“The Seedlings”

Posted by Nelson on November 25, 2010 in Life Wisdom |

The place is Scotch Plains New Jersey where I find “The Seedlings” of my earliest memories. My sister and a really big house.  Funny how you try so hard to recall early events only to discover that you colored them with thoughts of your brothers and sister.  I see my sister Joyce so clearly.  I feel her playing with my toes and reciting “This little piggy went to market, this little pig stayed home” A little thing to some but to me with that memory she leaps back into into my mind.  I lost Joyce eight years ago.  She was only Seventy six and I miss her dearly.

Other memories that flood my mind are the playing on large Statues in the yard.  Seems that this house was once a Palatial home with what my Brother Clayton thinks might have been a yard used to play Miniature Golf.  Drifting along with these memories are Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pop Corn.   I remember Joyce making Pop Corn with a wire meshed Corn Popper over a fire in a large fireplace.  Chocolate Chip Cookies takes me to the kitchen and my climbing up on the counter looking for them but instead pulling down on me a canister of flour. I’m sure I was pretty funny looking white flour covered urchin.

Don’t remember getting a spanking for the above because this next memory has me standing on the banks of a slightly frozen Mountain Lake with my father swinging a burlap bag with what I thought was a dead dog in it.  It floats though the air and plunges though the thin ice disappearing beneath the icy water.  I somehow have connected the dispensing of the deceased animal with my flour spilling gig.  Perhaps the dog ate the flour and died.  Anyway I’ve linked the flour and the killing of a dog to those two memories for over Sixty five years.

Over the years from my sister and brothers I’ve learned many fun things about that big old house.  The basement it was believed was where the servants might have lived in several rooms.  Joyce one day discovered a loose brick in the wall of one of the rooms.  Wiggling it out of place she discovered a cloth sack with coins.  She struck the Mother lode so too speak.  I’m sure it wasn’t a lot of money but to a young girl it must have been an exciting experience.  It was speculated that the stash might have been tip money one the servants had hidden.

Another vision I retain was a path that led over little bridge under which flow a stream.  My brother Jack would tell me that a “Troll” lived under the bridge and liked to eat little boys.  Took many years to overcome fear of things under bridges, beds or anything I couldn’t see completely.  Never like my brother Jack that much.  Learned later that Jack and Clayton would steal cigarettes from Dad and go under that Bridge to smoke.

Past the bridge the path led up to what I vision as a Highway.  The point of this part of the narrative is Joyce on occasion took me up to the Highway to wait for a Good Humor cart to buy some Ice Cream.  It is these small things that bring the reality of how small this world sometimes can be.  Many years later Joyce now married and living in San Diego California ran into this very same Good Humor man.  There you now have it.  Memories of an old fool from close to seven decades ago.  But just how accurate are they, or, are they just imagined images picked up listening to the stories my brothers and sister told when I was little?

Now when I explain this next thing, I want all of you to understand things were different in the Thirties.  Political Correctness didn’t exist so don’t leave me because of what I’m about to confess.  Okay……  That dog in the bag thing seems so real to me,  however just last month I learned the truth about my Dad and that burlap bag.   Are you ready?  Oh, I just know some of you are just going leave in disgust.  So just go now, I won’t mind, I’ll understand.  Honest just go.

Okay,  those who are still here,  here’s the deal.  My Dad loved animals.  Dogs, cats, whatever.  He brought them home from the Airport where he worked.  I think I might have inherited this liking to having animals around from him.  However they were just animals to him and they served at his pleasure, so to speak.  As I was telling Clayton about this memory of the lake and the bag with the dog in it,  he stopped me saying, “you got that only partially right.”  It seems there was a lake.  However Dad would bring home these animals and the Cats would start breeding and multiplying until there just were too many.   So Dad, being the soul arbitrator life in the home, remember I did said the animals served at his pleasure, would gather up the overflow of kittens and put them in a burlap bag to be sent to the briny deeps of the lake.  So what my memory witnessed was the thinning of the “Cat herd” and not the burial a dog I killed.

For those who have not fled and remain, I’m penning this confession on Thanksgiving Morning thinking how can I end this on a good note.  Well here goes!  I’m so thankful that at last after a half a Century I can now go to bed with a soul at peace because it has been finally cleared from being the “Dog Murderer” of Scotch Plains New Jersey.

I'm a 74 year old man who loves this new medium of Blogging. I am also an Senior Manager in Send Out Cards which gives me a superior method of relating to the world through Greeting Cards. I have met and enjoyed wonderful friends who support me and actually LIKE me which is very rewarding. My online presence is growing and if I can hang on to life I will reap the benefits of establishing a business that will comfort me when I get old. Mostly however I Blog about my life which for some strange reason is well received. Like most of us the future is scary and the remembrance of older days give a measure of comfort. So I continue to reveal the past with optimism that the future will some day be the comfort of somebody else.

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32 Comments

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Steve L. Vernon, Nelson Schroeder. Nelson Schroeder said: RT @washouse “The Seedlings” http://bit.ly/fKk2CN Dog Murderer finally cleared [...]

  • David Paul says:

    Thanks, Nelson :)

    I love reading your stories, and I think it is quite interesting how what we think happened and what actually happened in our past can be so completely different.

    The human mind is a powerful thing :)

    Take Care,

    David Paul
    the
    David Paul´s last [type] ..
    How to Program Your Subconscious Mind for Home Business Success

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    Nelson Reply:

    Thanks David for you comments. Yes the perception of our youth is so different. And the streets where wider too.

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  • Val Wilcox says:

    Nelson,
    It’s amazing how each member of a family will remember a memory in a slightly different way. Your childhood house house sounds intriguing and adventurous. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Always enjoy them,
    Val ;)
    Val Wilcox´s last [type] ..“I’m Stuck!”

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    Nelson Reply:

    Yea Val, that can be the seed for many a good family fight. lol

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  • Nelson,

    Another cool story. Memories… they have a habit of giving us a perspective of the past that’s geared towards the things we remember most. It sounds like you and your sister were quite close… it’s no wonder you remember so much of the times you shared with her. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Thanks,
    ~ Pat and Lorna
    http://TheCoolestCouple.com

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    My sis was my Mother for the first few years. I think Mom had her in training and I was the Ginnie pig.

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  • Shari Weiss says:

    One “fond” memory of my childhood home AND my brothers was the day they filled our LARGE family [my father had added it on to the back of our house and we could easily fit 50 people in it] — WITH WATER to make a Swimming Pool.

    My mom had been taking a nap.

    We were all very lucky because there was a huge florescent light in a “post” in the middle of the room.

    I have no idea how we weren’t all electrocuted!
    Shari Weiss´s last [type] ..We are all evolving in this social space Briefly Stated

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    Nelson Reply:

    Isn’t it fun Shari to bring back those memories. I bet you and your brothers laugh and cry at the thought of that swimming Pool.

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  • Dena-Lynn says:

    Hi Nelson,
    Thanks for sharing another childhood memory. What a great reminder that things are not always as they seem in childhood. Purposefully exploring these memories can be so liberating at times. Glad that you found your peace ;)
    Dena
    Dena-Lynn´s last [type] ..Wellness is A Verb

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Found my peace along with the CATS eh. Oops shouldn’t have said that. Sorry. Thanks for sharing your comments Dena-Lynn

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  • Glyna Humm says:

    Oh boy – what a relief! Although I love cats – at least you are “let off the hook”! haha Another great story from your life – thank you so much for sharing Nelson!
    Glyna Humm´s last [type] ..Confessions Of An Online Marketer

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    Nelson Reply:

    Men were different in the old days. Cats had to walk carefully around Dad. He had the Country’s first “Zero Tolerance” program.

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  • Great story Nelson! I was brought up in the country also, and I heard of kittens being drowned when there were too many (we never had a cat when I was a child because my Mum doesn’t care for them much). I know it seems horrible, but in those days they most likely didn’t take cats to the Vet to be “fixed”.
    Julieanne van Zyl´s last [type] ..MLM Leads and Ezine Advertising

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    Nelson Reply:

    It was the height of the Depression. Expenditures for cats were not in the Budget. Even we kids worried about our own future.

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  • Nelson,
    I particularly enjoyed the memory of your sister Joyce finding the bag of coins behind the loose brick in the wall. Having grown up in a big house myself with lots of places to explore (including a basement and an attic), I can imagine how excited she would have been upon finding this secret treasure.

    You paint vivid snapshots of your childhood exceptionally well. From the flour covered urchin to watching your dad toss a burlap sack into a frozen lake, your images are well-written and memorable.

    A+ from an ex-English Teacher! :)

    Mary Lou

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Where were you when I was in high school. The only way I could get a passing grade in English was to take Mr Lauderbach’s car to the gas station each week where I worked and wash it. But he did teach me the value of a good yarn. Time has allowed me to enhance it with words. Thanks Mary, I take your comments as the highest and value them along with our friendship.

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  • Hi Nelson,

    After reading your delightful post, I’m was glad to have discovered that you are not the “Dog Murderer” of Scotch Plains New Jersey…lol! However, I will admit…I am a bit saddened by what happened to all those overpopulated kittens :-( I always enjoy visiting your blog and reading your posts…thank you for sharing! Christine
    Christine Casey´s last [type] ..How can Network Connections help get you Back on Track

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Good to see you again Christine. Are you better? As for the kittens, They would all be dead by know anyway. Oh, that’s so Lame Nelson. Sorry!

    [Reply]

  • Nelson,
    Your stories are so real and intriguing. Childhood is really an amazing time, so much adventure and so much misconception. The memory that was triggered for me was the time I lost my little diamond and ruby ring. My mother had won a small diamond in a contest and had it made into a ring for me. So, one day at a lake in Mohegan, New York, I lost my ring and was noticeably upset. My gallant father came to the dock, put his finger in the space between two of the boards, right into the ring. And he returned the ring to me. I guess he was my prince charming and I have been seeking my gallant prince and savior since then.

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    A young girl and her Father is one of GOD’s provision. He was the role model he should have been and I’m so glad you have those memories. Feels good doesn’t it?

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  • karin says:

    Nelson, thanks for sharing your memories with us. I have one from visiting my grandmother. She lived in a huge mansion with 4 stories. My guest bedroom was all the way on the top floor. On Christmas day, I would always wake up early (too early) and wanted to go downstairs to look at the presents. But the stairs always made horrible noices and at the first step that would make a noice I would run back upstairs and into my room, afraid that I had awakened someone too early. I never made it all the way down to the tree as a little girl. And yes, we all laugh about it now.
    karin´s last [type] ..Finding your social media niche

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    Nelson Reply:

    That Karin is too funny. What a great memory. I can see you now at the first squeek making a bee line back to the bed. Fun stuff isn’t it.

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  • I really liked your story Nelson. I’m new to your blog and can’t wait to dig in and learn more about you and your neat stories of memories past. You have quite a vivid memory. It is also amazing how little “incidences” shape who we are.
    Jill C., NC
    Jill Caldwell´s last [type] ..I’ll Do It Later – Procrastinators Creed

    [Reply]

    Jill Caldwell Reply:

    p.s. I guess I should add – I really liked your story (except for the kitten’s in the sack)! That was probably more common back then than we would like to admit. Actually I’m having a similar memory from my childhood.
    Jill Caldwell´s last [type] ..I’ll Do It Later – Procrastinators Creed

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Yes Jill, some call it a “Vivid Memory”, others will say “Vivid Imagination”. And on your p.s.. I did warn you right. Thanks for stopping by Jill, I always appreciate those who come here. For the record, if you read the archives you will find very little along the lines of “kittens in a sack”. Enjoy.

    [Reply]

  • Nelson,
    Memories are such interesting things. And we make so many decisions based upon partial and often distorted information. Not surprised about the “cat thinning” think it’s still done (and even worse things in many countries). Glad you were off the hook though.
    Take care,
    Adam

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Yea Doc. In some countries the “Cat Thinning” is to feed the family. Dogs suffer this fate also. My getting off the hook came kinda late in life but still welcomed. Thanks my friend for stopping by.

    [Reply]

  • Beth Allen says:

    Your rich memory of these details from your childhood is amazing and beautiful, Nelson. And yes, I think that we all have a combination of memories both real and self-created, and that each child might have a different spin on the same story. It is definitely that way in my family! :)

    I love the part where your sister Joyce discovered the coins in the loose brick ~ that is history ~ and I’m sure was quite an experience to find. As for the cats, while it breaks my heart, I’m sure back then it wasn’t as easy or common to get cats fixed, so this was probably an all-too common practice.

    Thank you for sharing this next chapter in your story with us, Nelson!
    Beth Allen´s last [type] ..How to End Up on the Side of the Wealthy

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    According to my Dad’s way of thinking, the cats did get fixed. So lame, sorry Beth, you deserve a better response than that. ” Did you hear the one about the Blond who……” Forget it Nelson, move on.

    [Reply]

  • Susan Redmon says:

    Hi Nelson,

    Aren’t childhood memories wonderful! Thanks for sharing yours. The home you remember must have been a delightful and intriguing place to explore.

    Looking forward to your next post,
    Susan
    Susan Redmon´s last [type] ..Jim Rohn- Evaluating Your Associations Part II

    [Reply]

    Nelson Reply:

    Susan, thanks for stopping by for coffee. All of us I suppose have childhood memories of our first recollection of our home. It is a treasure to most and a horror to some. I’m one of the lucky ones who have wonderful memories.

    [Reply]

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