Saturday, February 13

Remembering Chevettes and Fig Newtons

I have procrastinated all morning to not clean my house, but finally I’m sweeping my bathroom floor and listening to Debbie Millman’s Design Matters podcast. She remarks that her favorite question to ask her guests is, “What is your first creative memory?” One time after the show a guest asked her, “What is your first memory?” She thought about it for days.

As I fluffed my couch pillows (I go all over the house when I clean) and straightened the slipcover on the first piece of furniture we ever owned with cushions, I started thinking about what my first memory could be. Debbie talked about wonderful times spent with her grandparents. Some of my earliest memories are ones with my Gram as well. She lived in an apartment in a small city, and it had a porch off the back that pigeons would come to. I’m sure they were viewed as pests, but I remember loving seeing them and listening to their cooing. There are morning doves in the countryside where I grew up, but you rarely see a pigeon. City birds, I guess. I remember riding to town with my dad on a sun-drenched summer day in one of our long line of Chevettes - one of which would become my first car. I can remember looking out the window as we rode past the farm where we would get our milk in a glass jug we’d bring to the milk house, everything was green in the fields, and I love the memory for the stillness of myself in the passenger seat utterly content as the world whirrs past the window. Riding in the front seat with my dad was a great treat. I’m pretty sure seat belts didn’t exist yet, and I hadn’t a care in the world.

Those memories are before I was eight, and I’m trying to travel back farther. My mom took tons of photos of my childhood - well, my whole life up to present - and one of my favorite things to do as a kid was pull out all her wonderful photo albums, flipping pages and asking questions. It is hard to differentiate memories from memories of photos. Oh, here’s one though: My other grandmother used to give me Fig Newtons. There is no picture of that. I don’t even like Fig Newtons, but I would always take one and eat it. What a strange, rectangular, gelatinous-filled cookie. Maybe because it was peculiar I found some enjoyment in it. Maybe it was just following her down the hallway to the closet where they were kept.

I’m procrastinating again, and it’s time to go clean some more. I’ll keep thinking.


Sherry said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post! It's hard to imagine you as a little kid, though!!! Hey, are you familiar with Studio 34? My daughter-in-law who now makes and sells her own line of bath products had a reception there last night because they are selling her products there. When I saw they make glass beads, I thought of you!

Ginger said...

I was pretty much the same, just smaller, LOL.

Yes, yes, Studio 34 is fantastic! I demo glass making there sometimes and just go for open torch to hang with my lampworking peeps now and again. That is so cool they are selling your daughter-in-law’s products. I will have to check them out! Marilynne, the owner of Studio 34, is super.

Yankee Girl 1881 said...

earliest memories... hmm I think i can go back to about 2 - 3 years old. may be a bit younger. a crib and a high chair are involved. I'd have to ask my parents when I was finally out of those.

Ginger said...

You were a bit wild, now. I bet they kept you contained until you were at least 7, LOL!