Sunday, July 17, 2011
Lena's Story and Poetry Corner: I am one of the coauthors for the new book White C...: "I am one of the coauthors for the new book White Chapel 13. Check it out at http://www.sonar4publications.com/2011/07/pre-order-for-oceans-..."
It is truly amazing that I lived to adulthood. When I reminisce about childhood and all the things I did, I shudder to think what all could have befallen me. There were near misses that at the time I dismissed; however, now I see the folly in the chances I took. I would never have dreamed of allowing my children or grandchildren to do what I had done, but then again those were different times.
I grew up just outside of Detroit city in a little green and white wood siding home. Although we had a backyard, my playgrounds tended to be the railroad tracks, abandoned buildings, cellars, and overgrown wooded areas. It wasn’t that there weren’t children to play with or houses I could have safely visited, but rather the tomboy in me thrived on adventures and hidden treasures. Rocks, broken pottery, left behind fragmented furniture found on properties within abandoned homes were my holy grails. Many a day my wagon and I would set off to explore the unknowns as if the world were my kingdom and I, the ruler of all about me. If one of the neighbor boys wanted to tag along they were welcome but truthfully I preferred to head out on my own. Girls with their dolls I totally ignored. Although every aunt, cousin and friend of my mother’s gave me dolls for every holiday, I either ignored or used them for shooting practice with my brother’s dart set in the basement.
I remember one such adventure when I was checking out a field with my red flyer wagon. It probably belonged to my brother in truth; but, it was one of those things I confiscated from him, as nine tenths of the law as they say. While trekking through this particular lot, only recently catching my attention, I stumbled upon a patch of wild onion and strawberries, which I sat down and ate with abandon. I learned early on, someone told me I just do not remember who, that chives were sweet if you pealed open the green shoots using your teeth along the inner soft area. I sat in my wagon swinging my legs as they dangled over the rim, enjoying the sunshine and a cool breeze blowing curls away from my face. I hated my soft blondish brown hair that mom insisted on perming in an attempt to make me look more like Shirley Temple and hopefully give me the appearance of being a girl. I approved heartily of barrettes or headbands because they kept the pestering ringlets from falling in my eyes. Today I had on a stretchy light blue headband, which I pushed down then back up in an attempt to pull back more of the unruly hair. As far as I was concerned, curls just made it easier to get burrs and sticks stuck in them when I crawled around and under the bushes.