Kellie Elmore: Free Write Friday, Favorite Childhood Gift

1231698_10151679670688763_1447105361_nFavorite Childhood Gift:

My father bought my favorite stuffed animal, a monkey, in Lamberts, a store in New York City for my second birthday.I imagined Lamberts was a store filled with all kinds of wonderful things: police cars that flashed and made noise, doll babies with small pink bottles, cards for all occasions, all types of medicine including my personal favorite, St. Joseph Aspirin for children that tasted like an orange cream soda. I pictured them also having a formica counter with shiny chrome swirling stools where you could orders snacks and a black and white ice cream soda, or a frosty bright pink strawberry milkshake.

My favorite love object is a stuffed animal whose name is Nokey.I could not pronounce “Monkey” at the time. If you noticed I haven’t used the past tense it’s because I will be 57 in the beginning of October and Nokey will be 55. Yes, I still have him, I will always have him. This special friend of mine, this lovey, has been all over the world with me, wherever my family took me, I took him.

He is so important to me that my husband (and probably my grown-up children) know when I die, I want to be buried with him beside me or cremated with me. Nokey was always such a huge part of my life.

I’m not sure why he was so important but I know he was the one object I could rely on, could trust. He kept my confidences and more importantly, only he could make me feel safe. I slept with him until he was too fragile to sleep with, he went to college for a semester but after that his inner stuffing starting falling out and ungainly wires started poking out. My father, seeing old friends, brought him to a small doll and toy factory in Germany (my father was an airline employee) so that Nokey could get a face and body lift. There was nothing in New York, they only accepted “dolls.” His colors were still the same, a yellow shirt and black pants, with white sneakers but his head was a little too puffy.  In time I forgot how he used to look.

I have always imagined the toy shop high on a cobblestone street, on the second floor. The old, kindly toy maker with white hair and round glasses, looking out the window, smiling; and there would be red flowers on all the window boxes of the white house with brown trim.

Nokey has ruby-red lips upturned in a big, happy smile and I used to swing his arms back and forth because I thought he liked it. His ruby smile faded a tiny bit as he became older just as all of us fade a little with age. It didn’t matter to me, it doesn’t matter to me.I love him for all the love, comfort and warmth he brought to me. I never cared how he looked with his bandaged hand, masking tape, in many places. Shouldn’t old age be treated in the exact same way? Do we really need all these vain people trying to look young forever? Why? Yes, I’m focusing on you, “celebrities. You send such a bad message to people.

Nokey is now lying beside me with his bandaged white sneakers and his hand that was once burnt on the furnace that my dad lovingly wrapped in masking tape. I will not put him in the closet for another day, I will find a place for him where I can see him and smile and remember the comfort he gave me, as a little girl, standing outside, looking within.

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Plinky: If I had to evacuate my home, what 5 items would I grab?

  • Shell Necklace

    Shell Necklace (Photo credit: Seashore Love)

    If you had to evacuate your home in an instant, what five items would you grab on your way out? See all answers

  • The top five items
  • 1) My stuffed animal Nokey (couldn’t say Monkey) that my dad gave me when I was two.
    2) A framed photo of my father and me. (He died 11 years ago)
    3) My computer (has my blog on it so I can “read” my memories.
    4) A huge box of photos of my children, my husband, mom and sis, etc.
    5) My tiny shell (engagement) necklace.

Plinky Prompt: What My Possessions Say…

  • Peep in Nature

    Peep in Nature (Photo credit: lightsoutfilms)

  • Choose and write about 5 (or 10) possessions that sum up who you are. See all answers
  • What your possessions say
  • My dog from a rescue shelter (if that counts as a possession)
    framed photo of me and my dad
    a photo of my son and my daughter when they were young
    my computer for blogging
    my monkey stuffed animal given to me from my dad when I was 2
    an old down comforter
    a small painting that I bought by myself 15 years ago
    lots and lots of books, all different kinds
    candles
    Cadbury Egg
    Peeps
    Lots of photographs in different frames
    Angel perfume

Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away (Plinky)

Tiger on my way

Image by gynti_46 via Flickr

  • Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away
  • I Knew It Then; I Know It Now
  • It’s embarrassing after all these years but I still regret throwing away a (barely) stuffed animal named Tigre (pronounced Tie-gree.) I remember that he was bright orange with black stripes, a tiger with honor and kindness. I felt protected by this sewn-up, bedraggled stuffed animal but I was going to college and had to give some stuff away. This was a mistake, I knew it then as I pushed his frail, falling apart body down the incinerator shoot. I regret it still. I can picture him perfectly but I do regret getting rid of him since he comforted me in my childhood. Sometimes, I would use his body as a pillow when I couldn’t sleep. When I was a child, stuffed animals and dolls were very important to me, they were like family. I’ve very sentimental about stuffed animals and still love them. I still have Nokey, my monkey, the one stuffed animal I would save if there was a fire. My dad bought me Nokey ( I couldn’t pronounce Monkey) from Lamstons for my birthday when I turned two. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me. I’m not going anywhere without him.

My Ultimate Keepsakes

:. via Flickr”]Zip

(Hey, Plinky: Is this a Plinky Prompt Repeat?)

Nokey. (Monkey)
This is the most sentimental item that I have. My father bought me this stuffed animal, a monkey, when I was two years old. I couldn’t pronounce monkey so Nokey it was. Nokey came on every trip with me, sat on my college bed and was there with the birth of my children. He now sits in my bedroom, wearing a Newton-Wellesly newborn shirt, the same shirt my children wore when they were born. He is barely stuffed anymore but still has his wide, open lipped, red smile. My father bought me Nokey at Lamberts; Nokey is now 52 years old. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me.

A ceramic, green 8
Eight was always a special number when I was growing up. It was significant to me as a child, a code between my father and myself. This is less about my dad and more about my daughter. She once made me a green, ceramic 8 when she was in sleep-away camp. I look at it every day and every night. The fact that my daughter made this for me means everything to me.

Photographs
I would scurry around my house ducking in and out of the flames so I could carry as many photographs as possible. A photograph taken on Cape Cod of me and my children when they were young, a photograph of my husband and I when we were first engaged, one of my dog, Callie, looking straight into the camera with a sweet, panting smile. A photo of my mother and I when I was a newborn, my sister and I when we were young and she was my world, my father and I hugging when I was pregnant with my son, pictures of family, friends, reminders of good times in the past.

A Wooden Heart
My mom gave me this heart many, many years ago. It says “I Love You” on it and it is very special. My mother, not an emotional person in any way, gave this to me as a gift. It was her way of showing me how much she loved me, I keep it to remind me that while she doesn’t always show it, I know she loves me deeply.

My Clam Engagement Necklace

My boyfriend (now husband of 22 years) and I went to Hawaii over Valentine’s Day many years ago. He proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, while we were in the kitchen of our rented condo, sipping Diet Coke. While he didn’t have a ring (he thought I would want to pick it out himself) he bought me a delicate gold, clam shell necklace. I call it my engagement necklace and while I have jewelery that is far more expensive, this means the most to me.

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