Nostalgic Moments From Days Gone By

I miss the days of being so young, when life was simple and you never had to worry whether if something was true or not true. To a child it is always true until it’s proven that it’s not.

I always had such a big imagination. It often drove my brother insane. (Sorry, Shaun). I was forever and always coming up with stories, even before I could hold a pencil to write them down.

I had a green chalkboard I would lean up against the bed in my room and then line up all the stuffed animals in rows. There I taught all those little stuffed bunnies, kittens and puppies how to read. They learned their ABC’s, addition and subtraction every day, the same time I did. They weren’t real good at writing on the board. I had to do that for them.

Then at night we all gathered on the bed and I read them a bedtime story. Danny the Dinosaur comes to mind. Then there was, of course, Dr. Suess and the Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. Although, Mother Goose often made me run and ask questions about why on EARTH would someone put a cradle in the treetop? And WHY won’t they fix Humpty Dumpty again? Didn’t he know better than to sit on that wall after he fell off the first time? At that point my mom would march me back to bed and turn off the light. Then I would tell myself a story until my brother would tell me to shut up. Guess I was an annoying little kid at times.

Later when we got puppies, I had a puppy named Butch. He was my very first pet. Butch was a little brown dog of questionable heritage, but he was smart. He loved to listen to me and since I never was quiet this was a good thing! I often put Butch in front of the chalkboard too. I tried and tried to teach that dog his ABC’s and math, but he just didn’t see the point. He kept grabbing my little stuffed bunnies and tried to go under the bed. I did finally teach him manners though and we were both glad of that.

We had a candy store in our neighborhood. It was a house that had a big front window and the living room made into a little soda shop/candy store. We loved to walk there on the days we could. You could go in there and crawl up on the bar stool and order a Root Beer float. They had every kind of lollipop you could think of in that store too. I liked the rock candy. It looked like crystals, but just tasted like sugar. Then of course there were pop rocks. You put half the pack in your mouth then your eyes watered from all the popping and sizzling.

There are a few other things that stand out in childhood memory. I remember Tommy, our mailman. He was TERRIFIC! Tommy always stopped to talk to me. He taught me how to do a puppet show and even how to act a bit. He would come in and get a drink at the daycare where my mom worked and hunt me down to listen to my latest tale. Then laugh when I told him about things that happened at school that day. On the day of my first puppet show at the daycare, Tommy was there. He helped me set up the tape recorder for music and gave me a pep talk. Then when it was done he was the person that clapped the loudest.

I also remember Mr. Robert the milkman. He brought milk and half and half to the daycare a few times a week. On those days in the summer, I would run out to his truck and he would give me rides around the parking lot while I drank the little carton of half and half, or ate the popsicle he’d brought me. He secretly gave me my very first ice milk/ ice cream. I wasn’t supposed to have milk because of asthma. Dairy always made it worse, yet the half and half and ice milk didn’t bother me. I really loved hanging onto that pole and zooming at the fast pace of about 5 miles an hour around that parking lot.

I guess by now you are wondering what the point is to all of this, besides just walking down memory lane. The point is, that it only takes a moment to impact someone’s life forever. The people that impacted me the most I didn’t see every day, but they still took just a few minutes out of their busy schedules to be there, to hug me, to offer a kind word, and to encourage me along the way. I will never forget them. These are some of the memories I cherish the most. Take time to make memories each day. You can’t get time back once it’s spent and time on the computer or in front of the television is not the same as a walk in the park or sitting on the porch watching the sunset with someone you care about.

Cherry Coley (c)

Free To Laugh

     It’s okay to laugh at yourself, but never let doubt settle in your heart.

     I learned long ago not to take life so seriously. It was a good thing since I wasn’t the brightest, most graceful,    popular, or prettiest girl around. No, I was the kid that tried to be cool and straddle a chair backwards in 7th grade, slid down it, caught my jeans and ripped a pie shaped hole in the seat. Also, the girl who had to go to the principal’s office and instead of going home, or changing, had to wait while they sewed up the seat of my pants with what looked to be, men’s boxers. I had to wear those jeans the rest of the day.

I was also the girl who tried to jump the ditch outside the school one day and got caught in a strong gust of wind, which landed me right in the middle of swamp water. Swamp water that quickly seeped and soaked my jeans all the way up to my knees. I was terrified of my mom so I rolled those soaked jeans up, took off my slimy, green shoes and walked all carefree to the car, smiling all the way and laughing about running barefoot in the “park”. Yes, I DID hide my shoes, and had gotten a plastic bag to put them in. Yes, sadly, I DID forget about them after throwing them in the bottom of my closet, until something started smelling like the Swamp Thing in my room. I didn’t sit down the night my mom found them.

Middle school was really enlightening in many ways. It’s when you learn a bit of who you are, but everything seems confusing. For me, it was when I met some of the people, that have had great impact on my life.  It’s also when I learned to laugh at myself.

So many times lately I have seen people walking around frowning in the morning, especially when I worked downtown. Whether in deep concentration or in anticipation of a long, hard day, I’ve often wondered if they know the expression they carry. I wonder what kind of morning they’ve had and where they are headed, with such serious expressions.

Do I want to live in a world full of musical song and dance with everyone laughing joyously? No, frankly that would get on my nerves within a few minutes. Much more pleasant though is to make an extra cup of coffee to share with a friend in the morning, to hold the elevator door when you see someone rushing to catch it, to enjoy the little things happening around you at any given moment.

I wore my coffee to work last Wednesday, I stepped down on the stair wrong and squeezed the Starbucks coffee cup I was holding. Like a fresh fountain it arched up, then rained down from my hair to my shoes. I was wearing turquoise, with spreading brown spots. I entertained my co-workers that day, but was still thankful for the black sweater I had left at work.

Stuff happens, life happens, just take it, adjust how you look at, decide on your attitude and keep going.  I’ve learned that if you laugh, others will laugh with you and of course. smiling never hurts the environment.

Cherry Coley (c)