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Monday, October 25, 2010

Running Away

 I'm reading two books. One is The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family and the other is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I believe it was Decca Mitford who, in her mid-teens, established a Running-Away Fund at the local bank. And fictional Juliet Ashton, in Guernsey, twice ran away from her childhood home with her uncle. 
All that running away reminded me...

When I was very small, younger than school age, I ran away regularly. Somebody would hurt my feelings and I would pack my small plaid plastic suitcase with God-knows-what and set off up the dirt road. Sometimes I slammed the screen door and sometimes I left quietly, perhaps with a sad little sigh.  My mother always came after and caught up with me, hunkered down and talked me out of my snit. And we would walk home again.  And then one day she didn't.
I couldn't believe it.
I reached the shade on the summer dirt road, halfway up the hill . . . and she wasn't behind me. She was nowhere in sight. 
I dawdled. 
I sat down on a stone wall and waited, to give her adequate opportunity to come and make up for whatever had gone wrong in my world. 
It seemed like an hour. It probably was ten minutes.
She didn't come.
I had no place to go. It was a long trip back down the hill, my little shoulders drooping down under the weight of  the knowledge that not only did they hurt my feelings, but they didn't care if I stayed or went. 
I think that was the end of my running away.

16 comments:

Wanda..... said...

I'm sure the thought..."they didn't care if I stayed or went" went away quickly. I never ran away but my baby sister did, like you, with suitcase in hand, she got maybe 2 houses down and began playing with friends!

I just finished reading two books at the same time, "Daughter of Fortune" and "The Forgotten Garden".

Linda Myers said...

I wanted to run away but never did. My sister did, once, when she was small. She got in trouble because she lost one of her shoes on her neighborhood journey!

VioletSky said...

running away always sounded so romantic to me when I was small. the closest I ever got was begging to stay at a friend's house for longer than the agreed weekend. I loved that she had so many sibs to play with. one harried Monday at a breakfast in a house with 5 (plus 1) kids was enough to send me back home to the quiet of the only child.

Fran said...

I ran away from home once, but we lived in Singapore at the time, and I had run off without shoes. The pavements were so burning hot, I had to come home. So humiliating.

elizabethm said...

Oh I felt so sorry for your little self there! And think, your mother was probably dealing with some domestic crisis and perhaps hadn't even noticed you had gone, or had noticed but still needed to keep her finger in the dyke!

Friko said...

The Mitford Sisters is on my reading list, they are a fascinating bunch.

I too often thought of running away. Once, I was already a teenager, I ostentatiously packed a large suitcase, filled it mainly with my cotton underwear and other very respectable items. A woman came to the house to complain about something at the same time and in the kerfuffle mum and I united against her and I sheepishly unpacked my case again after the woman had left.

Von said...

Ah VioletSky the house of the quiet of the only child.I remember it well.As an adoptee I never thought of running away.I'd lost one family, who would take me in? It might get worse.

VM Sehy Photography said...

I was going to run away when I was six. My dad helped me pack my very small plaid cloth suitcase. It was round like a makeup case. While helping me, he asked me where I was going. I pronounced that I was going to go live with Kev and Jim. Neighbor boys and friends. He said, well, maybe their parents will let you stay for a couple of nights. What are you going to do after that? I don't know. Well, you're going to have to get a job. And buy food. And pay for a place to live. He starts heading down the hallway with my suitcase. I thought about it and decided it might not be such a good idea. The things you get in your head when you're a kid.

Joey said...

Oh my... when I was ten, I packed my bag and put it at the back of the house to run away.

I was going to go to Lubbock and live on the streets. The next morning, my Grandma came in carrying my bag and asked where I was going. She looked so surprised and sad that I told her I was sorry and wrapped my arms around her waist.

Really, all I wanted was adventure, and to be honest, there was plenty of that to be found on the farm. Silly me.

morningbrayfarm said...

Aww, June... thank you for sharing your memories with us. As usual, I felt like I was right there living the moment.

Carolynn said...

Ah yes. One of the many lessons I learned as a young runaway, myself. Except that, if memory serves, I would just leave, without anything, including clothing. I was a free spirit. What can I say?

Khaki said...

I remembering running away and I packed a little brown suitcase with all my dolls clothes and tucked a purse my mother had given me to play with under my arm. I'd walk down the lane to our mailbox and set down till the mad wore off. Looking back my packing skills have at least improved.

fiftyodd said...

Wow! I've just listened to a BBC Radio 4 recording of a 45 minute interval with the youngest of the Mitford sisters, who has just turned 90. The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. She is absolutely fascinating. I'll try and post the link - I often listen to 'Woman's Hour' on my PC. You can hear the best slots for quite a few weeks after the broadcast...http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/womans-hour/. A super site.
Oh good - I see this interview is still on the HOme Page. Enjoy

Barb said...

When one of my twins was 2, he decided that Sue across the street would make a better Mom than I. He packed a little case with his stuffed animal and tooth brush and went to ring her doorbell. Meanwhile, his twin was howling with grief, thinking he would lose his best pal forever. It turned out Sue wasn't home, so home the traveler came, much to his brother's relief. Sometimes feelings like anger and frustration are no good to us if they aren't witnessed by someone!

Lord Wellbourne said...

Running away is a sensitive subject for me these days....the pipe-dream desire is gaining strength and becoming all consuming. On the other hand, staying and making others equally miserable has its charms, too.

Elephant's Eye said...

I think Edith Hope had a post up about the Duchess of Devonshire?