Girls Write Out
Friday, January 25, 2013

I can look at this picture and hear the rush of the river, feel the cool air on my face and catch a scent of pine and rich, moist earth if I try hard enough. It takes me far, far, far back in time to my childhood, when we lived in Ventura, California. Being from deep in the hills of Arkansas, Daddy often got a hankering for the wilderness, so he and Mom would pack a lunch, buy some salmon eggs and fishing line, and haul me up into the mountains between Ventura and Santa Barbara, where there was no traffic, and where the streams were fresh and filled with fish. Don't ask me what kinds of fish, because this all happened before I turned five.

As soon as we arrived at a creek Daddy took his hatchet and cut bamboo shoots for fishing poles, then strung line for all three of us. Now that I think about it, I don't know if we ever even caught a fish. That wasn't my favorite part of the trip. What I loved was being safe with Mom and Daddy, enjoying the beauty of God's world all around us, playing in the stream, watching pollywogs, plucking cattails for Mom to decorate with, eating bologna sandwiches without having to worry about my weight. Oh, the good times.

What about you? Do you have memories of happy times when you were safe with people you loved, you believed life would always be good, and the simple act of eating bologna and mayonnaise on white bread was a real treat?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 2:14 PM  
  Comments (18)
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At 5:38 PM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

ONe of my favorite memories is hiking with my family. The pain we endured going up was forgotten once we saw the vista from the top. At the time, it made me feel safe and happy to do something together, even though my mother recently told me we complained all the way. It all depends on perspective I guess.

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, I'd love to have gone with you on one of those hikes, Mary-Louise. I wish I'd started hiking much earlier in my life. What a great tradition for your parents to have begun.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger jel said...

speaking of bologna,
jarred a memorie,

when I was kid, and I would send a week with my Grandmother who live in the big city. she would take 2 slices of bologna, and put some cheese in the middle of the 2, and fry them , for me ( no bread )

and my country grandmaw, would cook johnnycakes..

the happy memories that made me feel , safe and happy were the smells of the food that my Grandmothers were cooking in their kitchen's

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yep, Jel, you can tell we're from country stock. I remember fried bologna, how it curled up in the skillet and you had to cut around it so it would lie flat. I wonder if it would still taste as good now as it did all those years ago...but I think being in the company of our loved ones made it all the more special. How I loved my parents!

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Oh, my memories involve our motor home and two-week trips to Daytona Beach, Florida. Traveling at night with the windows open and the curtains flapping in the breeze. Eating potted meat on saltines (I know, gross!). Sitting in our folding lounge chairs with the surf to our backs and letting the waves surprise us and whisk us away, matching bathing suits, sand in my crack from building sand castles. Sunburn and exhausted muscles from walking too far down the beach. I haven't thought about those memories in a long time and now that I do, I think that's why I love the beach so much to this day. Fun memories of the parents I miss dearly.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Sherri, I don't think potted meat and crackers is gross. It's making me hungry. I remember those times. Oh, and Vienna Sausages. They were cheap. I'd take cheap food any day if it meant I could go to the beach for two weeks. Daytona is a blast!

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Yay!!! Vienna sausages!! The good old days, for sure. The best part of Daytona was being able to park the motor home right there on the sand.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Sherri, I think I'm going to buy some Vienna Sausages and gluten free crackers and listen to a CD with ocean sounds--with seagulls. I remember buying bread and feeding it to the seagulls, and having crowds following us for the food. And then feeling guilty because it probably wasn't good for the birds. A CD is the best we can do in land-locked Missouri.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger jel said...

my kind of people, I love Vienna sausages! :)

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I know, Jel, and saltines. OH! And pork rinds with hot sauce. Even growing up in California, since my folks were both from Missouri bootheel and Arkansas, I didn't taste a true grilled steak until I was almost 11. Mom always did everything country-fried. A friend was reminding me about macaroni and stewed tomatoes...breaded tomatoes...fried green tomatoes. Ugh, here I'm trying to lose weight and we're talking about food.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Do it!!!

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

I'm trying to lose weight, too. All this talk is making me really hungry!

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Well, if we lived on the beach and walked as much every day as we did when we were on vacation, we'd be in great shape. Hmm. Maybe a treadmill, or a mini-trampoline or a stair-stepper. But nothing beats walking in the sand.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger jel said...

that's on my bucket list, walking on a white sandy beach.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

White sandy beaches are THE BEST!

At 10:38 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Yeah, Jel, if you get a chance to get to a sandy beach, do it. Be prepared to walk and dream and jump and play in the waves, collect seashells, watch the sun go down over the horizon--or come up. Or both. Let the waves roll you in to shore, but if they catch you beneath, just catch a breath when you can, and wait until it's shallow enough for you to climb out. I remember taking a class trip to the tide pools once. Wow. Amazing. Sea urchins and eels and starfish. But don't try to keep a starfish, because it'll kill them. Do go if you can.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger Jaime Halbrook said...

Favorite family vacation was the one we took last year. We had never been on a full family vacation. I've been with my parents and my older brother and then I've been with my parents and my younger brother, but we had never been until last June with both my brothers and their wives and my 3 nephews. We went to Branson for a week and stayed in a condo and had activities almost every day if it was going into town to go shopping or rent a pontoon for the day. Being all together was great. My 3 year old nephew still talks about going on vacation. It wasn't anything extravagent, but I was with my family and we made some great memories.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Branson is a wonderful place to make great memories, Jaime. I'm so glad you got to spend time there. I love it there!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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