Monthly Archives: June 2013

Movies versus Memories

There was a day when movies were actually on film.  We’d go to the theater and when we saw the suitcase like boxes in the lobby we knew that there was either a new movie arriving, or there would be soon to replace that one that was leaving.  Now they are all on CDs I guess.   Or in some other new fangled format.

In any format, I love movies.  So much so that when I was a youngster I would tell my mother that I was sick so I could stay home form school to watch some movie I knew was going to be on TV.  Usually an old one.  Gangsters.  Westerns.  Comedies.  Army movies.  And yes, musicals.  I know a lot about old movies.  Not so much about contemporary ones.  Can’t stay home from work to go to the movies.

Lately we’ve been watching a lot of home movies when we go to the lake.  All the old 8 mm films converted to VHS, and then to DVD.  It’s fun to watch all of those old films.  Our family history captured in time.  And history.  But I can only take so much.  I usually get sad because I miss those days.

There are movies that only exist in my head.  These are memories of the past.  Sometimes these are as crystal clear as the images on a brand new CD.  I see my younger brother now.  He went though a cowboy phase as a little kid.  Every day he’d wear a straw cowboy hat.  Black.  And matching black leather cowboy boots.  He had jeans and a neckerchief and gloves with a leather fringe on the cuff.  The best part was the shirt though. He had a blue ne and a red one.  Both with a small checked pattern and white piping across the chest.  Long sleeved.  All the buttons were pearl.

Indoors he rode an appaloosa rocking horse.  Outdoors it was the swing set.  Back and forth.  For hours on end.  He was a cowboy ridin’ the range.  A man and his horse.  I can relate.

There are no movies of this.  Just the one in my head.  It’s probably a compilation of a number of scenes.  But it’s crystal clear and it reminds me of my brother.  With time the movies and the memories will fade.  Until then, the memory I can call up any time.  The movie requires technology.  The memory makes me smile.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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The Big Tease

It dangles in front of me, pretending like it’s actually within my reach.  You know, that thing you really want.  You can see it.  Taste it.  Smell it.  You feel it deep in your bones.  You just can’t quite reach it.  Sometimes being out of reach motivates you to try harder.  Reach a little further.  And sometimes it dangles just far enough out of reach that you feel like it’s too far.

On weekends my antique store looms large on the horizon.  Off I go to yard sales and flea markets.  What do the other antique shops have to offer?  I look.  I learn.  I smile.  And I’m enthused. 

Soon.  Yes, soon, I tell myself.  I’ll open that store and spend my days buying and selling and collecting.  And then Monday rolls around and I realize that I have to go back to my real job.  The one with no risks.  The one that pays the bills.  The one I tolerate but don’t like much.

Ok, you say, find a new job.  Or open the dang store.  Easier said than done.  But you are right.  I know it.  I’m standing at the portal again.  Time to go through.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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Down The Tubes

Like a bunch of ants, they move along, underground.  In every direction.  Sometimes near, or even on the surface.  Sometimes deep, deep underground.

In London everyone rides the “tube.”  We call it the subway here in the States.  No wonder.  It goes everywhere.  And it’s easy.  Just remember Jubilee, Central, District, Northern, circle and Piccadilly.  And yes, the DLR.

Those are the routes, or lines, that make up the underground transit system.  Upon first arriving and looking at the map of the system, I thought, oh, what a tangled web they’ve woven.  The map shows lots of lines, crisscrossing and intersecting.  And so many stops! 

Ride this.  Change here.  Ride that.  Only three more stops and I’m there.  Wherever I want to go.  It really is easy once you do it a couple of times.  Once in the station there are plenty of signs telling you which way to go to get onto which line.  And in which direction.  Making the connections is sometimes very interesting as you can find yourself going up an escalator, and then down another to find a new train. 

During the Blitz they used the Underground stations as bomb shelters.  Riding the escalator down you realize just how far down you really are.  And at a couple of stations I noticed big iron doors that would shut to seal off the entrance to the tunnels.  Six inches thick! Left over from the war, and not, I suspect, used today. 

The best part, other than the convenience, is the expression, “mind the gap.”  That means you need to watch your step getting on and off the trains as there is a gap between the train and the platform into which you could easily insert a foot and get stuck.  The announcement of the upcoming stations implores, “mind the gap.”  The words are written all along the edge of the platform as well.  Such a popular expression that three are even t-shirts that say, “mind the gap.”

I loved riding the tube.  And I sure spent a lot of time doing it.  Back and forth across the city.  Everywhere I wanted to go.  And more.

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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The Tossed Salad

What a mess!  I overfilled the bowl.  Again.  And now half the stuff has fallen onto the floor and I have to observe the five-second rule.  What a lucky dog I have!  And I’m lucky to have her around to clean up my mess.

When I make a salad I like to put all of the ingredients into the bowl, and then stir it up with the tongs.  Or a fork and spoon.  Lettuce on the bottom.  Then add mushrooms, green peppers, maybe some carrots and onions.  Garbanzo beans too.  I like garbanzo beans.  Throw on a little shredded cheese and there you have it.  Salad. 

But it’s gotta be tossed, mixed up, to really be good.  Sol, I stick the tongs, or whatever utensil I’m using, into the bowl and start stirring.  If I do it real slowly and with great precision, I can avoid spilling all the stuff.  But usually I’m hungry and just reach in and start tossing.  And spilling.  Maybe I should put less into the bowl to begin with.  Nah…

IN some outdoor type catalog I saw this thing to use for making ice cream.  The old fashioned way involves a churn.  Electric if you’re lucky.  But this new thing is a ball and you put the ingredients inside, roll it all around, and there you have it- ice cream.  That’s what I need for my salad.  Put in all the stuff and roll it around.

Not sure I really want to eat if after rolling it around on the floor though.  Wait.  Better idea.  I can’t claim this as my own original thought though.  Put all the stuff into a Tupperware bowl, seal on the cover, and shake the stuffing out of it!  Perfect.

What does James Bond say?  Shaken, not stirred.  Sounds good to me!

That’s part of my story.  What’s yours?  www.personalhistorywriter.com

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