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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


For years, I have written short stories I call Anecdotal Memories. I use this word in case any relative might dispute my version of said event. By "anecdote," I mean those memories we do recall, but might be unverified by another source.  Maybe we remember these because adults have repeated the stories enough that we think or feel we remember them, too.

When publishers Cheryl Pierson and Livia Washburn created the anthology titled Memories From Main Street, USA: Leaving Childhood Behind I knew I had a story to submit.
Listen. I have thirty of them! And upon my word, every one is true. The one I chose for this anthology is my own personal favorite.

The photo above is during my smart-aleck period--
before I left my childhood behind, of course.

 The house is the tiny three-room house the five of us lived in until Daddy built us the "California House" I mention in my story, "Stuck in the Middle."

The collection contains seventeen wonderful memories form PRP authors. My offering is titled "Stuck in the Middle." Titles often are more difficult than the writing of the stories.
My first choice was "California Road Trip." This would not work because "road trip" was probably not used in 1949.
Second choice? "Are We There Yet?" Would you like to guess how many books on Amazon have this title?

"Stuck in the Middle" has more than one meaning. Yes, I'm the middle sister, which means I was always in the middle of the back seat...where the "hump" was in vintage automobiles such as our 1940 Ford. Often, I was "in the middle" of any three-way conversation, meaning I most often voiced a different opinion.

In this story, I relate our 1949 driving trip from Levelland, Texas, near the New Mexico border almost in the Panhandle, to Long Beach, California. We drove three days and two nights to reach California, and an extra night to Long Beach where my mother's sister lived.

You see, Mother was from a large family, and in the young marriage between my parents, her stepmother and all her sisters and brothers and families moved to California. Mother pleaded with my daddy to follow her family. He would have none of it.
In retrospect, this road trip was to appease my mother, which I thought was very sweet of my daddy. Why? He wanted nothing to do with California. Why? Too much traffic and too much noise. 
At least, that's what he said.

In my story, I relate a series of "firsts" for me during this memorable trip.
Upon return to Texas, school began and I entered the fourth grade. In my story "Stuck in the Middle," I look back and realize that was the beginning of my growing up years.

I do hope you enjoy "Stuck in the Middle" and the other sixteen stories. Consider each one a gift, a memory we want to share with readers.

The anthology is available in ebook and print from Amazon.
Memories from Maple Street, U.S.A.: Leaving Childhood Behind 

Thank you for visiting the Prairie Rose Publications blog.
Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas


  1. Ah yes, those 'anecdotal' memories, I've have a few myself. I understand the middle, but as the oldest of two, things were a bit different. Still, I look forward to sharing in the memories of the authors have given to us. Thank you for sharing yours. Doris

  2. Celia, I always enjoy your stories so much of when you were growing up. You have a wonderful way of describing things and making the reader feel as if they are sitting right beside you (especially on that "hump" in the back seat!)LOL I loved this story, and especially your aunt, for seeing that you really needed to be made to feel special and for doing just that. She must have been anticipating that day since the moment she bought that gift!

  3. Hi Celia,
    I hear about Levelland all the time from a friend of mine. Her mother's family is from there.

    Being the youngest, I had to listen to my sister belly-ache about being the "forgotten middle child", and how I was the brat. LOL This sounds like an interesting collection of stories. ~Connie

    1. Connie--can you tell me the name of the mother's family? We haven't lived there in 45+ years, but still have family and friends my husband remembers everybody in town!

  4. Celia, I am the middle child too... In between two brothers. Ick. I remember road trips too... And I can't wait to read Maple Street!

    1. I wonder if being the middle one between brothers would be anything like three sisters. We have a little club in town--only for the middle sister of three. I never thought what it might be like between boys.

  5. Oh, Celia, the way you told the story of the story is just lovely -- as is "Stuck in the Middle." You have a way, dear lady, of bringing both tears and laughter at the same time. I envy your talent.

    This book would not have been the same without your beautifully told memory. :-)

    Big HUGS!!!!

    1. Oh, my, thanks so much. I had fun writing it--and it was a memorable trip! No air conditioning in cars in 1949..those deserts...whew.

  6. I love your memories of growing up, Celia. As a middle child, I share your pain of all the disadvantages that came with that. Fortunately, I got a window seat in the car because Mom wanted to be able to easily reach my younger brother.

    1. Oh, I understand. A young boy in any back seat can mean trouble. It's nice now, that children must be in a seat belt of car seat. In my view, this has cut down on those frequent spats during a road trip.

  7. I like the title you chose for your memoir, Celia. You're so right about how difficult it is to find just the right title that suits the story without using one that's already been used.
    I love your family stories. They're sentimental without being sappy, poignant, and funny. I'm so glad you're going to write more for future editions.
    I wanted to get in on this one, but I've been focused on finishing my present project. I never do well trying to write more than one story at a time. I finished my novel this morning, so all I have to do is go over it and get it polished and corrected before I submit it. Now I can apply myself to some short stories which I love to write--and maybe some stories from my family history. I'm glad you gave a reason for calling the memoirs anecdotal. Everyone has their personal perspective about family while growing up.
    As always, I enjoyed reading your blog. You have a gift for writing blogs.

    1. Thank you, thank you. I know if my younger sister were lurking, she'd call me out on any simple thing I'd say. If we met for lunch right now, whatever I said first, she would misconstrue and contradict. Just crazy. I hope to get a Christmas story, but our Christmases were very mundane...except the year my older sister got married. Maybe I can write about that! I'm so glad you finished your novel...that is always such a relief, isn't it? Now, to polish and edit, etc., which is a process I really don't mind. Good luck with it, and thanks so much for commenting!

  8. Celia, I always enjoy your writing and this time I chuckled through the whole thing. Not that I don't feel for you being stuck in that middle all the time, but just because I could so easily invision you on the hump, etc. I look forward to reading more about being stuck in the middle. I was the baby as my brother was four years older, and let me tell you he got his way more than half the time. I look forward to reading the rest of your story and the others as well. Great post. And loved the picture--oh, so cute.

    1. Thanks, Bev! You haven't lived until you've ridden for years in the middle of the back seat with your feet on that hump. I'm so glad cars don't have those anymore--do they? I actually looked in the back seat of my Chevy Equinox to make sure there was no hump!

  9. Celia, I think your family stores are my favorite reads and I look forward to this collection. It is funny how we can be so unsure whether we remember a thing itself or being told about it. I do this with whether I thought about saying something or actually said it, as well.

  10. Thank you, LK. You are so kind to say something about my silly childhood stories. Oh, I have a bunch! Calling them "anecdotal" gives me a sense of being my mind I am...but my sisters echoing in my head always make me wary. Someday I'm going to grow up and not allow them to control me!