Penny Rene: September 2011 Archives

On September 10th, 2001, I wrote this in my journal:

"I was walking to my car this morning when I felt a cool shift in the air, bring about little goosebumps on my arms. I smelled September.

Suddenly I was back in Midwest City Oklahoma and my mom was calling me in the house to set the dinner table. Our green and white checkered curtains above the sink that she made herself were so vivid to me. And the quirky table with the matching vinyl chairs that left their swirl pattern on the backs of my legs were almost real enough to touch. I remembered it all in a split second – the backdrop of my childhood on Willowbrook Drive.  And with the memory came such a longing to go back – just for one dinner.


I thought about what I would say to me as an eight-year-old. Knowing what I know now, would I look into her overly lashed brown eyes and give her a good dose of the Truth?  Would I name the people she should not trust, the people who would hurt her? Should I tell her to forget about Jr. High and High School and College as being the places she would find self worth? Should I beg her to be more cautious about the boys and men who are capable of breaking her heart? And still, would I give her a list of people she should spend more time with – Grandma Ruby K, her big sister, Alice, Grandpa and her namesake, Grandma Rene? If I had one night with eight-year-old me, what would I do with that precious time?

At that age, I was, by most accounts, completely innocent. I did all the things that kids do and I took the time to know what September smelled like. As I sit here now thinking about it, I guess I might’ve been happy. So I can’t help but wonder if maybe I would reveal nothing to Penny Rene age 8 if I saw her. Maybe what I would be wiser to do is ask her what her favorite book is, what she likes about her big brother, what’s her mom’s specialty dish, and  - Isn’t Grandma Rene funny? And I would ask her what she wants to be when she grows up.  


Sigh…. Lately, when everybody looks so tired and my pen feels like a toothpick hurled at my giant ego, I cannot help but miss that innocence. Today I have been trying to remember how all my big dreams of being a writer began. One little girl in her Robin Egg Blue room, with a shelf full of books that would all be read and a pine cone tree hideaway across the street where she could find some peace. It was a good time."