Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh, I don't know . . .

I haven't posted anything since June sometime. I've been lurking on other journals, but have not commented much. This morning I have been reading Donna's blog. A lot of my memories flooded in as I read hers. Go figure. City, suburbs or country, those of us who grew up in the 50's seem to have a collective memory. Here are some of my memories:

I was born in a 10-bed hospital in a small suburb of Los Angeles. By the time I was born, my parents had already separated. Women who got divorced back then were the subject of much scrutiny. But I didn't know that. I loved my mom. She took phenomenal care of her four girls.

I remember that we had the first television on the block. It was and awesome thing. At about 4 years old, I thought that the people lived in there and when we turned it back on, they would just start again where we left off. The television was in a very large cabinet, with doors you would close when you turned it off. It had a round-ish screen, 2 or 3 channels, and a really fuzzy picture. I remember seeing an Indian head when the stations had nothing more for us to view. I never knew that my grandparents had given us that wonderful box.

What a tender double memory I got while reading about cereal on Donna's blog. The first and most recent memory came as she posted that Cheerios was the common name for all cereals back then. In Mexico in the 80's and 90's, I learned that for them all cereals were called Corn Flakes. You could choose your poison, but it was still corn flakes. Back when I was small, I remember having Shredded Wheat a lot. My mother would offer one or two of the barrel-shaped pieces on top of which we put sugar and milk. We also ate a lot of oatmeal. Mom would cook the oatmeal with raisins while I stood on a chair to watch the "fishes" come to the surface. With all the instant foods these days, the kids don't get to watch this particular phenomenon. A shame, really.

I climbed trees a lot. When mom couldn't find me, she'd send the girls out to look in the trees. Once, our dog pulled me out of a tree. That hurt and mom got rid of him. Behind the second house I remember living in, there was a great big walnut tree. I loved it. I could take a book and my pillow to sit in one of the crooks for hours. Sometimes I napped there. I climbed trees and rocks and trails until about 20 years ago when my body started to limit me. I would love to do it still.

My mom didn't go to work until I was in school for a year or two. I would come home from school and stop by the pharmacy fountain where she worked. She would make me a cherry phosphate sometimes. Oh! What a delicious treat. When she went to work in an office, I would come home, change my clothes in the laundry room(refrigerator there, too) and go to the neighbor's house. Since I had my own key to the little room, I thought I was independent and that Becky's mom wasn't a babysitter. I think my mom paid her five hard-earned dollars a week not to babysit.

I loved that time of my life. We were not allowed to become television addicts. We played outside, climbed trees or sat with dolls to pretend we were grown-ups, even played board and card games out on the patio. We had a card game called Presidents, played slap-jack, war and even monopoly. Becky's brother always wanted to be paid with those "bluebell 50's". It was a magical time. We were all very healthy and happy. It would be wonderful if we could bring some of that play here to this time for our children and grandchildren. Just sayin' . . .