Making Memories In The Rain

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It’s funny how the smallest things can remind me of a time so long ago. Growing up I had an aunt who had a front porch swing. I remember spending hours on it singing songs and listening for the trains. I think about it randomly from time to time and it always puts a smile on my face. 

It’s raining here today. Almost at the same time, Chase and I met at the back door with blankets in hand. Oddly enough, we both love to sit outside and listen to the rain.

I try too hard sometimes to plan events for the kids to look back on and remember. Today it dawned on me that I don’t need to do it at all. I can only hope that someday Chase sits outside with his own son or daughter and remembers how the two of us used to sit quietly together and enjoy the rain.

Memories are so unique and come in the simplest form. What is a memory you cherish still today? What do you hope someone remembers about you someday?

Be Happy

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So I took a short trip back to memory lane. As I stood in front of the house I lived in for seven years, I couldn’t help but wish time would magically dissolve. I miss the days when I lived on a street of friendly faces who took the time to chat it up, hang out and interact. It was one of the happier times in my life and every direction I turned reminded me why. There are some places that seem to fit comfortably and others that never will. The reality is, sometimes we are forced to spend time in a place we don’t want to be and we have to focus on what is good instead of dwelling on what is bad. Until you learn to be happy wherever you are unconditionally, you will never actually be happy. That is my little reminder today to embrace who you are wherever you and be okay with whatever that is. 

Remember When

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Remember when, 30 seemed so old, now looking back, it’s just a stepping home from where we are to where we’ve been, said we’d do it all again. Remember when?

I was driving back home after dropping Chase off at school this morning and the reality hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden, tears were flowing down my cheeks. That song, Remember When, by Alan Jackson came on the radio and every single word ripped at my heart like every other time I hear it. Some memories do that same thing too.

Life is short. Time is precious and we have to enjoy the moments as we are in them, for in the blink of a moment, they are long gone. Today, I want to remind myself to forgive like I’ve never been hurt, smile like I don’t have crooked teeth and to love like my heart has never been broken. 

Focus on the ones who have filled your life with blessings. Be grateful to the ones who have caused you pain. For everyone we meet is our spiritual teacher, whose job and unknowing responsibility is to challenge us to be the person we are meant to be.

Love, laugh, forgive, heal and love. Make a choice to love from your heart and not from your mind. The mind will steer you wrong almost every time. Accept people exactly how they are because you can’t change them anyway and love yourself right now, in this moment. Say to yourself, I am enough because I believe you really are.

Take It Away

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I just heard the garbage truck in front of my house. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could dump all our crap into a single container for someone else to take away? Take it, every single thing. Rid us of the memories of people who hurt us, bad decisions, regret, blame, pain, hate, mean words, anger,emotional baggage, lies you tell yourself.

All of it. 

Imagine it pulling away. 

Now start your day fresh. I will be blogging more about this later. 

One More Time

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Sometimes, if you are lucky enough to look in the right place at just the right time, you will catch something that you will be so grateful you didn’t miss.

My little girl, my first born, is 16. Everyday I look at her and wonder, how did this happen? Where did the years go? Today she invited some friends over to hang out at the pool. For whatever reason, I looked out just in time to see something that made me smile. Even though she is so serious during the week and trying her best to act all grown up, there she was holding hands with her friend running like a little girl and jumping into the pool. They were laughing and giggling and it reminded me of a time long ago. For a second, I got a glimpse of the little girl who couldn’t wait to jump from the side of the pool and into my arms. She was a little fish who, for whatever reason, loved the water. She would look at me with those wide, sparkling, beautiful brown eyes that would melt my heart and say “one more time mommy” which turned into a million more times. She was so small then and I had no idea she would grow up so fast. What I wouldn’t give to rewind to that moment in time. How I wish I could go there and catch her just one more time.  

 

The Beauty of In Between

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I can’t really remember the last time I didn’t have kids. It feels like I’ve been a mom most of my life even though that is far from the truth. Somewhere along with giving birth, I gave up who I used to be. I played into the lie that I had to act a certain way and live a certain lifestyle because there were little people watching. I was so focused on them that I lost being myself. Slowly, I am starting to remember. Tonight I am going to see Def Leppard for the first time. As I listen to their music today, I am sixteen again, sitting around a bonfire with all my friends. I am happy and smiling and free from the responsibility that weighs me down as the years of my life go flying by. I am that carefree teen again, on top of the world, living in eack moment as it spontaneously arrives. Music was and still is such a big part of my life. It helps me identify with my my own feelings and speaks to my heart in a way that nothing else can. Music holds the key to so many memories and the more I listen, the more they come rushing back. I forgot some of them, at least for awhile. I thought I had to give up that part of myself to be the person I am today. That is so untrue. So today, and again tonight when I am standing in that hot arena listening to one of my favorite groups from my teenage years, I will reunite with that part of me I left behind and for at least that moment in time, we will become one. 

Don’t sacrifice who you are. Don’t be who you think the world expects you to be. You can be a wife, a mom and still rock out. You can be the person you are today and the person you were all those years ago. That is your true self, when you remember what ignites the passion of who you were and who you are and when you finally reach a point to stand in between. The view is beautiful from there and so complete. I hope you will join me and reunite with who you really are, free of fear from what anyone else thinks.

What Will They Remember

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When I think back on my childhood, there are certain things I barely remember and other memories that are very clear. I remember Mom setting out all the fixings for hot roastbeef  sandwiches and the chocolate pudding she would serve in the little yellow dishes. I remember her laying my clothes on a chair outside of the oven with the door open so they would be warm when it was time for me to get dressed. I remember her bringing me in scrambled eggs and toast when I was running late for school and still doing my hair. I remember her spending Mothers Day weekends on uncomfortable bleachers at gymnastic meets that went on for grueling hours. I remember her waiting up for me on weekends to make sure I was home safe and long chats in her bed until finally I would hear her snore.

I know many who look back and only remember negative things. I believe we can only see what we choose to see. If you look for the bad, it will always be there waiting to catch your attention. But, if you remember with your heart, it will always be full.

These are different times now. I can’t help but wonder what my kids will remember when they are grown and gone. I hope I don’t spend too much time nagging and criticizing and not enough time enjoying and loving them. I hope they will remember how when they were little we would lay their sleeping bags on the floor every Friday night and eat popcorn and watch movies. I hope they remember our yearly family camp outs the short time we spent in Indiana. I hope they remember climbing trees and playing in the park and having a picnic almost every Sunday afternoon when we lived in Texas. I hope they remember playing spoons for hours and four square tournaments out in the drive way. I hope they remember that spending time with them was always our first priority.

What is your favorite childhood memory? What do you remember most?

Lost in a Fog

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Time was a thief,

The darkness crept in quietly, slowly, ripping one memory at a time.
Tearing the moments and the pictures from her soul like the words from a mime

Knee deep in confusion. not knowing who to trust,
Her head always throbbing, she swore it would bust
One minute here and the next somewhere else,
The line between reality and fiction was turning to mush

Her eyes grew so cold, a blank stare of glass,
Was she still even in there, was this just a mask
Her life was a dance, she twirled in the shadows,
Conversation became like water, so cold and so shallow

Trapped in her body and tied to her life,
Like a ball and chain that would always bring strife
Lost in a sea of nameless faces
One day at a time, the chalkboard erases

Until one night, while lying in bed
the thief came back in, this time took her breath
She remembered it all, the years, all the faces,
She remembered her name, her husband, the places

She was free at last, unchained from her mind
That had slowly forgotten who she was over time
She will dance once again as she takes one last look
At the ones who stood by her and she left them her book

A book filled with stories, not gone after all
The memories, her life, in the book all along
They cried as the words seemed to dance on the stage,
She left it all there, her life on a page

Inspired by The Daily Post

Prompt: fog
Form: elegy

Where Is Fluffy?

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When I read these three innocent words posted on Facebook this morning I could almost feel the panic. Who is Fluffy you ask? Let me explain.

Remember when your kids were young and they had that one special stuffed animal who could fix just about anything? Little did we know that one day that magical, furry friend would go missing and all our lives would be turned upside down.

Well, Fluffy is my nieces stuffed dog. Every time I have always visited, her last few words before she’d drift off to sleep were “I NEED fluffy”. Yes, you read that right. She didn’t only want fluffy, she needed him and in her young mind, she believed it too. So, my mom happens to be babysitting and when I saw the post to my sister-in-law asking Where Is Fluffy? I knew exactly what was going on.

Isn’t it amazing how we can become so attached to something at such a young age? I remember playing with my stuffed animals for hours on end. I loved them and they were my best friends. Not only were they terrific listeners but they were always willing to cuddle. Faithful companions who never let me down. Just this week, I walked up to my 15 year old daughters room and there was Uni sitting lovingly on her dresser. Can you guess what he is?

I guess we really never grow out of our first childhood friends. They will always be waiting in a corner somewhere waiting to be noticed and hoping to be cuddled….that is IF we don’t lose them somewhere along the way.

Did you have a favorite childhood friend? Do you remember his name? What did it look like?

Sometimes It’s A Back Road That Takes You There

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There’s this place that I go when I need to disappear for awhile. It’s a place I feel safe and loved and am surrounded by familiar faces that will forever be ingrained in my heart and mind. There are no directions to this place. No exact route, but the path is always the same. Let me explain.

A few minutes ago I was sitting in my backyard. My daughter sat next to me and before I knew it, we started to swing. Back and forth, forward and back. Like a time machine, the memory of that motion took me back to a simpler place 35 years ago. There I was, sitting on my Aunt Ca’s porch rocking on her green swing. The paint was slowly fading off, but no matter how old that swing got, those metal chains held it up with pride. I loved the noise it used to make. I must have spent years of my life right there on that swing. Minutes that would add up to hours, hours to days, days to years. We would sit there and listen to the busy sound of the cars passing by on a nearby road. We would listen to the whistle of the train and the rickety sound of the wheels dragging along the tracks. But my favorite sound? My Aunt would sing songs that I never heard except right there on her special porch. I can still remember the words like I just heard them a day or two ago. I wonder if you’ve heard it.

Sometimes I get really down about this new speed of light pace we try and keep up with. Every time I am around my own children or some of their friends, I always hear the same predictable two words. I’m bored. How sad that we live in a world where everyone needs to be stimulated. It’s not enough to sit on a swing or sing a simple song, now we have to do it while connected to the rest of the world. Let me paint the picture. Everywhere I look everyone is distracted. Phone in hand, walking around like a zombie while staring down at a glowing screen. Sometimes I wonder if we are slowly being abducted by aliens. I miss the simple days when it felt good to just sit together with family and sing, or polka. Even car rides were filled with the ABC game and the hour would pass by in a flash singing and clapping as we belted out the words to Roll Out The Barrel. The memory of it jolts me right back to the reality life has become. I am sad for my kids. They will never feel the loss of the simpler days, for they will never know them. They will never sit around years from now and remember life with the memories I do. Sure, will have their own memories if they aren’t too distracted to remember them.

Here is that song I was telling you about. Have you ever heard it?

#01102
The Bonny Banks Of Ardrie-O (Collected by Kenneth Peacock)
See also: Bonny Farday (John Jacob Niles)

There were three sisters lived alone,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
The deep green wood they called their home,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

To gather herbs they went one day,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
They met a robber on their way,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

He took the eldest by the hand,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
He wheeled her ’round till he made her stand,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

Saying, “Will you be a robber’s wife,”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“Or will you die by my pen-knife?”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“I will not be a robber’s wife,”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“I would rather die by your pen-knife.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

He then took up his own pen-knife,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
‘Twas there he ended her sweet life,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

He then took the second by the hand,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
He wheeled her ’round till he made her stand,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

Saying, “Will you be a robber’s wife?”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“Or will you die by my pen-knife?”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“I will not be a robber’s wife.”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“I would rather die by your pen-knife.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

He took the youngest by the hand,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
He wheeled her ’round till he made her stand,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

Saying, “Will you be a robber’s wife?”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“Or will you die by my pen-knife?”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“I will not be a robber’s wife.”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“And I will not die by your pen-knife.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“If my brothers were only here,”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“You would not have killed my sisters dear.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“Who are your brothers, come tell me.”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“A minister one hopes to be.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“Who is the other, come tell to me.”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“He is a robber just like thee.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

“Oh, my God, look what I have done,”
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
“I have killed my sisters all but one.”
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-o.

He then took up his own pen-knife,
All a-lee and a-lonely-o;
‘Twas there he ended his own sweet life,
On the bonny, bonny banks of Ardrie-O.