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E.G. Gammon
03-30-2005, 05:37 PM
My happiest childhood memory would have to be when I got my computer. Ok, so I was like 14 at the time, but I guess it counts. My family has always been on welfare, surviving from paycheck to paycheck. Well, Christmas came along and I wanted a computer (one that didn't need a DOS disc and didn't take 30 minutes to print out 1 page of writing). At that time, I realized how things were (financially) and I wasn't expecting to get one. We opened all of our gifts and there were 3 huge boxes left (which I thought were my brother's). I was shocked when my parents told me they were mine. I opened them and there it was - a real computer. I was so happy I almost cried. It turned out my parents maxed out one of their credit cards and my grandparents sold one of their cars and took out a loan at a bank and they all pulled together to buy it for me. For them to do all of that just for me, really made me appreciate my family and made me realize that even though we don't have a lot of money, we are one of the richest families in the world.

Sarita
03-30-2005, 05:56 PM
I love this question. And while my childhood was not peaches and cream, of course I have some beautiful memories. Here's my chart topper:

My older brother was evil, trust me! My family didn't have much money, so when my mom came home with a Cabbage Patch Doll for me, I was in shock. I was 8 and didn't really like dolls, but for some reason I really wanted one of those (probably because everyone else had one? ) So, for about 6 months, this doll went everywhere with me. I even remember her name, Babs Missy. Is that awful or what? Don't worry, I didn't pick it out, they came with names. One day it was raining and I loved the rain, still do. But if I wanted to play outside, I would have to leave Babs inside, since I didn't want to ruin her. I was outside sitting up in a tree (we built a fort in it and I was reading under the fort so as not to soak my book), when my brother called me. He said he wanted me to come inside and play with him and Jason Martini. Wow! I couldn't believe it. I jumped out of that tree so fast and ran into the house, it was a split level. At the top of the steps, in my dad's recliner, was Babs, with a spoon in her hand and something that looked like chocolate smeared all over her face and hands. Behind the chair, my brother, in his best Cabbage Patch voice, said "Mmmm, I love dog poop, it tastes SOOOOO good!" Of course I screamed and cried and thought I would die. When my dad got home that night, I told him what happened. He made my brother clean the whole doll, scrubbing her face extra hard. And since all the scrubbing took the shine off her face, he made my brother put makeup on her. He had my mom's makeup case and everyone watched carefully as he added each layer, foundation, blush, eye shadow.... And if it wasn't quite right, my dad would make him do it again.

Now, I know this sounds like torment, but it was really great watching my brother have to put make up on that doll. And a few years later, I started to think about this occasion, it really cracked me up. I tried to imagine how my brother got that poop all over her. I bet he had it on him too! That coupled with the makeup really made it worthwhile, even though I never touched that doll again (ewwww).

SRHowen
03-30-2005, 07:29 PM
You mean we are supposed to have happy memories of childhood?

I have been sitting here trying to think of a happy memory. I have memories going back to when I was very very small--but I can't think of any that were pure happy. There are some that start out that way, but then in the long run got tarnished.

Like the computer story above, I wanted a swing set. We lived in a small two room apartment, no money, often no food, and one year I saw the very one I wanted, it had this tree house sorta thing on the top of it. I was surprised when my parents got one for me. But when we moved, I found out it really belonged to the downstairs land lords--years later I found out that my mom had sold it to them when we moved. (my dad had just died--that's why we moved) My grandmother had paid for it in the first place.

I guess the one memory that I always go back to, that is there, a kind of comfort--is one of my dad taking me to a lake in WI in early spring. He taught me about the spirits and how to honor them and about waking the world after winter. And then we'd rush into the still very cold lake (in May) and run back out. Our spring greeting done.

Even now when I go back to WI, I go to that lake and sit there in early spring and listen for my father's voice.

Shawn

rhymegirl
03-30-2005, 08:04 PM
I think those are all nice memories so far.

mommie4a
03-30-2005, 08:13 PM
Becoming an adult. (I couldn't resist! sorry!)


Saritams8
Now, I know this sounds like torment, but it was really great watching my brother have to put make up on that doll. And a few years later, I started to think about this occasion, it really cracked me up. I tried to imagine how my brother got that poop all over her. I bet he had it on him too! That coupled with the makeup really made it worthwhile, even though I never touched that doll again (ewwww).

I think that is a fabulous story, Sara. I'm a girl between two brothers and you are so right, they can be evil. But I did get my younger brother in trouble a few times - those are kind of good memories! http://www.discodelic.netfirms.com/devil-nahnah.gif

Maryn
03-30-2005, 08:17 PM
My dad was a busy man, a high-stress job in the dawn of the computer industry but with hours like Microsoft (60/week or more) but a paycheck more like a teacher. We never went to restaurants.

As an adult, I see that part of the reason for those long hours was that he loved it but that another part was that my parents' marriage wasn't so good. Work was a more pleasant place for him to be than home with a distant wife and us kids keeping him from watching Star Trek because The Monkees was on at the same time.

Starting sometime around junior high, on our birthdays we got the option of a family dinner of our choosing or dinner out with Dad, just the two of us, then home for the birthday cake. (I bet it was my mom's brainchild, since we didn't see him as much as she thought we should.) I always chose Dad. I no longer remember what we talked about or any other details, but I remember feeling very, very special in his eyes that one night a year.

Maryn

Sarita
03-30-2005, 08:32 PM
I think that is a fabulous story, Sara. I'm a girl between two brothers and you are so right, they can be evil. But I did get my younger brother in trouble a few times - those are kind of good memories!

Thanks Jill. It's definitely a family favorite. That and the time I ate all the crab meat he took hours to shell. WARNING: never ask me to watch your food!

mommie4a
03-30-2005, 08:39 PM
How about differences in music!? My brothers and I had some classic battles in that area.

Sorry to be twisting this thread with my good memories of bad things I did!We might need another thread, like...say...childhood guilty pleasures?http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v113/xxSerendipityxx/clap2.gif

jdkiggins
03-30-2005, 08:45 PM
What a great thread!



It took me a little longer to pick a good childhood memory because my childhood was really wonderful. I have so many good childhood memories it was difficult to pick just one of the happiest. It wasnít until I became a bit older that things began to go haywire. :)

I am the youngest of three children and grew up on a farm. My oldest brother is ten years older and my other brother is four years older. Both never seemed to be around much so being the youngest I became my fatherís shadow.

Everywhere he went, I went. Whether it be hoeing the fields and planting seeds in the spring, harvesting in the fall, feeding the numerous animals, gathering eggs, or climbing the ladder to help my dad put on new shingles, I was his sidekick.

When I wasnít with my dad, I was cooking, baking and selling the farm produce with my mom.

I focus on all those wonderful memories especially now that heís gone. My mom, who will be 82 in October, loves when I talk about my memories as a child.

I think these next events were more funny than happy. I canít count how many times I made my mom laugh recounting little scenes of younger days. Just the other day we talked about the 600-pound pig my dad raised and how my dad let me ride it. The funniest thing about the pig was when it broke out of the pen. His back must have had an itch, because we had all been in the breakfast nook eating and looked out to see my parents Chevy Impala rocking back and forth. Then there was the time my dad put a railing on the porch and my younger brother got his head stuck between the rails.

My mom suggested I write a book with these humorous stories, so I began writing them. So far, there are 50 stories in a folder titled Life on the Farm. Some of them, I have to admit; you just had to be there. :)

tfdswift
03-30-2005, 10:05 PM
Where I grew up, (way back in the boonies), there were no computers, video games, or even alot a store-bought toys. But every summer we got to go and stay with my great grandmother. They had a huge farm but there was no electricity or indoor plumbing. I would dress in my grandmother's hand-me-downs (which were old-fashioned dresses and aprons). The corn crib was our playhouse and our favorite chore was walking down to the spring to get water. But the most fun came from a whittled down stick with a peice of leather wired to it. It was a flyswatter and we would spend hours out on the porch waiting to smash the little buggers with that peice of leather.

My time spent there has helped tremendously in my writing, because it was like going back in time. I still treasure those memories. http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/15/15_2_120.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZSYYYYYYBKUS)

~~Tammy

BradyH1861
03-30-2005, 10:27 PM
We didn't have a lot of money when I was growing up. However, I had a relatively happy childhood. I have a lot of fond memories. Our across the street neighbor was a fireman. He and my mom had grown up together and had actually dated before she married my dad. (he and my dad were friends too) Anyway, he used to bring the fire truck by the house and give me rides around the block and stuff. Sometimes when my mom had to run errands during the day and he was working, she would drop me off at his station and he would watch me. (and let me go on calls with them too.....understand, this would NEVER happen now) The best thing is that I now work out of that very same station. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories. I joined the department when I was nineteen. Nick was killed in the line of duty two years later. But when I was young, I never would have thought that I would one day be doing the same job as my hero....and getting to work with him too.

I have other more normal memories too, but the above is what I always think of when I look back on my childhood.

Brady H.

sthrnwriter
03-31-2005, 12:08 AM
My happiest childhood memory was went I went to disneyworld in Florida. My dad actually did something right for once. We drove from Texas to Florida and stayed in a hotel in Daytona. We went to Disneyworld first. And yes I rode the Teacups as well as the Dumbo ride. I was only like 12 at the time. Anyways, I rode splash mountain. This was back when that ride was brand new in the park. The only thing I hated about this trip was that we only spent a day and you can't really do and ride everything you want in a day. It rained when it got dark and we had to run from like one end of the park to get to the ferry which takes you to the parking lot. I think the one thing I'll always remember about that day is the fireworks. Even though it was raining they still did the fireworks above the Magic Kingdom.

After Disneyworld, we went to Seaworld and the Kennedy Space Center. They weren't as fun but at least I got to see Shamu and baby shamu as well as eat space ice cream. So it wasn't a total loss. The end of the trip wasn't so pleasant. On the way home, we suffered sunburn pains from spending an entire day swimming in the ocean (without sunscreen).

Cabria
03-31-2005, 12:26 AM
I have great childhood memories. I was close to both parents growing up but especially my father (where I was the oldest of six girls), therefore I spent a lot of time with him. We would go fishing together, flying (he had his private pilot's license), motorcycling (on his Harley), snowmobiling, and we often took long walks together - it was with my father that I shared some of my deepest conversations. He died tragically at the young age of 48 in a helicopter crash. We all still miss him deeply but the memories are good, and that's what we have to keep.....

Debbie :Sun:

rhymegirl
03-31-2005, 02:34 AM
I had really happy and memorable Christmases when I was little. The one that stands out is when I was maybe five or six and I found my favorite doll back under the tree. It had gone off to the "doll hospital" to be sewn back up after an "injury." What a lovely surprise that was!!

jdkiggins
03-31-2005, 04:09 AM
rhymegirl, that's a cute story.

zizban
03-31-2005, 04:20 AM
I had a rather unhappy childhood; my father was a very draconian in his child rearing methods but despite this, I enjoyed the time we had together travelling; he had to travel a lot for his job and he'd take me along, as his navigator. Saw vast swaths of the country because of him. Those some of my best memories.

rhymegirl
03-31-2005, 06:27 AM
rhymegirl, that's a cute story.


Thanks, Joanne. I liked your story, too.

BlueTexas
03-31-2005, 08:12 AM
My parents moved almost every year when I was a kid, and so I spent summers at my Grandmother's house so they could move without having to watch the kid. I took swimming lessons every summer until there were no more lessons, and then I was a lifeguard there. I still love that lake. Grandma's house and the lake were really the only constants in my childhood.

My best memory of the lake is when I'd sneak out of the house late at night and walk along the shore. There was an old sinking cemetery at one edge, and I'd scare myself witless trying to see how close I could get to it, alone, in the middle of the night. Not so close :)

And, since Grandma's house burned down when I was a teenager (accidental, but my fault...sucks to be me at family reunions..."Is this the granddaughter who burned down the house, or is it the red-headed one over there?"), the lake is the only tangible thing left from my childhood, really. Y'know, fire and all. Bright side? No embarassing naked toddler pictures :) Even brighter side? You can't burn down a lake!

Funny how my best and worst memories are so closely linked...

E.G. Gammon
03-31-2005, 08:25 AM
BlueTexas,
Your life sounds like autobiography material...;)


Great thread, keep the stories coming. They are a lot of fun to read!

BlueTexas
03-31-2005, 08:34 AM
BlueTexas,
Your life sounds like autobiography material...;)



Yep, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. You should meet my family...endless crazy people stories. Course, they don't know they're the crazy ones, but that's ok, too. As long as I'm a few states away....

BradyH1861
03-31-2005, 08:52 AM
And, since Grandma's house burned down when I was a teenager (accidental, but my fault....

Care to share how you did it? If not, I understand. I once caught the microwave on fire at the station. I still haven't lived that one down yet.


Brady H.

BlueTexas
03-31-2005, 05:56 PM
Care to share how you did it? If not, I understand. I once caught the microwave on fire at the station. I still haven't lived that one down yet.


Brady H.

Three of my friends and I were having a sleepover in the basement, which was crammed full of cardboard boxes holding forty years of junk. It was so full there were pathways winding though the boxes to get to the different sections...a maze with holes for the furnace, washing machine, path to the door. And the hollowed out space I'd turned into a bedroom...hanging fabric seperated it from the boxes. We'd stayed up all night, and had lit a candle in the window. I was the last one awake, and forgot to put the candle out.

We're pretty sure the cat knocked the candle down, caught the curtains on fire. By the time we woke up, the cardboard boxes were lighting each other up like so many dominoes headed for the furnace.

When the furnace went, the roof shook and a chunk of roof fell into the back of Grandpa's pick up truck, which held dynamite and blasting caprs for his drilling & blasting business. The truck went boom, and the bushes ignited the side wall of the house.

Grandpa retired from the blasting business after that.

There were six of us in the house, and we all got out. The neighbor called 911, and as we stood barefoot in the February snow, fire trucks started to arrive.

But the first three trucks were from the wrong jurisdiction, and so they stood with us, watching the house burn, waiting for the truck with the right jurisdiction to arrive.


What a stupid law. The house was a complete loss.

One of the fire trucks was from a volunteer company, and there was a kid from my school with them. I remember him asking if everything was ok. Firemen watching a house burn shouldn't ask that!

zizban
03-31-2005, 07:12 PM
When I was 13 I got the firebug and used to set small fires in the woods behind the old school. Well, one got out of control. I don't know how much I burned but I never touched matches again.

BradyH1861
03-31-2005, 07:42 PM
The wrong jurisdiction? That is a strange law. This was in Texas? I am completely unaware of that. It could have something to do with the mutual aid agreements in the area though. We respond outside our jurisdiction if we are requested, and if we get there first we go to work. We leave the jurisdictional disputes to the police. They like to get into those with each other. But not every agency operates that way. Some fire departments do not work and play well with others. As city firefighers, we often respond to the county to assist the volunteer FDs. Our city insurance will not cover us if we go without being requested. But of course, we would never go without being requested. Volunteers operate a little differently sometimes though. But I could not sit idly by and watch a house burn. Jurisdiction be damned.

Brady H.

Rob-rite
03-31-2005, 07:45 PM
Do you know, I've been avoiding this thread because I'm having difficulty trying to think of a childhood memory that stands out as being truly happy.

That's not to say I had an unhappy childhood; it's just, it strikes me as being unremarkable (o-oh, therapy session -- where's the couch).

One abiding memory is going to see Santa and on opening the present he gave me, being really excited that it was a wind-up motor-boat. I couldn't wait to get home to have a bath, (the only time that probably ever happened) to play with it. My happiness soon turned to dismay when I discovered that the little metal key you'd use to wind it up was missing! I was totally devastated...gutted.

So really, it's not a happy memory at all, it's a sad one. Never mind. If think of one I'll let you know...

rhymegirl
03-31-2005, 10:16 PM
I didn't mean to make anyone feel bad with this thread. But maybe that's why we're all writers. Unhappy stuff from the past has made us what we are today.

I have unhappy childhood memories, too, but I try to focus on the happy ones. My school life wasn't so great; but my family life was very good. That's why I try so hard to provide good memories for my own children. I want them to look back some day and say, "Boy, I had a great childhood!"

zizban
03-31-2005, 10:23 PM
I am trying to give my daughter a happy childhood and at the same time, keep her from running to a therapist to talk about it when she's 30. Thin line there. ;)

arrowqueen
04-01-2005, 02:53 AM
(Reminds self never to invite Blue for a sleepover.)

arrowqueen
04-01-2005, 03:05 AM
Some of mine are:

Going up Lord Stair's estate and picking armfuls of bluebells.
The year of the great frog explosion. (Millions of them!)
Outgrowing Santa but being allowed to fill my younger sister and brother's stockings.

BlueTexas
04-01-2005, 04:57 AM
The wrong jurisdiction? That is a strange law. This was in Texas? I am completely unaware of that. It could have something to do with the mutual aid agreements in the area though. We respond outside our jurisdiction if we are requested, and if we get there first we go to work. We leave the jurisdictional disputes to the police. They like to get into those with each other. But not every agency operates that way. Some fire departments do not work and play well with others. As city firefighers, we often respond to the county to assist the volunteer FDs. Our city insurance will not cover us if we go without being requested. But of course, we would never go without being requested. Volunteers operate a little differently sometimes though. But I could not sit idly by and watch a house burn. Jurisdiction be damned.

Brady H.

It was actually in Connecticut, New London County, to be exact. I don't know how the law worked, but I'll never forget seeing those idle firemen when the house was burning. If I remember right, one was a volunteer company, and the other two trucks were from neighboring towns. That's the only bitterness left of the whole mess, but oh well. Life goes on.

BlueTexas
04-01-2005, 05:01 AM
I didn't mean to make anyone feel bad with this thread. But maybe that's why we're all writers. Unhappy stuff from the past has made us what we are today.

I have unhappy childhood memories, too, but I try to focus on the happy ones. My school life wasn't so great; but my family life was very good. That's why I try so hard to provide good memories for my own children. I want them to look back some day and say, "Boy, I had a great childhood!"

I may have got to talking about bad things happening, but it certainly wasn't a downer for me. I mean, bad things happen, but it turned out fine in the end. Grandma got to build her dream house in her hometown, where she was able to take care of her ailing mother. It's actually a bit of a family joke now...sort of. It brought about good life lessons...stuff is stuff, and use the good china more often, before it's gone.

What I'm trying to say is that the thread didn't dredge up old unhappiness...

BlueTexas
04-01-2005, 05:02 AM
Some of mine are:

Going up Lord Stair's estate and picking armfuls of bluebells.
The year of the great frog explosion. (Millions of them!)
Outgrowing Santa but being allowed to fill my younger sister and brother's stockings.

I bet the frog explosion would make a good story...I'm picturing Cannery Row here.

BradyH1861
04-01-2005, 06:13 AM
It was actually in Connecticut, New London County, to be exact. I don't know how the law worked, but I'll never forget seeing those idle firemen when the house was burning. If I remember right, one was a volunteer company, and the other two trucks were from neighboring towns. That's the only bitterness left of the whole mess, but oh well. Life goes on.

Man! I'm terribly sorry for your experience. Guys like that wouldn't make it in my company. Captain Brady would give them a swift kick in the seat of their pants. I proffer you my condolences on behalf of the profession.

(and I hope you sued them. they deserved no less)

Brady H.

BlueTexas
04-01-2005, 08:12 AM
Brady, sent you a PM.