Sunday, May 5, 2013

Random Memories

Today, being fast and testimony meeting, of course someone had to bring up pies-- and talk about them at some length. But the connection she made was a good one-- that food often helps us remember our families.

Which got me to thinking about some of my earliest childhood memories. They are so vague that I'm not sure  they will be very interesting for you to read about, but I'll just see what I can do.

One of my earliest memories is of Papa walking me to sleep. I was small enough that I fit between his shoulder and his hip. I did not know this until a few years ago, but Papa actually likes opera (which I do not); what I have always known is that he was very interested in having a cultured family, which is why he bought a number of records at a yard sale from the "Family Library of Great Music," and it was these records which he would put on as he walked me to sleep. Well, that or Roger Williams. Anyway, I remember how safe and happy I felt, falling to sleep as Papa walked me.

Of course, I didn't call him Papa then. I called him "Daddy," which is what most American children call their fathers when they are little. We started calling him Papa when we were all older and he said how cool he thought that would be (I think that Fiddler on the Roof had some influence on this).

I also remember picture day, which came once a year when Penny's had their picture sale. I remember Nana reminding me what it was, because we'd gone the year before. I remember a daisy breaking off as my dad was working on a flower arrangement, and him offering it to me to hold for the picture. I knew that the flowers from the shop were not toys, and I was hesitant to take it, but he pointed out that it had broken off on accident, and the stem was too short to use, so I took it, and somewhere  we have a picture of bald-me, age one and a half or so, holding a daisy just like the one I remember, wearing the dress I remember. I remember the buttons, at my shoulders, being about as big across as one of my fingers. I remember that it was a pink corduroy dress, with each cord being about half as wide as one of my fingers. Years later, I found the dress; the buttons were only an inch across each, and the cords were only normal size. When you are small, everything really does seem larger.

I remember walking with my mom to get the pictures taken. There was a brick wall we would pass, with ads painted on it; the one I remember was for Levi's jeans, and it was of giant feet with the big toes jammed into the two legs of the jeans. How this was supposed to convince someone to buy jeans I couldn't imagine, and I still can't, but it was a fun picture to look at. 

I also remember that next door to the flower shop lived an elderly lady whom we called "Aunt Carrie," who was the reason why my older sister's first word was "cookie," and who was the one who introduced me both to danish butter cookies and to caramel. I did not know until many years later the story of why Carrie Nygar was friends with my family, and I don't have time to tell it at the moment. Perhaps I will tell it later. But if you have Papa handy, you might ask him.

Oh. And I remember, as I got older, watching Nana roll out piecrust between two sheets of plastic wrap. So it comes back to pie after all, I guess.

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