It might be cheating, writing about the same thing a second time…especially when we are only at Day Four, but here goes anyway. In a couple of classrooms this week, we started working on “I Remember” poems. Of course, when you write with your students, it has to be authentic, so I have been walking down memory lane.
I tried to pinpoint my earliest memory. I think my early memories are just snippets- maybe a feeling, or the color of things, or a brief moment of an event. I was an only child for four years before my sister was born, but in my memory, my sister is always there. In fact, a lot of my early memories are about her, not me. Here are a few:
I can picture her still in a crib, but old enough to stand up. I don’t know why, but in this memory the crib is in our parent’s bedroom. It was laundry day. There was a pile of unfolded clean laundry on the big bed. This was back in the day when ironing was part of the whole laundry process. When Mom did the ironing, when would spread the item on the ironing board and sprinkle it with water before pressing it. I guess my sister wanted to help. She used her bottle of milk to sprinkle the clothes. I can hear the dismay in Mom’s voice when she discovered the damp clothes and figured out what happened…and the laughter that followed.
This second memory was stirred up after a student shared the story of a time when she was younger, and she gave her dad and uncle a drink of water from the toilet! I shared with the class how our washer had been inside the bathroom when my sister and I were little. It was a wringer type washer, so doing laundry involved more handling of the wet clothes than it does now. My sister was ever helpful. One day we heard her singing “I washing, I washing.” We followed her voice to the bathroom, where she was happily “washing” Mom’s dress…in the toilet.
My sister had a hobby horse. It had a wooden frame, and the horse with saddle, bridle and reins was suspended by four big springs on the frame. She loved that horse more than anything. She would ride it and fall asleep sitting on it. She had a white cowgirl shirt and skirt with red trim and a matching red cowgirl hat. I have a picture in a photo album, but I don’t need to look at it to see my sister on that horse or wearing that outfit. I can picture it clearly, in great detail in my mind.
Fast forward to today. My sister lives near a small town. Her pride and joy is her newly built barn with three stalls and three horses. She has lost her love of doing laundry, however!