Monday, September 5, 2016

Eight Minute Memoir- Age Eight

                                Do you remember rick-rack?

    All women sewed. At least the women that lived around me. I can still feel the corduroy fabric of my dress and the contrasting rick-rack decoration. My doll often had a similar outfits. Wearing an apron was vital as washing in the the wringer washer was hard work. What I wore on Monday was Tuesday's outfit and if I was careful Wednesday's as well. The aprons were not plain but had piping around the waist and pockets. I was well dressed but not from the store which still seemed acceptable when I was eight. My mother fixed my hair and we had a plethora of bows, barrettes, and headbands. 

    I was a bit spoiled, being the only girl. But I had fears. I was terrified that one day I would be abandoned, left at the grocery store or forgotten at church. No real experience informed my fears yet their grip kept me always planning how to manage on my own. I longed for a sister to share my inner world. For a while I had my niece close by who became my playmate. She was patient with my bossiness.

    My grandmother died a few years later but when I was eight she often stayed overnight with us. I had to give her my room when she stayed and I slept on the couch. The living room faced an apartment house and I did not like looking in other people's windows. When I complained once about my grandmother taking my room she overheard. The next day she gave me five dollars to rent my room. I felt ashamed and sorry for my ungenerous spirit.
   By the time I was eight I could speak German and English. I was reading English and my mother was tutoring me in reading German. The vowel sounds confused me the most. While English had A, E, I, O, U, the German sounds were AH, Eea, Eee, O, Oooh. My little brain would switch the sounds depending on where I was reading. The second grade teacher asked my mother to stop teaching me German reading but she refused. It turned out fine in the end. There would always be a dicotomy between my German home life and the American world outside. But that remains for another story.

I am joining Ann Dee Ellis and other writers in using a prompt                        to record some memoir moments.


  1. Ah grandmothers. I'm not sure we fully appreciate them until they are older. Then we miss them when they are gone. Also, as I read the beginning of your post I remember the feel of a fine light brown corduroy something my mother must have made for me. Sweet memory.

    1. Corduroy was a favorite fabric for my mother. I found the nap had texture which interested my senses but could also be overly tactile. Thanks for visiting,


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