Friday, April 11, 2008

01 - The first thing I remember. . .

So I am starting to work through this list of 20 journal topics. This is topic one.

The first thing I remember...

This is quite tough. You recall a lot from when you were a child, but thinking about it is a logical timeframe is quite difficult. What came first?

I recall being small enough to sit on my Grandad Fred's lap. I remember his smell. I remember his songs. I remember his huge hands. I remember how the house smelt - a mix of cooking and washed linens. I remember how the lounge room of my paternal grandparents house was really dark with a really dim orange light. I remember crawling under the dining room table to get out from the booth seats. I remember hiding in my paternal grandmother's sewing room and being amazed at the sewing manequins. I remember the sun lounges out in the back room that we would have afternoon naps on. I remember their toilet which was just about on the outside the house in a little room. I remember my grandmother, Olive, cooking soups and corned meat on an open fire in the back yard and being allowed to poke at the fire with sticks. I remember being scared of their chickens. I think my earliest memories are from my paternal grandmother and grandfather's home.

I remember the day my father stopped carrying me on his shoulders. It was at the Bunya Mountains and I asked to ride on his shoulders. He looked at me and said "but you are a big girl now". I don't know if I showed it at the time, but I was so upset.

I remember my first day of school and my Mum making me talk to a girl who was weird. She never stopped being weird throughout primary school. Not in a geeky weird way - heck she would have been just like me in that case! - but in a stinky wierd way. I never did like her. My Mum made me walk to school every single day with her for so long. I hated going to her house to collect her because her house smelt like pee. I remember in Grade One being really upset and crying because I saw my sister, Jill, eating salt and vinegar chips for lunch and I had something boring. She would have been in Grade 7. I remember tracking down my other sister, Col, who was a much older Grade 4 girl and asking her why? I remember thinking it was the most unfair situation on the planet.

We had a Ford Falcon with a bench seat in the front and sold it for a minivan when I was about 7 years old. I remember going on long trips in the Falcon and having to sit in the front between my parents on every trip. I remember lying down on the seat with my head in my mothers lap in the passenger seat. My legs would be stretched as far as I could to reach my father's lap. I remember my father letting me be in control of the windscreen wipers - that was my job. I remember my father tricking my sister that we had run out of petrol on Birkdale Road and nearly making her run to a friend's house.

Our first house we moved out of when I was about 8 years old. I remember my bedroom that I shared with my sister, Col. I remember my bunk beds. I remember funky smelling carpet. I remember purposely falling out of bed to get attention. I remember my father sneeking into my room one night to scare me - I thought he was a wolf and I thought he was going to eat me - I was terrified. I remember seeing witches in my bedroom when the lights went out. I remember seeing ghosts. I remember sleeping in my sister's bed whenever she wasn't there simply because it smelt like her and I loved that smell - it was comforting. Even now when I smell her pillow or clothes or something like that it takes me right back to then. I remember having a big birthday party for my 7th birthday and hand making all the cards. My maternal grandmother, Lillian, and I cut out clowns from wrapping paper and stuck it on cardboard. We wrote each card individually.

I remember the garage full of tools, wood and things to hunt through as a child. I remember the pigeons that lived in the garage roof. I remember tea-chests we used as cubby houses. I remember standing on a nail in the tea-chests. I remember a big mango tree in our yard but I can't remember it getting cut down. I remember lying on my trampoline in the back yard and looking at the stars with my father. I remember seeing a UFO.

I remember in preschool going to a friend's house and the swing chair falling from the roof and hitting me on the head. I remember going to Brownies with my sisters and wondering what happens when I pull the pin out of the flag pole... It fell and hit me on the head. I remember falling off the trampoline with my legs going either side of the springs and ... hitting my head. I remember diving into our above ground pool and... hitting my head on the bottom. Its a wonder I even finished high school with so many head bumps.

I remember before I was old enough to go to school waiting all day until my sisters came home from school for lunch. We would watch TV together for a little while then they would go back to school. Mum and I would lie on my parent's bed to have a sleep. The green bed cover - I remember that. It smelt little bit like a camphor-wood chest.

I remember my first ever sleep over at Kristy App's house. We slept on the floor of her parent's bedroom. I spent so many wonderful nights at her house having sleep overs. I remember dancing to the Smurfs, then it became Icehouse, then Melissa Ethridge. I moved to another state then. I would never have a friend like that again. We would spend so much time together as kids and I never appreciated what a wonderful friend she was until I became an adult.

I can vaugely remember coming home from living overseas at about 4 years old. I remember a workman building something - my maternal grandmother's flat in our house or something. I remember my father talking about the people living in the house while we were living overseas.

Sitting here and going through everything I remember has made me realise that I recall quite a lot about my early childhood. The smells, the sounds and the change in perspective as you grow taller. One theme... how unfair life seems when you are little and how the little things are almost insurmountable. Life never stops being unfair, but the little things aren't quite a big anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't get to catch up with your blogs as much as I used to....Damn work! thing you forgot to mention is your famous magic that you used to do. Remember that Sunday night sitting on the loungeroom floor and you with your doll cradle covered in a sheet and you left the room to get something and I hid your doll and you came back out and said "Taa Daa" and pulled the sheet back and your doll had disappeared. You were SO UPSET because you couldn't bring your doll back!!! It didn't matter how many magic tricks you performed that damn doll just wouldn't reappear...Aaahhh - the days of teasing my little sister...such fond memories....