Friday, September 2, 2011

Fact: it is Friday. {Minnesota}

Fact: it is Friday: Where I talk about myself. On Fridays.
I don't talk about my babies, unless I want to, which sometimes I might. But mostly Fact: it is Friday is when I'm going to maybe tell you something you didn't know about me.
Or maybe a story from my bucktoothed-childhood or bratty teenage years.

Becky Fact 10: Minnesota, the magical land of my childhood, is my happy place.

I can't help liking things merely because they are romantic or poetic. I love the rain, but part of me thinks that I love rain because it's such a lovely thing to like.
I love lying in the shade of a tree and reading old British romances, but perhaps that is because it seems like a lovely thing to do.
I love drinking tea on blustery winter nights. I love having freshly baked cookies waiting for my husband when he gets home. I love planting a garden and harvesting fresh food.
But I am never sure how much I actually like those things, and how much I just like the idea of those things.
I love Minnesota, and I truly think that much of the reason I love it, is because it's so blasted ideal.
I mean, I grew up barefooted and brown in the summertime. Catching frogs with my sister, lying on a floating dock while clouds moved slowly across the sky and reflected across the water, sleeping in tents in the backyard with the hum of nighttime noises just through the canvas.
I picked apples in orchards in the fall. The water and sky turn bluer than imaginable, and every tree turns red and gold. Your breath freezes as it leaves your mouth.  I even think pumpkins and squash are bigger and brighter there.
The winter, if you can believe it, is perhaps the most storybook time of all. There are mornings, crystal mornings, where the sun pierces through the ice lining trees and the whole state looks like it's coated in diamonds. There are nights when it's bright outside from the soft, warm snow falling. Quiet. Perfect.
And children play outside until their faces are pink and their breath is wet, and families gather together around warm fires to drink hot cocoa and read stories.
There is a time, every year, in about February when everyone wishes it were spring. And the winter seems long and cruel. The snow seems dirty and grey. The food, bland and ill-nourishing.
But really, even then, it something poets write about; something books talk about. It is a romantic kind of dissatisfaction.
And then spring! Glorious spring. As if, overnight, a blanket is thrown across the state and everything is green. Greener than than you can imagine. It's like looking at the sun, like being in the Garden of Eden, and flowers are bursting from every space of ground, and birds and animals are surrounded by their fuzzy soft babies and the rain! The rain! It pours, it storms, it thunders and ravishes and the rivers and lakes swell with the rain water and the gutters are all waterfalls and you walk home from school wet to the knees, even though it hasn't rained while you walked.
The worms and the dirt and the smell of fish is on the air and everywhere things are growing and children are throwing off the coats that their parents insisted they wear, and the sky is full of magnificently fluffy white clouds and daydreams of summertime.

And there are mothers baking cookies and bread, canning salsa and jam.  There are fathers throwing baseballs and baiting fishing hooks.

And my childhood was perfect. Ideal.
The kind of childhood that people like E.B White, Laura Ingalls and A. A. Milne write their books about.
The kind of childhood that I want my own children to have.

And I am the type of mother who will do things with her children, not necessarily because I know they will enjoy it now,  but because I know it will become a fond memory.
And I am the type of woman who does things, not because I instinctively enjoy them, but because I revel in the idea of them.
And sometimes I find myself thinking, I ought to stop and look up at the blossoms on this tree, because that is what Anne Shirley would do.
But I think that's alright.
Because, whatever the reason, at least I stop and see the blossoms.

So what about you?
Where is your happy place?
Did you live an ideal, storybook childhood? And what type of childhood do you want your own children to have?



 




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Fact: it is Friday. 
I think you should do it too. 
And here are your instructions (not really rules...):

1. Write a fact about yourself.
2. Elaborate.
3. It can be long or short, detailed or not.
4. Don't write about your kids. (Unless you want to. Because, I mean... it's your blog. I can't stop you from writing about your kids.)
5. Link up to this blog, so we can all read some facts, and not feel bad that we dropped out of school to be stay-at-home moms. (Since if we're reading facts, then we are still learning.)
6. You're not a dropout like me? Or a stay at home mom? No biggie. You can still play.

Can't think of what to write? Start like this:
Fact: When I was a kid I was really good at...
or
Fact: My biggest pet peeve is...
or
Fact: I have a third nipple.
Etc.

Fact: I would love it if you clicked below to vote for me:


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8 comments:

Sarah Y said...

You just described my childhood! I grew up (and still live) in Iowa. Very similiar to Minnesota. Sometimes I don't appreciate it but the way you described it, it's so true! I think you left out one thing though, lightening bugs! :) This is why we are moving to the country in a month, so our 7 month old g/g twins can grow up this way. Btw, my oldest sister also has twins AND lives in SLC.

The Spencers said...

Loved this post. My happy place was growing up on the farm. Sounded kind of like your childhood. Running barefoot, catching frogs, playing hide and go seek in the hay fields. It was a blast. Can't wait to build our house on the farm, so my kids can build those kind of memories too!

MARCIE said...

You really had me till you got to the dirty snow and the romantic dissatisfaction. But it is nice to think of your childhood in a storybook kind of happiness. You have been blessed! And very nicely written by the way!

The Stanley's said...

Thank you Becky for the beautiful description. I was just at the "parlor" gettin' my hair fixed and I was trying to describe Minnesota to everyone. I should have printed off your post and read it to them.

lana.aleyse said...

Good post. It wasn't presumptive or anything other than what it was that you felt.

We should all do more Anne Shirley things, I think.

Sarah said...

This was really beautiful to read. Thank you for that glimpse back to childhood. Although I didn't grow up in a place exactly as you described, the emotions are there. The fond memories. Just the mention of Ann Shirley makes me smile and want to curl up on the couch all day and watch Ann of Green gables w/ my sisters :) So thank you for that :)

Polly said...

My happy place is also MN. I went to my happy place 3 weeks ago. I laid on the floating dock and let the sun bake me, I dove into the crystal clear water and I swam and swam and swam. While dad and various kids fished off the dock and fished off the boat and squealed with delight at every little sunfish they caught. It almost makes me want to move back. But then I remember those cold icy mornings and having to shovel piles of snow and wondering if spring will ever come and the desperate feeling of needing the warmth of summer. Also I am the type of mother that will take a fish off a hook just so my kids won't be scared to, but that doesn't mean I like it, fact: I don't like it.

Polly said...

Sometimes I miss Minnesota so much it hurts. I remember the sound snow makes when it is so cold the humidity freezes. I remember warm lazy rivers carrying log rafts piloted by brave frontier boys who later turn into army scouts who morph again into Indian warriors. January hockey games played on outside rinks with the ice reflected sun so bright that white turns blue. The smell of "The Woods" on a warming summer morning when the tendrils of mist cling to cool lowlands under a canopy of oaks and maples. When I die, I want to be buried there, on a small knoll that overlooks a peaceful meadow formed by a bend in the Crow River.