Olly Olly Oxen Free


I’ve been thinking about writing my own blog for awhile now. More than once I’ve begun to sign up on Blogger, Word Press and another site that baffled me from the get go with a name I’ve since forgotten. It’s not that I can’t navigate tech. I can. I worked as a graphic artist after graduating from college in May 1993 until June 2009 when I “retired early” from my job as Art Director. I left advertising feeling burned out and was more broken than I knew at the time. When a friend invited me to join My Opera, I figured, “Why not?” I liked how easy the site was to use from the beginning, though my page has sat here empty for a month. Figured it was time to start…

But where to begin? That’s when some words from childhood came to mind, “Olly Olly Oxen Free”. We’d shout them at the top of our lungs to signal we were done looking in a game of hide and seek. The house I grew up in was nearly the last one on a quiet, dead end street. It was a pale yellow ranch with white shutters and a glorious backyard loaded with mature trees that sloped to the yard behind us. Lots of places to hide. Some more obvious than others. We played forever back there as morning blended into afternoon and afternoon to evening, stopping only to run home for food and meet up again as soon as possible. In the summer we didn’t let the dark of night stop us. We’d grab flashlights and meet outdoors again to play Ghosts in the Graveyard yelling, “Midnight!” to signal we were ready to come lookin’ for you NOW. Such wonderful memories. So many of them overlapping and replaying in my mind.

Now I’m the mom getting the meals, snacks and Keepin’ The Peace when my children are playing with each other and their friends. Sometimes I long to be that young girl running barefoot in the backyard playing with her friends all summer. If only I could go back with what I know now and do it all again. However, life isn’t like that. It doesn’t come with “do overs”. Such a wonderful invention, for a myriad of childhood games, to smooth things over when something is “no fair”. It took all of the Life Experiences between Then and Now to make me who I am. There is no going back. I have to Keep Moving Forward. Each new day is Filled With Promise and The Adventure That Awaits.

In the nearly two years since leaving my Office Job I’ve had time to deal with the introspective Oprah Crap that I hadn’t bothered to face or work through in the busy whirl of takin’ care of my family, workin’ outside the home and livin’ life. It’s hard and it hurts but it’s an important step as I set sail on this New Beginning. I shared the news with people I knew by saying, “I am going to rewrite my To Do list to include things like blowing bubbles, coloring with crayons and spending time with friends”. I also said, “It’s time to begin a new chapter and find out what the next blank page holds”.

Here’s that blank page now. The difference is, I just wrote my first blog post. It’s not as scary as it seemed. Even though I am walking in the dark without a flashlight to guide me. Fair warning though, this time, “olly olly oxen free” means I’m going to stop hiding from myself. Of course, the other thing we shouted, after, “olly olly oxen free” was, “come out, come out, wherever you are.” Those secret places inside me, that I’ve held close, guarded and protected behind tall and sturdy walls with locked gates are going to come out of hiding and be in the light for all to see. I’m going to start from here and see where it takes me. Sometimes starting is the hardest part. No more hiding. Promise.

© 2011, Janean Baird, “Turquoise Tangles”

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21 thoughts on “Olly Olly Oxen Free

  1. First of many I hope…

  2. Yep. Count on it!

  3. Very nice start! Thanks ~ JD

  4. Wow, great first post! Welcome to the world of blogging, you *will* become addicted! I'm now a follower 🙂

  5. Thank you JD and Tara! I love following your blogs and it felt like the time was right to have one of my own as well. Yes, I can already sense the gravitational pull of blogging activating a force field on me. Plus, it's FUN!

  6. lokutus-prime

    Warm. Human. Kind. Loving. Real. I am so glad I found your blog, Janean.Originally posted by jbaird:

    Sometimes I long to be that young girl running barefoot in the backyard playing with her friends all summer. If only I could go back with what I know now and do it all again. However, life isn't like that. It doesn't come with "do overs". Such a wonderful invention, for a myriad of childhood games, to smooth things over when something is "no fair". It took all of the Life Experiences between Then and Now to make me who I am. There is no going back. I have to Keep Moving Forward. Each new day is Filled With Promise and The Adventure That Awaits.

    I love your writing and your recollection of childhood. I feel the same way. There is always inside of me the boy I was and still am, in my heart and soul. I remember him and he remembers me and sometimes I write about him. You can see some of the things I have written at my links:http://my.opera.com/lokutus-prime/blog/show.dml/2094269http://my.opera.com/lokutus-prime/blog/editpost.dml/1638866:cheers: Janean John :happy:

  7. John, I will follow your link in just a bit. It was one of your childhood memory pieces where we met when I commented there. A friend of mine from 20+ years ago and i were talking on the phone this past week. A rare occurrence. She commented, "I love how you always refer to yourself as not grown up yet." I told her I couldn't help it. That even with a husband, home, children and yes, a mini van (that I do not drive very often) I don't feel like A Grown Up. So, I get that. Very well. Thank you for spending time at my blog to see what else I'd written. It was fun for to revisit this initial post. ~ Janean

  8. derWandersmann

    "So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing." —A.A.Milne

  9. der Wandersmann,Thank you for the wonderful A. A. Milne quote! It makes me smile today. And I so needed that! :)~ Janean

  10. lokutus-prime

    Janean, thanks for visiting my links and for your supportive comment. It is all very encouraging. I will be replying to you there but just wanted to say here how much I enjoy visiting your pages and I am now a regular visitor.dW (hi!) made me smile too. Such an apt quote, following on from what you had said. I have "When When We Were Very Young", 1925 edition and "The House At Pooh Corner", 1976 edition. Here's a photo of pages from each. Glad you are smiling, Janean.Originally posted by jbaird:

    John, I will follow your link in just a bit. It was one of your childhood memory pieces where we met when I commented there. A friend of mine from 20+ years ago and i were talking on the phone this past week. A rare occurrence. She commented, "I love how you always refer to yourself as not grown up yet." I told her I couldn't help it. That even with a husband, home, children and yes, a mini van (that I do not drive very often) I don't feel like A Grown Up. So, I get that. Very well. Thank you for spending time at my blog to see what else I'd written. It was fun for to revisit this initial post. ~ Janean

  11. John, THANK YOU for the picture to go with the A.A. Milne quote der Wandersmann posted here. I love reading the words in context on page 176 and seeing the beautiful illustration from 1925. Thanks for hangin' out at Turquoise Tangles and readin' along. It's such a heady feeling for a budding writer to Have Readers. Especially readers she's not related to or known through The Growin' Up Years.

  12. When I was One, I had just begun. When I was Two, I was nearly new. When I was Three I was hardly me. When I was Four, I was not much more. When I was Five, I was just alive. But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever, So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

  13. Good start indeed! Glad you did this :up: :happy:

  14. Originally posted by nopanic:

    Good start indeed! Glad you did this :up: :happy:

    Thank you, Nicolas. I am glad I did this too. One of the highlights of 2011 as I look back over the year just passed. It was a real doozy too! ~ Janean

  15. Originally posted by derWandersmann:

    When I was One, I had just begun. When I was Two, I was nearly new. When I was Three I was hardly me. When I was Four, I was not much more. When I was Five, I was just alive. But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever, So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

    dW,
    I LOVE this!
    I've had a post about the number of my most recent birthday sitting around unpublished with private access for over a month now.
    It was delayed waiting for me to get to the store to buy the missing number from my number candle collection, so that I'd have a picture to go with it.
    Though even after I took the picture I didn't post it.
    Not sure why…other than I wasn't sure I wanted to say aloud, "I am forty now."
    Though the past month has been a good one and forty is off to a better than expected start.
    My children are now 11 and 8.
    Both can add a half after their number too.
    These are nice ages as well.
    Still up for fun and playing without too much sass or surliness that is looming with the teenage years.
    As much as I want to freeze frame them at varying age, I know I need to let them grow up even though one is officially taller, even if I'm wearing heels, and the other will pass me up soon too.
    Children grow up.
    My hope is that someday, when they look back, their memories of this time are as vivid and marvelous as mine are.
    ~ Janean

  16. In case it's unknown to you, it's from Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne. I ran across it while I was looking for James James Morrison Morrison.P.S. I wish I could still say "I'm forty, now"!

  17. Originally posted by derWandersmann:

    In case it's unknown to you, it's from Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne. I ran across it while I was looking for James James Morrison Morrison.P.S. I wish I could still say "I'm forty, now"!

    Thanks for citing your source. I wondered if it was A.A. Milne. Lovely.

    The thing about forty is it depends on which side of it you're on. Honestly, I don't worry or fret over my birthdays. I just enjoy the day and the cake and presents and keep going as a new year begins. Forty and I are getting along just fine. ~ Janean

  18. ahhh Janean.. 🙂 This is such a delightful page (all your pages are) as I read about A.A.Milne and his wonderful tales of Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh. I love the simplicity and purity of his poetry.Here's one from The House At Pooh Corner… I smile with delight as I read it.. and I'm sure you and our other friends here are smiling as you read it. :happy:

  19. Originally posted by derWandersmann:

    P.S. I wish I could still say "I'm forty, now"!

    … but hey! .. there must be some advantages?*stares at the keyboard.. waiting for dW to list the advantages* 😀

  20. Originally posted by lokutus-prime:

    Originally posted by derWandersmann:

    P.S. I wish I could still say "I'm forty, now"!

    … but hey! .. there must be some advantages?*stares at the keyboard.. waiting for dW to list the advantages* 😀

    I'll leave it to dW then…
    Though I will add that a compliment I've given my mother, more than once, is that she looks more youthful at 64 than she did at 40. Her hair IS shorter and blonder, but mostly it's that her spirit is lighter. She smiles and laughs more, and can lollygag in ways she couldn't when she was in the midst of working full time, and caring for her family of five.
    I'm rather envious of some of the discounts people of a certain age are eligible for, and the healthier choices when dining out on a certain menu.
    I don't begrudge them either of those things though, as they've earned a certain stature and gained much wisdom in their longer than mine years on Earth.
    (Hoping that sounds OK…and will stop now, to be on the Safe Side.)
    ~ Janean

  21. Originally posted by lokutus-prime:

    ahhh Janean.. 🙂 This is such a delightful page (all your pages are) as I read about A.A.Milne and his wonderful tales of Christopher Robin and Winnie The Pooh. I love the simplicity and purity of his poetry.Here's one from The House At Pooh Corner… I smile with delight as I read it.. and I'm sure you and our other friends here are smiling as you read it. :happy:

    Thank you, John. That is lovely. I'm smiling and sighing as I read those wonderful words by A.A. Milne. It's snowing here and the clock is ticking, the keys are tapping, the chimes are chiming and the new puppy is snoozing. We now have a dog! Oh, he's marvelous too. Even though I briefly had a dog when I was really little, maybe 5-ish, he feels like my first dog and he's already so loved by all of us. He's a handsome boy. ~ Janean

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