Down Memory Lane

propic11_1This post by L.Leander, Author of Fearless Fiction

I don’t outline my books. I guess you’d call me a spontaneous writer. But I do write out a few notes for reference. The following is how I would write the notes for an autobiography. I could write for years on the memories these facts evoke.

I am the eldest of four children. Two sisters, two years apart, followed me. We got a brother when I was eight and we were all thrilled.

One of my first memories is of sitting on my mother’s lap listening to a book she read to me. She always had time to sit down with any of us to do something we liked.readingbaby

Another memory is music, falling in love with it when, at the age of two my father put me on a picnic table at our family reunion, picked up his guitar, and said, “Sing for everybody Linda.” And sing I did. I loved it.

My Father was a day run truck driver when I was born. When I turned one, he bought me a teddy bear, came home and told my mom he had quit the trucking job. He couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing me grow up. He got another job the following day that mybearallowed him to be home evenings and weekends. I still have my bear, and although his fur is worn and he has embroidered eyes (because I ate the beaded ones) he still sits on my nightstand to this day, a memory of simpler times and childhood.

When I was five my mother taught me to sew – simple things by hand. It wasn’t long before I moved on to the sewing machine, winning several ribbons in 4-H during my teen years. A friend taught me embroidery, another taught me knitting, and still another taught me to crochet. I feel as if I’ve sewn my whole life and I enjoy each and every project.  If you’re interested in learning more about 4-H here is a link:



Until I was six we lived across from an apple-canning factory. I can still smell the odor of the fresh apples and the decay when the season was done. For my sixth birthday I got a baby buggy and was I excited! So excited, in fact, that I plunked my baby into the buggy buggyand took off for Grandma’s house to show it to her. Grandma lived across a busy highway and when I got to her house she brought me straight home. Like a dog with a bone, I spent the next month staring at our hall closet, where the buggy had been put on a top shelf so that I would learn a lesson. That incident was harder than getting a spanking.

We moved when I was six and again when I was nine.   My memories of the first house are great, because there was a lake at the end of our road and even though my Mother couldn’t swim a lick, she took us there every lifeguardsummer day and allowed us to play in the water. I’m sure I got my love of swimming and later, my Certified Red Cross Life Guard badge because of those magical afternoons. When we moved to the next house (a renovated funeral parlor) we spent our summers at Red Cross Swimming lessons, bused back and forth the three miles to the lake. What sunny days those were! Here is a link to the official Red Cross swimming site (although I don’t see the Lifeguard class listed any more.

My sisters and I loved to play dress-up and walk around the block.

dressup Mom took us every once in a while to a thrift store to get things, and one of my aunts regularly gave us clothes, hats, shoes and jewelry to play in. My favorite costume was an evening dress with long gloves to match. It was chartreuse and made of satin. I felt very beautiful (like a princess) every time I wore it.

In the sixth grade I became a cheerleader, something I tried but didn’t like. I’d rather be on the sidelines sneaking a look at whichever book I was reading at the time.  Here is a link to some interesting benefits of kids reading books:;_ylt=A0LEVylvrLRUe4kAr85XNyoA?p=benefits+of+reading+for+children&.sep=&fr=yfp-t-472

That sixth grade year I also began school music classes. Until that time we had chorus in our classroom for half an hour each morning, belting out such classics as “Oh My Darling Clementine”. I cherished those times. I got a part in a musical put on by our class. It was heady stuff!

trophyIn the seventh grade I won the County Spelling Bee. My parents were very proud, and so was I, because I won a book and a trophy to display in my school. Since I inhaled books, as much as the air I breathed, the prize couldn’t have thrilled me more.

When I started band, we didn’t have a lot of money so a friend offered me a clarinet. I played it until I was about 15. We movedbandagain that year and because I had to give the clarinet back I decided to take drums. The school provided them and I could use a practice board at home. My Dad’s boss offered me an Alto Sax that his sons didn’t want to play, so my band teacher got me started on that, and all through high school I played the drums if we marched in a parade (my sister played drums too), and altosaxthe Alto Sax when we did concerts. In addition, I played in a 5-piece Recorder ensemble. Our little school band placed top in the Northern Michigan region my senior year and we were elated. My band teacher always made me feel like I could play anything.

I never loved sports, but did well in softball, track, and basketball. Books and music were so much more important.

My best friend was a preacher’s daughter and her family had horses. We had many good times together riding through the fields and ridingwoods near her home. Once we even saw a black bear! Lucky for me I was a pretty good rider by then because my horse got spooked and headed off to no man’s land with me hanging on like a cocklebur.

I watched stars on summer nights, played in the leaves in the fall and tobogganed and ice skated in the winter with my siblings. My favorite season was spring, because I leavescould get my bike out of the garage and ride all over, inhaling the sweet scent of apple blossoms and lilacs and the sharp tang of pine trees. There was still a chill in the air and wild geese honked overhead as they came back to the pond where they summered. I loved watching the trees bud and the thought that the end of school was near (even though I loved school).

There is so much more I could tell you about my childhood but I’ll stop here. As I write this and remember, I realize what a fairy-tale childhood I had. A mom and dad, three siblings, Freckles, the dog, and a cat. But most of all we were blessed with love.threegirls

Do you take time to remember your past? What are some of your favorite childhood memories? Do you use them in your writing? I do.

Books by L.Leander:

INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders





INZARED, The Fortune Teller (Book Two)





Video Trailer for INZARED, Queen of the Elephant Riders:


Video Trailer for INZARED, The Fortune Teller


13 Extreme Tips to Self Publishing




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L.Leander’s Website:


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15 Responses to Down Memory Lane

  1. I think of my past a lot, especially since my husband died a couple of years ago. I’m working on a memoir about how I met, married, and cared for him after he suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side.


    • I would imagine your recall will be better than mine because your husband died recently. It’s such a great time to get your memories written down. A memoir is great – I know you’ll enjoy writing it!


  2. sstamm625 says:

    What wonderful memories, Linda! I do use my childhood memories in my writing–more poetry right now than fiction. For me, it’s a way to process and understand things, to make them live again for me, to bring out the magic in the ordinary. I guess writing the memories out in whatever form serves many purposes.


    • I agree, Stephanie. I have used parts of my life in songs, others in writing, and some in poetry. I like your phrase “to bring out the magic in the ordinary.” It’s exactly how I feel, and remembering is just like it was yesterday. I’ve been going through therapy for almost two years now and part of that therapy is remembering (good and bad) to deal with issues and be thankful for blessings.


  3. Doris says:

    Thank you for sharing such special memories. Being a child in smaller communities did have some wonderful benefits. Doris


    • Thanks for the comment Doris. I totally believe that living in a very small community gave me opportunities that a lot of people don’t have. But I also think it was the impetus for my wanting to travel and see the world.


  4. Travis says:

    Wow, Linda. Such thorough memories. That is great. I think you have the background for a story, living in a former funeral home too. I enjoyed this. I like how they are all happy, positive and proactive memories.


  5. Thanks Travis. I left so much out – I probably have enough material to write a huge memoir! Living in the funeral home had it’s share of extreme ups and downs. It’s the place where some of our happiest memories were made, but a place that I suffered from extreme nightmares involving a bloody man coming up from the embalming room with a knife in his hand. Maybe the place was haunted?


  6. Nancy Jardine says:

    Wonderful memories and a fun childhood, Linda. I’ve only used my own upbringing in a couple of short stories so far but may do more when I find time. Planning writing is probably not me, I’m more of a pantser , but the more novels that I write the more I’m getting better at initial planning. (I think) An inteesting place to stay indeed, Linda. I think when people live in older properties then the chances increase for interesting stories about their previous inhabitants.


    • I’ve heard that it’s best to write the end of your novel first, but I’ve tried and failed. I have to start at the beginning and write through to the end. I do make a list of characters and a few notes, but that’s it. I plan to write a scary story about living in the Funeral home. I had some really weird dreams there, and a few scary encounters. I did have a good childhood and a lot of those experiences just weave themselves into my stories before I know it. Thanks for the comment Nancy.


  7. S. J. Brown says:

    What a lovely trip down memory lane. Yes, I am using my memories in my writing. My sister and I are working on a book about our childhood. Things today are quite different than they were when we were growing up. That makes our memories that much more precious.


    • Thank you for the commnt S.J. What a great idea to write a book with your sister! I’m sure it would be advantageous for me to do the same if I ever decde to write one. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things my sibs remember. Whatever, it was a glorious childhood!


  8. Wranglers says:

    Love your memories, you were so multi-talented. I have kind of the same memories, but different. Lol I haf a great childhood with lots if love. I had 4 brothers and I suppose I was a little spoiled, being the only girl. Cher’ley


  9. I knew we were soul sisters! I think the most important thing a child can have love. No matter how much money you have, love is more important and is the thing children (and adults) remember. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only girl, plus as the eldest I was responsible for the younger kids. My brother takes the spoiled title as the only boy, but we just loved him. He was so cute and such a little imp. BTW, he hasn’t changed at all!


  10. I think of that song by Barbara Streisand “Memories…” I think it’s wonderful to travel down memory lane to recall where we were (ah, another Barbara song: “The Way We Were..”!) on the road to where we are now. I, too, have pleasant childhood memories as well as not so great ones. My mother kept a journal of the years she and dad lived as modern pioneers, and one day I hope to write “their story.” Thanks for the memories, Linda!


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