2017 A to Z: Letter I… All About Me

2017 A to Z: Letter I…

I thought I’d change the on-going 52 stories this year to an A to Z of 26 stories of  “All About Me”.  I plan to post bi-monthly, but I’m not holding myself to a certain time frame other than completing by year end. Originally I was going to do the “All About Me” for the 30 Day – April A to Z, but thought I might get just a wee bit long-winded, so I’m giving myself a longer time frame. Hopefully, by the time I reach letter Z, I will have written all I can remember about “me.” If you so feel inclined, why not join me in your own “A to Z” of All about Me!



Letter I is for… Ice Cream, Ice Storms, Imagination, Impatient, Injuries, Insects and Ink Pens

Ice Cream:

Let me start with my favorite flavors of ice cream,  peach, butter pecan, and banana. While I never seem to eat ice cream cones here in CT., as soon as I’m home in Georgia I want ice cream! If I eat ice cream here, it’s usually a sundae and that favorite is half peanut butter and half hot fudge over soft vanilla. Hubby and I treat ourselves quite often at our favorite Mr. Sundae ice cream shop. It just opened for business a few weekends ago and we haven’t gone yet, so this means we are overdue!

One of my first jobs was working in an ice cream shop in Perry… I think it was called The Tastee Freeze. I remember it was on the opposite side of town from where The Dairy Queen was.

ice cube

Banana ice cream reminds me of my father, I have memories of him making this at home in metal ice cube trays. I believe it was made just using mashed bananas and condensed milk… not sure of other ingredients, but I don’t think he used much more. He mixed together and poured into ice cube trays, taking out periodically and stirring until it was frozen enough to eat.

Ice Storms:

My mother often talked about a bad ice storm we experienced about 5 years after moving to Perry. As she didn’t remember the exact year, I turned to my Facebook Group on Perry, Georgia, and it didn’t take long for several members to remind me that it was the year of 1963; some said New Year’s Eve, some said February, so the search continues for that exact date. I also contacted the local newspaper, The Houston Home Journal, who offered to search their newspaper archives for me. Hopefully, I’ll have an answer before I publish this post, but if not…. well that means you’ll have to check back.

While I vaguely remember looking out the window at the telephone poles and the trees completely covered in ice, mama said it was the worst ice storm she’d ever experienced. Remember I lived in the South, in a small town known as “The Crossroads of Georgia”… a place unaccustomed to snow, and most definitely unaccustomed to ice. This ice storm pretty much shut down the state and our small town of fewer than three thousand people.

ice storm

Ice Storm in Georgia… graciously shared on my Perry Facebook group.


Besides the people of Perry being stranded in their homes, people traveling on I-75 were stranded. The Interstate was impassable…. Georgia was not equipped with trucks to plow or throw salt and sand like we have here in the North. While there were several hotels/motels in Perry, this storm quickly filled those rooms and left travelers with no place to escape the weather until locals began offering to take in those travelers. Imagine today, people opening their homes to perfect strangers for a day or two! Perry was a town that saw many tourists stopping on their way to Florida as it was situated about the middle of our long state… my hometown was known as the “Crossroads of Georgia.” Tourists made a habit of stopping in my hometown yearly, even getting to the point of knowing the people at the hotels and restaurants by name, as they frequented yearly on their stops.


I guess I’ve always had an imagination, as I never had a problem playing alone. I do remember at bathtime that I could easily play in the bathtub…. for hours and be entertained. While I didn’t bring any toys in the tub I did seem to have imaginary friends that I talked to during bathtime. Mama says she remembers standing outside the door and listening to me have those conversations. Maybe it was because I was the only child, no siblings to talk to, so I created my own conversations. Bathtime in my house was just me, not like in other families where siblings take baths together.

Even when I played with Barbie and Ken, I talked to them in conversations… I gave them life and they did what I wanted them to. Was my imagination more vivid because I was an only child… maybe I was creating the siblings I didn’t have, or maybe it was a natural childhood occurrence.

Is it our imagination that inspires and helps us to write and build stories for characters in fiction and non-fiction?  It seems imagination is a good thing!

Impatient… or patience:



Probably one of my faults would be that I’m impatient… with people and things. I know that when I’m ready to go, I’m ready to go! Some say I have a lot of patience, as I write, research, edit and edit again… or is it that I just have patience for things I enjoy. Maybe I have more patience than I give myself credit for as I enjoy crafting and it takes time, especially knitting. I do wish I could just snap my fingers at times and my project would be finished… why am I in such a rush… why…. because my “to do” list is so long.

I just said to my husband today, that the most fun in collecting is the hunt… is that patience? I thought I’d begin a collection of Nancy Drew books for my oldest granddaughter Ella, but as I haven’t found one yet, my patience is beginning to wail. He suggested that maybe I’d find someone selling their entire collection and I immediately told him that I didn’t want to find them all at once, that the most fun in discovering them was one by one. Once you have them all… the fun is over. I guess I do have patience!


As far as I can remember, I’ve never had any injuries until I fractured, broke my foot in 2015. How did that happen, well the only thing I remember from that day of walking in a Georgia field, was when my foot wobbled and turned slightly while walking down a very short incline. The top of my foot ached afterward, but I assumed it would just walk off, and it seemed to until one day on the way home. I woke up and as soon as I put my foot down it hurt to walk on one side.

I went to a foot Dr. upon returning home, only to be told he saw no fracture or break… he diagnosed it as a sprained tendon. Gave me meds and sent me on my way. After suffering a couple more weeks, I consulted another foot doctor. She told me that I now had a break on the side of my foot and I left her office in a boot! The first doctor missed seeing the fracture, which resulted in a break from the continued walking on it. I wore that boot, faithfully, for six months. Although she pulled me out of work, being thick-headed I thought I could continue working. One day of work going up and down the stairs and walking, or dragging that boot around…. had me back at her office for that note to be pulled out of work.

As I had never, in my 34 years took time off from work, it was scary being out… worried that my job might not be there for me upon my return. But once I got used to being out…. I love it! I became super addicted to watching black and white movies on TCM, mostly from the 1940’s. Every day I scanned the movie guide to see what was playing… it soon became an addiction… watching over and over. I found the 1940 black and white movies to have the best story lines. Movies that I never gave a second thought to before, I was watching now, even war movies. Since I began writing, I have become super interested in the war movies, wanting to learn more, especially about WWII. It was from writing on my uncle Leroy McKinley and my father, that made me want to learn more history, to learn about the places they served in and what they experienced; history was not my favorite subject in school.

stage door

My new favorite movie: Stage Door Canteen


My husband constantly laughed at me for wanting to watch the black and whites…. saying that for years I didn’t want to watch them and now was suddenly obsessed with them. There was one movie called Stage Door Canteen (1943) that has become my all-time favorite now. It’s chocked full of cameo’s, with over 82 performers being counted; it will have you watching it more than once to discover them all. I have it DVR’d on my TV now and anytime I have nothing to watch, I’ll play it and enjoy many of my favorite scenes again. If you’ve never watched it, I hope I’ve encouraged you to search it out.


There are many insects around when you grow up in the South…. Let me start with my favorites I liked, June Bugs, Doodle Bugs, and Lightning Bugs. June bugs are beetles we’d catch and tie a string to one of their legs and let them go – they would fly round and round in a circle as we held the string, but we did let them loose. I know it sounds strange!

Everyone should know what lightning bugs are, but I think they are more plentiful in the South. I have memories of seeing oodles of them in my yard at night. A fun thing was catching them in a jar, bringing them inside and letting them light up in your dark bedroom. I’m sure mama let them go after I fell asleep, as they were gone in the morning.

Now to the bad bugs like fire ants, roaches, wasps and granddaddy long legs… If you’ve spent any time in the South, you very well know about fire ants and will stay clear of them. They are easily found in their red dirt hills they build in the yard… some are small, but some I’ve seen out in fields are unbelievably large! You do not want to stand on their home… they will attack you faster than you can move your foot and those bites hurt!

Roaches, well everyone has them no matter how clean your house is… it’s just part of living in the South. Recently one big one scared me at my mothers in the kitchen and I never would have slept if we didn’t end his life. Between me and hubby, and the vacuum… well he bit the dust that night!

About the only place I remember seeing wasps, on a regular basis, was at granddaddy McKinley’s farm. They would build nests around the porch. They really hurt if they stung you, so I always kept an eye out for them and stayed away.

I don’t know how the name of granddaddy long legs came about, but they really scared me silly! There was always a lot of them around granddaddy’s farm and I’d jump and scream every time I saw one… yelling for someone to hurry up and kill it. I’d surely do the same thing today if I saw one. I don’t see them very often today and I enjoy watching them now but from a safe distance. What makes me scream today is big spiders.

What makes me scream today is big spiders and my worst encounter was waking up to find a spider web had covered all my perfume bottles on my bureau. But what made me scream and say a few words… was when I moved a bottle and out jumped the biggest black spider I ever saw, and no one was here to yell for! I grabbed the only thing nearby… hairspray! Spiders and sleeping don’t mix, so I knew I had to find him or I’d never sleep in the same room with him again! With hairspray in hand, I moved my bureau and there he was on the floor, but moving slowly. Well, I slept in my bed that night! I won – He lost!

Ink Pens:

I much-preferred fountain pens over a ballpoint when writing… maybe because I loved collecting all those colored ink cartridges. They were not my choice for the constant doodling I did though; the ball points or old fashioned pencil worked better. The fountain pens I used through high school were the cheap Sheaffer fountain pens you bought for a buck or so. The very ones I threw out are now on Ebay for much more than the dollar I paid.

After all this remembering and research into ink pens, I think I’m going to treat myself to a new ink pen and cartridges….. hopefully, they don’t still leak and or I’ll end up again with blue fingers. I also had a couple of ink pens with a lever on the side, which I filled manually with ink; maybe that’s where I remember the blue fingers from.

I loved writing in all colors… I remember having ink cartridges in turquoise, green and red. Why was I so attracted to paper and pens… but never wrote stories?

In checking Ebay, who knew these old cartridge pens would be so pricey, I found one for $1400 dollars… don’t think I’m splurging that high! After seeing the prices they command now, sure wish I’d kept my pens.Th


It was that tip of the pen that always got me in trouble!


Bic ball point pens were popular in high school, no one had pens that clicked, although I loved the ink pens that had four colors in one barrel. Those were the best, just push a different lever down for a new color. I always chewed on my pen during class, and with the ball points, there was that little piece that stuck in the top of the pen over the ink. During class, I’d pull it out with my teeth, then push it back in, always been a fidgeter… Well, one day in class it popped right out in my mouth, and went down my throat… almost choking me! Of course, I didn’t want to say anything, feeling stupid… but after a few coughs, up it came. I think that was probably my last time of chewing on that pen top.


Want to read more, then click… 2017: A to Z… All About Me!

© 2017, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2017: A to Z - All About Me, Daily Writings and funnies... and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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