The Magic of Childhood Memories

A lake in New Hampshire.

1970 something.

On a boat.

The Idiot was nowhere near us, but I borrowed a few lines of his style since his post about Jaws and the discussion following made me flash on this particular memory.

Dad and Deb at the lake, I wonder if they were searching for mermaids? (Note: there are not many pictures of my adventures, mostly my brother and sister's.)

Dad and Deb again. Maybe Debbie is pointing at a lake monster in the distance.

We had a couple of lovable idiots on the boat. One of them, I called Daddy. The other was an old family friend named Hank. They had taken us out on a boat and I remember floating on the middle of the lake when both of them went overboard.

I’m not sure it was by choice. In later discussions my older sister (by five years) said that there was beer involved, and some sort of horseplay.

They were under water for a long time, and came back up covered in black gunk.

“What happened?!” I asked.

“We were attacked by a giant octopus.” Daddy said. And Hank reinforced his story.

Of course, I believed them. I mean, isn’t every New England lake inhabited by giant man-eating octopi?

Now, despite the fact that The Idiot said,

“Lisa – There is nothing I take more pride in….than dredging up old, deep, psychological wounds and memories……. So glad I could help :) “

I’m not really wounded by the gullible naiveté of that little girl, instead I am saddened that I can no longer give into that complete and utter belief of childhood.

I can no longer lie in my bed at night on Christmas wishing that, since Santa wouldn’t come to my house and bring me presents, he would at least let Rudolph knock on my window and take me for a magical ride.

Forgive my early Christmas reference.

I can no longer wander through a Halloween night, wondering if some of the creatures wandering the streets are real. [OK, I can, but I’m not supposed to admit it ;)] I cannot sit in a pumpkin patch and wait for the appearance of the Great Pumpkin. I never did that, but I always empathize with Linus when watching the special, I want so much to believe.

I can no longer wish upon a star, bursting out into song of course, and expect my wish will come true with a simple spark of fairy magic.

I can no longer run through the streets on a cool spring evening searching for Elijah in hopes that he might appear.

I can’t wander through a house that I am not familiar with looking at closet doors and wardrobes wondering if I can find an opening to a world like Narnia through one of them, and hoping I will.

More often than not, I’m driving the car, so I can’t give into the traveling fantasies of my childhood days, where I am riding a horse along the side of the road or conversing with a person just like me who lives among the stars.

I’m not supposed to believe in fairies and leprechauns, ghosts and goblins, or anything else truly magical. But that is a true loss. I wrote recently how much I would like to think like an eight year old, and I mean it.

The other day Nathan found our old video tape of Hook (1991) starring Dustin Hoffman,  Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, and Maggie Smith (love her) and directed by Steven Spielberg. Now, some people called this movie a flop, but I always loved it. Why? Because it reminds all adults, and even kids, of the value of imagination and believing in magic. How can you not love the following scene where a meal of nothing turns into a feast of fabulosity (and I know I made up that word)?

I want to get back on the boat and believe in the octopus, because believing in the impossible makes this world and this life a place full of possibility.

Don’t you think?



Ice Cream Tastes Better . . .

I’m feeling a little nostalgic and lone today. I haven’t given my daughter the Memorial Day she deserves as a child. Maybe next year. But, thanks to her, and the little tinkle of music coming down the street, I got to eat a strawberry shortcake and find some words to write (words that have avoided me all day):

 Ice cream tastes better
when it comes off an ice cream truck.

Fried Dough tastes better at a county fair.

Marshmallows taste better after a barbecue.

Ice cold lemonade tastes better after playing in the sun all day.

Everything tastes better in the memories of childhood.

ItGetsBetterBroadway’s Channel: We Need More Voices


Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

Image via Wikipedia


I needed to hear this song today.  YouTube – ItGetsBetterBroadway’s Channel.

I know it is for GLBT youths, but isn’t the message really for everyone? I believe that a lot of the hate, the bullying, the abuse, etc. comes from fear. Fear that somehow, if that person is different than “I” can’t be happy. People put others down because they are insecure in their own lives.

Yes, some of it comes from ignorance, but mostly it comes from fear. So this song is about everyone. If you live and trust in yourself and life, it gets better.

It is too bad that more people can’t see that.

While I appreciate these artists for doing this, and those who step up to give their own testimonials, I see a problem. Theater is always perceived as gay. I am in theater, I love theater, but here is a reality about theater: people who don’t get it, or don’t really understand it assume that anyone who participates is either promiscuous or gay. We all know that is a stereotype, but it is a well-known one.

So, kudos to these artists for doing this, but now let’s get some athletes, action/adventure stars, or more politicians to stand up proudly and share their stories that say “It Get Better!”

Until there is no reason to hide anymore, how can we honestly tell young people it gets better?

In Search of Winnie the Pooh


Winnie the pooh

Image via Wikipedia


As I walked to pick up my daughter from school today, I listened to a mix of music my husband made for me, called “Is It Fun?” Up popped a version of House at Pooh Corner that always strikes me whenever I hear it. It is such a simple song, but it touches me in a place that I yearn to get to.  I mean, think of the words:

Help me if you can I’ve got to get

back to the house at Pooh corner by one.

You’d be surprised there’s so much to be done.

Count all the bees in the hive,

Chase all the clouds from the sky.

Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh (Kenny Loggins)

This song is meant to bring you back to the days of innocence; the days when every minute was a pleasure, because entertainment came from seeing the world as a place of wonder. I realized as I walked that I need to regain that innocence. But is that even possible? I tried to remember a time when I did view the world that way, and I can’t. I assume when I was little I had those moments, but they are lost in the mist of time. The moments of childhood I do remember include me being a miniature version of myself as an adult. by this I mean that I have always been too focused on doing the right thing, or being perceived a certain way. I don’t remember too many moments of chasing fireflies or seeing pictures in the clouds. I know I had them, but I don’t remember them.

I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want that for myself. So from now on, I’m one with Winnie the Pooh. I’m going to go chase clouds now. See you at Pooh Corner.


Jasper: Ooooh, I want one. I want one. Why can’t I climb this tree? What are the furry things with fuzzy tails? They are up there. I know they are up there. I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna get it. Maybe if I jump high enough I can fly. I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.

Lizzy: [gives Jasper a scornful look] Leave those silly things alone. Have you seen that little white thing that walks on a leash? I think it might be a dog, but it sure looks funny. I will go explore next time Mommy lets me off the leash. You never get off the leash because you are always chasing things.

Jasper: Oh, oh, oh! But you went after that other thing we saw. You know the one with the shell and four legs. What was it? What was it? I want to get one. And did you taste that yummy squished thing I got yesterday? It had bumps on it. I want one. I want one.

Lizzy: I’m going back inside. You need to chill out. I think it’s time for a nap.

Sparkle Ponies on Parade

This morning Okoboji Summer Theatre will participate in the Spirit Lake opening of summer parade (weather permitting of course–it looks grey out there). Sarah is singing “I love a parade.” Not the real song, her own version as she gets ready to participate. Her costume consists of one of her costumes from her dance recital (green sparkly with fringe and black pants) and a sparkle pony head and tail. The theme for the float this year is “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, so they pulled out all the fantasy/prince/princess costumes available. Last time we did this, when Sarah was 5, she had a blast riding on the float and handing out candy. I wish that I could feel the same kind of excitement she feels just hearing the word parade. As one of my many goals related to rediscovering and redefining myself, I am going to regain y inner child and find joy in the simple things of life.  Because, without that, I don’t think life is worth living. So, today I embrace my inner sparkle pony (although I am going to wear a different sparkly costume) and I am going to join the parade!


What books, movies, plays, tv, etc. have influenced your life? I have some go-to books and movies that I return to on a regular basis; sometimes for comfort, sometimes entertainment, and sometimes because the messages they offer meet so many needs in my life.  Here are some of them, in no particular order (and I’ll probably add to the list in notes as I think of different ones):

Anne of Green Gables: Anne was my childhood. She is also my comfort as an adult. No, I wasn’t an orphan growing up on a farmhouse on an Island in Canada. But I was a little girl who loved big words, and who imagined stories and adventures of all kinds, that took me away from my real world. I was a girl who loved learning. Anne’s story always made me laugh and cry. And it still does. Some day I will make my own trip to Prince Edward Island, so that I can walk  the paths Anne would have walked, smell the blossoms anne would have smelt, and allow myself to enter the world of beauty, imagination and bosom buddies.

To Kill a Mockingbird Another one from my childhood that touched me in so many ways. It introduced me to the truth about racism and injustice in this world. It showed me that sometimes things can be unfair, but also that love and kindness are worth more than anything else in this world. I think it might be time to re-read Mockingbird for inspiration.

Fablehaven Series.  This is a recent discovery that I feel tops Harry Potter. Magic, fairies, monsters, and two young people who face demons of all kinds with the support of some kick-ass adults.  What more could you ask for?

The Help. Another recent find, this book really made me think about social norms and societal roles. I read this at a time when I am questioning my own role and purpose in society, and it has provided a lot of food for thought.

You’ve Got Mail. Okay, don’t laugh. I know it is a romantic comedy. But there is something about that movie that speaks to me. It has hit a nerve at a time in my own life when everything is changing. To quote the movie “Some people say change is good. But what they really mean is that something has already happened that you didn’t want to happen . . . ” That feels like my life in a nutshell at the moment. But, I also know that changes can lead to wonderful things, as it does in this movie.

Holocaust Miniseries: I think this was in the 80’s on television for several nights. I watched every moment of it, with tears, with horror, and (I even recall) some joy.  At the time, I was still in hebrew school, still learning about what it means to be a Jew, so of course the mini-series had an impact on me. But it is more than that, as I have become more culturally Jewish than anything. The story introduced me to the cruelty of man, and has helped shaped my beliefs in how to treat others. I don’t know if I am always successful at achieving my goals, but the movie helped my goals form. This is not a go-to show by any means. I don’t need to watch it again. But the ideas formed stayed with me for a lifetime.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Short, petite girl who kicks demon butt with a little help from a close group of friends. Sexy vampires, and lots of confusing emotions. Enough said.

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