Tag Archives: Childhood Stories

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Have You Met Anyone Famous? Who?

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.

A black squiggly autograph
The Internet says this is supposed to be an autograph.

I’ve never met anyone who is universally famous like Beyoncé or President Obama, so my answer to this question depends on your definition of the term fame and which social circles we may or may not have in common. Here are a few people who are famous in some subcultures that I’ve been in the same room with.

Curtis Hinds

Those of you who have followed my site for a while might remember that I was a preacher’s kid growing up. Curtis was (and still is) well known as a travelling pastor and speaker in certain Protestant circles. I knew him as a family friend who would occasionally come to visit us in the Midwestern portion of the United States or take us out to dinner when we travelled up to Ontario.

He was (and I’m sure still is) a friendly man who always had amusing new stories to share about his travels.

 

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert is one of Canada’s most famous science fiction authors. I’ve blogged about several of his books here like “Calculating God” and the Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy in previous posts.

He sometimes pops up at various literary events and festivals in Toronto. I’ve met him once so far. He was a kind and welcoming man to everyone around him that day, so do say hello if you also enjoy his work and see him around at a bookish event someday.

 

Devon Soltendieck

This one might take a little bit of explaining. Much Music is a tv channel that is like Canada’s version of MTV. Devon was a Much Music host in the 2000s. In the mid-2000s, I was riding the subway when I saw someone who looked really familiar to me. I couldn’t stop staring at him as I tried to figure out why he was so familiar.

“Okay, so how are we related?” I silently asked myself. I had occasionally run into distant cousins and other relatives whom I recognized but whose names did not immediately come to mind when I lived in the United States. Due to this, I assumed it was another case of me seeing a third cousin or something and needing some time to realize we shared recent ancestors.

It was only after I’d arrived back home and turned on the TV that I realized I’d probably seen a famous person instead.

He was facing away from me on the subway, so I hope he didn’t notice me staring at him. I would have politely ignored him if I realized we didn’t actually need to play the “how are we related” game after all. Ha!

 

Person photographing her white dog. That is the sum total of my celebrity experiences. I tend to avoid celebrity culture and take an alternate route if I see paparazzi clogging up a sidewalk here in Toronto, but I hope everyone who is into that sort of stuff has plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with celebrities if they so desire to.

I’m ending this post with a stock photo of someone photographing her dog because the thought of domesticated animals being famous makes me giggle. (Although there are some famous furry friends out there, too).

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With an Adjective In the Title


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

The following words are written on a green background: adjectives, verbs, prepositions, nouns, tenses, activate, study, adverbs, learning grammar. Here’s a quick and humorous story about adjectives before I dive into this week’s prompt.

When I was in elementary school, our teacher had us write poems that needed to have a specific number of adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and other parts of speech in certain portions of the poem.

I was a little unsure about what made an adjective different from the other parts of speech, so I opened a nearby dictionary and selected words based in large part on what the dictionary said about which part of speech each one belonged to.

This is probably not exactly what my teacher was hoping we’d do, but I finished the project and technically followed all of the rules for it.

1. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

2. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

3. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Edward Albee

4. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

5. The Case of the Perfect Maid – a Miss Marple Short Story by Agatha Christie

6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho

9. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

10. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Tell Us Something About a Pet

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.

I do not have a photo of the actual fish I’m going to discuss, so a stock photo must suffice.

A fish swimming in a blue sea. This happened in late spring or summer when I was a child. My family lived in a house whose backyard sloped down into the shore of a lake back then.

I was walking by the water when I noticed a fish swimming oddly close to the shore and to the surface of the water.

While I didn’t see any visible injuries on it, the poor little fish looked like it needed help. It wasn’t swimming as quickly and confidently as fish normally do. It looked wobbly and uncertain.

I built a little pen of rocks around it to protect it from any larger creatures that might hurt it. The pen was not terribly big, just tall enough to give it a safe spot in the water to rest.

Then I went to the house to see if one of my parents could help him or her.

When I returned, the fish was gone.

It’s impossible to know for sure what happened to it, but I choose to believe that moment of rest somehow helped and that it had a long and happy life after that afternoon.

I did not know it long enough to pick a name, but I bonded enough with it during the brief time we knew each other for me to remember it all of these years later.

It was a nice little fish, and I did everything I could to help it.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What I Thought of Santa as a Kid

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.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my parents were pastors when I was a child. Many of our Christmas traditions revolved around the religious aspects of that holiday and the various parties, services, charitable fundraisers, and other events we held at church. It was always a busy season for us!

A black santa claus putting a wrapped presnt in his big, red bagMy family decorated a tree and exchanged a few thoughtful presents each year, but Santa himself was not part of our version of Christmas. My only experiences with him were through seasonal television programs and some traditional works of literature like T’Was The Night Before Christmas.

We didn’t own a TV at all for a while when I was in the prime age group for believing in him, and I was also homeschooled for several years there. Due to these factors, I didn’t know that some other families were so focused on Santa during Christmas until I was older and began spending more time around kids whose families had other traditions.

Sometimes my grandmother would bend the rules a little and give us a few extra presents from Santa or one of the friendly animals on their farm because of how much she loves Christmas.

We always knew they were really from her and Grandpa, of course, so my parents weren’t too fussed about whose name was on the “from” line. My parents taught us to be respectful of other people’s traditions and household rules.

The various legends about Santa amused me, especially when it came to learning about the historical Saint Nicholas and how myths about him and his magical helpers have evolved over time. That made little Lydia wonder if other magical creatures like the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny were also loosely based on real people or events.

When I started attending public school, I vaguely remember classmates talking about what race and ethnicity Santa should be. As far as I was concerned, he could be from any racial or ethnic group.

Appearances don’t matter because Santa was a metaphor for kindness and generosity in my family. We all perform the role of Santa when we notice what others need and quietly work to help them in whatever ways we can throughout the year.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Memories

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with a full ten answers for this week’s prompt, but I do have some fun bookish memories to share with you all.

 


Bookish Memory #1
: Falling asleep while waiting for my dad to come home from a late night at work. I always wanted him to tell me stories about his childhood again. He had a marvellous way of turning his childhood into something just as exciting as any novel! I especially loved his story about accidentally setting his bed on fire when he was pretending to be big and powerful like Superman. He threw one lit match on it and then tried to blow it out just like Superman would do. (The fire was soon put out, and he never tried anything like that again. It was truly an innocent mistake). Sometimes I’d quietly retell his stories to myself as I waited to see ifPerson holding an annotated paperback book open. The book has a sticky note in it that says remember. he’d be home soon!

Bookish Memory #2: My mother reading the first few Little House on the Prairie books to me. I took over reading them as soon as my reading skills were strong enough because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and she needed to look after my younger siblings.

Bookish Memory #3: Being so bored in church that I read portions of the Bible that weren’t being discussed during that week’s sermon. I was a preacher’s kid, so I had plenty of opportunities to “read ahead” so to speak.

Bookish Memory #4: Occasionally getting away with reading secular books during long church services. Shh, don’t tell my parents. 😉

Bookish Memory #5: Discovering a fairy tale my aunt had started writing but not finished when she was a little girl. So far as I can recall, it was about a princess and a magic necklace.  I added a few more scenes to it and then tucked it away where I found it. Maybe someday another little girl in our family will find it in that cupboard and finish it!

Bookish Memory #6: Being excited to start high school and later on college because of the wonderful new school libraries I was about to gain access to! I remember staring into the dark windows of those still-empty libraries just before the school year began and wishing they’d open early for me. I would have promised to leave everything exactly how I’d found if I could only browse the shelves for an hour and take note of which books I’d hope to check out first.

Bookish Memory #7: Memorizing the summer hours of our local public library and timing my walks there so I could arrive first thing in the morning or later in the evening depending on my work schedule. I knew exactly how long that walk took and was often the first (or last) patron of the day.  Let’s just say that July and August are quite hot and humid in the Midwestern portion of the United States. You do not want to be walking around in the full heat of the day for too long. Sunburns and heat strokes can happen terribly quickly if you’re not careful.

Bookish Memory #8: Attending the annual book sale and book/art festival in support of that same local library. I’d often find a few secondhand books that piqued my interest after I’d bought a slice or pie or some other treat.  We lived in a small, sleepy town, so events like this were a big deal for everyone who loved the local library!

 

Vintage Science Fiction Month: My First Taste of Vintage SciFi

Vintage SciFi Month was created by Little Red Reviewer and is moderated by Red Star Reviews. Any science fiction film, short story, play, or book released before 1979 is eligible for this celebration of classic science fiction.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane today. My family didn’t have cable* for most of my childhood, and there were… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something I Collected as a Child

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. I have one predictable and one unexpected answer for this week’s prompt. The predictable answer: books. I had several relatives who would send new books to… Read More