I remember on Sundays, we always drove to Wayne, Nebraska to see my grandparents. We left after lunch, visited for the afternoon, then drove home after dark. The dark backseat of the car was my world. Here I could be all that I could not be in real life. I could hear the shows on the radio, and see all the lights on the dash, but the back seat was where I was an artist, a dancer, a doctor, a famous author. Listening to Jack Benney, The Shadow, and Amos and Andy, I was transported to worlds outside myself. I was very shy, and very insecure, so this world of my making was my happy place!
I made up stories in my head. It never occurred to me at age 10 or 11 that I could write them down. I spent hours making up lives for my dolls, and especially my paper dolls. They had adventures, they had romance ( as much as I knew about romance), they had danger, but they were always happy. Most of all, they lived the way I wished I could. I felt like my life was so ordinary, so uninteresting, that this was the ideal. It could be whatever my imagination wanted it to be. I very much wanted at that time to be a dress designer. I spent hours designing clothes for paper dolls. I could lose myself for hours, in a studio in New York City, or California, designing clothes that everyone would die to have. Yes, Imagination is a great thing!
The ultimate imagined life involved my past. Now at 10, how much past could I have? Not much, but I had recently found out I was adopted. That opened up a whole new world. I had no details, but I did know my family was in Omaha, and there were brothers and sisters. I spent time in my dark backseat between Wayne, and Sioux City, Iowa, thinking about that life. I imagined they were looking for me, I imagined what I would say to them. I imagined what they looked like, and how I got separated from them. I imagined walking down the street, and finding them. What a joyful time it would be. They would love me, and we would live happily ever after. As a side note, God did arrange that 47 years later. I no longer had to imagine what my family was like, or how we would meet, or if it was joyful. It was, and my family are wonderful. I have lots of nieces, nephews, and greats, and great-greats! There were seven siblings plus me! Oh and the stories, and imagination, did lead eventually to teaching children, and then to being a published writer and author. Isn't it great that God knew exactly what He would do for me over and beyond what He let me imagine!