Daily Prompt: Fleeting

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Today’s prompt was to use the word fleeting in a post.

This topic reminded me of all the times we are left with a fleeting glance.  In many cases, the memories of these momentary glimpses are anything but fleeting.

Mom’s waving hand as you embark on your first ever bus ride

The emotional, yet proud look your mom or dad gives you at graduation

The bob of a little blonde ponytail as it retreats the first day they walk to class alone

Her tail lights the first time she drives away from home with bags packed

The crestfallen little face from the car seat when the visit is over and she has to go home

There are many more memories like this; sometimes romantic and sometimes sentimental.  They are good material for stories and poetry and backdrops to some of our  most memorable events.

Twist it again, Nana

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Staring at the shiny orb filled with snowmen sporting colorful hats and scarves and painted on smiles Ayda exclaimed, “Nana, make the music play again!”  She sat there balancing on her knees, fascinated by We Wish You a Merry Christmas accompanied by the make believe snow settling down around the frozen friends.

I handed her another one, and with a few quick twists, we heard the strains of Silent Night as glittering snow fell upon the scene of Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus. I admonished her to be very gentle with this one, as it is Nana’s favorite.

As she flittered from one decoration to another, I thought about the beautiful snow globes and how they present a moment in time so beautifully. Thoughtfully, I began to imagine the really special moments of my life, captured as a scene in a snow globe. Pictures of memories flooded my mind as I began to take a stroll down memory lane.

But wait! This wasn’t the time to get caught up in the past; I needed to enjoy the right now with this precious angel beside me. Then, lo and behold, I visualized a scene with a little girl sitting up on her knees holding a snow globe, looking up lovingly at her Nana with her brown eyes sparkling with the joy of Christmas.

Enjoy the leftovers

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As I looked in despair at the remaining Ziploc bags and plastic containers of left-overs in my refrigerator today, I thought about just throwing them away. Some of it looks like it’s starting to congeal and we are all to the point where if we never see another green bean casserole that would be fine. The economical side of me won out for now….or was it sheer laziness? So, the leftovers will survive another day and tomorrow the ham will probably find itself floating in some kind of bean soup.

I thought about the other things “left over” from the holidays that won’t ever spoil. The memories of hugs that say “I’m not sure when I see you again so I am holding you especially tight” or the ones where a mama hopes her child can feel the love that she is overcome with when she holds them. The laughter shared when Granny comes back with something unexpected when a child is playfully picking on her. The smile and perfectly executed wink unexpectedly returned from a precious grandchild. Yes, there are all of those warm left over memories that we will revisit time after time over the coming weeks.

My eldest and granddaughter left yesterday and I remember the ache that I had to push back down as I told my baby girl, “Don’t be sad. Remember it’s not goodbye; it’s see you later”. I told her that it wouldn’t be long before Nana found a way to see her again, which is true. But in the meantime, I’m thankful for the leftovers.

Daily Prompt: Sense of Touch

The Daily Prompt read, Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?

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Oh, the joys of bubble wrap!

Touch and texture are woven into the very fabric of our lives. God’s beautiful creation offers a plethora of things to touch and taste and see.

Before I saw this post this morning, I was watching baby videos of my granddaughter, who is now 5. We captured her touching anything new and different with delight. She would put her pudgy little finger on a frog and giggle, pet the cat (while the cat tried frantically to get away) and there is one where she appears to shiver when she touches a furry stuffed animal for the first time.

When I think back on my life, my mind is flooded with images of textures that still evoke emotion. There are memories tied to events and people and I stand in awe once again at the way God made us and the senses he gave us.

With both of my grandfathers, I remember lots of warm hugs and a little stubble when I pressed my cheek next to theirs. It was scratchy, yet comforting in some strange way. Their hands were worn with years of hard work, but not too worn to hold mine. I remember when Granny Byrd taught me to work in her flower beds and my love for having the cool earth in my bare hands was born.

Sitting in the lap of Granny Goff, I remember being amazed at the pages of her bible, so thin they seemed almost transparent, yet strong enough to last years of her reading daily. Her elderly hands displayed bulging veins which I would find great amusement in pressing until she would laugh and tell me to quit.

During church, I would play with my Aunt Terrie’s long, beautiful fingernails and she was always so patient with me about it. When I would go to visit Aunt Alice, our favorite place to be was the beach, with our toes in the gritty, warm sand.

I smile thinking about the texture of mom’s fine, curly hair; she never like us to mess with it once she got it just so. Of course, we did anyway. Thinking of Dad reminds me of the wind on my face as we returned from an island camping trip in the boat.

My husband has held me close and his touch has been a source of comfort throughout the years. Thinking of our daughters elicits memories of cookie dough and jello and ice cream. Some of the textures I was confronted with weren’t so pleasant but still bring a smile! There were days at the kitchen table with paper, glue and lots of glitter! The best memories were their little hands in mine. In the beginning they were slobbery little hands but I didn’t care; it was when they no longer needed to hold my hand that I knew things were changing.

Yes, our sense of touch is precious and my life has been touched this morning by going down memory lane. As I reach out and wrap my hand around my warm cup of coffee, I am reminded how precious every moment is once again

Christmas threads

SONY DSC“Ma’am, may I ask you a question?”  The persistent young lady clutching a tube of sea salt, something or other, actually matched my steps for a few seconds as I hurried past the mid-mall vendor.  After my “no thank you” didn’t faze her tenacity, I tried “No thank, you I’m not interested” in a more serious tone.  When that also failed to weaken her resolve, I decided to just pick up my pace and ignore her.  She was intent on making a sale but I was determined to escape.

Moments later, I settled into a seat with my lunch to take a break and re-group.  I found myself feeling angry.  Why should my leisurely trip to the mall be interrupted by an incident that left me feeling like I’d done something wrong?  I don’t like to use my firm tone of voice and I certainly don’t like to ignore people.  My day begins with a prayer to show love to others, not return rudeness.

Determined not to lose my joy, I let it go, adamant in my desire to shine a little brighter for the remainder of my day.

I begin to recall memories of Christmas shopping in this very mall with my mom, my husband, my mother in law, my girls and many friends.  Some of them are no longer here, but I can meander through the memories and find the moments and share them again.

The heart of Christmas for me lies in my Christian roots; the reality of the gift given to the entire world on that Christmas long ago.  When we celebrate Christmas, it’s based on that love and although December can be hurried and harried, that is where the focus must remain.

As I began to look around a few stops later, I noticed the exuberant face of a little boy as he carefully selected ornaments with his mother.  She spoke softly to him, love and tenderness in her voice.  They were both young and creating “moments” together to be cherished for years to come.

I rounded the aisle and saw what appeared to be a family, according to their similarities in look.  There was an elderly woman in a wheelchair, being pushed by a younger woman, who could have been her daughter.  I paused to let them pass and they smiled in thanks.  Directly in pursuit of them was a younger woman, who was very noticeably pregnant.  I wondered if I was perhaps looking at four generations (one still in the oven).  They made me smile as they laughed and joked about who was “bringing up the rear”, obviously enjoying each other immensely.

We have to remember during all the hustle and bustle of the season to cherish one another and to savor moments and make memories.  Every moment, every event, be it large or small is like a thread, which when woven together with love, create a beautiful garment of memories, that can be thrown around our shoulders to embrace and comfort us time and time again.

And that reminds me of the comforting love of the Father – Have a blessed day and cherish those moments!

Dust bunnies and Diaries

Will I even miss the mess?

Will I even miss the mess?

“My mom used to force us to do this at least twice a year”, I said, as we sifted through each and every item in her closet and drawers.  My daughter is quite the packrat and I knew we had better take a day (and preferably a full one) before her move to Texas to dig in deep.

As we went through every box, purse, bag and crate piece by piece, she painstakingly decided which pile the item would make its home.

Memory after memory assaulted my mind as I tried to keep this a lighthearted event.  There were the multiple pairs of Toms that she began wearing after her first trip to Mexico, when she learned she could supply another child with a pair if we bought them.  This reminded me of how compassionate she has always been.  There was the birthday card from Granny that still had the crisp $2 bills tucked inside that she had been saving; the tiny pee wee cheerleader uniform she once wore; the drum sticks that light up when you play from her days of drum lessons; the Dr. Seuss books, stuffed animals and old report cards.

She laughed as she opened an old diary and began to read.  As I listened to the words written by a nine year old, describing her days in detail, the thing that brought me the most pleasure was the happiness reflected in her entries.  So, as we laughed over silly diary entries and I again hid tears, we reflected on the past.

When you clean the cobwebs and dust bunnies from things long forgotten, it’s akin to cleaning the cobwebs from the recesses of your mind, or removing the layers of dust accumulated from years of not remembering.

Thankfully, my mind is alive tonight with so many beautiful memories that I had tucked away.  It’s a joy and a pleasure to revisit them, to recall all the good times with my family.

Retro rainy day

Vintage lady bug radio

Vintage lady bug radio

A symphony of rain cascades down from skies that were blue only moments ago.  It’s as if there is a drummer at each window and one on the roof above, each playing from a different set of music, yet somehow blending into a most worthy concert.

As the rain falls, I sit, pen in hand, drowsy gaze resting on my 2 day old pink pedicure.  I smile, suddenly catching a glimpse (in my memory’s eye) of my mom brushing the last stroke of her favorite mauve shade on her toenails.  She looks up at me and says, “How’s the book?”  “It’s great, hard to put down”, I say as I back away, the heavy scent of nail polish assailing my sensitive nostrils.  Mom and I shared a great love for reading, so she understood my brevity.

I step inside the room I share with my younger sister, adjust the Holly Hobbie curtains to let some more light in, and resume my devouring of “The Hobbit”.

Across the hall , a towheaded little boy sporting a coon skin cap bought on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains, and a red-headed little girl, lie on their stomachs on the “groovy gold” shag carpeting. They are surrounded by an army of “Best of the West” figures, set complete with Johnny West, Geronimo and General Custer.

Soon I hear the sound of dishes as mom begins dinner preparations and I turn on my little am radio, which is sitting on the Holly Hobbie table between our twin, Holly Hobbie spread laden beds.  The radio was a lady bug and the wings opened when I turned it on.  It was one of my most prized possessions at the time.

Music playing and all was right and peaceful in my pubescent world, not a care on my mind.  Reading while the rain fell outside was one of my favorite things.  The hard thing would be leaving my book when Dad arrived and dinner was on the table.

As I snap back to the present, the rain has ceased.  I’m thankful for a few wonderful moments caught up in seemingly austere, but precious childhood memories.

The Power of a Memory

Irish blessing with background of Everglades sunset.

Irish blessing with background of Everglades sunset.

Everyone has them, we make more every day.

Though unbidden at times, our minds obediently display

Some are quite wonderful, insisting we smile

Others, nostalgic, take us back for a while

Then there are those that we’d rather forget

The bad ones, the memories that leave our cheeks wet

If we are smart, we will learn from them all

About life, faith and friendship, and to answer God’s call

How to fail, yet get up again, stronger than before

How to embrace this brief life til’ we reach yonder shore

I am thankful for memories, no matter which kind they might be

You see, the power of a memory is a wondrous thing to me.

By:  Lisa

Deposits in our children

Ayda at Disney 2011

Ayda at Disney 2011

As I look back on the past 47 years of my life, I am convinced that of all of the lives I have touched, the biggest impact has been on my children.

Knowing this, I contemplate the failures which sometimes seemed as plentiful as the successes.  For this, I can promise, you will fail at times, more than once or twice.  You will find though, that how you handle the failures is the most important part.  There is no shame to be found in saying, “I’m sorry”; this is teaching your children to do the same.  You also have to forgive yourself and move forward.

I recall many times that they called me out on something that I had taught them not to do or also the times when I beamed with pride at the awesomeness of their character shining through.  There were times I was impatient and didn’t give them the chance to explain, or completely misread a situation and found myself at their bedside asking forgiveness.  There were also times that I know I rocked; that I gave them praise and their smile and hug told me I had got it right.  Those are the times your heart feels as though it will burst.

I have found that patience is mandatory throughout their lives; not just during the terrible twos and sassy teenage years.  Your complete and undivided attention is a must and forgiveness a necessity.  Praise is essential and should be used in far greater quantity than negative remarks.

The words that are spoken should be carefully chosen, the looks you give always filtered by love and the example that you set should be stellar.  If it hasn’t been thus far, make the rest of the years count!

Yes, there will come a time when they will make their own choices.  However, you will want them to make good ones, based on the things you have taught them and shown by example.  The little sponges will soak it all up, so make your choices wisely.

After all, you want to look back with more good memories than bad ones and you want to know you have done your very best.

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