Memories are funny things. They can lie dormant for years, but when you awaken one, it’s as though you sent an electric shock down the line and the others burst back to life, demanding your attention.
In my last post, I talked about some of my memories from my childhood years in England. I had no sooner hit “Publish” than I began to think of other memories I could have (should have?) included. So…here are some more!
I remember sitting in the living room of Uncle John and Aunt Ann’s home (above their bakery), watching the coronation of Queen Elizabeth on their small black and white television. It was a big deal! And I still have some of my souvenirs from then–both purchased and also given to all of us kids at school.
I remember another wonderful couple–Franklin and Freda Schofield. I honestly don’t remember too much about where we knew them…just that they were always a part of our experience in England.
I remember the gypsy caravans (trailers to my American friends)…their colorful-ness as well as the fear that was far too common of their otherness.
I remember the tinker who would come around in his caravan, offering various pieces for sale–as well as offering to mend broken pieces and sharpen knives.
I remember my piano lessons with Mrs. Mee–and her frustration when I went to one of them having completely sight-read through a new book of pieces before my first lesson! Along with those lessons, I remember the “competitions” (don’t think that’s the exact name–more like a national examination) that involved scales, sight-reading, pieces you had worked on, ear training… I’ve always been grateful for those emphases.
I remember falling in love with bagpipes on one of our trips to Scotland…and watching people toss the caber and the Highland dancing at a Highland Games competition.
I remember visiting castle ruins…and trying to imagine what life must have been like for the folks who lived there.
I remember discovering that there really is a high road and a low road around Loch Lomond.
I remember being glad that we came back to the States before I was old enough to take the national exams that would determine whether I went on to college-prep education or to vocational training. Later I heard too much talk of the pressure that placed on young people my parents knew.
I remember the first time my mother shocked people around her–but was forgiven because she was an American. She and the mother of my best friend had gone to some movie–perhaps a war movie–and when they came out, my mother commented on what a bloody movie it had been. She would have been much better off to have called it a gory movie instead!
I remember the traveling groups of kids who would sing Christmas carols at our door for a penny or two. And I remember when family friends of ours spent the night, Karen and I quietly sang from my bedroom, trying to see if we could convince our parents that there was someone at the door. (We did!)
I remember when we hung a wreath on our front door for Christmas…and when my mother went to market, she began receiving condolences and questions about who had died.
I remember visiting the model village in the Cotswolds…an entire village built to 1/9 scale. It was the perfect size for kids to enjoy!
I remember riding the double-decker bus. I loved riding the upper level…what a fun experience!
I remember my father helping me fly kites in Wicksteed Park–and me getting a rope burn as he was pulling the kite in, because I didn’t want to go home, so I was trying to hold onto the string.
I remember making tapes to send back to my grandparents in the States…and I remember my mother encouraging my brother as he was sharing some of his speech therapy. He was going through his words–and my mother was trying to get him to pronounce them…but she was using the American pronunciation for “tomato” (with a long “a”), and I knew that just wasn’t right. So I corrected it for her (with a short “a”).
I remember visiting the beach at Blackpool. I had a small bucket and shovel–and dug holes in the sand. As we were walking, my brother fell in one of the holes the tide had dug, but fortunately Dad was right there to pull him out.
I remember my father leading campfire at a church camp in Enfield. There wasn’t any place for a fire, so the event was taking place inside the church building…and I remember sitting on the hard bench (and eventually falling asleep there) as he was leading the singing.
There will undoubtedly be more memories resurrected now that I have opened the door…and I will thoroughly enjoy revisiting the past.