Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sleepless Saturday

Here it is - almost 2 a.m., I'm still wide awake and still feeling lousy from a variety of ailments as well. Been hitting the Walmart's generic version of Advil or Tylenol junk since my pain meds prescription is empty. The stuff helps at times, then drops off and leaves me hanging too.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately. Mainly in hopes I would see things others talk about that might give me some ideas, some inspiration to use to write about. But, so far, not much happening.

However, yesterday while visiting my aunt, who is now living with her youngest daughter, my cousin commented on how I tend to remember so much stuff from way back in time about our family, our lives, separately and together, as the extended family we are. And yes, that trait of mine has been pointed out to me by lots of other family members and not a few good friends too.

I joke about my memory though because as my kids will tell you, sometimes it is also very short. Some days I can't remember 5 minutes ago, much less 5 days ago. Five years is really pushing things much of the time too. But make that 4 or 5 decades back and boom, the old memory often kicks into full gear then!

What got me to thinking about this fact tonight though was in reading postings made by various members of a writer's group I just joined last week (thewriterslife), I was amazed at some of the things others had written and how much detail they could go into in describing various things in their past, etc.

"Gee," I thought, "I can't remember nitty-gritty little bitsy puny details like that." And then I thought about that idea some more that maybe, just maybe, if I try to get my fanny a tad bit organized, I can do that!

Now, if I were to sit here and try to remember something from my past and write about it, odds are nothing would pop up in my mind. So, what good would that do then? How can I try to put this idea into play?

When a lot of the stories of my childhood, youth, early, middle and later life come into my mind, it is usually something that has been triggered by a comment someone else made and boom, things come flooding back. Maybe not in minute detail right then, but I think if when someone does say something that generates a memory - good or bad - in my pea brain, if I take the time then to jot down what was said that brought that memory forward, then as quickly as possible, get to the (hopefully) trusty computer and blog it in, perhaps it will start pulling a story together then for me.

Will it work? I dunno. But I think it merits a try.

For future reference here and now, I'm going to put a couple things in this piece that maybe in the very near future, I will be able to sit and pull enough other stuff out of my hat and put it together in a readable format. Doing it all for posterity, you know!

Right now - my mind is very much on my aunt who my daughters, baby grandson and I went to visit yesterday. She was married to my Mom's younger brother, they had four children and lived in a big ranch type house my uncle built back in the 50's and 60's. (Yes, it probably did take him at least that long to finish the place - if indeed he ever did get it finished to his satisfaction that is.)

From probably the summer of 1952 or 1953 until 1962 when I graduated from high school, I spent a lot of time with them. It was a time I cherish today as it was my Aunt Mary's attempt to try to put a little bit of "normal" into my pretty dysfunctional life.

Right now, there are two specific events that occurred on my vacation visits to Corry that really stand out in my mind.

One is the summer my cousin Kenny and I built our version of a four-lane highway in the back yard, my aunt's reaction to this undertaking and my thoughts on how if Kenny and I had ever dared to do something like that in my backyard - where I lived with my Mom and maternal grandparents - most likely we would have been severely chastised! Quite possibly even given a good licking too in the process for destruction of my Grandpa's prize lawn!

One other memory of my summer visits with Uncle Cookie and Aunt Mary is how, every summer in late July and August, when the tomatoes were starting to ripen on the vines in Cookie's huge garden, we frequently had the same meal almost daily for lunch and also for supper. It would consist of a jar of mayonnaise on the table, salt and pepper shakers, usually two loaves of bread and a big platter of freshly sliced tomatoes just picked from the garden.

That would be our meal - day in and day out and I thought, until yesterday, that we all just dug in and cleaned up on freshly grown tomato sandwiches. That is until my cousin Becky said she had always hated tomatos, especially tomato sandwiches and never would eat them. That part I don't remember. But if she says she pitched minor fits and ate peanut butter and jelly instead, I'll give her that choice. I know Aunt Mary would never have fixed an entirely different "meal" for one child because her theory then as was mine with my kids was pretty much the same train of thought - "I'm not running a restaurant here, so you'll eat what's on the table or pretty much go hungry." But I can see her obliging one child with a PB&J cause it wouldn't be like really cooking a separate meal now would it?

Those are just two little tiny memories in my mind but perhaps, given a little time and effort, I can put them into context and write about them as a special memory of mine that brings back a time in my life when things were so much different for me.

Just a wonderful, loving time spent with one branch of my family tree.

Now, isn't that just a special thought too - and one that must be relaxing me as I think about it because I am finally beginning to feel the need (and the abilty) to go to sleep!

Pleasant dreams!

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