scribbles on the wall
Primitive relic from our past.

I’ve blogged before about doors closing (and opening), but when you are closing the door on the past, on your childhood home, well, one can’t help the wander down memory lane.

We think the parents moved in sixty years ago, give or take a little. Our family has occupied that spot for a very long time. Unlike childhood homes in the movies, it is not, nor has it ever been, a shrine to the past.

Our childhood rooms were repurposed when we moved out. It’s been remodeled and updated at times. Our parents mostly looked forward and had to be efficient with the use of space as they raised (and eventually launched) six children.

There is one exception to the “no shrines” rule. And that is in the laundry room (which used to be a bedroom for me, my sister, my brother—and a freezer.) It was not a big room, but my parents managed to shoehorn all of us in there.

There was a tiny closet (where one of our many cats had kittens) and it had one window. Other stuff happened there, like my sister’s artwork—one of two remaining artifacts of our time in that bedroom before it’s remodel into a laundry room.

Now that there can be no retribution in this life, my sister confessed the story behind the drawings. She was four, our next brother (#5) was one. Yes, this is need-to-know.

So, in the explicable ways of the child, my sister decided she needed to draw popsicles on the wall.

That didn’t go well, so she tried to turn them into people.

That didn’t go well either. And it dawned on her that Mom might not be thrilled about the artwork. So she added the scribble and handed the crayons to our one-year-old brother, hoping he’d get blamed.

It might have worked if not for the popsicle people…

As my sister put it, her artistic career began and ended at four.

She is also responsible for the Wheatie. Yes, that black thing is a 55+ year old Wheatie.

the wheatie flake
The 55+ year old flake hangs on for dear…something.

I asked her why she stuck a Wheatie to the wall and got a Look.

Yeah, dumb question. She was four. And, apparently, didn’t like the blankness of the wall.

As we closed the door on these two artifacts (after taking pictures, of course), we wondered why Mom left the Wheatie there? Was it overlooked in the chaos of six kids? I suspect the other “artwork” was left because my dad was busy with other parts of the house and then became…impossible to paint over.

I know when we moved out of our family home of eighteen years, we left artwork behind that we couldn’t bear to paint over. We left that for the new owners to do.

What we don’t have to leave behind are the lessons and the memories. I look in that door and I don’t see a laundry room. I see our bed under the window with the sunbonnet girl quilt that Mom brought from her home, spread across the bed. I see the crib where my brother slept and woke us banging it against the wall, so he could get up.

I see the small ghosts of who we used to be. And I smile because this was where I learned to move forward, to let go of what can’t be changed.

But I do wonder what the heck is in Wheaties that a single flake could endure for over fifty years?

Any theories about the “Breakfast of Champions?” (Are they still for sale? Trying to remember…) I love comments so much that I pick a favorite to receive my monthly AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value).  (And don’t forget that once a quarter I’ll be tossing in something fun from the Perilously Fun Shop!) Recipient is announced the first blog post of the new month.

Perilously yours,


cover art

A Wander Down Memory Lane
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13 thoughts on “A Wander Down Memory Lane

  • September 28, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I’m glad I read this today. I just came home from helping someone older in the Ward get ready to sell their house. There was a lot of stuff there. I felt inspired to clean out and update my own house. But that can be hard when there are so many memories. I like your thought about learning to move forward and let go. And also raising (and launching) your children. I hope you are happy looking ahead.

    • September 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

      I am glad the post inspired you! I will tell you what, we accumulate stuff even when we think we aren’t! I saw (years ago) a show on how to uncluttered our lives and they suggested keeping one thing to remember, (say one book) and then letting the rest move on to inspire someone new. 🙂

  • September 20, 2016 at 6:55 am

    What a wonderful memory, thanks for sharing. It brought up some of my own. We never had to doubt who drew on our walls, my sister liked to sign her artwork! You’re incredibly lucky to have been given the gift of learning to move forward, progress. It’s not something all parents teach, in my own limited experience (compared to your wonderful parents) it’s hard when the kids get to different stages, it’s almost like I have to grieve the loss of the past stage away from their sight so they don’t feel held back by me. BUT it’s important to teach that progress is how we reach our potential. Hugs!

    • September 20, 2016 at 8:18 am

      That is so funny! I did not know my parents where teaching me to move forward but looking back? Very much. Hugs to you in your journey!

  • September 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Pauline, Thank you for sharing part of your past. I love memories and reflecting on the past, some good and some not so good but memories none the less. Each day I get to have memories as I live in the family home. Things change but one can still remember. Keep on remembering!

    • September 20, 2016 at 8:17 am

      Well you are part of that past, my friend. My thanks to the town that helped raised me and mourned with me. Xo

  • September 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I love this post as is caused me to reflect on my childhood home & the wonderful memories from small town America. And yes Wheaties are still the breakfast of champions, after being introduced in 1924! This year the first Motocross Racer appeared on a box-Ryan Dungy. Michael Jordan has the record for appearing 18 times on box of Wheaties. I’m a sorry sentimentalist…I have a hard time letting go of people & things from years gone by. Most of my family can’t relate…so I’m sorry for them for not having the wonderful connection I do for people, and places, and things. Sometimes it can be a wonderful coping mechanism in life!

    • September 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      I did not know that! Thank you for the update! I thought about going to the grocery store and looking, but was too lazy, though now I feel oddly hungry for some Wheaties. lol Very cool about Ryan and Michael.

      I will admit I feel an odd need to cling AND let go. I’m trying to hit a sweet spot between remembering and not making things hard for my kids when they have to sort through all my stuff. O.O

      So glad you liked the post. 🙂

      • September 19, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Pauline, please let me know when you figure out that ‘sweet spot’. I have some of my kids who are upset that I saved so many of their childhood momentos & others who have had a great time showing them to their children who are enjoying them. I’ll admit I do have a lot of dejunking to do, but the mood & energy to toss things out, doesn’t come often enough.

      • September 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm

        I love this quote from the book “The life-changing magic of tidying up”:

        “When you come across something that you cannot part with, think carefully about its true purpose in your life…By acknowledging [its] contribution and letting [it] go with gratitude, you will be able to truly put the things you own, and your life, in order.”

  • September 19, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Ah memories Pauline. Nice post. Their must have been magic in your sisters Wheatie for it to last this long, it was meant to be found, so you could reminisce

    • September 19, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Thank, you, Julie! I think you are right. It is a magic Wheatie. LOL

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