Thursday, November 10, 2011

My wish For This Holiday Season

Posted by Mackenzie Crowne at 8:20 PM
As a girl growing up in the nineteen s...  Hmmm. Okay, starting over.
I grew up in a time when cell phones and iPads were the stuff of science fiction. Computer games weren’t necessary when you had a jump rope, a ball and jax, a sled in the winter, or even just yourself, for a rousing game of Red Rover. People didn’t feel the need to lock their doors then, the milkman still delivered, and the streetlight coming on was the universal announcement it was time to head home for the night—unless you had a talent for wheedling your parents into granting a few more minutes for one last game of hide and seek.
I lived with my parents and seven siblings on Bayfield Road, a tree lined way in the small town of Saugus, Massachusetts. Families, with kids of all ages, occupied three quarters of the homes on our street. The neighborhood was a child’s wonderland. Every day ended on dragging feet, sweaty and filthy from head to foot, yet full of exhausted pleasure at having spent the last hours racing through unfenced yards, giggling with friends while desperately avoiding becoming ‘It’.
There was only one dark cloud over Bayfield Road. Unfortunately, he lived across the street. You know the guy. He lives in every neighborhood. The cranky dragon who snarls at children, and tends a lawn that belongs on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens.
I asked my father once, why the man was so mean. His words stuck with me and I’ve long since passed them on to my kids to help them deal with their own cranky dragons.
“It’s not his fault,” Dad said, “He’s just forgotten what it was like to be young.”
As the holidays arrive, and life gets crazy, it’s easy to lose sight of the joy, and the reason, for the season. Cranky dragons pop up all over.
This year, I have much for which to be thankful. Another year of survival, a gorgeous new grandson, and—here’s the shameless plug—my first publication, Gift of the Realm, is fast approaching release.
I’m not sure they sell ball and jax anymore, and in Phoenix a sled is useless. As for the jump rope, forget it. I’d probably break a hip! But I continue to hold fast to my vow, never to become a dragon.
My friends, my wish for you this season of joy ~ May you never forget what it was like to be young.  

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Calisa Rhose said...

What a wonderful wish, Mac. Lovely post. Norman Rockwell painting. Having lived much of my life in the country enabled me to avoid cranky dragons, but I still managed to meet a few. I love that picture you found. That's what I want to be on the inside all the time. Blessings to you this holiday season. And congrats on the coming release!

Liz Flaherty said...

I loved this post--and I was there, too, in the s--well, then. Good luck with the book, and thanks for sharing. I hope your holiday season is the stuff that more memories are made of.

Jerrie Alexander said...

Great post, Mac. I love the holiday season and the wonderful memories I will always have. Thanks for sharing sharing yours.

Good luck on the upcoming release!

Joya said...

Hi Mac,
What a great post. And you're so right about one of those "forgot how to be a child" people in every neighborhood. That's a great holiday wish and good luck with NaNo. :)

Katherine said...

It sounded like you described my childhood - staying out until the streetlights came on, playing hide-n-seek, avoiding being IT. We even had the neighborhood cranky old dragon except it was a woman. My mom brought up myself and my five brothers and sisters by herself after we lost my dad when I was nine. Your post brought back so many wonderful memories. Thanks for that. :o)

Irene Folz said...

i love this post and what a great wish for us.. keep up the great writing, can't wait for your book.
wishing you lots of love and "sales"

Maeve said...

Wonderful post, Mac! And right back atcha. :-)

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Thanks, Calisa. Love this pic, and being like that on the inside is my goal too.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

LOL Liz, a fellow generation s... girl understands. Happy holidays.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Thanks, Jerri and Joya, the holidays always bring back so many happy memories.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Wow Katherine, sounds like your mom is an awesome woman, like mine. It's the highest of compliments, and says so much about her, that you can claim happy memories despite such loss and the inevitable hardship losing your dad must have brought.

Mackenzie Crowne said...

From your lips to readers ears, Irene. Happy holidays to you and Maeve too!

Moira said...

Needed this ... I've got dragon's hiding all over Ybor ... love you ... # 7

Mackenzie Crowne said...

Hmmm Moira, Have that hunky sculptor of yours fashion a sword. ;-)