To most people, a trailer house might not seem like the heights of joy. You might even look down on a trailer house, but . . .
I was six years old, and there was a cold snap, a REAL cold snap for east Texas. You could hear the wind outside. I imagined it howling like the wolves in the “Little House” books from Laura Ingalls-Wilder. If I stood near the door, I could feel the wind claws, reaching in to try and grab me! Continue reading “Winter Memories”
It is estimated that 40% of human sensory perception is visual. If you are sighted, you might think this would be bad news for a totally blind baby. But my loved ones found countless ways to let me see the world and develop “visual” concepts right along with my sighted peers. Whether it was colors, animals, changing landscapes and seasons, or intangibles like height and distance, they always found a way. I never thought much about this until recently, when a sighted friend remarked on how “you know a lot of things that I don’t know how you know.” Since I never had sight to use as one of my learning tools, it never occurred to me to think what sighted children would learn through their eyes, and no other way. But once I considered all the ways my loved ones taught me things, I came up with the following. Continue reading “Seeing the World Without Sight”
I was four years old, and we were living in Schreveport. I don’t remember much about our little apartment, except that the short-term home my parents made for me there was a happy one. We would have “picnics”, which consisted of my Mom making plates of balogna sandwiches and barbecue chips, and instead of sitting at the table, we’d eat them sitting cross-legged on the living room floor. Maybe we talked about puppies. Maybe we talked about my “new baby brother.” I don’t know. All I know is that my Mom made something memorable out of the ordinary.
For his 27th birthday, my Dad got this record called “Let’s Get Small”, a comedy album by Steve Martin. One of my favorite things was, and still is, to hear my Daddy laugh, and he thought this record was hilarious. At four years old, I didn’t get the jokes, but they made my Daddy laugh, and that made me happy. Plus, Steve Martin had a happy, young, fun-sounding voice. Thirty-five years later, I can still see sun splashing through the big glass patio doors and windows, making everything bright, and hear Steve Martin’s banjo playing “Ramblin’ Guy” and my Daddy laughing.
Sometimes, Dad would make popcorn, the “real” off-the-stove kind, (no microwave for us back then!). Or, every now and then, he’d make fudge. We’d sit up and watch a movie, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, AND . . . we COULD STAY UP TIL MIDNIGHT!!!!!!!! We could stay up til THE TV WENT OFF! You’d see a Wendy’s commercial or something, then the Star Spangled Banner would play, and the television stations would go off the air. Staying up that late was HUGE to a four-year-old.
I didn’t know it then, but we had virtually nothing, in the way of money. Some kids might have grown up in fancy houses, but I say this with 100% certainty, NONE were happier than me!
Happiness comes in many forms, and you never know which memories will last a lifetime for a kid. You don’t have to be rich, or have a P.H.D., to give a kid the world.
Ask any book lover, and they will tell you about a perfect intersection in time, when an author’s words meet a reader’s imagination. A book is transformed, from words on a page, to complete worlds! This moment is individual to each person, and it is pure unadulterated magic!
My love affair with the written word began long before 1981, but it was in the honeysuckled nights of April, in the year that I was seven, when I met Tabitha, Sarah, and all the cats. Continue reading “The Book That Started It All”