#SoCS- What I did on my summer vacation 1965.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “run.”

Amazing what one word brings back!
When I was about nine, my family went on a summer vacation to a beautiful crystal clear lake in Maine. We brought along the eldest daughter of friends of my parents so my parents would have opportunities to do some late night fishing using her as a babysitter.
Kathy was about sixteen and brought her 45 rpm record collection and portable record player. Well, she was the coolest person to nine year old me!
There was one song in her collection that I fell ‘in love’ with! I don’t believe I’ve thought about it in 50 years but the prompt brought it snapping back bringing some awesome summer memories with it.
It was Run Bobby Run by Leslie Gore. That song was released in 1963 but I believe Kathy had that record for awhile. She got a little annoyed from my requests for it because she had a new song that she loved.
I’d probably be correct in guessing our summer vacation with Kathy took place in 1965.
How might I know?
Her favorite record was a brand new one by The Byrds called Turn, Turn, Turn. Yep, I looked it up and it was released in 1965.
Both songs bring me back to one specific summer at Crescent Lake, ME.
I’ll leave those songs for you to enjoy! Happy Saturday!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 27, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

Olympic Timing with Imaginary Friends

My 6 year old granddaughter, Katherine, spent much of our recent vacation in her new pool. It is only about 30 inches deep and 10 feet across but a welcomed prop for our steamy week. We were at our woodland camp, so the Summer Olympics were watched by generator power as recaps on the morning news.

She played alone most of the time during our one week stay but the Olympic theme saved those days. Katherine was an Olympian and I played the role of her diving coach. Her imaginary friends, Zabby and Alodda, made a surprise appearance out of retirement (from Hampton Beach) and participated too. (See my Zabby Eight Update category for more adventures.)

Katherine would stand a little more than waist deep in the pool. I graded her leaps and dives according to the least splash and best form. Zabby and Alodda would try to keep up but Katherine seemed to have the most natural ability. I was really impressed by her progress. She learned to keep her feet together and managed to have her fingertips, top of her head and body enter the water in that order. If she did not leap high enough a belly flop would disqualify her.

This weekend she is going to her other grandparents’ place where there is a much deeper pool. I’m excited to find out how she uses her new skills.The 2012 Summer Olympics were well timed indeed and I’m sure she’ll never forget them. Wonder if Zabby and Alodda will be traveling with her?

Bunk and Positive Reinforcement: I need a vacation!

It’s two days before my summer vacation. I’ve been doing child day care since 1975 and my 56-year-old self is tattered and tired. The release of kids from school has added a new dynamic to my daily schedule. Big and little kids are battling for their place in the group. I’d like to say that I have everything under control and all’s well. It’s not.

My first instinct is to devise a chart for my current charges to accumulate “stars” upon. You know, those same charts that parents use for positive reinforcement. They would earn stars for “good” behavior. Accumulating a predetermined amount would allow the little cherubs to turn them in for prizes. BUNK! This whole philosophy seems wrong.

What is the overall complaint about our modern society? No one seems to fear nor anticipate consequences for their bad behavior. Kids are not exempt from this. All this happy, Barney the Dinosaur, atmosphere makes me ill. I couldn’t put my finger on why it bothered me until I considered a chart system that I believe may have better results.

The positive reinforcement Star Chart system is flawed when you consider that the whole premise is based upon the kids being considered already “naughty”. The kids have to work their way UP.  That seems as though our expectations are low for them from the “get go”. I’d rather assume they are good and “nip” the bad behavior when it happens.

My system, which I will implement right after vacation, will expect the kids to know their manners and will reduce their “stars” upon each and every infraction. They will START with 10 stars. Screeching and bickering (for example) will result in an automatic loss of a star. The consequence will therefore happen in that moment. Stars can be earned for kind and mannerly behavior of an exceptional nature too. At the end of the week, those who have a 7 star, or better, average will receive a prize. The kids, who have been schooled with the first star chart, adopt an, “I’ll just make it up later.” attitude or “It’s only Monday. Why worry?”

When you consider the way a mother wolf teaches her pups, my chart is more natural. The wolf mother reprimands her young immediately. This lesson lasts longer. We can learn so very much from animal parents.

My method will be using punishment that is immediate. Yes, punishment. Our society has attached such a bad “taste” to the word or if you’d rather, consequences. I think my method may have good results.

Ever ask yourself how folks without jobs afford tattoos, cell phones and jewelry? I suspect it is because the “check” is in the mail and therefore their “star chart” remains perpetually full.

On one more note, I wonder sometimes when I stopped being an authority figure and became a waitress. Seems the kids play happily until they find me idle then demands for snack time etc. start. I know I’ve created this environment. Heck, their parents love happy, indulged, little people at day’s end. My livelihood is based upon the happy parent. I’m too old to tread lightly and submissively any more. If the kids go home and complain about my rules…so be it.

Vacation time is beckoning, don’t you think? 🙂

Random Word Story #25~Carl’s Adventure

An area of the Sierre Madre jungle
An area of the Sierre Madre jungle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Random words generated by creativitygames.net

bird…threat…shadow…capital…sand…chewing gum

Here’s my story:

The jungle was thick, steamy and oppressive. Carl had no idea when he’d become lost. Guess that’s how getting lost happens. It poses more of a threat, though, when you’re in a jungle rather than on the highway.

The humming of insects was deafening. He faded back and forth, noticing the din, then ignoring it …feeling afraid, then exhilarated. His vacation was almost over and his adventure was only beginning. He fumbled through his backpack taking inventory of his supplies. A compass…dang, why hadn’t he asked someone how to use it?… One unopened apple juice box …and one piece of chewing gum.

He felt helpless, yet for a moment, he was amused.

He thought, “MacGyver would even fold with these tools. Sucks to be me.”

Carl was a level-headed fellow. He considered himself safe until he wasn’t safe. No need to panic.

As the grin was fading from his face, there came a shadow from over head. A brightly colored bird was circling. It reminded him of a vulture from those Tarzan films he watched as a kid. When vultures arrived, folks knew they were in trouble with a capital “T”. He decided it might be a good idea to follow the bird. When he looked up again, he was hit in the face with a tremendous, wet dropping!

It was sandy and warm. His arms flailed! He couldn’t see! He couldn’t BREATHE!

“DUDE! Chill! It’s just a towel.”

Carl’s first sight was a purple kite flapping in the wind overhead. His next sensation was sound. Waves of the approaching high tide were drumming. His heart felt as though he’d just run a marathon. There was an afternoon steam rising from the over-baked sand in front of his beachfront accommodations…

It was then, the lifeguard retrieved his wet towel from Carl’s chest and walked into the sunset.

Random Word Story #12~ Too little…Too late

Panic attack

random words generated at creativitygames.net.

I plan to add an extra word to each exercise. This time I have six.

trap…stock market…backpack…fireman…ticket…wood

Here’s my story:

“You need a vacation.”

Those words echoed in her brain until she could not ignore them anymore. Gillian decided to take her boss’ advice and called into work Sunday evening. She put in for one week off.  It bothered her tremendously, though. Six years had passed since her last vacation and her office was a finely tuned machine, you know?

She packed until 3:00 am then jumped behind the wheel of the Subaru Outback, that she had rented the day before,  and set out for an unknown destination. She felt inspired and free behind the wheel. Had it been a whole year since she had driven? It felt like the first time. She even held the steering wheel at 10:00 and 2:00 o’clock like a beginner.

“Relax lady, the world and the stock market will go on in spite of you. You need a break.”

Again her boss’ words gave her the permission she needed to shake things up. She summed up her recent “break down” as intense. She was a proverbial hamster on a wheel in a trap of her own making. It was up to her alone to break free and live. She scarfed down her meds and managed to continue.

As she took the ticket and entered the “on ramp” to the interstate. Her chest tightened. It was happening again! Her vision became spotted and she briefly let go of the wheel to rub her eyes.

When she opened them, a fireman was before her with a mask on. He was carrying a backpack of oxygen and waving his arms. Black smoke was rising from the Subaru which was 100 yards down the ramp laying on its side and she was sitting upon a pile of wood. Wooden planks were everywhere! To her right, was a tractor-trailer truck with only a few boards remaining in its cargo bay. It was leaning against a telephone pole at an odd angle in a limbo, off-balance and nearly empty.

At the hospital, Gillian was treated and released.Lucky as she was, she felt helpless and weak. The sight of the truck kept flashing in her mind.

“Off balance and nearly empty.” Gillian repeated this to herself  50 times as she went home. She needed to call the office right away.

Her voice sounded oddly disconnected from her body when she resigned over the phone. She desperately hoped it was not too late for her…

The Wealth of Family

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?”

I remember my father saying this when I was a child on a family vacation. My mom probably said it too but I remember my dad saying it. When I was a kid, I thought it was a statement about monetary wealth. I’m sure it was a bit because, while on vacation, we could eat at restaurants and stay in a cabin on a lake. During the year we did not eat out and conserved because we were not, after all , rich. On this particular vacation, my grandpa and grandma (mom’s parents) were with us. My dad and grandpa were sipping on Manhattans and laughing as we ordered dinner at a restaurant. I can still see us all sitting around the table, my younger siblings fidgeting and playing with their napkins. My mom, shoulder to shoulder with her mom whispering  what I now assume were those common jokes about men just being “big kids” when they get together. The whole world was safe and friendly, right then and there. You’ve heard about time standing still, it did,and my mind took a snapshot. The edges are worn now but I still have it when ever I want to feel warm.

“I wonder what the poor people are doing?”