Category Archives: Nostalgia

How Many Clothes Do You Really Need? And an Almost-Forgotten Tradition

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stuffed closet

One thing the pandemic has shown me is that I’m quite content wearing the same 10 outfits over and over again.

Now, I’m retired. My husband has health issues, so I really don’t venture out much. There are still 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 every day in my county, and even though we’re vaccinated, I just don’t want to expose hubby to germs. Once a week, my Bible study group gathers on Zoom. Otherwise, I see very few people other than hubby and our grown children. Obviously, if I had a job or socialized, I would want more variety in my closet.

Back in pre-Covid days, I’d visit one of my favorite stores each month and check out the clearance racks. Even though I didn’t need new clothes, I’d justify that I couldn’t afford not to pick up a few bargains. Besides, I could always donate some clothes to Goodwill to make room for the new ones.

I have, from time to time, worn some of my better clothes at home just to enjoy them, but mostly I wear my “everyday clothes,” which are older and softer due to many, many washings.

On a totally unrelated note, the other day I remembered a tradition from my childhood—birthday spankings. Does anyone (probably you’d have to be a senior citizen) remember those? On your birthday, your teacher might have the class sing Happy Birthday to you; then, with great drama (and very little force), she’d put you over her knee and proceed to give you a spank for every year of your new age, plus one extra for good luck, and a “pinch to grow an inch,” while the rest of the class squealed with delight. I sincerely doubt any school district would permit such frivolity in this day and age, but do you remember birthday spankings, or did I just hallucinate them?

#ALP: Star Spangled Banner

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#ALP: Star Spangled Banner

Can anyone sing it well? How do you feel about standing for it? If you could write a new anthem, what would your lyrics say? Is a professional ball game a suitable venue for the national anthem, or are we just asking for trouble playing it in a sports arena?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

#ALP: Veggies

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#ALP: Veggies

Love ’em or hate ’em? Do you consider tomatoes and corn vegetables? If you were making vegetable soup from scratch, what would you be sure to include?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

#ALP: Broadway

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#ALP: Broadway

What’s your favorite musical? Hamilton? South Pacific? Lion King? Hello, Dolly? Did you ever perform in a musical? If you were to write a musical, what would the plot be? What style of music? What would the dancers’ costumes be like? Minimalist sets, or lavish scenery?

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

#ALP: Car

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#ALP: Car

My dream car used to be a Camaro. When we were raising our kids, I drove a 7-seater Caravan. Now I have my mid-life crisis car: a Mustang.

What was your first car? What do you drive now? Or what would you drive if money were no object? Or maybe you prefer an alternate method of getting around.

  • Use this prompt any way you wish—for a poem, memoir, painting, short story, photograph, no limits. Enjoy!
  • If you’d like to share a blog post (G-rated, please, and sensitive to the feelings of others—anything slightly objectionable will be deleted), create a pingback or leave a link in the comments below.
  • Be sure to visit at least two other participants to see how they interpreted the prompt.
  • Tag your entry #ALP (for ARHtistic License Prompt) to help others find your work on social media.

Video of the Week #117: Judy of the Blue Eyes

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Video of the Week #117: Judy of the Blue Eyes

Wasserspiele

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Wasserspiele

When I was nine years old, my parents, who were German immigrants and still had relatives there, took my baby brother and me to Germany on vacation. It was their first visit home in ten years.

Hellbrunn2 by Nicholas Even

Schloss Hellbrun, photo by Nicholas Even

One of the highlights of the trip for me was crossing the border into Salzburg, Austria. We toured the famous salt mine, and visited the fabled Hellbrun Palace, built in 1613–19 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince and Archbishop of Salzburg.

by Zairon Salzburg_Schloss_Hellbrunn_Wasserspiele_21

photo by Zairon

Schloss Hellbrun is also famous for its Wasserspiele, literally “water games.” Hidden among the gardens are fountains, a series of practical jokes devised by Sittikus to be played on his guests. If I remember correctly, I was among a throng of tourists absorbed in the workings of a miniature mechanical village (pictured above)tucked inside a little grotto on the grounds when we were suddenly squirted with water. (My parents stepped back with baby Billy just moments before. Obviously, they knew what was coming.)

Below are more statuary and trick fountains in the gardens. (Click on the photos below to enlarge and reveal the photo credits.)

 

 

The crown below rises and falls with the pressure of the water, symbolizing the rise and fall of power:

Hellbrunn_wasserspiele_1 Matthias Kabel

Photo by Matthias Kabel.

Below is a video (narrated in German) which shows the Wasserspiele in action.

Rest in Peace, Glen Campbell

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Rest in Peace, Glen Campbell

April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017

Fear of Driving

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Fear of Driving

This article was first published on Doing Life Together.

Doing Life Together

I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 19.

I got my first learner’s permit when I was a senior in high school. My dad took me out driving several times in his huge Buick LeSabre. Our sessions usually ended with him red-faced and shouting at me, and me crying. At the time, I didn’t understand why Dad was so frustrated.

The day of my scheduled road test was also the day of the first blizzard of 1970. I had no experience driving in snow. Even though Dad promised the test course would be plowed by the time we got there, this was not the way I’d imagined it. I pictured myself driving us to the Motor Vehicles office on non-scary, dry roads. I didn’t want a last-minute lesson on driving on snow-covered roads. So I refused to go. Dad said I could call and reschedule, but I just…

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Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum

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Art of Quilting Show at the Gilbert Historical Museum

For twenty-seven years, I’ve lived seven miles from the Gilbert (AZ) Historical Museum, and never visited it. That changed last month when a friend invited me to accompany her to a quilt show there.

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The museum documents the story of the farming community, which sprang up in the early 1900s when the Arizona Eastern Railway established a rail line between Florence and Phoenix. But it also preserves the memory of our country as experienced by our grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents.

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This is an R.E.O. Speed Wagon. I know, right?! It was named after Ransom E. Olds, the founder of Oldsmobile.

Full of charming artifacts, the museum catapulted me into memories of my extended family, particularly my aunt’s in-laws, who farmed in New Jersey. I will intersperse pictures of items from the permanent collection amongst the photos of the quilt show.

Model T Ford

Model T Ford

You can click on the smaller images to enlarge and see the captions.

Silent auction items, including antique quilt blocks.

Silent auction items, including antique quilt blocks.

Some of the items for sale in the gift shop. I bought a hand-made pincushion made from a ceramic cornucopia.

Some of the items for sale in the gift shop. I bought a hand-made pincushion made from a ceramic cornucopia.

On Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, a group of quilters gathers at the museum to work.

Who wouldn’t want a laundry room equipped with these lovely washing machines, fully loaded with mechanical wringers?

 

Seeing the crazy quilt below triggered a memory from my childhood. When I was a little girl, an elderly friend of my parents gave them an old crazy quilt like this, heavily embroidered silk bordered and backed with burgundy velvet. My mother gave it to me to use as a bedspread on my bed, until it deteriorated into shreds. Knowing what I know now, I wish I’d had the option of saving it. I suspect it was already pretty worn out when we got it.

Crazy qu

World War I artifacts from the Military exhibit:

Let us never forget our men and women in uniform who have perished in service to our country.

The quilt show runs through May 30, 2016. It was so worth my $4 (senior discount) to see it. And the museum is absolutely charming. I’ll be back again. And the quilt show is an annual event! See you next year, maybe.