Saturday, March 10, 2018

March Questions: Movies & Memories

I was really pleasantly surprised to see that I actually had questions for Question and Answer month! I've been blogging here for about 7 years now, and I've never participated before.

My first two questions come from Roz (she actually asked three, but I already have half a post in my draft folder pertaining to her third question that I will finish up!)

"What is your favorite movie? Favorite childhood memory?"

Movies! That's a hard one for me. I don't think I have a single favorite. But you know you have those movies, that anytime you see them on TV or at a friends home you just have to stop what you're doing to finish watching them? I have a few like that. I'll pick two of them, so we won't be here all day, haha.


The entire Harry Potter film series. I loved when Freeform/ABC Family had their Harry Potter weekends. I first got into Harry Potter in 2002. The first four books were out, but I was already an adult. I didn't think those books/movies were "for me". Then, HBO had the first HP movie on. I caught it almost from the beginning and I was HOOKED! I even got out the TV Guide to see when it would be playing again, just so I could tape it. I watched that tape so many times. Shortly thereafter, the second movie came out in theatres. I went to see it with my then-boyfriend, and loved that one even more. I got the first four books that Christmas, and the rest is history. I really adore that first movie for getting me into that world, and for helping me to acknowledge my geeky side. I am a huge part of the HP fandom, to this day. A cosplay-making, convention-going fan!


The other movie I'll list is Where the Heart Is. I don't know what it was about that movie, but I adored it; this coming-of-age tale filled with overcoming struggle. It just spoke to me. Any time that movie is on, I will stop what I am doing to watch it. I've never read the book though!

Memory: I had an interesting childhood. There were good times and bad times. Love and struggle. My parents were mostly good people, but they had their faults and there was some really bad shit that went down when I was growing up. My mom is a manic-depressive alcoholic, who raised me and my brother essentially on her own (though my dad was always around and helping as much as he could) until I was 14. Things got crazy, living with her, but she always tried really hard. I remember there was a summer when I was 11 going on twelve. She wanted us to get away from all our crazy problems. Her brother had just passed away from AIDS. Her and my father had separated years ago, but had an on-again off-again thing going. And it was off-again and my dad was parading around his new girlfriend to her neighbors next door. Cause she wouldn't see that or anything. Things were just stressful. 

Somehow on her limited government assistance budget, she rented us a small run-down bungalow in Queens. Right next to Rockaway Beach, a two block walk. It was the shittiest little shack ever, but we loved it. The shower was outside. There were "worms" in the drinking water. The entire inside was unfinished exposed wood, pipes, etc. It was rickety, and dark, and creaky. When the remnants of Hurricane Floyd came through, I remember huddling with my brother as the lights flickered on and off, and the old window panes rattled. The sound was deafening! In the morning, the beach was GONE. There was part of the boardwalk, and then water. No sand. No beach. It took years to rebuild. 

I look back on that summer as one of the happiest ones of my life, though. We went to the beach everyday. We swam, and boarded, and made sandcastles. We made friends with other kids who lived in their own little run-down shacks nearby. We'd eat bologna sandwiches that always seemed to have a little sand in them on the beach for lunch. At night, we'd bundle up and walk the boardwalk, looking at the moon. We'd run after the ice cream truck at dusk. My mom even let us bring our bird, a little cockatiel. Many mornings, she'd get us up when it was still dark, and we'd bring Sunny, our bird, cage and all out to the beach. We'd climb up on the lifeguard towers, Sunny between us, and watch the sunrise. Watch the sandpipers flit out to grab clams and sand crabs, and then flee hilariously as the two-inch tide would roll in. There are so many funny (and not-so-funny) stories from that summer that my family still tells all the time, to this day. But I remember my mom, trying really hard to give us a good summer. Away from our questionable neighborhood, away from real life, and the heat. For one summer, I felt like we were the richest kids on earth - sun, and sand, and fun everyday.

This is one of the very few pictures I have from that summer. My family didn't have a camera, I don't think.
 But my uncle came to visit with his and took a few shots. This is from me and him on the boardwalk at sunset

The beach is my absolute favorite place ever since. Doesn't really matter what beach. If there's sand and some waves, I am a happy chick.

Thank you for the questions, Roz!


  1. That is a very lovely story. I think so much these days we think the key to happiness is buying our kid the latest cell phone or electronic thing. We gauge our own success by the things we have and we end up misguided and sad. Spending time together, enjoying something as simple as sand, water, and sun - it's truly Heaven on Earth. When I ask, it's never the things my kids owned that they've tucked away as their favorite memory. It's the experiences that we went through together that stand out the most. :)

    1. Thank you, Amy. I find that with my nieces and nephews and little cousins, the most they want is my time. Doing things together. Last time I went over my cousins place, the kids and I had the best time dancing to music in a little circle in the living room.

      Life is about experiences, I agree. Its what I prefer to gift, as well!

  2. Ditto what Amy mom often is all about the memories, about the time we were groaning about an outing...she was absolutely right. And...the beach is my go to place...hugs abby

    1. I feel like the groaning becomes fond memories too. You miss it, even having dumb things to groan about... wouldn't you take it back in a second, to go back to that time?

  3. Hi Lea,

    Thank you so much for answering my questions. I loved the Harry Potter movies but haven't actually read the books.

    What a wonderful memory and I too agree with Amy.


    1. You're welcome, Roz. Thanks for asking such good questions!

  4. I loved Harry Potter - but have only seen one of the movies...

    I really appreciate you sharing this childhood memory. It's a good reminder, like Amy says, of what's important to kids, and that life is not a clear path. <3

    1. You should give the other movies a shot! The books are absolutely better though.

      Thank you for your words. I think about life not being a clear path a lot; even though it's not clear and may be a windy road, it can still be good and lead to great places!

  5. The Harry Potter movies are fun. My family and I used to try to determine which character each of us was the most like. Good stuff.

    1. What did you come up with for yourself?

  6. Oh! Where the Heart Is, one of my favourite books!

    The times where we get out of our everyday, sure do make the most wonderful memories.


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