Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Who We Become

 Galoshes, collecting junk

August 1989

Dear MaryJanes,

Ever since I can remember I have loved digging for treasures. I grew up out in the country on a 5 acre farmet surrounded by woods and fields so exploring was always a favorite past time. I would dig up old cans and stash them away. I loved thinking about how they ended up buried where I was digging and exploring. I would usually end up with some story in my mind of how someone had camped out in the woods while on a hide out from civilization. My imaginary stories were usually so good that I would frighten friends that were along with me. They would sit on edge waiting to hear what happened next. After wards we would have to run home quickly in fear that my stories might actually be true and those hobos were still out there! Nearby there were railroad tracks that traveled along the woods edge, so it was easy to imagine hobos hitching a ride and hiding out in the tall grass. I often dug up old arrow heads and stashed them away in a tin can along with broken bits of dishes and glass pieces. It's funny that those little trinkets of the past captivated my interest far more than any store bought toy.
Some times I would ride my pony out into the woods and just find a soft place to lay in the field and watch the wind blow the trees above. I enjoyed time alone and seemed to enjoy the company of animals more so than people. I never really did fit in anywhere when it came to school peers or groups. I suppose I was more of a natures child than other kids my age. When the other kids wanted to watch TV or stay inside and play dolls, I wanted to go explore.
 Galoshes and her pony

You don't seem to have that nature girl in you. You love to style your dolls hair, sit and read your books and cut and paste art creations. There are times when I wish you would want to go outside and dig in the dirt with me, yet I realize that you will fit in better with your peers just the way you are.
As I got a bit older, I would go and spend most weekends with my Grandma Borge. She never did get her drivers license but that didn't stop her from driving. She would take me out junkin' at the local thrift shops and garage sales. She would heckle the people running the sales to discount their prices for her. I would watch her get bargain after bargain on antique plates and bowls. If we were driving along and she saw a yard sale sign, she would always make an illegal U-turn without hesitation or concern for other drivers. It's a wonder that I ever survived as a passenger in her car. On one occasion as she rounded the corner, the door to her big, white car popped open and I tumbled out. The case of hair rollers that I had in my lap spilled to create a salon landscaped road way. I tumbled and rolled down the road and when I came to a stop my grandmother caught up to me. Without asking if I was ok, she simply said, "Oh, don't tell your mother this happened!" She hurried us back into the car and sped off. I realize now that if she had gotten caught driving without ever going through the proper channels, our junkin' days would have been over. I never did tell my own mom, somethings are best keep secret. I loved those weekend outings with her and I learned allot about vintage items from them. We would return to her house and she would unpack all of her treasures and ask me which of them I wanted. It must have been her influence that led me to like all things old and worn.
Galoshes as a girl

You on the other hand like the big stores and shopping. You seem to be attracted to things that sparkle and shine. School clothes shopping will be done at the retail stores this year rather than at the thrift stores. You defiantly have your own taste in clothes, anything I pick up, you scrunch your nose up at. I am raising the daughter my mother always wanted, a frilly dress kinda girl. It is fun to see your personalty and sense of who you are come though. You walk on side walks and I walk on the grass.

Now don't step on the cracks.

Love, Galoshes


  1. Isn't it funny how we come just the way we are? I love that you recognized early on how futile and argument-inducing it would be to try and change her, and just appreciated who she was.

  2. I think one of the most important things we do as parents is to recognize our child's talents and interests, and nurture them. Sounds like that's exactly what you did~ and you didn't try to force her into a mold...

  3. Katy & Linda,
    So nice to see your comments, Thank You!!
    It is interesting to notice children personalities and then see them as adults. So many times you can determine what sort of person they will turn out to be from how they act in their youth. I am a country person and so MJ spent the majority of her childhood living in the country several miles from other children. She is a city person, and so I do feel bad that she did not have the experiences of a busy city life that seems to attract her. I suppose she was often bored and did end up spending allot of time with only me to amuse her. I hope that I commuted her enough to give her a balance of culture activities.
    We can always look back and see how we would have done things differently. But that happens years later when we understand life better!