Category Archives: nostalgia

So long Twinkie

I am a Hostess kid.  

As such, today’s announcement that Hostess Brands is closing for good hurts.  It’s the end of a piece of my childhood.

For much of my growing up years, Hostess was a daily part of life.  My dad started working for the company when I was about 7.  As a kid, it was great to have an almost never-ending supply of Twinkies, Cup Cakes, Ding Dongs, etc., in the freezer.  Many of the products Dad got early on were considered “cripples”.  These were perfectly good products that had too much or too little filling, too many or too few swirls on the cupcakes, cupcake swirls that weren’t in the middle of the caketop.  They were fine to eat, but not good enough to sell.  We certainly didn’t complain.  The first time I remember eating a regular cupcake was when we took a family trip to tour the bakery closest to us.  We all felt silly wearing hairnets and at the end we each got a package of cupcakes.  We all agreed that we liked the “cripples” better. 

My kids always get excited to have Hostess at Grandma and Grandpa’s.  They love to go visit Grandpa at work and see the delivery trucks.  Those special memories will be just that, only memories now.  It’s a sad, sad day.

I plan to see if any of our local stores have any Twinkies left.  We’ll have one last round to say, “So long Twinkie, thanks for the memories.”

Tuesday 10 — School Memories

Today I decided to link up to Tuesday 10 at Mom2MemphisAndRuby.  (By the way, I’m super-excited to be hanging out on her sidebar this month.)


This week’s topic is school memories.  As you might imagine from the schoolhouse-theme to my blog, I have a few of those memories. The problem is that they happened a long time ago.  (Remember from my Bucket List post that I’m old:  next year will be my 20th high school reunion!)  Here I go back into the far-reaches of my brain to dredge up some old recollections.

10 – Chicken Pox
I actually had chicken pox twice.  Once was in preschool where I’m pretty sure I caught them from one of my classmates.  We were doing some kind of circle game and she had a couple spots on her hand.  Mine was a fairly mild case.  I caught them again in 3rd or 4th grade and had a big outbreak.  I think I might have missed the last day of school and then shared them with all of my siblings.

9 – First Grade
I had the fun privilege of starting first grade at the same time as my aunt.  She was a brand new teacher and I was a student.  She taught first grade for many years before finally “graduating” to third grade.

8 – The Hobbit
My 3rd grade teacher read this classic to us.  I won a gift certificate to a local bookstore from the school-wide reading competition and bought this as well as the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Another aspect to the reading competition was earning the chance to spend the night at the school.

7 – Challenger Explosion
I was in 5th grade when the principal came into the classroom and said that he had a short video he wanted to show us.  We knew the Space Shuttle was launching that morning, but hadn’t heard what had happened to it, so we all sat there excited to be watching a movie, then in horror as it launched and then exploded.

6 – Young Woman of the Year
Today this program is known as Jr. Miss.  For a few years the name was changed to put the emphasis on it being a scholarship program, not a beauty pageant.  I had seen some of my older friends go through the program, so I decided I would participate during my junior year.  My experience wasn’t particularly noteworthy, but I did make many friends, increased my poise and confidence and won a scholarship for my efforts.

5 – Newspaper
Much of my high school experience revolved around the newspaper staff.  I was on the editorial board my junior and senior years with various responsibilities: Entertainment Editor, News Editor, Business Manager.  I spent many late nights and early mornings getting the paper ready to go to press.  Our staff had a lot of fun with trips into town for food and just a general camaraderie. I also worked for our local newspaper and then continued on to work on the college paper for my freshman year.  At one point I had decided to teach journalism, but then reverted to my original elementary education plan.

4 – School bus
I always rode the bus until I started working in high school.  My senior year was also my youngest brother’s kindergarten year.  On that first day, my parents decided they wanted all 8 of their kids to ride the bus (our district had all schools with the same time schedule, so high school and elementary rode the same buses).  We were all lined up in our driveway and trooped across the street to file onto the bus.  It was the one and only time I rode the bus that year.  The rest of the time I drove our old monster van.

Snowflake by MarieH Designs

3 – Snow days
Every year we hoped for snow days.  Our district was usually the last one in the valley to cancel, so we spent many mornings listening to the radio while we were slowly getting ready, hoping to hear those magical words that our district had cancelled.  As a parent now, I dread those same words, knowing that means my kids will be hyped-up and probably up at the crack of dawn in the morning.

2 – Teaching
From the time I entered Kindergarten, my career goal was to become a teacher.  I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up — a teacher.  I did lean toward an engineer for a year or two, but came back to teaching.  I founded a Future Educators of America club my senior year.  When I went on to college, I changed my focus from secondary education to elementary.  I had many experiences teaching in classrooms through practicums and my student teaching.

1 – Freedom
Nowadays, school means more freedom for me.  All I have left at home is my little Bugaboo during the days.  We don’t have to stick to any particular schedule, we can go on playdates or shopping trips without needing to be home for a bus to drop off.  My days can be as full or as lazy as I want them.

Putting it in perspective

As I raise my kids, I’ve found that I have taken some of the age guidelines I grew up with and applied them in my family.  At some point the kids picked up on this, so they’ve tried to use this argument only to have it backfire.  Here’s an example conversation:

Child:  “I want a cell phone.”
Me:  “Too bad, I don’t think you’re old enough to be responsible with a cell phone.”
Child:  “But I really, really want one.  All of my friends have one.”
Me:  “That’s too bad.  You’re still not getting one.”
Child:  “How old were you when you got your first cell phone?”
Me:  “Umm, probably 25 or 26.”
Child:  <shocked, horrified look>
Me:  “Okay, you can get a cell phone when you’re an adult and pay for it yourself.”

Even though I know it has been brought up in stories, they don’t always remember that I lived in the “old days” and grew up without a gaming system, cell phone, computer, etc.

On the other hand, sometimes my perspective as a parent is brought up short by realizations of what age I did certain things.

When I was a teenager, the law was such that you could get a driver’s license for daytime driving at 14.  Right about the time I reached this milestone birthday, the law was changed to 16 for all driving.  Then a year or so later, the law was adjusted to a daylight-only license at 15 and full driving privileges at 16.  One day I was telling the kids a story about driving and mentioned that I could have gotten my license at 14.  They innocently asked if I meant 14 as in how old The Artist is.  That thought took me completely by surprise as I stopped to realize that yes, she is 14, the same age I could have started driving.  On the heels of that thought was the realization that I am in no way ready for my children to drive.  I think I’ll just freeze them at 15 for the rest of their lives.

A couple weeks ago I had another perspective moment while talking with my husband.  My brother had flown into town to visit and I had taken him back to the airport earlier that day.  I was talking about how I hoped he’d be able to make his connecting flight and then catch the bus to get home without any mishaps.  I mentioned how the only way I had the courage to send The Artist on a plane by herself last summer was because it was a non-stop flight and I knew her aunt would meet her at the airport and then put her safely on the plane for her return flight.

 Hubby pointed out that my first flying experience had me flying solo and making several connections.  Somehow it all seemed so different when I was the one doing the flying and not the parent putting my daughter on a plane. I think I have a new appreciation for the panic my parents must have felt when I ended up stranded at the airport overnight.

Confession time

I have a confession.  This confession will probably put me into the running for Bad Mom of the Decade.  Are you ready?  I don’t like making cookies.

It took me years to realize that this was why I couldn’t ever make a batch of cookies and bake them all.  I would lose interest after the first pan or two came out of the oven and leave the remaining dough for my mom to finish.  I used to make cookies for my kids, but then I gladly turned that responsibility over to my hubby when I realized that he enjoyed baking cookies.  I stuck to cakes, pies, etc. that would hold my interest long enough to get them baked.

So, with my confession out of the way, you can understand why I wasn’t happy to find out that I had been volunteered to make 3 dozen sugar cookies.  Sugar cookies are even worse than drop cookies in my book.  There’s the mixing, then the rolling, then cutting, then more rolling, more cutting, repeat.

All this work that takes twice as long or more than drop cookies.  For the most part, I happily delegate the task of making sugar cookies to my mom.  We always enjoy our holiday care packages of homemade, ready-to-decorate sugar cookies with sprinkles and candy for decorating.

Then again, you really feel like (Worst) Mother of the Year when the kids ask if Grandma will bake cookies with them when she comes to visit.

I have to admit, the sight of cooling cookies and the enjoyment on Princess’s face was worth the effort.  Maybe not enough to make cookies on a regular basis, but I’ll enjoy the rewards of my efforts . . . at least until Grandma’s next care package comes.  How long until Valentine’s Day?


This post has been written for over a month.  I’ve revisited and revised it several times.  I’ve debated whether I should publish it or just delete it.  With the new year, I’m feeling a little braver than usual, so I’m sharing a little bit of myself with you.

I have a lot of time to listen to music and think while I’m walking laps in the gym during my oldest daughter’s early-morning religion classes.
I was listening to “Look Away” by Chicago and had one of those moments where I was hit with a vivid memory.