“Adulthood is accretive by nature, a thing which arrives in ragged stages and uneven overlaps.”

I collect hats. They hang from nails on the bottoms or tops of the bookshelves, which one depends on your orientation. I tend to think they hang from the bottom shelves. My friend gave me two new hats for Christmas. One is your basic black perfect for almost any occasion. The other is white fur with ear flaps and a red Soviet hammer and sickle pin on the front. I figure red is not an accident. It is now my favorite hat.

Today is warmer than yesterday. Gracie has been in and out all morning. She is my temperature gauge. The longer she is out, the warmer the weather.

When I was a kid, relatives trying to make conversation sometimes asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I figured it was just one of those polite questions asked right after concerns about my health and before I was dismissed, the pleasantries being finished. The health I could answer, but what I wanted to be was elusive. I answered cowgirl once in my Dale Evans phase, but I didn’t actually think I’d ride a horse and work on a ranch. Lois Lane was about the most interesting woman on TV back then. She was a reporter but not just any reporter. She was dedicated to getting the news no matter what. Lois often found herself in trouble but Superman always saved her, and her story made front page. Reporter was a possibility. I never imagined myself in pearls, short heels and a dress so being a Mrs. Cleaver or a Mrs. Stone was out of the running. I read a book from the library about Nellie Bly, and she became my heroine. I wanted to be Nellie Bly. Not only was she a reporter but also a world traveler and a muckraker. She taught me to disregard boundaries: I can do anything.

I went to college, the first in my family to attend. It pushed the boundaries, but I didn’t think of it that way. I just figured it would give me time to work out what I wanted to be when I grew up.

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8 Comments on ““Adulthood is accretive by nature, a thing which arrives in ragged stages and uneven overlaps.””

  1. Bob Says:

    When I was a little kid I also wanted to be a cowboy. I think every American kid who grew up in the 1950s was enamored by all the western kid TV shows. I liked Hop Along Cassidy and Sky King. After moving to Texas in 1953 I was still looking for cowboys. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in my north Dallas suburban neighborhood. Then I wanted to be a train engineer but quickly switched to a pilot once I got to fly on an airplane in 1954. In those days a trip by air from Dallas to New York took all day including a fuel stop in Washington DC. The flight crew invited passengers to visit the flight deck in those days. I went up and got to sit on the pilot’s lap and see the world from the front of the airplane. It’s a view I never tired of seeing and made flying my career.

    There were very few woman on TV in those days who had a career outside of the home. If they were working they were secretaries or sales ladies who were husband hunting. I can remember my mother getting a part time job at Sanger’s department store during the 1959 Christmas season. It was a big deal and she had to buy new cloths to wear on the job. I think she spent all her earnings on the cloths before she actually went to work. My dad worked for a company in NY that had a woman sales manager who was in her 40s back in the 1950s. She came to Dallas to work locally with my dad for a week. I remember my mother saying how sad this woman’s life must be to not have a had a husband and kids. Things have really changed in the last 60 years. I think they have changed for the better. I am looking forward to the next 60 years to witness those changes. 😉

    • katry Says:

      Annie Oakley was a sharpshooter and a sheriff-a great role model for a girl as it meant you could do any job. I remember she’d stand on her horse and shoot and hit the target. I liked Sky King and Clipper and Penny too.

      When we are little, things do make big impressions on us, and we hold on to them as you did.

      It is true about there being few women other than mothers on TV back then. I did know a widow in our neighborhood who worked and a friend of my had a mother who also worked, but that was it.

      I am perfectly content with my life.

  2. Hedley Says:

    Get it done – our friends headed back to Phili, first thing this morning, I took my son, girlfriend and her doggie to Metro for their trip to the Rose Bowl and then came home and demolished the Christmas decorations,done, over gone history! now where is the Easter Bunny stuff?

    The Prince leaves us this evening, we will miss him. He is trying to decide what gifts to take home and what to leave here.

    I actually found a friggin Michel Legrand box set , I need an excuse to send it to my Uncle Paulie

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      It is still Christmas in my house; in fact, I just turned on the tree lights. They look so pretty.

      I’m sorry the Prince is leaving. I know how much you enjoy him and his company. I hope he got pancakes this his last morning.

      You were meant to find Michel!!!!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I always had a problem with that question about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I think it was growing up part that stumped me. 🙂
    I don’t remember wanting to be a cowboy or cowgirl. I think I wanted to be an Indian.
    Later on I wanted to be a fighter pilot, a radio personality and a zoo veterinarian. At some point my father told me I could be a teacher or a nurse and those were the only two things that were available. I didn’t want to be either of those things. There was still the problem with that growing up part, too.
    In the end I became a civil servant and spent a hefty portion of my career teaching people how to do stuff, teaching people how to teach people to do stuff and writing instruction manuals about how to teach people to do stuff.
    I have yet to grow up and I’m not sure I need to right at the moment. 🙂

    Lovely weather here today. I managed to get all the bird feeders filled at the same time. I came out the front door to find a spawn sitting on the step while he ate some crocus bulbs that he had dug up. They are now protected with vinyl wrapped wire in-baskets from Staples. It was all I had to hand.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I was stumped at being asked for a prediction when I thought next week was a long time ahead.

      My father never suggested anything. He told me I would have to transfer to a cheaper college if my brother got accepted into an expensive one. I knew that would never happen. He didn’t even last in community college.

      I was actually going to be a lawyer but changed my mind after teaching in Ghana. I decided that’s what I wanted to do.

      I didn’t go out today but have to tomorrow. I have the dump, CVS and I need a few groceries.

      Those spawns once did the same to me. In the spring nothing came out. They had been eaten. My spawns haven’t been on the deck lately. I guess they are driving someone else crazy.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat! Coleen here…

    I remember drawing a picture very early in my life that indicated I wanted to be a nurse. That’s a tradition of sorts for the females on my family….either LPN’s or RN’s. One even got a Master’s in emergency room trauma and taught the subject extensively at the U. of Colorado…

    But I hated science and it seemed I had a better grasp of both the spoken and written word…so first I fell into radio, then cable tv and now back to being a reporter. I love it, because I get to be nosey and ask questions.

    And when things get slow I daydream about winning that elusive Pulitzer…

    Happy New Year (almost),

    Waving from Jersey,

    • katry Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      No nurses in my family so that never came to mind for me. All my female relatives were stay at home mothers, and that didn’t really interest me at all. I knew I wanted to see the world-made that determination when I was 11.

      The luckiest person is one who finds that one job which makes going to work interesting and fun, seldom a drudge. I’m glad you found yours!

      Happy New year and may this year bring you nothing but the best.

      Waving from a chilly Cape Cod!

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