Choice Connections

Inspired by Lens-Artist Challenge #53: Your Choice

Happy Anniversary to the women who host the Lens-Artist Challenge – celebrating one year by…suggesting that you respond to today’s challenge with any subject that’s near and dear to YOUR hearts, as we’ve done with our images today. If you’d prefer some guidance, choose any of the four subjects we’ve selected this week (Friendship, Imagination, Connected or A Country that’s special to you).

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What subject is near and dear to my heart?

My family below…and scenes like this one from post Christmas 2017 festivities.

Enjoying a family sing-along.

Complete with my husband, son-in-law, son & daughter on guitar and my 18 month old grandson on his new kid-size djembe drum.

I am carefully balanced on a step stool trying my best to capture the moment. While singing.

 

sing-along 2017
Family Circle 2017

 

Language

Inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge: Language

This week, let’s think about language. Notice the places where words flow confidently and those where words falter.

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You did too much

My mother admonished me after I made my way down the stairs into the living room…two days before Christmas in 1986. After I discovered blood where there shouldn’t have been any. My hand smoothing my slightly rounded belly – as if that would stop what was happening.

What I feared was happening…

As I called out from the small confines of our brand new second floor bathroom. A short distance from a third bedroom…finished a few months earlier. Space for a new family member.

My voice unheard over the cranked up stereo down below…You Better Watch Out You Better Not Cry…in anticipation of the holiday to come. My 4 year old daughter over the moon excited about Santa. And her grandparents’ visit.

You Did Too Much

Four words.

Language that jumpstarted slivers of guilt.  Mixed with grief and anger and fear.

Compounded by my doctor….who, hours later with eyes averted, added…

These Things Happen.
It’s Probably For The Best.

What did I do?…

The unanswered question wrapped around my heart…until the day almost a year later…when my beautiful healthy son was born. And I exhaled.

No words necessary.

Our family of four complete.

 

moon sliver copy

 

Grandparents

Nancy Merrill is hosting a photo challenge. The prompt this week: Grandparents

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING GRANDPARENTS OF ANY KIND.

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I think of my grandparents often. I have written about them in this blog many times. I miss them still. I have included links to their birthday posts for those who would like a peek at the lives of these exceptional grandparents. Two of my favorite photographs are posted below.

 
My four grandparents were the definition of unconditional love.

 

May 1957 opa oma 042 copy
Opa and Oma with me (age 3) and my sister

Opa – my mother’s father, wrote me countless letters (which I still have). I was his “Pen Pal.” He showered me with words of encouragement and support in all my childhood adventures. His sense of humor is family legend. He awakened my love of all things cards and games. Opa and I would sit across from each other playing Pinochle for hours on end…one of my last memories of him.

Oma – my mother’s mother, learned to drive a car so she could make the 45 minute trip from NY to visit me – her first grandchild. At the age of 47. She baked birthday cakes for her grandchildren and made a mean macaroni and cheese. She wrote to me at camp and sent postcards from her and Opa’s many trips around the USA. We became very close as she spent her last few years near my home.

 

grammypapa and me
Grammy & Papa and me (age 3)

Grammy – my father’s mother, lived many hours away from my family…but she wrote me countless letters – full of details of her life “down South” with her sisters. After Papa died, I got to know her better as she made extended visits to stay with us. She was a character and not afraid to speak her mind. An expert seamstress, she made dress-up outfits for my sister and me. Doll clothes too.

Papa – my father’s father, made an impression on me during the short time I knew him…as he died unexpectedly the year I turned 10. I still have a few of his letters. I remember him as a quiet, sweet and patient man who made me feel special.

 

[As a grandparent to a spectacular 3 year old, I now understand how much fun it is!]

Serenity

Inspired by Lens-Artist Challenge #52: Serenity

 

sky kites
Kites in Flight
Hampton Beach, NH

When I was a young girl – a very young girl – I dreamed I could fly.

All by myself.

It was glorious while it lasted.

This photograph reminds me of that dream.

Lying in bed trying to fall asleep was not always easy when I was a child. Feelings are hard to sort out, identify and soothe when you’ve barely learned to read and write. I was also expected to solve my own problems.

Maybe it was watching the Mighty Mouse cartoons. I couldn’t take my eyes off his soaring figure and trademark cape…flying high to Save The Day. Or maybe, later, it was the view from the branches of the tree I loved to climb. Peeking out from behind the leaves.

For whatever reason, I transformed to a girl in flight during nighttime dreams. The dream began as I started running…

…running across my backyard. Faster and faster. Through the neighbor’s lawn. Until the grass was a blur. The trees were a blur. Only the sky still in focus. Always a blue sky. When my legs could run no faster, I’d jump. Without fail, Up I Went. My arms straight out to my sides, waving up and down birdlike. Flying away. Just like that…

Directly into a calm place of peace. And sleep.

I learned to start this dream at will.

I wish I still could!

 

Reclaim

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #55: Reclaim

 

rock wall woods

 

The things that women reclaim are often their own voice, their own values, their imagination, their clairvoyance, their stories, their ancient memories. If we go for the deeper, and the darker, and the less known we will touch the bones.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

What’s done is done.
What’s over is over.

One by one she closed the chapters
Convincing herself
it was so.

She shelved them high…year after year
Dust settled slowly
Coating spine after spine.

But that glimmer still surfaced
Again and again
A nagging suspicion…

Is done really done?
Is over really…over?

So she emptied the shelf
And cracked open each volume
To travel chapter by chapter

From whisper to shout
Addendum in process
The jury still out.

 

 

 

 

Lottery

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #53: Lottery

 

Life is a lottery that we’ve already won. But most people have not cashed in their tickets.

Louise L. Hay

 

 

lottery ticket
Have I won some kind of life lottery?
Unknowingly playing the right numbers at the right time?

What are the chances I would live as long as I have?
What are the chances I would give birth to two healthy babies?
What are the chances I would be born healthy for that matter?

I am convinced…life is not random.
Everything does happen for a reason…

What about that split second miss at the stoplight
Or…
When the accelerating lumber truck nearly T-boned my car
Or…
The hitchhiking car ride…locked doors, high speed, narrow road…when I was 17

Or…

Was it chance or divine design or perseverance…or a lucky combination…that made it possible to emerge from a dark childhood hell. Finding peace…blinking in the brightness.

I am eternally grateful and thankful I beat the odds…whatever they were.

Whatever the reason.

So far.

 

hope window