My Earliest Memory #MFRWAuthor

Welcome to the second week of the 52 Week Challenge – My Earliest Memory.

My earliest memories are like a series of old movie clips that occasionally play in my mind but without sound or a connection to other moments, they are a little disjointed and hard to say how much is a true memory and how much is my imagination filling in the gaps.

At the time, my parents lived in a trailer park in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Being 3 or 4 years old, everything felt big to me even though logically now I know space was likely cramped. I remember my bedroom and my bunkbed. I slept on the top bunk and from there, I felt like the ground was miles away.

My dad worked second turn as a truck mechanic so my days I spent with my mom and our little terrier named Flea. But occasionally, my dad would take to the woods behind our trailer where we would sit on a huge hill drinking chocolate pop and watching the trains pass by in the valley below. I was fascinated with trains and of course, I loved special time with my dad. I remember one afternoon, however, I must have sat in an anthill and there were dozens crawling all over the place. I didn’t want to sit down.

Then, another flash of memory. Nighttime. I was standing at the screen door in awe because on the street outside our trailer a car had caught fire. I remember my parents being panicked, rushing. I remember being taken down the road to my aunt and uncle’s trailer for the time being. But to this day, I always wonder how that car caught fire and whether or not the driver was okay. In my memory, I see him in the car but I don’t know if this was the case.

I remember kids who lived in our trailer park. Next door, I think? They seemed so much older than me even though probably the oldest was around 10. I remember one time they kept telling me to calm down and stop crying because they knew if my parents saw me they would get in trouble but I don’t remember why I was crying. I just kept wondering if the older one was a girl or a boy.

I remember my parents bringing home my baby brother, wrapped up in so many layers. And then, not long after, they bought a house and I remember running around the empty living room the day it became ours. I remember being in the car as we pulled up to the trailer for the last time and thinking that it wouldn’t be my home anymore. I felt a little sad but I was eating a McDonalds Happy Meal with a milkshake so – not too sad. 🙂

Thanks for reading my post on the 52 Week Challenge Blog Hop. Click the link to read memories from other authors participating in this challenge.

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Fall Family Picnic

Oct 079Every fall we make it a tradition to have a family picnic at Moraine State Park. This includes not just my husband, my kids, and me, but also my parents and my brother as well. We plan ahead of time who will bring what, nothing fancy, usually just hot dogs on the grill along with some pasta salad, and plenty of goodies to enjoy. That was the menu plan this year, at any rate. After we eat and catch up, we all head to the extensive bike trail for a long walk together. Inevitably, we end up at the play area for the kids to swing, climb, and go down the slides. And okay, sometimes the adults take part in this fun as well.

I’m grateful that we didn’t miss our annual picnic at Moraine this year and that we had such a beautiful day to enjoy it together. Of course, where I go, the camera goes too so I have plenty of photos to share of some of the sights that took my interest along the way. Oct 082 Above is a lovely view of the bike trail as we started on our walk. And to the right is a view of Lake Arthur. There were a lot of sailboats on the water. You can just about make out one in the distance in this particular photo. I love the way the water sparkles in the sun.

Oct 084My husband shakes his head and says, “You and flowers…”

Yes, flowers and me… I have a strange obsession with taking photos of them and if you could peek into the files on my computer, you would see that I have hundreds of them already and I still can’t help myself to take more every chance that I get. I love to capture them in photos, which is better than cutting them and killing them just for a few days of being pretty on my table. And yes, I feel this way even about the weeds and I always have.

Oct 086My kids adore their grandparents. We don’t see them as often as they’d like because we live many miles apart but when we do see them, it makes those moments even sweeter. I couldn’t resist stealing a photo of the kids as they walk along the trail with Grandpa. What do you suppose they are talking about? Are they discussing the caterpillars that we see now and then? Are they pointing out the color in the leaves? Or maybe, knowing these are my kids and my kids happen to be superhero obsessed, perhaps they are discussing the details of how Iron Man or Captain America would save the day? This is, after all, serious business.

Oct 110And then there were more flowers and once again, I could not resist. Even in the fall when everything begins to die, they are still beautiful, maybe even more so than in summer’s full bloom.

The days are getting shorter. The trees are even more vibrant than they were a week ago and many leaves have already fallen. I like to believe that I’m capturing every moment before it disappears and gives way to winter cold and snow.

And last but not least, I leave you with my very favorite photo that I’ve taken so far…

Oct 115The sun is setting over another fun-filled family day. My kids call these “wish flowers” because I told them that if they close their eyes and blow away the seeds, they could make a wish and it would come true. My oldest wished for more wish flowers because he loves watching the seeds scatter. Now, I think that is one wish that just might come true.

If you could sit in the grass and watch the sun set over the lake, pick this flower and make just one wish …

What would you wish for?

 

Tuesday Photos – Fall at Morraine State Park

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m dangerous with a camera in my hands. Plant me in the midst of a pretty day during my favorite season and you’ve got a recipe for a photo extravaganza! I’ve always had a fascination with taking pictures of people and places and in the past, I’ve shared some of those here on my blog. Today, I’m planning to share a couple of my favorites from Morraine State Park.

Every year we make it a family tradition to enjoy a picnic there with my parents at the beginning of October. These photos are a few of my favorites from last year’s adventure. (Perhaps I’ll soon have some new faves to share from this year?)

As a matter of fact, I am starting with one of my favorite photos of all. I love this one so much that it’s been my desktop wallpaper since I downloaded it. I smile every time I look at it…

Don’t you love those brilliant colors? When you look at a photo like this, how can you not fall in love with autumn in Pennsylvania?

Same place, slightly different, but just as beautiful…

Take my hand and walk with me?

Do you see the moon?

Thanks for taking a walk with me on this beautiful fall day. I hope you enjoyed looking at my photos as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them. 🙂

Tuesday Photos – Sharing Summer Fun

Over the weekend, we finally went camping. It was a long overdue getaway due to about a million other things going on this summer, but if you know anything about me at all, you know that I love camping so I was eager for it. I haven’t posted Tuesday Photos in a while so it seemed logical that I should stop by and share our most recent excursion with you. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed living the moments…

First of all, no trip down memory lane would be complete with a photo of the campsite… The tent is brand new. Don’t you love it? I do too although we soon discovered that they just don’t make them like they used to. I bought my previous tent in 1998 and it lasted me thirteen years. It had nice, sturdy metal pools to actually hold the thing up. The new tent, while light and roomy, has very flimsy pools that we don’t suspect will last very long. Just to prove our point, one of the rain fly pools already snapped while we were taking it down. Ah well, what can you do, right? Hopefully Coleman will be kind enough to replace it free of charge. After all, it’s only the first time we’ve used the tent and we were being very careful.

(My little doggie friend looks so lost and lonely in this photo!)

 

I love trees. Here we see the sun trying to peek through the tops. Saturday it struggled to show itself through the clouds so these rare glimpses were worth photographing.

 

These puffy things always signal late summer / early fall to me, kind of like seeing fat, fuzzy caterpillars. I don’t know what they’re called but I think they’re pretty.

 

A view of the quiet lake during late day. I love the way the water reflects the trees. And wow, look at all those clouds. I am happy to report, however, that it didn’t rain a drop on us all weekend.

 

Last but not least, I include this photo from a hike through the woods. Those big, beautiful trees beckon me…
Thanks for stopping by and sharing the adventures. Be sure to check back tomorrow to share a different kind of adventure. I will be posting a sneak peek into the new novel Ghosts Don’t Wear Silk Stockings. It is your chance to read all of chapter one before the official book release in September!

Summer Lovin’ – Be Back Soon…

As much as I love to participate in Six Sentence Sunday and share snippets of my latest and greatest, this week I must pass. Summer days will soon be a distant memory so we’re making the most of them while we still can. Imagine me in this moment sitting around a campfire, maybe enjoying a pizza mountain pie, and looking out at all the trees around me. Hopefully I’m having fun and hopefully the family isn’t making me too crazy. I’ll be back to regular posting soon, including those fun six sentence snippets on Sundays. After all, the start of school is just around the corner.

Until then… Happy Summer!