Tag: childhood memories

Laughter: The Best Medicine

Laughter really is the best medicine. Too many of us have forgotten how to laugh, and have become far too serious. If you don’t believe me, take a look around you. There are too many unhappy people–you can see it in their body language and their faces. It’s not healthy. And life is too short not to make the most of it. I was born into a family that loved to laugh. They also liked to yell a lot, and many fond childhood memories are of family gatherings filled with loud Eastern European voices yelling over each other to be heard punctuated with bursts of hearty laughter. I remember my paternal grandmother laughing so uproariously that tears streamed down her face. Ah, those were the good old days. Everyone in my family has a sharp wit and wicked sense of humor, but my mother...

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Should, Could, Would: Life’s Lessons From a Little Girl

Should, could, would. I was in first grade when I learned those words. My teacher was terrifying, and I believed she became a teacher to torture helpless children. She wore a perpetual scowl on her craggy face, and the only time she smiled was when she was berating one of her hapless students until they cried so hard their teeth rattled or they wet their pants. Many (like myself), were known to do both. One cold winter afternoon, our teacher handed out sheets of paper with the words “should, could, and would” printed on them. She explained what the words meant. She also told us that they were advanced for us, but she didn’t care. She expected us to keep those papers, look at them every day, and learn how to spell them as well as how to use them in a sentence. With one final scowl, she...

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Life is Full of Bumps in the Road

Ah, life. It’s not always easy, but it is always wonderful. Even when we hit a few bumps along the way. After all, these bumps in the road of life help us build character. I had my first series of bumps when I was just five years old. That summer before my fifth birthday, our family attended a church picnic at the local amusement park. It was a beautiful day, we were at White Swan Park, and everyone was having a marvelous time. All of us kids were in Heaven as we ran around from ride to ride. Finally, we came to the roller coaster, “The Mad Mouse.” It was the pride of the park, and was always able to strike fear and excitement in the heart of every child. The roller coaster had individual cars rather than a chain of them linked together like a train. It also had a series of bumps at the...

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Memories, and Ghosts of Christmas Past

Memories are the best part of Christmas celebrations. And making those memories are even better. For most of us, Christmas has come and gone. But not for me, it hasn’t. My decorations are still up, along with my tree. My tree is the only one that lights up the neighborhood at night, and my neighbors are probably wondering why I haven’t given it up yet. However, I cling to my decorations as much as I cling to my memories, and the ghosts of Christmas past. I was born into a family that was lucky enough to celebrate Christmas twice in two weeks. My mother’s parents were from Eastern Europe, and were Serbian Orthodox. That’s a tribe (so to speak) that celebrates Christmas on January 7th instead of December 25th. As a child, it was a little confusing, no matter how many times my mother explained...

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Roller Coaster Ride

What kid doesn’t love an amusement park? The rides, the fun, the cotton candy. There was a great amusement park that was popular when I was a kid. A day at White Swan Park was every kid’s perfect outing. You just never knew what would happen there. The summer before my fifth birthday, our church had a family picnic at White Swan Park. All of the kids were in heaven as we ran around from ride to ride with our parents closely supervising us. We came to the pride of the park, the roller coaster, named “The Mad Mouse.” The roller coaster had individual cars, instead of a chain of cars linked together like a train. It also had a series of bumps at the end of the ride, each one a little bigger than the previous one. I was put in a car with my oldest sister. It was great...

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There’s a car in our living room.

It was late winter. It was late enough in the evening for it to be dark outside, but not so late that my 2 older sisters and I were in bed yet. I was 4 years old.  My mother was working on a project at the dining room table. My oldest sister was doing her homework at the kitchen table. My other older sister was in the corner bedroom that the three of us shared. My father wasn’t home. I had just put my pajamas on and walked into the dining room to my Mom, turned around, and asked her to snap up the back of my “jammies”. Just as she started, a horrible series of explosions rocked the house. I fell over backwards and could hear myself and my sisters screaming. My mother immediately reacted and yelled, “Girls, the house is blowing up! Quick, get your coats and shoes and...

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