“Snow is…a beautiful reminder of life and all its quirks. It makes me pause. Think. Stay still. Even my mind takes the hint. It makes me feel giddy. Like a kid. I bring my hot cocoa to the window and simply sit and reminisce…It brings me back to days of school cancellations and snow igloos and King of the Mountain games in my childhood neighborhood…That for this one moment in time, I’m not an adult with all the headaches that can accompany that responsibility, but instead, I’m still the girl in pigtails with the handmade hat and mittens, just waiting to build her next snowman.”
― R.B. O’Brien
Do you ever stumble upon an old picture and find yourself transported back to that very spot?
The picture I found today has extra transporting powers because it has so much to share about so many things from this time in my life–the happy days of my childhood.
What a gift to have the time to actually study some of these old photos. In this picture, Gram is holding my cousin, Johnny and my sister, Beth. I am in the immediate foreground of the picture–a position I hold by way of declaring it be so, I am sure. My ear to ear grin tells me I was thrilled to be seated close to the woman I adored.
It appears Mom had been busy with those home perm kits–both Beth and I have some pretty sassy looking curls.
As I gaze, my senses come alive with memories.
I can feel the coarse fabric of the big armchair, the ridges and valleys of the leaf design would leave firm impressions on any body part pressed against them for even a short period of time. This chair and the matching coach were prominent fixtures in our living room throughout my early childhood. The arms of both pieces of furniture were broad enough to support all three of us girls when our grandparents, aunts, and uncles came for a visit. I still remember squirming my upper body back and forth so I could get as close to them as possible.
The ever-present ashtray was never far from Gram’s reach, a burning cigarette held within the little, indented glass edges. Her etched handbag nearby as well, holding her peppermint candies, embroidered hankies, and an extra pack of cigarettes. It looks like Gram had filled the candy dish beside the lamp. This subtle observation may be another reason I am sporting such a big grin.
I have always loved palm tree prints. As I evaluate this image, I am no longer surprised at that fondness. This was our living room, a place where we all gathered to talk, watch TV, or recover on the coach during those childhood bouts with measles, chicken pox, and mumps. Between the three of us, we battled pretty much every childhood illness.
The black box on the wall on the right side of the photo was some sort of control to the coal burning furnace–I think. I remember there were three different chains that you could pull that did something to the furnace or the venting system. I was repeatedly told NOT to pull them–which meant pulling them became my everyday goal and obsession.
I imagine this picture was taken about sixty years ago. What a wonderful cluster of memories to take with me into the weekend.
May Y’all find some of your own.
“Don’t you wish you could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever?”
― Sarah Addison Allen, Lost Lake