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Winter Memories/Hub Page Challenge

Updated on June 8, 2016
Exactly how that snowy hill looks in my mind today.
Exactly how that snowy hill looks in my mind today. | Source
Actual house in my story, though many years later, minus the snow.
Actual house in my story, though many years later, minus the snow. | Source

I've found I get a bit emotional when I recall my favorite childhood memory. You might, no doubt, find it trite, and I wouldn't blame you one bit, but one man's trash is another man's treasure. What makes anything special? I think it is that it doesn't come in abundance. Therefore, a bowl of oatmeal is treasured by a child who has no food, and a warm bed is heaven to a homeless man.


I couldn't get you to shed a tear for my childhood. I lacked no material thing. My father was an executive at I.B.M., my mother was a stay at home mom. We were dysfunctional, like most families are, but not to an extreme. My family was not open emotionally though. Stunted is a good word for it. We laughed... we laughed a lot, but we didn't cry. No one ever cried. Is that weird? I was full of emotion, but I had no place to put it, so I stuffed it down. Do you know the one thing I craved? Intimacy. I wanted quality time, I wanted to connect with the people around me. I wanted to understand them and thereby understand myself, so I became very analytical. To this day, I soak up human behavior like a kid slurping the last of his soda.

Our house looked perfect. I love the memory of that home in Danbury, Connecticut at Christmas time. I would come home from school to a roaring fire and a glowing Christmas tree. It was a picture worthy of Currier and Ives. We went to church together, three kids stuffed into the back of an LTD. That was something. We sang in the choir, ate dinners together... what could possibly be missing? I was so much younger than everyone else. Maybe that was it. I was always tagging along. Maybe I just wanted to feel included. Maybe I just wanted to matter. Well around 1980, a young man came along and for the first time, I felt a sense of family.

I was only 12. He wasn't my young man. My sister was 18, he was her young man. His name was Keith and he really liked my sister. She, being stunted, of course, would not return his feelings, nor would she find a suitable mate for ten more years. But this particular Christmas, Keith made his presence known. My whole memory comes down to one day. One day in my entire life is singled out in my mind as precious. And here it is...

We dragged an old sled out of the garage, Keith brought one from his home, and we went to a hill somewhere in Connecticut. I wore my snowsuit, and slid down a hill (way too fast) and trudged up the hill (way too slow) over and over again. When it got dark, we went back to the house and made homemade french bread pizza, something I had never tasted before. Pizza you could make at home! A child's dream come true. Then we all gathered in the family room by the fire and watched Towering Inferno, a terrible 80's miniseries about people stuck in... a towering inferno. The show was not meant for 12 year olds, but I didn't pay much attention to the content. I was included. I was a part of something. There were presents by the tree, hot cocoa, and people, all around me. I couldn't imagine a day to be more wonderful if I had designed it myself.

And that's it. Silly, isn't it? Sledding, pizza and a bad T.V. show, but it meant the world to me. Are there lessons to be learned here? Of course, there are always things we can pass on to our kids and parallels to be drawn, but none of that really matters, 'cause things like this should remain untouchable. Author David McRaney said, "Reality isn't a vacuum where you objectively survey your surroundings. You construct reality from minute to minute with memories and emotions orbiting your sensations and cognition; together they form a collage of consciousness that exists only in your skull." You have your own special memories and they may be even more simplistic than mine, or you may have a story so powerful, it could draw tears! But remember this... no one can take them away from you, they're yours and yours alone, because no one shares the same perspective of the same events. No matter what happens, treasure these memories for as long as you can. They are a part of what makes you who you are, and that makes them priceless!

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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A very beautiful memory, Beth. I often will have a memory pop in that means absolutely nothing but somehow emotionally it must have and I don't recall that part. I would guess this was an emotional day for you and perhaps your first for things to be out of the norm and as you say; you were included as a part. Maybe a first step at growing up?

      Thanks so much for sharing and I will share this too for many to read and enjoy! Maybe they will share their story too!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      oops and I will link you on my challenge so all who do it will be there and you are the first as far as I know!

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Oh, ok... thanks so much. And thanks for the idea. It's nice to remember.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I loved your story! I have wonderful memories, too. I had a wonderful childhood full of love. We were poor in money, but rich in other ways. I am still thinking of writing a winter memory, too, if I can find the time.

      Voted this UP, etc. and shared.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Mary! I do hope you'll write your memories.I think they make the best stories. I would love to read yours.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Beth, I really liked your story of the memory of fun in the snow, and time with others. That is awesome! I don't think it weird or strange at all, and understand. You share some transparency too, that is neat because we all have families with their own faults. Life is precious and short, and full of all kinds of things. Your story is inspiring, thanks for sharing it. It sounds like a really fun and special time. It makes me smile, that it makes you so happy! Loved it. :)

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      I appreciate your kind words so much. Thank you Oceans!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, thank you so much for sharing of your winter memories here in Jackie's Winter Memories Challenge! Your story is truly beautifully written and I can relate too. When we feel truly part of something, even our family, it is a wonderful feeling and such memories never leave us. I do understand about some families not showing too much emotion, such as crying. I held in a lot too growing up.

      Keith seems to have been like a breath of fresh air for you and your family to loosen up a bit and just have a bit of fun and be carefree. I am so glad God sent Keith into your family that winter, and that it made a lasting impact in your life.

      Beautiful share.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Faith, Im trying to figure out the linking thing right now. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      You got it; just takes practice. You can get the link from the top of the page too; I do, seems easier to me.

      Now maybe we can get more winter memories rolling. I have several promises of some so am sure they are working on those.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, you did it! Oh, thank you for also linking my hub about my mother. You are so kind to do that!

      God bless you.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      My pleasure!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      I love your favorite day memory. To a kid some things are just extraordinary and that is all there is to it. The emotion rather than the situation.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      You're exactly right Lorelei! It's the emotion attached to the situation. Thanks for your comment!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      What a lovely memory for you, Beth. It show us that the simple things in life can mean so very much. Yet, this was not a simple thing, it was a day of love and joy for you to treasure always, and that is wonderful. Thank you for sharing that special day with us.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Phyllis. So sweet of you to comment. :)

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing this story of your 'special day' Beth. That was a simple yet touching story and a wonderful memory to have. You met the challenge well. Voted up.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Jodah!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      I enjoyed reading your memory. It's funny how sometimes it's the little things you remember. Thanks for sharing!

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      It is so often these moments of grace , mercy really for some of us , that can actually save us from ourselves ! I have a fairly new friend , a younger woman who works in a medical office , seems to like venting to me about her love life , somehow over a couple of years now we have become friends . I just love to listen to her and she seems to look forward to our occasional visits . It actually does my soul good . Anyway it just feels good to think I'm doing a good thing . Thanks for the reminder ! Awesome memory !........Ed

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Ed. I know if anyone has pockets full of memories, it's you!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I enjoyed reading about your childhood and while I haven't experienced the joy of sledding myself, the pizza and dorky TV shows of the 1980s are fond memories for me too. Voted a "beautiful" piece!

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Thank you Suzanne. :)

    • Caleb DRC profile image

      Caleb DRC 2 years ago

      Not silly at all, Sed-me. "Sledding, pizza and a bad TV show." It seems those simple memories are the most cherished, and most remembered. Morning coffee with my Dad , hot chocolate with my Mom, winter walks with my girlfriend, my lovable dog chasing his tail, and greeting me when I came home, moonlight reflecting off the waters of Ketchikan, Alaska, soft music with candle-light, hiding the spatula from Debbie, root beer floats after bucking bails in the hot sun all day, Becky walking to class with me on miserable winter days; tug-of-war with my dog, Pearhead; my sister's pigs-in-a-blanket with frozen hot dogs in the middle, and burned at the ends . . . well, the list is endless, but they all have something in common: simplicity, tranquility, and a touch of melancholy.

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      That was lovely. You almost had a hub of your own there. You ought to expand it a little and write your own. Very touching. :)

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Sed-me I can remember little incidents that were so important in my life. A compliment from a teacher, tipping over in a boat with my boyfriend. my swing in the barn. Your experience mattered, because you felt like you belonged. Your family sounds like my family, except we did cry. Your hub has sentimentality. paints a picture, and tells a poignant story. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, Audrey Sharing

    • Sed-me profile image
      Author

      Sed-me 2 years ago from An undisclosed location.

      Audrey, you are so obviously a writer, because I wanted to hear more about each of those stories you touched on. I do find ppl's stories endlessly interesting. Maybe you will take the winter memory challenge as the weather begins to cool later in the year. :)

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