Thursday, October 15, 2009

Long live the imagination!!!

The front porch on my childhood home was rather large and raised about two feet off the ground. It was the perfect "stage" for the neighborhood children. We performed many a theatrical production and song and dance routine on it. When we weren't doing plays, we were telling ghost stories in my backyard. There was a small wooded area right behind my home, and we were convinced that something "spooky" must inhabit it. Another favorite activity was "playing army". The boys, of course, were the warriors while the girls were the nurses who lovingly nursed them back to health. (It might be played a little differently now, but Womens Lib hadn't really taken hold strongly in the 1950's.) One time my cousins and I found a little dead bird in my grandparent's back yard. We gently put him into a shoe box and then began funeral preparations. We sat at my grandmother's long kitchen table and made dozens of Kleenex tissue flowers. We then had the service complete with scripture reading and hymns. His grave, of course, was covered with our beautifully created tissue flowers. Thank you, momma and daddy, for a magical childhood where my imagination could run wild.

Ms. Georgia was my fourth grade teacher. She was one of the most glamorous women I had ever known at that time. She wore straight skirts, her hair in a french twist, and tall high heel shoes. We performed the operetta "Cinderella" that year. I was assigned the part of one of the ladies at the ball. Well, I really wanted a larger part. My friend, Janet, was going to be one of the mean stepsisters. She wasn't really crazy about having a main part, and so we convinced Ms. Georgia to let us trade our parts. My mom made two costumes for me. One was a beautiful flowered creation for every day scenes and another one to wear to the ball. The one I wore to the ball was covered in chiffon, and momma sewed seed pearls all over it. I think Ms. Georgia was a little concerned I might "outshine" Cinderella. Another thing I remember about fourth grade was that Ms. Georgia read to us every day. She read just about all "The Little House" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. At recess, the girls would play "Little House on the Prairie". I was living in the desert of southeastern New Mexico so we had a lot of rocks on our playground. We used the rocks to make the rooms of our prairie home. Ms. Georgia also strongly emphasized creative writing. She had us all write stories, and then she sent them to "Hornbook" where two of us had our stories published. My story was "Ali and His Camel". I earned five dollars since it was published. I still have the "Hornbook" with my story in it. I heard that in later years Ms. Georgia secured several sewing machines, and the children were able to sew and create from materials. Thank you, Ms. Georgia, for nurturing our imaginations.

I am so hopeful that our schools and our families will continue to nurture our children's imaginations. Some schools are cutting arts programs and this concerns me a great deal. Our children must be able to draw, paint, sculpt, dance, sing, perform plays, play musical instruments, and write creatively. These things are just as important as academics. I think most corporate officers will tell you they need individuals who can think creatively and get along well with others. What better way to achieve this goal than through the arts.

I hope something happens today to spark your imagination! May all of your dreams come true! Blessings to you, dear friends, and thank you for coming by today! I value and appreciate your friendship.


Pauline said...

Dear Vicki, what a lovely post about your childhood certainly brought back a few of my own :o) We had to use our imaginations back then...telling and listening to ghost stories were popular though terrifying, lol. Your teacher sounds lovely too. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and leaving suggestions on my upcoming Girls Tea Party. Great ideas :o)
Please have a lovely day and may many blessing head your way, my friend.

Tanza said...

Hi Vicki,
Ooohhh I soo remember playing all day make believe things !! But, it seemed so real and we would do this ALL day !! We always made plays up, and I always wanted to be the STAR !! We would make Barbie houses, and doll houses out of cardboard boxes... We would color them and paint all over.. Cut out windows, and hang material curtains.. Soo fun, and yes, the boys would come and take over, hold us hostage, or worst yet our dolls.. We would scream and go get our Mommas.. This wasn't funny than.. Darn boys !! Always messing things up !! This was such a fun post.. My imagination and memories have been rekindled !! You have a happy day friend.. I need to go call my brother right now, and remind him of his torment on us sweet girls !! hahaha ~
hugs ~tea~

Julie Harward said...

Hi Vicki..
How I loved this post! You and I have much in common I think...We also had a porch like that, My sister and I would play there all day, putting on plays, singing to the top of our lungs to the 4 big tall pine trees out front.
I had a dear teach in 5th grade, as she read stories, she would take her little hanky and wipe the corners of her mouth!
Schools have changed a lot since then..some good and some bad ways I think!
Come say hi :D

rosechicfriends said...

Hi Vicki,
What lovely childhood memories you have! I too remember many and had a MOM who inspired us to be creative! I really enjoyed reading about your teacher too! Those are sure sweet memories that I am sure formed your future!


C'est Moi, Julie Marie said...

Hi Vicki... Ooooh, this is too incredible! Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage and I have had a number of coincidences in our lives this past week or so about Cinderella! Now you do a post about Cinderalla! Something truly magical is going on! I have a post that is in my drafts for about a month now on Cinderella and was getting ready to post it... Amy did a Cinderella post today... fairytales DO come true! My mama always told me what a vivid imagination I have... I am happy that I do, and I love yours! Fairytales and make believe were such a big part of my childhood, and still are today... I vividly remember my sweet teacher in 7th grade who encouraged me to write... I will never forget my favorite teacher Mrs. Helen Hughes... she was my little sister Jill's favorite too, as she always encouraged us to go with our feelings and imaginations... Jill and I even took flowers to her and her sister's grave recently, we still love them... Thanks once again for sharing your happy memories... I LOVE the photo in this post! Love to you! Bisous... Julie Marie

Anonymous said...

I so-o-o-o remember playing make-believe. My best friend & I had a place along the edge of the woods where we had little "rooms" & we played house. The memories are so wonderful....
I love your post!

maría cecilia said...

Hello Vicki, I´m back!! Had a look at your last posts and love them all. I have a 10 years old step sun and I was surprised when he told me that at school he was told to sew and weave... ain´t it good??... there´s hope still.
maría cecilia

Fairy Footprints said...

OH I remember playing on my front porch as a child also. Playing on my granny and pops porch seemed to be much funner, and we got into much more trouble there lol. What a great post today.


Maria said...

Hi Vicki,
Your post is so very true... about nurturing imaginations.
I am fortunate to teach in a school that still values art and music. My children are grateful that they learned how to read and play music.
Children love to expand their thoughts through art. In two of my classes, my students are using part of their notebook to make scrapbook pages of new vocabulary. They actually look forward to this activity... rather than moaning!
Loved your message today Vicki and wish we could read "Ali and His Camel!"
I hope you have a lovely weekend ~Maria

June said...

Vicki I loved reading your sweet memories. Wasn't childhood magical in those days? I am so glad to have been a child of the fifties and sixties. Your memories took me back to my own and I thank you for that.


Sounds like you had a very enchanting and romantic childhood. I loved Laura Ingalls books. read them all when I was young. Is that you in the picture? I love that dress. Reminds me of Glinda's from the wiz.
Blessings Always!

Anonymous said...

What beautiful memories you have. Your childhood porch sounds like it was a wonderful place to play. I am such a porch person. If I don't have a porch, I can't live in that house.

My Passport to Style said...

Hi again,what a lovely post,I would love a porch!So glad you have found your beloved Jablum Blue Mountain coffee again! Sharon xxoo

Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Hi Vicki,
This is such a wonderful post! I love reading about your beautiful memories. Doing a Cinderella play would be so much fun!! It is so funny that we both did Cinderella posts, I love it!!
Big Bunny Hugs,

Cola's Cottage said...

Hello Vicki ~ I loved your post and the memories you shared. I loved the magic of it, playing make-believe, because it was so real to us! We could do it all day and never tire of it. I agree with you whole heartedly that we should keep and nurture the arts in the schools. To this day I daydream and express myself through creating. It is so powerful and fulfilling, I cannot imagine life without it: ) I hope you have a beautiful weekend too full of inspiration and creating!

Hugs and blessings ~ Nichole

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

Vicki! I just love, love, love this remembrance post! So inspiring...brings back many a sweet memory. We were always doing something theatrical or telling ghost stories or playing cowgirls! Have a great day! Thanks for this!

Martha's Favorites said...

What lovely memories! Thank you for sharing that. I feel I know you just a little bit better because of it. Blessings, Martha