In the on-going saga of cleaning the Melby basement and letting go of sentimental stuff, I stumbled on another tough one: Children's books. So I prioritized them on a 1 to 10 scale of memory-making intensity. It helped me part with a huge stack.
But these are all tens:
They are the books I distinctly remember reading to my boys. Some of them have their names inscribed in my mom's handwriting. In one, Jeff's name (in his printing) is crossed out and Mark's scrawled below it. In Baby Animals, the eyes of every animal are scribbled over in crayon. Definitely worth keeping and reading to my grandkids.
And then I unearthed a book I remember my mom reading to me. (Yes, they had books back then.) It's called Food and Clothes-- Published in 1938, reprinted in 1940, by Thomas Nelson (the original company began in 1798!)
The book is divided into two sections: Food. And Clothes. (I know. . .duh. What else would you expect considering the title?) The Food half contains "Then and Now" stories like "Milk (or Bread or Meat), A Story of Long Ago." The "then" sto
ries feature a cave man family. The "Now" stories are about a "modern" family. As a kid I loved imagining what it would have been like to be Kim or Kee (never could figure out which was the cave girl and which the boy). Looking at it now, I love that the "Then" back then is the "Long Ago" now. (Raise your hand if that made no sense at all!)
Anyway, it got me thinking that maybe my writing career actually began while I was snuggling on the "davenport" with my mom when I was three or four. Because now I'm writing contemporary stories with historical parallels -- grown-up "Then and Now" stories. My current books go back to 1852, the Roaring Twenties, and 1912. The proposal I'm working on has parallels in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Something to remember as I snuggle up with grandkids and a pile of books.
What were your favorite books as a child? Do you see any way they influences the course of your life? I'd love to hear your stories.
I've known for years that I have ADD. Now I'm finding I also have APAD:
Aluminum Pan Attachment Disorder.
My sweet little mom died last June. She was 93. She lived a wonderful life and left us with so many heartwarming memories, life lessons. . .and aluminum pans.
I don't believe in aluminum pans. Did you know they've been linked to Alzheimer's?Okay, so the Alzheimer's Association says it's a myth, but can we really believe them? I'm a bit of a health nut--occasionally crossing the line into health nut case--which is why I switched to glass cookware several years ago.
So my mom dies and I inherit her pans. Pans I will never use, but which hold precious memories of from-scratch baked beans, clam chowder, barbecue, lime jello with pineapple and cottage cheese, and the best chuck roasts and gravy in the whole world. Oh, and Christmas plum pudding. How can I let go of the pans I learned to cook with? And the scenes attached to them that attach me to my past?
Sure, I could bless someone else with them, but what kind of a person would donate a potentially-dementia-causing pan to charity?
To really see the ridiculousness of my problem you need to take a close look at this picture. See the little green stickers? Those were put there by my mom when we had a garage sale to get rid of things she didn't want to cart along to the retirement center. They didn't sell (maybe because I hid them under the card table). But she let go of it all, so why can't I??
I'm beginning to see why I've found my writing niche in contemporary stories with a historical thread. Seeing reflections of the past in the events of today is not just a passion -- it's an illness.
Help! Anybody have a cure for APAD? How do you let go??