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childhood windows

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 in Uncategorized

At the conference I just attended in Idaho, Eric Rohmann talked about childhood memories. When it was my turn, I also talked a bit about memory, as I frequently do, in talking about The Giver.  I ended up, after I came home, thinking a lot about the same topic---and that led me to archives in my computer, and a couple of pictures that my daughter did when she was studying art.  (Actually, she still studies art, but these pictures date from some time ago.)  I don't know what -- if any -- the assignment was. But she did a drawing and then a painting of the view from her childhood window. So she was looking back, in her memory, probably 30 years.

The first one, a pencil sketch, is realistic in a folk-arty sort of way; her bedroom window overlooked a driveway that ended in a garage/barn.  This was in Maine, so there was snow on the ground for many months of the year, as there is in her sketch.

2x3window

The second one is a painting of the same scene at night. The light that you can see over the garage door is the sketch is on, in the painting, and glowing through snow. I love this painting; it's so evocative.

Nightime window copy

And both of them set me thinking about the view from my own childhood window---in my case, the home of my grandparents, where I lived for a while during WWII when my father was overseas.  Interestingly, my daughter's two remembered scenes are both in winter.  Mine is spring. There was a tall magnolia tree outside of my childhood bedroom and when in my memory I look out, it is those lush pinkish-white blossoms that I see.

Surely my daughter looked through that window in summer?  Surely I looked through mine in winter?  Why, I wonder, when we call upon a memory, does it lock onto a particular time?

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Comments

Guest
anne Monday, 29 November 1999

Darn it, you're good! You're a shoe-in!

Guest
Maggie Monday, 29 November 1999

Love the colors you choose.I wish I knew how to knit

Guest
Dawn Smith Monday, 29 November 1999

Hi Lois,
Wow, those are some pretty great socks!! I have never learned to knit, I crochet. I usually make a lot of blanket as it gets pretty cold here. Have a great night!

Guest
Portia Pennington Monday, 29 November 1999

Impressive. Worthy of gold.

Guest
deniz Monday, 29 November 1999

Gorgeous! I've been knitting during the Olympics too, and finished a Victorian Shrug. I'm impressed that you were able to finished *two* pairs of socks!

Guest
Melissa Monday, 29 November 1999

I've been reading your books for all these years, and this is the first indication I've ever gotten that you knit! (And socks! My favorites too!) How could this piece of information have stayed hidden for so long?

Guest
Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Yes, a deeply hidden secret.
Another secret: I only knit one sock of each pair so far. Working on a blue stripe now. Eventually I'll go back and knit the mates. But it's more fun starting out with a new color.

Guest
Faith Wise Monday, 29 November 1999

Never learned to knit, still don't want to, but extremely impressed none the less!

Guest
Lora Welt Monday, 29 November 1999

I also have single sock syndrome. I only managed one sock during the Olympics. I am impressed with your two !

Guest
T2 Monday, 29 November 1999

You're a fellow knitter! I knew you were a kindred spirit, but this seals it.

Guest
Tim Anderson Monday, 29 November 1999

Hi Lois. Noticed you are coming to Fitchburg State College Tuesday which is exciting. Our sixth and eigth graders have read many of your books, my wife Laura is a knitter, her sister Kristen knits socks, and their dad retired to Wells, Maine. I just recently changed careers and am starting Masters in Education at FSC. Our daughter in sixth grade loves to write and she will be there with some of her friends. Really looking forward to having you come. Tim Anderson

Guest
Jennifer Goodfriend Monday, 29 November 1999

wow, great job!!!!

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