Thursday, November 20, 2008


My girlfriend Elysa tagged me with this Childhood Memory Meme. (I have no idea what any of that means. It's Bloggerese, I guess.) It's much easier to do these things with my sister Robin, so I hope she'll comment and fill in whatever I left out.

1.)Romper Stompers...little yellow upside down buckets with green plastic straps for handles. LOVED 'EM!

2.) Government cheese...awesome. Seriously.

3.) I remember seeing a lobster in the fridge and I PROMISE you it had blue eyes. I screamed and closed the door.

4.) When it rained in the summer time, mom let us play outside in our swimsuits. Until it started to thunder, of course, and then we ran inside and mom then made us sit in the hallway (no windows there) until the storm passed. Both activities were great fun!

5.) Playing cards every Saturday. And losing. Badly.

6.)When I was 2ish, we lived in a tenament in New Bedford. The lady downstairs from us was named Mrs. Borden, and I think she used to babysit us. All I remember about this woman is her vast amount of candy sticks she kept on a sideboard in her apartment. I can still see the rows of swirled colors and remember how hard it was to choose one!

7.)I used to kick my sister when I got mad at her. Or bored. (I was a pesty little sister. I know it's hard to believe.) AnYwAy, she quickly learned to grab my foot when I kicked her, putting me in a very vunerable position while also providing proof to mom that I had been kicking her. One day, I must have really ticked her off. When I kicked her, she grabbed my foot REALLY quickly ...and hard, like she meant it. She put so much into it that she flipped me right off my foot and I *WACKED* my head on the not-carpeted-and-hard-as-a-rock floor. I don't remember it hurting. I just remember opening my mouth to scream bloody murder, and she was on me before i let out a peep, her hand over mouth and whispering, " I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry....sssshhhhh, please don't tell, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I think I laughed. It was pretty durn funny.

8.)"Freshen Up" squirted some green goo from it's center when you chewed it. It was supposed to freshen your breath. It was reeeeaaaaaallly sweet.

9.) My favorite soda was Mellow Yellow....I can't find it anywhere.

10.)We used to go rollerskating at Lincoln Park. You rented skates with metal wheels and skated on a wooden floor rink. Boy, you got up quickly when you fell there! Those metal wheels HURT. Everyone was really excited when a new rollerskating rink opened up in the next town. It was called "Hot Wheels" (late 70's y'all) and it had a shiny floor (vinyl, maybe..i don't know) that looked really slippery. The skates had plastic wheels and (gasp!) rubber toe stops. I remember how excited I was skating around that rink with my Shaun Cassidy jeans and shiny red satin Shaun Cassidy jacket!!! wooooo, baby!

11.) Decorating the Christmas tree...there is a right way to do this folks, and you had better NOT throw clumps of tinsel! Mom always played Christmas music (Supremes, Brenda Lee, Dean Martin, Beach Boys...and Elvis, of course). We ALWAYS, i repeat ALWAYS had a real tree. Sometimes it was a little skinny, but it was real and it smelled Gooooooood! Homemade unbreakable ornaments on the bottom and middle, delicate antique ornaments higher up. Be careful not to touch those bulbs because they are HOT once they've been on awhile!(I wasn't allowed to handle the delicate ornaments very often, for good reason. In fact, as a child my nickname was "Crash!") They claim I pulled the whole tree over on myself one year, but I don't remember that.

12.)One year we got a Blue Spruce Christmas tree..we decorated it with blue velvet ribbons and silver garland. It was beautiful. Just don't touch the dang thing because the needles will break skin. We had to wear gloves to decorate it.

13.) My sister had a doll that stood 3 feet high. She had a Laura Ingalls looking dress, petticoats and a bonnet that matched her dress. She stood in the corner of our room. One day, I gave her a haircut...I tried to feather her hair. Nobody was happy about this. She looked HORRIBLE! She only had hair in didn't was just gross. I'm still sorry about that. Not so bad that I stopped cutting hair though, as once can see my looking at my baby girl's new "supposed-to-be-a-shag" haircut. It's not a shag.

14. ) Mom's bedroom was OFF LIMITS! It was like the inner sanctum, the holy of go in there, you die. Now that I think about it, I need mom to come teach my children that about my bedroom. They just barge right in like they own the place. Anyway, my bedroom was directly across the hall from Mom's. When I was banished to my room for smart mouthing (my usual offense), I would take great pleasure in running across the hall into her room, looking into her dresser mirror and whispering, "I'm in your room!!!" and running back into my room. I felt like a spy...sneaking up to the doorway, peaking around the corner...then darting across the hall! Sometimes when I looked down the hall, I could see her...this really made it fun!!! She would be in her Boston rocker, recipe box in her lap, back to the hallway. ZIP! Across the hall, dance in front of the mirror, touch St. Teresa on the head, zip back. I wasn't allowed to touch ANYTHING on mom's dresser, least of all St. Teresa. I only did that once or twice, because I knew my history of breaking things would catch up with me and then I would be in it DEEP!

Man, I'm so dead after mom reads this.

15.) Camping, bikerides, picnics, lots of outdoor stuff. We were not girlie girls, no sirree!

16.) Tuesday nights were my favorite TV nights. Laverne and Shirly and Happy Days. My sister had plastic Fonzy cups!

That's all for now...I'm sure I've left out stuff that my sister will remember. If Mom doesn't kill me for the room thing, I'll post whatevr Robin sends.

*Friday 11/21/08* Robin's Memories

Boy are you going to be in trouble with Mom after she reads the room thing!!! Even I wouldn't be brave enough to tell her about ever entering her room...which of course I didn't...really.

For the record, you didn't pull over the Christmas tree. That was the year we decided to string cranberries and popcorn for the tree. However, since the tree was in a corner, we only put them on the front. Who knew cranberries were so heavy?

Romper stompers were great, but even better was waiting for Miss Diane from Romper Room to look into her "magic mirror" and see us. I waited week after week for her to say "...and I see Robin". I can't remember if she ever did. Maybe Mom does.

Rainy Saturday afternoons were also great for watching Godzilla on TV, playing ALL of Mom's 45 records (and of course singing along, badly!), and hot chocolate. Or maybe the three of us washing each other's hair in the kitchen sink. That was a treat! I still do that for Dani when she's had a particularly bad day.

The Thanksgiving you dropped the mashed potatoes...I'm still not sure what was so funny about that, I just remember we found it hysterical. Maybe it had something to do with the "plop" they made as the whole thing landed on the floor.

There were the summer evenings around the picnic table in the backyard with all our friends from "the village". We would have the radio or record player outside with us and just listen to music and talk for what seemed like forever. And Mom would always have something home baked for all of us to munch on.

The Blizzard of 78. I thought it was going to snow forever. We lost power and had a whole week off from school! I can still see the three of us suiting up and taking Shep for a walk to Apponagansett Beach. There were almost no cars on the road and it was so quiet. The snowdrifts were so high we walked OVER fences without realizing they were there!

Vavo's candy/doll room. We could look and admire, but never sit on or touch anything in that room! It was typical of every Portuguese grandmother to have a display room like that. It was reserved for family pictures, collectible dolls and figurines, beautiful glass and ceramic candy dishes (always filled!), and mementos from the "Old Country". A smart grandchild learned early not to touch! But in the kitchen, nothing was off limits. She would feed us the most wonderful food, until we were so full we couldn't move, even foods Mom would never let us have! With all that wonderful homemade Portuguese food, it was still such a thrill to have soda and Ring Dings. I pretty sure I can still get my foil wrapper smoother than your's!

I could go on forever, but my house isn't going to clean itself. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, it was wonderful. Feel free to post whatever you want. Love you!

Love, Robin

Isn't she great?


Rhonda's mom said...

WOW---I must have done "something right" huh? How about keeping the "candles lit and lights off" when the electricity came back on after a storm? Gee, don't get me started---and Rhonda----my St Teresa? hmmmmm-----