Loving One Another

Memories of Childhood


I remember glimpses of my childhood – an Ozzie & Harriet family with Dad going off to work and Mom staying home…

I remember our small, sparkly white house on the end of Fig Lane in Newman, at the center of California’s hot San Joaquin Valley…

I remember sitting around the radio in the living room listening as a family to “The Cisco Kid” and “One Man’s Family” and “Inner Sanctum” …

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

I remember Dad’s three-tiered tulip bed and the day I picked a bouquet of them and got into trouble…

I remember being scolded, and as I stood there with a fist-full of the precious blooms saying to Dad, “I no pick the flaws… maybe Sally pick the flaws!”

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

I remember walking down Fig Lane with my sister, Sally, headed to P Street School wearing my Mary Jane’s…

I remember how proud I was of those new shoes…

I remember trips every September to San Francisco to get new school clothes: new shoes, a new dress, underwear, a sweater, a coat… the essentials…

I remember eating crab legs at Fisherman’s Wharf while I gazed at the boats coming in and going out of the harbor…

I remember my first plane trip, flying to Seattle to be with my mom’s family there when her mom died…

I remember Dewey Wright, my first true love, and the Valentine card he gave me in kindergarten, and how he chased me around the playground until I caught him …

I remember moving from that little white house at the end of Fig Lane to a house out in the country right next door to my Dad’s mom…

I remember the day my cousin, Billy, came to live with us – and how upset he was – and how upset I was when he tore our doll house apart and scattered our toys…

I remember dashing past a gobbling turkey who chased me to my grandma’s back door after school…

I remember my father’s tears when his mother died…

I remember moving out to that God-forsaken place twenty miles from nowhere to begin life anew, with Dad going into business with Uncle Igino and Uncle Melio …

I remember the smell of the Pacific Tallow Works that was about 150 yards from our house, and how impossible it was to close up the house tight enough …

I remember Tiofila and Engracia and Dalia, my sweet little Spanish-speaking playmates, whose mom made fantastic tortillas, and the day they were transported back to Mexico by some cruel authorities…

I remember crying for days when I heard Dalia had died on that trip back to Mexico …

I remember Manuel Ynzunza, his basketball skill, and our first kiss out behind the cafeteria … oh, the thrill of it…

I remember “Dimples,” my Cocker Spaniel who had four puppies – and the fascination of observing the births …

Photo by A.Revolution on Pexels.com

I remember riding a horse, unable to control it, and being pushed into a barbed wire fence, putting a gash in my right leg …

I remember how impossible it was for Mom to leave the office unattended to take me to the doctor (she was Dad’s secretary-bookkeeper), so she taped my gash closed and how it healed leaving a big scar …

I remember the day my Aunt Jean, Billy’s mom, came to take him back … how I was filled with mixed emotions, sorrow and relief …

I remember my mom’s older sister, Aunt Evelyn, coming from Washington to visit and bringing clothes my cousins had outgrown, and Mom spending nights altering them to fit Sally & me …

I remember walking at least a mile (seemed like five) to catch the school bus and riding for at least an hour (seemed like five) while we picked up other kids to go to Crows Landing Elementary School…

I remember Mrs Yetter, my third grade teacher, who was almost bald…

I remember my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Ethel Horwedle, and how she wrote her cursive E, and how she let me sing to the tunes of the square dance records, and let me teach the class new square dance moves…

I remember Mrs. Marlow, the principal’s wife who was my 7th and 8th grade teacher… how she let me go during spelling class to help the kindergarten teacher (because, “You don’t need the spelling lesson,” she’d say after giving me a pre-test on which I always got 100%) …

I remember wearing an “I Like Ike” button and learning in 8th grade about each of his cabinet members as they were one-by-one appointed…

I remember Howard Thorkelson, our class genius, who got polio when we were in 8th grade and was gone a long time… returning in a neck and back brace for our graduation…

I remember learning to play the clarinet and doing so well that the band leader invited me to play with the high school band…

Sally & me with our clarinets

I remember being too small to fit into a high school band uniform, and having suspenders that pulled the pants up under my armpits…

I remember playing an accordion duet with Evelyn at our 8th grade graduation, but don’t remember Evelyn’s last name …

This was my first accordion. It’s over 100 years old!

I don’t remember a lot of things, but I remember feeling cared for, and feeling like I could become whatever I set my mind to, and not realizing we were poor…

We actually weren’t you know. We had each other. We had love. We had everything.

I remember…

Comments on: "Memories of Childhood" (10)

  1. Wow. Just……wow. I truly loved reading your memories. I hadn’t heard about most of them! They are truly precious and I will keep them and cherish them. I love you, Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, DeDe. I wrote them with you in mind. I thought you might get a kick out of those memories. Bob says I didn’t include his favorite. It was too long for the format of my post, but for you I will include it here. You may have heard it: “I remember my first and only spanking from my daddy. He, reluctantly dressed in suit and tie, was waiting for some business associates to go to a meeting. He came, on the sweltering mid-summer day, into the back yard where I was cooling off in our version of a swimming pool – an abandoned bathtub filled with cool water. When he came near, I playfully splashed him, getting his suit all wet. Oh, I remember vividly getting pulled out and turned over his knee. Now his suit REALLY was wet!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awww! Thanks for sharing the memory. Yeah, your loving squishy daddy wasn’t often mad at you so I understand that that memory stuck!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan, this is fantastic and I felt as if I was there! 😀I love how my ‘I Remember’ inspired you to write about your own memories. Your conclusion is heartwarming, surrounded by love there is no poverty! You paint a vivid picture of your young life, Sally and you with the ‘flaws’, the wonderful clarinet photo of you both, your poor doll’s house ruined by cousin Billy. Superb captivating writing, Jan!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A splendid résumé of a long life

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elaina Colby said:

    I could really see those memories play out in my head because of how well you described them and many of them I can relate to my own experiences. As I read your list I couldn’t help but think (with a hint of jealousy) “Wow! She has a much better memory than I do!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dig deeply, Laina. The memories are there! It’s a great exercise. Interestingly, it was easier to do birth to 8th grade than it is to recall high school to about age 20. The younger years were less complicated!

      Liked by 1 person

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