Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The last bits of childhood

Over the holidays, my sister instigated a little rummage through the basement at our parents house. After all the toys and dollhouse furniture for the kids was found, this box surfaced.

There were many things in that box I had long forgotten about. I had written off the school yearbooks as lost and thought the book collection had gone to a library donation. But there they were. Eleven yearbooks and the full set of Little House on the Prairie. (I was especially thrilled about those as I just finished reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's annotated autobiography, Pioneer Girl. I know. Geek.)
I thought perhaps those yearbooks might contain some good blackmailing material, but alas, the yearbook photographer (me, for a few years), was too conscientious about choosing photos that didn't look completely stupid.
Sixth grade...
Apparently in my senior year at Gallup High School, I won a couple band awards. I have no memory of this at all. But there they are. Photographed and ready for recycling in my father's woodshop. What I do wish is that I had a kindergarten diploma. That is the kind of thing you want hanging next to your college diplomas. Actually, I don't even know where my college diplomas are. The kindergarten one is probably the most important. What we learn there is what gets us through life, right?
I played the clarinet. It is upstairs in the closet. I still remember how it sounded when I was good (for a high-schooler). I don't get it out now. I don't want to go back to junior high ever, even in my mind. But here is a flashback for you that I use in my ergonomics for fiber artists lecture. I am the slouching blonde with the 80's feathered hair. The other blonde is my younger cousin Molly. She went on to be an outstanding violinist and is now my most favorite children's book illustrator, artist, and superb art teacher to inner-city kids ever. If you want to see her work, her name is Molly McNeece and her website is HERE.
I had some trouble with my wrists from playing the clarinet. That is why this photo is part of a class I teach called Creating without Pain: Ergonomics for Fiber Artists (see my YarnFest schedule if you want to take it). I translated the musical interest to weaving drafts and eventually to tapestry weaving. Yep. From nerdy clarinetist to super-hip mid-life tapestry artist.

The digging in the family basement went on for awhile. The cool metal and wooden toys we played with surfaced, now adored by my nieces. This playhouse circa 1976 also emerged... and was set up for the little ones. The good thing about it is that it is entirely cardboard and can be recycled when my sister is tired of tripping over it.
My brother-in-law has a new chocolate lab. Six weeks old and cute as a button. I think there is a family conspiracy to drive his wife nuts by calling the dog by the three-year-old's name for him. "Woop" is a great name for a dog, right? (His real name is Luke, but who wants to call a dog that? Three-year-olds can't say the L very well.)

Somewhere in Kansas the gas is $1.49/gal. Makes you feel like you're in high school again and filling up the car from the money you earned working weekends at the fabric shop.

If I haven't told you yet, Happy New Year. (a month late)


7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I think I may be in trouble...never went to kindergarten! But I do have a few other diplomas. 😊

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  3. Your own history capsule! Thanks for sharing the fun photos. That puppy is the cutest with such a fun name.

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  4. How fun to look back. I'm starting to go through stuff myself right now. Just love looking at the photos of my old favorite dogs/horses and (of course and maybe this should have preceded the dogs comment) my son, who is 41 now. Loved seeing some of your memories.

    Oh, and I didn't go to kindergarten either. Maybe it's just a California thing.

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    1. I wonder when Kindergarten started to be a thing. I know that I did go, but we didn't have kindergarten "graduation" like they do now in many schools (seems so silly). I suspect it wasn't common until a couple decades ago.

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    2. Yearbooks. Oh dear. You've just reminded me that I have a pile in the basement waiting for a burst of clearing and recycling fervor that hasn't yet arrived. But when it does, the Little House books will stay.

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  5. I LOVE that I made it into your blog!!! What a fantastic cousin you are!!! The action playing with you in the photo I can't remember- but I do remember that was my favorite sweatshirt! Cheers to my favorite tapestry artist!

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