R = Random Ruminations

Often I find I don’t remember details of events from my childhood but rather miscellaneous impressions left behind – similar to the scent of perfume left lingering in an elevator.  

This post is about some of those random memories from winters during my childhood.


The build-up of ice on the inside of our bedroom windows and eventually not being able to see outside.  The lace-like patterns of the ice on the glass and the cold radiating from it.

My father banking the kitchen side of the house with snow to provide insulation against the cold.  The kitchen tap being left dripping overnight so the water wouldn’t freeze and the occasional frozen pipes in the mornings when my parents forgot.

Cold mornings when my mom would turn the oven on leaving the door open to help heat the kitchen.

Driving toy cars throughout the living room on roads we had ‘built’ using popsicle sticks we had collected all summer.  My favourite car was a powder blue Chevy with doors that opened.

Sunday afternoons sitting around the kitchen table with friends playing cards and board games like Hands Down and Milles Bornes.  We were loud, rowdy, and laughed a lot.  For reasons which escape me now, we always played Milles Bornes in french probably because the cards were in french and it made the game more interesting.

hands-down  Milles Bornes

Playing outside in the dark after dinner … usually sliding down the large snowbanks in corners of the driveway.  Wearing 2 or even 3 layers of wool mitts that were usually frozen solid with large clumps of ice stuck to them by the time we went back inside the house.

Putting our wet mitts on the hot air vents so they would be dry in the morning.

Going to the small library uptown on Saturday afternoons to get 3 new books to read for the following week.  Sitting at the child-sized table looking through Dr Seuss and Curious George books – my favourites.

Spending my weekly allowance on a comic book and a small paper bag full of penny candy. Exchanging stacks of comics with our neighbours and by the time we got ours back, they were ‘new’ again.

Rolling marbles along the grooves and edges of the piano in the living room.

Trying to swallow cod liver oil capsules that we complained were the size of marshmallows our mother made us take, then burping that horrible fishy taste for hours afterwards.

Watching Ed Sullivan as a family every Sunday night after we had a bath and put our pajamas on.

Ed Sullivan

Being squeezed on the couch between 2 other warm bodies watching TV and feeling content.

 April A to Z Challenge 2015

Thank you visiting.  Today I have Red Velvet Macaroons.  Hope you enjoy them!

red velvet macaroons

Image from larenigen.com



About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge - 2015, Family, Memories, Random Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to R = Random Ruminations

  1. Corina says:

    I’m glad I came back to catch up on some of the posts I’ve missed. This one is a gem!


  2. I haven’t thought about it for ages until I read this post and it has jogged my memory. Every Sunday evening my brothers and I would sit on the floor in our jammies in front of the telly with a bowl of popcorn and watch the Walt Disney Show.
    I felt rather wistful reading about your childhood although mine wasn’t as cold as yours!


    • joannesisco says:

      I’m flattered to have trigger a warm and fuzzy memory ❤

      I didn't get to watch Disney very often. It came on at 6pm when we were sitting down for dinner. My mother was rather inflexible about changing dinnertime to accommodate children's shows 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Alex Hurst says:

    All lovely memories! I would add to the frozen pipe problem icicles in the morning to play with. Ahh… this post made me so nostalgic!


  4. What a nice idea to list all those simple yet personality shaping memories. Playing outside until the street lights came on or playing kick the can with all th neighbourhood kids shape us into who we are today. Great post


  5. I remember playing with a match-box car that had opening doors. So cool. I loved reading this post!


  6. Sue Slaght says:

    All right it’s confirmed. We are sisters. Well we didn’t have a piano. 🙂


  7. Helen C says:

    You sure remember a lot about your childhood, Joanne. Very interesting stories. Now I have to think hard to see if I can remember some… 😉


    • joannesisco says:

      Having a good memory can be both a blessing and a curse 🙂
      When I was writing a manuscript about my parents’ lives, I tried talking to my oldest sister about her memories. I was profoundly disappointed to discover that in spite of being 8 year older than I am, she didn’t remember a fraction of the detail I did.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mrs. P says:

    I was just reading about the dirt in Bulldog’s post above and although I grew up playing with Barbie dolls. we didn’t have the mansions and cars that accompanied the more affluent collections. My Barbie’s were rugged. They went camping in the back yard under the lemon tree and went on missions with GI Joe.

    Most of my childhood memories were surrounded by food. Growing, canning and pickling food. When we weren’t doing that we were creating plays and acting them out…and then there was swimming. We were one of the few people who had a pool. Everyone came to our house to swim. We had Luau’s and house parties. Lots of dancing…all of it quite happy and gay.


  9. I loved all these stories, some of which I could relate to and some of which I obviously couldn’t. Although, we use the “oven as heater” trick in the kitchen of the 1860s Temperance Hall where my theatre company performs. There’s no heating at all in the hall. Audiences rug up and the lights seem to help warm the space but we gather around the oven at interval. 🙂

    We had the same Sunday night tradition but it was the Wonderful World of Disney for us.


  10. Heyjude says:

    Lots of similar childhood memories Jo, I even remember the smell of those wet woollen mittens drying on the fire-guard in front of our coal fire – the only place where it was warm! And getting dressed in the morning under the blankets… happy days, mostly 🙂


  11. mickscogs says:

    I’m cold this morning, but nothing like that sort of cold. We have had a coolish Summer here; no days over 40°. This is continuing into Autumn. My mother still lives in the house I grew up in. While a lot of things have been changed, some things are hanging in. Mostly sounds for me, like door knobs, planes going overhead, and the largely unchanged grandparents’ bungalow. Nice entry Joanne..


    • joannesisco says:

      LOL – we have very different perspectives of what makes a coolish summer!! Last year was considered a cool summer with temperatures in the low to mid 20s … only a handful of days over 30. I suspect your ‘coolish’ summer would be considered HOT here 😉

      The house I grew up in gone. My brother tore the house down a number of years ago and rebuilt a new home. He kindly asked us all if we were ok with it.


      • mickscogs says:

        Compared to the rest of Australia, Southern Victoria is a cold place, but we can get some very nasty hot Summers here, because we are the last place to get the dry hot north winds hit, and Indian Summer Autumns. None of that this year.

        I do find it to be a bit of a treat that I still have access to the house I grew up in. Mum’s 92 now and when she goes someone else will rip it down, replace it with units, and will most certainly won’t be asking anyone (except the council’s rubber stamp) if they’re OK with it.


  12. Tim H says:

    MMM, macaroons look so good, but I don’t get the hype over them. Bakeries have tempted me with them (and I’ve given in because they look so darn cute) but I’ve always been underwhelmed. Like eating a puffy cracker.


    • joannesisco says:

      THANK YOU!!! At last someone has expressed my exact sentiments about them. They LOOK amazing and then …. meh. Even more, they’re outrageously expensive.
      … but they do look good 😉


  13. Sammy D. says:

    Great idea for a post. I love this kind of ‘snippets’ memories ! Ed always joined us for Sunday night popcorn 😀


  14. Sounds good to me. Not too far off what I experienced. It makes me wonder how my children will remember these memories I’m creating for them…certainly snow free!!


  15. badfish says:

    “R”emembering: I watched The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. A reaaaaaally good show.


  16. Chrys Fey says:

    Random memories from our childhood are always fun. I love it when they suddenly pop into my head and I get that lovely feeling of nostalgia.

    My mom would do the oven thing too. 🙂

    Those red velvet macaroons look yummy!


    • joannesisco says:

      It’s funny the random things that trigger those memories … a smell, a song on the radio … or a post someone has written. I don’t remember whose post triggered this walk down memory lane, but I enjoyed the journey 🙂


  17. Lynn says:

    What a lovely walk down memory lane Joanne. Recently we had a family with 4 young children move in next door. It makes me smile when I hear them outside running around the yard, using their imaginations in play. I know that many of us are concerned for this generation of kids, wondering what memories they will have of their childhood days. It gives me hope when I hear the kids next door:)


  18. Simpler times, eh? Life before the Internet. Life before cell phones. Life when you went to the school closest to your house and libraries were still a grand outing not to be missed. Life when being a child meant being a child and families sat down to meals together. Times when life wasn’t nearly so fast but instead slow enough to be savoured. Makes me wonder what sorts of memories our grandchildren will have of their childhoods or if it will all just be catalogued on their device history.


    • joannesisco says:

      I think regardless of the generation, there tends to be a nostalgia towards the childhood years that feel slower and easier. Every older generation tends to believe that the world has gone to hell in a hand-basket.

      As much as I LOVE the internet and I think having the world at our fingertips is simply awesome in the truest sense of the word …. maybe it symbolizes what’s wrong with today’s world. Everything is at our fingertips.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Except for the board games, my life wasn’t much different. That thick, lace frost on the windows is something I will never forget either and the kitchen being the only warm room in the house.
    Nice walk down memory lane with you, Joanne. ❤ ❤


  20. bulldog says:

    Oh the childhood memories… when you were expected to come home covered in dirt, it meant the bath water was not wasted… as a child not having TV, most nights were spent playing a board or card game when on holidays, boarding school being so different to home…. there are times I want to go back to those days, life was so uncomplicated when Dad looked after all the problems and life was so different …. oh they were good days and yours sounded like good clean fun as well… loved this post….

    Liked by 1 person

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