Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tuesday Chatter-Becoming Real

I managed to skip last Friday's Rambles. Sorry. I was away from home all day at a Christmas Fair, and managing to sell a book or two. I meant to come home and post a Ramble, but was just too tired. I was glad I did set up at the Fair, though. Saw and talked to some people I hadn't seen for a while - a long while for some of them. Saw another vendor who remembered me from several years back at another event. Saw many beautiful hand-crafted items. Reminded me again how sadly lacking I am in the talent of producing pretties. So happy there are those who excel in that department. I try to produce words that interest people, though. The column below chronicles my journey to being willing to expose those words to any who cared to read them. I am thankful for those who take that chance.
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My mother would tell a story about my baby days when I must have been around eighteen months. We would visit a neighbor or relative's house. After a few hours my toddler self would apparently grow tired and try to reach my cap and coat, crying to go home. Did my feelings of being 'out of step' with my surroundings most of the time begin there? Through the years I always felt more secure at home with my family. Which to me is a good thing. We all need somewhere to feel safe.
    My two-years-older sister was a fearful child. She was very reluctant to attend school alone when she started first grade while we lived in Alabama. By then I had become more social, so the next fall when she began second grade, though I was only five, mother enrolled me in first grade. I doubt I had much understanding about being younger than my classmates then. But that changed by the end of the school year when we moved and my Georgia first grade teacher early promoted me to second grade. So when I entered third grade I was only six years old, effectively a little more than two years younger than all my classmates.
    My family moved a lot. I'd attended eight or so different schools by the time I entered high school. Added to that, my dad being a sharecropper and mill worker, we were always among the poor children. In actual fact, since this was during the country's recovery from what is called 'the great depression', most of the student body at the schools came from poor families.
    I expect being so much younger than my school contemporaries was the main reason I identified with Henry David Thoreau's, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears the beat of a different drummer." Later in life I resisted feeling I needed to be like everyone else. I'm afraid I often escaped actual life through reading, when I wanted to write. Only as an older adult was I brave enough to seek out other writers, reveal my 'real' self, through my own writing, in my books, this column.

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