Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I wrote this yesterday - I took me a whole day to get brave.

Nothing much exciting ever happens in our lives. Yea, there are little things like riding the Bart with several of the key actors and actresses from The Jersey Boys, or having my purse stolen from a locked car in Adelaide, Australia. But in reality we live pretty unexciting lives and as neither of us are good story tellers, what does happen to us that would make a good story is told in a straight forward sort of way. I know the story telling gene is recessive in my case because I grew up listing to my Great Grandma Cox and her daughter, my Grandma Hultman telling splendid stories to me. How I wish I had just one on tape.

I would spend Sunday afternoons listing to my Great Grandma regale me with tales of her life. She rode in a covered wagon, when first cooking used salt instead of sugar in a cake and someone she knew looked just like Festus in the TV show Gun Smoke. Or was it Doc? Now this all sounds rather ordinary but to my young ears her stories were like reading a good book.

There is nothing out of the ordinary when the most exciting thing in your day is, perhaps, the lack of underwear in the underwear drawer. To be honest that is not exactly the truth. There will be just nothing that one wants to wear in the drawer. All the favorites are either in the wash or on the dryer waiting to be folded. That makes for the decision either to wear the items that are kept for an emergency or to wander downstairs to fetch a favorite.

So it is with a bit of trepidation that I have made a resolution to journal at least once a month, with the goal being to do a bit of writing once a week. My anxiety of writing and sharing is real and long lived. To open one’s self to others, in my case, is a leap of faith. The faith part is my concern that I will not be understood, that I will be liked less and that I will not be the least bit interesting. So it is with misgivings, apprehension and unease that I write.

Today will be a bit easier because I want to share a quote from Abraham Lincoln. It is Presidents Day and George Washington’s Birthday observed. Perhaps next year on Lincoln’s birthday or on Washington’s real birthday I will use a quote from him but for today I will use one from Lincoln. That man said some profound things.

Here goes Lincoln:

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." - -- A. Lincoln

To be able to put words together like that man would be a wonderful talent. With this the 200th anniversary of his birth we will be reading a lot about him.

I was the first of my Grandparent Hultman’s thirteen grand kids. I got to go camping with them by myself on a couple of trips before the rest of the gang would go along. The group trips to camp at an Iowa camp ground are stories for another day. What I remember about the trips the three of us took, is doing a Lincoln trip. We went to his cabin in Salem, Illinois and his home in Springfield. One time we also took in Mark Twain’s Hannibal boyhood home. As I said my story telling gene is recessive. So is my recall gene. I just do not recall all the detail.

I do however remember on one of our trips my Grandmother telling me, while sitting on an outdoor privy, that one should never touch a toilet set with one’s bottom, as there are diseases that one can get that way. She taught me the art of hovering while using the bathroom. What those diseases were or why my Mother had not informed me, where questions I thought but was too timid to ask. I was told that bad girls sometimes had these mysterious diseases. Fifty years later when using a public bathroom I am still left with the question “Do I hover or sit?”

No comments: