1209. Spinning round and round, everything was magical and gold. ~Karen Aba

The Carousel
the carousel turns in the carnival park
on a pier further down on the beach
the gold ring is its greatest allure

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the spirited ponies, animals quaint,
all snorting and rearing whirl round
and round in their brightly colored paints

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the spinning floor stops for us to get on
and after we choose our mounts, the
ride starts with the enchanting sounds

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up and down, round and round,
prance the horses while the calliope sings and
we go ’round waiting to reach for the rings

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sometimes we miss them as they fly by
or they’re too far out of reach but there’s
always that chance for the second try
~Edited and adapted poem
by Soul Survivor

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Who knows what triggers memories? Even childhood memories can be aroused a half a century or more after their occurrence. Today was such a day. The house where we lived California was just a half a block from the Pacific Ocean. Though I was forbidden to cross the busy street to get over to the beach by myself, the allure was just too great to resist for one such as me. And then quite a ways down the beach was a place called Rainbow Pier which had midway with a Merry-Go-Round and other amusements. And of course I was forbidden to go there by myself too. But again the lure of that Merry-Go-Round with its gold ring that if caught garnered one a free ride was just too enticing for me. Thankfully, the Lord was watching over me and no harm came to me the numerous times that I heeded not parental rules. I’m the oldest of 3 girls and not too long ago, we were reminiscing about our California days, and I told them of my stealing away alone to the beach and the midway. Both were surprised, and the middle one was indignant that I had not invited either of them to go with me. When asked why I didn’t, I laughed and said because one or both of you would have “spilled the beans” and that would have been the end of my forays to those magical places. The middle one insisted that she would never have said anything, and I had to remind her that every time she became angry with me she had “squealed” about something just to get me in trouble. The fact that she adamantly denied it doesn’t change the truth of it however. We left California to move to Texas when I was 13, but those memories are still vibrantly alive!

Purple horses with orange manes,
Elephants pink and blue,
Tigers and lions there were never seen
In circus parade or zoo!
Bring out your money and choose your steed,
And prance to the delightsome sound.
What fun if the world would turn some day
Into a Merry-Go-Round!
~Rachel Field

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ~1 Corinthians 12:11  ✝

268. “The true meaning of America, you ask? It’s in a Texas rodeo, in the sound of laughing children, in a …” ~Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II, actor, songwriter, and horse breeder

I wanted to be like my father,
who was a cattle man and rodeo roper.
And that was – he was my hero,
and I wanted to be more like him.
~Dave Brubeck, American jazz pianist and composer

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Shortly after the beginning of the year, a sign starts flashing “this thing is legendary,” and huge trucks loaded with equipment roll onto the grounds of Will Rogers Coliseum.  But before the livestock comes, before the vendors come, before the riders come, before the spectators come, the carnival trucks are unloaded and construction of the Stock Show midway begins. Soon afterwards the Ferris Wheel and other rides rise high above the surrounding fences, the midway opens, and the “oldest continual running livestock show and rodeo” becomes a daily part of everyday life here in Fort Worth once again.  And each year when I see the Ferris Wheel on the stock show grounds, I’m transported back to my childhood in Long Beach, California, and that stretch of beach with the amusement park about a mile down from our house.  Even though I was forbidden to go there alone, the call of the midway fun and the cotton candy was just too strong to resist.  So from time to time between the ages of 10 and 12 I’d steal away to Rainbow Pier with a few dimes in my pocket and secretly partake of the Pike’s allurements.  I must have picked my days well and not tarried any longer than I should because my disobedient treks to the Pike faded into obscurity undetected.

Our move to Texas when I was 13 not only brought an end to my life in southern California but also to my childhood.  Its halcyon days, however, continue to be my “precious, kingly possessions” and a treasure house of cherished memories.  And I hold fast still to the pleasures and memories of that portion of my life which was filled with a constancy of joy that has never since been equalled.  But then perhaps, it is not the constancy of joy that changed, just the earnestness of the seeker to look for it because according to Scripture we have a promise from God that joy comes in the morning, every morning.

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy.  ~Job 8:21  ✝

175. And even if you were in some prison, the walls of which let none of the sounds of the world come to your senses – would you not then still have your childhood, that precious, kingly possession, that treasure-house of memories? ~Ranier Maria Rilke

There’s a goblin at my window,
A monster by my door.
The pumpkin at my table
Keeps on smiling more and more.
There’s a ghost who haunts my bedroom,
A witch whose face is green.
They used to be my family,
Till they dressed for Halloween.
~Sandra Liatsos

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Bats and hats and spooky cats, oh no!  Ghosties, goblins, and long-leggedy beasties, oh no!  Jack o’ Lanterns, witches, and billowing brews, oh no!  What could it be?!  ‘Tis halloween!  When we were children, my sisters and I would think about how we wanted to dress up for Halloween weeks ahead of time.  As we came up with our ideas, mom would either make or help us put together the costumes we had envisioned.  Then on Halloween, readied and excited, we’d go out trick or treating all over our neighborhood before heading to the school carnival where we’d first get our fortunes told by a gypsy with a crystal ball.  Afterwards we’d bob for fresh apples and move from booth to booth while devouring caramel apples, popcorn balls, or handfuls of candy corn.  However before the “bewitching hour” when, as they say, all the truly scary things roamed, we’d scurry back home with our newly gained “bounty” in tow.  Once there we’d paw through all our “treats” until bedtime when a spooky tale might be told or retold.  Oh what fun it was back then for a child on the eventide of All Hallow’s Day!  And what a safer, simpler world it seemed to be!

To look backward for a while is
to refresh the eye,
to restore it,
and to render it the more fit
for its prime function of looking forward.
~Margaret Fairless Barber

But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith (in the Lord) and love.  He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we long to see you.  ~1 Thessalonians 3:6  ✝