Friday, July 16, 2010

Firsts In Living Color

This week I was talking to a friend about getting older and the subject of first times came up. You know like the first time I saw a color TV. No, I’m not talking about a orange or purple encased TV set but the shows were in “Living Color.” I was probably eight or nine and a friend of mine invited me over to her house. Her family had just purchased a color TV set and I was fascinated. My brain had a hard time registering all the moving colors. They were so bright and mostly green, blue and red. The TV set at home had only black, white and different shades of gray (the reason football players wore light jerseys versus dark jerseys to distinguish which player was on which team). It was awesome. Only a couple years earlier had I seen my first color movie, Tarzan, and now we could watch shows in color at home? Wow! Well, that is at my friend’s home.

Another first I remember is seeing Microsoft Windows for the first time. It was in 1989 and our company had bought several of the executives and managers Personal Computers for their desks. Before that a few secretaries had the oversize computers with the tiny black screen with green type and so boring with their large floppy discs and so many codes to remember. The new computers were smaller but so much more powerful. Once again, I was fascinated by the colors appearing on the screen. But this was also in 3D! While other people were going on and on about what all it could do in calculating information, I was ecstatic by the detail pictures and how easy it was to correct a typing error. NO MORE WHITE OUT!

A biggy was the first book I ever owned that hadn’t been my sister’s. I was probably four or five. It was a copy of SCAT! SCAT CAT! It had avocado green binding and the pictures inside were done in watercolors. The paper was thick and silky smooth. I loved it and in fact still own it.

One first we all talk about at one time or another (no, get your mind out of the gutter) is the first book I started. It was never completed, though I did complete a historical seven years later. It was a contemporary and I wrote it in long hand. I remember using the word trudged. I had never used that word in my life and thought it was so cool. "The girl trudged down the road with suitcase in hand." In fact, I was thrilled to hear the word used during a scene in the movie, A KNIGHT’S TALE. Geoffrey Chaucer, naked as the day he was born, walks by Will and his two friends and is asked, “O sir, what are you doing?” And he answers, “Uh…trudging. You know, trudging? To trudge: the slow weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.” Love it!

So here’s to many more firsts as I trudge along my road to publication with the determined hope I'll continue to be fascinated by the colors of each new experience. Soldier on!

Though it's not the first and certainly not the last (I hope), wish me happy birthday (today) and tell me some of your favorite firsts.

25 comments:

Piedmont Writer said...

Happy Birthday. One of my favorite firsts is when I saw the mountains for the first time. I was going to Vermont and came up over this large rise (not knowing it was a mountain) and there spread before me were the Green Mountains. Ah beautiful.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Definitely Happy Birthday! Hope it's a great one.

The first "first" that comes to mind is the first and ONLY flying lesson I ever took from my husband. Seems that all his other students had cancelled because of the strong, strong crosswinds. So he thought it was an ideal time to take his scaredy-cat wife for a flying lesson.

JoAnn said...

Happy, happy day to you!!!!

The first boy I ever had a crush on was Tim Wuska, and he lived up the street. I was 6 and he was 7. I thought he was the cutest thing walking. I just knew we would get married some day. We didn't. :-)

Jeanie said...

Happy day of your birth, Carla! I remember my first bike. It was a Schwinn and it weighed almost as much as I did. I also remember by first dog and cat, Andy and Boots. They were pals and absolutely wonderful. Andy was the best dog in the world. Ever. End of story. We went everywhere together. One reason OLD YELLER sent me into hysterics is Yeller looked like my beloved Andy.

I also remember the first time I fell in love. It was like the thunderbolt Michael Corleone experienced in THE GODFATHER. I was riding around my hometown and I and my friend swung through The Dairy Bar, one of two burger joints in the place, and I saw him get out of his car. Wham! It was like somebody hit me over the head with a bat. Truly, first love is different. I've been in love since then, of course, but nothing compares to that first jolt. I also remember the first time I ever had pizza and Chinese food. No ethnic food in my hometown when I was growing up. Silly, huh? but I like food!

Jeanie said...

P.S. Did you know you and Barbara Stanwick share the same birthday?

Callie James said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Um, first day of school. I was half a day late. Talk about humiliated.

Thanks, Mom.

Carla Swafford said...

Piedmont Writer: Thanks. I understand completely. It wasn't the first time in the Smokies, but it was the first time I really was surprised when we came around a curve and BAM! They were there (it seemed). Awesome.

Carla Swafford said...

Debbie: Thanks. Men! Can't have children without their sperm. Geez!

Carla Swafford said...

JoAnn: Thank you! I remember my first crush too. I was 5 and his name was Keith Woods. Isn't it funny how we remember that? Of course, that was only twenty years ago. *smirk*

Carla Swafford said...

Jeanie: Thank you. I can't remember my first bike or dog/cat. My dad was a big animal lover. So we had plenty around when I was growing up. But I do remember a puffy little white dog named Snow Ball. I guess I was three or four. It was my sister's.

Carla Swafford said...

Jeanie: Ooooo! I loved Barbara Stanwick. She always played strong independent women. Thanks!

Carla Swafford said...

Callie: Thanks. Bless your heart. :-) I remember mom going with me the first day--that was when people signed up on the first day--to fill out the paperwork. But in the 3rd grade she said I could do it by myself as she needed to go with my sister. My sister is 4 years older than me. LOL!

Cari Hislop said...

What a lovely post! Happy Birthday...may it be filled with sunshine and lots of magical moments.

So many firsts...it's like being in a candy store...I'll be hours trying to choose which one...so I'll just thank you for reminding me of all those memories (no bad ones come to mind).

Caroline said...

Happy Birthday Carla. My favourite first. The first date with my DH! Caroline x

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Cari!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Caroline! It took my husband a month to work up the guts to ask me out and our first date was on Halloween night. LOL! It should've been a warning.

Kat Jones said...

Happy B'day!!!

Buying our first house. After living in apartments for almost nine years, I was so excited about painting the inside a color I actually wanted to look at daily!

Here's to many more great firsts!!!

Louisa Cornell said...

Happy Birthday Carla !!! Hope it is a great one!

Hmm. I remember my first dog, Fritz, a standard dachshund. He was one of the world's great dogs.

I remember the first time I saw a real castle, Framlingham Castle in England. I was nine and thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.

I remember the first time I saw Salzburg and realized I was walking the streets that Mozart walked.

I remember the first time I sang on an opera stage as a professional. I was scared witless!

And I LOVE that quote from Chaucer! Here's to many more birthdays, many more first and continued trudging with good friends to trudge along with us!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Kat!

And just think, I gave in and let my husband paint my living room another color besides white for the first time. LOL!!!

Carla Swafford said...

Thanks, Lousia!

That's a great firsts! I don't know much about opera, but I love listening to the songs.

M.V.Freeman said...

My first: was rapalling down a wall, I was sure I was going to fall, I hated heights.

I found I loved it. I only did it while in the military, but I'd do it again if given half the chance.

Happy Birthday! May it be filled with those moments you cherish!

Carla Swafford said...

Mary: Thanks! I'm not too afraid of heights but there's been times I've wondered about my sanity. LOL!

Carla Swafford said...

Jeanie: By the way, I had forgotten until I saw it in ET magazine last night. My favorite comedian and I share the same day. Will Ferrell!!! Love that man.

Christine said...

Hey Carla--happy birthday again--sorry I was late to read your birthday post... :-)

My first that I I remember vividly is the first time I flew overseas to see my Oma & Opa. I was 10. I felt quite grand because in those days people dressed up and it was quite a fancy travel affair.

Now I dress comfortably and dread each event: not because of the flying part, but because of the security. It's not fun anymore.

Suzanne Jones said...

Belated happy birthday, Carla.

XX