Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I've been having lots of memories from when I was a small child coming back to me lately. It all started when I remembered this one time I had a nightmare.

The Little Mermaid came out the year I was born, and it was my favorite movie until The Lion King came around. One night when I was very small, I woke up to Ursula standing beside my bed. The larger than life sea-witch gave me an evil stare, and I jumped out of bed and ran across the hall to my parents' room. What's funny is I remember vividly the placement of the bed in their room, and where I was standing. I also remember telling them it was real, even though I knew they wouldn't believe me. Of course, it was just a bad dream, and that's what they told me, but I was convinced the giant purple squid was still standing there beside my bed.

After that came to mind during a discussion about dreams one day, all sorts of other memories keep coming back. I'm trying to remember to write them in my journal so I'll still have them and won't forget.

(see? Little Mermaid shirt.)

Little things, like how I used to be fascinated by the woven wicker-type backs of Mema's dining room chairs, and the nifty wooden shutters in the breakfast nook. They were just shutters, but they captivated me with their pivoting slats. I remember eating many a lunch and dinner at the round table in front of those shutters, looking out the sliding glass door to the back patio and the swimming pool. I would purposely drop a few crumbs for the puppies as I wondered what exactly would happen if I got in the pool before the half an hour was up.

(We don't seem to have many pictures taken in the kitchen.
Aunt Cindy, Laura, Nicholas, Mama, and me. Obviously, we were dying Easter eggs.
See the shutters?)

The kitchen was magical. There was something wonderful about sitting on top of the washer or dryer as they were spinning, begging to eat some of the cheez-its that were supposed to be for the top of the chicken casserole. Another cool thing about the kitchen was how it was open on either side, and you could run from the kitchen, through the dining room, through the living room, back into the other side of the kitchen. That is so fun when you're a small person. Fortunately for everyone but me, there were usually gates up for the dogs, so I didn't do much running.

The place to do the running was outside around the pool. Nevermind that you're not supposed to run on concrete, or get that close to the edge. Who's scared of scraping their knees and falling in the pool anyways? Laura and I used to make "soup" out of the prickly evergreens and pool water. Nothing like the smell of warm, wet concrete, sunscreen, and a fresh towel. When you're having a birthday party, it's pretty much perfect to have grandparents with an awesome pool. Sometimes at night, we would sit at the edge of the pool with Mema, feet dangling in the water. Pool water is always so warm at night. We'd listen to Delilah playing love songs for people on the radio while Mema had a smoke, keeping an eye on that serpentine polaris as it made its rounds. I never liked the polaris. I swear the thing chased me.

(I have no idea who all these people are, but it was my birthday. ;-) 3rd, maybe?)

(Combined party years later. Me-8, Laura-7, Joey-2)

(see the bushes we made soup of? The diving board was so fun.)

(Go Laura Go!)

(Aunt Cindy, I posted this one for you.)

Mema taught us to sing in the fan. She always had a stand-fan turned on in her room. We would go stand with our faces almost against the wire cover, and warble "singin' in the fan! we're singin' in the fan! what a glorious feeling, I'm happy again!",
laughing at the sound of our voices chopped up by the blades.

There was an air of mystery about the front door since we never used it. We always came in through the den. Up the concrete stairs, with the big four'o'clock bushes beside them. In the door, past the sofa, past the piano, and through the little breezeway we called "the puppy room" (mema used to breed poodles), and into the dining room, with the living room at your left.

(This is the den, and the door we always used.)

Upstairs always seemed a little creepy. Aunt Cindy's room was to the left once you topped the stairs. She was away at college, so her room was always perfectly neat and vacant. I guess the quiet perfection of it was a little strange. However, she had some neat stuffed animals and sometimes Mema would let us play with them. :) There was a door directly at the top of the stairs, and I don't remember if I ever knew what it was for. Funny how innocuous things like doors can be frightening when you're a small person. Mama's bedroom was to the right. You could see the garage and the driveway and the magnolia tree from the window. The window had a little rainbow sticker in one corner.We kept all of our toys in that room. Big blue and red rubber bins with rope handles were our toyboxes. Somewhere amongst those toys was a little egg that, when "cracked" open, had a little chick who would pop out and say "cheep!" When the buckets were emptied of toys, they were just the right size for little girls. Laura and I would take turns rolling each other around inside them.

When we were done playing upstairs, we would sit on our bottoms at the top of the steps and "slide" down. Last time I tried sliding down a flight of stairs it hurt tremendously. I think we even used to go on our bellies sometimes. I don't think Mema liked us doing it, though.

Past Mema and Pepa's house, up the hill, was another little house. Mema's daddy, PawPaw, lived there. There was a corncob squirrel feeder on a tree outside his house. Mema would fill a Tupperware plate with dinner, and she let me take it to him sometimes. It was dark and smoky in his house, but I loved taking him his dinner and getting a hug in return.

(me and PawPaw on my birthday)

(Aunt Cindy, me, and Laura, dressed as bunnies for Halloween. That's PawPaw's little house in the background.)

Around Christmastime, there would be a fire in the fireplace. I loved to sit by the fire til I got so warm I had to move back. The best thing was when Mema would let us "help". We would wad up a piece of newspaper and throw it in. Then she would use the poker, push it under the grate, and we would watch as it lit, glowed, shriveled up and disappeared. It was so exciting for Aunt Cindy to come home from college - she brought us candy. lol And there were always sausage balls on the coffee table to snack on Christmas morning while we opened presents.

(notice the sausage balls in a bowl, and the biscuits beside them)

I remember sitting in the kitchen and Pepa teaching me to count money. Pennies, nickles, dimes, and quarters. Quarters made sense, they're the biggest amount, and biggest coin. I remember thinking it wasn't fair that nickels were bigger than dimes, since dimes are 10 cents and nickels only half that much. Perhaps that explains my random love for dimes. I have a little glass piggy just for collecting dimes.

Sometimes Laura and I would sit out on the swing with Mema, each with a handful of saltine crackers and a piece of "slice cheese." We'd sit there, happily munching and swinging, getting covered in crumbs and mosquito bites.

(This picture was taken at the apartment where we lived, but it's the swing that used to be at Mema's)

When we spent the night, we liked to sleep in the guest room downstairs. Across from the bed was a window from which you could see the pool. Against the wall was Mema's vanity. We loved to sit in there and watch Mema get ready to go somewhere. Watching a grown woman fix her hair and makeup was pretty much enthralling to me as a little girl.

It's so fun to remember all these little things. Most of my memories of being a small child are centered around Mema and Pepa's old house. Sometimes Laura and I will hear a country song on the radio that was popular back when we spent entire weekends out by the pool. We look at each other and say "that makes me think of Mema's old house." I usually hate the smell of cigarette smoke, and Mema and Pepa have long since both quit smoking (yay for them!), but sometimes when I'm outdoors on a hot day, the warm breeze, smell of pavement, and just a whiff of smoke takes me back.

I thank God we were able to be that close, and spend so much time making memories with them when we were little.

See you later, Alligator!


  1. Gorgebus is a great word, haha. XD
    I have so many memories like that from being little also. They seem so distant now and cloudy/dreamy too. I should get some pics from moms photo album to post some time.
    Also, The Little Mermaid was the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. We missed the very beginning and came in at the part Aerial was running from the shark with Flounder. I guess I was about 5? :9

  2. Thanks for the vote. :D
    Thankfully I have since seen the beginning of Little Mermaid several times over, haha. I need to watch The Lion King, it's been years. :9

  3. You're right. I LOVED this post. I'm sorry that I didn't have time to read it before I left for work. Oh well.

    I love memories like that. It's especially fun to sit around with my family and talk about those kinds of things.

    Thanks for the post. It was so fun to read! <3 <3 <3

  4. Those are all great memories!
    Thank you for sharing with us :D


YAY! I'm so glad you're leaving a comment. ^.^