Saturday, January 31, 2015

It Was All Started by a Mouse

I think, for the first time ever, that this year on MLK day, I was off. Back when I worked the big corporate world before, it was a floater, and we had to pick MLK or Good Friday. I changed jobs last May, and picked up 3 holidays in the transition: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, and Good Friday. There is just almost nothing better than a 3-day weekend. Getting three more a year is like a huge boon for my heart. Of course, having a retail hubby means I often spend them somewhat alone, or quasi-alone, but I am okay with that because I can scrap.

I am part of a closed group, an online community of scrappers, 300+ women that I interact with virtually daily on message boards, about topics ranging from paper for a college drop-off, to the best movie we've seen lately, to venting about work, to whether or not to get the Amope. They are a huge blessing to my life. I have probably met about 75 of them in real life. {I need to do an album!} They are my peeps, and you can find me hanging with them regularly here in Scrap Central.

We have a cheerleader, a ringleader, an enabler extradoinnaire, a gal that is just the sweetest bundle of energy and ideas that I may have ever met. I think I can get a decent amount of things done, but man, she makes me look like a slacker! She's our Cherrypicker. This is a big year for her, but I won't go down that rabbit trail right now. Well, Cherrypicker decided that we needed some fun, and organized an amazing online crop, full of challenges - TWENTY-FIVE - and games - three - and prizes too numerous to count! So many gals stepped up and created challenges and decided to hostess them, and/or offer prizes. It's really, really amazing. And our online crop was to be held on MLK weekend. Perfect!

I think I was able to knock out about eight of the twenty-five challenges, and I was okay with that, since I was actually sick with the flu during MLK weekend. One of the challenges I just loved, though, was called "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue", and we were given a Sketch Savvy sketch by Susan Stringfellow as our "Something Borrowed". {Susan's Blog with the Sketch} Our Old was to be an old photo, our Blue was an element on the page, and our New was supposed to be something new to us. Well, when I saw those heart images on the sketch, my mind saw little Mickey heads. And then I started thinking about just what "old" photo I could use, and I decided I would go waaaayyyy back. 

When I started scrapbooking, my mom started scrapbooking with me. And one of her first projects was take her two banana boxes of family photos, and divide them into four piles. And she then preceded to make each of her children an album of their portion of our family memories. You know, memories and photos from the days when you *might* shoot 3 or 4 rolls of film on an annual basis. Well, somehow mother knew back in 1995 that I would want the Disney photos. I have one album page with 6 photos on it. I love them! {I keep meaning to check with my sisters to see if their albums have any, or if there really were just 6 photos taken that day, which is probable, and highly likely, and so foreign a concept today.} 

So, on that MLK weekend Saturday, I popped those photos out of my childhood album, scanned them in, did color restoration as best I could with my feeble skills, and began to work on the layout. Looking at these old photos makes me so happy. It was the summer of 1972, the first summer that DisneyWorld would have been open, knowing it opened October 1971 like any true Disney fanatic does, and the photo of us in front of the castle just mesmerizes me. The trees and bushes are so small. We are on the bridge to Tomorrowland, and our feet are actually on the bench, and we are sitting up on the ledge of the back. {I know today they would tell us to get down!} The lamps for the Rose Garden are to the right of the photo, and you can see so much of the castle walls. 

I do not actually remember this day, per se. I do not remember going. I would have been almost 8. Dad says we went only for one day, and it was on the way home from a trip to Biloxi. {I know that Orlando is not on the way home to Houston from Biloxi. So, this was a big detour.} I can imagine my dad having heard about this new place, when DisneyWorld really just consisted of Magic Kingdom, and having the wanderlust in his heart for a road trip that he does, and having us all captive in the car, I can just imagine him deciding to drive east to Orlando "on the way home to Houston from Biloxi" - just exactly the kind of fun, surprising adventure he'd bestow on us.

I love seeing the clothes we were wearing. I know, from examining the whole of the 6 photos, that I am wearing the same sandals as my two sisters. I imagine we got them at Weiner's on Sheldon Road. My two sisters are wearing bell bottom pants and baby doll tops, all of which my mom would have sewn. I am wearing red plaid bell bottoms and a coordinating shirt, one of the two beloved Garanimals outfits that I owned. I can still remember wandering through the fixtures at Sears in Denton, looking at all the choices, picking out what outfit my grandmother was gifting me. Oh, I loved that outfit. And I love that I know I have loved red all of my life. Mother says her outfit was a gift from Metropolitan Life and it had been given her in Biloxi at the convention we had just left. My little brother is wearing Garanimals, too. I guess Granny bought him an outfit, too. She did try to be fair.

I love my big smile on the carousel! Yes, I was born to love a good ride and a fun time! When I saw this photo, I recalled the scene in Saving Mr. Banks, where Tom Hanks, portraying Walt Disney, hops onto the carousel and declares it his favorite ride. I think that is cute to know. I did actually ride the carousel in November with Steve and mom. Everyone should ride a carousel when they are 50 and 77! Nothing like watching the world go by from the back of a pretty white steed, while keeping your bearings by lightly grasping the brass pole. 

And mostly, I love that I am being tickled by Dale. You can see my little brother standing to my left, watching, and you can see my sister watching, too. I think this is going to be in Town Square, but I am not certain. I want to take this picture with me the next time I go to the park and ferret out where I was standing. I love knowing the characters roamed the park freely, and that it was okay to grab a little girl and give her a hug and a tickle. I love knowing that it was fun for me to be hugged by Dale. I have told Dale subsequently of this event, and I will someday have to show him the photo, so he can smile, too.

Ah, little memories. Lots of thoughts and recollections from three small, old photos. So much joy in remembering. Family vacations, idiosyncrasies, rituals, traditions. Six people. One day. 958 miles from home. One Magical Kingdom that was all started by a mouse, and a man from Merceline, MO with a dream in his heart, and some pixie dust in his pocket. So much to remember across the miles, as I look back on the day when the magic began.

Back When the Magic Began ~ One Disney Day ~ Summer 1972

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