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December meme #12 & 13

I got caught up in Yuletide and didn't do the last two questions of the December meme, so I'm doing them together today.

[personal profile] batdina said: how about a memory of your childhood that you love to remember.

This is really hard. Almost everything that I remember from childhood is bad, or it starts out great and turns bad. I know there were good times in there that didn't end with something painful following, but I basically don't remember them. The only thing I can recall where I don't remember something really bad happening immediately afterward was the time we hiked up to the Paradise ice caves on Paradise Glacier at Mt. Rainier. Back in the '60s and '70s, the ice caves were still open to people, before they became unstable and they restricted access; now the caves that you could enter above ground are completely gone. Thanks, global warming. Anyway, it's hard to describe the beauty of them. The closest I can come is that it felt like standing in the middle of an aurora, or a rainbow. The walls were like opalescent glass shaped with furrows and scallops, in colors of blue and lavender (and some pink). It was spectacular. I don't think my sister and I were old enough to truly appreciate them (we were a couple of cranky pre-teen girls who were starting to resent our mountaineering parents taking us to these places all the time), but by the time I could, they were disappearing. This scan of someone's old photo doesn't even beging to do them justice, it can't capture the colors you saw. I have an old photo of my sister and I inside the entrance, but I can't scan it, or I would.


[personal profile] trepkos asked: What time period would you want to live in, if you couldn't live in this
one, and why?

To be honest, I've never romanticized living in the past. I know it always seems glamorous and whatnot, but basically it was disease and filth and women being treated badly and there's just nothing appealing about it. But if I had to pick a time, it'd definitely be the 1920s, especially the mid-twenties. There was a brief period of time when women were seeing a tiny bit more opportunity and casting off the horribly restrictive clothing and hairstyles they were expected to have, and it was a great literary age when more than just white men were being published. Yeah, in the States there was Prohibition, which led to gangsters and violent crime at a level we hadn't seen before, but overall, it was maybe the least awful time I can think of. I've spent a lot of time researching the decade for a book I always wanted to write, and it's really amazing how much of it parallels the time I grew up in, the '60s and '70s. Lots of social upheaval, progress for some groups, etc. Of course the Depression came along and pretty much undid everything, but if I had to live then, I could maybe tolerate it. And as much as I love the WWII era, I don't know if I'd have wanted to live then, just because of the war. Or maybe i would, who knows.

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trepkos
Dec. 29th, 2014 12:39 am (UTC)
Wow - those ice caves must have been spectacular! I totally sympathise about the lack of happy childhood memories.

The period during WW1 did give women the opportunity to play football in front of huge crowds! But on the whole, I have to agree about historical times. Only halfway tolerable if you were well off.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01q824x
gwyn_r
Dec. 30th, 2014 08:35 am (UTC)
The ice caves were amazing. Really, probably the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in RL--and I've seen some pretty beautiful things!
varina8
Dec. 29th, 2014 07:08 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for sharing the ice caves photo. I always feel a little cheated that by the time I moved here and started hiking around Mount Rainier they were closed, nearly gone.
gwyn_r
Dec. 30th, 2014 08:36 am (UTC)
If you search on Paradise ice caves, you can find some more pictures--though a lot of them are other ice caves, but there are definitely some old pics of Paradise up on the web. Clearly I am not the only person who's nostalgic for them!
sdwolfpup
Dec. 29th, 2014 06:12 pm (UTC)
Gosh just that picture is gorgeous, I can't imagine how beautiful those caves must have been in person.
gwyn_r
Dec. 30th, 2014 08:37 am (UTC)
Man, you would have loved them. You'd have maxed out your SD card on the camera. ;-)
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