food and drink around. To back up that claim, I will tell you that for as long as I can remember, we had a refrigerator which we referred to as the drink fridge. Since the fridge was constantly stocked with sundry tantalizing juice and soft drinks, our parents had to come up with some rules about how many cokes we were allowed to have each day (and by cokes, I mean anything carbonated, not just Coca-Cola Classic). If my memory serves, the rule was no more than one a day.

Now, before the rule was established, multiple cokes per day was common. Therefore, the rule was actually an improvement on the state of things. However, there are some who might think that this rule allowed for a bit too much extravagance where cool eats and frosty treats are concerned. I realized this one day when Ben and I happened to be chatting with a home school mom in the community and for whatever reason told her about this one-coke-a-day rule. It effectively ended the conversation – she stared us down in shock, then gave a little laugh, then walked away. And that is when I knew that we were total black sheep.

~

So, I guess you have noticed that Rememory Friday popped up a little late this time. But, it is still technically Friday, with two hours to spare. Suffice it to say, I have been a little slow getting back into the swing of things. Better luck next time!

h1

Rememory Friday 2

December 12, 2008

~

One Sunday morning during church, we were sitting single file in our church row and singing Amazing Grace along with the rest of the congregation. Mom must have been in a funny mood, because when we reached the line, “That saved a wretch like me,” she began a tradition that has held true to this day. She caught our eye, and changed the lyrics to “That saved a wretch like yoooooouuuuuu” while pointing down the aisle at us. We about cracked up, and now we cannot sing that hymn together without pointing discreetly at the person next to us during that line.

I tried it with a friend once, and it didn’t go over so well.

~

Speaking of hymns, another tradition of which I am not so fond is for Ben and my cousin Adam, during the hymn The Solid Rock, to sing nothing but the phrase “sinking sand” during the chorus. So for them, the chorus goes silence silence silence silence SINKING SAND! silence silence SINKING SAND!

~

Being homeschoolers, we of course took field trips to colonial villages more than once during our schooling. Another obvious element of homeschooling involves reading all of the Little House on the Prairie books as a family. Combine these two activities, and what do you get? A group of children a) who are not the least bit disturbed by actually watching a pig be butchered before their eyes at the colonial village and b) who have the presence of mind to request that the butcher give them the pig’s bladder so they can test Laura Ingalls Wilder’s story about blowing that piece of anatomy into a balloon and using it as a toy.

It did not take us long to realize that it is very hard to test this theory on a pig bladder that has been kept in a brown paper bag all day while we learned how candles were made and wool was carded back in the olden days.

~

My cousins, Aaron and Adam, are separated by six years, have some great stories about growing up together. Probably my favorite is to hear Aaron tell of how he used to give Adam one of those padded whiffle ball bats and just let Adam go to town beating him with it. Being much bigger, Aaron hardly felt Adam’s blows. Aaron would then snatch the bat from Adam unexpectedly and sweep Adam’s legs straight out from under him. And now we do not have to wonder why Adam is the most competitive person any of us knows.

~

I absolutely love hearing my inlaws tell stories of John’s growing up years. He and his brother Ben have incredibly distinct personalities, and the stories are inevitably great. However, even great stories are made better by photos, right? This one is a classic

Trick or treat!

Trick or treat!

Ben is in the blue clown costume, and John is in the red one. I suspect that Ben had been sampling the candy prior to having this picture taken. For someone who really cannot stand clowns, I adore this photo.

~

One of the movies we watched a lot of when we were young was Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. It really was a fantastic movie, with three animals teaming up to accomplish a difficult task and incorporating humorous dialogue throughout. I do not think our mom realized how much of an effect the movie had on us until she took us with her to the vet’s office to give our cat a checkup. While the doctor examined Tina (yes, that was my cat’s name), Ben and I kept a running commentary going, speaking for Tina in first person. “Oh no, not a needle! I hate needles. Get away, you big mean doctor man!” I am pretty sure that Dr. Gough had never been exposed to this kind of behavior before; he was rather at a loss. Embarrassed, Mom mumbled something about “too much Homeward Bound” and ushered us out of there as quickly as possible.

We were a little confused, to say the least – didn’t everyone speak for their animals?

~

When watching Woody Woodpecker or Sesame Street, the practice in our household was not to cuddle up on the couch or stretch out on the floor with a pillow. No, nothing but sitting underneath a TV tray for us. On the nights that our parents allowed us to eat dinner using a TV tray, it was especially convenient. After finishing the meal, all that was necessary was for us to slip down underneath the tray for the rest of the program. Don’t ask me why we did this – it made sense at the time.

Inspired by Jennifer.

h1

Rememory Friday

December 5, 2008

I intend to follow the example of Jennifer at ConversionDiary and institute a special recurring Friday post dedicated to rememories. If you are not familiar with that term, I have composed a definition below.

Rememory: a past event which is not detailed enough to warrant a full post but which is sufficiently memorable to be featured in quicktake-style.

Each Friday will bring with it a rememories post for your reading enjoyment. Now put your hands together and let me hear you cheer for the first installment of rememories ever!

1

The header on this page is a small portion of a painting that hangs in my parents’ house. The artist is my grandmother, Dodie, who passed away in 2007. I have lots of good Grandma Dodie stories for later. She is my favorite artist!

(Note to my parents: Someday, I would like to have that painting, please.)

2

I do not recall a single instance during the preschool years when either Ben or I rode in the car without a sippy cup of juice or water. Mom made it a ritual – get your coat on, get your sippy cup, and (if you were Ben) get your 9-foot bumper pad of a blankie, and we were out the door. On the occasions when we did make it into the car without a sippy cup, we were sure to remind Mom. It didn’t happen very often.

3

All of the aunts on Mom’s side of the family compete often for the title of Favorite Aunt. Family gatherings at which everyone is present are their favorite time to wrap their arms around a niece or nephew and proclaim that they, in fact, are the favorite aunt. Of course, this action merely provokes some other aunt to find another niece or nephew and counter that claim. The uncles stay out of the competition entirely, which is probably wise.

4

Before Ben cared about whether his hair was buzzed, bowl cut or flat topped, Mom used to do his hair cuts. Using an electric trimmer was cheaper and easier – just put him on a stool on the outdoor deck and trim away. The only problem was that Mom did not keep close track of which trimmer head she normally used. The day that she buzzed Ben bald was the last day she tried to trim his hair. A quick call to her sister-in-law, Colleen, was damage control, but once you have buzzed hair down to 1/16th of an inch straight down the center of the scalp, the amount of damage that can be controlled is very limited.

5

At the age of fourteen, my sister Shannon taught a semester-long Latin class to me and several other peers at a home education coop. At the time, both learning Latin at all and having to learn it from my older sister especially seemed like a necessary evil. Now I have to wonder… was it even legal? She did a good job, though – I still remember Ora et Labora, at least.

6

Writing about family memories is interesting. i have thought of several great moments that I would love to catalog here, but I am a little bit nervous about exposing a family member’s hilarious but perhaps embarrassing stories to public scrutiny. I may have to institute an approval process for such memories, and that is fine. My biggest fear is writing about something that I do not think is shameful at all, only to get in trouble for it later. I’ve never liked getting in trouble.

7

For the most part, our childhood playtime was governed very much by gender-specific toys. Ben played with G.I. Joes, and I played with Barbies. By the term “played with”, I mean that we devoted a hugely significant portion of our formative years to these pursuits. The only problem with the strict gender differentiation of our toys was that Ben could not very well play by himself, at least not with any enjoyment. He would therefore beg me to play with him, which I was only willing to do if Barbies could somehow be incorporated. The resulting scenario required a great deal of imagination to pull off: 2.5″ G.I. Joes with subconscious inferiority complexes gallantly defending 10″ Barbies who were more concerned with what to wear to the party than with their own physical safety.