Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sisters Growing Up by Marie Guillot

Sisters Growing Up
© Marie Guillot

All night, alone in the empty house, I was unwittingly
watching a slow motion movie of my younger years, as I waited for the lorry of destruction. At dawn, I dragged the last remnants out into the street, to add to the pile of household leftovers dumped the day before. I watched a box of books follow a mattress into the refuse truck's compactor, which gobbled them with a crunching jerk. My books. My mattress, possibly the one I was born on, some fifty years ago.
Three boys and three girls. Geraldine was the last child and I came just before her. The two of us were brought up together, reared by hand, you could say. But our interests were totally apart: she was a vulnerable and artistic soul, and I, a rational but impulsive mind.
I used dolls, all lined up on a bed, to teach them. She used fabrics to dress them and jewelry for their embellishment. Both of us had a pram. In mine, I often carried around one of our cats, quite at ease since he could jump out any time he wanted.
At night, after our family curfew, I used a small flash light to read under the sheet. Geraldine was horrified by my boldness and was actually afraid for me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Snow Glorious Snow by E. Alana James

E. Alana James, Ed.D. moved to Ireland from the United States in 2005. Here she remembers her childhood in Colorado. To find more of Alana's writing visit one of her three websites: Reinventing Life, The Future of Education Project, and the Doctoral Network

Snow glorious snow

© E. Alana James, Ed.D.

When I think about my childhood home I think about snow.

Sometimes lovely amounts of it, over a metre of it, never perhaps higher than my head, but the snowmen could be, the snow forts could be. Crouched behind a wall of packed snow, ready aim and fire! Our pyramid shaped pile of potential missiles at hand waiting for the next unsuspecting kid (you got in trouble if you hit an adult). This is how I remember growing up in Colorado.

Snapshots fly past my consciousness: all decked out in a snowsuit, mittens with yarn pinned to my coat so I would not lose them. Trudging in red rubber boots the two blocks to school, all the world white. A few trees would have cracked under the weight, the parents in THAT house hadn't come out in the middle of the night with a broom to knock off the heavy wet powdery flakes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

# 34: Summer on the Main Line by Evin O'Keeffe

This is the first in our series of non-fiction pieces focused on childhood homes.

# 34: Summer on the Main Line

© 2010, Evin O'Keeffe

Chirping from birds outside the window and the faint smell of toasting bread stirred my head. I climbed down from the hand-carved double bed, hearing the bedsprings sing as they gave up the burden of holding me. This was the bed that held my Dad when he had chicken pox and the house where Grandma and Aunt Margaret grew up as sisters. It was summer on the Main Line outside Philadelphia. My feet landed softly on the worn wood floorboards with the faintest of creaks. I listened to voices floating through the bedroom door, slightly ajar from when my Grandma crept out earlier. I hadn't heard her, but she was much quieter now that she wore a hearing aid. I followed the voices into the hall and felt the wool runner rug under my still bare feet. For a split second, I considered putting on the rainbow-colored slippers Aunt Margaret had crocheted for me, but it was too hot and they were too slidey on the wood floors anyway.