Throwback Thursday

#tbt:  Apparently it’s quite The Thing on Twitter.  I’ve been thinking about reblogging some of my posts from The (Old) Stream of Conscience, and “Throw Back Thursday” seems as good a day as any, yes?

When deciding what post to reblog, I took a look at my 34 categories.  How to choose?  Why, my old favorite, of course, Random.org.  (I also used it to pick the style for this blog.)  It spewed out 14, which turned out to be the ubiquitous “Life & Musings,” i.e., pretty much any damn thing.  Since the blog covered 5½ years, there were 9 pages of posts to peruse; yet, the one I chose was on the first page.

It was written on December 8, 2012, in response to WordPress.com’s Daily Post challenge, which asked “What is your earliest memory?  Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you.”  Mine was easy-peasy.  (I’ve edited only slightly.)

My Earliest Trauma Memory

And how appropriate for the season!

A two-and-a-half year-old me entertains Christmas visitors.

Entertaining visitors; permanent crisis averted

Harken back to a slower, quieter time: the mid-20th century, an age without digital cameras, when it took a few months to fill up a roll of film and get it developed.

Christmas day:  One 2½-year-old went to bed the night before, thinking of Santa Claus on his rounds, and worried she wouldn’t be able to sleep for all the excitement.

But I did fall asleep, which made the night pass more quickly.

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May Day: All Fun, No Distress

How do you celebrate May Day? Do you dance around a pole, intertwining streamers?  Or do you scratch your head and say “What the hell is May Day?”  Wikipedia says May 1st is International Workers Day, and celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere as a spring festival and (usually) a public holiday.

Glidden's Presbyterian Church features a beautiful round stained glass window.

Some things remain the same.

In the little town of Glidden, Iowa (at least in the 1960’s), May Day wasn’t celebrated by pole dancing (Hey, not that kind of pole dancing!) or days off from school.  Instead, we would make several little May baskets, and deliver them around town to our friends’ houses.

Our May baskets were much less skillfully made than those you’ll find with a Google image search.  They were made from colored construction paper, held together with a few staples or glue.   We then filled them with small candies and cheap little trinkets, and delivered tem to our friends after school.  You know, since it wasn’t a public holiday.  😉

But wait!  There’s more!
Glidder-Ralston Community School houses K-12.

Some things change a little.

In our little world, the idea was to place the basket at the friend’s door, knock or ring the doorbell, then run like crazy to the edge of the home’s property.  (Usually this meant the street.)  Meanwhile, said friend would be waiting inside for said knock or bell, and when heard would give chase to the basket bearer.  If you got caught, you got kissed.  I rarely made it to safety, but not for lack of trying.

Looking back now, I wonder why in the world would we run from a kiss?  Perhaps the more savvy girls didn’t run from the cool boys.  But I was much too shy and not that smart.

Glidden's pool is now an aquatic park.

Some things change a lot!

I thought everyone practiced this little rite of spring, but when I headed off to the University of Iowa, none of my friends had heard of it.  Perhaps it was a tradition limited to western Iowa.  Since it wasn’t known in eastern Iowa, I didn’t hold out hope for my Michigan State graduate school buddies.  As my horizons broadened to include the Navy and the world, I eventually gave up asking.

I haven’t been back to my home town in many years and wonder if they still celebrate May Day in the same manner. My guess, or at least my hope, is yes, since many of my school mates still live there, and have hopefully passed the tradition on to their children and grandchildren.

[All photos from City of Glidden’s web siteFrom the top, the First Presbyterian Church, Glidden Ralston Community School (serving grades K-12) and the  “new” aquatic center.  Each of them has a story to tell.]

Remembering Dad

WordPress.com Daily Prompt:

Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?

My dad, my brother, and me are taking a ferry to somewhere.

My moral compass (with me & bro), on a ferry to somewhere

“Here comes the only honest lawyer in Iowa!”  It’s the greeting often heard in my dad’s presence.

Dad became a lawyer because he loved the law.  He wasn’t motivated by money.  He did a lot of pro bono work, and we were not wealthy.

After graduating near the top of his law class at the University of Iowa, he turned down job offers from “big city” law firms (“big city” being a relative term since we’re talking Iowa here).  He wanted to be part of a community.  He grew up in small town Iowa, and that’s where he settled.

He became a big fish in a little pond, not because he sought it out, but because civic-mindedness and “giving back” were part of his nature.

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*frowny face*

The two trees at the front of my building bloom every April.

My favorite trees in bloom

My favorite trees are dying.  😦

Earlier this year I’d noticed a dead branch hanging loosely from its base.  This spring, the tree trimmers neglected to lop it off.  Our maintenance guy says the branches are hollow and they’re afraid to do any more trimming.

He showed me how the branch coming from the base of the tree on the left is decaying.  The other tree has a branch where a whole section of bark and “tree tissue” is missing.  It’s like looking at a forearm with one side of skin and muscle missing, exposing the bone.

Here’s what I wrote way back in April, 2008 at (the old) Stream of Conscience.

It’s my annual rite of spring. The trees outside my entry are in full bloom, and it’s raining.

I don’t know what kind of trees they are. They sort of look like cherry trees. And the blossoms look like “double cherry blossoms.” They tend to bloom about 1-2 weeks after the “official” cherry blossoms and keep their blooms for about one week. My neighbor (who knows these things) says they’re almond trees.

Every year, at least once during their week of full bloom, it rains. The wet blossoms are so heavy, they pull the branches down so far that I have to duck when I walk under them. That day is my unofficial rite of spring.

My neighbor has since passed away.  I was going to end this post by asking, “How will I ever know when spring arrives once the trees gone?”  But now that seem frivolous compared to the fond memories of my neighbor.

Sunday Night TV Lights

NaBloPoMo Daily Prompt:

Tell us about a tradition passed through your family.

Timmy hugs his collie Lassie.

Have you hugged your collie today?

Researchers tell us traditions are easily established in children.  Meaning, you need to repeat an activity only a few times for it to become routine, or customary to child.

Case in point: my family’s Sunday night tradition of gathering in the living room for a supper of fried egg sandwiches and hot cocoa while watching Lassie.  In my memory, this went on for three years.  In reality?  It probably happened three times.