Inheriting Memories

There are so many things we inherit from our parents, grandparents and ancestors we’ve never even met. Names and stories we don’t  know flow through us. They are the scattered pieces that make us whole. Our passions, temperaments and talents that make up  our DNA.

We also inherit kingdoms, priorities, minerals rights, recipes and debt. 

But the most precious inheritances are memories. As a writer, the stories of the past fascinate me and often work their way in to my characters’ narratives.  I have a story I want to write based a WW 2 diary that was passed down from one of my grandfathers, Forrest French. I never got to meet him. Maybe he also gave me  my love of journaling?

What brought this musing to mind? My daughters inherited a Hamilton mint green and chrome drugstore milkshake maker from my grandmother.  

Me-Maw's Drug Store Milkshake Maker
Me-Maw’s Drug Store Milkshake Maker

Me-Maw had this wondrous appliance sitting on her counter for as all long as I can remember. She had worked at her brother’s Main Street Drug Store in Leakey, Texas and somehow got to keep this one. 

Norris Fisher, owner of local drug store in Leakey Tx. Photo by Marc St Gil November 1973
Norris Fisher, owner of local drug store in Leakey Tx. Photo by Marc St Gil November 1973

(I found this photo of  Uncle Norris on Tom Clark’s blog) http://tomclarkblog.blogspot.com/2013/01/marc-st-gil-wading-in-water-leakey-texas.html

Every trip to Me-Maw’s (and we visited a great deal) would get us an orange plastic cup of a chocolate milkshake.  And as time has a way of marching on, I soon found myself as a mother of four.  Me-Maw was serving them the special treat.

My oldest daughter, also the oldest granddaughter and great-granddaughter, got a promise from Me-Maw that she would inherit the appliance. I find it amazing what people will fight over after a death of a loved one. As humans, we get very emotional over the strangest things. I have seen families torn apart over the smallest properties.  Of course at times, a mix of greed, grief and regret can become an ugly cocktail of emotions that boils over to hurt others.

So standing in the spacious country kitchen sorting through the property and family heirlooms can be emotional. My father had passed before his parents so my sisters stood with my uncles. One of my uncles made a point that Me-Maw wanted Katrina and Storm to have her milkshake maker. Despite everyone wanting it, and Katrina being a great-granddaughter, they all agreed.  That in itself brought Katrina to tears.

Now whenever we have guests, Katrina loves making milkshakes for everyone. She might have inherited more than just the mint green appliance from Me-Maw. Like a desire to show her love by serving?

I do know we inherited more than a milkshake maker, because warm memories of family and love are wrapped tightly around the little machine.

 Do you have an item you love because of the memories and places tied to it, or regrets of a lost  family heirloom?

In Love with Anti-Valentine War Movies

I write love stories. Therefore, Valentine’s Day should be like my National Holiday, right? Wrong. It is the one and only day I will go to a war movie. Twenty-seven years ago, I had my first Valentine’s Day date with the man that would become my life mate. I wanted to see Say Anything.

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but he wanted to see Platoon.
Platoon-(1986)-movie-wallpaper

I was young and giddy with love so as any girl would do I agreed to see his movie.
I hate war movies and avoid them at all cost, but I have to say Platoon was one of the best movies I had ever seen.
Hey, I grew up on Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club. I do love my happy endings and war movies by their very nature do not have happy endings.

That compromise began a tradition. It would become our anti-Valentine war movie date. Over the years, we went on to see Good Morning Vietnam, Glory and Saving Private Ryan to name a few.
It helped that Glory starred Mr. Denzel Washington, 6a00d83451c20869e200e54f1231078833-800wi
but I digress.

These are all movies that I would never had bought a ticket to see, but worth every dime. There is a great deal to learn about human nature in a well done war movie. There are images that stay planted in my mind, such as floating body parts. Does it make me a better person to get out of my comfort zone and leave my safe world of happy ever after? Maybe.

I have to tell you, it is not always easy to find a war movie during February. This year we lucked out with Zero Dark Thirty.Zero-Dark-Thirty
Can’t wait. She says with a lopsided grin and one eyebrow raised. It has worked for us for Twenty-seven years now, so I’m not messing with a good thing.

Do you have a traditional Valentine tradition or Anti-Valentine tradition?
While we’re talking about it let me know if you have seen any good war movie lately. (Good War –is that an oxymoron?) Do you have a favorite war movie?