Monday, October 31, 2011

Tapping into Memories


It was a blue costume”…she told me immediately, “light blue satin with black X’s on it…”

I was about 5 years old, and we sang & danced to the song “School Days”…and she started singing it for me…

“School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick.”

“You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate
"I love you, so"
When we were a couple of kids.”

As she finished singing to me over the phone, she giggled like a little girl… “I still remember all the words!”

 DSC06835_edited-1 {new page for my heritage scrapbook…Mom, ages 5 & 6, in her tap costumes…}

Our recital was at the Old Fox Theater in downtown Phoenix…it was so exciting!  It was such a fancy, old theater…”


“Right after the performance, my mother turned that dance costume into a Little Bo Peep costume for me for Halloween…”, she said…

DSC06824_edited-1 {I really do think you can find ANYTHING online!  This cute little tap step button was one of those little findings}

Suddenly, she started in with:

jump forward, back, toe plant…

“jump forward, back, toe plant…

“step, knock, knock…

“jump forward, back, toe plant!”

Giggling again, she said, “I’m doing it right now!”  {sure wish I had a video phone!}


In the other picture” , she said, “I was about 6 years old, and my costume was silver, with TONS of sequins all over the top…don’t remember what I danced in that one…” 


Sweet keepsakes, long protected…first by her mother, now by me…


…metal plates…still shining, but oh, so worn…evidence of many, many practicing days on those little dancing feet…


And best of all, as I turned it over…carefully written by her mother’s hand about 66 years ago…


…I had never noticed that before… “Karen Ann Ostlund”…


Scuffed, rumpled, and ever-so-precious…I love these silver shoes…

I need to share with you something my Mom made for me this Halloween season.  I know I’ve shared with you before what an amazing doll maker she is…

Please let me introduce you to Bonita…{Bone-ita!}


…standing (with help!) at a little over 6 feet tall, this regal, skeletal beauty happily occupies a corner in my dining room…


…just look at that fabulous rib cage!  Made using PVC pipe, bleached muslin & stuffing…genius!


And a face only my mother could create…nothing scary about Bonita…just a sweet, new Halloween friend…{she does give you a bit of a fright, however, if you happen to be walking around in the middle of the night…she almost glows in the dark!}

Sending loving birthday wishes to my wonderful mother…


…thanks for letting me help you “tap” into your memories!


…“jump forward, back, toe plant…”, she said again at the end of our phone chat…

“I’ll do it for you when I see you next time!”, she said happily…

I can’t wait!

Love you, Mom.




  1. What a wonderful story about your mother! This is the best way, I believe to write personal histories. Not from the beginning...but in glimpses and scenes. I'm working on a blog post for the 5th anniversary of my mother's passing. I hope I can make at least a smidgeon of the impact you've made on me with your story.

  2. Oh Julie, this post is just precious and touched my heart so!... what fabulous photos, treasures and memories... your mama is adorable!... Happy Birthday Julie's mama!... and I am sure she can still dance circles around everyone!... xoxo Julie Marie

  3. PS I LOVE the doll she made for you too!!! xoxo Julie Marie

  4. I love how your mother remembers the exact steps of her dance, and the words to the song. I'm so happy you have those cherished shoes. This post glimmered memories of my past dance recitals. I'll have to do a post about that!:) Sweet photographs of your mom, and your heritage page came out fabulous. She is such a cutie, then and now! Blessings to her!

  5. What a treasure! You are so lucky to be able to share your memories with your mother.

  6. Awesome! A cherished "living" memory! Happy Birthday to your Mom.

  7. What a sweet post about your Mom and those precious silver shoes it's wonderful they have been kept all these years. I had tap shoes myself but they were gone when I was a kid and I have no idea what became of those, it would have been up to my Mom to keep them.

  8. Precious, precious memories. Thank you so much for sharing them.


  9. Happy BDay to Momma & I think Boneita is soooooooooooo funny!

    I too tap danced & did ballet at age 5. Fun memories... I was a rose in the wedding of the flowers. I wonder if most little girls have the same experiences? Thanks for sharing!
    HUGS! Charlene

  10. Happy Birthday to your dear sweet and very talented mother Julie!! What a fab creation you made with her dance pictures. I love all the momentos and I love sweet Boneita! How adorable! I always wanted to take dancing classes when I was a girl. My parents didn't have the money, but I used to spend hours pretending I could tap dance in my bedroom. Oh the things you can do and the places you can go in your mind! Love and hugs to you on this beautiful sabbath day! xxoo

  11. Dear Julie, happy birthday to your mom, whom have such beautiful memmories to tell.I love the photoes, and the treasures form earlier dayes.You are so rich with those things, Julie.
    Hugs, Dorthe

  12. Julie,
    You are so lucky to have your wonderful mom. Her face speaks volumes...warm and strong, if I see it right. She looks like a little Shirley Temple in her picture, so poised and beautiful. I love Bonita, too! Your mom is an amazing crafts woman to make you a six foot doll!
    Love these stories. Just magic.
    Big hugs,

  13. wow Julie! what a wonderful AWesome post! what a great page in your heirloom book. I'm always soooo impressed with your old pictures and the stories to go with them. such treaures!!! You are very lucky to have the pictures and the stories and the great talent to put them all together so creatively.
    Happy sunday and Happy Halloween.

  14. What precious memories that your Mom shared with you! With pictures to boot! I love what you did with them and she will too! And her shoes are such a keepsake!
    And Bonita is beautiful! What how creative! You get your creativeness from your Mom!
    Thank you for sharing with us, Julie.

  15. A beautiful gift to your mother. Really enjoy the behind the scenes glimpses that grace your posts. TFS!

  16. Julie, what a wonderful gift for your mother......and what precious photos too! THANKS for a really fabulous feel good read.

  17. your mom is one amazing women. Those memories cherished by her to share with you as an adult. So very special. I love that you come from a line of women who want to preserve their families past. And I love that you share them with us.

  18. Wow, wonderful memories and photos to go with those memories. A book to enjoy for generations to come. Thanks for sharing it with me!
    happy Halloween and have a wonderful week!

  19. What a beautiful doll! Love the haunted house in the previous post>>> :)

  20. Precious Julie! Such a sweet post of mother and daughter. Love the ballet pics and shoes. Priceless. Happy Halloween! Love ya, Maryjane

  21. Thank you for the
    big 'ol smile, Julie!
    My mom took tap
    as a little girl, as did
    my grams, and I can
    remember them dancing
    and chanting something
    similar in one of their
    kitchens when I was a
    wee one! Such precious
    memories and I love
    how this post tied them
    all together. Sweet!
    xx Suzanne

  22. What a special way to remember and honor your mother. Just beautiful!! Clarice

  23. I love your mom, she is really one of my favorite people. I remember going to your house to see Greg and I would end up chatting with her and not wanting to leave when he and Chris did! Such a sweet and talented lady!!

  24. Julie, I love the wonderful stories you tell of your family. I am always so envious that you know so many stories from the past. My families past in America goes back to my great-grandparents (all 4) who came to this country and worked very hard to make a living so there are no fun stories to tell. My grandparents also worked hard and I have a few of their stories but not many. My parents also shared a few of them but sadly, we did not get a hold of old photos until an uncle died last year and my mother is the only living survivor on both sides of my family and she has had dementia for a while now. Oh, she tells some stories about the photos, different ones every time so we will never know who some of these handsome faces are. I think I will adopt your family stories and look forward to reading each and every one.