by Margie Senechal
I've always had a wicked imagination, sometimes to my detriment. When I was eight, my best friend and I were left alone for the first time by our mothers.
I know, you're thinking eight? But, this was 1970 and on the Naval base in Iceland. Not much bad ever happens in Iceland--even now.
So, there Chris and I were feeling very "adult" when we spotted a book of matches in the gutter outside the living room window.
I can't be sure who convinced who we were in dire danger. We both had pretty good imaginations--so we fed off each other quite well. Now, we might call it brainstorming.
But, when the imminent danger culminated with me hanging Chris out the window by her feet to retrieve the soggy book of matches. Did I forget that part? Where the matches were in a puddle of water and in no danger of spontaneous combustion??? While we survived that catastrophe, it would be years before we left alone again.
My mom claims she was amazed by my imagination, but there were times when I'm sure she wanted to stifle it. "Margie, don't tell your little sister that the devil will pinch her butt in the outhouse." I did. And then, had to escort her every time she had to use it because she was afraid. No wonder I'm a hotelier and not a camper.
Over the years though, I learned to control and contain my imagination, to hone it into stories. In high school, my daydreams became romantic fodder where I got the boy and the cheerleader bit the dust.
And now, the simplest thing--walking through the suitcase aisle, hearing a song on the radio, or talking with my daughter "Eternal youth sucks!" can spark the imagination and begin a new story.
I can't imagine a life without imagination--or can I?