Tag Archives: Childhood Stories

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Linked to Specific Memories in My Life

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Happy 10th anniversary to Top Ten Tuesday! I decided to do the July 23, 2018 topic entitled Books That Are Linked to Specific Memories/Moments In Your Life.

I haven’t reread any of these books in years, so my memories of all of their plot twists is fuzzy. If any of you read them, I hope you like them!

Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry, Wesley Dennis book cover. Image on cover is of a burrow standing next to the grand canyon

1. Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis

The Memory Attached to It: Sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car late one night while we were driving home from a long road trip. Mom read this book to me while my younger siblings slept next to me. I couldn’t wait to find out if Brighty would survive all of his dangerous adventures and kept begging her to read just one more chapter.

Book cover for The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Image on cover is of african-american girl sitting by a window in the 1940s era.

2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Memory Attached to It: Sitting on the hammock on my parents’ back porch on a muggy summer day. (I think my dad might have been travelling that week and hadn’t been able to install our window air conditioner yet?) It was too hot for even mild physical activity like a walk, so I slowly drank unsweetened mint tea while reading this book.

Book cover for C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. Image on cover is of an angel touching a child.

3. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

The Memory Attached to It: Sitting in my grandparent’s basement while eating crisp saltine crackers, drinking a deliciously cold can of cola, and trying to stay as cool as possible on that hot summer day. My grandparents use something called a swamp cooler, so while there is some relief from the heat you still don’t want to run around too much in their house when the temperatures and humidity soar. Quiet activities are best. I really don’t enjoy heat waves, so maybe that’s why they’re playing such a prominent role in today’s post.

Book cover for Julia Watts' The Kind of Girl I Am. Image on cover is of a painting of a vanity and chair.

4. The Kind of Girl I Am by Julia Watts

The Memory Attached to It: Sitting down to a hot, filling lunch after running around for five straight hours at work. I was famished and exhausted. It was such a relief to eat again, feel the aching in my feet temporarily reduce, lose myself in a book, and enjoy some peace and quiet before jumping back into the fray for the rest of my shift.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

5. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

The Memory Attached to It: A coworker asked what I was reading and was a little surprised by the fact it was a romance novel. I had the reputation of being the resident science fiction and horror expert, but everyone needs to expand their horizons sometimes!

A Mindful Approach to Headaches

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any medical conditions. Please consult with a medical professional if you need medical advice. I’m simply writing about my own experiences here. 

The first multi-day tension headache I remember experiencing happened at age seven or eight soon after my family moved to Wyoming. Our house was small and comfortable but rarely quiet due to the simple realities of how trailer homes are constructed and the fact that two adults, three young children, and a small assortment of mischievous pets shared that cozy two-bedroom home.

Ordinarily, the overlapping, never-ending conversations, barks from our excitable dog, clangs from the kitchen, and other noises didn’t bother me as a child of that age, but I did wish for quieter corners of the globe when my head pounded for days in a row. What I had instead were cold wash cloths on my forehead and the stillness that comes from lying down and waiting for all of our home remedies to chase that discomfort away.

woman lying in bed with a headache
Are anyone’s headaches actually this photogenic? Mine sure aren’t.

My life has changed in countless ways since then.

I’ve since learned that mild dehydration, caffeine, and stress are among my biggest triggers for these long-lived headaches.

But every once in a while, one of them still sneaks past my best prevention efforts.

This past weekend was my most recent experience with a stubborn headache that lasts multiple days.

Along with drinking extra water, getting more rest, and eating chocolate when taking over-the-counter pain medicine to help amplify their effects, mindfulness is another tool in my headache-busting toolbox.

Headaches can’t always be prevented, but I can have better experiences with them when they show up by remaining in the moment.

Less Tension, Less Pain

Chalkboard with the words stress and relax written on it. The word stres is crossed out with a red x. My headaches often spiral into a negative feedback loop of pain leading to tense muscles that in turn lead to more pain.

The best thing I can do when a new one begins is to relax my muscles as soon and as much as possible.

This is where mindfulness comes in. Whether I’ve undertaken a formal meditation session on that particular day or have simply decided to breathe in and out deeply and slowly, every ounce of relaxation matters.

Sometimes this looks like me lying down and closing my eyes for twenty minutes. While it can lead to a nap, sleeping isn’t the goal. Breaking that cycle is the goal.

A Distracting Walk

Woman walking barefoot on a beach as the tide comes in. Her footprints are straight and even across the sand.I know I talk about my love of long walks a lot on this blog, but this time I’m thinking of them as a type of distraction instead of a form of exercise.

Ideally, the walk would take place in a natural setting like a park or a beach, but it can happen on city streets as well. It’s generally slow and meandering instead of brisk.

The purpose of it is to gently pull my attention away from my discomfort and to anything else happening around me.

It could be the sight of two seagulls fighting over a french fry someone accidentally dropped or the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze.

Maybe a jogger will run by and I’ll take a moment to silently congratulate them on their good running form. The sun’s rays could shine down on my forehead and almost feel like a warm kiss from a loved one.

These sounds and sights wash over me. I acknowledge them but do my best not to dwell on them once they’ve passed. Responding to small moments like these is a nice reminder that headaches, too, will pass and that I shouldn’t spend time thinking about how long they’ve been going on or when they’ll end.

There’s something about this sort of distracting change of scenery that does a body good, especially when you’re in discomfort.

Living in the Moment

person walking in a forest. The forest floor is shaped like a person's hand held up to their mouth in a shushing motion.

Patience is a skill I’ve honed nicely over the years.

While medication dulls the pain of a headache in the short term, this is one of those ailments that needs time to truly fade away. It can’t be rushed.

One of the beautiful things about taking a mindful approach to headaches is that it teaches you to sit with yourself in this exact moment.

There’s something freeing about doing what you can to alleviate the pain of a headache and then stopping and observing everything you’re experiencing in that moment without judging it.

Will mindfulness cure headaches? No, not in my experience, but it can make it easier to handle them when they pop up.

Why I Blog About Multiple Topics

Nine speech bubbles in a variety of shapes and pastel colours.Edited on May 13, 2020 to include two responses to this post: On Blogging and Requiem on Blogging

I’ve been blogging on various sites more or less continuously since I was in college.

It started after I read a friend’s blog and realized I could do that, too.

Several of the blogs I worked on solo or as part of a group of bloggers no longer exist, but PK Stories is an exception to that.

I was a preacher’s kid growing up and spent a few years sharing amusing stories from that part of my childhood. (Please note that I’ve learned a lot about writing, blogging, and storytelling since that site was last active. It’s pretty old).

Blogging has changed quite a bit over the years. The best practices for it these days are generally thought to include picking one topic and only writing about that.

So why don’t I follow that rule? Well, there are a few reasons for that.

Content Fatigue

Image of a puzzle in the shape of the profile of a human head
Actual footage of my thought processes after a couple of years of writing about the same topic every week.

I’ve learned through trial and error that I experience content fatigue on single-topic blogs after about two or three years.

It’s tricky for me to know where to go next after I’ve covered everything I want to say, especially since I dislike recycling posts or repeating myself.

Rather than building a new site from scratch every other year, I now prefer to stick to the same site and bounce around among a few different topics instead.

Kudos to those of you who can blog about the same thing for years or decades.

I admire your constancy, but my creativity eventually struggles under those circumstances.

Overlapping Interests

Blue rectangles and squares that are overlapping each other. There may be some people on this planet whose interests all exist in well-defined bubbles that never intersect with each other, but I’m not one of them.

My fitness posts often reference science fiction or fantasy because I think about topics like Frodo’s long walk to Mordor or what it would really be like to use a Holodeck  for my workouts. (Yes, I will actually write that post one of these days).

Sometimes I need to share childhood stories when I talk about the magic of Halloween so my readers will understand why it’s so important to me.

Yoga is both a workout and an exercise in mindfulness. That still blows my mind and may require a few more posts to fully explore.

So why not talk about all of the fascinating things that move between and connect these seemingly-unrelated topics?

Simple Human Curiosity

A group of human-shaped figures in every colour of the rainbow - brown, orange, yellow, green, red, and more!Look, would I ever tell someone else what to write about on their site? Absolutely not!

But I do quietly love it when bloggers reveal new pieces of their personal lives and interests that may or may not be related to the main topic(s) of their sites.

There’s something delightful and surprising about everyone once you get to know them well enough.

It’s amazing to learn that someone you’ve followed and interacted with for years has this whole other side to them that you’d never would have predicted whether that’s a hobby, interest, or something else entirely.

So one of the other big reasons why I jump between topics is to give my readers a better understanding of who I am as a person. Yes, half or more of my posts are about the science fiction and fantasy genres in any given month because of how passionate I am about them, but those aren’t my only interests by any means.

My hope is that by sharing these parts of myself other bloggers might be encouraged to do the same thing.

How did you all pick the topic(s) for your sites? What made you stick to one topic on your site or include multiple ones on it?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Favourite Memory and Why

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

My family lived in Laramie, Wyoming for four years when I was a little girl. We were low income, so my parents came up with all sorts of creative ways to enjoy their days off without spending money. (I honestly didn’t even realize money was so tight for us during those years until I was much older. They made do with what they had really well).

The cool thing about living in Wyoming is that it’s filled with mountains, national parks, and other free places to take three small children who have boundless energy. For the cost of a little bit of gas and some sandwiches or other simple meals culled together from fridge leftovers, we could spend all day outdoors together.

One of our favourite places to visit was Vedauwoo National Park. It was a short drive from our home and was filled with rocks to climb, chipmunks to greet, and trails to conquer. There was nothing more exciting than hiking those trails with my parents and siblings.

A photo of Lydia Schoch, her parents, and two younger brothers at Vedauwoo National Park in the 1990s. My youngest brother was about two or three then, so sometimes he’d need a parent to carry him if we walked for a long distance. But the important thing was that we were together and we got to explore rocks that felt impossible large to me as a child.

I also remember picking and eating berries in a little patch of forest near the park. That was a wonderful treat! I think they were raspberries, and, yes, I did get permission from mom first.

I believe the picture I included in my post was the one my parents sent out to extended family as our Christmas card greeting that year? We’ll see if mom or dad can confirm this when they read this post

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: My Earliest Memory

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

apple growing on an apple treeMy earliest memory involves an apple tree.

My family lived in a farmhouse on the edge of a small town in Ohio for the first four or five years of my life. An apple tree was growing in our front yard.

As soon as the apples on it grew large enough for me to recognize them, I decided I wanted to taste them.

The problem was, I wasn’t strong enough to pick the apple first no matter how much I tugged on it. (In retrospect, I wonder if the apple also wasn’t fully ripe yet).

After accepting the fact that the apple wasn’t going into the house with me after all, I decided to have a bite right then and there. I don’t remember what happened after that, but years later my parents told me they found that apple with a tiny little bite in it and laughed.

And, yes, I still love apples to this day

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.

The Evolution of My Reading Habits

My reading habits have evolved a lot over the years. In today’s post, I’m going to start with my earliest memories and share some stories about how my interests and habits have changed over time. Most of these genres are still things I like to read at least occasionally. With that being said, I do… Read More

Top Ten Tuesday: Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl You’re all about to hear some funny stories about the outrageous, silly, and memorable things I’ve done for the love of books. For anyone who didn’t already know, I was a preacher’s kid growing up, so the church’s building was basically my family’s second home.  We were there two… Read More