Archive for the ‘Memoir Writing’ Category

Day 7 – 365 Days of Memories – Was My Face Red!

Day 7 – 365 Days of Memories – Was My Face Red!

Question for Today:  What was Your Most Embarrassing Teen-Age Moment?

I decided before I began this journey down Memory Lane that  I didn’t want to write in a linear fashion that began with birth and continued through my life.  When a memory popped into my mind I wanted to grab it right then and commit it to paper.

So here goes…  My most embarrassing teen-age moment.

I think I was fifteen.  Maybe sixteen.

It involved a brand-new pair of jeans, summer, a softball game, and a slide into second base.

There were no discount stores in our tiny town then, just a store named “Hazel Harper’s”.

Hazel’s didn’t carry cheap clothes, and so for most of my teen-age life, after I began caring about how what I wore looked like, I wore zip-up, button top Lee Jeans from Hazel Harper’s.  In blue jeans color and in what was called “wheat jeans” in a lightish, whitish, wheat-colored, tan.

And tight.

There was no stretch in the jeans in those days, so you had to lay down on the bed to get them zipped and buttoned when they came out of the dryer.

But this brand-new pair of jeans weren’t my favorite “Lee” brand.   I had been watching the ads in the teen magazines, and so I decided to go for a different brand of jeans. Went to a store in Wichita, and came home with a brand that I’d never worn.

Because I have no desire to get on the wrong side of a lawsuit, that widely popular brand of jeans shall remain nameless here.

So I bought these new jeans, threw them in the washer and the dryer, laid down on the bed to get them zipped up and then snapped the top shut.

And this is where it matters.

I snapped the top shut.

And went off to play softball against a rival team.

The jeans fit fine. Snug, they moved with my every move, and towards the end of the game, I led off of first and headed to steal second.

The girl covering second had to tag me, not the base, for me to be out, and when I saw the ball land in her mitt, we both raced for second, and I slid down to the dirt, and slid in, feet first.

Safe.

Or thought I was.

Then I stood up.

My jeans – didn’t.

The top snap had snapped, and popped open.

The zipper slid down

My jeans just didn’t quite get all the way up when I did.

I grabbed denim as fast as I could. Yanked the jeans up with me by the belt loops.

Maybe the only one who saw my ‘tighty-whitey’ underwear, and my embarrassment, was the second base ump.

My best friend’s brother….

But he got a glimpse.

Maybe everyone did.

I was mortified.

No one said a word, not even the ump.

I don’t remember whether we won the game that day, or lost it.

But I do remember that I never wore those jeans again without a belt to keep them up where they belonged….

And I went back to my favorite brand of Lee jeans when I bought the next pair.

 

Day 6 – 365 Days of Memories – My Earliest Childhood Memory

Day 6 – 365 Days of Memories – My Earliest Childhood Memory

Today’s Question is;  What is Your Earliest Childhood Memory?

It was my intent to post a new question to write about every day for 2018.

Now, I’m writing the Memory for Day 6, and today is already January 13th.  I’m 7 days short already! So Sorry!  Maybe I should have tried for 52 weeks of memories!

One of my earliest memories was one between my oldest brother and I.  We were in the pasture, in the back of the old Chevy grain truck that Mom would later nickname “Wobble Knees.” It was cold.  We both had our heavy coats on, and we could see our breath, and the breath of the cattle that we were (well, he) was feeding, as he pitched ensilage over the side of the truck to our dairy cattle.

For some reason, he must have agreed to let me tag along. (Or maybe Mom begged him to take me.)  I had to be somewhere between two and three years old, so it was really nice that he let me go.

Dad usually fed the cattle. But that evening, my brother was the one pitching the silage down to them.  Maybe Dad was ill, but my brother was always good to help Dad, especially after Dad’s heart attack.

The reason that this sticks in my mind is because the question that I kept asking my brother was one that he didn’t answer, and couldn’t answer, to my toddler satisfaction.

I must have just been to Sunday School, and we must have studied how God made the world and everything in it, because the question that I continued to ask him was: “Who made God?”

His reply was that God was, and always had been, and always would be, and that no one made God.

My next question, and the next many questions, was: “But. Who. Made. God?”

I know that I asked him that question many times, and I remember that he was patient, if a little exasperated, by the time the cattle were fed.

I don’t remember how he got me sidetracked, nor if he ever convinced me that God was, and always had been, and always would be, and was the Creator, not the created.

In fact, it’s just that that little scene that has replayed in my memory throughout my life, and I’ve wondered if that exchange has played a part in my faith today.  And I’ve also wondered if my question might have helped trigger my brother’s desire to become a minister.

That last is a question that I can no longer ask him, as he went home to be with the Lord in December of 2012.

Day Five – 365 Days of Memories – Bartlett Arboretum and Best Friends Forever

Bartlett Arboretum and Best Friends Forever

Belle Plaine, Kansas, Bartlett Arboretum

Best Friends Forever Visit the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine Kansas

Sometimes, when you take a memory out and look at it again, and again, it gets better and better.  This time we four girls had together again after not being together for nearly twenty years, was just such a memory.

The day before we met up at our 50th Wellington High School Class of 66 Reunion. We shared hugs, and memories, photos of our kids and grandkids and got caught up.

We made plans the next day to meet and take in the beautiful Bartlett Arboretum and enjoy the lovely together before BFF Nancy and her hubby headed back home.

The day was one of those lovely Kansas Indian summer days in October that make you glad to live in Kansas. The sunlight was golden, the grasses still green and the leaves just beginning to turn gold.

It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful memory.

 

Day Four – Memory Four – Pollywog Hunting in a Buffalo Wallow

Day Four – Memory Four – Wading in a Buffalo Wallow

The challenge:

What is one of your favorite childhood memories involving water.  Preferably not in a swimming pool?  What was fun about it? What was special about it? Why do you remember it? Where were you?

I’m going to try to write up 365 memories this year.

So far I’ve been 2 hours late and a day behind.

It will probably get worse before January is over!

So lately I’ve been thinking about buffalo wallows.

The backyard I played in while growing up was a cow pasture.

Before it was a cow pasture, it was prairie. There were coyotes, antelope, prairie chickens, pheasant, quail – and buffalo.,

Our pasture had quite a few large depressions on a hillside between two creeks. Water gathered in the wallows and it would stay there for several days after a rain.

We loved to splash and wade in those buffalo wallows, squishing grass and mud between our toes with the water almost up to our knees. (we were pretty short then…)

Every spring, those buffalo wallows were full of little pollywogs or tadpoles.

We’d gather them up in canning jars, and cart them back to the house, where over several days’ time, we’d watch them turn into little baby frogs.

Once they turned into frogs we’d take them outside where they were thoroughly admired, their jumping skills assessed, and turn them loose.

And when the next spring rain came along, we’d start all over again with more pollywogs.

Caution:  I don’t know if any children will read this, or parents who might try to find pollywogs for their kids to watch grow, but when I googled Pollywogs to try to learn exactly how long it would take on average for a pollywog to turn into a frog, I found that frogs and tadpoles can transmit diseases to humans.

Two scary diseases, such as salmonella and tuberculosis.  (Check out the article here: http://frogsource.com/article/from-frogs-humans-disease-transmission

The article indicates that the salmonella can be a lot riskier for younger children, so I feel pretty lucky that we didn’t end up with any bad side effects from all the fun we had with pollywogs!

 

 

 

Day Three – Memory Three – What’s in a Name – Part Three

Day Three – 365 Days of Memories – What’s in a Name – Part Three

This will be my last post (for awhile) on names!

I promise!

It just seems only right to add the meaning and/or origin of my husband’s family, and the last name that I’ve shared with his family since we said our “I do’s” in 1968.

The KLINE name…

According to Ancestry.com, Kline is an American spelling of the name Klein, Kleine, Kleyn or Klehn, and can have German, Dutch, and even Jewish origins.

It is probably a nickname or topographic name, and could be derived from ‘wedge’ or ‘wooden peg.’

My husband’s family came from Germany.  Their name was Klein when they arrived in America, and was spelled “Klein” for a few generations in Pennsylvania.

Just why it changed to the “Kline” spelling, nor who decided that it should change, I am not certain.

I’m also not certain if all branches of the family, or siblings in the family, changed their name at the same time.

According to www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Kline, the word Klein meant “small” and was a descriptive nickname originally given to someone who was small or short.  It could also have been used to describe someone in the family who was younger.

Interesting, because my husband was about 5’6” tall, and his father was about the same height.   Makes me wonder, as I write this, how many generations of my husband’s Kline family were short in stature.

 

 

Day Two – Memory Number Two – What’s in a Name – Part Two

Day Two – Memory/Memoir Number Two  – What’s in a Name, Part Two

OK, so my Day Two is at least an hour, maybe even two hours, late getting posted, but what do you do when the bathroom sink overflows and goes everywhere?

You mop first and write second!

When I started my memory writing journey, I decided to write about the name my parents gave me, and how it almost caused a rift between my mom and her mom.

Today, I decided to continue with the name game, and tell you that as a family historian and genealogist, I looked up the meaning of my maiden name – Stocking.

Not that I would have had to, the Stocking Family Historians who came before me had already done that and told us what it meant.  But I wanted to double check it for myself.

So, what is the origin of the Stocking name?

It isn’t what you might think.

It has nothing to do with “sox” or hosiery, although Sox was my brother’s nickname all through his life, and a few called me that in high school.

When my family hunted up the name, they found that it originally was “Stoccin” and was a “place name” referring to a topographic feature.

It meant someone who lived in a clearing in the woods.

According to Ancestry.com, it is Middle English and means “ground cleared of stumps.”

Interesting thought, that my early ancestors in England must have lived in a clearing in a forest. See more about the Stocking name at Ancestry here

At Surname Database, the spellings were:  Stocken, Stockin, Stocking, and Stockings. The Surname Database stated that it referred to a place or people that might have lived near stocks or punishment stocks.

According to Surname Database, the Stocking name might also refer to a monastery cell, a tree trunk used as a bridge, a boundary marker, or the place where a local council met.

Interesting, and surprising, as I’d never in all my searches found a meaning besides “a clearing in the woods”.

Want to know more about your own surname?

Google your surname origins and check it out at Ancestry.com, Surname Database, and the Coat of Arms and Family Crests store.

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