Saturday, June 27, 2020

Remembering the past

This time we're living in has gotten me down:  Covid-19 has cast a shadow on the present, and nobody knows when it will end.  It's pretty obvious it'll still be infecting people through the end of this year.  There is a debate going on in the general population:  Should we take the precautions doctors want us to put in place, or is this an evil plot to take control of us?  Folks, I have let this drive me to distraction to such an extent that I don't want to be on Facebook.  That has never happened before.  In fact, in my "normal" state, I'd be forcing myself to sign off Facebook for a few days because I'm addicted.  

Maybe this is a good solution to my Facebook addiction.  If so, I hope it lasts.  I'd never get off Facebook entirely, because it's how I stay in touch with relatives, some of whom I wouldn't even know well if not for Facebook.  Not to mention friends I will never see again in person, but we can keep in touch because Facebook exists.

It finally occurred to me this morning that Facebook may not be the problem here.  There are issues in the current "real world" that have me off-kilter; I think maybe I've transferred my feelings about those issues onto Facebook.  In fact, I'm sure of it.  The same thing happened last fall... a happening in my real world had me upset, and suddenly I could not stand social media.  I began deleting friends, most of them for no good reason.  

I learned in my ninth grade psychology class about transference: the redirection to a substitute, usually a therapist, of emotions that were originally felt in childhood (in a phase of analysis called transference neurosis ).  I don't have a shrink, although I could probably use one, so I've been transferring my feelings to a silly website instead.  (You could take the words "in childhood" out of that, because my childhood was great.) 

What I wish I could do in these perilous times is go to Grandma's house.  Unfortunately, she died in the 1960's and her house was torn down long ago.  But in my mind I do go back to that part of my life, closing my eyes and imagining myself walking through that little house.  I see the african violets on the closed-in porch.  Then as I step up into the kitchen, the refrigerator is straight ahead of me, the porcelain kitchen table to the left of it against the wall.  Straight to the left of me as I stand in the doorway is the Hoosier cupboard, looking very similar to this:

There's the surface where Grandma rolled out noodles and sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls.  She sat on a tall stool when she did that, either because she wore out easily or perhaps because her knees or legs ached; kids never think  old people they love might be hurting, unless they complain.  Grandma didn't.  But I digress.  For many years Grandma had a kerosene range, so when you entered the house there was sometimes the faint smell of coal oil in the air.

In my musings, I leave the kitchen and walk on into the living room, knowing exactly where everything is.  Things in Grandma's house didn't change much.  With parents who moved often, I loved having three locations on God's green earth where things were constant:  Grandma's house, Uncle Leo's house down the road from her, and my sister's house.  Those were the most stable places I knew, where change was slow to come.

Sometimes I remininisce about the years my parents and I lived in Iowa.  What a wonderful world it was.  Hot summer nights sitting on the front porch listening on the radio to Joe Lewis becoming the heavyweight champion of the world while daddy threw punches and dodged blows as if it would help Joe win.  Winters when I longed for snowfall.  Summers when the world was my oyster because I could play outside as long as I wanted.  Fourth of July everyone in the Guss, Iowa, community who bought fireworks pooled their resources, coming together so we children had a great show to watch when we gathered in front of Hampel's store.

It wasn't a perfect world, but I thought it was then.  Guss, Iowa and Eagleville, Missouri are my favorite places to think about when times are difficult for whatever reason.  And don't forget Grandma's house for the holidays.  

The act of putting these words on a page makes me feel safe and serene.  Everyone should have such good childhood memories as I do, with parents who sang often around the house and in the car; recently a lady from Eagleville named Velda (now a Facebook friend) told me about a time when she was riding somewhere with my parents and me in our car.  I would have been no older than twelve; Velda said we were singing together as we rode, and she thought it the neatest thing at the time, that people would cut loose singing like that in the car.  We did it all the time, it's how I learned to sing alto.  I never thought it was unusual.  But you know, having someone else recall it 65 years later is pretty special. 

I began this blog entry feeling frustrated and angry and didn't know what I'd be writing about.  Now I'm at peace, and God is near.

Be well, my readers.  


Velda Smith said...

I remember so well that night. We had attended a Bible meeting someplace. It was so different to me because my family never did this. I remember you taming a bird and walking around with it on your shoulder. You loved animals. I think it was the bird that Sara Kay's stray dog had killed and broke your heart. Memories of old seem to stay with us better than memories of today. I sympathize with you for feeling so down about our present world of trouble. I became so depressed this winter with so many bad things happening. I'm planning on having my family here the 4th and hoping the news that the virus is spreading a lot won't make them afraid to come. I am accustomed to having family (and sometimes foster children here with me) that knowing no one would knock on my door week after week, no church, no going to see family or friends weighed heavily on me. I pray God will bless you and all of us who are looking for the coming of our Lord.

Margaret said...

What wonderful memories! Iowa is a beautiful state and I enjoyed my visit there in August of 2019. It feels like about 100 years ago. I too am struggling with FB, and it's because I'm angry and afraid. I'm seeing sides of people I didn't know existed and it makes me want to retreat from the world completely. I'm trying to read more books, and do less internet.

Margie's Musings said...

I know every time of our lives , even the worst of them have their good memories too but I believe this year has been one of the most depressing in ten years. I hate being isolated from my family and friends....but I have dealt with it. I have done a lot of things I usually never have time for.,,,cleaned out drawers, weeded out old stuff from my file cabinet, worked on my flowerbeds...lots of stuff like that. I refuse to stay depressed.

Sharron McKee said...

God is near! You are that calming Grandma's place to many!! You have so much inside to offer. I so appreciate you!!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I think many of us are remembering the happier days of the past these days. When in the summer time it was wonderful just to sit and fish in the creek and watch the little fish swimming around. I have many happy places to return to in my mind and the happiest was at my grandparents where we spend many summers with them on the farm. I does leave us with a wonderful peace filled feeling.

Sister--Three said...

I think writings feelings down helps dealing with those feelings that trouble us.

The only way you could have made this post better would have been adding a gospel song at the end. I love them.

krueth said...

Oh what good memories your post created for me. Both my Paternal grandma and my Maternal Grandparents lived in our yard. One about 50 feet away and the other probaby 150 yards away. I can walk into both houses in my mind and envision it all <3 I too, when this whole covid virus started went into a dark place for a couple of weeks, and then said to myself, turn off that darn tv and don't listen. That's what I needed and it's been so much better since then. I try and be careful and rarely go anywhere, which if fine for a homebody like me.
Our family always sang in the car too, we still break out in song to anything or everything someone says or does. Take care and continue to trust in God. Wendy

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

I think so many of us would be so comforted to go to see our Grandmas and Grandpa's again. I always felt such love and comfort soaking into me at my Grandma and Grandpa's in the country. In warm weather we always went wading in the creek on the slippery rocks. Sometimes we'd gather some water cress from where it grew along that creek and we'd have it with our supper. It was fun to sit on a rock with our feet in the cold clear water and watch as creek darters came so close to touching our feet, and if we turned over just the right rock, there would be a crawdad under it, or very rarely a newt.Lately when I need to turn down my worry thermostat before I blow, I make myself take little trips back in time where things seemed so much easier. I only choose to go to the good times and places.

I loved that beautiful hoosier cabinet with it's red trim. Is it yours?

Lori said...

I'm glad that helped -- I find it helpful to put it down in writing when things are getting to me.

I really enjoyed this post because it reminded me of my own childhood memories. I have so many!

We were a family who sang in car rides -- even short ones! I learned to sing alto when the family gathered at our house on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes I'd have a very specific part to sing with all my sisters and sometimes I'd just join in in an alto. If it was just me and one or two of my sisters, I'd know which part I was supposed to take, if I was filling in for one who wasn't there.

Carlene Noggle said...

Mosie, AKA Donna, I never thought I would live to see our world like it is today. I am SO Thankful, that I can come to your blog/journal and hear your beautiful singing and read your words of wisdom. It make me feel more calm. Thank you sweet friend.

The Feminine Energy said...

Yes, I know what you mean, my friend... about this virus getting a person down. I'm just now settling into the fact that our way of life, as we knew it, is gone. Now, with the cases rising at such a scary rate again, my mind has been more occupied with basically "staying alive" and away from the virus. Even social distancing in the driveway, with masks on, seems like a scary proposition. I'm so glad we blogging friends have each other. Love, Andrea xoxo