February 16, 2020

Now We Are Six (or Sixty or More)

If your childhood was anything like mine, these words should sound familiar:
When I was young, I had just begun.
When I was two, I was nearly new.
When I was Three, I was hardly me.
When I was four, I was not much more.
When I was Five, I was just alive.
But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever. So I think I'll stay Six now for ever and ever.
A.A. Milne's classic, Now We Are Six, is a book that even today can transport me back  to a time when Winnie The Pooh, Christopher Robin, Tigger, and all the assorted characters of Mr. Milne's mind ruled my world. It is one of the few series of works that I can re-read today and still smile at the clever poetry and important lessons that make up each story. 

Seeing the inscription from my grandmother from Christmas, 1951, is also quite special. My goodness, she had beautiful handwriting.

I am more than pleased that my daughters, and now my grandkids, are big Winnie The Pooh fans. There is something so eternal in stories that touch generation after generation.

Not too long ago I happened to pick up this 69 year old treasure of mine. What popped into my mind was an odd, blog-oriented connection. Really? Tales of Binker or Alexander Beetle are retirement-oriented?

No, I am not stretching the connection that far. But, I am reminded of the power of good childhood memories. I read these words and back I go to a time of innocence and simplicity. 


A collection of Winnie The Pooh Books in my home
I am reminded of the power of memories instead of things. I have no toys or keepsakes from all those years ago, but my vintage (that is a polite way of saying very old) books are within immediate reach in the living room.

Five minutes with James James Morrison Morrison Weatherby George Dupree is all it takes to calm my nerves and make everything right in my world. 

I hope you have something from your past that evokes such powerfully positive feelings. This is the stage of life when we are free to just immerse ourselves in experiences that warm us.


Winnie The Pooh birdhouse made by my daughter
After all, wherever I am there's always Pooh, there's always Pooh and me.  What else do I need? 
         

17 comments:

  1. Awww, what a sweet inscription from your grandmother, Bob! In our home when I was young, Dr. Seuss ruled the bookshelf. I added to my collection when my two kids were young and he remained a favorite. One of our daughter's favorite books has always been Bartholomew and the Oobleck. To this day, "Seussisms" are still a part of our lives with references to "the pants with nobody inside them" or the often invoked, "This mess is so big and so deep and so tall, we cannot pick it up. There is no way at all!"

    Our son's favorite series, however, was far and away Winnie the Pooh, with Tigger remaining a beloved friend for many years. I recall reading stories of the little group's adventures on road trips and, to this day, if Ryan stops by for coffee, I'll pull out our Tigger mug for him. Such sweet memories, that's for sure. Wrapping one's self in the warm blanket of nostalgia is one of the privileges of growing older. By the way, your vignette with Pooh Bear and your precious books is just adorable. How smart you are to add joy to your life by keeping visual reminders of your best memories!

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    1. I have added one more photo: a birdhouse made out of Pooh books and sitting atop a few more. They make me smile everytime I glance at the displays.

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    2. I'm impressed by your inclination to display your precious keepsakes rather than keep them boxed up in storage. I have a small, clay Christmas candle holder that I made in Kindergarten which I display every year during the holiday season. It, too, makes me smile every time I see it.

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  2. You're a lucky man to have that memorabilia. I have nothing from my childhood. I do have some books and other things from my kids' childhood. In fact, my daughter just had her first baby. I bought her a copy of "Goodnight Moon" remembering reading it to her when she was 1 and 2. When she opened the package, she looked at me hazily, with a little tear in her eye and said, "I still have my copy of 'Goodnight Moon' from when I was a kid."

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    1. I am sorry you don't have memories like this from your childhood, but helping your daughter make them for your granddaughter is something very special. Obviously, that book made quite an impression on your child.

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  3. I was well into my 70s before I actually sat down and read a Winnie the Pooh book. Not have children or grandchildren I was not well versed in any children's literature. I posted my regrets about this in my blog and my niece, who teaches reading in the lower grades, put together a bunch of books for me to try. Pooh's author really was a wonderful combination of poetry, compassion, lesson teaching and sweetness. I'm glad you still have the exact, same book your grandmother gave you so long ago. Touching things from our childhood does have a way of grounding us.

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    1. Frankly, until I wrote this post I had forgotten Gran's inscription was in that book. It is amazing to think I was just over 2 years old when she wrote that.....a lifetime ago.

      Some of A.A. Milne's writings show a touch of a different time and culture. Overall, however, he managed to highlight the important lessons we all need to learn as children and remember as adults.

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  4. I loved (and still love) Winnie the Pooh! I so wish I kept many of the books I grew up with but, sadly, they are gone. What I still have, thank goodness, is my love of reading. I do have the picture album of my (and my brothers') youth. I look through it now and then and am flooded with powerful memories and positive feelings of the wonderful childhood I had.

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    1. The power of memories like that is priceless. I suggest you go to your library or Amazon and get a few of the old Winnie The Pooh books. They are really worth rereading now and then.

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  5. ALL my childhood memories were destroyed with my home last year. I still mourn.

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    1. It is tough to lose parts of your childhood. The physical stuff is gone but do you still have memories of some of what touched you?

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  6. How fortunate to have these memories! We've been sorting books with my DD who is having a baby this spring. She saved a ton of her books and is paying for an extra checked suitcase to carry many of them back to the UK with her. We had some great laughs going through them and also her inscriptions, etc. In that box, we also found my old, old copy of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and a 1929 edition of "Little Women". Fun times!

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    1. Because of their permanence, books often seem to be some of the more important memory-makers we own. Your DD will obviously love having all them close to her. A 1929 edition of Little Women? That is something.

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  7. I didn't have a 'real' childhood, as you know. But, being able to read to my children was always a treat. It was like sharing the stories for both of us. Now I've started a series of children's books myself and have had the opportunity to share with my grandsons. The second in line for 'The Duffy Chronicles' will be printed fairly soon, (I think). b

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    1. Your childhood was a tough slog. I guess you have proven that we are never to old to make childhood memories, even if it isn't our childhood!

      Writing children's' books has to be quite cathartic for you.

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  8. My parents were quite unsentimental so they sold off most of my childhood goodies including books dolls and my piano music!!!! It took me a while to get over this! Now, I have a few things that belonged to my grandmother that warm my Spirit when I need to connect to the past. Going back to the past actually makes me a little melancholy.When I am in need of comfort I usually call my son to go to lunch or go for a long hike with Ken. I do wish I had a few of those dolls,though!!!!!

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    1. In a houseful of boys there weren't many sentimental items for my parents to protect. I think the Pooh books were pretty much it. Thank goodness they made it through.

      I realize how blessed I am: I have no bad memories of my childhood at all. We were a very mainstream middle class family in the 50s and 60s...no drama. Now I understand how rare and special that was.

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