Morning glories! This month my “Tell Us About” co-hosts are getting together to write to Suzy’s theme – imagination. I have just recently joined this great gaggle of gals in hosting this creative writing challenge. Tell Us About invites bloggers to respond to a different prompt on the third Thursday of the month. We are taking turns suggesting prompts and my turn is early in the fall. What to choose, what to choose?? Will have to use my IMAGINATION to come up with something thought-provoking!! Did ya see what I did there?
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Tell Us About 08.2023: Imagination
I feel pretty comfortable saying I had quite the imagination as a child, but don’t we all? No imaginary friend to accompany me places or to keep me company on sleepless nights. But I ‘pretended’ everything. One of my favorite things to say was ‘let’s pretend’… at which point my almost constant companion and little sister, Valerie, would often roll her eyes and run. At school, I was always encouraging if not coercing my friends to play pretend with me…
I would use my imagination for play everywhere I went. And I do mean everywhere.
In the house and at school
I was always pretending. Always using my imagination to play. I loved Barbies and could come up with some exciting story lines for them…but it was a bit of a handicap not having a Ken. We had to use our imagination, my sister and I, by making a bald-headed Barbie (who came with wigs) our Ken. Sometimes we subbed in our brother Kevin’s Johnny West cowboy action figures for love interests for Babs but he was all blue and very stiff – not in a good way.
we are runaway slaves
- (after I learned for the first time about the Civil War, slavery and the Underground Railroad). I was almost always a little boy runaway slave. And I could see myself in my own mind’s eye – barefoot, in blue denim overalls, no shirt – stealthfully slipping through the woods at night to avoid the bounty hunters and their dogs. My father had a very, very old unabridged dictionary with thin, tissue-paper-like pages. In the back of the book, was a name dictionary, and I would use it to come up with my ‘slave’ names and those of all of my friends. I was bossy that way…kind of told my friends which names they had to use because the names from the dictionary were old, Biblical or historical kinds of names. Put on my librarian hat to find an image of a slave boy in overalls and came across this interesting site for the Whitney Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. These little angels are sculptures on the plantation site. Have already put a bug in PC’s ear that we need to plan a trip to Edgard ASAP.
we are the children from the musical and movie “The Sound of Music”
- which would make us the von Trapp family. The movie was released in 1965, when I was 7 years old and in third grade. I was usually (always) Liesl. Mainly because it was my game. But also because the only benefit of having the name Leslie is that it is very much like Liesl which was entitlement enough for me to be the lead von Trapp child. And if you squint or take off your glasses, I looked a little bit like her at some point in my life. Certainly didn’t hurt that I had brown hair and blue eyes, too. I had some simple, long cotton skirts with ditsy floral prints that I would wear to school. Had enough to share with friends who were willing to indulge me in my games of ‘let’s pretend.’ The same skirts worked well at other times when we would play “Little House on the Prairie.” Based on the books not the TV show as it didn’t air until I was in high school and, for the most part, done pretending!!
I want to add one thing about my ‘playing’ that I was a runaway slave or a von Trapp or even Anne Frank, at times. A blogger friend once asked me what was behind my pretending to be a black child. Why I would pretend that. And I really couldn’t answer her well other than to say it was once suggested by a counselor I was seeing that something had happened in my life, perhaps as a very young child, that caused me to relate to victims, the underdog, those who had been abused or mistreated. Believe me, I don’t understand it, myself. But my concern and interest and feelings for those historical figures was sincere and heartfelt.
or we’re spies
- at the embarrassing age of 11, in 7th grade, Nancy W. and I were fully engulfed in the world of espionage – a la Agent 99 on “Get Smart.” The TV show was released in 1965, before I was in middle school, but it aired for 5 glorious seasons which saw me soundly into 8th grade. If I didn’t look exactly like Anne Frank or Liesl, surely, surely I looked like Barbara Feldon. Minus the thick bangs, of course. And the shoe phone.
in the Car…
I played a lot of pretend with nothing but thin air and my fingers. My family took many long road trips during our summer vacations from school. Always in a station wagon. Much of the time, the third seat, which faced backward (oh, the carsickness), would be folded down to create a place where we could escape seatbelts and stretch out. I would lay down in ‘the way back’ and use my fingertips (don’t judge) as ‘cars’ and run them along the seams of the upholstered headliner. Of course, the ‘passengers’ in my ‘cars’ would be taking a long summer vacation similar to the one my family was taking, so there would be plenty of opportunities for conversation among them. Here’s an image very similar to the headliner roadway I remember in our Plymouth.
in the bathroom…
I could spend much time…not hours, but many, many minutes playing pretend in the bathroom. Using the ‘facilities’ and/or taking a bath. My favorite game to play was ‘Laura and David.’ Laura and David originated as cut-outs from the Sears Roebuck and JCPenney catalogs that came in the mail way back then.
I would scour the pages of a catalog to find the perfect ‘Laura’ and cut her out. Laura looked something like I hoped I would look when I grew up – a cross between a Liesl and Anne Frank. Once I found Laura, I would look through the rest of the catalog to find other pages where Laura was modeling nightgowns, pants suits, bras. And I would cut them out. Then I repeated the same thing for David. He was a doctor. Of course. And they had 5 children (3 boys, 2 girls), lived in a Victorian house and drove a Volvo (not a Plymouth) station wagon.
In the bathtub, I couldn’t use my paper dolls to play, so I would just talk in the voices of Laura and David and make up scenarios that I would play out long after the water got cold. I put on my librarian hat right now to find a photo online of a late ’60s Sears catalog model and came across the name Colleen Corby, who was apparently a very popular model for “Seventeen” magazine – how I loved that!! But also, appeared in the Sears catalog. She may just have been me. Or I may just have been her. Or she may just have been Laura.
I was always pretending. And because I loved to pretend, I think both of my daughters loved to pretend. We made towns out of boxes and they played for hours in the garage. Or we would draw out neighborhoods in chalk on the garage floor. Like my Laura and David, Brennyn and Lauren had catalog paper dolls, too. And they collected so many images – the dolls, but pictures of their houses, cars, the towns where they lived – that we had to find them some zipped pouches to keep everything in. They would play Kirsten Ellen (Brennyn’s alter ego) and Janet Charlie (Lauren’s alias) for hours. What is it they say about the apple???
The other day, I asked my sister about her memories of our imaginary childhood play. One thing she reminded me that we liked to do was to play in the ‘attic’ storage part of our carport that we accessed with an attached ladder. We created the ‘cobweb clubhouse’ up there. It was fun. Valerie also reminded me that I was thrilled to discover our closet inside a closet when we moved into our house in Tennessee in 1968. I had just learned about World War II and the Nazis and thought the second closet, which was a cedar closet, would make a fabulous place to hide from the Nazis, if need be. The only problem was it had a door as big as Stuttgart that any Nazi with eyesight could see, open and easily locate me behind!! But it sounded like a good idea.
With the Girls & Grands
I promise I am going to shut up…but just thought of couple of ways I have used my imagination as an adult. One being the made-up words my daughters had for things, made-up words we still use today…none of them make sense to anyone but us. PC has even started using some of them!!
And last but not least, the game of “Babies” that Lucia came up with when she was about 3 years old. It’s like an on-going play or dialogue that we have from one day to the next. She would create scenarios and we would act them out in the car all the way to school. Lucia was always an animal…a dog, a cat, a dinosaur. Now, Cami is asking to play “Babies,” too. We played a round in the car on the way to Kindercare this morning. Cam was a pink kitty with purple eyes and sharp claws, I was a teacher who found her. Awww, my babies.
Posts from My Pals
Here are the links and summaries to the imagination posts shared by my creative friends. Hope you will stop by to visit them. And if you have an imagination-themed post to share, please link-up with us from Gail’s blog.
- Marsha who blogs at Marsha in the Middle explains last month, when Suzy chose “Imagination” as our August theme, she thought she’d go in one direction, and then she took a completely different road! Join her as she searches for her imagination!
- Deb at Deb’s World has a vivid imagination which can work for and against her at times. In this post she looks at the role of imagination in everyday life and how we can nurture our imagination to enhance our lives.
- Gail from Is This Mutton wonders if we are less imaginative as we get older.
- Curious about what’s cooking in Suzy at The Grey Brunette’simaginative mind? Her latest blog post, ‘Imagination,’ spills the beans on her lifelong love affair with books and the wild scenarios she dreams up – from sharks in puddles to kites morphing into dragons. Get ready for a fun-filled journey through Suzy’s creative world, where even everyday objects become magical with a little help from tools like Leonardo AI!
- The Frugal Shopper, Penny, wondered if she had any imagination but yes, she could ….. imagine…..
- Mary Katherine at MK’s Adventure is thinking of 2 summer creatures that inspired her imagination from childhood to now! Check out her post to see what they are.
- Sue at Women Living Well After 50, asks have you ever wondered what makes some people more successful, happier, and fulfilled than others? What is the secret ingredient that allows them to achieve their goals, overcome their challenges, and live their dreams? Sue, finds answers to these questions and discovers that imagination is a key to living well after 50.
So, tell me…are you imaginative? Do you have the ‘ability to be creative and resourceful’? Is that what I was doing with my pretending? Were you a creative child? In what ways are you creative and expressing your imagination as an adult? We are very much enjoying our writing class every other Tuesday night. I have finished writing one story and am starting on the next!!
Next week, I am starting an online 3-day painting class through Christie at the Social Easel. It is actually a Bible study in combination with a painting workshop entitled A Spirit Not of Fear. Which coincides with the series my church just concluded “Fear Not.” Don’t you love when things like that happen??
Hope you will join me in visiting my Tell Us About buddies to read their thoughts on imagination. They are definitely a creative bunch and probably a whole lot less crazy than I am.
Thank you for popping by. Off to iron. Do I say that every time I write a post? Hmmmm.
Hugs and kisses,