Blog, SoCS

SoCS – On Wallpaper

It has been so long since I wrote SoCS, but Linda is always on time like clockwork. If you want to see what she has cooked up for us, pop over to her blog and join in.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “wallpaper.”Use it however you’d like. Have Fun!

Wallpaper and I go way back. It seemed like every old home where I grew up had wallpaper. Most of the houses had little or no insulation, but there were always layers of wallpaper, often applied on top of newspapers used as a defense against the cold.

My grandparents’ homes seemed to be the exception. My maternal grandmother’s home had shiplap walls – wide planks of wood and in their home, painted white. My maternal grandmother’s home had wall panels that were of a spongy-like consistency. I never knew what the material was.

My grandmother did have books of wallpaper samples, though. I loved paging through them. The scenes and textures were very ornate covered with images of lands far away, or bright colored peacocks strutting through garden gates.

When we moved to Ohio, I do not recall wallpaper being used in any of my friend’s houses. Everything was drywall and paint. When I returned home to Virginia after marrying, I was back in the old houses with layers and layers of history on the walls.

My first husband and I lived in his grandmother’s old farmhouse after my daughter was born. I have very vivid memories of lying in bed watching snow flakes blow in through the cracks where the years of newspaper and wallpaper could no longer keep the elements at bay. I will say I loved reading the dates and the bits of articles that would be revealed when the wallpaper fell away and left only the newspaper that had once been the first line of defense.

Hubby and I bought two houses with wallpapered rooms. Never again. Someone had super glued the bright red train border to the wall in one bedroom. We had to replace the drywall to remove it. It is beautiful, but not for me!

Whose stories are hidden

All along the walls

Layers and layers of

Lifted corners

Peeling away the past

Anyone can stop and

Peer inside a life

Every moment played out, waiting for the final



Throwback Thursday #50 – Are Rules Made to be Broken?

Believe it or not, I’m back. I thank Lauren so much for covering Throwback Thursdays while I was on vacation and then during my subsequent illness. She has been a trooper! I appreciate her so much for keeping things going while I was unable to do my part.

This week, I thought we would talk about rules and family hierarchy, and child/parent relationships. Respectfully, I know some children are abused when it comes to discipline and I certainly hope that none of our dear readers had such experiences. If this is a painful subject for you, I am sorry – no child should ever be subjected to such things. I also trust you will respond only if it is healthy for you.

If you care to join us, it’s easy.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Are Rules Made to be Broken?

You can either free write using these questions as inspiration or answer the question as they are.

  1. Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules?
  2. Did you grow up with many rules, or was your life a little more flexible?
  3. Were you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
  4. How were discipline and – in contrast – rewards managed in your household?
  5. Were you given the opportunity to plead your case in matters of disagreement?
  6. What tools did your parents use –  ‘I’m going to count to three‘ or ‘don’t make me get up‘ or a time-out chair?
  7. Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules?
  8. Did your upbringing influence the way you (as an adult) managed rules in your own home?
  9. Were you ever ‘grounded’? Do you want to share the story?
  10. Did you break rules your parents never knew about? Want to confess and leave with a clear conscious? No?

My post follows.

In my family, I think we were given equal parts of love and discipline. I suppose my parents were believers in ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ as my parents did believe in corporal punishment. It was not frequent, but my father was a believer in enforcing rules. I do not recall rewards, per se. Maybe the reward was simply the absence of discipline.

Thinking back, I never recall my mother ever physically punishing any of us. Mom was more of a ‘moral lesson talker’. She drove her point home with words rather than with actions. My entire life I heard stories about my father being whipped with a garden hose by his mother, my grandmother. We were never ‘whipped’ or ‘beaten’, but we were spanked – although infrequently. As I sit writing this, I really only recall one or two times. But those were enough to instill the fear of what was possible. Sometimes the thought of the punishment was enough to dissuade us from going too rogue.

As we aged out of early adolescence, physical punishment stopped. My parents did not yell or scream at us, but it was not unusual to get a ‘good talking to’. They both had the look, too. That’s when you knew you had crossed a dangerous line. No one wanted to see that. Mom had a great ‘Mom Voice’. We knew when she meant business. We didn’t have a lot of rules and I think the expectation about those rules came equally from both parents. Be home on time, clean your room, behave yourself in all situations, respect your elders, and don’t backtalk.

I was the youngest of four siblings and by the time I reached adolescence, my parents were much more liberal I’m sure. I was allowed to date at an earlier age, I had later curfews, and I always felt they trusted me. Sadly, I’m not sure my siblings were as fortunate and as a result, there was more rebellion against the rules than I felt the need for. I was definitely a rule follower, but that is not to say I did not bend a few rules once in a while. 😉

I was only grounded once in my life. One of my sisters felt I had too much freedom, and she convinced my mother I was off doing something nefarious with a boy (which I wasn’t) but she convinced my mother I should be punished. I was grounded for two weeks which still makes me laugh to this day. I know you are curious about what I did, aren’t you? Well, my friend and I went into a small stand of trees to a lean-to that two guys in the neighborhood had built. (They called it a cabin, but it was nothing like a cabin.) I guess it looked bad because my sister kept telling my mother ‘WHAT WILL THE NEIGHBORS THINK?”. It still strikes me as odd to this day because my mother never cared at all about anything our neighbors thought. Well, except seemingly this one thing. My friend used to send notes through my brother to ‘the prisoner’ while I was grounded.

I think trust and balance are key to a child learning to follow rules, but I also believe there needs to be a place for negotiation between parent and their children. This is how we grow and learn to live in this world.


Monday Missive – Rising from My Sick Bed

My trip to Florida was wonderful but did take a less than desirable turn midway through the trip. My granddaughter became ill. She was swabbed for Covid and the flu, both of which were negative, but she was very sick the last three days of my trip. My daughter and I both started to feel a little under the weather with a scratchy throat but Covid tests were all negative. I flew home and that night I started to feel really ill.

My granddaughter has compromised lungs, so she was being given nebulizer treatments and was given a steroid inhaler to help clear her lungs. She had run a low-grade fever, but nothing alarming. My daughter never ran a fever, but by Thursday night I had a fever and a very nasty cough. I did a Covid antigen test – negative. I tried to call my doctor on Friday but his office was closed. Saturday I retested myself for Covid (again negative) and ended up going to Urgent Care Saturday morning as I was experiencing some wheezing.

Again another Covid swab and swabs for both flu strains – all negative. I was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection (aka cold) and given a plethora of medicines to help the symptoms. I am slightly improved, but the medicines are wreaking havoc on my digestive system.

On my trip down, there was one other person on the plane other than myself who was masked. On the trip back I was the only one masked. Our flight back was delayed an hour while they worked on a computer glitch which means we sat on the tarmac an extra hour with poor ventilation. I will never understand the resistance to masking, especially in such crowded places.

I was glad I made the trip. Seeing my family is important to me. But it does serve as a good reminder that while we are all hyper-aware of Covid, there are still a lot of other bugs out there just waiting for an unwitting host.

Today is my first day with no fever. My cough is better and this really feels like a cold now. These last few days, however, were not fun.

Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #47 – Hanging Out

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. This week Lauren is back taking us on another walk down memory lane.  Head over to her blog to get the details, and then join in!

This week’s prompt is: Hanging Out

My post follows.

When I was very young, in the summer we hung out at ‘swimmin’ holes’ mostly. These were deeper pockets in the creeks that traveled down the mountain. It was where we all learned to swim – or fish – or float on inner tubes – or catch crawdads! It was really the lifeblood of the community for every age group. It was not unusual to hear kids thrashing around near the creek banks anywhere there was a deeper pool of water. I wrote a three-part post on the creeks and swimming holes here on this blog if you are interested in reading. Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

In the winter, we all bundled up and went sledding. I have also written about those memories – they were especially sweet whenthe  school had been canceled due to an abundant snowfall. You can read about those sledding adventures here.

After we moved from Virginia to Florida and eventually on to Ohio, we were old enough to hang out with friends. We lived in the suburbs outside of Akron, so it was still pretty rural. That meant most of us hung out at one another’s houses. There were a lot of sleepovers and Saturdays hanging out with your good friends listening to records or talking about our latest boy adventures!  My brother always had ‘the guys’ over on Saturdays. All my friends were jealous that the guys were constantly at my house. I did not consider myself any too privileged as when they got together it was a lot of burping, farting, and underarm fart noise contests. Funny, I never had any desire to date the guys that hung around at our house.

I belonged to Civil Air Patrol in high school. We met every Wednesday night at an armory in town. It was a different group of people, all interested in the same things. The members were from every school throughout the Akron area, so it became our tribe of people. We often spent our weekends training by going on bivouacs. It was such great fun and the boys seemed so much more mature than the guys I went to school with.

I was also a member of the band. In the winter we had a concert band so no real weekend activity was required. In the summer, however, we had a very active and very popular marching band. We spend many, many weekends practicing, raising money, traveling to parades, or attending as part of opening day ceremonies for theme parks, etc. I remember marching downhill at the Soapbox Derby one year – it was hot and steep! All the band geeks became pretty good friends. I am still in touch with some people from the high school band.

A few summers we camped all summer. We hung out a lot by the lake where they had a pavilion with a jukebox. I have written about that time and my biggest summer crush, as well. You can read about Hickory Hills here.

As I started to date more, I often hung out at my boyfriends’ houses. One had a pool which was quite a rarity at the time. We spend a lot of weekends hanging out with friends around the pool and even had night swims which meant low lights and lots of making out!

Dating also meant going to the movies. Once a boy had a car, then it was the drive-in!  There were a few double dates, but most of the time it was a more single-date scenario. I was the youngest of four siblings and my parents were pretty liberal with me by the time I was old enough to date. I was a pretty trustworthy kid, though, overall.


One Liner Wednesday – My Hope

Image (altered) by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

One day I’d like to turn on the news and hear there is Peace on Earth.

One Liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by Linda Hill. Pop over to her place to get the rules and read the contribution of others.