I took a short trip this morning

In the back yard of the house on Anita Drive

In the back yard of the house on Anita Drive

Early this morning as I walked outside, the slightly humid breeze seemed to transport me, just for the briefest instant, back about 45 years. The sunshine and the smell of the air landed me square in our backyard on Anita Drive. The thing is, I really felt for that blink of an eye, that I was actually there.

It was the beginning of the seemingly endless summer vacation. Long days spent playing with neighborhood friends, riding our bikes, swimming in the neighbor’s pool, or just making mud pies. Laundry was on the line.The grownups sat in the metal “S” chairs, smoking Chesterfield no-filters and visiting. The garden was beginning to bloom.

For one fleeting moment, I was once again the little girl in the yellow dress, and the young man was tending the garden.

We’ll see where this takes us…

 

 

…with darkness

IMG_6123

I can feel the warmth of the sun on my face

I can hear the sounds of life all around me

I can taste the goodness of cool water

I can smell the fresh breeze

I can see love in their eyes

Imagine how it would feel to be in a place where these things were there, within grasp, but be powerless to touch them

The sun’s warmth scalds

The sounds of life deafen

The cool water fills the lungs

The fresh breeze becomes a hurricane

The love in their eyes appears to be a vacant stare

Imagine living in such a place

Everyday

Feeling hopeless

Stuff I’d like to do before I’m not alive anymore

Experience the 23 hour sun and /or darkness in the extreme north

Drive across the country in a VW bus

Drive a car that goes 0-60 in 4 seconds (and make it happen)

Sing in public

Skydive

Make someone really happy

Live in a walkable neighborhood

Catch a foul ball at a baseball game

Visit the land of my ancestors

Learn to take amazing photographs

We’ll see where this takes us…

 

 

Easter corsage

My granny's favorite flower.

My granny’s favorite flower.

Two gardenias. Two gardenias with blue ribbon. Two gardenias with blue ribbon were delivered. Two gardenias with blue ribbon were delivered the day before she died. Two gardenias with blue ribbon were delivered the day before she died, and now she wears them forever.

True confession #2

I do not dust my furniture until I can see footprints left by the cats. I grow cobwebs on purpose. I have seen dust bunnies the size of a baseball in my house. I keep a basket for clean socks in the living room. I do not necessarily put it away when company comes.

The ever present sock basket

The ever present sock basket

We’ll see where this takes us…

Don’t panic…

…in the middle of an unfamiliar, crowded grocery store.

I’d been to this store a handful of times over the years. As I tried to navigate my way through the produce, it became very crowded. There were too many people. I stopped for a few minutes to gather myself, and as the crowd moved on, I was able to pick up the things I needed.

As I wandered through to the bakery, I felt less dread, but I still didn’t feel quite right. I acknowledged the slight panic I was feeling to my companion and we moved along.

The next thing I knew, I was faced with an everyday decision. I had to decide what would be on the menu this week. I found myself unable to move. The choices were too many, yet not enough. There were TOO MANY people. Tears started streaming down my face. My companion was unsure of what to do. I was frozen to that spot.

After what seemed like hours (I’m sure it was just minutes), I was able to leave the store. It was painful. Each step felt like a million miles. I made it outside, where the cool air was most welcome.

It was exhausting. And scary.

We’ll see where this takes us…

 

 

 

White hot

There are many things I didn’t understand until I became a mom. One of them is the white hot intensity with which I love my children. To say I was blown away by this feeling, would be a gross understatement.

I never knew until that moment, how my own mother felt about me. While I missed her before, it wasn’t until then, that I really, truly understood what I was missing.

We’ll see where this takes us…

 

Dad things #1

My dad took me to see David Cassidy when I was eight. I actually remember what I wore. A navy blue jumper that had gold buttons, white piping, and a flouncy red skirt. Under that was a navy and white spotted blouse. A very chic chiffon scarf held together with a gold slide-y ring thing adorned my neck.

I do not remember what my dad wore.

We’ll see where THIS takes us…

No steps here

Granny & Gramps  1976ish

Granny & Gramps
1976ish

When my dad decided to remarry, his new wife of course, came with a family. No kids, but some parents, and a sibling, and a somewhat large extended family. Here’s the thing… These folks took me into their lives like I had always been there. All of them. And for that, I will always be grateful.

At the time, there were no other “grand children”. The woman who married us asked if I would call her parents some version of Grandma and Grandpa. I didn’t see why not, so in short order, Granny and Gramps they became…to almost everyone.

Gramps passed away when I was 15, so I didn’t get to have him too long. To say he possessed a quick wit, would be a gross understatement.

Granny was with us until 2005. She never thought she was anyone special, but she was so wrong. She was perfect.

Granny was a beautiful woman

Granny was a beautiful woman

I could never begin to express how special I was made to feel. I spent most weekends with Granny. That continued into my late teens until we moved away. Even as an adult, when I would visit my folks, I’d spend a night or two at Granny’s place. That ended when she moved in with my parents. I would try to make it a point to spend some one-on-one time whenever I visited. One of our favorite outings was Malley’s, where I would have a hot fudge pecan and Granny would have a marshmallow sundae. Not to mention the Woolworth’s lunch counter, where we would have grilled cheese and fries!

There is so much more I could try to say, but words would never do justice to how I feel about this woman. She was a profound influence in my life, and I will always treasure the time I was able to spend in her company. We’ll see where this takes us…

Not enough

My mom died in August of 1973. By the end of that year, my dad was remarried. Let that sink in… just less than five months…

There was hardly time to mourn. How DOES a child do that anyway? Is it important to keep traditions…Or is it wise to change things up? Is it a good idea to share stories… Or should we avoid “living in the past”?

After my dad married, it quickly became evident that sharing stories was not a good idea. For what ever reason, the woman who married US could not handle hearing tales of our family’s life that included our mom. We were told that we were “living in the past”. In fact, any mention of life as it was before, resulted in a rather large tantrum…that could last for days.

It didn’t take long for us to learn. Oh, someone would slip up every once in a while. Of course, it was thought to have been done on purpose. At least on my end, it wasn’t. I gave up most of the memories I might have had of my mother for this woman. That’s a lot to ask, no? I learned too late, it wasn’t enough.

We’ll see where this takes us…

True confession #1

Spotty getting loved up by his cousin, Sock Munki

Spotty getting loved up by his cousin, Sock Munki

I still sleep with Spotty. He lives on my bed, next to the pillows. Whenever I pick him up for any reason, I give him a kiss. He’s been with me my entire life, so yeah, Spotty is also 51 years old. It’s been decided (by me), that he must accompany me to the afterlife as well.

Things that make living that much better

IMG_9271Here’s a list (in no particular order) of some stuff that I enjoy in this life. Feel free to add some of your little pleasures.

Tea

Nail polish

Diet Pepsi

Slippers

Cats

Chocolate

Pasta

Fresh flowers

Ceci beans

Hair color

Slutty shoes

Chocolate Chip Pancake Sunday

Bubbles

A few more added by some friends…

Sheets dried on the line

Books

Home made bread

Pinwheels

Naps

Daffodils

Mint chocolate chip ice cream

What’s next…?

What IS next?!

Maybe the big city...?

Maybe the big city…? Probably not…

I know this is not the last place I want to live. I have a not-carved-in-stone timeline of 5ish years. This house that has been my home for the last 26 years will be put up for sale. While I may be a bit nostalgic when it sells (after all, I raised my kids here), I won’t be sad. I will be thrilled by the possibilities that lie ahead.

I have been thinking in earnest about how the next part of my life should look. There are so many choices! It’s exciting and scary at the same time. It is certain that I will live in a place where I can walk to the corner for a cup of tea. After all of this time living on the edge of the middle of nowhere, I don’t want to have to take my car out every time I want or need to grab a few groceries. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to where I might end up.

Perhaps, back to my mid-western roots. Maybe, some place tropical. Or, will the west win out? It sure is a big world out there. We’ll see where this takes us…

Deadly sin # 6

IMG_6701 - watermarkedI am at the age where many people are becoming the care takers of their parents. It cannot be an easy transition going from being cared for to being the one who is taking care. For either party. Even still, I am a bit envious. I ran out of parents many years ago.

You know, no one will ever love you the way your parents did. Ever. Sure, I have siblings that love me (and I, them), but it’s different. It wasn’t until I had my own children, that I started missing my mother (d.1973). I really don’t remember her, but I knew, the minute I fell in love with my first child, just how she felt about me. It was devastating.

I am envious, not because of the amazingly hard task many of you face, but for the many years you got to be someone’s child.

We’ll see where this takes us…

Take care of her. Please.

IMG_7654 (2)I seem to be the type of person people generally trust. My life is a pretty open book, but I will take your secret to my grave. I will listen and offer whatever advice I can. There have been countless hours literally holding someone’s hand while their life has spun out of control, each of us powerless to stop it. At times, for some reason, people seem to think I have all the answers. And sometimes, many times, this is a huge emotional burden. I’ve actually found myself actively avoiding new relationships for this reason.

So, what happens when the person who takes care of everyone needs someone to take care of her?

I was taught to be a “pull myself up by the bootstraps” kind of girl. It did not seem like there were other options. If I ever did have any sort of pity party, I was simply told how lucky I was and how there were people that had it so much worse. Basically, that I should get over myself.*

I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed, or sad, or scared. I’ve found myself stuck in situations that seemed endless and hopeless. During these times, for the most part, I found myself emotionally twisting in the wind. And, while my rational mind understands that some of the people in my life cannot cope with my issues, my emotional mind feels somewhat betrayed.

I have invested more into the well being of the people who inhabit my world than they will ever know. I have done this because I love them and want them to be well. Would I do it again…? Without a doubt.

We’ll see where this takes us…

. *more on this some other day

Things I miss

Some things I miss (in no particular order) include, but are not limited to:

Sidewalks

Jarts

Tall metal slides

The Mill Race

Family gatherings

City chicken

My Batmobile

Saturday morning cartoons

My dad’s recliner

Teeter-totters

Popcorn from Sears

Oh So (mostly just the grape and black cherry)

The Sinclair dinosaur

Summer vacations that began the first week of June

Going “visiting”

Tree lawns

My dad

We’ll see where this takes us…

Just a fact

So. I’ve already lived most of my life. I know what you’re thinking… How depressing… You’re still young… Why would you say something like that?!

It’s no big deal, really… It’s just a fact.

Yeah, the speed at which time passes startles me. Maybe more than I really care to admit. Where DID the time go? How did I get from here…

My dad and me  October 1962

My dad and me
October 1962

…to where I am? I LOVE my life. Now. That was not always true.The thing is, all of our experiences, good and bad, make us who we are. What would you go back and change if you could? What would be the consequences? Would a small thing make an enormous difference… Or, would a really big thing, change little?

So much to ponder… We’ll see where this takes us…

Words I love

Include but are not limited to:

  • ponder
  • whimsical
  • ruminate
  • courting
  • whilst
  • jollification
  • curmudgeon
  • davenport

I try to work these into conversation whenever possible. We’ll see where this takes us…

( my words kind of look like an hour glass. could this be foreshadowing…?)

I’m writing a blog…!?

Yes. Yes I am.

Please read along and help me diagnose my own particular brand of crazy. This is way cheaper than therapy. AND it might be helpful to get the input of not only folks whose acquaintance I currently enjoy, but maybe a few strangers as well.

I can’t promise to be witty and charming (like in real life) all the time. Therapy is not always pretty. I will put myself out there and discuss anything and maybe even everything. We’ll see where this takes us…

Please feel free to comment away, and share if you feel like it.