Memories

My cousin and I were talking tonight about old, old memories in our lives.

Growing up, I had a situation that was incredibly unique at the time (and that still is a bit unique nowadays), in which my parents each had children from a previous spouse, only had me together, married when I was three, and divorced one another when I was four.

My siblings on my mom’s side not only lived in the same neighborhood as I did, but my mom and I were regularly at their dad’s house, spending time with them and, even, their dad, who was my mom’s first husband, but with whom my mom was no longer involved in such a relationship.

My siblings on my dad’s side moved to Georgia (until they kind of moved back, off and on, one by one, starting when I was about nine), and so were only around for certain holidays and for what I guess to have been about a month each summer.

My cousin pointed out that she remembered being often at the place my mom and I lived for many years together after she split up from my dad, the one that was in the neighborhood with my brothers and their dad.

I, too, recalled that they often were there visiting us, and we often were at their house (two hours away, by the way) visiting them.

She then presented the interesting and confounding concept of accepting the idea of someone seeing one’s cousins more often than seeing one’s own siblings…, because that’s really how it was in the first decade and a half of my life, so far as my mom’s sister’s children and my dad’s children were concerned.

I have many more memories from earlier childhood with those cousins than I do with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Certainly, I saw my brothers from my mom all the time, almost daily…, but my cousins were, as I can pull up old school activities and projects to show, some of my favorite people in the world, and they were often on my mind, because I saw them often…, such was not the case with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Sure, I cared about them, and I had spectacular memories from the brief time we all spent in the same house when my parents were married to one another, but I really think we could say that I had more a relationship with and attitude towards them that people have with cousins, rather than one with siblings.

So, my half brothers were like my brothers, my cousins were like my half siblings, and my other half siblings were like my cousins… relationship- and attitude-wise, anyway.

Kind of crazy, huh?

I hadn’t really ever thought much about it, because, as my cousin also pointed out tonight, it can be amazing what kinds of things we just accept as children, not concerned in the least about whether they are uncommon or absurd.

I guess the absurdity doesn’t surprise me, of course, because, well, even now, absurd is normal in my life, as this same cousin so graciously pointed out to me a few years ago. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

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The voice of the story

We’ve been reading the book Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner in one of my classes.

As part of the research I have to do for it, I’ve been reading all about the intentional, semi-genius absurdity that is Mr. Faulkner’s sentence structure and story-telling in this book, and especially how details of the one big story come out from four different storytellers in all sorts of crazy order… always leaving the key details for the end, though they all knew these details from the very beginning.

Now, I read from a happy book every night before bed – a book that has me excited to snuggle up in bed to read it each night, anyway,if not always “happy”.

That book right now is The Voice on the Radio by Caroline B. Cooney, a book from a series I admired and loved as an elementary schooler.

The sort of irony of it is that, while I wasn’t really a fan of the Absalom reading and research originally, I finally got interested in it today with my findings on the style, as I was mentioning already…. and then tonight, reading my book, a conversation comes up in which a professor says how his wife keeps a chart by their radio – you see, the student is a radio talk guy for the campus station, and has been telling pieces of the story of a kidnapping (don’t worry, though, because the kidnapping got all sorted out, and everyone is safe from it all in the story now) all out of order and only in tidbits here and there – so that she can note whatever tidbit the student shares that night, and hopefully eventually piece together everything to understand the full story.

The student’s mental response to this comment from the professor is, “So his master plan was working,” and that “[t]he delivery of overlapping stories, out of order, had hooked the audience[…]” (quote from page 81 of the September 1998 printing)

… just like Mr. Faulkner’s Absalom style, I found myself thinking…

And so, I start to like this bit about Absalom, and, that same day, I find a strong connection to it in another book that I already like lots and lots… 😛

Kind of crazy, huh?

And I said ‘sort of irony’, because it’s kind of coincidence combined with irony – finding a connection to something I hated in something I love, except that I now actually like some of the former, so the irony is semi-replaced by coincidence…

Post-a-day 2018

What Hannah Found

I began reading last night a book that I had loved as a young girl… and I have found many similarities between myself and the main character…

Have I developed myself based on this character, though most of the details had long been forgotten, or did I originally like the book because I already related so much to the main character?

It kind of feels like I’m asking myself the deepest of psychological questions…

But it also feels like I’m asking myself a ‘chicken or the egg’ kind of question…

Post-a-day 2018

Nostalgia in a sniff

On my evening walk today, I was struck by what I believe must have been the smell of someone’s dryer sheets.  Each time I passed it, I was brought instantly back to swim team days.  Actually, I was brought back to specific swim team evenings.  Somehow, the smell, combined with the warm air and the setting sun, reminded me of Monday night swim meets, and, more specifically, the movie nights to follow (once I was a little older).

Those movie nights are probably some of the best evenings I’ve known.  We always had dinner at this one local restaurant after every meet (I think they gave use free kids meals with our team suits on).  And then, afterward, the older kids would go over to someone’s house and watch a movie together.  Eventually, I was approved to attend movie nights, though not many my age ever went.  I just had an older brother, so I had an early in, so to speak.

At the movie nights, I had not a care in the world – swimming was behind me, and I got to hang around with my brother and other cool people.  (Hey, they were all cool in my mind, because they were older and better at swimming, and because my brother liked them, and he was totally cool.)  It was often at this one family’s house where the mother always made cookies.  I’m not sure how it happened – though it in no way surprises me – but I ended up being her helper of sorts.

We kind of only watched “Hook”, with the occasional stray to “Star Wars”, at the movie nights, even though they happened every week.  But no one seemed to mind that we watched the same thing over and over again.  (“Hook” really is a spectacular film, you know.)  Since I pretty much could quote the whole movie, I didn’t mind checking out the cookie-baking setup off in the kitchen one night.  I ended up actually making and then serving the cookies during the movie from then on out.  I went in and out of the movie, only hanging in the kitchen when I had a specific task to undertake, so I still saw most of the movie.  But I got to do something extra, fun, special, and useful, too.  Plus, everyone loved me for bringing them warm cookies that the mom and I had made.  And, what made it even more special, was that I was hanging out with my older brother and his friends – I qualified to be with them, and they weren’t opposed to my being there.  🙂

One movie night in particular, as we left the house, I felt like I was in a wonderland, because flowing white surrounded us in the warm wind – someone had wrapped the house during our movie.  Sure, it was toilet paper hanging everywhere from the trees in the front yard, but it felt like magic.  There was something about those movie nights that just made life seem easy, free, and happy.  I think that’s part of why I still love “Hook” and “Star Wars” so much, and I regularly have a desire to watch them (and always feel really special whenever I do actually watch them).

Yeah, those were really good times.  Thanks, whomever, for your dryer sheets this evening.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Childhood fears growing old with the best of us

You know how the crescent rolls and biscuits come in a sort of cardboard and tin canister?  And you know how you “PEEL HERE” around the middle of the canister to open them up?  And you know that sudden POP! that comes at some unknown point in that peeling back/around process?  Yeah, I know I’m supposedly a grown-up now, but I am still slightly terrified of that pop.  I totally jumped and heard myself yelp today, when it did its little, shocking pop!.

Post-a-day 2018

How do You shave?

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is the time my brother, sister, and I bonded over shaving legs in the living room.  You see, our dad’s house used to be a duplex, and so the upstairs and downstairs had the same floorpan, giving the girls – the upstairs lots – our very own living room.  It was normal circumstances for us girls and maybe a girlfriend of one of theirs to hang out on lazy afternoons and evenings there.  Occasionally, our bother would join us.  On one particular night, my eldest sister had decided to allow me to shave her legs for her, while we watched some television show.  I was around eight or ten years old.

In my panic of doing it, worried that I would slice open her leg or something, my brother joined in on the adventure, to show that it was definitely doable by me, since he had never shaved legs, but he was able to do it safely.  And so, he shaved her left leg, and I shaved her right, while she lay on the rug in the living room.  Such beautiful sibling bonding time.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Cleaning out = unexpected exhaustion

I’m kind of exhausted.  And kind of feel like crying and curling up in a ball.
There have been a LOT of memories going through this stuff.  And, with that, has naturally come Loads of emotions.  Lots of them quite strong, too.
I guess that’s a big part of why I kept the stuff.

And as of this morning, I find myself not wanting to take on cleaning out and going through anything else right now.  Like I need a vacation from it.

Especially since so much of my stuff is disorganized amongst the various boxes, the task feels more exhausting.  Because, rather then opening up a box and re-living fifth grade, I open up a single box and am going through parts of fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and possibly even a memory or three from before and after those years.  And going through the memories of those years isn’t just ‘going through memories’.  It’s also re-experiencing the emotions and thoughts and thought patterns of it all.  So, in cleaning through one box, I am living several years – and from the very formative years – of my life in a matter of an hour or few.  Talk about exhausting… that is exhausting.

And I want a break from it for a little while, so my mind and my nerve endings can relax again and not be so constantly overwhelmed.

Post-a-day 2018