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American Girl: Memories That Made Me

Georgia Scott

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Love is not a weakness. It's the bravest act of our lives.”

“Before there is science, there are stories to explain the world. They make it happier somehow.”

“Summers with Rene began with a cigarette in one side of her mouth and a squinting of her eyes as she thought . . . . Shortly, she would make her pronouncement and it would seem magical no matter how often the words were said. "It's a beach day," blessed the day. The rest was understood. No more needed to be said. I knew that she knew. She had the gift to read what would come from the skies as surely as my mother could see births and betrayals in the cards.”

“Come spring, the trees give us gifts. Green bits that helicopter down from above. When they land, Joey and I follow, retrieve them and bend the blades until they touch, releasing the glue inside so we can stick them onto our noses and call each other Pinocchio. This beats anything in my yard. Gathering buds that die and fall was fine once. But chasing helicopters and having a green nose is better.”

“We're free agents. We can do what we want." Free agents. When my mother used those words she'd wave her keys. "We're like two bachelorettes," she'd say as we backed out of the drive. The road she took was always by the sea. Floods never put her off. "It'll pass" she'd say when I braced myself in the seat. If a wave hit the car, she'd drive on, floating sometimes for seconds. The wipers could clear off the sand and small stones. Seaweed was the problem. Not the one with poppers. That landed with a thud and rolled like a body off the windscreens. No, the problem was the smaller stuff, bright green and fine that wrapped itself like a feather boa around the side mirror. Usually, with one hand, she could throw it off. But sometimes, it took both her hands as if it were a scarf around Isadora Duncan's neck.”

“When I think back those tides were like women with different scents and different demands. Low tide was fruity and cool. It took a while to get to her edge. Low tide held back. The onus was on you to go on over to her. High tide smelled of heat that built up. It was Chanel No. 5 to her drugstore opposite. She went after you in no uncertain terms.”

“In this part of America, 'R's' are the dissidents of the alphabet. They won't be ruled. Behind closed doors, they conspire and print leaflets. They make love to many women. They smoke cigarettes in place of eating food. Then, in front of witnesses with no recourse to justice, they are pulled from their beds in the middle of the night. Some are imprisoned. Some silenced. Others go missing. A few reappear sealed up in the wall of another word if they are found at all. Thus, a thought that is valued is truly an 'idear.' Wanda comes out as Wonder or Wander and both fit her.”

“If Mrs. Child's ghost was planting, my father's was building. Half finished, nearly finished, and just started projects which waited throughout the house. In Evie's room, the closet he built swung open with a bang, impatient for a latch. The closet without a door in Rene's room just stared - day and night - like someone gone mad. The garage let in birds that left a mess where planks had been pried off for a second car to rest. Worst of all, the hole that he dug for my mother's patio filled with rainwater and grew grass as tall as in the marsh. Instead of a place to entertain in summer, it became a nature reserve which she could not close down. A holiday park for mosquitos. A rest home for caterpillars and other things that she loathed that squirmed.”

“My mother and I get up in the dark. We dress in the dark. We walk down the stairs from the bedroom we share out of the house in the dark. Outside, the street is quiet. Too early for cars or buses, children playing, or others walking. It's too early even for talk that is soft.”

“Streets were quieter then. Dogs had the run of the town and children played outdoors. The side streets were for Simon Says and Green Light and Giant Step and other games. We set up our own carnivals. We told fortunes and sold coin purses that we made. But the buses on Wisteria Drive meant no one played outside my house. Even the dogs were wary except for one who only had three legs and still chased cars.”

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Book Keywords:

memoir, sixties, the-world-around-us, childhood-memoir, small-towns, scents, early-mornings, storytelling, beaches, spring, women-empowerment, disability, working-moms, commitment, happiness, bravery, dark, new-england-towns, brave-hearts, greek-american-writers-and-poets, seashores, street-life, childhood, summer, love, driving

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