Wednesday, November 25, 2020

November Challenge Post #25: An Old Picture Of Me


What would we do without school pictures? They're the best representation of who we were as kids, and what our lives were like at the time. That's why I always made sure my kids were wearing pretty much their everyday school clothes. I wanted to remember those days exactly how we all lived them.

Here's An Old Picture Of Me for today's challenge topic.

This is my kindergarten picture. It's how I looked pretty much every day of my life that year, both at school and at home. My hair was always long and in two braids. My bangs were cut straight across by my mother, aided by a piece of Scotch tape placed across my forehead as a guide. I was wearing a hand-me-down sweater--this one was red with white piping and buttons. The ribbons on my pigtails were probably white. I wore hand-me-downs in every single school picture in elementary school, and they weren't from my sister, either. They were from another family who had girls, and they gave us big bags of nice clothes fairly often.

I look at this little face every day because I have this photo in a frame on my dresser. I wonder about the small smile on her face; it doesn't look quite happy to me. But school photography would have been new to me, so perhaps I was just nervous. 

I don't like being photographed at all. I try not to be like this because I know my family will want photos of me for memories later. But I hate being in pictures.

Do you have a specific memory about any school picture? How do you feel about being photographed now?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

November Challenge Post #24: Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

Today's topic was supposed to be "Blogs I Love And Why", but I decided that topic was kind of a Duh. First of all, I have a tabbed page above that provides that information, and secondly, I read the people who read me and comment here, with a few additions. 

End of post, pretty much.

So I'm freelancing and changing the subject to something else. I'm also fighting a weather-triggered migraine right now, so this will have to be a quickie. Sorry in advance if this post is not as coherent and well-written as my usual offerings.


It's wonderful that Some People at gatherings can lift their pinkies and their eyebrows and say things like, "Oh, television. We don't even have one in the house. We got rid of it back in 1979. It was kind of our protest against the mediocrity and crassness of the media." Or, "We got a television for the children so that they could watch PBS. That's the only channel we watch." 

Well, la di dah.

I am not Those People. I watch television, and I even watch garbage on TV once in a while. On purpose. Here are a few of my

Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

1. Judge Judy

2. Hot Bench

3. People's Court

As you can tell, I like the TV court stuff. It's hilarious. I put it on and knit during the testimony. The kind of scenarios I hear on these shows is so alien to my way of life that I'm often completely astonished and often gasping. And laughing. I highly recommend it if you're looking for some mindless entertainment that makes you feel much better about yourself.

What are your Guilty Pleasure TV Shows?


Monday, November 23, 2020

November Challenge Post #23: My Favourite Childhood Books

I learned to read at a very young age. Once I started reading, I couldn't ever stop. Back in 1964 it wasn't expected that kindergarteners would know how to read, and the most knowledge we were expected to have was a rudimentary identification of colours, a few numerals, and be able to recite perhaps our address and our parents' names. Miss Osborne was stunned that I was already reading children's books.

We had Little Golden Books in the house, and the one that I was enamored with was The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown, of Goodnight Moon fame. (I never even heard of Goodnight Moon until I read it to my sister's kids aeons later, even though it predated The Color Kittens.) It's likely that I picked out the book myself at some point, being drawn not only to the kittens on the front, but the very colourful illustrations inside. I've always loved paints, crayons, and the names of colours. This is the edition that I had as a very little girl, I think. My book is long gone.

This page of this book especially was my favourite.

All of the pages were about a colour and what it felt like or what things were that colour. It was so creative and imaginative.

When I was older, probably about seven or eight, I was going to the library once a week with my mom and my sister. I was allowed to take out eight books. I started reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Not all of them were always available, so I read them out of order, and some of them I read several times. I loved those books so much! These look pretty close to a couple of the ones I read from my little tiny town library, but most were recovered in plain hardcover library binding. They got a lot of wear.

When I was about ten or eleven, my brother was selected to go to a special summer program at Oberlin College, which was about twenty-five minutes away from our home. He was given some books to read, and he shared them with me. One was To Kill a Mockingbird, the edition below.

I obviously didn't have the depth or maturity to fully appreciate or understand this book at such a young age, but I loved it. I felt especially drawn to Jem, and I was so impressed by Atticus. I borrowed this book from my brother's bookshelf many times. As so many of you know, it became my favourite book of all time, and I was lucky enough to teach it dozens of years during my career. Each time I assigned it to my students, I, too, read it again right along with them. It never stops being powerful for me.

One last book that I loved and that came into my life at a very critical time was this one.

When I was eight, I had emergency surgery for a burst appendix. It was quite serious, and I was in the hospital for a very long time. I missed my family, my home, and Easter, too. My godmother sent me a tower of presents, and among them was this book of colour poetry. I still have it to this day, and I used to use it in my Creative Writing II class. The poems it inspired from my students were profoundly original and beautiful. It's not unlike The Color Kittens, really. Just more sophisticated. The way these two books echo one another makes me smile and feel very...complete.

I'd love it if you'd share some favourite books from your childhood with all of us in Comments.

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