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Winter Memories/Hub Page Challenge

Updated on May 28, 2019
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. I wouldn't blame you at all if you found it trite, but one man's trash is another man's treasure. What makes anything special? It simply may be that thing doesn't come in abundance. A bowl of oatmeal is treasured by a child who has no food, and a warm bed is heaven to a homeless man.

I don't believe I could persuade you to shed a tear for my childhood. I lacked no material thing. My father was an executive at I.B.M. and my mother, a stay at home mom. We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday; solid folk, you could say. Don't be confused though, normal isn't the cure for dysfunction; I think it's safe to say we weren't perfect. It seems appropriate that my parents had nice homes because we had a lot of walls up in our house. Emotionally stunted might have been an apt description. We laughed though, quite a lot, but we seldom cried. You were allowed, of course, but it was strongly discouraged.

There I was full of emotion with no place to put it so I stuffed it down. Do you want to know what I craved more than anything? Intimacy. I wanted quality time; I wanted to connect with the people around me. I wanted to understand them and thereby understand myself, which caused me to become a very analytical person. To this day, I soak up human emotion and intention far more easily than I do the spoken word.

I loved that home in Danbury, Connecticut at Christmas time. I would come back from school to a roaring fire and a glowing Christmas tree. It was a picture worthy of Currier and Ives. Minivans hadn't been invented yet so no matter where we went we three kids were stuffed into the back of an LTD. That was the closest we ever got.

I was a lot younger than my siblings, the baby so I blamed the distance between us on myself. Why would anyone want to include the obnoxious kid always jabbering on about this or that? I just wanted to feel included, to be wanted. That constant feeling of rejection has followed me for a lifetime.

Then, in 1980, a young man came along and for the first time, I experienced everything I'd been missing. I was only twelve and he was eighteen and he liked my sister. She, didn't return his feelings, but this Christmas, at least; he would make his presence known. My whole memory comes down to one day. One day in my entire life singled out as my greatest childhood memory. And this is all it was...

We dragged a couple of sleds out of the garage and went to a little hill somewhere in Connecticut. I wore my snowsuit, and we all slid down the hill (way too fast) and trudged up the hill (way too slow) over and over again until it got dark. When we returned home we made french bread pizza, something that was new on the scene. Pizza you could make at home! A child's dream come true.

Afterwards, we all gathered in the family room, by the fire, and watched Towering Inferno; a terrible 80's miniseries about people stuck in... well, a towering inferno. The show was not meant for twelve-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 more wonderful if I had designed it myself. That's it; that's all. Silly, isn't it? Sledding, pizza and a bad T.V. show, but it meant the world to me.

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 too. Maybe they're even more simplistic than mine, or maybe they're so powerful, they could move mountains! It doesn't matter just remember this, no one can take them away from you; they're yours and yours alone. 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 worthy of remembrance.

© 2014 Elisabeth Ellis


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