“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


What's Your First Memory?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Blond Girl asked this question in yesterday's post. As her friend, I feel that I should answer it. Ok, and it gives me something to do at 4:45 am since I can't sleep anyway. Hopefully the sound of keys tapping won't wake up my sweet sleeping Geek. He's a very light sleeper and it's happened before.

I suspect most, if not all of my early memories are a hybrid of actual memories and stories my mom tells. She loves to talk about me (I am an only child) and she loves to walk down Memory Lane on a regular basis so I hear stories about myself from her lips quite often. I usually try to judge if it is my memory or hers by whether or not I have a picture of the event stored away in my mind. Of course, this is not a guarantee either since I visualize pretty much everything I hear or read.

I have two very early memories and I am not sure which came first. One is of pictures lining hallways, like in a gallery. What makes this memory unique is that the pictures were all made of colorful "Indian Corn". I told Hot Rod Mama about this once, and she said that was the Corn Palace somewhere in South Dakota. We visited it when I was little but I'm not sure how old I was.

The other early memory I have is from when I was three. It was a blizzardy day and Hot Rod Mama took me out to the Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) which I think was a few blocks away. I remember walking out the door and thinking that the wind might actually blow me away. There is no fear in the memory, although I might have been scared at the time - I don't know. I remember being on a sled as she pulled me across the snow to the store.

While we were there she let me pick a book. It was a Little Golden Book with a mostly blue cover and that definitive gold foil binding. Like Blond Girl, I don't remember the name of the book. I don't even remember the contents of it. I've always loved books. Mom says when I was a baby I would throw all the dolls and toys out of my playpen and sit and "read" a book (even if it was upside down).

The next thing I remember (which Mom has told me was the same day) was sitting on my bed next to her and reading the book. She let me do the reading as she underlined all the words I could read by myself. I do remember seeing the lines under those words as she wrote them in, so I'm pretty sure this is a genuine memory, but HRM does like to tell this story. She loves to brag about how smart I was. I say it's because she read to me constantly.

Well, it's now 5:11 am and I've been awake since 3:45. I think I'll go try to get a few more zzzzs before waking up for good.

Or maybe I'll go read a book....


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