How Playing Devil’s Advocate Taught My Children to Think for Themselves

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The more I interact with others in the world, the more I realize that people can’t think for themselves. The ability to think logically and come up with individual opinions is practically non-existent. The average person is pulled along by the nose-ring by the media, political parties, or just the wave of public opinion. It saddens me greatly. I wanted my children to rise above and use the brains God gave them. I think I mostly succeeded mainly by playing Devil’s Advocate.

As early as grade school, I’d push my children to think. They’d be writing a paper and ask me to look over it to see if there were glaring mistakes. I took that opportunity each time to take the opposite stance and ask questions. At first, they were always defensive but then they began to think and challenge me. After all, they want to prove Mom wrong. The end result was them discovering new points to put in their paper and make it better. On top of that, they understood their own stance better.

All of my children are young adults now. They have told me over and over how playing Devil’s Advocate really helped them. They even ask me to do it at times so they can see deeper into a subject they have to explore in school or work. There is less of that in our educational system or in society than there should be. We should be challenged but not to change our minds. The challenge should have a goal of making us understand the topics better and even understand ourselves at a deeper level.

I have played this role in political discussions, religions discussions, and even just on relationship topics. We get too caught up in our lives and can only see through our personal lens. When we step back and view the situation through the lens of others, our entire perspective can change. Our opinions might remain steadfast, but we can understand the other side better and even the stance we take.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been in conversation with someone who couldn’t answer intelligently why they feel the way they do on a particular topic.

Why are you against the death penalty?

Uh, my parents are for it so I’m against it.

What? That’s not an intelligent response. That proves that the person isn’t thinking on their own. That’s how the masses followed Hitler and the lynch mobs of yesteryear. Brain activity was at a minimum. Why do you believe in this? Why do you not believe in that?

A recent conversation with someone showed how beneficial this can be. Before I tell you about it, I want you to not get hung up on the topic which is still a very heated one in today’s society. I want you to think of the process and the end result. So, this woman said that she was very angry at then President Trump just shrugged off his comments that were derogatory towards women. She kept saying, “He didn’t even apologize once he knew how angry everyone was about what he said.” So I asked, would you forgive him or think differently of him if he did.” That stopped her cold. She wasn’t sure. She knew what she wanted and could mostly explain why, but she had no idea if getting it would satisfy her. Later, she told me that she would think better of him if he did, but that she really had no idea until I played Devil’s Advocate and pushed back. She would still not like him, but she’d have a tiny bit more respect and hope for him. The end result? She learned more about her own feelings. She grew as a person.

Try to argue or question from the other side of the issue. Get into deep but not heated discussions with others with some Devil’s Advocate games. Keep in mind that most people can’t think for themselves and can’t participate. Move on to those who can and watch each of you grow. I grow everyday as do my children. I love to watch my kids argue a point so well that they leave others speechless. They know what they believe and why. Do you?

Childhood Fears We Still Face – the Bogyman

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Too often we think that childhood dreams and fears are lost when we become adults. But the truth is that they do follow us, just in different forms than we originally imagined them. Fears are always there. They develop along with us. One of these is the fear of the Bogyman.

Fears Are a Part of Life

There is a stigma against fears. There is nothing wrong with fear. We have it throughout our lives, and at times fear saves our lives. As a child, we have quite a bit of fear because there is so much in this world we don’t know anything about. Then again, there is so much we don’t fear because we don’t know the harm it can do to us. So maybe fear grows as we get older. but fear is always there.

As a child, I feared only what my older brother made me afraid of. I used to not fear the night until he told me Bigfoot was in the woods around our house. We lived way out in the country with only one light between the house and the barn. He told me that tale, and I was slightly skeptical. Then he suddenly wanted his hat that was in his “monster” truck. This desire came right before I was to get ready for bed. but my brother was eighteen years older than me, and I adored him. After this night, I began to hate him. He sent me out. The truck did have wheels that gave it a monster truck look. For a five or six year old, this truck was massive. I had to literally climb to get to the door and open it. Once I had his hat in hand, I began the climb down. My gangly legs hung down, searching for the ground. A growl and a rough hand. A scream. And he was rolling on the ground laughing at me while I screamed and sobbed. My mother about killed him, but then he held me close and soothed my tears. Jerk.

The Childhood Bogyphobia

The bogeyman of my childhood was mostly my brother. But every child has a bogyman. Some fear the creature they know lurks under their bed that will come out after they fall asleep and devour them. We have never seen him, but he is there. We’ve heard him. We’ve sensed him.

He could be in the closet or anywhere that is not easily accessible by lights or open for us to see clearly. It is the unknown that we fear. We just don’t see it in that frame of mind. We just know there are monsters out there just waiting to pounce on us. The we grew up and realize that the bogeyman is not under the bed or in the closet. He is everywhere else.

The Adult Bogyphobia

As adults, we laugh at the bogeyman under the bed. He’s not there. We’ve cleaned under there. We’ve searched. He’s not there, but then re realize that monsters come in many forms and can take up residence even in the brightest places right in plain sight. There are the monsters who are obvious once their true nature is revealed like violent criminals or serial killers who are caught. Then there are more subtle monsters.

Toxic people are adult bogymen. I began to develop bogyphobia in regards to them when depression began to set and the hurt of their disguised words was recognized. They can destroy self-esteem and even relationships and careers. There are times I begin to have physical reactions to the fear of being in the same room with these known bogymen. I’ll do anything to get away from them and find a safe place.

Then there is the bogeyman I found within myself. I could become my own worst monster. The number of times I was the reason for my own failure cannot be counted. I could discourage myself quicker than any bogeyman that roamed the world. I fear the unknown and what I’m not an “expert” in. That is quite a bit. I can’t control the future so tomorrow and next year could be a deep fear. I have low self-esteem so any comments to me or about me can be worse than the fear of being in a real scene from a Stephen King thriller. What I allow myself to be scared of can be stronger than any force on earth.

Overcoming Bogyphobia

As a child, we overcome our bogeyman fear by facing those fears and revealing the truth. We look under the bed with the flashlight or we fill the space with boxes so no creature can hide there. We open the closet and shine the light in. We might rearrange the closet to make it less inhabitable for a chronic bogeyman. Then we take the power from the bogeyman and make him become tiny, small, and eventually a thing of fairy tales. Adults do the same.

We are scared of that new career move, but we think of why we’ll be miserable avoiding it. Then we get our loved ones to help cheer us on. That bogeyman is overcome. Then we face the bogeyman of going back to school or the bogeyman of going to a party where we know not a single soul or the bogeyman of meeting that new future in-law. Bogymen exist everywhere and in every form. We face them. We remove them. They might still exist, but we don’t allow them to take over our lives.

I’m still facing the many bogeymen in my life. I’m still discovering ones that I didn’t know were lurking around. I continually go under my bed or into the closet to shine a light on the area and make it uninhabitable for my bogymen. But I will defeat each and every one.

Applying Examples From Another Writer’s Works in Mine

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This is from a paper I wrote for my Masters Degree in English. The assignment was to use other books and show what I could take from other writers in my style. I wanted to share it with you.

In The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, the author puts many obstacles in the way of the characters. There is no one main protagonist. Each family member has their own time to reveal their feelings and motivations as well as their goals. In this book, Alfred is aging and experiencing Parkinson’s and dementia. He looks back over his life and what all he had wanted to do and how life dealt him a bad hand. Now his obstacles are physical and mental compared to those his family once occupied in preventing him from achieving everything he desired. Everything to him becomes an obstacle. His own bodily functions become obstacles. In one scene, the author creates a scene that is so sad yet so funny. Alfred wakes up to his body wanting to relieve itself in the bed. He fights it, but then begins to hallucinate:

A small animal, a mouse, scurried in the layered shadows at the food of Enid’s bed. For a moment it seemed to Alfred that the whole floor consisted of scurrying corpuscles. Then the mise resolved themselves into a single more forward mouse, horrible mouse, squishable pellets of excreta, habits of gnawing, heedless peeings —

“Asshole, asshole!! The visitor taunted, stepping from the darkness into a bedside dusk. 

With dismay Alfred recognize the visitor. First he saw the dropping’s slumped outline and then he caught a whiff of bacterial decay. This was not a mouse. This was a turd. (281-282)

The author puts everyday events of going to the bathroom as an obstacle to the character. He is not developing forward anymore. He is returning to his infancy where he cannot control his own body. He is the decline of all those still moving forward. Here the author uses something simple to show how hard it is for Alfred to deal with what is going inside of him as the reader can see how it impacts the other characters through their viewpoints. This is achieved by going into his mind and seeing how the situation impacts him. 

For me, I can go into the character’s mind and reveal how situations impact them. I can also put everyday problems in the way to cause tension. This can be easy with one character, Ann, who likes to spin the littlest thing to make herself look better. 

In Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code, the whole plot is full of obstacles. The author creates scenes that seem impossible to get out of. Langdon is called in to consult on a murder only because his name was left at the scene of the crime. He is caught within a museum with no apparent way out: “Then his fingers brushed something unexpected. Small and hard. Pinching the tiny object between his fingers, Langdon pulled it out and stared in astonishment.” (65) He cannot simply just waltz out of the building. He is being tracked, and the authorities will know where he is at all times. The author forces the characters to think and act with physical obstacles in front of them. This causes tension to rise as the reader is caught with them. 

In my work, I can put physical obstacles in the way of my characters to force them down specific roads, both literal and figuratively. This can cause the characters to think about certain scenes of the past. 

In Rebecca Wells’ Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, the obstacles occur throughout the book as the past is revealed in order to understand the present. One of the best examples of this is the beginning of chapter one: “Tap-dancing child abuser. That’s what the Sunday New York Times from March 8, 1993, had called Vivi.” (1) Accusations are the introduction and done in a very public manner. This obstacle is the one to force the plot to start moving and will be the backbone of all character development within the story. The author is taking an outsider’s perception to force the family to stop and look at itself truthfully. 

In my story, I can use an outsider to push my characters and create the necessary tension for the climax of the story. 

In writing difficult scenes, I think every author has to find their own methods. In a previous story, I had to become the sadistic murder in my mind. I quickly discovered that I had to be alone. My temper was short and I was not pleasant to be around. In the current piece, I find myself crying often. Because of that, I have to make sure I’m alone and strong enough to get through the scene. The current story has scenes that are very real to me as a person and cuts the injury open. The act of cleansing it can be painful even when it is in a creative writing format. 

An emotional scene is found within Rebecca Wells’ book. Vivi receives a ring from her father, but her mother sees it as payment for an immoral act. When she takes the ring from her daughter, her husband then forces her to give it back: ““I said, give the girl the goddamn ring, you pathetic Catholic idiot!”…Then Taylor Abbott slapped his wife once, hard, across the face.” (189) The entire scene is tense and brings tears to my eyes. The author does not just tell the reader what happened. She invites the reader in and makes the reader one of the Ya-Yas in bed with Vivi trying to comfort and protect her. The injustice of it all is very apparent and causes the reader to want to jump in and help the young teenager.

For my writing, I can create a scene where the reader is a character and are vested in the story itself. By writing a scene that is vivid and real, the reader will feel as though they have stepped within its pages. I have several more scenes coming up that go back in time and can be written in such a way: where the mother gets a new step-father that is a drunkard and touches too much as well as when the mother decides to leave home. 

Works Cited 

Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. First Anchor, 2003. 

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Picador, 2001.

Wells, Rebecca. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Harper-Collins, 2004. 

How We Are Bewitched Without Magic

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The true definition of “bewitch” is entirely about magic and witchcraft. Webster defines it as “to cast a spell over.” It is causing someone to do something by magically moving them or changing their mind. So how can we be bewitched without magic? By allowing ourselves to be.

Since I am sharing this on my writing site, I’ll tie this into writing. These are topics you can incorporate into any story as part of the main plot or as a contributing factor.

Media Bewitchment

One of the biggest sources of our bewitchment comes from the media. It is through the media that our fashion comes from, our sense of “truth” is told, and what topics are considered important enough to discuss. What is happening now in one area of the world that was on everybody’s tongue is still going on but no one knows because the media won’t discuss it. Through the media outlets, society is led along through a variety of smoke and mirrors.

Think back on all the news stories that were later revealed to be “fake news” or were only partial truths. Reputations have been ruined due to the media bewitchment. Business have been ruined. Wars have started. The media has a very powerful form of bewitchment because we have been taught to believe everything that is funneled through the various media outlets.

Society Bewitchment

The media might be the most powerful source of bewitchment, but I think Society is running a close race with the media. Through Society, we are told what is acceptable and what is not. If Society says women should be treated a certain way, we are pushed to do just that. When Society makes changes, it is the equivalent of a major earthquake and has a lot of repercussions that ripple throughout Society. Sometimes it can be bloody, but it always causes pain until the aftershocks subside.

Society norms bewitch us. It is unacceptable to challenge Society’s rules. Society will pressure us to blind us to many truths. We are bewitched into believing what Society wants us to.

Family Bewitchment

Families have a way of bewitching us. They set up traditions and instruct us on the appropriate way to act. They sometimes even rewrite history for us and convince us of their “truths”. Families can change the past and attempt to mold our futures.

Through families, we can be misled into many falsehoods that can only be pushed aside when we grow older and begin to think for ourselves. We can easily be misled until we shake off the bewitchment.

Self Bewitchment

We can even bewitch ourselves. Maybe we are the biggest contributors. We tell ourselves lies all the time and begin to believe them. Think of how often we have misled ourselves into thinking we made the right decision, acted ethically, or know who we really are. In order to hide the truth, we are willing to bewitch ourselves into thinking differently about ourselves and our actions.

Use these bewitchments in your writing. But also think upon them. Look around your own life and see where you are bewitched. You can break free if you want. You don’t need magic to be bewitched. We allow anything to do that job.

We All Have a Little Athazagoraphobia

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Each person on this earth has a little bit of athazagoraphobia. We are afraid of being forgotten once we have passed on to new phases of our life or into the afterlife. Our names will be taken away with the wind and never remembered again.

I think of this more as I research my ancestors. So many of them we don’t know anything about them. We’ve never heard of them. Who was George Smith? Well, a grandfather four generations back, but nobody in family knew of him. He was forgotten.

It seems that only famous people are remembered after a generation or two. Maybe that is why we all have the athazagoraphobia. We see those forgotten and have no desire to be like them. We want to be remembered.

So how do we do that? There are a number of ways.

  • Name your descendants after you.
  • Get published
  • Be newsworthy
  • Create something

None of this means you have to be famous. Yes, those famous people are remembered. They are famous, that is why. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be remembered as well.

We might not be known on the other side of this large planet, but most of don’t want to be forgotten by those we matter to the most. We don’t want to be like four times great-grandfather whose name is forgotten. We want to have a legacy.

I’m hoping to resolve some of this in my life through two ways. One is by doing research into my ancestors. I am discovering those ancestors’ names which has become very fascinating. My name has been handed down for several generations. I knew I was named after my great-grandmother. But she was named after her great-aunt in Germany. I now know about that woman so she is not forgotten.

Another way I am fighting against this fear is to write stories. Most of them are about my family. I have taken many stories told to me down through the years and created short stories or novels on them. Those events won’t die when family does. They will go on in the minds of others.

I’m not obsessed with the athazagoraphobia in my life, but it is there. As I get older, it has become more apparent. My job is now to deal with it and satisfy as well as I can.

What are you doing to face it?

I’m Afraid of Going Insane

Now that you have read that title, you have ideas about what I actually mean. Your mind has already raced ahead to assume what this is about. You think maybe I’m hearing voices in my head. Well, maybe that is accurate since I’m a writer. Bad example.

If I have agateophobia (the fear of insanity), it is because the world makes me feel that way. Seriously, those around me act like part of the All About Eve story. You know that movie that stared Betty Davis. She has a dark past that has many questioning her sanity. When her niece comes to visit her, strange things begin to happen. Eve thinks she is loosing it only discover… Spoiler alert! She discovers that her relative is making her appear mad to obtain Eve’s wealth. In the end, Eve becomes what everyone thought of her in an attempt to administer justice.

Yes, I have an imagination. I love to think of “what if” scenarios, but I do know the difference between reality and imagination. I’m beginning to think some people do not. They create a world that doesn’t exist and pretend that it does.

I have seen this first hand. Someone recounts an event and everyone listening has their mouths hanging open. That wasn’t how anyone else remembers it! Were they all at the same event?

I’m very serious. I was told once how I was screaming over an accident with another member of the family. A frown quickly appeared on my face because I wasn’t even at the scene. Others tried to correct the person who had told the tale of my hysterics, but she would hear none of it. I was there and completely lost it. Oh, the things I do that I am not even aware of.

There seems to be quite a few things that happen that I was directly involved in but have no recollection. Seriously! People recount an event and swear I was there, I said something, or I did something. What? I wasn’t even in the state at the time. Well, it seems I can be in two places at once. I even say things that I would never even think of. It’s truly amazing.

I had one person recounting an event in which I was completely wasted. Funny how I have never been drunk and I wasn’t at the event the person swears I was at. But the story persists.

There is even the story of me nearly punching someone out. Neither me or one other person with me at the time recall anything close to that, but someone I was able to nearly get into my first physical fight.

Do you have that problem? I mean, surely I’m not alone in this crazy world! Don’t you have it where others tell you things you have said or done but you don’t remember them at all? Yes, I know there are some people who just rewrite history so they look better or others look bad. If you are one of those, I’m not talking to you. You’re not going, you are already there.

Oh, well. Guess I have to live with the created realities. Maybe we all create them. We all change what really happened to be what we want it to be! Could that be it? Then we are all insane.

Note: This is just sarcasm. I’m not making fun of those with issues. It’s just sometimes we have people telling us we have issues that we don’t have and we have no idea how to deal with them.

Angels Walk Among Us

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Many of us can testify to having met angels at sometime in our lives. They might be literal angels or they are people sent to us during our times of need. I have met them and I think you have too.

What is an Angel?

An angel is a supernatural creature that mostly does good for those they encounter. That is the traditional definition. But that is not the type of angel I’m talking about here. Well maybe I am, but most of them I encounter are just special people who make a difference in my life.

These angels come in all forms and make us stop and think. They remind us to appreciate the little things in our lives.

Seeing the Angels Around Us

Believe it or not, angels are all around us. They come in forms from a butterfly passing by to the people who are there one moment and gone the next. I have met angels for no more than five minutes, but their impact has lasted decades.

Once about eighteen years ago, I decided that I would go to the grocery store with the children. Now, I managed to do grocery shopping with one child and then another. Yes, it was harder with two, but surely I could handle three. Boy, was I wrong! It was miserable. I tried to manage a cart with a baby in a car seat while keeping two toddlers in tow. I managed it out of the store, but that is when it fell apart. I couldn’t push the heavy cart with precious cargo and keep the kids from running in front of a car. A wonderful woman, my angel, was walking to the store from her car. She was sympathetic.

It wasn’t an easy decision to allow a stranger to help me with my children. But something told me that it was alright. She pushed the cart while I held onto the hands of my two older children. I still kept her in my sights in case my gut feeling was wrong, but she took the cart and my baby right to my car I had indicated. She stood by my cart as I got the children into their car seats. Then she helped me load my groceries into the trunk. Then she took the cart back into the store for me.

That was an angel. She didn’t have actual wings, but there were virtual ones there. I know it for a fact.

Other people can recount similar instances where they have met angels. They appear anywhere when we need them the most.

Watch For Angels

Life can be hard. We are caught up in the day to day struggles which can blind us to all the blessings life gives to us. How often do we miss the peaceful butterfly just a few feet away or the peeking rainbow after a dreary day? Good things are there, but we are ignore them. Even angels walk among us.

Keep an eye out for those angels. Notice who lifts your spirits even a tiny bit. They might be stranger. They might be someone you have known for years. Angels take many forms. Be thankful for them, and take their blessings with you to cherish in the years to come.

The Mystery of Alchemy

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Some mysteries flow over the centuries. Some never are solved, and the passion to discover it never dies down. There is one that has persisted down through the ages. It is the mystery of alchemy.

What is Alchemy

The Royal Society of Chemistry had this to say about alchemy: “Simplified, the aims of the alchemists were threefold: to find the Stone of Knowledge (The Philosophers’ Stone), to discover the medium of Eternal Youth and Health, and to discover the transmutation of metals. To the medieval alchemist’s mind the different elements were but the same original substance in varying degrees of purity. Gold was the purest of all and silver followed closely.” (https://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/alchemy/what-is-alchemy) It has been seen as sorcery and witchcraft by many over the years. Sad to say, this filtered over into anyone who practiced any form of medicine.

Alchemy was early chemistry but done in a way that made it look shady. It sought answers that appeared to be magical. In truth, those who practiced it were the earliest chemist. They just didn’t understand what they were working with.

Playing With the Supernatural

The early years of chemistry did seem like witchcraft. The understanding of the physical world around us was limited years ago. Anything that stretched beyond the understanding of the present day was witchcraft and deserved death. That meant even the legitimate explorers of chemistry were seen with distrustful eyes.

It was all connected to magic. That was deemed evil and dangerous. It was observed as a slight against society and God. Alchemist looked into the supernatural to find the secret for long life and riches untold.

A Joy for Writers

The supernatural has always been a wonderful playground for writers. It should be. Everything is possible. There really are no rules as, to our knowledge, it is not a real possibility.

Alchemy has been dabbled in by many authors. By dabbled, I mean mentioned or highly woven into a plot. This can be a subject matter that can allow characters the ability to do so much more. Even with a book that shows alchemy as nothing but science fiction, it can add so much more depth to the plot. It is a great mystery to give all the needed twists and turns in a story.

What stories involve alchemy can you name?

The Weather and the Future

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My grandmother was a very superstitious woman. She looked for signs in everyday life to tell her the future. Many of those signs were in nature. One of them was the moon. She looked up to the moon to see if it would rain the next day. (She was right most of the time.) This was a form of aeromancy.

Aeromancy the act of predicting the future based on the atmosphere. Okay, she really didn’t practice aeromancy, but you get the idea for it. Aeromancy has been around since the dawn of time. It makes sense as the future is unknown and the atmosphere is massive in how it impacts our lives.

Examples

Some look to the clouds to see what they can communicate to us humans. It is like reading tea leaves. The shape and color come into play. Those who think they can predict events by the clouds study them intently.

This goes beyond animals and boats we see shaped within the clouds. Some people think they can actually see the future and predict events. They see what the temperatures changes are and what other weather events are happening. The color of the sky, the intensity of the rain, the shape of the clouds – it all means something to those who claim to be able to read the weather.

Used in Stories

A writer can easily use this in any story. Maybe there is a person who town who claims they can predict local events by looking at the clouds and watching weather patterns. Pull this into a mystery story or a romantic comedy.

An entire story could be centered around this practice or a single character could be used to bring it in. Use it to drive the plot or give a dark edge to the storyline. Use it to track a killer or have the killer use it to find victims. Use it to reveal town secrets or as a laugh when nothing comes to pass.

Let you imagination run wild as you research this to see where it can fit into your story. I challenge you to write a flash fiction piece about it and see if you get inspired to write something longer.

Holiday Traditions I Miss From My Childhood

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Most families have traditions during holiday times. They develop over the years and continue changing as the generations cycle. Some disappear completely.

Holidays go beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas. They include many days throughout the year. These all provided memories I look back on quite often.

Birthday

My birthday was never a big event, but there was one thing my mother always did that was precious to me. She always made me a chocolate cake. Half had icing for my father who loved his sweets. The other half was for me without the icing. She did that every year for me when I lived at home. This past birthday, my youngest daughter made me a chocolate cake with no icing for me. That meant so much to me.

Easter

Each night before Easter, my mother would help me make a nest for the Easter Bunny. Yes, a nest. I would take my housecoat and create a snuggly nest at the foot of my bed. The next morning, I would find goodies for the famous critter. The nest was a critical part of that holiday for me as a child. I now have passed that on to my children. In fact, my youngest demanded I still do it her last Easter at home before she turned eighteen.

Fourth of July

Okay, my family didn’t do much for this holiday. We grilled out and watched the fireworks. The only thing I really remember is the sparklers we lit and ran around the yard with.

Halloween

Back in the day…. Yes, I just dated myself. But when I was little, we went out trick or treating all by ourselves. My mom only accompanied me when we lived on the farm as she had to actually drive me to houses of people we knew to get that wonderful candy. Oh, the delicious popcorn ball I got at one house!!!!! Still think of how yummy that was. After we moved to a city, I went with just my friends in the neighborhood. You can’t do that anymore safely.

The best part was when I was done. I would spread my candy haul out on the kitchen table to sort. Then my father would sneak in and steal what he watned. I would yell at him. He would laugh and do it again.

Thanksgiving

This was when the family began the holiday gatherings. We usually gathered at our house and ate wonderful food. My favorite was a cranberry gelatin dish my grandfather loved. Mom made it every year even after he passed.

Aside from that one dish, I loved having the family together. We laughed. We made memories. We are continuing this with my family as we gather each year at my daughter’s to make all new memories.

Christmas

This was much the same as Thanksgiving, but the memories here seem to be stronger. We always had Santa visit on Christmas Eve. I would try to spy him, but my family kept me occupied. Then I would sneak in to see my gifts from him. Such wonderful memories.

These memories became even more precious when my nieces came on the scene. We had such fun playing and being so innocent.

New Memories

As a child, I saw the world as wonderful. The innocence of a child can be strong. That is why so many childhood memories are precious to me. I loved thinking we all got along and all was well in the world. Wish it was that way again.