Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A small memory out of my memory bank


Back in the early days, I lived with my family in a farmhouse in the land of Oklahoma. We lived in a two-story house with a view of blackjack trees, red dirt roads, and a few bedraggled sunflowers. This was in 1932 and I was four years old. The upstairs had never been finished and was just two huge rooms. Everybody slept the upstairs bedroom, and it was so hot you could light a firecracker without a match. We couldn’t tolerate it so we took our quilts outside and slept on the lawn. In the winter it was a little more tolerable. There was never enough money to finish the walls so newspaper was pasted up on the walls for additional insulation. I could lie in bed and read all about the anniversary sale at Sears and Roebuck, and taught myself how to read some of the words. I was very proud of myself when I memorized the word ‘anniversary’. I spelled it constantly until everybody was on the threshold of going nuts. One day my older brothers let me go visit their school with them. This was a big event for me and the teacher was very nice and talked to me so I told her that I knew how to spell ‘anniversary’. Then I proceeded to prove it by spelling it for her. She said, "My goodness, where did you learn to spell such a big word?" I answered, "Upstairs". I have never lived it down. I embarrassed my oldest brother so much that he didn’t want to go back to school ever again. My mother nearly died from laughter when she heard what I had said. It didn’t embarrass her at all. I was confused, was it a bad thing or a good thing? I just didn’t know. I have forgotten how to spell anniversary, but have picked up a little more useful knowledge over the years.

6 comments:

jan geronimo said...

That was funny, Lorrene. Enjoyed it very much. The banking sector maybe limping in these hard economic times, but your memory bank is magnificent for its stability and richness.

Economic czars will do themselves a favor by taking a leaf out your [memory] bank smarts :)

Grandma L said...

Thank you, Jan. I think it's the old age that helps us remember things from the ancient past and forget the things that happened yesterday. I guess that's a good thing.

Stephanie Frieze said...

As a mother I am laughing myself! What a wonderful story. It reminds me of the time that a friend sent her special needs daughter to spend the summer with us. The little girl was friends with my own daughter who was going to summer school. The first day of the summer session we walked to the school to pick up my daughter and couldn't find her anywhere. I stopped a teacher to ask her where my daughter might be and the woman asked me what she was wearing. "Clothes," my friend's daughter replied before I could open my mouth. We laughed and laughed over that one.

Grandma L said...

Stephanie, I guess kids are just born to be 100% honest no matter how dumb it sounds. It can sure make for some good laughs.

Rosanne said...

From Scranton PA I found your site and read your updates weekly ,,, what an enjoyable treat for me. My favorites are the memories of your childhood. Thanks for sharing :o)

javier said...

My first big word to spell was Czechoslovakia. It sure felt weird when I learned Czechoslovakia was no longer on the map. Your word is way more useful.