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.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Advertisements

Frolicking My Way Through Friday

pepperAs some of you already know, I recently added a new addition to my pack… errr…family. I was told she’s a black lab/retriever mix. I don’t know if this means she’s black lab mixed with a golden or a lab mixed with some unknown breed. She looks a lot like a lab though.

The young couple that had her before us adopted her at 8 weeks, kept her for 4 weeks, and then decided they needed to find a new home. They never took her to a vet but aside from having two types of worms and a few fleas, she’s very healthy according to our vet. And oh, not only is she absolutely adorable but she’s one of the cuddliest dogs I’ve ever met.

Maybe I’m just not used to a dog that likes affection. Webster is a good dog but he made it clear from day one that he had no interest in being held and even when you go to pet him, he often leans away as if he’s trying to let you know that he’s not really into the contact. He’ll let me give him attention but it’s limited and he would never jump in my lap. But if it’s playing you want to do? Well then, grab a rope toy because he’s ready to go!

Now that Pepper has been a member of our family for three weeks, we’ve had a chance to get settled in and I’m happy to say that she’s a perfect fit. Even on her first night in a new place, she had no anxieties about being somewhere different. We’ve had a few hiccups learning where to potty but for the most part, she’s also good about going outside now as well. webandme

dogsAnd then there are Webster and Pepper together! They are two dogs that simply cannot get enough of playing. It’s rather amusing to watch “giant” Webster with “tiny” Pepper, although he’s surprisingly gentle with her. He will grab a rope toy and entice her to chase him and obviously, she can’t resist.  I am grateful that we’ve been having such warm and sunny weather because it’s nice to be able to tell them to go play outside in the afternoon. They chase each other through the woods behind the house and all over the yard. I often watch them and wonder who is getting more tired – Webster or Pepper but I think the real answer is ME! Ha ha

When they do manage to exhaust each other and it’s time to rest, Pepper has attempted to cuddle up next to Webster but each time, he gently takes his paw and pushes her away or he gets up and moves. He’s truly not a cuddle dog, not even with other dogs. That’s okay though because then she ends up on my lap instead and I am not complaining a bit.

Dogs are awesome. They are loyal, happy, friendly, playful – everything you could ever ask for in a friend. They live in the moment and love life. We all should be a little more like them. Okay, maybe they have their annoying moments as well. (Don’t we all?) But for the most part, you can’t go wrong having one or two around.

dog02

A Foggy Morning October Run

October 008Dressed in my orange ‘Happy Halloween’ t-shirt and a pair of black running shorts, I laced up my sneakers and headed to the park for my morning run. October settled over the area in the form of dense fog which certainly added to the pre-Halloween atmosphere.

Although I love summer and the carefree days hanging out with my boys, I have to admit October has always topped my list of favorite months. There is just something so invigorating about the cooler days and the colorful leaves. I love apples and pumpkins and looking at Halloween decoration. I love wrapping myself in a blanket on the couch and getting caught up in a great ghost story. But most of all, this is a great time of year to be an outdoor runner and I’m making the most of it by getting out to enjoy it while it lasts!

Cooler air overnight brought powerful thunderstorms. I’m not usually one to wake up to the crash of thunder but this time, it was hard to miss. Those sunny warm days we were enjoying are suddenly replaced by a fall morning chill. This is the first morning I have felt compelled to grab a light sweatshirt before heading to the park.

The fog is lingering and the ground is wet from last night’s rain, making the leaves that have already fallen a little slick along the trail. It is also quiet. I suppose many people looked out their window this morning and decided today is not a good day to go outside.

Me, I’m still running. As a matter of fact, I am pushing myself a little harder in preparation for my second 5K race coming up on the 11th of October. I was so exhilarated after the first 5K (The Graffiti Run in early August) that I rushed to find another one I could participate in before the cold weather sets in. Now, I’m starting to think maybe I was a little crazy.October 016 Am I ready to do that again? I don’t feel ready. Then again, I said the same thing the first time. All I can do is keep running and on race day, hope to be a little less anxious, and definitely ready to run.

I’ve started getting off the main trail to explore paths through the woods, not just to run farther, but because I like to explore. My current favorite path is barely wide enough to walk but it’s a peaceful meander amongst trees with lots of twists and ups and downs. And okay, the occasional spider web that I’m forced to walk through – but I’m less impressed with those.

During my time in the woods, my mind is free to start thinking about my day ahead, especially what I will write. I like to imagine my characters walking with me. What would they do?

Where will they lead me?

It’s a new month and a new day to explore. I’m ready to sit back with a cup of tea, stretch out tired muscles, and put words to paper to weave new worlds…

October 020

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 – 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!