where the writers are
Just Thinking

I've been thinking...oh, now that can get me into a lot of trouble. If I have too much alone time on my hands my thinking can really bring me down and it has lately. Dealing with Daddy, the siblings, work, construction and not hearing from friends has me in a funk. I've been thinking a lot about my life, my growing up and what shaped the person I have become today. Remembering the influences in my life that caused me to take certain paths of maturity. The actions of family members and friends can certainly influence a young impressionable mind like I was. As a little girly I was very wild and free-spirited. Mother and Daddy had a hard time keeping me from getting into everything I could. Momma said that I would have one hand into something and they would be "patting" my hand saying no-no while the other hand and the mind was grabbing onto something else, not even worried about the other hand and that trouble.

One story was of them waking up one morning to find a trail throughout the house of Malt-o-Meal leading from the kitchen, over the couch, under the dining room table and down the hallway to the bathroom where I was asleep in the bathtub, hugging that box of Malt-o-Meal. I was a busy little girl. When did I stop being that child, one that had no fear of being in trouble. Mother said that going shopping was a nightmare with me, that I would just take off. One day she lost me on purpose but still had me in her line of sight. She said I freaked out when I couldn't find her. Maybe that is why I have a horrible fear of being lost. That one little incident scared me for life and after that, I was the mother hen with my two siblings. They never got so far away that I wasn't herding or corraling them together. That is still a bad problem for me.

First grade, six years old, sitting in Mrs. Rhodes class I can remember her going by my desk petting my very long hair. She was the nicest lady and my favorite teacher ever. I loved her and school. That world was changed when my parents decided to move to Siloam Springs, Arkansas. I was halfway through first grade and was the happiest girl ever.

We moved to the country, way out in the country. It was a two-story farm house on a hill and was a wonderland. We had a pig sty but no pigs. We did have chickens, lots of wasps and snakes and a dog named Sally Rand. (Trying to add link but won't let me...Sally Rand was a burlesque/fan dancer. Funny that at the age of 6 I knew what that meant. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Rand) Moving meant a whole new school and that school was in town so it was the bus for me, a whole new experience. Living in the country and being small town and the times, 1962 or about, meant small school system too. The bus was very scary because it was 1st grade to 12th. The older kids were very mean and used to tie knots in my very long hair. I made a friend on that horrible bus. Her name was Sharon and she lived up the road from us. Her family was still using a wood stove to cook and there were tons of kids in the house. They reminded me a bit of Ma and Pa Kettle. She also had a racoon for a pet. It was awesome. She was my protector on that bus but she couldn't protect me from school.

The school was in a two or three story brick building with metal fire escapes through the windows that we had to practice in. My teacher that last part of first grade was my nightmare. I can't or won't remember her name because of the impact she made on my life, changed the person I was. My fear of getting up in front of people or crowds was born in that classroom. Each classroom had their own bathroom and she had a special treatment she used in that bathroom. It involved a cake of soap. She was unmarried, a spinster lady that should NEVER have been allowed to be near children. One day in class I needed to go to the bathroom so bad I could not stand it but it was my turn at the chalkboard for something. I block out a lot of stuff then. I stood there trying to write on the board and I asked if I could go to the bathroom. She flat out said no but I was in dire need. I had to stand at that board and write something. It may have been something that started with "I will not ask...". After a very long time I couldn't hold it and wet myself in front of the whole classroom. I was horrified and she had no sympathy sending me home on the bus in wet panties. My mother was livid and she defended me with the principal but the damage was done. I carried that fear of being in front of a classroom or people until my forties and still have it to an extent. The next year that building was bulldozed and the teacher was forced into retirement.

The precocious little girl was broken and it has taken me a lifetime to recover. I was a complete wallflower all through my school years, never being able to come out of my shell. It's those little incidents in our childhood that can shape our entire lives. I'm working hard to change that, even though I'm 55 years old, I am always going to try and better myself. See what sitting around Just Thinking can do, make you go places in your head.