Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Siblings - Recorded History Event

Pictures, letters, cards, scrapbooks, and aged toys are now scattered through my newly-claimed craft room, as my forty-nine-year-old brain tries to recover the memories of my youth. This journey with Mommy's Piggy Tales has already been so precious. This is week 3 of 15 recording the days of our youth through age 18....aren't you glad it doesn't go past that? This week I will cover first and second grades...even though my memory is lacking. Thanks for joining me in these memorable postings.

The carefree days of summer in 1966 were interrupted by a cautious, yet fearful dad. My mother didn't repeat details, there wasn't time as she gathered us all together to go hide under her king-size bed. With the radio blaring and attached to the phone, the details were being aired across the airwaves of Austin, Texas. There was shooting coming from some unknown source and how many shooters no one knew. My father worked for the Highway Department just minutes from the UT campus. We, however, lived miles away. Since no one was sure what was happening, he called to have Mother move us to safety. As the details unfolded, we were allowed to come out from under our shelter. On August 1, 1966, a deranged and heavily-armed young man named Charles Whitman would climb up to the observation deck of the University of Texas Tower. He would proceed to leave 14 dead and 32 wounded. Etched forever in my memory, as well as the Texas history books, the tower would never be viewed the same way. The observation decks were closed and the fall semester would start with mourning.

Since I can recall so little of these years in school, I referred back to my baby book. In my mother's words, "Janette learned very well and rapidly with Mrs. Hyde. (She was my second teacher in first grade that year)  This teacher gave Janette faith in herself.  She did very well in writing and received a handwriting award.  She was a shy child. She tends to demand too much of herself.(don't think I have ever outgrown that).  She walked four blocks to school each day and returned home to play with her baby sister.  She got an electric sewing machine (which I still possess) for her seventh birthday, and made a cake  from her Easy-bake Oven for her birthday, but it was a flop."

My memory of first grade consists only of this one story.  I wore new shoes to school one day, anticipating compliments I am sure.  When Tracy- that is all I remember about her, not her face, not her last name, nor her being around any other time in my school history.  She preceded, to not compliment my shoes, but instead to draw her foot up and stomp on my shoe!  With expressions of horror I said, "Those are my new shoes!"  She retaliated, "not anymore!"

I also survived through misguided teaching of the experimental "look-and-say" method of reading.  God is good to redeem what was a long road of learning through tutors and to bring me through my college education with excellent grades.  Today, my bulging bookshelves of favorite reading books are testimonies to my love of reading as an adult.

Second grade was Mrs. Edwards....a reason for never having any child go to school.  As my baby book says, "She had a very non-cooperative teacher with a high temper. (that was nice, but all I remember is she threw fits and cried).  Janette became afraid of her, slowing her rapid pace of learning, even though her grades remained good. She would receive the All-Around Award at the end of school year...the highest award given."

Life was more than school
  • a baby sister to rock
  • first-time boyfriend
  • playing with the loads of kids in our neighborhood
  • catching lightening bugs - fireflies
  • riding horses at my grandfather's farm
  • visiting the ranch with my grandmother and cousins
  • canning and sewing for each new school year with my grandmother
  • birthday cards from both grandmothers with a crisp new dollar bill
  • track and field day at school....dancing around the May Pole
  • hand-cranked ice-cream....camping
  • a mother who got so excited about Christmas that we would sometimes celebrate early
  • a handmade train of boxes painted as train cars to hold our Christmas gifts
  • sleeping on my grandparents back screened-in porch, hearing nature and feeling the strong wind
  • clothes specially sewn by my seamstress mother
  • another pregnancy for my mom
How very sweet and precious this journey has already been.  If you aren't a part of this, I would encourage you to start your own recording of your youth. I am sure it will bring tears and smiles along the way.  Recording for future generations?....priceless.

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14 Joining in with more words:

Ginny Marie said...

What a scary memory for such a little girl! What a tragedy. But then what a great list of wonderful memories! Those are the memories to cherish!

Debbie said...

Oh how I enjoyed this. Funny the things that stick in our minds. I did travel back in my mind while reading yours and remember well some scary times too. The cuban missile crisis for one. I was 6...and my parents were soo concerned and terrified making it all soo much more frightening. We prayed together as a family on our knees in the living room. One of the only times I can remember doing that as a kid...You have soo many wonderful things to remember! Have a good day...HUGS, Debbie

Theresa said...

Love reading your posts. What a shame that you had that teacher who threw fits and cried. You learned to endure as you still did very well in school. Thanks for sharing.

alicia said...

Your posts are always so thought out and beautiful. What a great idea. There is so little I remember from my childhood, but it would be great to get down what I do.

Gretchen said...

Tracy was so MEAN!!! I feel so sorry for that little girl Janette who got her pretty new shoes stomped on. :(

Love your post as usual. :)

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

This was a fun post to read. I knew a girl like Tracy in first grade too. She did end up being one of the snobby, mean girls in high school.

Donette said...

I've struggled to remember good things, although I had a very happy childhood. My family seemed so "normal" that most of my memories revolve around something bad that happened in school. I'm working on remembering the good stuff, too!

Donette said...

I've struggled to remember good things, and I had a very happy childhood. I guess life was so normal and uneventful that I somehow focused on the bad things that happened. I'm glad you remember happy stuff too!

Debi said...

As usual - this is a vivid recollection of yesteryear. I so enjoy taking the journey through your stories and seeing those, all familiar pictures. I had that same haircut!!! Can we get our hands on the designer who made the 'pixie' the rage? :0

I know you're writing these for your family - but as a reader - I'm glad you did.

Bless you!

heather said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love yours as well. This weekend was very much a blessing for us to see our sons make such a wonderful decision to make Christ an even bigger part of their life. I'm going to enjoy following your blog! BTW how did you make your blog button? It's darling! Blessings!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I love the memories your sharing, especially since we grew up at the same time. I watched a show not long ago about that event, it was heart wrenching.
Have a wonderful 4th of July.

Debbie said...

Janette, I'm so glad you're doing this. I remember that day when that shooting occurred but I was not close to this area. But the TV news and papers were filled with this story. How scary for your family to be so close.

You were such a cute little girl. And those new shoes; oh my. I would have complimented your shoes. :)

I love that you found notes your mom had written. What a treasure. It's interesting how a teacher can make such a difference in a child's learning and life.

Keep this up. I want to read all the chapters. I am so glad to get to know you Janette. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Love and hugs,

Janna said...

There are about 20 things that I love about this post!

The flopped easy bake:) a crisp dollar bill for your b-day. Oh, how I could go on. How wonderful that your mother recorded those things for you too.

Thanks for including us in your walk down memory lane.

gianna said...

TRACY was so MEAN! OH! So so so mean!
thank you, Tracy, for your kindness! (and to think when I was a kid, I wanted to be called Tracy! NOT ANYMORE!)

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