Childhood Revisited

My Earliest Memory

And how appropriate for the season!

A permanent traumas was averted

Entertaining guests. Permanent trauma averted.

Harken back to a slower, quieter time:  the mid-20th century, an age without digital cameras, when it took a few months to fill up the roll of film and get it developed.

Christmas day:  One 3½-year-old went to bed the night before, thinking of Santa Claus on his rounds, and worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the excitement.

But I did fall asleep, which made the night pass more quickly.

As usual, I was the first one awake Christmas morning.  But I had orders not to go downstairs until my parents and older brother woke up.  It’s amazing that such an unruly, difficult child would obey.  But Christmas was special, and waiting just prolonged the happiness.

When the time finally came, we rambled down the stairs.  The (colored) lights were twinkling on the Christmas tree, and several presents which hadn’t been there the night before beckoned us.  My mother put on a pot of coffee for the grown-ups, but we kids didn’t need any additional stimulation.

One medium-sized box was the last to be opened—a Jack in the Box!  I put my face close to the lid and turned the handle.  A familiar tune played.

All around the Mulberry Bush
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought it was all in fun.

It’s the devil!  Right in my face! 

…goes the weasel.

It scared the living daylights out of me!  I began to sob and continued for an indeterminate amount of time.

Eventually I calmed down and took a closer look.  It wasn’t the devil, it was a clown.  In my defense, though, it was a pretty ugly clown.  And a little scary, especially when one’s face was just a couple inches away.

Turns out it was a pretty good present.  I played with it for hours that day.  Not too many months later, the clown’s felt hat had been torn off, but the music still played, and the clown still popped out on cue.  It continued to entertain me for a very long time.

When I look back, I’m always amazed that, even at that young age, I knew about God and the devil, and the true Christian meaning of Christmas.  It’s something we tend to forget in this modern era of materialism and over-commercialism.

[This post was written in response to a prompt from your friends at’s Daily Post.]


Hi guys. It’s been awhile.

Of course, I can’t deliver the line as smugly as Charles Malik Whitfield, but you get the idea.  (Well, only if you watch Supernatural.  If you don’t, then start, dammit!)

I was out & about yesterday, instead of staying inside making little tiny pictures.  Went and got my semi-annual pedicure.  Then went to Old Town (or Old Towne or Olde Town, I can never remember which it is) Alexandria for a couple errands.  Picked up two watches I’d left for repair at the coolest jewelry shop in the history of ever.  One watch had been broken for a year.  I wore it to Texas last summer to see Jensen Ackles in “A Few Good Men.”  And when I went to change the time, the stem broke.  What a bitch.  And it was the first time I’d worn it.

Then I stopped by the comic book store to pick up episode 3 of “Supernatural Origins,” which I’d missed the last time I was in.  The smell of incense filled the room.  I mentioned that it took me back to my college days, and Howard (the owner) said “We’re all a bunch of aging hippies here.”   I knew there was a reason I fit in!  😀  I also wanted the latest magazine issue of the Supernatural magazine (5, is it?) but he didn’t have it.  Somehow we got on the subject of variant covers.  (Oh, I remember.  Each issue of the magazine has a “collectible” cover, one that doesn’t have any text on it other than the title, and I’d bought one last time without realizing it .)  Howard keeps his variant covers behind the counter in protective covers.  I mentioned the gorgeous one they’d had for “Supernatural  Rising Son” issue 1, and relayed the story of one gal who’d gone to her comic store the day it came out and the owner had already jacked the price up to $15.  (Of course she bought it!  I would have, too!)  Howard was outraged.  Or should I say “incensed”? Ha!

It was a beautiful day, and I saw lots of bicyclists everywhere.  I was so jealous, I decided right then & there that next summer I’d be back among them.   I used to ride a lot.  I thought nothing of coming home after work and riding down to Mount Vernon, 24 miles round-trip.  Which meant weekend rides were much longer.  There’s something about biking that soothes my soul more than anything else.  Maybe it’s the rhythm of the pedals and the wheels turning.  All I know is that when I get on the bike, my cares melt away within seconds.  Yep, my bike needs me.