Oops, sorry, yadda yadda, thing an' a thing, you know the drill.
For most of the week I was at a loss for what to post. I have a lot of memories from childhood because I have a pretty good memory, but I don't think there are any that I would specifically call "favorite." My past is my past, and it's over with - I don't tend to dwell on it unless it's bad and the bad-ness was my fault. But I *do* have one memory that is pretty unusual, so that's what you get.
When I was younger, my family loved to go on camping trips. Not just "park the RV in a state park somewhere," but "huge tent in the middle of nowhere, sometimes with no nearby showers and only pit toilets" camping (we maintain that the other kind is cheating). So, one time, when I was about 8 or 9, we went across the border to camp on the Canadian side of... Lake Huron, I believe, but it might have been Lake Erie. When you're that little, specifics of where you are aren't that important. This park was right on the lake with a pretty beach and sand dunes and lots of trails for hiking.
The night before we left there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so we decided to walk down to this overlook and watch the sunset. It was beautiful - all pinks and purples and peaches over the lake. It took a while for the sun to go completely down, but it went straight down into the water. And then, just as the sun slipped below the horizon, in the exact place where it had been, a purple column rose. It was a vibrant purple, the kind of color you rarely see in nature. The column was pretty far away, but it looked almost exactly like a ghost ship rising out of the water and setting sail for the night. I borrowed a nice lady's binoculars to get a better look, but it didn't help much - the shape was still fairly unclear.
Those with less imagination would probably be able to tell you exactly what kind of cloud formation it was, and why the refracting light from the sun made it such an eerie purple under the bright orange sky. But I maintain that I saw a ghost ship, rising from its sunken depths to roam the lake in darkness.
Oh, and I was supposed to do earliest. I will swear up and down that my earliest memory is of riding the train into Disney World, seeing a little girl with Mickey Ears on, and deciding my life was incomplete without a pair of my own. My mother says that while this is exactly what happened, I must be remembering it from people telling me (I doubt it) because I was only about 1 1/2 years old at the time.