Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Parents Are to Blame for This


[Note: As short as this post is, I’ve incorporated material from two previously published essays (Tucson Citizen, July 1987; Themestream, January 2001). The revised Themestream essay eventually will be posted in its entirety on another (sorry about that) site. Until then, here is a preview.]

Give me a task, and I’ll do it well, unless, of course, it involves some sort of housework.

And there is a good reason why. As a toddler, I was terrorized by Mom’s vacuum cleaner, a baggy brown behemoth that roared through the house two or three times a week. When Mom wanted to run the vacuum cleaner, she had to conscript a relative to take me somewhere—anywhere.

My parents couldn’t figure out why I was so frightened by the darn thing. Who knows? (I certainly don’t.) Maybe the noise drove me crazy. Then again, one morning the machine came dangerously close to sucking up the cat. Maybe I thought it would get me next.

My histrionics, I mean hysterics, drove Mom and Dad a little crazy. Mom hoped it was just a phase I was going through. Even then, she looked forward to the day when I could start helping out around the house.

That finally happened when I was eight, and it lasted about ten minutes. I was no longer afraid of the vacuum cleaner. However, on my first try, I lost control of the machine, crashed into the china cabinet, demolished two table lamps, and knocked my little brother into a magazine rack.

“For Pete’s sake, Mary Frances,” Dad yelled, “do it yourself before she destroys everything.”

Unfortunately, Dad’s instinct for self-preservation condemned my mother to doing most of her own housework forever.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Newsletter That Never Was


When I was ten, I got the bright idea to create a newsletter. I never followed through with that idea for several reasons. Reason one: I was ten. Reason two: I didn’t know how to type, which was a requisite for creating a professional looking newsletter.
However, reason three was the one that really shot down the idea. A newsletter has to report news, but I had no idea as to where to find some. Nothing exciting ever happened in our small town. And, at ten, the people I knew didn’t seem at all that interesting.
By the time I was twelve, I suspected that at least a few of those individuals were, or had been, involved in some really interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the adults who knew all the details usually tried their best to stay mum about them in front of the kids. By the time we were teens, though, my friends and I had figured it out for ourselves, thanks to keen observation and a little surreptitious eavesdropping.
At sixteen, I was more interested in dating than I was in writing a newsletter, which was probably just as well. I don’t think a newsletter would have gone over big then. By that time, several of my peers were adding grist to the gossip mill, and a couple of those peers had issues that seemed to appear in the newspapers on a semi-regular basis. Anything I dared to write about them would probably have made some people very unhappy with me, people like their parents, their probation officers, and whoever else was involved in whatever they did.
And even if I had wanted to resurrect the newspaper idea, it wouldn’t have worked. As a high school junior, I had to take a requisite typing class. Two weeks into the class, I discovered that I hated typing.



Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Hope to Get Back to Blogging Soon


Haven't been blogging much during these last two months. We lost a family member in November.
Hope to get back to blogging and working on other writing projects soon. Also resuming editing services in February.