Robyn posted these ideas for beginners, but I liked the ideas and decided to write something short for each one, all in one post!
1. The place where I felt happiest or safest.
When I was a child, the place I felt safest – and happiest too, I think – was whenever and wherever I was with my sister Mary. She was my favorite sister then; she was nurturing, fun, and played games with me. (Mary babysat for one of my friends and her brothers, and one of the younger brothers was “in love” with her and dreamed of marrying her one day! He was crushed when she married her husband.) Mary always loved little kids, and eventually became a preschool teacher. I think she liked coming home from school and playing with her youngest sister – me.
2. An antiquated item …I had …
For years, I had in my room an old radio that I was sad to part with when it finally “died”. I could get stations from as far away as New York and Toronto, that’s how strong the bandwidth was. I have never had a radio as good as that since – they don’t make things to last these days, and most radios don’t have nearly as far-reaching signals as my old, clunky radio.
It was on this radio that I tuned into WLS in Chicago every single day to listen to the latest hits. It was this radio that introduced me to the Beatles and all the other great bands of the 60s. I turned it on every morning before I went to school and when I got home, turning on my radio was one of the first things I did. It helped me through the trials of adolescence and it was still in my room when I came home for vacations in high school and into college. I had that radio probably for close to 20 years – and it wasn’t new when I got it!
So I say “kudos” to the electronics that used to be, before we got used to living in a throwaway society, in which we have low expectations for the products we purchase. As for me, none of the radios I ever purchased since then have had the longevity or dependability of my old built-in-the-50s radio.
3. A food that reminds me of my youth.
Once in awhile, as a treat, my mother took a break from cooking and my dad drove over to Milt’s, an old fashioned soda fountain & hamburger joint, to buy us hamburgers, fries and delicious chocolate malts. If you went to Milt’s to have a malt, they brought it in a large metal cup, which they used to pour it into a tall glass for you. It was simply the best malt ever! Whenever I have a malt or shake now, somewhere in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, Is it as good as Milt’s?
4. What I thought I was going to be when I grew up.
One thing I knew I wanted to be was a mother. I envisioned having two children, one of each sex, as opposite as they could be. Instead, I had only one, a son; but I also have a stepdaughter, and the two ARE very different!
I wanted to be a journalist and writer and thought I would be. I still do! Journalism is pretty much out now, but I still aspire to being a writer. That is, I am a writer, I just don’t publish anything! However, I’m working on a book now. And I have this blog!
In spite of my mother’s urging to take English and writing courses in college, I majored in music, then changed my major to history! I steered clear of English courses primarily because I thought English lit would require a lot of reading, and I was a slow reader. I did write a lot of term papers, though, which I was quite good at. Needless to say, this didn’t lead to a career in journalism.
So writing wasn’t my career. I had a few different jobs before, by chance, taking a job at a company that exported cattle hides. I learned the maritime export business and worked in that field for 20 years. Yet I felt I wanted something more creative, more challenging, more meaningful.
So I worked hard to get a master’s degree in elementary education while working full time. I became a teacher, and have worked in the field of elementary education for the last 11 years. I spent so many hours at home grading papers and preparing lessons that I barely had time for my family, much less for writing! Now I work as a bilingual program assistant. The pay is ridiculously low, but my free time is now my own, which I devote a great part of to writing.
5. My childhood fear.
Cockroaches, definitely cockroaches – past, present and future! Actually I could probably say anything that runs really fast. I feel the same way about centipedes & mice. Yet other critters, such as spiders, don’t bother me at all.
The worst cockroaches I’ve ever encountered were in Northeast Brazil. They came up from the fossa, and hid out among the spiky grass that constituted our yard in Natal. Needless to say, Natal didn’t have the most advanced waste disposal infrastructure. Once, when we still had a lot of unpacked boxes (which I think was the whole time we lived there), I was taking a nap and heard a scratching noise. Sitting up, I saw what it was: a giant cockroach crawling up one of the boxes! We had to get the fossa professionally cleaned out once and I stayed away – I envisioned it teeming with cockroaches that were getting sucked up into the vacuum, but many more lurked down there to take their place!
I’ve also lived in places here in the USA that were infested with roaches. I managed to keep them to a minimum in my apartment, but other adjoining apartments were crawling with them, so invariably a few would make it into my place. I’m happy to say that I now live in a house that isn’t connected to any other and it is completely free of cockroaches …although we do see centipedes that come up into our basement during wet weather, and we’ve had more than our share of mice!
Thank goodness for exterminators!!
Note: All images (except the one of my sister Mary) were downloaded from Google images.