24 June 2005

Tout La Meme Chose

      It seems Zelda has tagged me to do one of those memes that have been making the rounds, this one asking me to name five things I miss most about my childhood.   Considering that I have forgotten most of my childhood (seriously, not glibly), I don't really have much in the way of childhood nostalgia.   Not that anything traumatic happened to cause this kind of pseudo-amnesia, but where most people can remember nursery rhymes and stories and outings and such, I remember next-to-nothing.   'Tis just the way it is.   But here goes, five things I miss most from my childhood, such as it was:

  • My great-grandparents:   My father's grandparents, to be specific, as I had at one point in my childhood five great-grandmothers and one great-grandfather.   My great-grandfather taught me how to fish, and he was probably closer to me than any of my other relatives.   To this day, everytime I think about fishing, or walk past Copps Coliseum (which he used to take me by as it was being built, all those years ago), I think of him.   My grandmother, his wife, was one of the sweetest women I've ever known, and, sadly, she had to endure not just the unbearable symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but she wound up very ill to the point that she had to live in hospital for over a year after my grandfather's death, and we didn't want to tell her the truth for fear she would have just given up.   Eventually, of course, we had to tell her.   She died not long after.

  • Innocence:   Unfathomable, probably, but I do remember being much less jaded and pessimistic than I have become, and, in fact, I used to believe all kinds of silly stuff.   I used to be much more energetic and spirited and hopeful.   My, how times change.

  • Writing:   I used to write constantly, very often using an old rickety typewriter, or in notebooks that I would take with me into a closet so I could get away from the rest of the distracting world.   I especially used to love writing murder-mysteries, in which I'd take great glee in killing off friends in the most creative ways I could imagine.   (Macabre as that sounds, believe it or not, my friends used to love reading how they would die.   Moreso than discovering how I'd figure out who killed them.)   Unfortunately, now writing is more painful than productive or liberating.

  • My Old Commodore 64:   You remember the old days, when computers served you, rather than you serving them like adults to unruly children?   After my Vic 20, I got my 64, on which I played Sid Meier's Pirates and Impossible Mission and the like, for hours on end.   Computers seemed so much more magical then, though, of course, they were really just primitve.   But, for my mind, they were also just a lot more fun.

  • The Cottage:   We still own our cottage (it was once my great-grandparents'), but I haven't been out there in years, probably since 1998 or so.   Besides fishing and swimming and all that, it used to be one of my favourite things, to drive down the hill, probably 60 feet and at a very sharp decline, on my old-- wait for it-- Big Wheel.   Yup.   Half the time I would drive the darned thing right into the river.   Same, too, rolling down that hill in an inner tube.   Also remember doing so many of the things I never do anymore: picking (and gorging myself on) strawberries down the road, hiking through the brush, playing lawn darts and horseshoes, whipping along in that inner tube when it was tied to a boat.   Fun stuff, when you're a kid.   Now, sadly, the cottage is more of an albatross than anything, and we're never out there, though apparently one of my uncles uses it a fair bit.   We moreorless stopped going out there in my teens.   Think the last time I was out there was just to help my uncle do some roofing, though it may have been with The One Of Whom I Do Not Speak.   Who knows anymore.   Memories, like childhood, all go into the dark.
Anyway, there you have them, again, such as they are.   So, who should I tag now?   Hmmm, the trick with these tags is to try to get some people you'd never expect to respond to play along, like Paul Wells' gleefully getting Governor-General Clarkson to name which books have most influenced her in a similar meme.   So, hmmm, I'll tag RK, cbeck, Jen, and, for aiming high, how about Macleans' own backpager Mr. Wells and, what the heck, the always-amusing Dave Barry.   Let's see if anyone runs with it.   Cheers.

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