Posts Tagged ‘Childhood’

Memories Are Personal

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Memory is strange. Thinking logically, it would seem that people sharing the same life experiences would share the same memories, but that is rarely the case. I remember chuckling to myself as a teenager whenever my grandmother and her sister, Aunt Jeanie, would have conversations about their childhood inOhio. They both had crystal clear recollections of their home and neighborhood – and these memories were totally different. They talked about the corner grocery store, but they each placed it on a different corner. When they discussed their older brother, Uncle Bill, as child, he came across as two people or one with a split-personality.

That suppressed laughter came back to haunt me a few years ago in discussions about my childhood with the brother and sister closest in age to me. After awhile I began to wonder if we had lived in the same house during those early years – and whether we had actually grown up with the same parents!

These thoughts came to mind today when I attended a session at the library. Charlotte Hinger(, author of numerous books and articles, talked about the unreliability of family stories. A native ofKansas, she was involved in writing a book of family histories for the county she lived in. She discovered that no family has one history. Each family member has a personal history – and as I had discovered for myself – these histories seldom agree.

Charlottealso talked about family stories that have been passed on through generations that have been proved to be factually false, but the tales continue to be passed on. Amazingly, these fabricated family legends are most treasured.

Sometimes families keep secrets through tacit agreements for many years. Then when the people involved get into their 70s and 80s, they begin to talk. Such was the case inCharlotte’s family. One day a cousin approached her with a question for her then elderly mother. WouldCharlotteplease ask her if Aunt Margaret really did kill Aunt Mattie? ThusCharlottewas thrust into research into her own family history.

Consider your childhood memories. Are these recollections shared with anyone else or are they unique for you?

Creating Childhood Memories

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

My three grandkids (ages 11, 12, & 13) are staying with me for ten days while their mom is out of town. I live in an apartment with units both below and above me, so keeping noise to a minimum is essential.

We have been playing lots of games. After a while, we began to expand of some of their favorites. When drawing the features on the Cootie, we started adding personalities. Through the addition of clothing, hair, and other accessories we created such appealing characters as Callie Cootie, Curt Cootie, Junior Cootie, Clowny Cootie, and Mousey Cootie. We have a happy Cootie Family for the kids to share with their mom when she returns.

My granddaughter loves to play Casino with me. This is a good game for two people as you only deal out four cards at a time, so you cannot figure out what the other person has. It is also a good game for developing math and observation skills. Kayleen wins at least half of the time.

At one point in time the kids were all in different rooms – the quietest of times. Karl was watching TV, Richie was playing a game on the computer, and Kayleen was pouting on the couch in the living room (due to not being on the computer). I picked up the deck of cards and dealt out old fashioned Solitare. I had barely gotten started with the game when Kayleen came over. She was fascinated. She didn’t know you could play the game with real cards. She thought it was just a computer game! We played several games together and then she was occupied playing on her own for another 30 to 40 minutes.

Other games that we all like to play together include Bingo, Skip-Bo, and Yahtzee. I sometimes put out small prizes for the winners to choose, such as wrapped candies, colorful pencils, and other trinkets.

We have also gone to movies: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Star Wars 5. I have taken them swimming in the apartment pool and at the Chilson Recreation Center, and we have gone shopping (their favorite activity) several times.

All in all, I think my major goal is being accomplished. I want them to have happy childhood memories.