Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Earliest Memories Tag

Thanks for tagging me with this, Blessing Counter!  I had a ton of fun putting some of my early memories into words, and finding some old snapshots to go along with them.

1. What is your earliest memory? 

I have a few tiny snippets of memory from when I was around the age of 3.  I remember little bits of our house in Iowa -- my bedroom had orange carpet, my parents' bedroom had pale blue carpet and a matching bedspread and curtains, and one of the bathrooms had a green caddy for the toilet brush.

(Me around age 2, wearing my dad's cowboy boots.)

2. What is your earliest memory of a birthday? 

I think it's from my third birthday -- my mom's friend Jean decorated a cake for me with M&Ms as balloons on it, and I wanted to pick off the M&Ms and eat them, but my mom wouldn't let me.

(Said birthday cake)

3. What is your earliest memory of a food? 

Beside the cake above, I remember eating fried chicken at a restaurant with my grandparents when I was probably 5 or 6, and being worried that they wouldn't bring me drumsticks because those were the only chicken piece I knew how to eat.

4. What is your earliest memory of a gathering? 

I have a teensy memory of being in Sunday school when I was, again, about 3 -- singing a song called "Who's That Knocking At My Door" with my teacher and classmates while we took turns being the person to knock on a door and introduce ourselves.

5. What is your earliest memory of family? 

I can remember playing with my dad when I was only 2 or 3 -- he would get down on his hands and knees and be my horse, and I would ride on his back all around our house in Iowa.

(Can't find a picture of that, so here's us finger-painting together instead.)

6. What is your favorite memory? 

I don't know if I have one favorite memory, of my childhood or otherwise.  I have many, many memories I treasure.  Playing that I was an explorer in our backyard in Michigan, where I would make a circle of rocks to be my campfire.  Playing that I was a train robber and climbing on top of our swing set, which was the train.  Getting to choose our dog, Lucas, from a litter of puppies when I was 11.  Lying under our neighbors' lilacs and reading books in the spring.  Meeting my first real best friend when I was 10, along the shore at Lake Huron.

(One of my little campfires -- I'm about 4 here.
The longer stick is my rifle, and the white disc is a
Frisbee I used as my cooking pot.)

7. What is your earliest memory of a gift? 

I remember getting my first Barbie and an Etch-a-Sketch and some coloring books when I was in the hospital when I was not quite 4.  I had a virus of some sort, with a super-high fever that refused to break for days, and was in the hospital for 10 whole days -- wow, that must have been so scary for my parents.  I can remember I had this IV stand that was blue that we called my "little blue buddy" and I had to take it with me when I walked around -- my dad would come to visit every day (I'm assuming my mom stayed with me -- I was an only child then) and once I was able, he'd take me on a walk down the hospital hallway to the vending machine and buy me an Almond Joy or a Mounds :-9

(With that first Barbie, in the hospital.)

8. What is your earliest memory of an embarrassment? 

When I was probably 6 or 7, a pastor acquaintance of my dad's came over for some reason.  I said hi to him and called him by his first name, because that's what I heard my parents call him.  He bent down and looked me in the eye and scolded me severely for addressing an adult by their first name.  I went and hid under the dining room table and wouldn't come out until he was gone.

9. What is your earliest memory of when you were scared? 

I remember having a really scary dream when I was 7.  I dreamed there was a white ghost woman floating slowly toward me over the ground by my grandparents' barn, and woke up shrieking and crying.  My mom came in the room to comfort me, and told me it was probably because it was our first night back at home after having been gone for a month.

(Random picture of my mom building my new dollhouse I got
for Christmas when I was 2.  I still have that dollhouse!!!
My kids play with it now -- it's held up well.)

10. What is your earliest memory of a camp? 

Of going camping?  I went on my first camping trip when I was probably 13.  I loved being able to tramp around in the woods all over the place, eat food cooked over a fire, and generally pretend I was a cowboy or a backwoodsman.

11. How young were you when you received Christ? (optional)

I was baptized on Mother's Day, about 3 weeks after I was born.

I just tagged a bunch of people the other day, so I'm not going to tag anyone this time around.  But if you want to do this, consider yourself tagged by me!


  1. What a fun tag! I love childhood memories. :-)

    My first memory of a birthday is also of my third birthday--weird coincidence, eh? I remember that I had a chocolate cake and that it had to be set out on the porch to cool for a brief period, which I found fascinating ;-) I also remember getting my picture taken and making a face because I felt shy and didn't want them to take my picture.

    Wow, that must've been terrible for your parents, your being so sick and having to go to the hospital. I'm glad you're okay :-)

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Jessica :-) What a coincidence on the birthday memories! I think 3 is about when you start really forming lasting memories, so that does make sense, though.

      I'm glad I'm okay too! Hee :-)

    2. I think you're right. I do have some memories from before I was three, but they're all vague and pretty random. No birthdays, Christmases, etc--nothing "memorable" in the conventional sense. Like you said, I think three years is about when your mind starts to keep track of that stuff.

    3. Jessica, it has to do with how your brain develops. You don't start forming long-term memories until about that age.

  2. Thanks so much for doing the tag, Hamlette! I loved reading your answers! It was so much fun having a mini peek into your childhood :D

    Ahhh...playing "Pretend"!! I love that game! :D My sister and I used to do the wildest things when we were little :) Indians, cowgirls, Laura and Mary Ingalls, and lots more ;)

    1. Blessing Counter, I loooooooooooooooved pretending as a kid. I think that's a huge part of why I'm a writer -- I still get to play pretend. I played Laura & Mary too! And Tom Sawyer, and Robin Hood, and Davy Crockett, and Being a Pioneer (my little red wagon was my covered wagon, my bike was my horse, and I'd set off west across our yard...)

  3. Love this! Such great pictures and reminisces! I love the picture of you with your campfire. And your hair fanning out over the pillow in the hospital.

    I'm afraid I couldn't do this tag even if I wanted to, LOL! As I was reading through, I'd be like, hm, no idea, for my own answers on just about every one. I have some early memories, but no idea how old I was. And for things like the birthday question... I can't pull up any birthdays at all from childhood. In fact I can currently only think of two birthdays at all in my entire life, one was when I turned 30 and went to the Grand Canyon, and one was when I went to Bishop by myself with my first dog. But I couldn't even tell you how old I turned on that birthday. Literally, I don't know what year that was. Just that I went up there hiking by myself with Brinja and it was FREEZING and started snowing. That's it for birthday memories. Couldn't even tell you what happened last year on my birthday now.

    Si? Nope, I don't have it, that's for sure! LOL!

    1. DKoren, it's true. No Si for you. I can't remember every single birthday ever, but let's see... I can remember my 3rd, 7th, 9th, 11th, 20th, 21st, and 35th.

      It helps that we moved several times, so I can date a lot of memories by whether we lived in IA, MI, or NC. And there are before-brother and after-brother separations too. Tootie has lived in this house her whole life, and we might very well live here until she's in college. Sarah was only 18 months when we moved here, so she has no memory of anything before, and Sam was not yet 4, so he's got just a couple tiny memories of CT and a few of our VA apartment.

    2. I only moved twice when young, but moved a lot after college... and I couldn't remotely begin to tell you what years those moves happened. I don't think I could even get in the right ballpark, until my last move, and that one only because it coincided with the birth of my nephew. I can tell you in what order I lived at each place, but how long I was there or when I moved to the next place? Haven't the foggiest clue. (Things I most dread... filling out applications that ask you for dates of when you were where or what dates you started your jobs... I've literally put down ???? on those before.) And you already know what a terrible time I have with birth dates! I can't even tell you my nephew's birthday right now... end of Dec before Christmas is about as close as I can get. 20th? That kind of feels right. I think. LOL!

    3. It might help that I have a dad who's very committed to remembering dates and things that have happened, so I grew up feeling this was important. And, of course, being an ISFJ.

      I can figure out year dates for all my jobs, if not month dates, but usually those too.

  4. You were so adorable as a little kid! I love the picture of you in your dad's cowboy boots :D

    I can't remember what my first memory was. I was probably about three-ish, but I can't remember. I remember a good amount of my birthdays, though, so at least it's something. :)

    1. Thanks, Mary!

      Some people are wired to make a point to remember things, and some people aren't. Cool that you can remember lots of your birthdays!

  5. You look adorable in those cowboy boots! I don't think I remember so much about my early childhood as you do!

    1. Hee! Thanks, Birdie :-) I do remember my childhood and adolescence vividly, which is why I've started writing YA books instead of novels for adults. I might even venture into junior fiction in a few years, we'll see.

  6. This is the sweetest post, and I love your pictures! I might have to do this!

    1. Thanks, Hannah! It's a fun tag, so I'm pretty sure you'd enjoy it :-)

  7. HEY! You won my contest! Send me an email at heskethmeg (at) gmail (trying to keep spammers from finding this. hahaha) with your mailing address and I'll get that to you! :-D

    1. NO FREAKING WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      This is too completely awesome. Thank you! I'll email you asap :-)

  8. Awww, these are all so cute!! I enjoyed reading this. :)

    You lived in Michigan? How cool!

    Awww, your poor thing. :( I feel like that pastor was kind of mean to scold you like that. Isn't it funny how things like that stay with us for so long? He probably has no idea that you still remember that. I always try to remember what it was like to be a kid...and to treat other little kids how I would have wanted to be treated. It's really amazing how the smallest things can become permanent memories!

    1. Natalie, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yup, we used to live in the Thumb :-D I miss all that snow!!! And the fresh lake perch :-9

      I'm not a huge fan of adults who scold other peoples' children, though I must admit that I have been known to do so myself now, but only if they are dealing with my kids in some way, or obviously if I'm babysitting them. Still, I would never get in the face of a child who is not my own and go off on them like he did. I'm kind of thinking maybe he didn't have kids himself?

    2. Hamlette,
      That is so neat! We don't live in the thumb, we're more toward the middle of the mitten. :) But still, that's so neat!

      That's a good point. And yes, it sounds like he perhaps didn't have much experience with kids at all!

  9. Hamlette,
    I have had a wonderful time rereading your post and all of the responses. I just felt like reminiscing with you today. :-) You really were a cute little girl... And have turned into a beautiful young woman. I love you dearly.

    1. Aww, thanks, Mom! I think my girls are cuter, though ;-) I love you too!


Agree or disagree? That is the question...

Comments on old posts are always welcome! Posts older than 7 days are on moderation to dissuade spambots, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, don't worry -- it will once I approve it.

(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)