Reading, Teaching, Learning

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Slice of Life Challenge - Day 2 - Childhood Friend

  
THANK YOU, Slicers, for such a warm welcome to SOLSC!!
  
In case this is your first time reading my slices, here is my focus for the challenge: my fifth graders and I are going to participate in the Slice of Life Challenge this month, and they're writing memoirs.  I thought I'd do the same kind of writing - memory writing - throughout the challenge.  My new writing idea/goal is to write an early chapter book series based around a character very much like me, so remembering my childhood stories is very important for that project.  I'm going to be writing around photographs and memorabilia.  Day 2:
 
 
     This is my childhood friend (I'm on the left with the knobby knees), Michele.  I lived in the country, so she was my only playmate besides my pets.  She lived across the street (which meant a good walk), and we spent HOURS playing together. When I was in kindergarten, my mom did her student teaching at the local prison (I know!), and Michele's mom would take care of me half a day and then get me on the bus at the end of her driveway (Michele went to another school).  It was like heaven - spending half the day with your best friend!  They had a huge, beautiful garden, and I can remember her mom asking us to help her shell peas and snap beans, gathered in a  big bowl.  We would sit on the back patio, every once in a while popping a fresh pea into our mouths.  So sweet, and delicious, it would POP in your mouth.  Yum.  My favorite lunch her mom would make was tomato soup with peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers.  I still consider that lunch comfort food.  While we did play indoors some - we loved Barbies - our most fun was outside.  She had a horse, too, and when we got older we were allowed to ride them down to some woods further down the street.  I remember getting home at dusk one evening and getting in big trouble with my dad!  He was so worried!  We would also skateboard down our street (keep in mind this is a country road, so no sidewalks) to a developing neighborhood about a mile away.  We rode bikes there, too.  I think about how today parents would never let kids do that, but then it was considered safe, and parents were happy to have us play outside.  We didn't wear a bunch of safety gear, either!  Somehow we survived. 
 
    


     This is us playing cowboys and Indians.  Clearly, we are cowboys, but unfortunately, we must have lost since our hands are tied up.  Ha.  We played all kinds of pretend scenario games out there.  Depending at which house we were, we'd call our parents BEGGING to be allowed to stay past our play time because we never wanted to stop.  Sometimes they'd acquiesce, and sometimes it was dinnertime, so we'd have to go home.  I can remember fighting at times too - the stamping the ground with a foot, pointing fingers, shouting kind of fights.  Things were said like, "I never want to see you again!" and we'd storm off in our separate directions, furiously fuming.  But the next day (or the next hour), all was forgiven.  We stayed fast friends until jr. high, when separate schools and separate friends pulled us apart.  It didn't end abruptly or badly, we just quietly drifted apart.  However, even through adulthood we would occasionally get together with our families and catch up with what was happening in our lives.  She lives far away now, and we're Christmas card friends, but those childhood days with her - catching fireflies, swimming in the pond, riding horses and bikes, playing Barbies, and eating tomato soup and bright green peas from the garden - will stay with me forever.
 

18 comments:

  1. What a lovely childhood of play. As I read your piece I first thought, what a great idea building a book with this kind of writing. Then I as I went on I couldn't help but feel a little jealous of those days of pure play, food, imagination, outside and food! Why don't we, adults get to do that any more. Why is growing up growing away from that. But then I think, maybe this slicing and commenting is kind of like play, only a little less physical. Thanks for sharing your lovely memoir,

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    1. Yes, those carefree days were wonderful! I agree that writing and connecting like we are is definitely a type of play. However, it can cause kinks in the neck and soreness in the typing fingers. ;-)

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  2. Great that you have a focus for your slices and a goal guiding you. Close friendship and freedom of play contribute to a happy childhood.

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    1. It definitely was a happy childhood, for the most part. It definitely helps that I have a focus - it's going to be easier to find topics each day to write about.

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  3. Holly,
    This is beautiful. I'm thinking you have a million stories right in this post so when things get hard come back here. I have to say you have some words and lines I just couldn't resist so I have to share them with you:

    -help her shell peas and snap beans, gathered in a big bowl. We would sit on the back patio, every once in a while popping a fresh pea into our mouths. So sweet, and delicious, it would POP in your mouth. (I can't wait for summer vegetables!)

    -peanut butter and jelly on Ritz crackers (PB&J on Ritz as comfort food. Oh, to be young again.)

    -I can remember fighting at times too - the stamping the ground with a foot, pointing fingers, shouting kind of fights.

    -We stayed fast friends until jr. high, when separate schools and separate friends pulled us apart. It didn't end abruptly or badly, we just quietly drifted apart

    …and the perfect ending.

    Welcome to the challenge, Holly. I like that you've focused on a type of writing for the event. You have me thinking.

    Cathy

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    1. Thank you for such specific feedback, Cathy. That really helps! I used the first example you liked as a possible lead for a fictional piece. I may try it out on one of my slices. ;-)

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  4. Love this, Holly. Your pictures added to your story as I imagined the two of you on horses and playing with Barbies. I had one such friend growing up...in the country...and then I moved away to a different state. What I have found is that we have reconnected through Facebook...so much fun. I am glad that you two still have some connection...as the memories are there forever. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

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    1. I couldn't find this friend on Facebook, unfortunately, but at least we exchange cards every year. :-)

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  5. THere are so many things I love about this post! I love how you are writing with your students. I love the wonderful memories you share. You have so many stories packed into these memories.

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  6. I love the way you are able to get into these photographs and bring those moments to life with your writing, Holly. Like Cathy, there were many lines that I just had to pause and re-read several times. Just lovely.

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  7. Holly - I am enjoying the posts...can't wait to see what pictures and stories are coming next. Isn't it fabulous to think back to special memories about childhood? You have so many great starters for future books.

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    1. Exploring childhood memories is fascinating. It's amazing what comes back to you when you start writing!

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  8. Beautiful post, Holly. You have a treasure trove of words bundled up here. Can't wait to hear more about your book as you write around it. Sounds promising!

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  9. I had friends like that in third grade and then when i moved to another area of the country in 5th grade. I moved and they moved. I love thinking on those days too. Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe a post. I don't have any old photos though. I enjoyed reading your blog today.

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  10. Holly, that was really enjoyable to read AND it got me thinking a bit about my own childhood and how my best friend from those days drifted apart after I moved at age 11. No matter how I search online, she's nowhere to be found :(

    And I love the whole "Slice of Life" idea. I see it on blogs and there's always something nice attached to it :D

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