The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 7, 2010

Carolyn McLaren: Spring brings alive memories from the past


What a beautiful day! Driving to work, I saw so many bright yellow forsythia bushes and yards filled with daffodils.

Seeing all the flowers reminded me of a book I once read that described the forsythias and daffodils as April’s gold, a very appropriate name. After a long winter, the flowers are a wonderful way to bring spring to Missouri.

When I walked into the office, the first thing I saw was Jo Shiner dressed like spring in a pretty, bright pink hat. Later in the day we had a visit from several lovely ladies, all wearing their bright red hats. I then found out the picture page in this edition was going to be about hats.

It was difficult to keep my mind on work when I kept thinking about hats, yellow flowers, and Easter. It all reminds me of my childhood when our mother would take us to JC Penney’s.

We got to pick out a spring dress, shoes, little gloves, and a new Easter hat. I can still see the Easter morning pictures of my sisters and brother lined up youngest to oldest in front of our giant oak tree. We would be in our new Easter clothes, with the sun in our eyes, trying to look at the camera. This was my family’s tradition.

I remember having a new hat and Easter outfit all the way through high school. Even today, I can still picture many of the different hats. On the top shelf of my cedar closet is a very old pink and white striped hat box with three hats in it. The first is the hat I wore as I left for my honeymoon. The second is a “pill box” hat along with a coat collar my mother had made for me out of her old fur coat. The last hat is one my daughter wore when she was little. Each brings me a wonderful memory.

Memories are so important, our own and those shared from past generations. Memories are our history and we should try not to lose them. So when you are with your families, whether it is a holiday, vacation or Sunday dinner, share those stories with each other. Laugh, cry, smile, and love each other.