Spirits

So last night, I watched the movie  “The House of the Spirits” (based on Isabelle Allende’s book).  And today, a ghost spoke to me.  Perhaps there is a connection?

I was napping a bit this afternoon, and I woke to a very familiar voice telling me that I am sleeping too much.  I replied that it is just because I am so tired.  As I awoke, I felt joy, because I had thought I had forgotten that voice, would never hear it again, yet there it was admonishing me (with a smile that I could also hear) for wasting my day in sleep.  Thank you, ghost, for giving me back that wonderful voice!

When next I need  it, I shall watch that movie again.

Why I Never Had a Boyfriend.

So the other day, I walked into my local and was greeted with a song.  An extremely awful song.  A song I had hoped never to have to hear again, ever.  I almost turned around and walked out, but I needed my morning cuppa, so I asked never to have to hear them singing that song again.  They stopped, I sipped, life went on.  Except.

The hateful song took me WAY back, to my almost forgotten early teen years.  I so very badly wanted to have a boyfriend.  All the other girls had boyfriends, I was certain.  Every girl except me had a boyfriend.  Life was simply not fair.  I thought about the situation almost constantly and finally came to a conclusion about why I did not have that boyfriend.  It had to be because there was no beautiful song about a girl with my name.  All the other girl’s names were in lovely songs, romantic songs, songs that would make any boy want to be those girls’ boyfriends.  But no song with my name.  I longed for such a song, dreamed about how fine life would be when my song had been written and was on the radio for all the boys to hear.

Well.  Some wishes should just never come true.  A song was written about a girl with my name.  It was awful.  Horrible.  The most terrible song ever sung.  I cringed when I heard it and wanted to change my name.

How could any boy dream about me after hearing “my” song?  It went:  Oh Sandy, woe woe woe woe, Saaaaaandy.  Come on.  All the boys ran away from me, and I could not blame them. I could not lift my head up.

So now you know why I never had a boyfriend.  I told the folks at my local if I ever heard them sing that song again, I would never ever return.  So far so good.  No woe.

Inflation

Today, I happened to think about a long-ago trip to the 5 and 10 cent store with my Mom and my sister.  What brought that to mind I do not know, but I did have to smile, remembering those visits to the local “five and dime” store.  These stores had everything–the true “general store” of olden days.  We would wander through clothing, sewing fabrics and notions, linens and blankets, cosmetics–a whole world of things that we could buy if only we had some money (mostly, my sis and I spent our meager allowances really fast).  The store I am remembering was at the old Northgate “mall” in Seattle–before it was enclosed and became fancy.  It was a pretty big place, or so it seemed at the time, and it took a lot of time to meander through it, which is what I recall mostly doing.  Mom probably always had something she needed to buy, but I don’t remember ever going into the store and straight to an item and then out.  No, we would spend a long time browsing the inventory.

I recall one time–I was maybe somewhere around 8 to 10 years old–I left the store with a packet of five sticks of gum that I had not paid for.  When we got outside the store, I showed my prize to my sister.  Good grief, you’d have thought I killed someone from her reaction!  She was really mad at me and made me go back into the store and put the gum back where I got it.  I think I was lucky that day.  I know I never again in my whole life ever left a store without paying.

Nowadays, we have dollar stores.  Not the same.

Does a caged (or not) blogger sing?

Yesterday I had a flashback to my fifth-grade talent show.  Why now, I don’t know, but I had been thinking about singing, and that talent show was very nearly the end of my singing career.  It actually should have been, but oh well.  So, here’s the story of my silent singing life from the fifth grade (with one exception) on.

I had been learning to play the piano.  This was because my mom played the piano and she wanted a piano and her excuse to get one was that I should learn to play.  So instead of being outside playing with all the neighbor kids, I was stuck inside practicing scales.  It was all right, really, but not always.  So anyway, our fifth grade class was throwing a talent show, and I decided to play and sing April Showers.  I practiced and practiced and as the show neared, I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.

But then.  As I was belting out the song accompanied by my heavy-fingered piano playing, my mom came in the room and sat down on the bench beside me.  She put her arm around my shoulders, leaned in close and said, “it might be better if you just played the piano and did not sing”.  Well.  I was absolutely devastated.  Not sing?  Was she trying to tell me I was a terrible singer?  Yes, it turned out, she was.  (Much later, I did realize how very difficult it must have been for mom to say this to me.  She cared so much she broke our hearts.  Such love.)  I cried.  I yelled, “no, I want to sing!”.  But deep down, I must have known she was right.  At the show, I played April Showers on the piano, but did not sing.  Life went on.  No singing heard from me at all.

Then.  Fast forward to my freshman year of college (at a university across the state from my home).  Two friends and I heard about a talent contest.  One of us played the guitar.  The other two of us were singers (OK, I lied to them).  This was during the Kingston Trio era.  So, we practiced our song–Maria (the one about the wind).  The big night came for auditions.  Our guitarist did well.  No other comment is required.

That, then, was it.  No further attempts to sing, not even in the shower.  But, not so long ago, I sang Maria to my sister.  She is still hurting.  Three strikes.  Even the cat ran away to hide.  Mom was right all along.  Of course.

 

Caravans

Funny how some little tidbit from the long ago comes to mind for no particular reason.  My mom and dad had a circle of friends who all got married and had kids about the same time. So all of us kids grew up together, and while we went our separate ways, our parents remained the closest of friends until one by one each left the world. Anyway, not being the wealthy sort of folks, all of these families would vacation by going camping–relatively cheap, and in our part of the world, there were lots of places to go.  We would be anywhere from three to six families of varying sizes, and we had some favorite places we camped at.  It is not so clear that those places were always happy to see us, but we were always happy to see them.

There are many things that I remember about those days, but the tidbit that popped up today had to do with the drives home.  Especially when we all came home from Lake Chelan State Park (where, by the way, many wonderful things happened that I probably ought not mention right now, as it would be a lengthy side trip–but “here comes Beetlebaum” stands out). Anyway again, as it turned out, my family was the first to turn off the main drag to go up the hill to home after a four to five hour drive from Chelan.  But for whatever reason, everyone was still together, each family in its car following the leader, which was generally my dad, maybe because we would be the first to leave the caravan.  I remember that we slowed after the turn, and each of the cars after us would honk as they continued on–a “goodbye for now, didn’t we have fun” sort of recognition that meant the vacation was at an end.

Those caravans and those honks live in my mind as symbols of happy times and deep friendships.

Beep, beep!