I seem to recall Cinderella's pumpkin carriage with wheels that really turned Perhaps it was purchased in memory of the special trips to Disneyland that our family could barely afford. I remember one family trip from Utah to California - a miracle journey with all us children rolling around in the back of a station wagon before seat-belts or car-seats were the law! There was cursing from dad and prayers being said for car problems, with help arriving soon thereafter. And with all those boys (I'm the only daughter), there were bottles filled with urine to avoid another pit stop along the way. We stayed at the "Eden Rock Motel", in a cheap room for the whole bunch of us; huddled in sleeping bags on the floor. It was close to the amusement park, and was our family castle for the night. Back then, the rides at Disneyland each had a separate price according to popularity. In 1971, the ticket price for an "A" ride was about 10 cents and a desirable "E" ticket ride required an investment of 90 cents. It would have been a few years later that we went, and the ticket prices were a burden for my parents. To get one or two "E" tickets was an extraordinary treat! The Matterhorn was always a favorite, and the newly opened Space Mountain was the must-do ride of the trip! I guess I learned to love roller-coaster rides at a very young age - though that probably developed at Lagoon amusement park in Utah, with it's wonderfully terrifying big white wooden roller-coaster. The fascination with adrenaline pumping thrills continued with me into my junior high years, fueled by our neighbors, The Finlaysons, who operated a small travelling amusement park. I remember being hired to operate some of the rides, and especially loved riding on the chairs which hung from long chains and spun forward and then backward around a tall stationary pole.
Charms are memories. And those memories are precious! That's why I fell in love with them - the vintage variety of charms. So, like my mom, I choose to collect memories over other "things".
The very favorite of my mom's charms was a two-seater outhouse with a door that opened and shut. Maybe it's "Triumph Over Tragedy", or "Father to the Rescue" represented here that tugs at my heart. When my mom was a little girl, they had a similar "restroom" out back behind their home. One day, she accidentally slipped through the hole and had to be rescued from the muck by her father! The very thought of such a mishap was horrifying - perhaps because it had been a very real possibility in my life. My dad and his sisters jointly owned a small cabin at Strawberry Reservoir where we often vacationed. And the outhouse we used there was always a harrowing experience for me.
There were more charms, but they have since passed from my memory. It was sometime after Bob and I moved from our home in North Lauderdale, Florida to Bartlesville, Oklahoma in 1987, that I realized my mom's charm bracelet was gone. Somehow in the move it disappeared.
But I continued the tradition, perhaps with a passionate zeal propelled by guilt or sorrow. Most of my charms are stored safely away back in the states, where I will record the memory associated with each when I return. This June, I decided to label the charms I have collected since coming to Korea. The priceless memories connected are written within the pages of this blog. I have acquired a couple of charms similar to those of my mother's, and someday I hope to replace others. Additionally, the hunt is ongoing for charms representing some places I have visited, such as Japan, where shopping time was just too limited . . . as well as memories from my childhood and the lives of my children.
Here's to you mom! Thanks for the memories and for the traditions. I love, appreciate, and miss you more with each passing day. As you can see, my prince has truly given me a charmed life!