Life has been a carousel ride, with its changing colors and music. The ability to switch the horse you are riding without the operator noticing. With every up there was a down, and at times things just seemed to go around without any end.
The tempo of life continually changes, one day I feel like I am dancing a polka, very rhythmic and in step. The next day I could find myself singing the blues; getting lost in the thoughts of childhood. The crescendo comes when I realize that I can change the tone of this symphony all by myself, I am the conductor and the instrumentalist. Music has lightened my soul and has helped me to keep my inner strength.
Every summer I take my family to Riverside Park. The last hour of the day I spend riding the carousel reflecting on all of the joys in my life I have to be thankful for.
Children, love and laughter are what these stories are all about; and the childhood trauma I survived to make me the person I am today.
Small Thing Remembered
"Thank you, I will put this undr the Christmas tree," I stated as I accepted the gift from my son.
"You are supposed to open it now," he replied. "If you wait until Christmas it will be too late."
"You children wait unitl Christmas to open your gifts," I explained, "so shouldn't mom have to wait also?"
"That is different," John answered, "Santa brings us our presents so we have to wait because Rudolph cannot fly until Chrismas Eve."
"Okay, " I said, "if it will make you happy, I will open it up tonight at dinner with the family."
That evening when everyone had sat down for dinner, John ran for the tree to find the package he had set down until later. He had a large smile on his face which seemed to brighten up the freckles across his nose. The colore in his cheeks matched his hair as he ran back from the parlor with the package in his hands.
"That's not fair that Mom gets to open her present now," says my daughter, "why can't we open up a present?"
"You are too young to understand." John replies to his three-year-old sister, "Santa doesn't bring grown-ups presents and on Christmas Mom is too busy watching us enjoy our toys from Santa and taking pictures that she doesn't have time to open up presents."
I chuckled inside as I listened to their conversation, then I proceeded at unwropping the most adorable pottery trinket box that a child could make in art class in school.
"Thank you John, I iwll keep this on my dresser always." (I do still have the small box which he made in 1988)
I look back on the day that my mom told us to pick whatever color we wanted for our bedrooms to be and I chuckle. She probably thought we would pick pink, lavender, soft yellow or green or maybe even orange, but never did she think of my color, I was sure of that.
The painter was there with his color charts and told each of us girls to take our time to decide because it was a color that we would have for a long time. I did not need to look at his color charts; I already had my room pictured in my head. The walls would be the darkest shade of purple paint that they made and I would place my black lights and fluorescent lights in places so that the walls would light up.
"There would not be much of my walls showing once I had hung up all of my posters anyway," I remember arguing with my mom. "Please let me have a purple room!"
"I did say that you could pick any color you wanted, so I guess I have to live with it." There was a sense of despair in her voice, but she smiled at me with that you know you have me over a barrel type look on her face.
It was actually happening, I watched the painter as he started the first stroke with his brush. It was the most beautiful shade of purple I had ever seen. It had a sense of royalty about it; even a king would like this room.
When the painting was finished and it was almost time for us to move into our new house, my mom took me shopping. "We are going to buy a new bedspread and curtains for your room," I remember her saying, and we left to go to town.
It was about 30 miles for us to get to town and we had plenty of time to talk about what I wanted to get, but somehow she kept changing the subject. I figured maybe she just wanted to wait until we got to the store, so when I realized we could not discuss the black bedspread and black curtains that I wanted to get, I decided to see if she would sing songs with me for the rest of our drive.
We arrived at the store and went right to the domestics department. They had every color imaginable, I saw one bedspread with purple and black pattern that I thought would look wonderful in my room.
"No," said my mom, "this time I get to pick the color."
"Some shopping trip," I thought to myself, then aloud I asked, "but, why? It is my bedroom and I am the one that will be sleeping in it."
This did not get me anywhere, she responded with a remark about my room being so dark that she could not see to put my clothing away when she finished the laundry and that she wanted to get something to brighten it up a bit.
After a few attempts of pleading my case, I realized that I had lost this battle. We settled on a quilted red bedspread, and my mom decided on a set of red and white curtains with the forever-dreaded white pom-poms at the bottom, what were my friends going to think about that?
We took our purchases home and made up my bed and hung the curtains.
"Now doesnt that look pretty?" my mom asked.
I couldnt let her know that I actually thought it did look rather nice, so I replied, "It will do, thanks."
"Now may I hang up my posters?" I asked.
"You may place one or two on the walls, but not all of them that you have," she answered.
You see, back then I idolized Bobby Sherman, David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. I owned about a dozen or so posters of each, now how was I going to decide which ones to hang on the wall? And it had to be at least three, because I had to put up at least one of each of them.
"May I hang three on my wall?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied, "but only three, I would like to pick out some nice wall hangings for your room with you."
So I went about the task of picking one poster of each of these teens that I admired so much. It was impossible; there was no way that I could only pick out one of each. "What am I going to do?" I thought to myself, then remembered what my mom had said "You may not put all of these posters on your walls."
That is when the solution hit me. I would not hang any of the posters on my walls. I went about unpacking the rest of my room and went to get my mom to look at it. I was so proud of the job I had done. My lamps on the nightstands looked brilliant against the purple walls, and I set my bookcase up neatly with my paperbacks and math books (I collected math books-I really enjoyed math).
In one corner I set up all of my Barbie doll accessories and displayed all of my dolls (fully dressed-this would surprise my mom) on a shelf in the corner. In the other corner I set up my small round table and placed my radio/cassette player so that it was right under the window. This way if I had a friend over and we were outside all I would have to do is open the window and we could listen to it outdoors.
My room was downstairs in the raised ranch my parents had built, so this gave me a shelf all the way around two walls of my room. This was great for putting all of my
little trinkets from the beach and the many places that my mom had taken us children to. I loved to buy souvenirs at all of the little shops and now I had a place to put them.
Then as a finishing touch I placed the Italian looking bed doll which was wearing a red and white dress on the center of my bed. This would make my mom happy, she had bought the doll for me to match my room. Over all I thought my mom would be pleased with my room. I felt at home here. This was a room I would be proud to bring my friends into.
My mom entered my room and took a quick look about, "You have done a nice job," she said, "I see you decided not to hang your posters after all?"
I couldnt help but look upward as she said this.
Her chin dropped and she looked totally speechless.
"You said not to put them on the walls."