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.
POP!…

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 WordPress.com’s Daily Post.]

Fall Housekeeping

I’ve been trying to write (i.e., blog) every day, but since the fall tv season has begun, I’ve been spending all my time at SciFi Chick(s).  (And I’m still behind!)  More importantly, I’ve been trying to read more blogs, especially those dedicated to writing.

Along the way, I’m trying to clean up both here and at SciFi Chick(s).  (This being a continuation of the Overholt Overhaul.)  I’m sorting through my categories and tags (now that I kind of understand how tags work), weeding out the duplicates and developing some consistency.  At first it was crazy daunting, but I’ve come up with a manageable approach by doing a little bit each day.

I’ve also updated my links, taking out the dead links and adding some new ones that I really like, including a whole section on writing.

The one new non-writing blog is one I found yesterday called Fresh from the… (oven and television).  I thought about putting it  under “Awesome Stuff,” but that category’s mainly for help with WordPress.  What I love about Fresh From The… is the way it’s organized.  It’s divided into two main topics (baking and television) in a way I’ve never seen before; plus the top menu and the rest of the sidebar are interesting and easy to follow.  And the writing is delightfully clever, with a dry humor that’s right up my alley

Kudos to Jen,  the author!  Man, I wish my mind worked like that.

The Write Stuff

The Writer’s Center‘s fall schedule of courses (and newsletter) arrived last week.  Every season I go through the schedule and indentify several courses I’d like to take.  This season is no different, except that I might actually take a course this time.  Now that I have some time, a-once-a-week trip to Bethesda, MD (approximately 60 miles round trip), is doable.

I took a Writer’s Center course a few years ago called “Writing from Life”  and  enjoyed it tremendously.  During the course we wrote several essays about various topics from our life, including favorite people, events, food, and more.  (I had planned to post the essays here, but never got past the first one, which was a bit too fan-girlie” and embarrassing.  Perhaps if I can get on a writing schedule, I’ll get the others posted.)

My  goal is to write a memoir about my parents.  (In fact, the reason I started blogging was to tell my nephews and niece about their paternal grandparents, whom they never got to know very well.  But along the way, it turned into a hodge-podge of posts.)  I grew up with stories of the Great Depression and World War II.  At the time, I thought their experiences were the norm, but it turns out my parents’ stories, are as unique and interesting as they were.