My mother used to tell us stories when we were little. I asked her once to write down tales of her childhood but she never did. I remember a tale about her being lost and rescued by someone in a horse and buggy. Even my own children wondered if there were cars when I was little (there were). So I assume stories about my life will seem as impossible as that horse and buggy did to me now that they are grown and later when they have grandchildren.
We used to sit in the woods on days that were not beach days on the Cape. The woods are no longer woods. Hurricanes took away a lot of the trees, but getting taller made the trees seem smaller also and the woods less dense. Our favorite story was not of her past, but of the little Gadunk.
The little Gadunk lived on top of a hill and my mother would elaborate on what the little Gadunk did in his little house on the hill. She went on to tell about how he would walk down the hill each afternoon to see the station master. On the first day of the week the little Gadunk asked, “Are there any trains from the north today?” and when the station master said no the little Gadunk climbed back up the hill. My mother would go on with an elaborate tale of what the Gadunk was doing. The next day he would hike down the hill and ask the station master,”Are there any trains from the south today?” And the station master said no.
And so the tale went through each day with the Gadunk and his life in the little house on the hill and an afternoon hike to the station. The subsequent requests were about trains from the east and trains from the west and the station master always said, “no.” So on the final day of the week when the station master once more said no, the Little Gadunk said, “Goody goody, now I can cross the tracks.”
Momie would also read us stories while dinner was cooking at the summer house. The other adults would be in the living room telling grown-up stories and having cocktails, which my mother did not want us involved in at all. We would nestle on the bed in the den, my sister and I , and other young visitors , as she read to us. I most vivid recollection was hearing her read The Secret Garden. Occasionally she would have to go into the kitchen to stir a pot or check on how the dinner was progressing, and in the case of The Secret Garden, to find a box of Kleenex for her teary-eyed listeners and herself.
So I guess when I write stories of my childhood or even of my adult life with my children all grown up, the tales of that era will seem as impossible to them, as riding around in a horse and buggy and hearing stories told in the woods on a cloudy day. Now there are computers and cell phones, and electronic games. Sad, those stories in the woods were a treasure.