Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Remember When: Rainy Days

Phoenix has had a lot of rain the last few days.
Yes, we need it and I love it but I don't like being out in it.
I feel like one of these.
As we were driving in near blind conditions on Loop 101 on Saturday I kept thinking of the following little poem:

Rain, rain go away.
Come again another day.

Then suddenly, as memories do this jingle came to mind:

I'm going to wash that man right out of  my hair,
I'm going to wash that man right out of my hair,
and send him on his way.

Hearing that as a child I always pictured a little man swirling around in the bottom of the bathtub and then suddenly going down the drain.

Perhaps he could use a duck.

What rainy day memories do you have?

Memoir prompts:
Write about something that was left behind.
What jingles do you remember from your childhood?
When was the last time you went to a park and fed the ducks?
What book are you reading now?
Did you ever take ballet or tap dancing lessons?
What is your favorite soup?
Do you prefer coffee or tea?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Remember When: Shoes

I am in the local Starbucks having a nice hot chai. I looked forward to this all weekend to get caught up on writing and some computer work. However, it isn't going well.
Just as I got comfortable a family of five came in and sat in the big easy chairs next to me. At this point four of them are piled in one of the chairs looking a photos of an apparent gymnastics meet the son had this morning. Nice family togetherness.

However, the youngest daughter is on her own is wearing some white plastic boudoir type play shoes with fuzzies across the front. Dress up. Cute, but that plastic echoes on these ceramic tile floors and she is dancing and clicking and clacking all over the place. Bouncing up into the other easy chair which is right next to my table and I'm afraid my chai is going to end up in my lap or on my laptop.

There goes the chairs scrapping along the floor. Do I sound like an old crab? I feel like one, especially since I am very sensitive to sounds and I forgot my MP3.

I do remember wearing those little plastic dress-up shoes as a kid but I don't think I ever wore them out. Sometimes I'd try on my mother's high heels or perhaps my sister's cowboy boots. Today, I'm in my Keds and nice heavy, comfy socks.
Here I am with what were probably my first shoes.
After the family left there was a collective sigh of relief and other people commented on the noise level. I didn't feel so bad about complaining at that point.
Do you have a story to share about shoes?

Memoir Prompts:
Were you ever in a physical type fight?
Write about riding on a ferry, bus, train or plane.
Did you ever hitchhike?
Tell us about a bad haircut.
Who was your favorite celebrity when you were a pre-teen?
Have you ever run for a public office? Why or why not?
Do you prefer pencil or pen? What type of pen?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Remember When: Books

I recently joined Goodreads through Facebook. It helps you track the books you have read, are currently reading and want to read.

One of the fun things is to go through all their lists of books by genre, author, title and scan the books they show you. I was amazed after spending a couple of hours one quiet evening at how many books I remembered reading. They are in my list

One book I didn't list is one of my all-time favorites and has been on my shelf since I was a child: Black Beauty. I don't know how many times I read this book. The funny thing is I can't bring myself to read it now because I've become much more soft-hearted and don't even want to think about the things that were done to "Black Beauty." At least it has a happy ending.

Do you have memories of a special book from your childhood? Do you still have any of your childhood books?

When you go visit Goodreads consider joining. It is a great way to learn about new books and keep track of your own reading. Well, it's time for me to head to the book discussion group. Our book this month is The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht. A very good book.

Memoir Journal Prompts:
Tell about making a snowman or snow fort.
Have you ever seen something strange in the sky?
Did you ever have mice in your house?
What were your favorite homemade snacks?
How did you react to thunder and lightning?
Write about somebody you envied and why?
Where do you like to go to be alone?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Remember When: The Muse

Some days my muse just doesn't want to wake up.
I know Exactly how she feels.
I've been churning lots of ideas through my mind. New banner for my blog, new writer/author Facebook page, getting organized, dream boards, and typing the piles of notes I've collected for my next book on the outlaws of eastern Arizona.
Setting up Goodreads, cleaning out drawers, doing some bits of art, loom knitting, and even a wee bit of poetry.
I have a memoir journal workbook started; in my mind.
I'm having fun with a new Smashbook. It is my idea book, calender and stuff keeper. I'm liking it far more than the usual planner.
What are you up to?
Seven Memoir Prompts:

What was your favorite type of music as a teen? Has it changed over the years?

Describe a "surprise bag" you or somebody you know bought.

Did you ever come close to drowning?

Did you ever nurse a sick pet?

Write about breaking something.

Write about a basement.

What were some special treats your mother made for you?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Remember When: Word of the Year

I've been choosing a "word of the year" for the last two years. The first one was "focus" as I was finding myself bouncing all over the place and not finishing anything. I feel like I've gotten a little better but not where I would like to be with that one.

Last year my word was "calm" because of the bouncing around, but also from letting every little thing infringe on my space and time. I just had too much going on. So I made a lot of decisions on where my boundaries were and realized I didn't have to do it all. It's okay. I find myself saying "calm" like a mantra and it really works.

Doug and I have been doing a lot of talking about making a difference. One instance was when he stopped at a local grocery store and when he came out he saw some of the young men who were supposed to be collecting the carts actually crashing them into each other and into the cart corrals, etc. Just generally tearing them up. Doug hates carts that pull and don't work right so he yelled at them, "No wonder the carts never work!" A man behind him said that he was thinking the same thing but he kept on walking. Doug stood there for a minute and the kids just smirked at him so he turned around and went in and got the manager and took him out there. Then he went on his way. Doug made a difference.

I can't believe how often I see things and am either afraid to get involved or just too lazy. I see people stealing things, tearing things up, being obnoxious. I'm tired of it. My first thought was to fight it with kindness but I doubt those kids would have cared if Doug had nicely said, "Young men, you shouldn't be doing that. It makes the carts hard to push."

So I wasn't happy with my first choice of a word: "kindness." The other day while we were leaving the same grocery store I heard a man telling the manager about something else going on in the parking lot. My thought, "He's making a difference." So I had my word: "difference." I'm going to make a difference in small ways. Perhaps with kindness, perhaps with confrontation, perhaps with just letting those in charge know what I've witnessed.

I plan on making a plaque or something to hang in my office. And I have a new journal to keep track of things. I feel good about making a difference in the world around me.

What is your word for 2013?

Seven Memoir Prompts:

Write about a New Year's Party.

Describe a favorite doll or stuffed toy.

Did you ever set off fireworks?

What was the food like at your elementary school? Did you have a favorite?

Tell about being in a flood.

Write about a memorable person.

Have you ever taken special college/community classes? For example; art, cooking, writing.