Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia

branches-nostalgia-diaries

I’ve been feeling awfully introspective lately, and a little bit sentimental, too.

Perhaps it’s this time of year, where we are perched precariously between seasons: in a few short weeks, the last of the leaves will fall, leaving us with the gray, barren branches of winter, the ones that always, for some inexplicable reason, make me think of my childhood.

I spent my grade school years growing up in a quintessential, suburban Colonial house in South Carolina. Aside from being adorned with pink heart wallpaper and furnished with my mom’s girlhood 1960’s Dixie White and Gold dresser and desk, my second-floor bedroom was equipped with a large window that looked out over our sprawling front yard.

In that yard, a tall, strong tree stood, one that waved us away to school in the morning and welcomed us home in the afternoon with outstretched branches mimicking a massive set of open arms. My dad helped me move my desk in front of the window so I could sit at it and look out at that tree as I read and colored and drew and wrote in my little turquoise diary with its tiny, plastic, silver lock. Continue reading “Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia”

Commentary · Nostalgia · Stories

Losing Nostalgia… And Finding It Again

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November 1978

Snaps and crackles emanating from the fireplace combine with clicks and pops from the album that rotates round and round on the old console record player in our living room.

It’s getting on towards Christmas.  Well, okay… really it’s just the start of November and the Christmas tree won’t even be going up until after Thanksgiving. But as a kid, November was the start of winter, and winter meant snow, and snow meant Christmas.

So, yeah, it’s getting on towards Christmas. Snowflakes are falling beyond the picture window in a silent dance to Earth, and I’m listening to the new Carpenters Christmas Album, combing through the Sears Wish Book Catalog.  I flip past the housewares and lingerie sections to get to the good stuff: train sets… slot car tracks… Tonka trucks… Star Wars figures.

This was the year Santa was going to bring me a Tyco train set—the one with a diesel engine, a couple of brown boxcars, a long passenger car, and a red caboose. It was my dream to start building a monster railroad layout, and this little set was going to be the start to fulfilling that dream. 

It was going to be magnificent. Continue reading “Losing Nostalgia… And Finding It Again”

Nostalgia · Stories

Week 43: A Dog Named Dexter | Everyday Nostalgia

dog-named-dexter-nostalgia-diaries

I was against the idea from the beginning.

“A dog?” I had asked. “Like a real one?”

Having never grown up with pets, the thought of owning one slightly frightened me—they just seemed like so much work. Aside from that fear, there were also all the reasons that floated around my head, the ones that told me why getting a dog would be so irresponsible: There was the house we lived in, the one that was already too small for us to begin with. There was the broken fence, the one that certainly wouldn’t be able to keep a four-legged friend contained in the yard. There was the fact that no one would be home to let it out during the day. There was the added expense of the pet deposit and food and all of the other costs associated with owning a dog.

Like I said, I was convinced this was a terrible idea.

Yet here I am, holding a three-pound puppy in my hands, staring into a set of midnight-drenched eyes that stand out so starkly against a sea of fluffy, cream-colored fur. It yawns, revealing a tiny eraser-pink tongue, and then happily begins to lick my hand. It feels like sandpaper, and it tickles. Continue reading “Week 43: A Dog Named Dexter | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past

first-snow-nostalgia-diaries

As with many Octobers here, we’ve already seen snow. Twice. In between those snows, we’ve hit 80 degrees.

Such is the weather in Colorado.

But when I think of first snows, I tend to think of the snow that ushers in winter—that first snow that comes along sometime in mid to late November when the trees are bare and the grass is brown. (Okay, yes, I realize winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, but to me, winter starts in November.)

And when I think of that first winter snow, I’m transported back in time, back to the excitement I felt as a little kid, sitting next to the big picture window in our living room, watching the flakes tumble in slow motion to the ground. It always made me want to listen to this song

That first snow—and that song—also always made me eager for an adventure, so my older brother and I would don winter jackets, not-so-waterproof mittens, and itchy wool hats. We’d pull on our Moon Boots and make our way out the door to our backyard tundra. We made first tracks, created snow angels, wrestled around, and put slush down the other’s back. And in those years when the snow was heavy and actually accumulated, we engaged in fierce snowball fights and built snowmen. Continue reading “First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past”

Nostalgia

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Celebrating One Year of Blogging

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It feels like just yesterday that my fingers started furiously tapping on a keyboard, writing the very first stories that would become the very first posts here at The Nostalgia Diaries.

But it wasn’t yesterday. It was a year ago.

One year.
Continue reading “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Celebrating One Year of Blogging”