I'm starting to write a real book. I decided to go with non-fiction and cover something I know a lot about -- me. My working title for this book is, Too Young For a Journal: Earliest Memories from My Mormon Childhood.
Anytime I get some writing saved on my computer, I'll try to post some of it here. You can access all of the entries (after I've posted more than one) under the label of "Too Young." I hope you like them. If not, don't tell me.
Life for me began in a white brick house on 400 West in Hyrum, Utah. Oh sure, my mother will tell you that she and Dad brought me home from the hospital to their one-bedroom house on Center Street in Smithfield, Utah. But I don’t remember that house. Mom might also remind you that we lived with her parents, the Kofoeds, while Dad was building the white brick house in Hyrum. But since this book is about my earliest memories, I’m telling you that life for me began at 357 North 400 West, Hyrum, Utah.
An address is very important to a child, at least mine was to me. The street numbers to home are probably the first numbers that children memorize. That, and their phone number. Our Hyrum phone number was 245-6706. I memorized that at three- or four-years old and although it stopped being my phone number over 25 years ago, I still remember it. As important as a phone number is, those handy seven numbers that let you call home, an address trumps that. An address actually gets you home.
I don’t recall the exact words Mom used when she taught me our address. No doubt she used words and phrases that explained that if I were ever separated from her away from home, these were the numbers to bring me safely back.
I’ve always been concerned with returning safely home.
When riding horses with my Dad in the mountains, he would sometimes ask, “If something were to happen to me, do you think you’d be able to find your way back to the truck and get help?” I’m sure his question was well-meaning – a way to help me pay attention to my surroundings and develop a sense of direction -- but to my child’s mind, his words sobered me. Although I can’t say I was really frightened, I was worried. What if something did happen to Dad? What would I do?
I spent many horse rides (even ones where Dad never mentioned possible peril) memorizing landmarks – trees, rock formations, which direction we’d taken when cutting across a ravine. Now that I’m an adult I’ll sometimes hike a trail that Dad and I rode on years ago. Despite years away from the area, the trail still looks familiar.