I was just contemplating the other day how much I don’t know about my folks and how much I’ve had to find out second hand or from other sources about them and their past, and it made me kinda sad. When we are younger oftentimes we don’t really take an interest in where older people “come from” or want to listen to the “story of their life”. Unless we had folks that talked openly and freely about their past life (before, we, their children, came along) we don’t know much unless we ask. I am the “family historian” in my family and therefore have done quite a lot of genealogical research on my family and have been amazed at the info I’ve discovered. That being said, I cried when reminiscing the other day about some things my kids probably don’t know about me…
I’m named after my father: His and my middle name are both Leslie. (My granddaughter, Hannah also shares the same middle name).
That same father hung himself when I was just five years old. He was an alcoholic. That I know to be factual. The rest (that he was a tormented soul and suffered with depression as Robin Williams did) is only my assumption.
I’ve always loved brussel sprouts!! Even when I was a small child the only vegetables I would eat were corn, cabbage and brussel sprouts! Oh, I liked butter beans, too!
I’ve never weighed more than 115 lbs. until I was pregnant with my first child at the age of 18. It’s been a battle ever since!
I won my first and only beauty pageant when I was just 11 years old at Girl Scout camp! Nuff said.
I quit believing in the Easter bunny when my mom was too busy working, thus sent me to the store with $20 to buy my own Easter basket! Sad day for me! LOL
I quit believing in Santa Claus when my step-dad fell down the stairs in the middle of the night with the new record player Santa was bringing! LOL
Even though I wasn’t raised going to church, I have had a strong, profound faith in a God since I was as young as 7 or 8 years old.
We began a move from Pennsylvania to North Dakota in the middle of the night when I was just 6 yrs. old because my step-dad was running from a wife he was separated from at the time. (My mom and I were his “new family” even though he left 3 small children behind.) I think they call them “deadbeat dads” now.
I called my step-dad by his first name, “Bob” until I was in my 20’s. (I wrote him a letter on his birthday one year, asking him permission to begin calling him “dad” – feeling unusually close to him at the time.)
I had a lot of teeth pain, cavities etc; when I was small. (Mom was afraid of dentists, and therefore would not take me to the dentist.) I, on the other hand, when old enough and financially responsible enough (age 24) began to have my teeth fixed.
I had one dental emergency in which the school insisted I go to the dentist. I chipped my front tooth when I was 16 in gym class. Mom was more scared than I was.
Footnote: I have fond memories of mom packing my cavities with a cinnamon flavored “wax” – I think it was called Red Cross toothache medicine – and holding me on her lap/rocking me to sleep if I awoke in the middle of the night with a toothache.
I once owned a ton of “original” Barbie clothes. I had the very first Barbie wedding gown!!. I gave them all away to a playmate (before my mom knew) when I felt I had “outgrown” playing with dolls!
I also had the very first Barbie doll ever created! OMG! How I wish I had some of the great toys I once had – I wouldn’t have a $$ worry in the world!
Remember, Betsy Wetsy? How about Little Miss Echo? The one baby doll I did hang onto, my mom gave to my little sister when she came along. I was 16 and no longer interested in that baby doll with the plaster head, but she was still my doll! I was her “Mommy Dearest”!! She had strapping tape on her head where it had cracked open when she fell down those same stairs my step-dad fell down with my record player! LOL
I was a very picky eater as a child (with exception of those brussel sprouts!) I was constantly complaining about what was being served. My step-dad would tell me to “go out in the yard and eat worms”.
I can’t recall ever having a homemade birthday cake. My cakes always came from the bakery and were beautiful, flower adorned, heavily frosted white cakes!! I still love heavily frosted white cake to this day!! The real deal with the Crisco icing!! I still want the end cut and the extra flower too!! Oh, and I’ve got to have ice cream with it, too!!
I can’t recall my mom ever baking cookies!! She was a pretty good cook, but not much of a baker! On the other hand, I love to bake cookies and often did with my children when they were growing up, and now with my grandchildren too!
My step-dad was the one who woke me up in the morning, fixed my breakfast and took me to school when I was in Jr. High while my mom worked the early breakfast shift at a local restaurant. My step-dad had been a cook in the Army and had owned his own restaurant in Pennsylvania prior to us moving to North Dakota – so I could request whatever my heart desired for breakfast. The menu often included, french toast, eggs over easy, poached eggs, pancakes, always bacon (never sausage) and never HOT OR COLD CEREAL! I still don’t like cereal!!
In high school (when I was 16) my little sister was born. I was overjoyed to have a little sister, but not overjoyed to have lost my parent’s undivided attention!! My mom began to work evening shift so daycare would not be necessary. My step-dad and I took care of my little sister until I graduated from high school and was by then, pregnant with my own child.
I was once (when I was about 10 yrs. old) hit by a city bus. I was riding my bike at the time and fortunately it was minor and I wasn’t seriously hurt. I was only 1 block from my home at the time.
I have lived in six different cities in my lifetime. 1) Wilmington, DE 2) Thorndale, PA 3) Minot, ND 4) Minneapolis, MN 5) Fargo, ND 6) Longview, TX
My Uncle Paul Flynn (now deceased and Aunt Polly’s first husband) used to sit me on his lap and sing this song to me: I loved it and him and can still hum the tune..
Ray Noble with Buddy Clark
When I go to sleep
I never count sheep,
I count all the charms about Linda.
And lately it seems
in all of my dreams,
I walk with my arms about Linda.
But what good does it do me for Linda
doesn’t know that I exist?
Can’t help feeling gloomy,
think of all the lovin’ I’ve missed.
We pass on the street,
my heart skips a beat,
I say to myself, “Hello, Linda.”
If only she’d smile,
I’d stop for a while
and then I would get to know Linda.
But miracles still happen
and when my lucky star begins to shine,
with one lucky break,
I’ll make Linda mine.
I know there are more memories I could share but for now – I’ll close with that very fond one! Be blessed, my cyber friends!