Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When I was a kid, we were so poor that we didn't have television for a looooong time.

Actually, we didn't have television because my dad took our color TV and tiny black and white TV down to the coal room (it was a scary dirt-floored room in our basement where coal was delivered through a chute in the wall back when the old, old house was heated with black lumps of ancient organic material). He took a sledge hammer with him. And his feet. He hammered and stomped those televisions until they were unusable. He did this because he was watching too much TV and not being productive. (Someone probably mouthed off about something and send Dad into a fit that could only be quenched by destroying media devices. I really don't know, I'm just speculating here. I was about six when it happened.)

In any case, we didn't have television for a good chunk of my early years.

Instead, I developed an imagination full of things I'd read in books, thought about until finding some sort of logic, learned while asking questions, and just generally imagined for myself.

There were elves in our blackberry bushes, villages of acorn people, fairies in the dormant apricot tree and the thick patches of lush, green clover. I was a gymnast when perched on top of the clothes line post, and an adventurer when climbing to the top of the MAMMOTH tree that was taller than our two-story house. At the very top, one could see the out as far as the rail road station in the north, past the factory to the east, across the neighborhood in the south, and nearly to the silvery glints of the Mighty Mississippi in the west.

I'd also imagine dead bodies under bushes and murdering kidnappers in slow-moving vehicles. (That was the influence of "Unsolved Mysteries" from when we had television.)

I consider growing up sans television to have been a good experience. When we finally got a small television/VCR to take on a road trip from Illinois to Oregon, life was a little more mundane. After school and on Saturday mornings, we'd huddle around the 8 inch screen to watch one of the three channels we could get -- soaking up the flickering lights like moths on the back porch in summer time.

This post really had no point. I was just remembering life with no media influence. Back when borrowing a TV and VCR to watch a rented tape was the pinnacle of joy. We now have two bona-fide televisions complete with DVD players and a huge projector and screen complete with PS3 Blue ray and half a dozen other interesting things attached to make life more fun.

My little brothers and sisters grew up in a much different household than my older siblings and I.

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