Monday, May 4, 2015

A Flood of Memories! A Repost from August 2, 2013.

I am still struggling with the loss of our mother in April so please be patient with me. I repost stories that she liked in her memory. hug B

The potential possibilities of any child are
the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.
                                 Ray Lyman Wilbur


In the little village where I grew up there is a creek that runs through the middle of the town. There was a beautiful dam known to the locals as the Mill Dam which is now sadly reduced to four decaying pillars of cement. Water trickling, where once the water was deep and rushing fast over the top of the wooden dam, for the enjoyment of every kid in this little village. The creek made its way to an old mill where baskets and dreams were once made. Life; much like this view has changed greatly for this girl on this little trip down memory lane. Many a memory was made here and I return to this special spot often to relive and to not forget, it gives me great comfort.

My Mom would shout “Time to go” we all knew what that meant, the tattered old towels were hung on our arms or wrapped around our necks, the huge bottle of egg shampoo which actually did look like raw eggs in a bottle was held by someone and that always present secret family recipe concoction in a bottle which may be called sunscreen now-a-days or as I now call it sunburn in a bottle was carried by Mom. I will share this family recipe with you but be warned do not use it unless you want to have orange streaks, red blistered skin and want to remain as slippery as a fish even after a whole day of swimming but still smell wonderful.


Here it is, ready or not ……one bottle of sweet smelling baby oil in a clear plastic bottle with a few drops of iodine that dripped from the glass stopper pulled out of that little brown bottle and then just give it a good shake. Now you have it. Simple and I am thinking very cheap at that time.
After a summer of this secret family recipe lathered every day on exposed skin, and after weeks of burning, blistered painful skin which would peel for weeks you would ultimately be left with a nice skin tone, as brown as the bottle that the iodine came in. Well except for the constant peeling noses and patches of white that would never tan because you were now, after all that peeling down to the first baby skin you entered this world in.

We would all walk down through the village on the sidewalk the older children holding the hands of the younger ones so they would not run out into the heavy traffic, that was constantly moving along the busy highway which also runs through the middle of the little village where I grew up. The excitement which involved shouting, laughing and squealing with delight children no doubt being heard and possibly enjoyed but maybe not by all the people of the village living in the houses lining the street where they sat in their rooms with the windows wide open trying to catch the cool breeze that was blowing on those extremely hot days. I do still think some would be thinking, There they go again, look at them, yes we were the ones everyone would envy, no doubt about that.


We made our way down to a special spot on the creek crossing the highway away from the Mill Dam and closer to the Mill where the water was not too deep so the little ones would be able to sit and the water rushed fast enough to keep the older children distracted with games of splashing and chasing while keeping everyone safe; ten kids and one always exhausted Mom.

This playing/bathing ritual was played out over and over most every day of the summer and as I sit here this sunny hot summer day today I remember that splashing, that screaming, that laughter and the same sense of security and love that still remains to this day. I also remember looking over and watching my Mom with her smiling face and a profound look of peace as though the pressures of raising those ten kids in an old crowded house without a lot of money was forgotten in this special place.


The smells are still as remembered; that smell of wet seaweed with just a hint of fish, the somewhat familiar sound of rushing but sadly now trickling water. I watch as a Goldfinch hangs upside down on a Purple Loosestrife plant which had pushed its way through a crack in the hunk of limestone and survived after making its way through the hard stuff never doubting that it would make it.


There are no longer those sounds of laughter or screaming sounds of glee, no sounds of splashing and running wet feet on limestone rock. There are no smells of baby oil and egg shampoo and there was no exhausted Mom sitting on the limestone fossil rock on an old tattered towel with a peaceful look and smile on her face.


There is now only a lone woman with a camera and a pen and paper, with a head full of memories sitting on a hunk of fossil filled limestone without, a wish she had tattered towel. A woman who to this day still has a lot of those same resulting sunscreen freckles, with a smile on her face and a contentment and peace in her heart trying so very hard to hold tight to the memories of those now long gone times.

Thanks Mom.



Later

55 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, I remember the baby oil and iodine trick - what were we thinking? What nice memories you have!

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  2. What a lovely remembrance Buttons! I hope you have a nice weekend, and that the hay is all in!

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  3. Oh, what a lovely place, both in memories and reality! I would love to be able to head to a river like that nearby. (We have the ocean nearby, so I shouldn't complain.) And gosh, I remember laying out in the sun with the baby oil...

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  4. You are such an inspiration! We would all benefit from journaling our childhood memories!

    I was surprised when you mentioned baby oil as a sunscreen! :)

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  5. I had to shudder over your family's special sunscreen concoction! I do remember using baby oil in the 80s though.

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  6. I feel a good cry coming on. This was just beautiful, B. I know many of us boomers can relate to some of what you stated here. xo

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  7. Oh so beautiful, and a bit bittersweet like chocolate chips. I felt a longing for the old days and for some reason ~ The Waltons came to mind ...which I loved.
    Beatiful family memory Buttons.

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  8. I grew up in the country, so we had an old swimming hole too. The water was so fresh and cold!! perfect for a hot summer day!

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  9. loving memories to go with your beautiful views. i think i'll just scrolling through your captures 3-4 more times...
    *hugs*

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  10. when i return to wisconsin (and it's been a lot of years since i've been back now) i always go down to a little iron bridge on a dirt road less than a mile away from the old farm where i grew up. i have the same memories of my sis and i peddling our bikes to this place, walking under the bridge, into the creek. it was called mill creek. :)

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  11. B,

    I've never used the baby oil and iodine recipe, sounds interesting for the time :P

    Reflecting on memories, best part of life. Being able to hold those memories close to our hearts.

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  12. What a fantastic place to have had within walking distance of your own house. I find that childhood memories like these are so bittersweet. Putting them into words can be such an illusive exercise, but you've been able to capture the memories beautifully with your pen and paper.

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  13. What great memories. Thanks for letting us join you with them.

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  14. A lovely trip down memory lane (creek).

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  15. What a lovely trip down memory lane. Sounds a lot like my childhood (with only 7, not 10, kids) - and we were on our own down at the creek - which never exceeded 3' deep. And no cell phones, iPads, x-boxes .... how did we ever survive ??

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  16. Still looks like a good place to watch the water, maybe wade a bit...

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  17. What wonderful memories to hold forever in your heart. You are very brave to go back to the beginnings because going back is not always easy or even uplifting---even with good memories.
    We used the same baby oil and iodine too. Wow!
    As Bob Hope always said "Thanks for the Memories". MB

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  18. so many details in your beautiful memories!!

    the concept of a large family, outdoor fun and a quiet day at the creek are slowly slipping away. we sure did know how to have fun, back in the day!!

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  19. This is beautiful. You have shared lovely memories in your lovely voice. Makes my heart feel good. Makes me think too how important our stories are.

    I remember the baby oil.

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  20. I remember the days of using baby oil to try to tan...what were we thinking?? You have such vivid memories of fun times! :)

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  21. You have so many happy memories from childhood! Although I don't know about the sunscreen - yikes! I bet you guys did get burned pretty badly.

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  22. Oh I remember the baby oil and iodine! Never would have thought of it again had it not been for you. Love the memory of the smell : )

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  23. Very warm and beautiful memories brought to life again by you. Thank you for sharing.

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  24. I love your memories B! Going to the Oregon Coast does the same for me-brings back the days when I was a child. I look at the sand as I walk the beaches, and wonder if it's the same sand I walked on all those years ago:)

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  25. Oh Buttons :( that is so sad and beautiful! Oh time, I wish we could relive those best bits of our life!

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  26. Beautifully written of such fond memories ! I to can remember my days as a kid on our farm swimming in the pond , swinging on the old tire swing , riding my pony and helping my mum pick fresh veggies from the garden ! Oh what sweet times ! Thanks for sharing ! Have a good weekend !

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  27. Nice to treasure our memories and thanks for sharing. I remember the baby oil trick but not the iodine. I like your shots of your feet with the view up ahead.

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  28. As long as you remember those times are never gone.

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  29. I used that baby oil/iodine stuff!

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  30. Buttons that is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read and all of it still so fresh in your lovely mind. As an only child I can only imagine what it must have been like to be one of 10. What fun and so much sharing and the odd fight too to even it all out.
    I've often wondered why oil was considered to prevent sunburn. Instead it cooked people. My Mum used a special cream so I was fortunate to avoid sunburn until I grew up and forgot that special cream!!
    Once again thank you for sharing a beautiful place and a beautiful time. xx

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  31. You are such a good writer. I was right there with you. Such a good memory. Mine is fishing with my Mom on the Muddy Missouri. Sand not limestone was under our feet. My mom had the same look. We go fishing in the same spot every time I go back.

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  32. I can hear the voices - the water - the kids shrieks and shrills -but most of all, i can feel your mom's smile, like the heat of the sun that shined down those days.

    You write like the way it should be written...you should be published, my friend....

    xoxox

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    1. And I still stand by these words today ;)

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  33. Never heard of that recipe. Have used baby oil and spent many a day in a water hole, I seem go brown in a few days in summer. Nice memories for you. Hugs xxx

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  34. You Live, You Share, You Bless!
    Thank you,
    -g-

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  35. Oh, Grace....how beautiful your memories.....they tug the heart strings. And bring a dull ache as I see in my imagination, the picture you paint for us! I feel almost voyeuristic sitting alongside you as you recall those precious times. We didn't realise that we were making sweet memories as w e played...looking back to the security that was our Mum....making sure that she was 'still there'! We didn't realise that, years later, a s older women we would unpack those bittersweet set memories and wonder...w here did the time go?.....how has it all changed so much....if your e like me ou will also be wondering 'what memories did we help make for our children'? I hope that the sweetness of those memories will sing in your heart this week. Joan

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  36. Baby oil & iodine, and don't forget the transistor radio & then the giant boom box...I wish I knew then what I know now- too much sun ruins your skin.

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  37. I think that the childhood memories of water are among the strongest we all have. Lakes, streams, pools, it seems that anyone who was near a body of water has memories that still are strong to this day.

    Think I will pass on the sunscreen though...thanks.

    Jen

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  38. You are doing well at hanging on to those memories and writing them so interestingly. Your mum was amazing to bring up 10 kids on a shoe string and to give you all fond memories. As Jen says our childhood memories seem to stick better than others. I remember romping through the bush in bare feet and finding the creek where we swam with the yabbies sometimes hanging onto our toes. Today that creek is a suburban drain so sad.

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  39. Such sweet memories. Love lives on.....my deepest condolences. xo Karen

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  40. Wonderful summer memories of a long ago day. Change isn't always good but we have our memories for now. I used baby oil or vaseline. And those little plastic eye covers so your eyeballs don't burn while your skin is burning. LOL Wishing you a blessed month of May.
    Pamela

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  41. Button, I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I'm so glad that you hold her so dear. You have some wonderful memories and many more will come out from storage to fill a book.
    I never used iodine in baby oil but I have used vinegar to sooth sunburns and to prevent peeling when I was young.

    Thanks for sharing these memories with us. Hugs my friend.
    JB

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  42. Beautiful memories. I have some similar of the lake by our house when I was growing up. Cherish them!

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  43. Lovely post and photos ! I often have a good ole trip down memory lane of my days as a kid on our farm . Places are often not the same any more as we remember them as so much has changed over the years it is sad some times how much they have changed and not always for the better either . We actually used Coppertone sun screen when I was a kid back in the 60s, baby oil magnifies the sun and causes the skin to burn ! Thanks for sharing , have a good week !

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  44. Heart felt hugs.
    And yes, we baked in baby oil too. Without the iodine.

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  45. By the way . . . beautiful memory moments written and shared by you . . .
    Thank you for the memories of Baby Oil and iodine . . . my memories of being a kid in Iowa . . .
    Loved hearing of your memories of splashing, screaming, laughter, . . . with mum looking on . . .

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  46. Oh , I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I haven't been reading blogs lately. I have always enjoyed your memory stories. Take care B. {{hugs}}

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  47. i remember this b!! so sad, the loss of someone so near and dear to you!!!

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  48. I think posting stories your mother liked is a lovely way to honour her memory.

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  49. What a lovely way to remember your mother. One of the very nicest things about blogging is the ability to travel back in time.

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  50. I remember this story in particular. We just used baby oil and used to fry ourselves in the sun too - didn't know about the iodine!
    Your writings are so vivid B, it's like we're there with you.

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  51. I saved this in my e-mails so I would be sure to read it. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is so wonderful that you are remembering your mom this way. I know this had to be a super hard Mother's Day for you and I hope you had a nice day. Special memories like this help.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

Please do not copy my work. If you like it let me know I am sure we can work something out. Copyright is in place.