People often ask me when I started writing. I seriously began when I was in seventh grade, writing poetry. But I started story telling much before that. I remember creating stories for my sister when we were little. They were always dramas involving our paper dolls, who survived only with the help of scotch tape.
Recently when I should have been writing, I got caught by an internet website, which showed famous people when they were young and what they look like now. A couple of them were photos of our movie star paper dolls.
This is Arlene Dahl who is now 93. I read up on her–six husbands and three children. She is very into astrology and is still very beautiful. Of course being me, I wanted to change her eyebrow color immediately. A little microblading?
Ann Blyth was another movie star paper doll who had adventures in our playroom. She was born in 1928. At 90, she’s still a stunner! She’s the mother of five children.
I still remember when my mother gave me a dollar to buy ground round for meatloaf for our family of five. I walked the mile to the grocery on Broadway, feeling very important. There was enough money left for me to go next door to the drugstore and buy paper dolls. What a luxury.
I did something today I haven’t done since I was a little girl.
My parents both worked when I was little so we had to have someone take care of us during the summer. We lived near Volunteer Park in Seattle so Allie Mae would walk us there around noon every day. The Park had to be at least a mile away and we had to climb steep steps up to 15th, but we never complained. Even my little sister who was six at the most.
We’d spread out a blanket and have lunch (tuna sandwiches and potato chips) in the park on a great green lawn in front of the Art Museum. Sometimes Allie Mae would take us to the playground. Someone Mother knew had gotten polio in a public pool so we were forbidden to go into the wading pool. One very hot day, Allie Mae relented and allowed us to put our feet in. We were content for 5 minutes, but then we looked at all the kids splashing and kicking and screaming with glee. So we waded in a little deeper…and then a little deeper. Soon our pedal pushers were wet to the thighs. Allie Mae scolded us all the way home.
There was no one to scold me today as I walked along the beach. I didn’t really intend to get my feet wet. The sand clings to your skin and it seems a lot of effort to get it off. Then a wave rolled in right over my toes. Then I found a piece of coral that was magenta and green so I had to go a little deeper to see if there were any more treasures. Then a big wave came in and once more, I was wet to my thighs.
I’m sitting here writing this with sand between my toes and a grin on my face.