Photobucket About Mom: My early memories: January 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Whip-Poor-Will …

Mom would reminisce sometimes
of when she was young and able to hear
the lonely night call of the 'Whip-Poor-Will.'
She missed that!

Mom, I hope you can hear it now!


Mom was severly hearing impaired from an early age ...
but was blessed in so many ways.
We ALL were!



The Christmas I was twelve, my sister got a beautiful walking doll with shiny blonde hair!

I got a red silky and ruffled party dress. Mom gave me my gift early. I needed it for a very
special event at school. It was for a school-boy/girl type - social...a Christmas Sock-Hop!
We all danced in our elaborately decorated socks in the school gym!
(something new and exciting, for me!)

So I had one less gift to open on Christmas morning. I did, however, get my first camera that Christmas!

This was my first Christmas of not getting a doll and probably my sister's last Christmas doll!

SO...a page turned...

I felt a sadness in leaving my childhood behind...

( Some might argue that I STILL haven't done that! ) :)

Just remembering...Dec. 2003



Just weeks later we would be in Indiana...

Huge red and juicy tomatoes we picked…
in the ever increasing cold of the North Country
in which we all found ourselves trapped.
We were desperate to get enough money to get back south -
back home!

Mama was there, too, taped tightly across the chest, with broken ribs!
This due to a terrible turn of fate…
a car wreck, which occurred on my sister’s 8th birthday! It was August!
Mama and Daddy had gone into the little town to get a cake and some gifts
when the accident occured.

So we picked those tomatoes ...We had to get back home!

We had started school there, but knowing we would be leaving before any kind of
friendships could be formed with the local kids. That would not have been likely to happen,
regardless of how long we might have been there. The gulf between us was too wide...

We finally left Indiana on a cold October day, with a bag of fresh baked biscuits and country ham; provided by the folks who owned the farm on which we had lived for the past couple months…

We left with some fond memories…but more bad ones, for this period of our life.

We were sad to leave the new little friends we had there ...Steven , Michael and Rex – the little boys of the farm- and, the farm, itself! The big dairy barn had been interesting – the milking machines- and, too, the fresh, foamy, warm (fresh from the cow) milk offered to us - and taken, once or twice - straight from the milk pail :) I had been enchanted, too, with the free roaming bantam chickens of the farm, in their fluffy, colorful, splendor!

With our bedding and other belongings loaded, and a quickly assembled ‘crate-cage’ made for the chickens our farm friends had given us, once again, we headed south!
… A long ride, mostly faded from my memory now – except for the part about the chickens escaping as we traveled on our way!…Escaping on some long forgotten road, In some state between Indiana and Florida.

But ... all were not lost! :)

We eventually arrived in South,Fl.,with some chickens still captive!

Perrine (So.DadeCo.-Miami) would prove to be our home for the remainder of my own and my sister's childhoods. We were able to make friends there…friendships that would carry over into the next school year…and the next!

Mama was happy to get back in the tropical clime - and so- we were too!


Photo #1
This is the day we left for back south- Oct9, 1952
I had turned 11 in May, My sis was 8.
My older sister had gone back by Grey Hound bus!

Photo #2
This is me, back in So. Florida, with one of the hens that made the trip from Indiana-and some chicks she hatched.
The cat is Tom!
This was when I was 12 years old, I believe. A few months after our return south!

Trip North-Michigan

The long trip to Michigan proved to have been a mis-represented
endeavor, as the work opportunities were bleak,
and available housing, almost non-existent!
Daddy and Mama and our sister worked harvesting cherries and apples.
For awhile we lived in someone’s garage -
Just one big open space for all five of us!

My sister and I, as children will,
figured out ways to have fun, in spite of the negative vibes!
We filled bottles with water and different fruits and berries
and grasses, just to see how they would look
after several days of 'setting up!'
Alas! Those bottles disappeared from the side of the building where we had them,
so we never knew the outcome of our experiment, nor did we ever know
who ended our project - took our bottles away!

Was it Daddy?



Leaving Immokalee

At the end of the school year we would be on the road again,
leaving our Wild West town of Immokalee,
This, for the most part, had been a fun time for us.

…. Comes the long ride north…

We were going north for summer work, with
much uncertainty of what was ahead…
And such a long way to go!

We traveled with bedding and essentials on a small trailer,
pulled behind the old Plymouth Daddy drove!

My sister and I played games along the way…
counting the cars we saw..
dividing them into color categories...
trying to spot the highest number
of our chosen color!

…And we thrilled to the billboards along the way,
of the famous singer, Bing Crosby…
…and had fun reading the Burma Shave signs! :)

We would sing songs ... and Mama would tell us stories of her young years,
or recite poems for us!

We would See places we had never seen before...Big cities! Until that time we
had not been further north than Alabama. We were heading for Michigan and Indiana.

We slept in our car, in places Daddy and Mama felt were safe. One night we found
a park, with swings and slides...

Our meals were sandwiches of packaged lunch meat from stores,
or peanut butter and jelly...little packaged cakes...bananas...
Somehow, Mama was able to give those sparse meals an air of a picnic!

We were all together, so all was ok!


Another Christmas Eve

Another Christmas Eve…
( In Immokalee )

This Christmas Eve, Mama and Daddy both had to work late.
We wait in the car, my sister and I, for their work to end; getting
increasingly more antsy as time drags by!
We want to get home … get to bed - to sleep - so Santa can come!
Their work ends, at last!

As every child on Christmas Eve must eventually do,
we managed to subdue our excitement enough to,
finally, sleep!

We had left a snack of nuts and fruit for Santa,
as was our custom.
In Santa’s haste to get out quickly and quietly,
after dispersing his gifts,
he dropped a small bunch of the grapes on the back stoop!
I know this to be a fact because Daddy said so!
He found the grapes! :)

My Christmas doll of that year not only talked,
but recited the Lord’s Prayer,
word for word!
I was amazed!

Remembering…Nov ‘03


I got blue jeans when we moved to that little
Florida farm town.. Joy got a little red cowgirl outfit..
Mama told us before we moved there it was like a
Western town - and so it became that for us!

We played cowboy games in the palmetto woods ...
ever mindful of the abundant cactus plants, with stickers
almost impossible to get out if touched…

and snakes!!

My new friend, Eugene, and I, dug shallow holes in the sandy ground, and lined them with -
very carefully gathered -cactus plants.
The plan was to ambush imagined (or real) enemies!
To my knowledge, none of our enemies actually fell into the camouflaged cactus traps, covered with palmetto fronds!

Mama never knew of all the cowboy games we
invented during that time.
…But we did watch out for snakes! :)

Eugene had a bike. I had never had a bike of my own (never DID have a bike)
so was thrilled that he wanted me to ride with him, though he never let me try it solo!

When we weren't involved in our cowboy games and cactus traps, we would be on his bike,
looking for discarded soda bottles along the roadside. We would take those to the local store
a few blocks from our houses (which were side by side) and get enough money for a treat of candy
or a soda for each of us!

Other times we would just ride on his bike, exploring. Once he dared me to crawl through a culvert under a road...
Not a big one- but , hopefully, big enough for Ten year olds. (I had my doubts)
To be fair, he did it first, leaving me no option except to match his feat! I couldn't back down, even though,
ten year old girls are sometimes chubbier than boys of the same age! I did it and luckily, didn't get stuck!

...As with the cactus traps, Mama never knew of this either! :)

Alas - Our friendship was to be shortlived because of our little sisters. They were about the same age-
about age seven.

One day the two little girls got in a fight. As I recall- it was about which was
the prettiest! Blonde hair flew! Dust swiriled! Tears flowed! ...And no way to judge the winner by the
amounts of hair balls at the end of the fight, since both little girls were blonde!

Being a witness to the event , I would say it was a tie! ;)

During our time living in Immokalee, Fl, we saw movies almost every Saturday at the movie house
a few blocks from us. They were usually westerns or Tarzan movies! BIG adventure movies for kids
our age, in those days!

The Carnival came to town. Mama and Daddy took us two nights -a real treat!
We rode the Ferris wheel...something new and scary for us!
Daddy won a teddy bear in some game, for my sister, since she was the baby! He tried again
but couldn't win one for me!

The thing that stands out the clearest about this event was the baby with two heads -
in a jar of some liquid preservative. At the time I had no doubts of it being real.
Daddy and Mama thought so too!...But was it?

...Still wondering...

We walked to school, through the sandy, Palmetto and Cactus filled lots. I DID NOT like the school but made
decent grades!

One memory stands out about my school experience there in Immokalee.
I was in 4th. grade, and until that time had not admitted to myself that we were Poor!

We were asked to write a little story about our life, our families. That, in itself, (reflecting on it now)
seems a callous thing to ask of children who are obviously from poor families;
which many others were , besides us!

With that request from the teacher, I made up a brighter make believe story... of my family owning
a big farm in Georgia. A story, I'm positive, was not believed for a moment!

I felt guilt for that story (LIE) for many years...well, I still do- *truth be told!* Because, I realize now, it is not
a shame or a sin to be poor.

(worse, by far, to tell a lie!)

I don't remember ever telling Mama about that paper I wrote.


Photos :
Joy age 7 - June age 10

And the type CACTUS that grew in the area

Friday, January 27, 2006

The 'Way Back' of our lives

Photo #1

Mom and Dad..undated-but probably in early 1930s

Photo #2

Mom and her first 3 children-
Ray, Gloria and baby Dolores

Photo #3

Big (pouty) sister, June-Little (smiley) sister, Joy!
Probably 1945-or '46

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Through Mama's Eyes

All the upsets, the moves,

the changes in our lives

could be turned into an exciting adventure ,

if we only looked at things through Mama’s eyes!

We DID! :)

Mom in early 1970s- in Marion co, Ocala,Fl. area

Leaving Redlands, South Florida

About Mom: (Leaving Redlands)

The time we spent in the Redlands was, for the most part,
a fun time for all of us.
...I liked the school, better than I had any other... I discovered I had a talent for art,
and so enjoyed contributing to the big mural we were doing that Christmas season in
our class.
I remember I mastered the art of drawing palm trees and camels! We were doing a wall drawing
of the wise men following the star to the birth place of Jesus! Each student added to it.

(Oh, how times have changed !... that would not be allowed these days!)

...But our time in the Redlands was drawing to it's end...

We would soon move again...

Photo: Sisters- Joy, Dolores and June

remembering...June 3, 2005

Mama's Christmas Tree

Never did we have a 'bought' Christmas tree, but one chopped down
from some surrounding wooded area by my brother or Daddy.

Our earliest Christmas trees, naturally, had no electric lights. Still,
they were elaborately decorated with colorful ornaments! These were of glass,
celluoid, and sometimes balls of tinfoil, collected and made from juicy fruit gum wrappers
by my sisters!

In later Christmases we had electric bubble lights on our tree! Mama loved those lights,
and, so, did we all! Mama always wanted foil icicles hanging from the very tips of each branch,
and as a finishing touch, Angel Hair covering the whole tree!
What a beautiful glow that made!

Another of Mama's favorites were the paper honey- comb type bells
to hang at the windows and doors! These were in the deepest reds and greens - so festive!

Mama always managed to have brightly wrapped gifts for everyone, under the tree.
Sometimes it might be five and dime finds...little toys, puzzles, coloring books!
Often there were handmade gifts of clothing, warm mittens, scarves, house slippers-
all made with Mama's love!

And always there would be a doll for my sister and me on Christmas morning!

What sweet memories - our Christmases of the past!


Photo #1

The type paper bells Mama loved

Photo # 2

Mama, Daddy, Joy and June (ME)
Christmas day in sunny Florida ...with our new dolls and bare feet! : )

Little Sister Lost

About Mom: (Little Sister Lost)

When we lived in the Redlands, we would go to the town of Homestead for shopping.
It was always a treat for us to go into the town, see all the sights - talk to people.
Daddy loved the hamburgers that he could get in a restaurant there. Mama, Joy and I
would choose the thick and delicious milk shakes, usually. (Milkshakes remained a life-long
Favorite of Mom's)
Our older sister, Dolores, was a teen-ager and would go off on her own for awhile.

Sometimes Joy and I would be allowed to go to a movie, while Mama and Daddy shopped .
Usually, what we saw were westerns - Roy and Dale...Gene Autry with his side-kick, Pat Buttram...
( Mama had told us about Pat being her 2nd. cousin and of remembering him from her childhood!
We were impressed! And -there he was - in the movie with Gene Autry!) Sometimes we saw
The Lone Ranger. He was my favorite!

This Christmas season we were shopping in Homestead. We were in a department store
which had decorations all sparkly and bright. Mama liked the glass ornaments with the indented
designs and would, when possible, buy a few each year to add to our collection.
This store also had little dresses, sweaters, jackets, shoes, dolls and toys...all the things Mama longed
for, for her children. So much to see and ponder over!

Suddenly, Mama became frantic with worry! I was still by her side but my little sister (who was five or six at the time)
had wandered away.
She was found quickly, safe and sound, and brought back to Mama on the hand of a policeman!

Mama's worry and swift and desperate search is what I remember most.
Many years later, this came to mind with my own children, if they wandered from my side, in crowds.

I'm sure I turned out to be just as protective of my babies as our Mama was of hers!

Remembering Mama...

June 4, 2005

"Sparky" - in the Redlands

My brother and oldest sister, each, were married about this time,
leaving just my 16 year old sister and my little sister and ME
of the Hodges kids!

PHOTO: Dolores, June, Joy and a playmate we had there!

These are the woods
we liked to play in! It LOOKS snakey!



My sister and I loved the story programs on radio during this period.
One we liked a lot was called ‘Big John and Sparky!’
We never missed this, if we could help it.

I liked this show so much that I named the stray pup that showed up at our door
(and we were allowed to keep) ‘Sparky!’
This pup was small, frisky and all white - and soon became my very own dog.
This was a fact at least recognized by Sparky and me!

Every day I waited with excitement and anticipation,
for the school day to end and the long bus ride home to be over.
Playtime with the pup had taken the number one spot in my line up of things
I wanted to do.

One day, as I got home with smiles and happy calls for my pup,
Mama had sad news for me.
She told me Sparky had been killed in the street that day!

With those words I felt my heart break!
I ran to the edge of our back yard and cried and cried
until my eyes were sore and hurting…and the ache in my heart like a
heavy, hot stone!

The hurt was so unexpected and so deep,
not even my dear mama could console me.

Remembering little Sparky...June3,2005

PHOTO: Me with little Sparky. Joy with a kitten!

Living in The Redlands

When my sister and I were six and nine years old, we played Tarzan in the jungle-like setting of our Florida Redlands yard!

Mama loved the tropical flowers; the palms, the citrus trees, the avocados…and so-we did too!

I can vividly remember the fragrant smell, heaviness, and smoothness of the fruit we pulled from the trees; and I can almost taste them, still!

Once I found a Pineapple plant, with ripe fruit, in the far reaches of our domain - Mama’s tropical paradise!

Mama sewed for us, little shorts and halter sets, and made pictures of us among the tropical splendor! :)

…And, too, there were pictures taken of Mama and Daddy!
Mama in her sun dresses, and sometimes, in her shorts and bathing suit, posing by the Coconut palms and Hibiscus flowers! Daddy in his usual Khaki slacks…his ever-present hat!
Mama so pretty - Daddy so handsome!

Good days to remember...


Playing in the Redlands…

Many afternoons were spent in the
Pine and Palmetto woods across from our house;
building forts and living out our make believe adventures.

Mama worried about snakes - but we were always careful! :)



...From 1945 0nward for a few years, we moved a lot...mostly back and forth between Florida and Alabama...



With every move- from house to house -state to state-
we’d pack all our things into a trailer or truck!
We would leave what wouldn’t fit in, of material objects,
along with the tentative friends, we might have made!

I always felt we were, again, home –in any new place-
when Mama’s corner what-not shelf was unloaded,
and her collection of souvenirs placed
in their familiar spots!

Home for awhile…


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

First Trip to Florida & House Near Homestead

Our first trip to Florida, when I was just four, was long!
We slept along the way on mattresses in the big truck,
piled with our other things...
with just enough room to lie down!
Sometimes we slept in orange groves.
I remember
the fragrant citrus aroma…


House Near Homestead…

After arriving in South Florida, we eventually lived in a house
near Homestead, among huge Royal Palms and Australian Pines! The scenery was lush
and pretty. Mama and I loved the flowers and tropical plants-the coconut palm trees,
the orange and grapefruit trees!
It was all so different from what we had been used to in Alabama!

Daddy got work at a dairy. We were not far from the town and would go
there to shop on Saturdays!

The house we lived in had a big screened porch,
though not securely screened, as birds were able to get in and fly around;
but have trouble finding their way out again!

I was out there, among them …trying to catch them, no doubt!
All I got for my efforts were Mites in my eyelashes!
I remember Mama crying, as she worked way into the night,
trying to rid me of the pests! I'm sure she did but I don't remember HOW she did!



Photo #1
...such as we encountered on our first trip to Florida

Photo #2
Our family 1945
Brother Ray, Mom holding Joy,
Sister Dolores, Daddy , Sister Gloria. and June (me) in front.

Photo #3
Sisters - Dolores,June and Joy

Early School Days

In first grade, on picture taking day, Mama put my hair in braids.

In second grade, I had my hair in Shirley Temple type curls, due to my older sister’s efforts.
She liked doing my hair in those days. :)

I remember a production at school during this year. Perhaps a spring thing, as it involved flowers!
I was a blue “Forget-Me-Not”, with sky blue petals around my face, which Mama helped to make!

…But the little girl who was a ”Rose” was prettier, I thought!

An early disappointment! :(



thus - the source for my passion for roses in later years?? ( SMILE )

wondering... as I write this on May 29, 2005


The Colored Rose…

Once, as a child in my early school years,
I colored a picture of a rose and copied a poem.
(someone else’s words, but pretty)
It was a Mother’s Day card for Mama!

Going through Mom’s things, packing them away,
I found this card again.
…Something she had treasured all these years…so many years!

Later, in my life, I learned to express my own thoughts
and feelings in my own poems.

I hope I said “I love you” enough, Mom! :)

Nov. 2003

Mom and Dad

This is a photo of Mom and Dad in 1950.
We were living in Redlands of South Dade Co., Miami , Fl.
This was a happy period of our lives. My sister, Joy, and I remember it fondly!
We were about 6 & 9 years at this time.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shiny Shoes

Shiny shoes

When my sister and I were about five and eight years of age,
Mama got us each a pair of
black patton-leather shoes.
The way to keep them looking new was easy!
…Just break a biscuit in half and use the
soft, slightly moist and greasy inside to polish those
shiny, black shoes!

Mama knew lots of good stuff! :)

Memories of Pleasant Hill

Memories of Pleasant Hill…

The yearly event approaches with a flurry of activity!
I watch as Mama fashions flowers from tissue - and wire, from the barn.
They are soft to the touch, as real ones are,
in pastel colors of pink, blue and yellow.

In soft, sweet bunches we take them to Pleasant Hill;
to offer to our long absent loved ones.
It’s a daylong outing, filled with pain and pleasure, too!

It’s sad, now, to know that Mama's final resting place isn’t there with the others,
but in a spot far removed from her beginnings.

but still- they’re all together…


Chicken One Day-Feathers The Next

Chicken One Day-Feathers The Next

One notable memory I almost forgot from the early, early, days...

This was before I started school and before schools had cafeterias to serve
the students on a daily basis!

But,on rare occasions, perhaps around holiday times, a hot meal would be prepared.
Donations were taken from the folks who had children in the schools to help out with
these meals!

...This was before wide use of refrigerators - at least in that part of the country-
so no tupperware covered containers of potato salad - no hot dogs to pop out of the freezer
and onto the grill. The food had to be prepared and served to the children quickly - on the spot!

I remember riding to school as my older sister's guest, to this festive occasion, with a LIVE hen
in a bag; with her feet tied together...our contribution to the meal!
Our hen had a lot of company on that school bus, too! :)

For those unfortunate Yard Walkers, it turned out to be "Chicken one day - Feathers the next!"

Remembering...June 1, 2005

(Good Old Days???)

Poem: My Sisters' Fudge & Music Matters

Music matters

In the early days, wherever we were living…
on Saturday nights, the family would listen to
The Grand Old Opry!

The older sister’s had their favorites…
Ernest Tubb, Roy Acuff, Hank Williams...Daddy liked Bill Monroe!

Mama liked the romantic ballads of types like Slim Whitman...
but maybe he came later!

Mama - always the Romantic!!

In those days, before Television, (before a lot of things :) ) people found ways to entertain themselves. I remember music fests of sorts, where whole families from all around would get together and 'Make Music!'

Daddy played the FIDDLE! (NOT the violin-the FIDDLE!) Daddy did some pretty MEAN Buck-Dancing too! I never saw Daddy happier than when playing music and having fun with some of his brothers!

Mama played piano, when she would come in contact with one - she never had one of her own until late in her life! It amazed me, how well she could play the piano!


I remember my two older sisters could make the best
chocolate fudge ever tasted!!!

My Sisters’ Fudge

My sisters made fudge
in the old fashioned way,
just as everyone did
in that day!

no short cuts to take;
just skillfully mastered!
..And with no mistake!

They cooked it until,
when dropped from a spoon,
it formed lumps in water.
(Don’t stop cooking too soon!)

At last the vanilla-
then poured up to set!
The old fashioned taste,
I will never forget!

June Kellum



Another Alabama Christmas Season

Another Alabama Christmas season

One Christmas season, as we anxiously counted down the days,
Santa appeared at a window,late one night!

As the story goes, Santa routinely checks up on children,
keeping tabs on who's naughty and who's nice!!
We, my baby sister and I, were in awe at having that brief glimpse of Santa at our window!
...And we hoped we had been nice enough all year!

Much later that year, I came across a fake beard in a dresser drawer!
That puzzled me for awhile - but I put it out of my mind before
the next Christmas season came around!

Some things are just too precious to give up before it's time! :)


...was it my brother or Daddy?

Remembering - June 1, 2005

Early Morning Rising

Early Morning Rising…

…Dress warmly - high socks, old shoes, long sleeves,
and a sunbonnet for later, in spite of the early morning chill!
…Off to the fields with Mama and sisters!

The baby is put on a quilt to be watched over.
…And there’s Mama’s ever-present warning of snakes!

The deep purple, dew kissed Morning Glory catches my eye
and finds a place to live in my memory, over all these years!


Tiny Blue Coat

We had so little money in our young years but Mom managed as best she could! She made our clothes...I remember her making us little dresses- and bonnets to wear in the fields.

...And it amazes me how she managed to always have gifts for us at Christmas...
but she always did!


Tiny Blue Coat…

A tiny blue coat, Mama made for my baby sister,
with pink flowers embroidered on the front, near the collars.
I envied my sister having that coat
and wished there had been a bigger piece of that blue, wool fabric,
so Mama could have made me one, too!

Remembering Mama…


The Log House my young years we lived in several different houses - in Alabama and later in Florida.(I remember living in 7 different houses, in Alabama, alone, in my early years)
This is one I remember well, as it was kind of scary place with woods all around. I remember being with Mom at the spring where she washed our clothes. We were always aware of the possibility of snakes around that place. Snakes were one of Mom's greatest fears.
She told of an encounter with a rattle snake, when my brother was a young boy!(he's 13 years older than me) Between the two of them they managed to kill it! Thankfully, I never had any close calls with snakes!


The Log House…

Nights in the log house were scary,
with lights that were extinguished with a puff of Mama’s breath
-not a switch on the wall.

After our prayers were said,
in which we went through the list of all our loved ones to be blessed
and kept safe through the night,
Mama would then look under each bed,
making sure no SNAKES had found a way into our house!

…Just an extra measure, of Mama’s,
to keep us safe! :)

Remembering Mama…


Monday, January 23, 2006

Christmas Eve

This memory is a favorite Christmas memory of mine! It was probably 1946 or 47...not sure!
(I wish I could ask Mom!)

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve!
Heavy Alabama snow fall!
Night-the whitest white!
Too cold to venture out-
but we must -one last time before bed,
to the outhouse.

We then get snug and Mama tells us stories.
Of the Baby Jesus, of his mother, Mary - of
Joseph, the Shepherds, the Wise Men,
the Angels. We sing “Silent Night,"
“Away In a Manger” and feel,
through Mama’s words, the wonder of
HIS birth!

Being little girls, too, we feel the excitement
–the anticipation- of Santa’s visit and
wonder what he’ll bring us! We have no doubt
he will come, as we search the skies
through the frosty window; hoping for a glimpse of him.
As usually happens with children and Santa,
sleep came to us before Santa did!

The morning proved our faith well placed,
as this was the year we found our
Betsy Wetsy baby dolls under the tree, along with
puzzles, a spinning top and books!

...A book about Santa...
and a book about the real Christmas, the birth of Baby Jesus.

Remembering Mom…

Baby Sister & About Paperdolls

Baby Sister…

…The time came…

My two sisters,
who were older than me, by seven and nine years ,
took me to a neighbor’s house!

We stayed and stayed…so long!
Finally, we could return home again –
to meet our new baby sister!

Her name was JOY! :)


About Paper Dolls...

When I was a very little girl
Mama would cut out paper dolls from catalogs.
We would make whole families, Mama and I!

Later, there were store bought paper dolls,
or, Santa delivered ones , for my sister and me.

My sister and I loved those, and played
for hours on end, with them!
My favorites were the babies.
Later we got some of movie stars,
but the babies I loved most!

Germs didn't seem to be a big concern in those days
for I remember we would lick the little tabs to attach
the clothes, over and over! :)



Long Ago Thoughts of Mom

Long Ago Thoughts of Mom…

The sun, slanting through the windowpane
and through the curtains, makes patterns,
as I listen so intently to intriguing tales.
The actual stories are now long forgotten, over all these years,
but the feelings linger.
My Mama and me, traveling on our daily adventure
to our afternoon nap!


Walking Through The Woods…

Walking through the woods with Mama-
and with the Aunts…
...Black Gum tooth brushes -chewed into soft sweet pulp by all!
They dip theirs into the tin snuffboxes!

But not me!!
Mine, I will just chew! ;)

Poem: Annie Down the Well

Annie Down the Well

“Annie down the well!!”
Panic! Panic!

“Get Daddy’s help - and Brother’s!”
Mama and I are both frantic!

“As fast as you can- crank the handle-
send the bucket down!”

They do - again and yet again - in vain!
Annie is never found!

A three year old is broken hearted.
Her face is washed clean with hot tears.

Rag doll, Annie, is forever lost,
yet, remembered over all these many years.

This is one of my earliest memories and, apparently, a traumatic
event in my young life. I have never forgotten it through the years.
As far as I can figure, I was around three years of age.
All through my life I have had a love of dolls, all types of dolls,
but especially rag dolls - homemade dolls.
I believe losing Annie in the well had a lot to do with my lifelong
love of dolls.
Or was it BECAUSE of my love of dolls
(at such an early age) that I was so affected by losing Annie in the well?

Just some thoughts…

June (Ginga)
Remembering…Nov 2003

Poem: Mom

Mom, So Many Months Have Passed

I never knew how very much my heart would ache.
I never did imagine - or come close to knowing-
how much time that it would take.
Just going through the things
you once held dear -and touched…
it’s so hard to cast them all aside,
these simple, ordinary things you loved so much. are boxes, filled with memories of you;
things I can’t find the courage to discard.
The last of my dear Mom, packed lovingly away.
Oh, it’s hard - it’s all so very hard!
Just bits and pieces of your life,
all so much a part of you.
Little things you’ve saved, and valued,
and so- I will always treasure too!
...But how to keep the smile, to hold on to
the memory of your warm embrace;
the sweet and funny ways of you...
the things impossible to ever be replaced?
As of now, I still can close my eyes
and see your smile,
hear your voice, feel your gentle touch.
…But in awhile,
I fear these memories will start to go-
to fade away-
leaving just these things of yours,
of which I’m struggling with today!
I pray the memories of you, Mom, will always linger,
never will depart,
bringing me both pain and pleasure
in equal measure,
always and forever,
here in my heart!

June Kellum

Remembering Mom

Remembering Mom…

We lost Mom January 27, 2003,
exactly three weeks after her 94th birthday.
We had her a long time, yet, not long enough.

Randomly writing down these thoughts
and early memories of Mom,
helped me to get through the painful months
following the sad day she left us!
(It helped, at least, a little)

With each remembered snippet of my past
with Mom and our family
I re-live again the good times,
the laughter,
( and some bad times, too)
the feelings we all shared.
The love we all had for each other.
…And Mom always at the center of it all!
Mom - the cement that held it all together!

I believe that with the memories of her in out hearts
she will always be with us.
Mom (Ma-Ma) will still be holding us all together!


Remembering…June, 2004