I am currently reading Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. One page has the main character thinking about his earliest memories. His are of course more interesting than mine. I didn't witness a king being beheaded and a few days later watch my father and his friends destroy cathedrals during the English Civil War. Perhaps one of my ancestors did.
I was born in a time of peace in the most powerful nation in the world. I never knew how lucky I was until I was much older. I didn't grow up in the wealthiest of homes or the poorest. My parents were young and worked hard. They were also LDS in the Bible Belt of the United States.
We lived in my grandparent's home. I don't remember living anywhere else before that. My parents rented the house from my grandparents who moved to Florida. That was a time before cable TV, internet, VCR's, and even before we had a microwave. My mom had to boil hot dogs. I still prefer the taste of boiled hot dogs over microwaved.
My earliest memories are very quick flashes in my mind. I don't remember much detail. The strangest thing is that my earliest memories are not of my everyday life at home. I would go to my mother's parents house and listen to my mom's younger sisters playing the songs of Grease on their record player. I remember my Aunt Jeanine wrapping her wet hair in a towel and I thought that was the most facisnating thing I ever saw. Everytime I wrap my hair in a towel I think of my aunt. I thought she was so cool. I remember praying in a circle with my grandparents before going to sleep when I spent the night there.
I remember going to visit my grandparents in Florida and the drive down there. My grandparents had a dog named Chuckie. We had a dog that looked similar named Precious. While visiting my grandparents, we went to Disney World. I only remember the Dumbo Ride because I really thought I could fly away.
I remember hanging out at my Aunt Ida's house a lot. We would go to her house for most holidays. Halloween was the best. The earliest Halloween I remember I dressed like Raggedy Ann. I was terrified of some of her guests who were dressed in scary masks. I thought they were going to kill me. Aunt Ida's house was fun but there were pictures on her wall that scared me.
Most of all I remember my parents. I remember my mom rocking me in a chair and singing songs to me. I sing those songs to my kids too. She still played the piano then. I loved it when she played Primary songs. I got in trouble playing with her rock garden she had in the living room. I don't understand why she had a bunch of rocks in the living room knowing that her kids would just play in the rocks. Lesson learned I guess! My dad would read books to me and say funny things to make us laugh. Some of my favorite memories are my parents playing music together and singing and dancing along. Sometimes my dad would even play his guitar and they would sing together. I really miss that. It is amazing to me that they were so young, in their early twenties!
Thinking about my earliest memories makes me sad that my children don't have the experience of having extended family around like I did. We were always visiting grandparents, aunts and uncles or they were visting us. My parents had other friends but it was the family I remembered the most. I still miss them.