When I saw this picture it brought back so many great memories from my childhood, especially 4 of the images in particular, and I smiled because it makes me grateful to be a 70’s child.
I still can’t believe to this day that my dad bought us an encyclopedia collection from a door to door salesman. This seems so amazing to me because I often wonder what exactly went through his mind when the guy sold this to him. Was he thinking of his own passion for reading and learning that he wanted to pass on to us? Or was he thinking he wanted to give us something he never had? I need to ask him one day, because whatever his reason, I’m sure glad he did.
I remember looking through the encyclopedia often throughout my school years. One time in junior high I had to do a presentation for my speech class and for God knows what reason I decided to do mine on a fly. A fly! Nasty little creature that we always try to swat away from our food because as my mom would say “they like to land on poop” haha. I wish I had journaled back when I was that age because I would sure love to know why my 6th or 7th grade self chose to do her presentation on that of all animals. I even drew a large image of it on a white poster board. It was a really good drawing too, with labels of all its little body parts, which I found and learned about thanks to my encyclopedia collection. I say mine because I don’t think I ever saw my brother use it. I loved it. And to this day, when I walk into my parents house and I see it, I can’t help but smile. I hope one day our own daughters will be intrigued by it and peruse through its pages.
I also loved to pen pal, although back then I didn’t know that’s what it was called. My first experience with writing lengthy letters and mailing them came when my cousins from Mexico began to send me letters written in Spanish. I was in elementary school and had no idea what the piece of paper said. That’s when my mom began to show me how to read and write our Spanish language.
A beautiful world opened up for me. I LOVED to write (no surprise now right?). And I loved the excitement and anticipation of expecting a letter back from them in about three weeks time. Yep, that’s right, about three weeks time, depending on how quickly they responded back. I would write to my cousins and two of my favorite adults, my mom’s youngest sister and my mom’s youngest brother. My letters often consisted of 5 pages front and back in my neat little handwriting. A lost art. A beautiful memory I will forever cherish.
Which leads me to the next best thing in writing…exchanging notes in class with my girl friends. I also had a guy friend that I exchanged notes with as he told me all about his latest girlfriend issues and I offered him moral support, funny anecdotes, and encouragement. Again, these notes often consisted of pages and pages of detailed information on whatever took up our lives back then. I used to have boxes full of these exchanged notes, but I think I threw them away about 15 years ago. It’s too bad if I did because it would be nice to see what some of those notes had to say.
And lastly the image of the library, my most favorite place to let hours and hours pass. To lose myself in a great book and let my imagination soar. There is such a wonderful feeling to open up a book that has yet to be explored and to wonder what those pages will hold, what new places and experiences I will read about, and to imagine myself in those places, in those characters. My mom says the reason I never learned to cook was because I always preferred having my nose in a book. I use to want to be a librarian. What better thing than to be surrounded by what you love most? And then I also dreamed of writing a book one day. Of seeing my name written across the front of a book and someone reading it and getting the same feeling I would get when reading a good book. I still get that thought when I walk into a bookstore and see those beautiful books sitting on the shelves, luring you into their world. I imagine how awesome it would be to see something with my name on it, inviting other readers in.
I look back at these things and I sure am grateful to be a 70’s child.