Archive for the ‘Flashback Friday’ Category

Flashback Prompt: Fast Food Order

March 1st, 2012

I just completed an excruciating month without fast food. Fast Food Free February, I called it–a chance to give my wallet (and maybe my gut) a break. What I forgot was how hungry I get between lunch at my Grand Island facilities (around 12:30) and when I can fix myself something once I get home (I usually can’t get something made until at least seven). With that in mind (and the taste of Sprite still on my tongue), I’m ready to write about fast food:

“Did your family eat fast food often? What was you ‘go-to’ fast food restaurant? What was (is) your order at your favorite joint?”

Flashback: Encouraged Activities

February 24th, 2012

Prompt #8: “Was your family musical, athletic, bookish? What sorts of activities were encouraged in your household?”

While some families are hard-core music people or hard-core athletes–and the children have little choice but to follow that same path, our family wasn’t/isn’t hard-core about anything but Christ.

Following Him was very much an encouraged activity. Everything else was extra.

Not that music wasn’t a part of our household–it definitely was. All of the kids but me took piano lessons and many of them got quite good. A handful of us serve on the worship teams at their respective churches (I am not one of that handful.)

Grace has taken music the farthest, I suppose, lettering umpteen-zillion times in band, show choir, and choir. But even her involvement is more circumspect than that of many youngsters. Until her senior year, she participated in only one group at a time–band first, then girls’ show choir, then finally deciding to do both girls’ show choir and regular choir together.

So music, I suppose we could be almost considered a musical family.

Sports? Not so much.

Joshua did football and track for a year. I think Timothy ran track for a year or two as well. Other than that? Zip, zilch, zero.

A number of the youngers (all those younger than me, actually) played church league softball during the summer, but that’s about the extent of our athletic involvement.


Even books are a tricky one. Certainly Mom was a reader (as seen last week). And Dad was an information-junkie.

But does that mean we’re all bookworms? No, not really.

Half of us are tried and true bookworms–a couple of us not so much.

So…what was encouraged in our household?

We were encouraged to be curious, to ask questions, to articulate answers. Sometimes that took the form of reading, sometimes of writing, sometimes just discussing the issues of the day.

This curiosity has held through into our adult lives, where some of us are writers, some of us are scientists, some of us are simply thinkers.

We were encouraged to serve, to find what needs to be done and to do it, to glorify God by serving His body and the lost.

This commitment to service has translated into our adult lives, where many of us our highly involved with our local churches and where many of our professions (whether medicine or military or manual work) focus on service.

And we were encouraged to walk in relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

We were Jesus people. Church people.

Not athletes, readers, or musicians.


I am overjoyed when I see that my siblings have not left Christianity as a “childhood activity”, but have continued on in their walks with Christ.

So tell me, what kinds of activities were encouraged in your household?

Flashback Prompt: Family Activities

February 23rd, 2012

I probably gave away part of my answer in last week’s post–but I figured a continuation wouldn’t be bad. This week’s prompt asks about the sort of activities, “extra-curriculars” if you will, were big in your house growing up.

Was your family musical, athletic, bookish? What sorts of activities were encouraged in your household?

Of course, you’re more than welcome to talk about your children or now if you so choose.

Flashback: Books and more books, part 2

February 17th, 2012

While my dad has confessed that he has read maybe one work of fiction in his entire life, my mom was and is an avid reader of fiction.

When I was young, her genre was Christian romances (she has since moved on to science fiction–the epic sorts that are thousands of pages long).

Mom reading a novel

I can’t remember where she kept her novels when I was still in elementary school–it couldn’t have been upstairs because there wasn’t any extra room to be had there. But when the four oldest of us moved to the basement and Mom and Dad moved into the master bedroom, Mom and Dad’s old room became the “school room”–and the home of at least two full-length shelves of Mom’s novels.

Anna and I started reading Mom’s novels by fifth or sixth grade at least. By the time Anna was in her teens, we had developed a rather regular habit of having her read to us–me, her, Joshua, and Daniel all gathered in the boys’ room. Anna started, I think, with one of her favorites–Janette Oke’s Roses for Mama. Once we were done with that, we read A Woman Called Damaris, the other book in the large volume Mom owned. The tradition continued on into our later teenage years. We read dozens of books. The last series we read together like this (I think) was Dee Henderson’s–actually, we might of read all of Dee Henderson this way.

That’s not to say that the only reading we borrowed was what we read together. Anna and I voraciously devoured every book Mom owned–and most of the ones she brought home from the library too. We all of us girls were big readers.

We come by honestly, too, since Mom’s mom was and is a reader too. Mom talks about Grandma’s Readers Digest condensed books–and I can’t forget going to Grandma and Grandpa’s and roving through Grandma’s bookshelves and boxes for something novel to read. Of course, there were always plenty of options.

Flashback: Books Everywhere

February 17th, 2012

Prompt #7: “Were there books in evidence around your house? Was there a special room in the house considered the ‘library’? Which of your parents’ books do you remember reading? Which books do you remember them reading?”

We had a small house, certainly too small for a “library”–but we had books, that’s for sure.

We had two tall bookcases in the living room, one on either side of the door that led first to Mom and Dad’s bedroom and later to the schoolroom.

Bookshelf of encyclopedias

The bookshelf on the right contained three sets of encyclopedias–a children’s set, a set of Comptons, and the Encyclopedia Britannica. The bookshelf on the left bore a multi-colored set of illustrated children’s classics and a collection of Biblical reference works–different translations of the Bible, a concordance, Nave’s topical Bible, some Bible atlases, an interlinear Bible with Greek and Hebrew as well as English. An end table cupboard held all of our children’s picture books–when they weren’t spilled out around the house.

Dad has never been much of a reader, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t see him read. In fact, if I was up early enough to see Dad before he left for work, I’d always see him reading. He’d sit at the kitchen table, munching on his cereal and reading the Bible.

Dad was also a big fan of reference works. Often, we’d get into a discussion at the dinner table that would end with the injunction to “look it up”. We’d dutifully go and get whichever reference work was appropriate and look it up. We kids gravitated toward the glossy-paged, full color Comptons when we looked things up, but Dad often made us get out the Britannica to look things up too.

I’m running out of time and have to get to work…but I still have plenty more to say–so I’ll probably end up with a Flashback part 2 this afternoon/evening.

Flashback Prompt: Books, books

February 16th, 2012

I’ll bet you’d never be able to guess that I’m a book lover.

But how was this book-loving formed? Is it innate? Is it environmental? Did I learn to love books by example?

Tomorrow’s prompt asks about the books in your house:

“Were there books in evidence around your house? Was there a special room in the house considered the “library”? Which of your parents’ books do you remember reading? Which books do you remember them reading?”

Flashback: To Another Era

February 10th, 2012

Prompt #6: “Were you enamored with another era as a child? Is there a time in history you thought it would have been fascinating to live in? Why?”

My answers are simple: Yes, Yes, and because I read it in a book.

When I was in my early elementary years, my Social Studies book had a unit on American Indians–and I was absolutely fascinated by it. I spent long hours poring over that book, books from the library, and most especially the article in the Compton’s encyclopedia about American Indians.

I guess I don’t know which “era” particularly I was interested in, but the “American Indian” lifestyle was what I wanted. Of course, I freely mixed between tribes in choosing what I wanted to emulate.

I would have a Hopi dwelling, an adobe pueblo in the cliffs. I’d wear moccasins (I tried rather unsuccessfully to make my own using some brown fabric I’d found in my mother’s stash.) I’d make beaded buckskin clothing and weave beautiful blankets. Of course, I’d eat pemmican. Naturally. I was an old pro at making it with the maple buds that littered our driveway.

In those days, I loved to practice “stealth”, sneaking up on siblings or otherwise like I would on an animal I was hunting. I also practiced running like the wind, making endless circles around our darkened church sanctuary while my parents were having Bible study in the fellowship hall.

Later on, pioneer days appealed, fueled by my love of the Little House books and Janette Oke’s “Love Comes Softly” series.

I wanted to build a house from logs found by the crick bed, chink it up with a nice mud plaster. I wanted to stuff a tick with feathers or hay (my romantic ideas didn’t really consider allergies those days). I wanted to kill a chicken and boil it, to sun-dry wild-grown fruit, to make cheese from my own cow’s milk.

Thing is, this particular yen didn’t die.

I don’t yearn for those days anymore (since my romantic view has tarnished somewhat and realizes that being a pioneer would be HARD work)–but I still want to do all that stuff.

Reality shows were just beginning when I was in high school, and I dreamt of a show that I’d be on that would let me pretend to be a pioneer for a month or a year. (Eventually, I think PBS did create a similar show, but I haven’t seen it.)

Now, as I window shop for houses, my heart is often pulled to those properties with a house that’s not at all a house of my dreams but that has the luxury of 19 acres or 23. A crick. Outbuildings.

I could keep a cow, I think–fresh milk for making cheese. (Yeah right–my family comes from dairymen, and keeping dairy cattle is seriously hard work.) I could heat my home with wood I “make” myself (as my family calls it when they ask my grandparents if they can come up to “make wood”.) I could grow everything I need to live on, keep bees for honey, maybe get sheep and take up weaving.

Never mind that keeping such a home would be a full-time occupation for more than one person–and that it’d probably leave little for paying the infernal property taxes. It’s still a pet dream of mine–to escape into back-to-the-land pioneering.

Of course, I have to make a living, so these imaginings stay in the realm of imagination. But this year I have a plan to do some of my pet projects. I have a friend who keeps chickens and I plan to buy one. I have some whipping cream ready to be churned to butter. I have recipes for cheese and some rennet stored up. I’m gonna be a pioneer some day, you just wait and see.

Flashback Prompt: Looking Back (Way Back)

February 9th, 2012

Surely I’m not the only person who has at times wished she belonged to another era. As I’m reading Little House in the Big Woods, I’m reminded of some of the times I wished I lived in while I was still a child. Thus this week’s prompt:

Were you enamored with another era as a child? Is there a time in history you thought it would have been fascinating to live in? Why?

Flashback: Holes in my head

February 3rd, 2012

Prompt #5: “Have you ever had your ears pierced? Where did you go to do it? Who went with you? What were the first earrings you bought yourself after you had this done?”

If I remember right, Anna and I didn’t have an official “age” for when we could get our ears pierced; but our cousin, who is seven months old than me and seven months younger than Anna, did.

Newly pierced earAriann could get her ears pierced when she turned eight.

So Anna and I did too (I think).

I don’t remember, actually, whether we each got our ears pierced on our respective eighth birthdays or whether we both got our ears pierced on the same day sometime in the general vicinity of one or the other of our eighth’s.

I do remember though, the events that took place shortly after getting my ears pierced around age eight.

I was standing up in the dining room, probably clowning around, talking with Anna, who was draped over a dining room chair coo-cocky. Her leg was over the chair, her bare foot making circles in the air.

Whether she initiated it or I did, I do not know, but somehow her toes got caught in my brand new earrings–and pulled.

A little rip in the ear and having earrings wasn’t quite so fun.

I dealt with the crust and goo and pus and infection for a while, but finally gave up on the matter, taking out the studs and not replacing them.

It was a rather short-lived adventure.

Every so often, for a special event, I’d stick a needle through my ear–open it up just enough to wear earrings for a night. But those times were few and far between, and always ended with another bought of painful infection.

I let them close up for good and rarely thought twice of it.

Newly pierced earUntil I decided I wanted to try to do 2012 things in 2012.

I figured, why not?

So Ruth and I read a few WikiHow articles.

I turned down my sister’s offer of Lidocaine, smeared Anbesol on my ear, numbed it with an ice cube for good measure.

Ruth sterilized the needle with a lighter, dropped it in a rubbing alcohol bath, put on gloves over her washed hands.

I prepared the potato and held it to the back of my ear. Ruth found the trace remnant of my previous holes and pushed the needle through the scar tissue into the potato.

I grabbed the needle from behind while Ruth extricated a stud from the alcohol bath. I removed the needle as slowly as I could, pulling it all the way through the back rather than returning the now-contaminated needle through the hole again. Ruth followed my extrication as carefully as she could with the stud. We anchored the stud in place with the earring back, and turned to the second ear.

It was relatively quick, painless, inexpensive, and rather a priceless experience.

Best of all?

Newly pierced ear

A week and a half out, my ears aren’t flaming red, aren’t seeping pus, and aren’t painful to touch.

Instead, when I look in the mirror, I smile at my gorgeous new earrings, and thank Ruth for joining me in my 2012 adventure!

Flashback Prompt: Earrings

February 2nd, 2012

I just recently got my ears pierced (not for the first time)–so I figure now’s as good a time as any for us to tell our piercing tales.

So here’s tomorrow’s question:

Have you ever had your ears pierced? Where did you go to do it? Who went with you? What were the first earrings you bought yourself after you had this done?

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