Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 Days of Christmas, Briefly Interrupted...

Thank you everyone for commenting and for sharing your memories! They were all fascinating. The randomly-selected winner is Ambur of http://burningximpossiblyxbright.blogspot.com/. Congratulations!

We interrupt the Days of Christmas meme for a brief Chanukah memory! ;)

My family has always had a big Chanukah party on the Saturday night of Chanukah. Any relatives within easy driving distance would come over, and after the menorah was lit, we would settle down to eat (potato pancakes and unbelievably unhealthy but delicious deep-fried doughnuts) and play dreidel.

Dreidel, the traditional Chanukah game, requires no strategy or skill; this makes it perfect for kids. However, my cousins and siblings and I were a competitive bunch, so we found a way to make it into a contest anyhow. The coveted skill was the ability to spin the dreidel upside down. The older kids could do it, the younger kids couldn’t. I was never the epitome of manual dexterity and grace, but one year I practiced in secret for about a month before Chanukah. And when my turn came, I held the dreidel and, without changing expression, launched it into the air. It landed upside down in a perfect spin. I smiled as if this was no big deal, and the game went on.

Do you remember any of your early triumphs? Comment on mine, or share one of yours, and be entered to win signed copies of both MISTWOOD and NIGHTSPELL. Giveaway ends midnight Dec. 21.





33 comments:

Daisy said...

Lol, I loved how even as a kid you tried to play it cool ;)
I remember when we were thought to write in cursive in school and you got a pencil at first and if you did well enough you were upgraded to a fountain pen and everyone wanted to be first. I will never forget the moment when, after I practiced really hard, even after school, I was the first to get that pen. I felt so grown up with it, lol!

Thanks so much for the giveaway, but don't enter me if it's not international!

Marthapao said...

One of my biggest early triumphs was when I was in fifth grade. I was in the number sense club which was a club to compete against the all the other clubs in the city in a crazy math test. This math test consisted of problems way beyond what we actually learned in our respective grade and we couldn't use any scratch paper or calculators to solve the equations it had to be done completely in your head. When the city wide competition came I didn't win any medals but I placed honorable mention in seventh place out of at least 40 other kids in my division which included fifth and sixth graders!
It was a huge deal to me because that was a time in my life when I had very low self-esteem and didn't think I was smart or pretty.
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Twitter: @marthapao

alainala said...

geez thats a toughie... swimming was a big one.. i remember my mom and dad dumping me in the pool (i was YOUNG) and saying for me to swim to them.. the buggers kept backing up... but i stayed afloat!
thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

Barbara E. said...

Wow, that's impressive. I'll bet the other kids were dying when they saw you spin the dreidel so effortlessly. I can't think of any early triumphs, except maybe learning to ride a bike. When I mastered that, I felt like I just won the world.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

JenM said...

I was always a great speller. I have no idea why because I never studied words or anything, but I used to win spelling competitions at my school all the time, and I actually found it fun.
Jen(at)delux(dot)com

Ashleigh said...

I remember as a child in Sunday school we had to memorize all the books of Old Testament in the Bible. I was one of the few who managed to do it. I also learned to say the alphabet backwards. Just to say I could

rebakah_cooper@yahoo.com

Brenda Hyde said...

I've always wanted to attend a Chanukah celebration:) As far as a feeling of triumph...I'm sure there were moments when I was a child, but what I truly remember is the first time I had an article in print during my newspaper internship:)

wayfaringwriter at gmail dot com

donnas said...

Mine was a forward roll in gymnastics without using my hands. I only managed to do it that one time but it was awesome. I also managed a split once, but these were not things I could do routinely.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Vivien said...

I used to love baking desserts as a child. I even won best prize at a competition. Little did I know, this would continue on and become an addiction of mine. It just transferred into cooking amazing food as well. I just made Pumpkin cream cheese filled streusel muffins today!

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Na said...

Triumphs big or small can be such a wonderful thing. I remember some of my favorite are when I was younger. One of them was learning how to ride a bike. Both scary and exciting. I remember my dad letting go...and me not toppling over :)

Cambonified(at)yahoo(dot)com

Roni said...

I would have done the very same thing; practiced until it was perfect. Losing is my downfall. To this day I still won't play cards because my chances of losing are to high. However, I am a good winner.

Sam said...

I used to be SO competitive when I was younger especially when it came to games! I'm not so much now...Or so I tell myself. :)

One of my early triumphs was learning to whistle to The Flintstones theme tune. It sounds silly now, even to me, but I was OBSESSED with trying to get it perfect. I'm pretty good at it now. ;)

AnitaBook said...

Well, a triumph. The truth is that my life has been full of disappointments. School was a tragedy, adolescence was a disaster, friends were like ghosts. There was a period where I was sure that the change would never come. But I was wrong and now I can say that this was my triumph. The courage to keep believing. The courage to not give up. I am here, today, and I was proud of me. Of my dreams, of who I am and who I want to be.

Ashley G. said...

One of earilest triumphs that I actaully remember is learning how to ride a bike. I think that's something all kids remember. Thanks for the giveaway!

abgafford@gmail.com

SandyG265 said...

I could never get the dreidel to spin upside down.

AnitaBook said...

Oh, I forgot to write my email.
Here it is: loradellibro@hotmail.it.
Yes, I'm italian.

Anonymous said...

Must have been when I was in Year 5, our project was to write a story called "The Three Wishes", and only had two hours to write it. Well it took me about a day, but my teacher was so impressed she was convinced I had help off my older siblings (which I didn't) and later read the story to the entire class - although there was only 30 or so of us - it was one of my proudest moments!
sweetsatinder@msn.com

Liyana said...

Using my hard-earned, saved $1.20 to buy a goldfish in a Starbucks cup from an old lady outside my old primary school. I was so scared, and so happy, and so GUILTY about it.

liyanaland@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

An early triumph was writing my 1st short story. I was about ten. Haven't stopped writing since.




npo113(at)hotmail.com

Orchid said...

When I first learned how to pitch, my pitches were extremely wild-like threw a few over the backstop wild-but with many lessons and hours of extra practice I learned to reign it in and throw my ptches where I wanted them to go.

I was really exscited when I finally got it, because then I could compete against my older sister and we could see who could master the most tricks (change-ups, curves, and the like).

hauntingorchid(at)aol(dot)com

ferretvamp14 said...

I remember an early triumph! I was very fast in elementary school. In Kindergarten I won the 100 yard and the 50 yard dash on field day. The teachers all said I would have beat the boys. So in fourth grade they let me race with the boys in gym class, and I did win! In a dress no less with shorts underneath. I was so proud! Thanks for the giveaway. I love your story. Always gotta play it cool.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh early triumphs? Probably surviving the crazy stunts that I used to do. Even when it ended up in the emergency room (no hospital stays). I guess I could say, no broken bones! That's an achievement, right? LOL

Fracturedsphinx said...

I totally lake the coordination to spin a dreidel right side up let alone upside down. Things I see as early triumphs now at the time I thought were normal for everyone so I think it was being able to do a back dive the summer I turn 4. My older cousins couldn't so I was proud of myself because I could

Billie Jo said...

Loved your story. My first triumph was competing in the rope climbing competition. I was in the first grade and won over all the classes. I still have my certificate.

.Ambur. said...

That is an awesome triumph. :) When my family gets together for Christmas we play poker, at least sometimes we do and I remember the one year, I totally dominated. And I won the whopping $7 that was at stake. :P Usually though when we play poker, I get bored. I can only play it for so long before I just want to quit. :P Dreidel sounds like a really cool game though, I've never played it myself, but it definitely sounds like it would be fun to play. :)

Thanks for the giveaway, Leah. :)
Ambur
ambiepie_6(at)hotmail(dot)com

chelleyreads said...

one of my triumphs was being able to climb this really high mango tree and then grabbing a fruit. unfortunately i dropped it while i was getting down and it went splat.

chelleyreads AT gmail DOT com

April X said...

One of my first triumphs was the swings :) For some reason I couldn't figure out how to swing until like, 4th grade lol xD

aprilxu2222@gmail.com

Pao Martinez Parente said...

Well, I told myself that I had to reach a goal of 400 books read this year. AND I DID IT!!! I'm so proud, and I proved myself that I could do it :) guguberis@hotmail.com

Andie said...

Swimming was a big triumph for me.. My older brothers used to drag me into the "deep end" and tell me to swim. Terrifying stuff, you know? ;)

And learning how to swing was a triumph for me. My parents kept trying to teach me.. Was so excited when I finally got it right!

Thanks for the giveaway & for the ARC of Masque of the Red Death!

Andie
theworldbehindashelf(at)gmail(dot)com

kristina shields said...

I consider graduating from high school and going to college a great triumph for me. Some don't make it that far and I'm proud of myself for doing it.

spicedice45@gmail.com

sarac said...

I was the first of my friends to learn how to tie my shoes. Does that count?

Llehn said...

I remember the first time I could stand up while on skates without falling. I've watched my cousin do it for so long that when I finally gathered up the courage to do it, it was such an accomplishment just being able to balance for the first time!!!

lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

My early triumph is when I was 7th grade. I win a poem reading competition . I was so excited n so proud of myself. First time I realize it is very important to do just your best and be brave w any result you'll achieve whether you're going to fail or success :) Aretha_zhen@yahoo.com