This photograph encapsulates so much of what I remember-and miss- about the ’80s. This is a real photograph (as if you couldn’t tell from the faded color and
hideous retro wallpaper) of me, my bro, and some neighbor kids in the kitchen where I ate many of my meals from 1979 to 1995.
This kitchen went through several make-overs over the decades but this is what it looked like for many of my young childhood years. That damn telephone cord ticked me off more than a few times as it either coiled up in a way even Houdini would have a difficult time unraveling the thing or it choked me or my brother as my mom methodically raced around the kitchen prepping hobo dinners and fried apricot pies.
But there was always a surprise to who may be on the other end of the line when it loudly rang until you picked it up. And during phone conversations there was not really anywhere to go but stretch the cord beyond its limits into the dining room to have a “private” conversation.
And that Tupperware. I don’t know how but I have that olive-green bowl I’m eating from in the photograph resting on a shelf in my own kitchen now. Don’t know what happened to the others. I suppose they are in Tupperware heaven, reuniting with their lids. I take my Greek yogurt to school in mine and the kids look at it as if it’s a relic from an ancient civilization. God knows how many PBAs have mutated inside. But I love it because it reminds me of this time. The ’80s. A time I will forever be nostalgic about.
Look how happy we are eating our ice cream. At first glance I thought it might be cottage cheese because we did eat that with canned pineapple at times but what kids would be that excited about curdled cheese?
My brother was always goofy. I was the overachiever who loved him making me laugh. Though now he is 700 miles away from me I can hear a line from a movie or song from our childhood and burst out in laughter thinking how he would mimic it.
There are hundreds more nostalgic memories I have from those years but right now I’ll just leave it at this one photograph.
Even though most everything in that kitchen is now in a landfill (except the rustic fall scene painting- my Granny has it) that is how the kitchen always looks in my dreams.
What did your childhood kitchen look like? Is there anything you wish you still had from it?
Two weeks into summer break and I already can’t spell certain words. For a moment I almost forgot the word ‘selection’ starts with an ‘s’ not a ‘c’. I guess this is why they have my son doing summer homework.
“How often do you need me to do homework?” he asks.
Given that he has 30 days of math problems, two books to read and answer a series of questions about, and some writing exercises (fun!), I suggest EVERY DAY.
And I have given myself homework as well. Such as reading (I finished a young adult novel in 3 days) and writing (here I am). Of course I will also help him with his homework as long as it’s not algebra.
Brain gets stagnant and dumb if you don’t use it. Or if you watch too much TV.
Everyone deserves a break though. I think everyone should have two weeks off each season to fully enjoy all that nature and other passions have to offer. Alas other types of learning during those times.
But this is America and unfortunately I don’t see this happening. Only in my little dream world where ice cream has no calories and unicorns prance around the streets.
But thank god for summer break. And I am truly sorry for those of you who don’t get one. If it makes you feel any better this school year I had to wipe poo off toilet seats, smell about 35 stinky sneakers every day, observe at least 10 bloody teeth being extracted, act as counselor/therapist/nurse in countless situations, and cried to myself on a few occasions while feeling all the feelings that erupt embarrassing stifled bouts of snot-bubble sobbery at work. And that was just the first three months.
So we’ll both enjoy this break and learn a little something along the way. And for the record I do know how to spell
We bought a new float yesterday. It’s a blow-up surf board with a tiki image in aqua blue, coral, sunshine yellow, and grass green. It smells like fresh plastic-coated fun. It smells like summer vacation.
There’s a slight tug at my stomach, a nagging to make sure to fit everything one can possibly fit in this time off. My boy is 12. Is this his last childhood summer before he starts getting all teen-agy?
I want to relish in every freckled smile. Every swish of a hand in pool water. Every lazy snuggle. Every moment spent lingering over breakfast when during the school year it’s rush rush rush.
I took an assistant teaching job for many reasons, number one being so I could be on my son’s schedule and enjoy some of his days off with him just like my mother and father did with me.
This time is more precious than gold. More fleeting than the speed of a hummingbird’s wing.
I hear the snap of Nerf guns coming from his bedroom and the goofy chatter between him and his good friend. We will take the new float out again today. The five bucks spent on it will more than pay for itself in laughter and memories.
I like looking around the house and seeing the float, the beach towels, the pizza box from last night’s sleepover feast. A myriad of colors representing all that summer has and should stand for.
What do your summer colors look like? If you could accomplish one thing this summer, what would it be?