Saturday, June 10, 2017

RIP Adam West

September 19, 1928- June 9, 2017
Whether he was The Caped Crusader or the Mayor of Quahog, everything Adam West did was iconic. He graced so many of our childhoods as a super hero and thanks to that beautiful voice we were blessed to have him in our lives as we grew older. What a loss. What a legend. RIP you lovely man.






Adam West on The Simpsons


Mayor of Quahog: Adam West (Family Guy)


From the iconic 1960s Batman series

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Dream Come True

Mum in black and white on the right, circa late 1940s
Me in colour on the left (2 pics), circa late 1970s

As Jackie mentioned in her lovely tribute to her beautiful mother (see previous post), we both not only have in recent years mourned our beloved mothers but we've been so profoundly blessed to have had such strong and loving relationships with them throughout our lives. As we write and reminisce over our childhoods, our words and experiences attest that our earliest journeys were so deeply intertwined with our mothers—their compassion, wisdom, charm, humour and sense of adventure follows and guides us wherever we go.

As anyone who has lost a family member will know, grief is a daily battle but love doesn't die; it just seems to grow. My mother's influence in my life is as vibrant now as it has ever been.

My mother Susee, as a student nurse (and midwife) in India 1961

Ever since I was a kid, I longed for a photograph of my beloved mother as a little girl.

To have just one glimpse of her in childhood would have made my life. Of course, we had wonderful and iconic photographs of my mother during her teens and twenties but never one from her girlhood. Amid my desperate pleas, Mum would often lovingly console me:

"Not everyone had cameras back then, Amma (daughter). That's just how those days were."

Flash forward to October 2016: an inconspicuous visit by a family member living in the U.S. to an old friend, paved the way for my lifelong dream to come true.

Mum, circa 1947
At the home of his friend, my uncle stumbled upon an old black and white school photo circa 1947. As school photos go, it was standard fare with rows of neatly groomed teachers and students in classic school day poses. As my uncle searched for familiar faces, the sweet-faced little girl at the bottom of the photograph made him stop in his tracks. My uncle excitedly exclaimed:

"I remember that little face."

His old friend as it turned out was one of my mother's former teachers from her Adventist alma mater in India during the late 1940s. This retired school teacher had the holy grail that I had spent four decades looking for.

My uncle, kindly made a copy and sent the priceless photograph to my dumbfounded family.

My brother, father and I wept tears of joy, and in one instant: felt such deep and abiding love for (and from) my mother and relived the heartache and immediacy of her loss. It was such a powerful and unforgettable moment.

Mama Bear and her cubs
For me, receiving my mother's childhood photo was both a gift and a dream come true. An heirloom for the ages. It was like a message from my mother across time and space. I had spent decades praying, wishing and searching for her childhood photograph and it somehow found its way back to me—a year and a half after her passing.

Not only did I get to see what my mother looked like as a child but it confirmed what my mother always told me:

"I looked just like you did!"

She truly did. The photograph above leaves me speechless. A carbon copy of how I looked in kindergarten. It's as if I existed in a photograph thirty years before my time.

Best friends forever


My mother and I were so close. She was my best friend and the love of my life. It's as if heaven sent Mum back to me. I waited over four decades for my dream to come true. It was worth the wait.

Whenever Mother's Day approaches, there's always that pang—that gut-wrenching feeling that says: you're not here and I'm not done loving you or looking after you. It's that dance with grief and stability, that's so tough. But somehow, inexplicably, strength kicks in and you keep moving. It's that overwhelming feeling of love and being loved that gets you through. I wish this for everyone. Happy Mother's Day everyone.

And Happy Mother's Day Mama. Love you. 💗


Friday, May 12, 2017

Dear Mama

It's Mother's Day Weekend all over, and though it is being recognized officially on Sunday, you know that we wanted to get started celebrating early here at "I Miss My Childhood". As we stated before, Chelly and I have so many warm, funny as well as serious, but all loving memories of our beautiful mothers. May they both rest in peace and maybe hang out together this weekend knowing their daughters are collaborating over them... have a little glass of wine and smile at us from that next dimension they're partying in... We Love You Mom!!!

So I think what I personally want to do, since we always share so many stories already is to encourage not only us, but YOU, THE READER, to share some of your memories with us below in the comments... We'll share any we think of there too. Let's celebrate those ladies that brought us into the world, whether in person this weekend, or in spirit and ultimately with unconditional LOVE.

Here's my tribute... please add as much as you want, share with us. xoxo

Your favorite Aunt Jackie
(Who Misses Her Childhood)

Monday, May 01, 2017

Happy May Day!

Well dear visitors and lovers of "I Miss My Childhood", it is May 1st. I cannot believe the year is already nearly half over, it is speeding by so fast.

Maypole Dancing
By Kevin Gordon, CC BY-SA 2.0
Today is several things, according to Holidays and Observances (a lil website I use to find interesting things to blog about, and most of the time it really helps with the writing prompts). Check it out, and find out all of the holidays and observances in May, pretty interesting.

Most popular, I guess would be May Day, which is celebrated in many ways in many lands. I have always been a little enthralled over the "Maypole" tradition, as I have never had a chance or cause to be a part of this type of celebration. So for any of you that have, please share your experiences with me in the comments.

So apparently May 1st  - 7th is "National Children's Book Week". This made me remember fondly all of those cool book fairs back in elementary school. Oh when they would pass out those flyers, and then the bookmobile came, it was such an exciting treat. They had all kinds of books, magazines for kids too, I think, and even though I wouldn't say that I was the most voracious of readers, I adored books. I used to love going through the library, seeking out books and flipping through them. Don't get me wrong, when I make friends with a particularly interesting book, one that truly captures my attention, I will read it from cover to cover. I enjoy reading, I am just extremely easily distracted, so I've never read thousands, that's for sure. Books are just awesome though, and in this digital age, it is still such a cherished joy to hold an actual book in your hands, feeling the paper, smelling the pages and enjoying a story coming to life.

Did you read a lot as a child? Do you remember the Scholastic Book Fairs? 

Did your school(s) even have them? Please leave us a comment and join in the fun of these wonderful memories that we share for you here at "I Miss My Childhood". I go back and read a few of those books we read as children, sometimes, you know, just to keep in touch. Don't let the inner child stray too far.

Happy May Day! Go celebrate the season, and have fun!!

Love,

Aunt Jackie

Friday, April 28, 2017

Eeyore's Birthday Party

Most of us have an affection for Winnie the Pooh and gang, if not at least an appreciation for them as they were a heavy presence in most of our childhoods. I, myself always liked these cartoons, and at times felt I most identified with Tigger. However, there have been plenty of moments that I felt more like Eeyore, the lovable but perpetually pessimistic and depressed Donkey. I think we all have a great deal of both in our lives, and that's why it is important to be kind to one another, pay the love forward whenever we can, kiss and make-up whenever possible, and forgive often, even when we might not receive the apology we so desperately feel we deserve. This is Life, nothing is permanent or set in stone.

However, I must digress, I just wanted to take a moment today to recognize Eeyore's Birthday, which is not ACTUALLY April 28th. If you study the lore and history of Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore's Birthday is actually noted as falling  on the 10th of May, 1871 which the date when he was made. If I remember correctly, Eeyore was, of course, depressed because he thought his friends had forgotten his birthday, when in fact they had planned a surprise birthday party for him. This happens to us a lot of times in life, we feel things are very bad or we were left out, when something way better than we imagined is the end result, don't you think? Yes we all have a lot of ups and downs, and nothing is ever without its fair share of challenges and difficulties, but if you take a moment to look backward, you might just notice that your track record for making it through, even those moments you thought you were going to fall apart or go crazy? Well so far, you're at 100%!!! That's cause for celebration, in my book.

I'll call mine the "I Woke Up This Morning" party. So, as of this moment? Celebrate everything! (That's an order)

Speaking of Celebrations, and in honor of good ol' sad-sap Eeyore, it just so happens that in Austin, TX (USA), today (Every April 28th) is Eeyore's Birthday Party. This has been going since 1963 to be exact. It includes live music, food and drink vending which benefit local non-profit organizations, attendees in colorful costumes, and very large drum circles. The event is frequented by children and families, with specific events presented for them by the event organizers. The festival is named in honor of Eeyore, the character in A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories. [read all about it here].

Well that's all I wanted to say today, hope you enjoyed and now that you know about his birthday party, I guess if you ever find yourself in Austin, Texas it's something to check out. No matter what we're celebrating today, or any day, though, it's always fun to remember all of those magical times we shared as those sweet, innocent children (the ones who live there within our hearts still), honor them, and let them out to play every once in a while! Life is too short to live otherwise ("If You Ask Me", Said Eeyore(wav). Enjoy your weekend everyone. ;-)

I Miss My Childhood,

Aunt Jackie

Eeyore's Birthday Video!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Special Brownies

We talk about our Moms a lot here on the blogs, but that's because to Chelly and to me, our Mothers were such role models and strong, hard to forget women, just like we aspire to be.

Now, to know me as an adult, you would never even imagine me outdoors doing anything remotely close to building a fire, setting up tents or learning to cook in the ground or over a flame. Stepping on a snake, or lying awake all night under the stars while getting eaten alive by Mississippi's state bird (Mosquito) are things that I avoid with every ounce of my soul. I mean, my gosh. Girl Scouts are always doing things like cleaning up trash on the highways and getting stung by bees, singing "Kumbaya", hiking in the swelter, mucking around outside in the stinky, muddy, sweaty outdoors. However, there was a time that I, Auntie Jax braved the elements and did my time learning survival skills, earning patches and of course, selling those famous cookies we all know and love. Things have changed a lot over the years, I know, but once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout (if nothing else, by being traumatized by the experiences, or being thoroughly enriched by some of the strengths and habits we were instilled and left with).

My sweet, adoring and sometimes fanatical Mother, you see, was a Girl Scout Leader, eventually earning herself a lifetime membership. She was all things outdoors, loved the lifestyle, adored primitive camping and was in my honest opinion, the epitome of what a true Girl Scout should be. "You always leave things better than you found them." She delighted in passing these values and skills along to us, her daughters and grandchildren too. However, some of us were not quite as enthusiastic about it (mostly me, I think lol). But the principles and lessons learned in Girl Scouts, I admit are wonderful building blocks for us as young women. We could do with a lot more of that today. But alas, I wasn't that happy about it back then. I felt forced, but I appreciate now what my Mother was truly trying to do, ain't that the way it goes?

A word about the Girl Scout Motto: The Girl Scout motto is "Be prepared." In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way: "A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency." The same holds true today. We began our meetings, always, holding up the Sign with our hands, and reciting our Girl Scout Promise:

On my honor, I will try: 
    To serve God and my country,
    To help people at all times, 

    And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

(Read more about Girl Scout Laws, Promise and Traditions)

Day Camp, for me was a particularly dreaded nightmare. All the interaction with other troops and the chores, outdoorsy events and tasks we were charged with, all in the name of scoring those badges to go on our sash. These events were always in the dead heat of a Mississippi / Memphis summer, which you've heard me tell before is something akin to Malebolge.

One particular summer, we were attending our usual Day Camp at Arkabutla Lake. It was the usual uncomfortable 'fun' and fanfare, when we planned that Thursday to be an overnight camping stay. Needless to say, I was less than enthused about this. However, that evening rolled around, and our sleeping quarters were set-up, supplies in place. It was not just our troop, but girls from others as well. My niece Stacey (1 year younger than me as I always remind you guys because I was an Auntie at such a tender young age) was in attendance. Once the campfire songs were over and we had cleaned up after our dinner, everyone set out for bedtime. All was quiet until one of the girls from Tunica, Mississippi pulled a knife on another girl, and had to be dealt with. My Mom moved us out of the tent with the 'violent Tunica girls' as she referred to them, and Stacey and I ended up having to rough it outside on a picnic table. As the night drew on, the Mosquitoes descended upon the camp and Stacey and I were both prime targets.

My Mom, The Forever Girl Scout
I am struggling to remember if we had any "Off" or other spray. I know that my Mother also knew of the merits of Avon's "Skin So Soft" bath oil, that repels the little blood sucking varmints for some odd reason. However, we must not have had any at our disposal as they were literally trying to carry us away. It was a miserable night. One poor girl was covered in big 'whelps', even worse than me.

This ordeal got so bad, that my Mom pulled out these packs of industrial cleaning rags that she had packed away, and began to burn them in pans in an effort to smoke the hordes of mosquitoes out of camp. At one point the Park Rangers came over to see about us and thought we were performing some sort of weird rituals since they spotted the burning rags. Haha! Eventually, the night was over, and we had to power through the very last day of camp on virtually no sleep, little energy and wanting to go home and get back to the comfort of our central AC so badly we could taste it! (or was it the taste of smoke?)

Either way, I think that was one of the last times I remember going camping with our Troop. Mom somehow kept me in Girl Scouts up through Brownies (which is around middle school level). I never went further than that.

Though these experiences were harrowing while we were going through some of them, we really did have a lot of fun times too--I just rarely admit that since I am not much of an outdoorsy gal. There were many laughs, good friends, good food (like S'mores, I adore them to this day!) and of course those famed Cookie Sales. Girl Scouts really is a great thing for many women, and I hope it continues to be something meaningful for girls everywhere throughout the ages, just like it was for my beautiful forever Scout Mom. Hope you're up there in heaven Mom with your fire ring and roasting marshmallows, because I still miss that, and always will miss everything about you. What I wouldn't give to have a weenie roast out in the pasture with you right now.

Enjoy these shots of my Mom, a little later in her life, still playing with her fire ring, and reveling in her love of all things outdoors. Kumbaya Mama, Kumbaya anytime! xoxo

My Mom, while she and I were walking back to her "Fire Ring" she kept at home. 

Mom with one of her mighty
German Shepherds enjoying the day

A Scenic Spot off the highway near my home in
Northern Mississippi, Home of my Girl Scout Mother


Sunday, April 23, 2017

RIP Erin Moran


October 18, 1960 - April 22, 2017


Erin Moran, the actress famous for playing "Joanie Cunningham" on Happy Days, sadly passed away yesterday April 22, 2017 at the age of 56, in Indiana.


One of my favourite episodes was when Joanie learns to smoke.

Her former cast mates paid heartfelt tributes to their dear friend:


"She would go to school, and she would come back after a break and would have to fit in to all the jokes we were doing on the set and pick up fast exactly where we were — which she could. She was the quickest, fastest little kid. Wonderful. This breaks my heart."—Marion Ross



Click for link to Anson William's post

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rotten Eggs

I meant to post a little something for Easter Sunday, and I jarred my back while riding my motorcycle over the weekend, so I was mostly resting with heat and meds.

My childhood years were spent being spoiled to so many family traditions that I guess I thought would never end, and as we grow up, we are forced to realize that "Nothing Gold Can Stay" (just as the Robert Frost poem tried to tell us).

In those early years though, dying Easter eggs with my father on Saturday night (ahh the newspaper, the smell of vinegar, using Mom's cups, those little wire thingys, and mainly just Dad showing me how to do all this), helping with the cooking, and waking up to those baskets full of pretty eggs, candy and goodies was magic. We were always so distraught when we were dragged away from our Easter morning fun to attend the church service (which to us as kids seemed to drag on for hours). Once back home, it was time for the family to all meet there at my childhood home (Mom and Dad's), and eat dinner together, and inevitably do the Easter Egg hunt in the front yard (mostly).

The "Adults" would make everyone stay in the house while they went outside to hide the eggs in easy as well as crazy-tough spots to make the game challenging at least. Once they came back in, the kids (including me until I was probably about 14) would descend upon the yard in a frenzy, searching high and low, trying to 'one up' each other, and gather the most eggs. Don't really recall having any huge prize, we just enjoyed the process as it was. The funniest thing would be, occasionally the next year one might find an egg from the last year's hunt, which would at this point become a grave stink bomb, if stepped on. That could become quite a nightmare, but something we laugh about even now.

Those growing up years had a magic, so inexplicable and strong, the residue of which I still smell from time-to-time (when I close my eyes and think hard enough). Some days it's stronger... or is that the smell of those Rotten eggs? Maybe one of em' is still out there in the yard, undiscovered and protected by the elders of time.

There was a mix up on dinner, as I was intent on eating with one of my sisters and her family, whom I don't get to see often enough. The mix-up was just one of those things, when something comes up and their plan switched, so I wasn't aware. I could have gone anywhere to share dinner with any of my family, but with my back pain, I just elected to rest up and go ahead and allow my back to recover.

Things happen, as adults we know this, and we know it can't be the same as when we were all fairy dust flinging, magic wand waving little believers. We come to realize that sometimes we may step on a rotten egg, one that may have once been freshly colored, covered in glitter and that sparkled with hope at the time, but that we overlooked, so we just clean up the mess and move on.

Besides, things are not always as they seem, and occasionally you find a prize inside an egg that was decorated in a way that only appeared to be rotten.

I Miss My Childhood,

Aunt Jackie



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