Play

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Play

Playing music was always front and center in our home.
Whether it be playing a record, a tape or, as years went by, a CD.

But the best playing happened in person.

At the end of one oppressively hot September day in 1988, we huddled around our only air conditioner for an impromptu concert. After a long day of yard work.

The 6 year old playing my old guitar from childhood.
The 10 month old plucking strings on his daddy’s guitar.
And the daddy playing, singing and offering advice on note fingering.

Keeping cool…

guitar trio 1988012
This trio played together many times over the years.
Guitar. Flute. Recorder. Clarinet.
Such fun.

 

Dream

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Dream

Where am I?
These houses all look different.
I’ll keep walking. 
I know the school bus dropped me off at the same place.
How could I be…lost?
Did I make a mistake?
I’ll keep walking…maybe up ahead.

But that house is the wrong color.
And it’s up so high.
Oh no what should I do?

It’s so hard to walk up this hill.
Why won’t my legs move faster?

There was never a hill.
I don’t know what to do.
These are all strangers!

Where is my house?
Where is my family?
I’m all by myself.

A recurring dream from over 50 years ago…waking me up in the middle of the night. Heart hammering in my chest. Eyes snapping open in the dark. Hands clutching the sheets.

Relieved I was in my own bed…in my room..in my house…my breathing would eventually slow. My eyes closing…

Onlyadream…onlyadream…onlyadream….
Sleep would return to my 7 year old self.
My 8 year old self.
My 9 year old self.
The illusion of safety assured for another night.

home

Friendship

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Friendship

I couldn’t let this prompt opportunity go by…although it also has inspired me to write a longer piece on this powerful topic at a later date…

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I have often thought…where would I be without my friends?
Now and in the past.
I don’t think I want to know.

Being somewhat of a loner, I was never part of a large “crowd” when I was growing up. I did, however, have “true friends” (as I called them) and included this small tribute to them in a diary entry. In the Memorandum section at the end of December, when I was in the eighth grade:

These are some friends of mine (own age) that I have known & liked very much. They have stuck up for me when I was down, been faithful & kind & above all a close friend I could trust. I won’t forget them wherever I go.

I listed 2 girls. One of the two is still my faithful friend.

My girlfriends were my salvation. In a difficult childhood. And the years that followed. Even at the age of 13, I apparently understood friendship…faithful, kind, trusting.

Again, I can’t imagine life without them…
I am still in touch with several special friends from high school – who each went down very different paths, but remained connected to me. College also left me with several friends who I cherish to this day. As did my work life, my parenting life and my empty nest life. My friends have enriched my life beyond measure.  Some have passed away and my heart hurts with missing them.

One “summer friend” – from a high school summer job 300 miles from home – sewed patches for my threadbare bellbottom jeans – “crewel work” embroidery displaying the perfect message. The jeans eventually disintegrated. But I cut the patches out…they are now behind glass in a frame which hangs on the wall in my “writing room.”

friends patch

I am still friends with this wonderful generous woman 47 years later.

Does anyone remember the old Girl Scout song?…

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold….

I am still making new friends.
I hope you are too.

 

Walk

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Walk

It was an adjustment, to say the least, when our youngest child left home for college. For him as well as for us.

He chose a college where it was warm…and far away from our New England town. I understood that, as I had also wanted to establish myself in a college town far from my home.

Colleges have an annual “Parents’ Weekend” in the fall. So parents can check in. And check out their kids. And kids can touch base with their parents. Our freshman son was on his own for the first time and we were grateful for the opportunity to visit.

Although not a big fan of endless parent questions…how are you?how are your classes?your roommate?is the food good?where is the library?…are you okay?, he was happy to show us around campus. He led the way. The grounds of his university were lush with greenery of all kinds. With a bridge. And a pond. In a very warm spot in Virginia. We attended these Parents’ Weekends every year, but the first one…well, that was extra special.

Conversation always flowed a bit more freely with a walk in the woods.

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father and son

 

Past

Inspired by…Ragtag Daily Prompt Past

I went to nursery school when I was 4. At the time, I was already the oldest of 3 and my mother probably needed some relief from having 3 kids underfoot 24/7.
I don’t have any memories of those days, but I did chuckle when I found these two 8 x 10 prints of what must have been “Picture Day.” (1958)

Apparently getting 10 preschoolers to sit still has never been an easy task.

I also wonder what the other outtakes looked like….

 

1958 - 1071

1958 - 2072

Traveling

Inspired by….Ragtag Daily Prompt Quench

I used to really enjoy traveling.

Even when I was a little kid. Despite the fact that I got carsick, I enjoyed the excitement of discovering the unknown. Even if it just meant the next “tourist trap” as my father described Country Stores and such. We didn’t go on many family vacations but they were always memorable for one reason or the other. One was the coin operated vibrating bed in a cheap motel room somewhere. I shoved a coin in the slot, pushed the button and surprise!

Fast forward a few decades. Air travel was exciting then. There was security of course, but we could bring any food and drinks right through all the checkpoints. Family members accompanied us to the departure gate and waved goodbye.  Even 20 years ago, a cross country flight was not the hassle it is now. I didn’t think twice about the process. And I could run without gasping for breath to the gate for my connecting flight.

Now it is stressful – at least for me. My adult children are faintly annoyed by this (well, perhaps more like eye-rolling annoyed). They don’t understand…because they have mostly known air travel post 9/11.  I remember when it was easy. They do not.

So here I am. High anxiety 2 days out. Making lists. Everywhere.

Getting ready to fly to see my grandson – all 2 ½ years of him. And his parents too, of course — who need some childcare help while the daycare is closed for a few days. Grandma to the rescue. So to speak rescue. Well, Grandma is trying her best to get her travel act together. For a 4 day visit. Let’s see….
Make a list –
What will fit in the carry-on….that I can lift and drag/wheel through the airport including the ladies room. Along with my tote bag, purse, computer, etc.
What do I need…what don’t I need….
Back cushion!! Don’t forget that.
Special goodies for the kiddo.

What about the weather! High anxiety 2 days out.

Ridiculous.

I wonder if this is a sign of advancing age…the inescapable fact that my body is just not responding to my commands as it used to. Sitting. Standing. Stairs. All harder. Trying to find safe foods to eat on the road…gluten free because I have to.
What the heck.

However what I do know for sure (thank you, Oprah) is that I miss the sight of this little one who I last saw in person…walking down my hall in June. It’s the ache in my heart that won’t calm on its own.

So, until his little family moves closer – about 500 miles closer – I will quench my thirst for this bundle of love and limitless energy.
By powering through this travel thing.
To see him. And his parents too.
FaceTime is all very well and good,
But nothing beats a real hug and sloppy 2 year old kiss.

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see ya next time Grandma