May 23, 2013

A Return to Childhood

My sister, Chris, and me-Vacation 1960
Summertime! Every child's favorite season. The season of picnics, lightening bugs, sparklers, Popsicles and staying up late. I remember well the family trips in a hot car to the beach or the mountains and the constant refrain of "She's touching me" and "Are we there yet?" I remember also the constant counter refrain of "Stop touching your sister" and "You are all getting a spanking when we get home." Though the threat was often repeated, I can remember only one time that we actually got a spanking when we got home and we really did deserve it.

An interesting highlight of these trips was stopping on the side of the road for 'pee' breaks. You boys
had it made, but this is no easy feat for girls. Someone's shoes always got wet.

We didn't have a radio, so we sang in the car. As my mother was the only person who could carry a tune, I can only think that this was cringe-inducing to anyone in earshot, but we loved it.

And the best part of the ride was laying in the well of the rear window where we could stretch out a little. We took turns. I can hear a lot of you shouting, "You did WHAT?", but remember these were the days when safety meant the brakes were working. We didn't have seat belts, no one had heard about car seats, and there really weren't many cars on the road.

So what does all this have to do with writing? Well, summertime vacations are the essence of a special little story that my sister, Chris, and I had been collaborating on, but that somehow got put on hold while we got a lot of other things done. But now that Roses and Daisies is finished (or will be by close of business Friday) and she and I have a bit of free time, it's definitely time for Christopher's Vacation Wish to see the light of day. So for the next few weeks that's what I'll be working on.

Today I'm featuring some of my sister's illustrations for three short stories that I have published on-line and a lovely little counting book, Counting My World (available by contacting me directly at I hope you enjoy them. (Please forgive the formatting. This program and I are just not getting along!)



  1. Patience, dear, when it comes to the blog controls. I suggest you play around with them a little and see what things do what.

    I see your sis has an eye for illustration. I envy her. She’s very good. Keep working on those children’s books. Now, if I come up with an idea for a kids book, (or Maggie does, since she’s always tossing ideas at me), I’ll know who to turn to for help.

    It was so nice meeting you.


  2. Those are the best stories :)

  3. Love these memories. Best wishes on your book!

  4. I remember those times...lying in the back seat, with my blanket and touching my twin sister...or barely touching her...and my mom turning around and saying..."don't make me tell your father to pull this car over"..Ah, the memories. Great post, now let me go and 'almost' touch my sister....

  5. Those drawings are just great! How fun to do a story like that, too.

  6. Odd how the memory works. For years I've thought the "well of the rear window" was a space only I wanted to inhabit in my youth. Now I see every kid wanted it. LOL! and in those days, pre-AC, my dad always drove with his elbow hanging out the window.

    Thanks for sharing your flashback, and I look forward to your sibling collaboration! Should be a fun read.