In the Beginning......

Read what Writers' Digest says about Elaine's Book...

This is not just another rags-to-riches story, because I realized a long time ago that even though I grew up poor, I have always been rich in the things that really matter, like love, friends, and family. Instead, this is a story about creative visualization and learning how to have anything you want in your life by fantasizing and then fabricating those fantasies into reality.

This part of the story is about the materialization of me, and how I became an "I". Once I stopped being an object (a victim) and learned how to become the subject of a sentence as I learned how to take control of my life. My life hasn't been easy; but it has been a happy, fulfilling life, much more so after I learned how to visualize and materialize what I wanted in my life. Now I believe in "make-believe", which is where it all starts.....

When I grew up in the 1940s and '50s, the man was supposed to be the breadwinner and the woman the bread baker. However, I experienced a real role reversal with my own parents. My mother had to go out and get a job to make the bread so we could have some dough. She actually provided a good role model for me as a provider.

My dad was a dreamer. His life was filled with an abundance of get-rich schemes; but there wasn't any real substance to any of them because he wasn't willing to work hard to make his dreams come true. My dad was a dreamer, not a doer. Being a gambler at heart, my father always thought that he was going to hit the jackpot one day or score big at the racetrack on a long shot. He loved gambling so much that, most nights, after we went to bed, he would head to the local stag bar to play the nickel slots with nickels we needed for necessities. One Christmas, my mother even bought my father a slot machine to keep him at home; however, it wasn't the same to win his own money, so my father soon went back to the saloon. Occasionally, he hit the jackpot, and we did actually become rich several times---for a day! When my father won, we got new toys and furniture. When he lost, we had a yard sale!

With a personality that could have sold snow balls to the Eskimos, my father could have been very successful at sales; but he just wasn't willing to apply himself. He sold just about everything (mostly door-to-door), including vacuum cleaners, Guardian Service Cookware, life insurance, and even Muntz TVs until finally, he ended up in real estate. His paychecks were sporadic and never amounted to much. Actually, what my father did best was play, either on his guitar or with us, which we children thought was wonderful. Happiness was my father's gift to the world. The gifts he gave me were happy times, a belief in myself, and unconditional love. You can't ask for much more than that!

Our family didn't have much money or any security, but every year we managed to take a vacation on borrowed money. How I loved the ferry to Asbury Park with the five-cent "sodamats," where you could get twenty different flavors by pushing all the buttons at once. I can still "smell that sea air", as my mother would say when we got within twenty miles of the ocean. My mother never complained about money because she loved my father so much. The dichotomy of a player-father and a provider-mother was programmed in me at an early age. My parents lived a life of outer scarcity but always provided an inner abundance of love and happiness. While so many other parents offered their children a life of outer abundance and inner scarcity, I knew I was lucky. I would choose having an inner abundance of love, fun, and acceptance anytime.

My mother was thirty-five years old when she had me, and (prior to my surprise) didn't think she could have any children. I think I knew in-vitro, when I chose Lew and Helene to be my parents, that what I wanted to do with my life was to spread joy and happiness. That's why I chose a happy-go-lucky father who liked to play. However, I also knew I was going to have to learn responsibility in order to be able to raise a family on my own, so I chose a mother with responsibility—the perfect combination! My mother adored my father and never criticized him, even though her life was hard because of his constant desire to play. When my father played the guitar and sang at parties, everyone wanted to be around him. Everyone loved Lew! The rest just didn't matter. My brother turned out a lot like my dad—always jovial and looking for a good time. If I had my druthers, actually, I would have chosen a jovial non-productive life too, and could have gone from being somebody's daughter to somebody's wife to somebody's mother. However, I may have never become somebody myself if fate hadn't intervened.