Tag Archive | growing up

I love my trolls

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I have a fondness for trolls. Not the ones in LOTR or the Hobbit or the ones in Harry Potter, the ones that are originally from Scandinavia. The ones that invaded back in the 60’s the first time and to my delight seem to have returned again.

My first troll was brought to me from Sweden one Christmas by friends of my parents who worked for SAS. She’s wooden and delightfully kind of witchy. She’s really the only sort of doll I ever had a fondness for and was willing to play with.

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I’m in so much trouble, Target has trolls in the dollar section at the front of the store with the Halloween stuff. I’m a gonner.

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One Christmas as a surprise my grandparents found a folding troll house and I still have it and treasure it. It got a lot more use than the folding Barbie playhouse that only came out when friends came over and insisted on playing with that idiot, Barbie. (sorry it’s so dark but I took it early this morning. You can see three of my old trolls still there. I wish I knew what had happened to the giant troll that was bank and had short yellow hair, it was a gift too.

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When the new trolls arrived and I really fell in love. Mom and Grandma had been trying to get me to sew and while I liked needlepoint and embroidery was not found of clothes sewing probably because mom made all my clothes but Butterick and Simplicity came out with patterns for troll clothes and I got snookered into learning how to sew troll clothes out of felt and scraps of material and finally ended up designing my own patterns.

I loved those little buggers and I still do. As I said, they were the only dolls I ever had any use for. They has all kinds of adventures in the woods and through the meadows that were really our big back yard and down to our pond. We had a bamboo forest, a huge redwood with a ferny pond underneath and a tree house and my playhouse cottage in the woods. Lots of room for adventures and we had them. And they aren’t that far removed from the many, many gnomes in the garden, lol!

I may have to go on somemore adventures with my trolls.

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Our backyard and my two story playhouse, It was there when we moved in.

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The gnome brigade

Do kids have fun anymore?

It’s the first of the month and we aren’t allowed to do anything until the system comes back up again, maybe Wednesday soooo I have a free range mind probably in one part, because I was a free range child. A friend and I were talking about all the fun we had as kids and no one ever told us not to do anything that was within reason. Of course, that definition of “within reason” seems to have altered drastically in the past 40 years or so. Things that we took for granted we could do would get our parents arrested for negligence now. We had fun, do kids growing up now have fun? It doesn’t look like it.

When I think of the things we did like playing Hide and Go Seek after dark which in LA was around 8 and using the entire neighborhood as a playing field was considered the main event for a summer night or my dad’s gentler version of capture the flag that took place between driveways and the dads refereeing.

We went hiking all over the mountains behind our houses and met a few things like snakes and teenagers having sex in the bushes and didn’t stop what we were doing. We were on some imagined mission of high importance like seeking gold or the Holy Grail.

We used to con some parental unit into buying us blocks of ice at the local ice vendor and take a washcloth to melt into the top. It became a toboggan on the long grassed inclines at the neighborhood park on really hot days. You went sailing down the hillside if you stayed on and if you didn’t you got a fun roll down the hill sometimes beating the ice block to the bottom.

We walked to the store, we walked to the park, we walked to school. My neighborhood was really steep so biking could be a bit scary and so was skateboarding. I walked to my best friend’s house who lived a little over a mile away and took back alleys sometimes because it was just a cool way to go. Our mom walked us everywhere once and then we were expected to be able to do it ourselves. They trusted us to not be stupid and get in a car with someone we didn’t know and to run like hell if we needed to.

We walked down to the village and got ice cream or candy like big Charms suckers or sunflower seeds and cruised the 5 and Dime to see if there were any new toys like squirt guns or those rings that twirled and whistled when you blew on them.

We played on teeter-totters and slides and merry-go-rounds, good luck even find those now and it has grass underneath, most of time it had sand or asphalt under it. If you fell you got back up and did it again and then went home and got Bactine and a bandaid. Some kids were in Little League or like my sister in softball leagues. Sometimes we took swimming lessons and my dad made us go to summer school for 6 weeks but that left 6 more weeks to climb mountains or roll down hillsides. We usually had a week of camp stuck in there somewhere, music camp, church camp, Camp Fire or Girl Scouts.

We had fun, we had fun all summer long. I don’t think kids have fun anymore. They wait until someone schedules a time to play. That sounds like work to me.

Enough with the stupid “trigger” warnings!

I really hate the phrase “trigger warning”. I think it’s a copout for not facing the difficult things in life. Lots of things in life are unpleasant and we grow by living through them and coming out the other side. To avoid the things that say trigger warning is to remain a child and not to grow up. Grown ups do hard things and hard things make you grow and become an interesting and fully actualized person. People who do not grow up are, quite frankly, bores and not worth bothering with.

As I said, life is about change. It’s about facing challenges and meeting with them. It’s about overcoming the hard things in life and triumphing over them and going on the next challenge. It isn’t about hiding in the dark and avoiding the painful. Lots of life is painful and a lot of life is unfair. Being a grown up is accepting that.

And lest you think I’m being harsh, I have walked my talk. I was born with disabilities and with help, I learned to deal with them. I have lost most of my family now to illness and disease and many friends. I lost a great many friends in the 80’s to AIDS, it felt like life was one never ending funeral. I lost my little brother to cancer. I lost the ability to dance, something I loved to do after blowing out my knee and spending a year and a half in a wheelchair and on crutches. I’ve been laid off twice and the last time it took 5 and a half years to find the one I have now. I was a suicidal child and grew to finally after one last try as an adult to see that unless I have a terminal disease I want to keep living. Partly I suppose because I was dealing with being molested as a child.

If you don’t want to be a whiny unfulfilled asshat, you grow up and you learn how to use the things that hurt and challenge us. Besides all the bad things, I’ve learned good things. I’m a silver smith, I’m a fairly good illustrator with pen and ink. I’m a good Naturalist. I’m a pretty good writer. I’m a good photographer. I worked at camps for many years and met thousands of kids. I’ve been a Girl Scout leader and professional and designed and wrote program for my council. I’ve been on call clergy for the AIDS service center where I lived. All of these have helped me grow past the things that could “trigger” me. I have also had a lot of therapy.

If everyone is always freaking out about alleged triggers there are going to be a lot of shallow, annoying, and boring people around that are afraid of living. Get up, pull up your big girl panties and face your demons and dragons and stop avoiding everything that hurts. Yes, there are monsters under the bed and yes, they can hurt you but people who love you will help you face down and kill the monster under the bed. And even if you don’t have friends, kill the monster anyway and go on to the next one. Learn to LIVE and not just live. LIVING involves pain and hurt and it makes you a better person.

CLimbing down from my soapbox now. I have to get my sword out to slay the next monster.