That first Whiff


terri, scott and i                                I’m on the left, Scott is the one on the right

I think we all have them… that file of memories tucked somewhere inside of each of us that snaps us back like a rubber-band. That place when we smell or taste something familiar or hear a song that sends us back to a different time in our memories. I even have a time of day that hits me in a way that I just feel safe. As if someone has just told me that it is all going to be okay. For me it is around two PM.  That time of day must have been about the time when I’d wake up from my daily nap to my mom’s warm welcome back. A time before bills, a time when someone else took care of all my needs.

Whenever I taste chocolate milk, (BOSCO to be exact) I always think of my friend Scott who lived nextdoor. His mom would set up a little table under the tree in his front yard and make us peanut butter and honey sandwiches and chocolate milk. Such a decadent treat back in those simple days. I can still taste it. I remember walking into his kitchen,  and the scent of plums and peaches filling my head. His dad had a grocery store a few block away and every once and a while, I get a whiff of what that grocery store smelled like, and it snaps me back into those carefree wonderful days. It was a combination of the produce and deli departments and the memory of buying pixi stix for a penny each that still can prick my heart.

Bactine and Dippity Doo, Coppertone,  and the smell of tar and asphalt all have the same effect (The tar smell probably because there was a freeway close to our school that they always seemed to be working on. As a kid, I also loved the smell of a restaurant as you walked through the door. You know that first whiff. A combination of cigarettes and coffee. Every now and then I smell it but now that they don’t allow smoking in restaurants, that exact whiff is few and far between.

One of my favorite memories is falling asleep in the car as a kid. Watching the moon follow me home as I drift off and then feel my dad pick me up and carry me inside. As he unlocked the door and that first whiff of “HOME” would hit me. I can’t explain it, nor have I ever been able to duplicate it,  but I can still smell it in my head. And it was the BEST! I think it was a combination of a million things. But most of all, I think it was just  that it was that  time in my life when someone else was in charge of worrying about everything. Maybe there is a special scent for feeling carefree? If not, there should be!

How about you? What do you remember? What are some of your best  memory smells? You know, those first whiffs moments that you will never forget?

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BACKSPACE


writer

You are the pen and today is the page,

your attitude is the ink.

YOU control  the way  you react,

in what you say and do and think.

At times we are bold in the things that we say,

at times we should say nothing at all.

It’s all in the way we write the words on each page,

and the way we want them recalled.

For life does not have a backspace key

for all the things that we say in haste.

So, just remember as you click on SAVE

to review  first, and when needed erase!

S

Diane Reed 2016©

backspace

 

Clicking On Me


I couldn’t sleep the other night and so I went wandering around Facebook and tried to find some of my friends from the past and it made me realize one thing…. We all are old!!!!!  lol.

me viginia slim photo

Older faces staring back

hit me like a heart attack

everyone I used to know

where did you all seem to go?

I click on you and find your name

only your eyes look the same

 I click on photos titled:  “past”

I finally see “YOU” at last!

The one  I remembered then…

 An older version of my friend.

I wander through… browsing at the rest

 I smile and click “Friend Request”

Hoping that you’ll recognize

Who I am now from my eyes

That’s when I realize what you will see

when you find my name and click on “ME”.

Diane Reed

2013

old couple walking

My Story… Excuse me while I shout it from my mountain top!


My Story

Some people are private, they don’t understand the need to be heard.

shhh

They could never understand the concept of bearing  it all. But ever since I was very small I’ve felt different.

little girl writing

I am unique in that way. I’ve always considered it a waste to learn life lessons and not share the lesson learned. Whether in the way of written word or sharing in other forms… even if just over coffee.. It’s all in the relating. And you’ve got to know that  somehow, each and every one of those times of relating will somehow find their ways to words I write someday. Not in a bad way, but in way of a lesson or a moment worth sharing. For when we write we are never truly alone and when you are lonely just write! I don’t think I’ve ever truly felt lonely as an adult. Even as a lonely child, I learned to create my own friends on paper, to read books filled with towns of people I was glad to know that I had that kind of power! And… Through our memories, our experiences and our lessons we learn to share so others don’t feel so alone. Think about it. There would be no books, or poems, no plays or movies or even sitcoms without writers! There would be no speeches or sermons, no quotes. Even God used writers to write HIS WORD! They need us!

Recently,  I’ve had this need to go back and understand my mistakes in order to help others not make the same ones. If my lessons can help others… why not shout them from the mountain tops? Or at least fill the empty pages with words that can give hope to others who are hurting? I mean… what’s the big secret?

friends talking

I also like to tell my story and relate it to yours. For we all have one. A story that is. And I have always felt that your story might help me and my story might help you and if we miss the opportunity to share a lesson we have learned it is like an empty schoolroom filled with unread books.

class room abandoned

If you are a survivor of anything, you have a story! You have hope to offer. You have a gift to give someone going through what you have survived. What a waste to not give that hope away. An illness is cured, a heart is repaired, we are all survivors! When you are in love don’t you want to shout it from the mountain tops? Don’t you want everyone to feel your joy? Well, THAT my friend is just a chapter in your book waiting to be read by someone else who waits for that same kind of love.

When I am happy, I want to tell everyone about how I am feeling, to talk about it and explore it. If it is stifled, if you can’t share it… it almost robs you of the joy you were feeling. When I am sad, I want to talk about it, when I am angry I want someone else to understand.  To be silenced is like being held captive.

hand over mouth

Like a writer without paper, like a pen without ink.

To write is like shouting it from a mountain top.

mountain top kneele3r

To not be able to is like our own private  hell.

crumpled paper

We are all different and that is what makes the world go around.

winnie the pooh and piglet conversation

 I can honestly say that I’ve never written anything I didn’t mean. Writing gives you a chance to backspace and be very thoughtful about what you say…. unlike just blurting it out. We tend to take more time when we are telling our “story” it is a pretty magical process. It really is about our stories… Those are all we ever really have left of value in the end anyway, isn’t it? So regardless of how tactful or private everyone else is… or isn’t… Or if they do or don’t understand what I share or why I need to… I will never stop writing my story… never stop writing the words on the pages of my life.  Even if I am the only one who learns the lessons I was supposed to learn.

my story

Duhhhhh


Mail... You Got Mail

My curser turned to your page as my day began to start

like a slap, you shared words with me that tore my heart apart

let me tell you now that they were words I didn’t need

You sent them anyway – knowing just where it was, I’d read…

frustrated girl on computer

You wanted to bring me into your own little world of pain.

My world is far from perfect, you just added to it’s stains.

wind

I wonder what you wanted for me to do or to say?

Was it your intention to just blow my day away?

tornado aftermath

I know that misery loves company so you invited me

without ever considering the place that I might also –  be.

Your feeling angry now,  so you wanted me to feel it too

Funny, but what you just did to me… I’d never do to you!

Diane Reed ’13

holding hands over earsholding hands over earsholding hands over ears

Several years ago, I went to visit my cousin. She’d needed to work the first couple of days of my visit so I stayed with my Aunt and Uncle until she came to get me.  It was a fun time to catch up with my Aunt.  She was such a wonderful woman! She loved to laugh and I loved to make her laugh and we did that a lot during that last visit. She was a wonderful artist and could make patterns up out of her head! She painted and sewed and made apple dolls and hand carved their faces with expressions that brought them alive! She loved her pets and little kids and elderly people and I loved her with an admiration that I don’t give out freely.

It was a great visit except that my Aunt had built up a lot of resentments over the years which I think ultimately,  made her physically sick and in the end part of her demise.  I am pretty sure that she died too young and with that resentment still in her heart. Though she was amazing, she just could not let go of things she felt had been wrongly done to her and she shared some of those things with me. She shared some mistakes she feels that my grandma made and I have to admit that they were rather shocking. Though I am not sure how much was amplified in her mind as the years went by, I do believe my Aunt for the most part. Finally when my cousin came to pick me up, she asked me how my visit with her mom had been and I asked her  if she knew the stuff her mom had told me about grandma.

I think it was in that moment, I saw my cousin as not only an adult but one of the wisest people I know, and still feel that today.  She held up her hand and said to me “Diane my mom tried to tell me bad stuff about grandma for years and I never let her because grandma was an amazing grandma to me, and I’ve told her that I am sorry if she had a different experience but I refuse to let her ruin my memory of her.” And then she said, “I am sorry you let her tell you.” Well, I am too. But I was kind of caught of guard. My Aunt did not ask me if I wanted to hear any of it, she just told me. And I am not sure if I would have known how to tell my Aunt I didn’t want to hear something I didn’t know she was going to say but it made me really respect my cousin. Because after all, my grandma took my Aunt and her kids in when they had no place to go and took care of and loved my cousin and her brother and my cousin recognized and remembered that.

I am sure that my Aunt was never really in a place where she ever recognized all that her mom did for her. She was already filled with such resentment by then but my grandma  loved her kids with all her heart and so in turn her theory of my  grandma hating her seemed ridiculous to me because I don’t think she would just love some stranger’s kids in the same way. She could have just sent my Aunt and her kids away but she didn’t.

I am sure my Aunt had a different experience with her mom than we did as a grandma because we treated our grandma like our hero.  She was my soft place to fall until the day she died. I loved her and the wonderful memories she made for all of us. When I’d come to visit, I’d remember waking up to hearing my Aunt yelling at my grandma and my grandma probably yelling back at my Aunt. It’s not that hard to see that you reap what you sow in that situation but I am still sorry that my Aunt missed all the great stuff we loved in her mom.

I guess the point of my story is… I could have written about the things I learned about on that visit… The stories my aunt told me about my grandma…etc… But at the chance of my cousin reading this,  I never will. I will protect my cousin from the stories she does not want to know or ever need to know. Recently, I’ve been given unsolicited information that I never wanted to know. In the past, I’d made it crystal clear that I didn’t want to hear about it. I’m not really sure what part of “Please don’t talk about this to me” was not clear enough  but it was SENT to me in way of text without warning…. how shady is that? The highest form of manipulation is still going ahead and sharing something that was uninvited with an innocent bystander because you are angry with someone else and need to vent. And they wonder why we aren’t that close anymore.

I guess the operative word here would be…. Duuuuhhh!

Through Rose Colored Glasses


footprints picture

I have been reflecting on friendships this week. No doubt due to losing Lucy. It has made me re-evaluate so many things in my life. My heart is full and yet my brain has kind of kicked in. I have been going down a very revealing journey of self discovery the last few days and the familiar saying: Some people touch your lives for a little while and others leave footprints on your heart forever…  comes to mind. But currently I am in kind of a dark place where I feel like twisting that sentiment around a bit and adding…. There are also the friends that trudge all over your heart.

bruised heart

Some things are comforting because they never change. Like Lucy, she was who she was. She was always my soft place to fall. I never came to her to have her always agree with me, but to get the truth. It was a refreshing friendship because no matter what, she could tell me like it was and I could tell her and it was just a safe place. I never worried about her sharing my secrets or divulging my mistakes. She was my Fortress of unconditional love. It didn’t matter if I was in a horrible place in my life. She loved me through it. Like a mother loves a child. Like the best in best friend.

In my life I think I expected that from everyone. I think that I really had blinders on when I chose different people in my life, at work and historically in my own personal life, and it baffles me now what I didn’t see. There was a time in my life where I put one particular friend on a pedestal while I kind of let another one tread water waiting for me to see the truth.

cartoon standing on a pedestal

As I look back I wonder why I was so blinded by admiration. Another couple of friends at work made me believe that they were friends. They gossiped behind the backs of others there, just as much as any of the REAL HOUSEWIVES! In fact, they could give them a run for their money! The thing I don’t get is why was I so blown away when I finally discovered that they were talking about me as well, when I wasn’t in their presence?

Friends have come and gone. Some are there because I’ve chosen them (adult made friendships). Some historically (childhood friendships) are still there because we’ve chosen to work on them to nurture them. Those are the most difficult when you realize you have outgrown them. A while back, I met a friend I hadn’t seen in years. She was a part of my everyday life as a teenager. In just our short lunch together, she had proceeded to insult a homeless boy begging and said such hateful things to him and then tried to justify it to me, that I felt I was with a stranger and yet in that moment, I realized I was seeing things about her that I’d overlooked all our lives. I have really been reflecting on many of my friendships lately and it has been an eye opener. As I have also reflected on my own junk that I bring. There are more sayings such as…. You will always be my best friend… you know too much…. Or…  Best friends know everything about you and love you anyway…

I want to be that kind of friend… I want to be the one that doesn’t want to point out the bad in my friends, the one who accepts them where they are. But at times when something huge happens like it did for me this week, you get reflective and perhaps a little cynical. For today… I think I let the cynicism win out. I’ve written about friends before on my blog, even given them their very own post of the day.

Currently, I am just in reflection mode. I have so many lifetime friends that I am thankful for! So many readers who have made me look past my own doorstep and embrace the friendships not even made yet. Funny how once upon a time, I thought I had enough friends. What a horrible thought! Never to be open to the possibility of more. A kind of friendship suicide. Cutting myself off from the opportunity of the joy I have recently experienced in new friendships in my life here and in my own little corner of the world. I also realize that I am just in a bit of a depression and rightly so. Nothing organic going on here! I just lost one of my best friends and I’ve woken up each day realizing she is gone. It is the first thing I think of every day since. But I know that time heals all wounds and though I will miss her, the pain will ease. As in the things bothering me today. And so I will not close the book, I will keep reading, finish the chapter and move on to the next.

But for now just humor me please as I share my poem about being disillusioned over certain friendships. A bit of purging here. Not my usual uplifting stanzas (that was a joke!) But I really do…. I promise I will have a better outlook tomorrow!

**********************************************

Through Rose Colored Glasses

You see it your way with rose colored glasses

the world is all wrong and we are all asses!

rose colored broken glasses

It couldn’t be you, in all your perfection

no, not a flaw in your perfect perception!

We are just sensitive when we judge your approach

you never see the way you jump down our throats

girls telling secrets

 you talk behind all your friends clueless backs

discussing all the things you feel that they lack

 what made me think when you were talking about them…

that I was above the ones you called your good friends

gossipers

Why was I blinded, why couldn’t I see?

while you were talking about them, you were also talking about me!

Diane Reed ’13

page quote

The View From Where I Sit


On a lighter note, I just wanted to share something with you guys. This morning when I was writing, I happened to look out the window to find something that you don’t normally see in Southern California where I came from. This is when living in the country brings a smile to my face. Now… If we could just teach them the finer art of edging!

I looked out the window

and what did I see?

A hundred and two sheep

winking at me!

It was almost as if

they already knew,

that I had the same plans

as I put  on my shoes…

I said “Hey you guys!”

 “What do ya know?”

“You are eating the grass

I was just gonna mow!”

sheep

Diane Reed

2013

My 200th Post


(Caution… this is going to be kind of a Mama’s brag book kind of post!)

birthday cake2

I was saving my 200th post for something special.

I can’t imagine anything better than sharing it with my baby! My daughter has recently embraced being Vegan and I am so proud of her for being passionate about what she embraces in life, she does nothing without a dramatic flare. She loves whatever she loves with all of her might ~                                                               and inspires me every day.

vegan heart

Before she moved to: LA, I was sure she was going to be a writer! She won many awards and wrote for our local town’s magazine. Her Prinicipal came into her math class in her Junior year of High School to thank her in front of everyone for an article she had written about him! She was good. Very good. She wrote a children’s book as one of her English assignments and made her teacher cry. When he found out that she was connected with Elizabeth Barrett Browning through our ancestory line, he gifted her with a first edition book of poems she had written. She made an impact on all the adults in her life through her writing. But at the same time she fell in love with acting. She was always being chosen to give speeches in Elementary School and later was hooked when a few Drama teachers took her under their wings. After that, she never looked back! She played Abbey in Arsenic and Old Lace her Junior Year and was hooked!

Brooke's Pics 182

(Brooke on the left)

Though she loves to write, drama was her focus and she moved back to LA to pursue acting.  And she I know she is on her way! But as a proud mama, I can’t help but support her as she writes about her journey. Recently, discovering vegan recipes has become a new passion for her and I have encouraged her to begin  blogging about it. (Gotta get that writing back in there somehow!) And so she has!  And so… how could I not support her by offering up my 200th blog for her new endeavors?

Please support her with me and FOLLOW her search for the best recipes. She is my little Rachel Rae!

apron

So if you love me… please click here : (no pressure lol)

http://thenakedbird.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/vanilla-cashew-milk-waste-not-want-not/

Thank you!

Vegan Go Vegan sign

I have provided the link to her blog here but I am also going to reblog it.

Thanks again guys! Gotta support my kid’s writing!

Shutting up after Fifty? Think again!


I had to cut and paste this article from Huffington today. I rarely go there to read much anymore because it always seems so negative and yet I do enjoy some of the writers on there and so if I see something that pops up when I turn on my computer, I will skim it. Well, this article caught my eye and I thought I’d share it. It was written by a gal named Shelley Emling who informs us that she IS over 50. Though when I finished it and read the annoyed responses, I could not help but agree with them. See if you agree…. I responded and immediately started getting faved in less than a minute or so which I thought was funny. Just thought I’d share to get your take on this article. My response is at the end.

cartoon with tape over his mouth

Editor, Post 50GET UPDATES FROM Shelley Emling

Words Never To Say When You’re Over 50 Posted: 03/22/2013 7:22 am

We’re all guilty of muttering something off-putting now and then, but there are simply a few words and phrases that — according to some — are just plain strange to hear coming out of the mouths of post 50s. Sure, there are words that no one of any age should say on the Internet without starting a flame war.

And no one, in 2013, should be uttering “bromance,” or “oh, awkward” or “binders full of women.”But there are also, definitely, words that probably never should come out of the mouths of those with an AARP card. Never. Like, ever.Huff/Post50 asked our readers and Facebook fans what they thought and here are a few of their responses.JoAnn Forrester said post 50s should never say “girlfriend,” “neat,” or “can I fix you dinner?”

Kim Dunshie Herning said it depends on who you’re talking to. “It is not ‘cool’ to use your teenager’s current slang in any conversation with any age group to try to be ‘with it.’ Salty, swag? What the heck do these words mean? And you won’t catch me calling any male or female ‘dude’,” she said.

Johnny Hoppe argued that only words and phrases that have lost their cool or were never cool to begin with should be avoided, such as “par-tay”, “_______ NOT!”, “Compassionate Conservatism” or “Squib me deux Zima, G-bones!”

“Words of this ilk should only be used ironically and under professional supervision and always with protective headgear,” he said.

Roe Breslin said that, after a shopping trip to Target last week, her 39-year-old daughter announced that one should never use the word “panties” after a certain age.

“I said ‘okay, then, underpants’,” she said. “She said that was worse, so I give up.”

Alma Murchin said she hates when she hears people over 50 use Internet slang like BRB. “Really, save that for the teens,” she said. Laura Hoffman said she can’t stand people to use old fashioned expressions like “another day another dollar!”

So what words don’t you like to hear or say? Here’s our list of nine words we believe you have no business saying over 50.

1. Totes. Unless you’re referring to that lovely large bag with two handles you’re carry on the plane with you.

2. Freakin’. Although “freakin’ a” is so much worse.

3. Hottie. Please only say this if you’re trying to order a toddy of some kind and not when you’re eyeing the sexy guy at the bar.

4. Smashed. This is what happened to the vase when the cat knocked it on the floor, not your state of inebriation after a night out with friends.

5. Girlfriend or boyfriend

6. LOL.  If you say that to me, I’ll just GOL and tell you to BO.

7. Like. This vocalized pause only makes you seem unsure of yourself.

8. YOLO. “You only live once.” My 12-year-old daughter and her friends said this much of last year. It’s time for this trend to go away, especially if you’re over 50.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     9. Rich or Sick. Do these mean the same thing? Don’t know and don’t care.

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My Reply…

 I would like to add something here,,,, Shelley Emling wrote: Sure, there are words that no one of any age should say on the Internet without starting a flame war. There also are terms no one should use to describe themselves on LinkedIn.
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Considering that Shelley is over 50 I will give her an OUT here but truly I might say (after reading the first few comments this article provoked) That you probably should not write an article about what NOT to say for the over 50 crowd anywhere!!!!
Ya hit 50 and it is already a sensitive subject, regardless of the black balloons and wonderful surprise party and loving roast that comes with it! Regardless of how we embrace the fact that we can lose the stupid rules of our youth. It stings just a bit. We may not want back those awkward years but we sure as hell don’t want anyone even someone over fifty telling us how to talk and where not to say certain words! We earned that right by living a half a century already. Believe me if someone says LIKE it is a habit they began long before they turned fifty. Soooo like don’t freakin tell me what to say on the Internet or anywhere else for that matter… got it girlfriend?! LOL.

56 minutes ago Tina_Curry faved your comment.

1 hour ago bonzbonz2000 faved your comment.

1 hour ago Janice_Dietert faved your comment.

1 hour ago m5783 faved your comment.

cartoon grandpa texting

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A challenge……. Silence is golden


There are things that you just have to learn by yourself in life and no one can tell you what to do to make it “click” for you. If you are in your twenties or younger, and can learn the one thing that I am learning now, you will be a thousand steps ahead of me and save yourself a lot of trouble. And I think this is the kind of thing that perhaps you might have to learn the long way around but I am still going to try to sneak it in for ya because it will save you a ton of frustration in the long run. The little secret is….less is more!!!

Even though I feel that I don’t give my son enough credit for the depth in which he thinks these things up… I believe he is brilliant. But I don’t feel he always lives by his words of wisdom, in certain circumstances. He is hot headed and quick to react most of the time however, a while ago, he gave me some of the best advice I think I have ever gotten. He said; “Mom, if you don’t let people know what you are thinking, then you have the power“. When he said it. I knew it was profound. But not until lately, have I really understood what it means.

Recently, I have had people say outrageous things to me. Things that normally would require at least some kind of response. Maybe an insult or a complaint  about where I work or a nosey question that really did not deserve a response. In the past, I have responded. Giving them the power.

The other day, someone said something that normally would have required a  comeback from me or at least some kind of a rebuttal. Instead there was a wonderfully awkward but empowering silence. The receiving person who delivered the first part of the conversation was left hanging with their rather rude self and it was the best feeling ever!

Try it this week. And report back here at the end of the week. I bet there are going to be some wonderful stories. Because… seriously, silence IS golden.

cartoon with tape over his mouth

It’s JUST Ten Cents…Come on, REALLY?


I find it all so funny. It was as if we all had been on vacation and then come back to a world of baglessness! Some stores were creative and offered paper bags for 10 cents each or even gave you 5 cents back for each bag you brought in yourself. Though I did find all of this annoying at first, I can’t help but find the whole situation down right funny.  The thing that I find most  humorous is how the stores have dealt with explaining this  new change to their customers and even more, how the customers react.

You seeee… California has gone bagless (refer to the link I included here) there has been a ban on plastic shopping bags!) So unless places want to GIVE us a free paper bag… we shoppers are all outta luck… It could be worse…. bags could be like gas during an election year! You go to bed and they are 10 cents and you wake up and they are $4.79 + tax!!!  (smirk….and another blog!) But reeeeally, you probably won’t find this as funny until you are made to succumb to the bag ban!!! (If only I had JAWS background music for my background tune right here!)

If we all could get outside of ourselves and find the humor in it, we might even consider popping some popcorn, taking a seat and sitting back and enjoying the show. I particurlarly like to watch how the poor clerks handle their explanation as the clueless shopper stands dumbfounded as they pile the merchandise atop the turnstiles that used to hold the bags. Or offers the once free bags for 10 cents each. I have never seen such irate reactions over ten cents! People have been known to truck all the way back through the parking lot, almost half a mile away, to get the bags they forgot in their cars.  I watch as they seriously are quite angry. As if someone had insulted their mother or something. I want to stop them and make them laugh at themselves and ask them … Come on dude… REALLY? Get a  grip it’s just ten cents!

I wonder if there is a little chip missing in me somewhere, enjoying this new recreation of mine. Just standing back and observing the traffic jam in the communication department where this all began.   The other day, I watched when a guy checking out someone who obviously did not know about the new bag rules watched cluelessly. It was also obvious that this fellow did not understand why his merchandise was being piled and not bagged. And it became apparent that the checker was  not going to explain. Almost like a toddler that closes his eyes and believes you can’t see him if he can’t see you. They don’t acknowledge that the customer is growing more and more irate… I wanted to explain to the poor guy… but it wasn’t might place… I had brought “MY” bag…. smirk…smirk… thinking okay let’s see how he handles this.. I probably could have stepped in but that “chip” won out.

However, some stores are all over it. They have cute bags for the same ten cents that places like Walmart are trying to charge for their same old bags. These stores with the cute bags have realized that people don’t want to feel ripped off, even if it is just ten cents. They also have scripted their checkers with explanations as to what is going on. And are coaching them to ask  if the customers have their own bags before creating that pile of merchandise that has grown so familiar.

I have made the best of it and  become chums with the other shoppers as we chat about bringing our bags, forgetting our bags or how ridiculous we think it all is. But it is funny, people seem more friendly. At least to each other. I have actually enjoyed finding cool looking designer bags. The best ones are 99 cents at TJ Maxx! But really I have noticed that we customers, actually have eye contact and smile at one another a little more now.  Where once we walked by obliviously, with tunnel vision not noticing one another, now we seem to be more friendly. Nodding knowingly as we eye each other’s bags as we walk in the door together… ahhh that  thread that bonds us all when we have something as simple as bags in common.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/los-angeles-plastic-bag-ban-approved.html

Nothing compares


Pooh said…

  “Eating Honey is a very good thing to do,

 but there is a moment just before you begin to eat it.

which is better than when you do.”

I remember a friend telling me that they had planned all year for a trip to Hawaii. They lived in California just blocks from the beach. But I mean Hawaii is Hawaii. As adults we see the differnce. The beaches in Hawaii really can’t compare to here. But to a child, maybe not so much. So they saved and scrimped, and finally when the day came, they packed up their two little boys and off they went on their much anticipated vacation. The next day when they had settled down on the beach and she was admiring the white sand and turquoise water, her younger son turned to her with an utter look of disappointment and in a totally dismayed tone,   said, “So this is it mom?” It’s funny now but I have understood that same “So this is it?” kind of feeling more times than I would like to admit. The looking forward to it seems to trump the actual doing it.

I have gotten myself into some stupid predicaments trying to taste the proverbial honey. Feeling that there was something I was missing out on, something I was entitled to have and so I went for it. Abandonding all signs of intelligence I might have appeared to have, once upon a time.

It was wonderful while it lasted.  But you can only eat so much honey and then it is too much. You realize you can’t live inside the honey pot forever even when you have lived without it for so long. Honey is honey and too much of it is not a good thing either. It is sticky and very hard to get off of you once you have dipped your whole body into the batch! And so I find myself stuck more than I would like to admit.  I get so wedged in that I know that I am going to end up having to ask for help  in getting unstuck . I hate to ask so many times  but God always seems to send me answers to my pleas..

And  somehow I can always depend on being rescued.

I’d like to say I learn each time, But not always…. Sometimes I have to keep  learning the same lessons I need to learn, sometimes,                             over and over again…

And I know that I could have saved myself a whole ton of trouble                                                                                                                                                         if I had only figured out that giving me all the honey in the world may seem quite grand at the time and may even be what I think I really must have, what I need and want…

but I really do know….

That NOTHING compares to HIM!

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psa 119:103)

Cheater Readers


The first time I noticed it, I was in the shower washing my face. I had purchased a new cleanser. It was a light green package with white writing on it. I was not sure if it was the water in my eyes or the small white print, but I decided that NO ONE could possibly read the instructions on that stupid package! Well, a few days later, I decided to pick up a pair of what my dad called “cheater readers” at the drug store and through those lenses I saw clearly. My heart dropped as I purchased a pair and felt very old. That was the first sign of old age. I had not appreciated my youth as much as I should have.

Today, as I walk down the stairs, I creak, when I get up after sitting for a while, it’s not so easy, my double jointed body is not so flexible and even though I have begun jogging again when no one is looking, I don’t think I will ever jump hurdles again. Nope, not even maybe. And back pain is just not something my mom tells me about. I am old. I am that older lady who gave me advice, once upon a time not too long ago, about appreciating my babies who have since grown up!

Time passes so quickly. I remember hearing about the aches and pains of the older artists that I did shows with, and thinking I would NEVER complain like that. I try not to, but NOW  I know what they were talking about! One decade you are wearing size 8 and the next, you are not! What happened? I have learned that it is life. But what do they say? fifty is the new forty? And sixty is the new fifty? Okay well that puts me in the mid forties! And I know, I know, age is just a number. But I have to admit, I am having trouble getting pumped up again. I have my floods of inspiration from time to time, and get on a roll and then slowly, go backwards again. Due to depression or just the negative way I look at things. But I guess if those cheater readers are going to help me see~ then so be it.

Recently, after going all the way up to 35o in the number on my last pair, I relented and went and got a perscription. I guess I was so bad that my doctor told me that if I had gotten in an accident, they could have sued me! They gave me a pretty blue case with a special cleaning spray and cloth and sent me on my way. And oh my, I must say that cleaning REAL glasses puts a much better slant on my view of things. Those cheater readers never seemed as clean as I can get the glass on my new pair.

Maybe there is a little lesson in that. Sometimes we fight and resist the things we know will help us and keep blindly going along until we just can’t anymore. We have two choices, to remain in the fog or reach out.  Finding God again has done that for me. Every verse has new meaning. Every story, a different lesson. And slowly, sometimes very slowly, I am beginning to see things a little more clearly. Who knew that my drawer full of cheater readers that I had lying all over my house could be replaced with one little pair.

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.  This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:  “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them.”  Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.  Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;  for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
John 12:37-43

The Wrong Gate!


Just another empty nest story….

My heart goes out to Mamas this time of year. It’s that notorious time of letting go… For some, it is an exciting time of new beginnings. For others, it is a time of dread. I know both too well. The one place I feel like a true expert. Once upon a time, I left both my babies their first day of school. My son was a little different because I worked when he was a baby so the sting of leaving him on his first day of school was a bit muted after leaving him with sitters and at Day Care but I do have a few stories that were memory makers.

Though I loved him dearly, my first husband was a little selfish and careless when it came to parenting. Funny, because when I first met him, I watched him with his little niece and he obviously loved her very much. As I watched him color with her and listened to their  conversation and the sweet exchange,  I KNEW that I wanted him to be the father of our future children. Don’t get me wrong, he ended up being a good dad in many other ways but in his youth, and theirs, at a pretty crucial time, when I needed him to be seriously responsible, he just wasn’t. One shining example is when my son was about two, I woke up the next morning to a big mess. I had waitressed the night before while my husband babysat and I guess he had a small party with some of his regular friends over or so I thought. Obviously some other friends of his I did not know came over that night as well.

As I was cleaning the mess up from the night before, I frowned when I noticed a treasured mirror my very best friend had given me was laying on the coffee table. Puzzled,  I thought that was odd and wondered why it was there until I saw my son pick up a straw and stick it in his nose. Horrified, I realized exactly why he did that and what his innocent eyes had witnessed the previous night and my nightmare began.

I realized that my son’s own father was not going to be the one watching him ever again or at least for a very long time. I promptly went back to school to get a job so that I could work  in the day, put him in Day Care where I knew he would be well watched without coke heads partying in front of him. And even though that may have been a one time incident and little did my husband know that his own barely two year old baby  unknowingly toldl on him, I freaked out enough to realize that it was up to me to take care of my baby. So between my mom and a neighbor, I found safe child care. Sometimes a mama has to do what a mama has to do. And it is ALWAYS about putting the safety of your kids first. Period. I don’t think I even made a big deal about it. I just adjusted things and filed the information away realizing what I was dealing with.

Fast forward, a few months, I finished school, was working and had my son in what I thought was a good school when we ran into the Director of that school. I loved her. She was amazing, or so I thought until my son totally freaked out when she came up to him at a local Fair. I had no idea why, and it didn’t matter. I promptly removed him from that school and put him in a Christian School until we finally moved and I was able to stay home. By then I was pregnant with his sister and had enrolled him in the public school around the corner. He was in second grade and I walked him to school the first day.

He was already showing signs of not needing his mom by then. Though I could tell that he was a little happy that I was there. I had packed his lunch trying to imagine him eating it and thinking of me, lovingly putting in all his favorites, how funny. Now I know he wasn’t thinking of me at school while he was eating his lunch!!! As a young mom, it helped to imagine that anyway~

He had a new backpack and new clothes he could care less about but it made me feel better  knowing  his shoes were new. I prayed all the way to school that he would find a new friend and like his teacher. As soon as he saw the first glimpse of the school, he dropped my hand. Ouch. He puffed up and marched into the line of his new second grade class. Leaving me totally in the dust. Double Ouch. I smile as I think back at how I felt back then. I decided to not make it worse by trying to kiss him but I did remind him what gate to meet me at when school was out. “I KNOW mommm!” He stated as he followed his new class to their classroom.

When school got out that day, I was excited to hear about his day. I watched for him. I watched for his class. I thought I saw his teacher. But I never saw my kid. I panicked. I went to his class. It was empty. I went to the other gate. Everyone was since long gone. I finally went to the office. I was barely four months pregnant but I felt as if I was going to go into labor right there when they told me to call the police! I ran home crying, hysterical. My neighbors had their screendoor opened and I didn’t know what to do or who to call so I told my friend across the street the whole sorry story. She immediately got on the phone and cussed out the office saying “WHO tells a pregnant mother to call the police?” Then we hopped into my other neighbors car promptly drove back to the school.

So let me clarify, I had come from the arms of a private school where anyone picking up my child practically had to give their blood type before they would release him from their care, to a school that loses your children and then takes no responisbility after they have done it! I laugh now but you have no idea the feeling I had back then. I can still feel it even though it was almost 25 years ago. Well, obviously we found him. My friends and I split up and one of them came back with him in tow…. He had gone to the wrong gate! Oh my gosh. Really?!

I guess my point of sharing this story is: we all have those memory making moments… The first days of school, the first time you let go of the back of their bike without training wheels, the first time you watch them drive off with their fresh new license in hand. And then off to school or to whatever life they are heading to. The thing we have to adjust to is that no matter what the age, 7 or 17 or 32…. when they take that metaphoric hand out of ours it hurts a little. We let go in different ways throughout the years. And then we finally adjust to that empty nest. Or do we? Yes, we do. We start writing our own second chapter. We realize that we made all our dreams come true in our first chapter and become inspired to write the next and then the next, only imagining what we can do!

Like I always say, I will always see the little feathers stuck at the bottom of my nest and remember that my own little birds once filled that nest giving me a lot of joy. And know that even now, they sometimes will end up at the wrong gate. But my prayer is that there will be a lot more right gates than wrong… and that sometimes they will come home to let me hold their hand from time to time and I will understand when they need space, and pray that they will always know  that I will be okay when they let go but will always be here  with an outreached hand and a soft place to fall as needed. Because…. I’ll love you forever and forever your mommy I will always be.

Turn On That Fan Please!


This weather is messing up my beauty sleep! Once again, I am up feeling old and worn out and so very reflective. I promised myself that I was not going to be looking backwards.. But I guess I am kind of feeling sorry for myself. I am kind of angry tonight. I am mad and so darned hot;  and I have just realized that summer is almost over and it kind of sucked big time this year. I gained back about twenty of the fifty I lost last summer and have a pretty good idea why. It is that old anticipation thing again. I have to have something to look forward to.

Like Pooh says…Although Eating Honey is a very good thing to do, there is a moment before you begin to eat it which is better than when you are.

 I need something! I mean give me something, can’t ya?! When I was little, my dad would send us to Seattle during the summer. All of our family lived there and when my dad moved us due to his job, he promised that he would send us back there every summer and he did.  I guess it spoiled me. I mean, I always had Seattle. When things went wrong, I remember thinking about Seattle and that I had that to look forward to and for some reason it made the wrong in my world a little easier to take.

I think of those times a lot during summer. Every so often, I will get a little surge of a melancholy sort of mood and remember when life was a bit simpler and picking berries in the woods, a few blocks away or walking to the Lake was as good as going to Hawaii for all I knew back then.

I remember spending hours laying out. The sun did it’s job. The tanner the better. Though we always seemed to survive that token burn. Sunscreen wasn’t even invented back then and baby oil was our tool of choice. Today the sunburns we got as kids have turned into age spots and wrinkles. I look in the mirror and wonder who that is looking back. In my head, I am still that thin tan young girl turning every thirty minutes like a piece of bacon.

I always get excited when the pool opens. But I haven’t gone yet. We have only taken our boat out once this year and summer seems to be almost gone. And today, I feel old and glad that it is almost over because this heat is crazy. The air conditioning is blasting and every fan I can find is on me. Even the cat has found a cool place to land. The animals seem to be surviving. But I just feel like an old grouch.

And then I decide to get up early, I set my alarm and decide to get up before the sun has a chance to heat up. To not give in to the aches and pains and the sunburn of today.  And as I walk to our lake, I realize how blessed I am. I begin to watch people as they begin to stir. Pulling their boats to the lake or getting up for their own morning jogs and I realize that I live in a beautiful place, a place that people drive hours to get to. I begin to grasp the fact that my very own backyard is their vacation.

God has been talking to me lately. He has been gently nudging me, encouraging me to find the joy in the morning He promises and you know what? I think that I am finally beginning to understand just WHO the Holy Spirit is, He is that voice that tells me to buck up and put one foot in front of the other, to stop walking backwards and to realize that it doesn’t matter where we are, with God we can find the refreshment in The Holy Spirit as we walk into His Light daily. He is like the fan, the relief of His presence refreshes my hot and tired spirit. He is my Seattle and yet so much more, because vacations end but HE is constant, just waiting for us to board daily.

For his anger endures but for a moment; in his favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning                                                                                                                                      Proverbs 30:5

Turning Pages


Prologue
Reference to real people, events establishments or places are intended to only provide a sense of authenticity and are used fictitiously.
Once upon a time in an age before cell phones or personal computers, Ipods or even taped messages there lived a girl who had a dream, she wanted to be a writer. It was the summer of her sixteenth year when diaries were still in books with locks on them and the secrets were all just dreams of what might be. Images of houses with families inside, behind white picket fences and the hope of what would come next, danced through her head and found their way onto the pages, she wrote late into the wee hours many nights, pouring out her dreams onto the pages in way of poetry. Such raw and corny words, fell upon the pages as the young girl slowly filled the book, waiting for her innocent prayers to be answered, for her prince charming to rescue her and whisk her away into the life she was meant to have.
That old book was packed away, life happened in-between and recently while going through storage boxes the book was discovered again by the girl, not so young anymore, the one who had packed it away so many decades ago. Now much wiser and much more worn out, the woman held that book close and slowly opened the pages breathing in hints of yesterday, flipping through the pages, now yellowed with age. “What’s that?” Her daughter asked walking in the door, finding her mother deep into whatever it was that she was reading. She hadn’t even looked up when Brynne walked in the door nor had she heard her questions, but just the muffled interruption as she stopped reading for a minute.
The older woman looked up and smiled a melancholy kind of mood seemed to envelope her, Brynne was puzzled. Her mom always had the TV on for background company even if she wasn’t watching it. But today, she sat by the fire in silence with a book. Brynne frowned and sat down next to her mom as her mom began reading a few of the pages aloud to her. She stopped to make sure that she had not lost her daughter’s interest back somewhere at the first page but noted that she looked intrigued. Inspired by the attention she seemed to have captured the woman,Keri, explained to her daughter…”I started writing this book when I was about your age.” Brynne listened interested. “I never told you this part of my story she said.” Maybe it’s time I try to tell it to you now.
Brynne, who was always in a hurry curled her feet up under her and grabbed a throw as she settled in to listen to her mom read. Keri began reading, she read a page and then the next one and paused thinking that Brynne would be bored but Brynne motioned her mom to continue reading.
Aperture
Back in the seventies letter writing and phone calls were about the only means of communicating.  Journals were in bound books and writers still wrote their ideas on napkins and then transferred them onto the pages wound tightly in their typewriters. If addresses or numbers or names were changed, finding them again didn’t hold out much more hope than a message in a bottle might. The inventors of E-mails, Facebook,  twitter and texting were  not yet born. Little did we know what lie ahead. But my dad did.
In 1966, when I was about nine, my dad took me to his office filled with huge computers and disk drives and told me….
“Someday all these computers that fill this room will sit on just one desk … and maybe even in our life time, you will be able to hold one within the palm of your hand.”
 My first love recently found me on Face book. Our story is bittersweet. For over three decades I only allowed myself to remember the ugly part of our love story and basically stayed stuck there for all of these years. This story is about it all. (The ugly and the beautiful.)
  Everyone’s first love should be a sweet memory. Now through today’s technology I have recently,  I have been given that gift back again. The message here is not just about the mistakes made by the ones in love but by the adults in their life, the secrets kept, the sorrow and pain of young love lost.
In the seventies, we learned;  Love means never having to say  you’re sorry. I have to modify that today by saying.  Love is all about forgiveness.