Friday, December 20, 2013

My First ... (the Meme Edition)

It is Day Twenty at Kickin' it Old Skool blog-a-thon, and today's prompt is "Firsts are so much fun, let's share more in a meme-a-licious kind of way. Let's share the following firsts:"

Indeed, what fun! As I am writing this I am sitting on a train and headed out to see my guy's family, all of them in Pennsylvania. It means making the rounds, and to see everyone will require visits to four or five houses spread out in the middle of the state.

Your first job

I worked at a Chinese take-out restaurant a couple of towns away. It meant I had to ride my bike or take a bus to get there. My dad was instrumental in getting me the job. His friend's daughter about my age also worked at the place. What I learned? One important skill was packing the bags, and we perfected just how to pack the containers so that stuff was secure, compact, and wouldn't spill. Just yesterday M and I had lunch at a local restaurant and were packing up a couple of to-go containers with the leftovers from those huge portions. He thought the containers would not fit upright in the paper bag, and I joked that he was talking to an expert. It may have been a long time ago, but some things just stay with you.

The first thing to your left

Across the aisle from me, my wonderful guy.

Something you remember about first grade

Mrs. Robinson would mark our papers with smiley faces. Their faces were oval, and they would have one of three expressions: smiling, straight-across mouth, or frowning.

The first book you ever read

I don't remember! It could have been See Jane Run, or something like that. Or it could have been a thin, golden-spined Disney book with lots of illustrations. Perhaps Cinderella.

The first thing you do in the morning

I have a glass of water. Recently, for the past few months, I then begin my days by moving and dancing. I turn on some music, lie down, and warm up and listen to what my body needs. It has become a daily practice and a requirement. I really miss it on days I have to jump up and rush somewhere!

The first food you knew you didn't like

Sea cucumber. It's not a vegetable. It's a sea slug. They are sold dried, then rehydrated for cooking, and are considered a delicacy. I still don't like them and avoid them. But on the other hand, I love sea snails now and even as a small child. My parents have a favorite memory of me as a two-year-old sitting at the dinner table with tears streaming down my face, eating snail after spicy snail.

Your first memory

I used to love lying in bed and looking up at the ceiling. I would see something that was like a colored Milky Way galaxy twinkling in a moving stream across the ceiling, with random objects floating along in the stream. And I remember waking up from a dream where Frankenstein was chasing my family. Frightened, I went looking for mom and dad, and that's when I realized it was dad snoring.

And now for my "teensy bit of writing each day in December," a recent memory:
This morning I woke up in sunny Paris. A long flight is forgotten in a blink. And now I find myself in darkness on a local train, back in gritty and familiar New York, dusted with a light enchantment of snow.


  1. Helen, do you remember the first music you ever heard? Or played? Your comment on my blog about remembering first books made me wonder...

    I remember those first-grade smiley faces! And I love that you begin your day with dance or movement. I'd love to hear more about that. I'm also appreciating your teensy bits of writing--little glimpses into your days.

  2. I remember the early music I played! Yes! The "Twinkle Twinkle" in the book that didn't sound like "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", the first duet I did with my brother, "The Happy Farmer" and my first solo piece, a Vivaldi violin concerto.

  3. What a great list. I love the memory of your dad snoring! And what better way to mark papers than with faces - makes me smile just thinking of it.

  4. I love your first memory and the photo of looking up at the stained glass window. How magical!