When I was in school, History was a snore! It was probably my least favorite subject (along with Math,English,Biology..etc... ) It seemed to me we never got past the Indians. Oh, there were a lot of old war dates to memorize (like those came in handy) and...gee...I can't even remember. It all went in one ear and out the other.
Now art was fun. And piano and drum class. Wound up being the teacher's helper in piano since I had lessons for years and was way ahead of everyone in the class. It was my senior year and I had to just fill in time since the only class I needed to graduate was Government by then.
Yesterday's holiday got me thinking. Martin Luther King. Who was he? It's sad to admit after living half a century I never really knew much about him until I started googling yesterday and getting a crash course. Now WHY didn't they teach us things like THIS in school?
It probably wouldn't have been as interesting then as it is to me now anyway. I suppose there's a lot truth in the saying, "Youth is wasted on the young." Isn't that the truth,though? When you're young and bright and strong all you want to do is play. By the time you mature and wake up you think to yourself, "If only I knew then what I know now." Somewhere in between a lot of years get wasted just living and trying to find your way. Sometimes I wake up and think,"Where did the years go? I'm still 17, right? I still FEEL 17. Who's that person in the mirror?" lol
Life all happens so quickly. This Christmas really got me thinking about that and my own family history. What the heck is it? Growing up I don't remember my parents talking a whole lot about their childhoods and their life stories.
And most everyone in my family is now gone.
Dad, grandma's,grandpa's even my mother's only sister. MOM is IT. She's about all that's left besides an uncle and aunt on Dad's side. And they're in their upper 80's and can't remember what I said 5 minutes ago.
My mother's annual visit is coming up soon. (I'm preparing myself as of this moment,lol) When I was trying to think of a Christmas present for her this year the idea of a tape recorder popped into my mind.
My mother LOVES to talk as those of you who've read my other blogs about her already know,lol. Well, I thought, let's get her talking about something IMPORTANT for a change! (besides what time the neighbor put out his trash yesterday).
Let's hear her life story. Let's hear what happened before I was born. Stories about grandma and grandpa that I don't know. MY history.
It sounds good in theory. But getting her to actually DO it?
I was so late this year getting the presents out that I decided to just keep hers here until she comes to visit. So the tape recorder's waiting wrapped up pretty with a bow.
It's the "old fashioned" kind. One that actually uses cassette tapes. Knowing my mom it won't be long before a knob will "mysteriously" fall off or heaven forbid, she'll start talking into the machine and thought she pressed the record button but really didn't. I'm imagining the tapes getting lost or worse yet, my whole family history being "accidentally erased". It could happen.
With mom anything's a possibility,lol.
I know she will laugh when she sees it. Her nervous giggle. She will be afraid of a "machine". I will show her how to use it. Call her on the phone and REMIND her to use it. There will be questions and I'll have to give her blow by blow directions how to use it again. She will write them down.
Like she used to write EVERYTHING down. Like how many times her co-worker used to go out and have a smoke. And what time she came back. And who wasn't doing their job. (Talk about calling the kettle black! SHE wasn't working either!)
My mother has always been a "living" tape recorder. I have found literally hundreds of tiny pieces of paper where she has jotted things down. Her purses used to be loaded. (along with the napkins and straws,lol) She was always busy writing down what OTHER people were doing.
Even her old calendars were full of notations. "Left pinkie hurts. 7/14/75" "Stitch on left side" etc etc. I found a bunch of these years ago and just about every day there was some ache or pain mentioned. (real or imagined? lol) They made me groan just reading them.
Her sister used to call her from San Diego. Long distance was a BIG deal back in the old days. I only remember them talking about once a year. The first thing she'd do was whip out a pad and pencil and the whole time they were talking she'd be writing. Then she'd come and read us the notes after the conversation to let us know what our cousins were up to. It was never anything THAT important. So and so's graduating. So and so bought a used car.
But to her, I guess it was IMPORTANT. It's funny how what's important to one person is just mundane to another. This has been part of me and my mom's history. I'm always waiting to hear something important to ME from her. So far I've been out of luck.
I'm still trying.
Hopefully I'll get it out of her.
If the tape recorder doesn't do it maybe I'll buy her a new calendar instead. Maybe I should have kept all the old ones. After all they were part of her history.
All the belly-achin', toe stubbin', piercing headache bit of it.
Hmmmm...sounds like our relationship.
Guess we have had a history after all.