Apologies to my FB friends as you’ve already seen these…but I thought my WP friends would enjoy a bit of a beach break too!
Peter Piper Patrols
Like riding a bike…once you learn how…you don’t forget.
Choose not to, sure. But you don’t forget.
When I was a girl I used to walk everywhere. I would stomp with purpose in my Wonder Bread bag covered shoes to school in the winters, hoping to get the bags off and stowed before the LL Bean boot-wearing kids could see them.
I’d march, like a good little soldier, the kiddie version of a 50 yard mile to church on Sunday, fiddling with the all too popular, bang-holding, enormous, white, clip-on bow my mother insisted I wear. One that made my hair sit pregnant and waiting to pop its clip from atop my head, and in doing so, birthing my bangs back onto my forehead where they belonged! The post clip-on years saw my 9 to 14 year old self, stomp the yard the longest 1/4 mile known to adolescents…especially on Catechism Saturdays, where God’s own wicked witch of the north ruled with an iron fist!
The better walking days were when I was old enough to sashay and glide; take my time meandering and strolling, to the place where all good things happen. Overstreet. Which, for those who don’t know, is our far north yank-speak for Downtown. I could spend my fifty cent allowance buying nickle candy at the Economy Store, making sure to save the quarter I needed for the Sat’dy matinee a couple doors down at the Savoy. And often times, I’d even have enough to stop at The Candy Kitchen for a creamie on the way home, if that’s what the gang wanted to do.
In the pre-bicycle summers, walking to the pool was the equivalent my now-self walking 5 miles on the huff and puff scale. I’ve actually checked since then and know now it was just a hair shy of a mile…but it was the last half that was a killer. Or so it seemed at the time. And looking back…having a bike didn’t improve that hill any…not one lick! I don’t think I managed to stay ON the bike the whole way up but once, and only then because I rode that hill like it was a Donkey Kong trail, without the ladders! Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It was easier to push it (or leave it home). Besides, kids pushing bicycles up that hill was just the way of it…until the 10-speed arrived. YeeHaw…what an invention. Not that I ever had one, but boy could those kids ride that hill like it was nothing!
Our’s was a small town; a good, walking town for a kid when you come right down to it. Nestled in a little valley surrounded by the Green Mountains; a college town without acting like a college town because we didn’t really sport the kinds of places college kids like to hang. And those we did have, the cadets managed to get thrown out of more often than not, so it was really just us town folk most of the time.
I loved walking that town, and I know it’s from walking that town that I feel so drawn to the beauty in everyday things that I often take pictures of. Imagine walking down the street where you live, and everywhere you look, there’s a mountain, or a brook, or a river. Walk to the end of that street and you can chose to go straight over the footbridge, crossing the river towards downtown and what adventures lie there. Or left over the tracks towards one of your schools or a shortcut to your friend’s house, the side street tree lined and leaf covered. Or better yet, turn right and walk to where the pavement ends and the dirt begins. Fields full of wild flowers and cows; promises of swimming holes and tire swings, and mountains as far as the eye can see.
All the time looking up. All the time thinking…I want to live in those mountains. I want to hear the brooks run and the smell the spring mud; feel the snow tickle as it falls on my face, and crunch under my feet for as long as I live.
I no longer live in that town.
But that town lives in me. I take it with me everywhere, as I take all those things I fell in love with there too.
It’s the peace I reach for when I can find none where I am.
No matter where I hang my hat, my heart remains there…in my little town. Where walking the streets is not a profession…it’s a path to connection. To God, to community, to nature, but most importantly, to oneself.
When I need it, I put on my boots and hit the road and remember. I remember to keep my ears open, my eyes wide, and my mind quiet. I remember to be thankful for some of the absolute best memories of my life…and more so, to be thankful for giving me the mountains my mind ran away to; where I’d sit under a glorious burnt orange tree while it bathed in the red-gold light of a late fall sun…for the absolute worst of my life.
The little town where I learned to walk; to never take for granted the beauty in the simple things; to accept with gratitude, the gifts it gave me every day; and learned too, the true understanding of what it is…the power…to have a place to call home.
(photo by Carol of Carol’s View of New England on blogspot)
You hope and pray you’ll do it well – But only God and time will tell
their first breath – that moment when
your life begins all over again
completely blind and ignorant of
what lay in store – except the love
such love not imagined – all encompassing
one day you’re you – now they’re the thing
that wakes you, feeds you, and fills your dreams
the good ones, great ones – in others you scream
you give them all you have to give
and though you know better – for them you live
the minutes to hours to days just fly
they coo and giggle and laugh and cry
the months and years show on your face
“please don’t go” – now – “give me my space”
you gently fade from their day to day
you open the door – you show the way
for them to taste and see anew
the world once filtered – made safe by you
you know it’s time – they feel it too
to let go of the strings – the both of you
and as they pushed and pulled away
your heart wished, once, for yesterday
when you helped them climb – watched them fall
saw them rise and push through it all
you’d let their lives envelope yours
you were the keeper – you kept the scores
of their battles won – challenges met
their struggles to come – those not met yet
you know it’s perspective and balance you need
to nourish the tree – not just the seed
you understand and search for the middle
the line that answers motherhood’s riddle
but the balance you missed – was in not knowing
it was your duty too – to keep on growing
into the woman – not just the mother
you could be both – not one or t’other
you were just a girl when they came to be
but womanhood stalled for the mother, you see
the trusses you built from that balance not found
kept the woman at bay – shadow bound
so focused were you on their little lives
you forgot to sing – to keep alive
that woman in you you’d set aside
so mother shined while the woman tried
to remake the bed already laid
the woman you could be – the mother you made
in the wings she’ll stay – that much is clear
the woman’s hidden for the mother’s fear
that this bed of weeks – without a word
is that woman’s fault – their wants unheard
but it’s mother who pays this price so daunting
you’ve been weighed and measured – and found wanting
now silent tears drop to mommy’s breast
’cause good’s not enough – your best not best
your youth – a down payment – not the sum
and that number will rise for years to come
the life you gave matters not on the whole
now’s what’s important – their happiness you stole
by not staying that mother to them and to theirs
trying to figure it out – but no one cares
You’ve seen women do it – be both – not just one
that mom of the year – and – that woman so fun
but you are found wanting – and that must be the truth
for you allowed her to die – that woman of your youth
in favor of the mother you thought you should be
now the mom-ster you created shall not be free
to live the life that you once placed on hold
so that others could flourish – in happiness you molded
so – woman repent – to the shadows you go
and the mother you are must pay penance to show
that as long as you live – as long as you breathe
your life is for them – it’s what they believe
You hoped and prayed you did it well – but only God and time will tell
On this, the one year anniversary of the loss of my father, my Superman, I cannot help but reflect on the relationships I have and have had, in my life.
As humans, we embody the word dichotomy in so many ways….but the number one in my book is…we are as simple as we are complicated.
We all begin the same way…simply…we are born. Yet the simplicity ends there and the complications begin.
Our relationships. Simple yet complicated.
We love simply, yet that same love, complicates everything.
This post: A simple plea for an end to the silence…and a look at the complicated life of a woman as mother and mother as woman, and where you go from here…
If you don’t know…you’re in good company, for I don’t either.
To be a mother is a lifelong commitment, of this I have no doubt. But at what point can the woman come out from behind the curtain with the expectation that the child will see her, know her, for the woman she could be underneath the mother she is?
At what point in her life of being daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother…can a woman who mistakenly set herself aside, reasonably expect to fix that mistake of self-denial, with their blessing instead of their resentment for putting herself first?
My guess would be…not today.
At what point in a child’s life did they forget all she did…so as to remind her of what she’s not doing now?
My guess would be…today
So…it is time to say what I want to say and hope it’s heard and felt:
They say there is a reason
They say that time will heal
But neither time nor reason
Will change the way I feel
For no one knows the heartache
That lies behind my smiles
No one knows how many times
I’ve broken down and cried
I want to tell you something
So there won’t be any doubt
You’re so wonderful to think of
But so hard to be without
No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away…
(header photo credit:galleryhip.com)
• Our Phones – Wireless
• Cooking – Fireless
• Cars – Keyless
• Food – Fatless
• Tires –Tubeless
• Dress – Sleeveless
• Youth – Jobless
• Leaders – Shameless
• Relationships – Meaningless
• Attitudes – Careless
• Babies – Fatherless
• Feelings – Heartless
• Education – Valueless
• Children – Mannerless
• Country – Godless
We are – SPEECHLESS
Government is – CLUELESS
And our Politicians are – WORTHLESS
I am scared – Shitless!
Ain’t it just – PRICELESS?
I’ll go out on a limb here and say for most of us, being a parent is, quite literally, the hardest job we’ve ever had or ever will. And, at the same time, it’s the richest, most fulfilling, most rewarding contribution to our own lives and always will be.
One of the most surprising aspects of parenthood’s lifelong journey is finding out that one split second is all it takes for you to come to know the best and worst of being a parent…the span of that second is the distance between loving another being so much it hurts, to wishing you’d gotten a dog instead! True dat 🙂
But in looking at this most difficult / most rewarding dichotomy, it’s not so hard to understand when you consider first, our tendency to place the highest value on that which was hardest won, and second, our amazing capacity for forgiveness (as parents at least).
But what is it that takes parents to the depths of the difficult to the heights of reward when it comes to loving our children? How do we survive the splintering of our brains in a thousand directions trying to figure them out, yet tarnishes the love in our hearts never?
I don’t question the reward; I think it’s obvious. I do, however, ponder the difficult. Is it because we love too much? Is it that even possible?
I don’t believe so…
However, could it be that we love too much for too long? Is that it? Does parental love need to be doled out in stages or degrees? Or fit into categories in order to not overload these little overlords once they come into their own?
So what (you ask) are these stages/degrees/categories you ask?
I’m a little cuss who can’t (and don’t want to) function without you so love me, love me more, love me most!
I’m a teenager so love me lots, and with patience, but for God’s sake, don’t let my friends see it!
I’m a young adult now so love me from a distance, but not too far ’cause I may need the car!
I’ve met someone and we’re going to get married. Can ya help, can ya pay, can we have it there? (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love him/her!)
I’m going to have a baby so love me, love me most, and love me now ’cause we’re going to need babysitters! (ps Mom and Dad…you’re gonna love it!)
Mom? Dad? I’ve never felt this way before…I love this kid so much my heart hurts!
(ps honey…we know!)
And so on…..
The short answer to the too much / too long question is…yes, okay, maybe, a little bit. But we parents come to this conclusion naturally I think. We instinctively know (or learn soon enough if our instincts are not as honed as they will be), which stage or category we’re dealing with or which degree of parental love to douse them with, simply by living it. Organic knowledge. We just have to choose to go with it.
Does that stop us from loving the same soul-deep way we did when they were newborn?
No. Perhaps it does in theirs though. For a time.
I know that they love us the same way we do them…in the beginning. Outside of themselves, we are their world. Their universe. Their moon and their stars, and they are ours.
Parents and kids grow up together. That’s a given. No matter if you’re 18 or 45 when you have your children, you have to grow up with them to be able to give and receive all that these little selves need, and later, need to share.
We may grow up more with our first. Then again, it may just be that we grow up differently with the next one or two or three.
But…if we’ve played our hands well, we are love. All of it. Every stage, every degree, every category is of the love, by the love, for the love. And they are right there with us.
Completely (in the beginning)
Mostly (in the middle)
Until (still in the middle but getting further towards the…the…well shit…not the end, but you know what I mean right?)
Until…they find out there are more people to love and to be loved by; more stars to shine the light of love on their heads and in their hearts; more room in their world for other loves.
As it has always been. As it was with our own parents to be sure. Just another way of experiencing the circle of life.
Our children are loved as only a child can be loved and they in turn, love as only a child can love. The universe is secure.
As time goes on, they thrive and grow in that forever, universe-spanning, parental love and love them right back. But as they continue to grow, they s l o w l y recognize that their world is expanding to include the many, many different kinds of love; each addition a glimmering star to their universe thus far.
But their recognition is as single-minded as their love for us was in the beginning. When they venture out from underneath the love-cloaked expanse of their parental universe, they don’t at once realize that their hearts are big enough to add new loves without setting aside old ones.
Our time will come again (usually around the time the grand-kids show up!), but as parents, it’s only natural that we do feel the initial loss of that connection when our love is no longer the moon and the stars in our child’s heart.
Facing this fact head-on is hard, but absolutely necessary.
For our own well-being as well as theirs.
If we don’t, we run the risk of pushing them further out into the expanse by clinging too close, depending too much on their always being there, pining away for their childhood days when they aren’t there, regretting what we didn’t do, or forgetting what we did. Even romanticizing the harder times and not counting our blessings.
We all can probably think of a parent in our experience who has done, or does, this. Think back to the last time you witnessed a parent who cannot let go and re-live what you felt. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.
I’m certainly not completely innocent of it still. I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty for not being ‘that mother’. The one who always can, always will, never says no, never says can’t. Who wouldn’t want to be considered ‘the perfect mom’? But that’s not perfection. It’s limiting to both your life and those of your children.
However, even knowing I am not (and never could be) that mother…(nor is their Dad ‘that guy’) it nevertheless hurts (and in the dark of night, makes me wonder if they’ll still love me enough to ask again- I know, just silly ) to know that we are the ones disappointing our children.
But we get over it because we know we are good parents who have raised good people. We all deal with disappointments in our relationships. We have difficult conversations followed by deafening silences. But we’ve loved each other long enough and well enough to know what’s really important.
So there is hope. Once we’ve matured enough in our parenthood to realize this fact of life, we can recapture that sense of oneness, specialness, absolute love not felt anywhere but in your parents’ heart of hearts. It is, after all, our hearts that need to make preparations for the day when our children learn there is a love flow-chart. This will fluctuate during their life spans, but it will always show a solid heart-red line for us. Mom and Dad. Steady as she goes. What more could we hope for?
And an added benefit to this stage of parental maturity is…we can (and hopefully do) look back at our own parents with a new appreciation for all they’ve done, all they’ve been through, and all we’ve learned from them without even knowing it. Score!
Cheers and happy parenting (and I mean that!)
And Happy New Year!
It’s been almost 3 months since I last laid fingers on this spot and quite frankly, I’m stumped as to why. It’s not as though nothing has been going on in my life; not like I couldn’t have found something to regale you with. But I didn’t, so there it is. What to do, what to do?
It’s me and not what’s going on in my life, that is the…
queller of quills that once quivered in quickness as they quilted quality quarters in the quest of her quair; chock-full of the queenly and quintessentially queer, the quacky and quaggy and quixotically quaint.
It is me and me alone who can say…
quiescence remains in this quaffer’s quaich. What’s quashing that quorum of quarrels, quibs, and quips that querimoniously queue up in the quar of my gray- matter quag; quit of its quant?
As it is also me, the once…
quartermaster, now turned querulous quester, who is lost in quassation. A quat, a quidam, a word-quean, bereft of her quean-dom; whose quiritation quickens toward quotidian.
Hence the exercise in the little used and under appreciated
A little warm up to get the juices flowing.
For if this does not work…
I’m off to the Zees
Is there a Z word for HELLA-NO?
[I looked it up]
Z I P
Wish me luck 🙂
As I await the dawn of my 20,075th day on this earth, I feel the need for reflection. Time enough alive, I should think, to have learned a thing or two. Sorry to say, it hasn’t been all good.
However, owing to the fact that tomorrow is an election day here, and the boob-tube shows nothing but boobs…I couldn’t help but get stuck in the quagmire that is our government
Having learned that cliches are cliches, and euphemisms are euphemisms for good reason, and never more evident than when a pattern of behavior BEGS to be seen for exactly what it is, I do think it’s time for me to call it what it is and like I see it…
B U L L S H I T
And by bullshit, I mean Politics
If you’ll allow, I give you:
The top 20 cliches and euphemisms of this 20,074 ½ day old female, who believes are alive and well in today’s bloody, rotten, stinkin’, crappy, silly, non-productive, infuriating, ridiculous, embarrassing; yet ours…world of politics
The more things change, the more they stay the same – POLITICS
A house divided against itself, cannot stand – POLITICS
Actions speak louder than words – POLITICS
Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it – POLITICS
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em – POLITICS
Money talks – POLITICS
Stupid is as stupid does – POLITICS
Birds of a feather flock together – POLITICS
Talk is cheap – POLITICS
The ends justify the means – POLITICS
There’s one born every minute – POLITICS
The truth is stranger than fiction – POLITICS
Two wrongs don’t make a right – POLITICS
Cut off your nose to spite your face – POLITICS
Feeding frenzy – POLITICS
Out of sight, out of mind – POLITICS
The blind leading the blind – POLITICS
The status quo – POLITICS
It takes one to know one – POLITICS
A good man/woman is hard to find – POLITICS
…and trust me, I could go on
But another pattern of behavior ‘frosts my ass’ too. And you’ll likely notice that many of the above can be applied to what is below
I think I’ll call it the Tolerance/Intolerance Side Show to the circus that is Political Correctness:
Protesting to rename highways, parks, etc., and trying to remove monuments that celebrate confederate Generals because they fought a fight you don’t agree with
Yet…organizing campaigns to rename those same said highways, parks, etc. for people that answered the call for civil rights decades after the fact. The same protesters, I might add, who themselves never cried out for the removal from written history, all who made their lives hell
Removing the Confederate flag from all state and federal facilities because some see it as a symbol of hatred, when in fact, it was a battle flag designed to differentiate it from the Union flag and therefore has historical value; nothing more
Yet, not protesting when a world renowned symbol of the United States, The Empire State Building, is used to herald the achievements or celebrate holidays of the very countries that would like nothing more than to see the United States cease to exist
Removing something as iconic as The Duke’s of Hazard from TV Land because the car had a Confederate flag on it, even though not a single word of a single episode, ever suggested bigotry or racism or intolerance
Yet, if you’re a fan of TV Land programs, have you noticed George Jefferson says the word Honky in just about every episode?
And there are some behaviors that are not so easily categorized, yet the influence of today’s PC madness is evident in the overwhelming number of those who ascribe to these beliefs relating to color:
Listening as people of color tell me that I’ll never understand, could never relate, to what it’s like to be a person of color
True. Yet at the same time, those said same people of color, tell me they know exactly what it is to be white, because being white means only one thing; privilege
[I get it, in theory. But I can just as easily say that I wouldn’t know what it’s like to be a bird. It’s irrelevant. And, another truth is that, unless you’ve walked the back roads of my life…your right to this claim is false. So let’s stick to the truth that none of us can know what it’s like to be in another man’s shoes, unless we’ve walked in them, and call it a day.]
Sanitizing our history books to shield our kids from the worst in our country’s history, including the path of our growth (that we are still on by the way)
Yet making sure we do include a focus of study that tries to maximize a culture of them vs us, with little regard for how far we’ve come, nor teachings on the strides made in the last 200 years…as though nothing has changed
The worst of it comes out in the various ways we bite each other’s ankles…and to what end?
Demonizing the rich for having too much
Denigrating the poor for having too little and needing more
Expecting the government to give more and more
Blaming the government for sticking it’s nose in our business
Tolerance for groups that separate and segregate
Intolerance for groups that point it out
Fighting for women’s equality
Crying that chivalry is dead
Calling for change through peaceful protest for the injustices seen in all facets of the human struggle, especially those affecting minorities
Yet some especially touched by these injustices hide behind a guise of protest for change, take it as the opportunity to loot for personal gain and destroy entire neighborhoods, then scream racism when motives are questioned
Are we so intolerant or jealous of each other’s success that we have to denigrate and belittle?
Are we so comfortable in our misery, we feel we must maintain it at all costs?
Have we forgotten what it’s like to celebrate each other to the point that every gain should be looked at as a loss because it didn’t happen 200 years ago? 100 years ago? 50? Yesterday?
When all we have to show for the 3 centuries we’ve been a country are broken teeth and bloody socks…why the hell do we even try?
Is this to be our legacy…?
Welcome to the United States
The land of equal opportunity damning
Damned if we do
And by God
Damned if we don’t
Is the only way to prove I’m not a racist to agree with everything a person of color says and thinks?
Why? Why can I not just agree and disagree with anyone and everyone based on what I believe and be done with it!
Conversely, is the only way to be true to your heritage as a person of color to pretend success doesn’t matter lest your peers think you an Uncle Tom or some other stupid shit?
That’s ridiculous on its face and damned insulting to every person who’s ever made more of themselves than those around them! REGARDLESS of your heritage.
Is the only way I can prove I’m a strong woman to think and act like a man?
Shit, I’d rather be a cat (I almost said dog, but cats get away with more!)
We are better than this!
We…men, women, black, white, red, yellow, brown, HUMAN…are better than this!
This began as a reflection in the wading pool that is this political swamp, but resulted in getting caught in the current of political correctness, and nearly drowning in the tidal wave of whatthefuckarewethinking!
I end it here…I am 55 tomorrow.
I am seeing the country I love implode because of an agenda I have no interest in adopting as my own.
I am proud to be an American.
I am proud to be a Christian.
I am proud to hold the values I hold and don’t feel the need to label them one way or the other.
I am proud to be a woman.
I hold no pride in being white…I have ZERO say in that.
Nor do I maintain guilt because of it.
I am proud to champion anyone who leaves the world a better place.
I don’t see the race or religion.
I could care two-shits for the land that you hailed from as long as you take good care of the one you are living in.
I will celebrate your achievements, but none so much as your paying forward that which you can to those that cannot.
I am a member of one race – the human one – and unless you expect me to give that up – I’ll always welcome you at my table
THIS…IS WHAT I WILL ALWAYS BE
I like this theme because even interesting or good photos can be elevated to something a bit more special in how they are framed.
Let’s see if I have proven this point somewhat…
Reflections – I could have stuck to just taking photos of the stained glass windows and stone work at Canterbury Cathedral, like most people do. But I thought seeing them in the reflecting font was so much more interesting.
This house is interesting enough on its own to be sure, but I loved seeing it reflected in the puddle in the road. It added just enough to make it ‘more’.
There’s more to windows than just seeing out of them too…when used as mirrors to frame something interesting…it can be quite wonderful.
I can’t say I would always advise looking backwards as a way to move on in life, but in photography…why not?
Man-made structures can be a fun subject matter when you find them framed this way. Makes one wonder if the architects were in cahoots with Mother Nature doesn’t it?
And of course, in grand old cities, there always seem to be the old framed by the new, which of coure, makes for another type of frame job!
There is nothing like catching beautiful creatures of land and air, framed in their natural environments is there?
I especially love when I can catch the moon, in daytime or night, framed softly by something earthbound. Definitely one of my favorite framing jobs!
To say nature is a wonder is an understatement. It’s so much more than that. Ever changing, season in a and season out, always there for any who wish to see. Whether naked or adorned by something man-made; it’s nature’s frame that is the star.