Monday, March 14, 2011

Mini-Memoir Monday:Everything AND the Kitchen Sink

As we get further and further from our childhood, we tend to think that we can't really remember much about it. That is so, not true! I think we've all had the experience of smelling something or seeing something at a yard sale or antique store and suddenly a memory floods us.

Assignment #1: Think about a kitchen sink in your childhood - then look around you at the kitchen around it. It could be in the first house you remember as a child, or the one you kissed your first boyfriend in as a teenager. It may be from the home you grew up in or it may be a relatives house, or a best friend's house. What is the first kitchen that entered your mind? Was it your grandmothers; the one with the garden right outside the back door? Was it your cousins - where they always a pitcher of grape Koolaid in the avocado-colored green fridge.

Begin at the kitchen sink; what color is it? Is it smooth or cracked in places? What do the faucets look like? What's in the sink? Now, expand your vision. What does the rest of the kitchen look like? What did it feel like? Where did you sit? Who is standing at the stove? Who is standing in the doorway? Are there windows? What do you see outside? Is there a centerpiece on the table? What does the floor feel like. Are the counters clean and smooth? What sits on the counter? Who cleans this kitchen? Who never cleans it? What smells congregate in this kitchen? Besides cooking and eating, what else is done in this kitchen? Now add yourself to that kitchen. What do you feel there? Does it evoke a memory?

Now, just start writing. Begin with the strongest memory you have. It may be a physical aspect of the kitchen, or it may be something that happened in that kitchen. It may be something that took place on a regular basis or it may be something very specific. There is no wrong way to write your memories. Just write them down.

Congratulations! You've just written your first mini-memoir. I'd be thrilled to have you post it here! Whatever you do with it, don't keep it to yourself. Read it to somebody. Reminisce with someone. Put a date on it and promise me you'll never throw it away, no matter how silly you may think it sounds later. And remember - all assignments can be done in interview fashion with your loved ones. Adapt and make it your own.

See you next Monday with another Mini-Memoir Monday. But in the meantime, I can't wait to hear about the kitchen of your childhood!


Frank Baron said...

Interesting exercise, Karen. I think what might work better for me (and dare I suggest -- most guys) would be picturing a toilet with an upraised lid and whatever might be hanging on the wall above it. ;)

Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

LOL Very funny! I'll let you tackle that one. Let me know what you come up with!

Sharon Lippincott said...

Frank's comment cracks me up. It's a challenge to find juicy prompts that work as well for men as women.

I thought of my grandmother's kitchen with the cracked linoleum on floor and counters and the "dishwasher" mounted behind the sink. It was really just a water-pressure powered dish brush with a trigger for dispensing detergent into the water stream, but "real" dishwashers were still a dream in 1950's, and hers was fun to use. I never minded doing dishes at her house. She was a terrible housekeeper and cleaning her house seemed almost a holy and redemptive act -- besides I usually found treasures squirreled away that I got to keep. Nobody told me to do it, and I had little else to do there anyway. It always has been easier for me to clean up other people's messes. Maybe I missed my calling in janitorial services. LOL!

Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

That's great Sharon! Love the dishwasher. My dad was always inventing things to make life easier. We even had a remote controlled lawn kidding! Thanks for sharing your story with us! ~Karen