mlm’s menagerie photo challenge 23, lunch box: runaway

photographer: Angela Elliot

When I was three and 1/2, I ran away from home. A horror story by my brothers probably the catalyst.

I used the “lunch box” that went with us on adventures to the shore, or fishing at the lake.

Packed my most important belongings: tiny teddy; sweater; fairy tale picture book ; and 1/2 a chocolate bar.

My bedroom was in the attic. The only space left for a girl with 5 older brothers.

Just before sunrise, I slipped downstairs avoiding the steps that creaked. I left a scrawly note: RuN aWy. not cam hom

Pulling the kitchen door silently behind me, I headed into the adjacent woods.

Mist whispered around the trees, and gently touched my hair. I wandered through an Impressionist painting-world.

How deep to go into the forest so no-one could trace/track me. To a child’s brain, the berry patch by the creek seemed far enough away. It took me several hours to get there.

My oldest brother got to my hideout faster than that. I was asleep in the sun-drenched bank. Purple juice smeared across my face, staining my dress where I tried to wipe my now purple hands.

Nothing was ever said about it. As if, I’d gone with a long walk with the lunch box.

Now, thirty years later, as I write these remembories, I still feel the urge, the need to run away, far, far away.

The old lunch box is up in the attic.

RIP: Mangie/Mango

mangie 1

Mangie (Mango) was put to sleep.

He had become blind and deaf.

Three of his legs were arthritic.

He fell in the fish pond several times.

He couldn’t find the real back door when he cried to get in.

I picked him up and took him to his backdoor.

I would let him smell me first. He still liked his ears scratched.

We knew his was unhappy in his dark and silent space full of pain.

The decision to have a pet put to sleep is a difficult and tearful one.

I had to have my cat put to sleep. I missed him for a very long time.

So, this post is to honour Mangie.

mangie 4

He let us into his world.

He adopted us.

He liked us, and enjoyed when we dog-sat him.

He was our friend from 2006 to 2014.

We will miss him.

But we know he is at peace.

mangie 2

mlm’s menagerie #69, a dream come true?: if dreams had wings or a pick and a shovel

Fowl & frockMiss Aniela

If dreams had wings, or a pick and a shovel*

I was always unique (okay weird). So when asked what I wanted to be when grown up, I always said “an archeologist.” I loved the idea that archeologists uncovered forgotten pasts, revealed new artifacts, rewrote history.

Then, my sometimes practical aunt, told me how many years it to become an archeologist. To my child’s mind and way of reckoning, those ten to fifteen years AFTER I finished high school, meant there would be nothing left to discover! So why be an archeologist – I’d be obsolete by the time I became one.

Life certainly would be different!. In so many ways, there is no comparison.  The experiences that unfold would mold the different layers to suit the dream me. Perhaps even my heart and soul would take another shape. Would the core me remain? Had childhood scarred us both the same way?

I did end up studying and teaching history. I dug through the archives looing for the past. But, I didn’t dig through the sand, the peat, the earth to discover new pasts and old futures.

If the fate/fact of chronic pain couldn’t be avoided, then the dream me and the real me would share something in common.

* I realize that modern archeologists (is that an oxymoron?) use sophisticated computer, programs, and technologies in their efforts to unearth the past. I just felt that a pick and a shovel made for a better title.