So I wrote and aborted two entries on Sunday. I realized I’m serious about this being a “project” — if the thread doesn’t bring up something almost forgotten (my parents’ special crab mallets), or a sharp, almost physical sensation, then it’s not working. I wrote about the boulders in my family backyard, but it was static, an Official Version rehearsed into lifelessness. Interesting, though. I don’t know many people who grew up with a backyard full of boulders.
The crab mallets, however, reminded me of my family’s napkin rings. Wood — oak or pine, I’m guessing — carved into the shapes of Scotties (for Susan and me) a rabbit (for my father) and a turtle. Or the “Tortoise and the Hare,” if you will. They were flat silhouettes, nothing grand. Susan and I had to have identical ones to avoid squabbling, I suppose, while I’m sure it’s my mother who decided to assign the turtle to herself, the rabbit to my father.
And for some reason, this makes me think of cool fall nights, after choir practice at the Dickeyville Presbyterian Church at the top of the hill. It was a distance of no more than a quarter-mile, if even that, and the neighborhood was super-safe, but for some reason we had to be fetched by car, or perhaps we were just awaiting chaperones to walk us home. I swear we could see the TV Hill tower (a television tower that flashed “T” and “V.”) But that doesn’t gibe with what I know of Baltimore geography today.
Finally, I’m curious if these tiny detailed memories evoke memories in the people who read them. What household objects fascinated you as a child? Here’s a partial list: my father’s egg cup, the bottle my mother used to sprinkle the ironing, my grandmother’s porcelain duck, my grandfather’s push-button radio. Anyone want to chime in?