My Earliest Childhood Memory

Day 3 of my June blogging challenge, and it’s again more difficult than I expected. The problem is that I have to sort between what are my actual recollections, and what are the images in my mind that are really more combinations of stories retold about me and old photographs. Rupert the dragon, falling out of a swing at the park, feeding my brother dirt cookies… all are impressions, but none with real stories to go with them. Here’s a memory that I know is all there.

I remember the Christmas just after my fourth birthday. I visited my grandparents in Baton Rouge. Santa showed up while my grandmother was in the kitchen baking. (I always recall seeing her wearing a navy blue or black apron covered with big pink cabbage roses.) Santa asked me to come and sit in his lap, so I did. And then it happened. I looked at Santa’s hand, and made the comment that his rings looked exactly like my Grandma Ellen’s rings. He also smelled just like her– a mix of floral perfume, cinnamon, and vanilla.

Yep, I totally called out Santa/ Grandma in front of my whole family. Because I was the oldest grandchild, that one incident spoiled Santa visits for all my cousins to come.

And thus began the long tradition of my comments ruining all the fun at our family gatherings.

What is your earliest childhood memory?


This World is Not Enough

What are your favorite kinds of stories? Do you enjoy science fiction, adventure, mystery and suspense, drama, westerns, romantic comedies, or history/ documentaries? While my moods may swing from one genre to another, one thing is constant. I like tales which take me out of my everyday life and thrust me into a new and exciting world.

Whether I’m reading a story about a feisty Texas lawyer dealing with a haunted house in the Caribbean, such as the Katie and Annalise series by Pamela Fagan Hutchins;

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watching Alias, which carries me to every corner of the globe;Click to see and purchase!

or blasting through Star Wars for the hundredth time, I want a story to take me somewhere new. I want to go someplace beyond my little plot in the country.

Click to see and purchase!I want to sail through space, drift on a sparkling blue sea, or jet from one clandestine meeting to another. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little piece of Texas. I love baking bread and taking care of my sweet family. I love singing at church and working on my projects. But sometimes I need a bit more adventure in my life. The safe kind—the type you find in books and film.

I don’t really want to come face-to-face with a ghost in my living room. I don’t want to be chased down dark alleys in Bangladesh by men with machine guns, and I certainly don’t want to be frozen in carbonite or chained to a Hutt. I prefer that my real-life adventures stay more on the level of a summer mission trip and planning a family reunion. I like daily adventures like painting my nails blue.

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My exciting blue nails.

Why do I yearn for more than that? Because my imagination is bigger than the limits of my daily routine. Because right and wrong lives in every realm, and good must conquer evil no matter where corruption resides. Because this world in which I live is not big and bright enough to hold all the hope I have for the future. Maybe it sounds a bit grandiose, but it’s true.

Storybooks, novels, movies and television series give us all the opportunity to stretch our imaginations. They give us windows to peek into the world of what-if. And by providing these glimpses – by allowing me to stretch my wings as well as my views – these stories help me to appreciate the world I have. They remind me that what I have is more than enough.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.