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My Blog

October 2015

Halloween and Ghost Stories Are Not Just for Children

It seems that adults take their children out for some entertainment...but in essence, I think they get even more out of it than sometimes the child.  Yesterday, I had back to back programs at 2 different locations.  The first being a school...and I must say...what a well behaved group of children.  As I proceeded to tell the ghost stories...all eyes were on me.  I love looking into the eyes of my audiences...with each word spoken, I can see how they are being touched.  The innocence of the children make storytelling so special...but it is truly when I look into the eyes of the adults among them that I really receive an extra reward.  The adults assume that I am there to entertain the kids...and without really knowing it...in those moments...they, themselves are transported back to childhood.  They never go about their business, but instead, they are transfixed on the words that are spoken.  It is usually the adults hands that being their appreciative clapping. 
I moved on to the next location. I was a bit early, so I sat in my car and watched as families piled into the building.  I chuckled to myself as I watched the costumed donned children...but what caught my eye even more was seeing their parents dressed as well.  One in particular touched me greatly.  There was a young boy...dressed as a ninja turtle...and holding his small little hand was his father...who looked to be about 6 feet tall....dressed to match his tiny son.  My heart just melted.  I hope that some day that young boy looks back and realizes the love that father has for him.  I saw parents dressed as Minnie and Mickey, witches, cowpokes and fairies...and as they all entered the room where I was telling ghost stories...I could tell that they were just as transfixed on the stories as the children...in fact, perhaps even more.  In those few moments....they are allowed to be there to listen to the stories with the pretense that they are there for their kids.  I am often approached after a performance with comments about the stories told.  How much they loved them...how they enjoyed them.  Last night, after one of the stories, one mom commented on how shocked she was on the ending of the story told.  She said she had wondered how I was going to end the story.  Those types of comments make me feel good about what I do.  I know that my words touch each and every person.  Perhaps they will go home and retell the story.  Those are their gifts to me...hopefully....my gift to them was pure and simple...the chance to be a child again...if only for a few moments. 

A story that touches the heart

Good morning....I have just finished reading a story that touched my heart.  I find it amazing how some memories can touch another persons soul.  The story was about a gift exchange during grammar school years.  Reading that story instantly brought back memories of my own school day parties and gift exchanges....something I personally had not thought about in decades.  The writing out the names on pieces of paper and then drawing a name of who you would give a gift to.  This particular story was about a gift given that couldn't have been any farther away than any gift a young girl would have wanted and yet taught a lesson of a lifetime.  The lesson of course had not been learned for many, many years later.  Funny how that works.  It seems that lessons we often learn come so many years down the road! 
The message of the story was to appreciate the small things...how gifts through the years are set aside and often forgotten...except for the certain ones.  Mine was a stuffed animal that came on Christmas Eve by a postman.  I can still remember sitting in the kitchen and the television that was on the kitchen counter was playing The Christmas Carol.  The door bell rang and my grandmother went to answer it.  She returned carrying this brown paper bag wrapped box  which donned my name on it,  contained a white stuffed dog.   I named the dog FIFI.  I took that dog every where with me.  He went to parties, on vacations and even on my honeymoon.  He narrowly escaped being thrown off a train when the conductor thought it was garbage. Thank you Uncle Ted for saving my FIFI. 
Fifi is still with me...some 59 years later.  My children had a riot teasing me aobut my little dog.  He no longer looks the same as he did upon his arrival.  He has lost all his hair...his eyes have been replaced with black buttons and neither of them match.  He is stuffed full of nylon stockings...no not pantyhose...they weren't around back then.  He has many battle scars in every direction.  My grandmother sewed him back together many times over!  He really looks as though he should be in some heap somewhere...but that little dog is my childhood treasure.  I can't really explain why...maybe because of the special deliver that brought him...you know, the first real mail delivery.  Perhaps because he came on Christmas Eve. I thought that perhaps it was a special gift from Santa.  It wasn't until much later that my grandfather announced that it was HE who sent it....that made it even more special!  
Well, this morning, as I read this quaint little story...I was immediately transported back in time.  I thought about school parties and exchanges...special gifts, special times and what gifts I could remember.  The very first was my dog Fifi.  the next gift was some underwear that came from my husband on my first Christmas that we were married.  No...it wasn't any fancy underwear...in fact...I called them "Old Lady" underwear upon opening the box.  I couldn't believe that my husband would actually have the nerve to give my such a gift when I was only 20 years old and this was our first Christmas together.  (pretty much happened because he left shopping to the very last minute).  Needless to say...that was a gift I have never forgotten either!  So, sometimes it is not how much a present costs that leaves the lasting memories. 
I am grateful for the story that I read today that caused all those flashbacks for me.  I hope that when I tell or write a story...that it does exactly that for my readers and listeners.   
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