Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Halloween miracle . . .

It's truly a
a true blue spectacle,
a miracle indeed.

If that doesn't take you back somewhere scary, maybe this will help:

That's right, folks.  Those are the lyrics of the one, the only, that fine specimen of manhood, Barry Manilow.  Barry doesn't do it for me these days, but make no mistake . . . 

. . . when I walked out of Rose's Department Store with my hands carefully caressing the sides of the most beautiful album the world had seen to that point, I was a happy I'd never known.  Aaahhh.

If you didn't know that feeling, you and I might have little to talk about.  Poor you.

For the rule-followers among you, I'm well aware that I haven't revealed the Halloween miracle yet.  That was the lead-up.  It had to be done.

Here is the miracle.  I want to share it with you all.  I've made you aware of miracles in the past.  I've told you secrets.  I've tugged away at years and years of layers to show you some ugly truths, but today's announcement might be in a class by itself.  I just hope my mother hears it in heaven.  She wouldn't believe it.  I don't believe it myself.  

Here it is, friends.  The waiting is over.  

I uttered words in conversation today that I never thought I'd say.  I said something that almost seems sacrilegious, not of my people, wrong, uncalled for.  I said it, though, and I want you to hear it from me.  You know I'm on my third mini-van; you may as well know this.  

I said, "I just love my laundry room.  I love it.  It makes me happy.  I don't even mind doing laundry in it.  I just love it!"   

There it is.  It's out.  My Halloween miracle is now yours, too.  Enjoy.  I never thought I could actually love any part of the laundry process and now I love the whole dang room!  It's upstairs and it has crooked peaks and triangles from the roofline and it's nook-like and it has two happy windows and I do my work at one of them and the sun comes in and the cold stays out and little birdies fly by and there is even room to fold stuff.   I just love it.  I do.  There.

Enjoy what I've said and just go with it.  Never, ever, ever - though - throw it in my face.  Got it?  Don't make any plans to see me and shout, "Deana, aren't you excited about getting back to your dirty clothes?" or anything at all like that.  Okay?  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

These two things are true . . .

When this is the scene beside the sink, it means that we've made a mess.  It also means we've painted something.  There are two things I want you to know about that, though - two things that I always notice when I watch children paint or draw or paper mache or glue or pile or smush or dig or create just about anything.  

I'd like to interject here that I'm not artistically trained, I just don't mind watching kids make a mess. And I usually don't mind making a mess myself.  I have watched a lot of kids creating messes.  I was a teacher for a long time - I ran a preschool - I was a camp counselor - I taught art in my garage - my favorite part of having toddlers was letting them take their clothes off and paint like crazy in their high chairs.  I wanted you to know that I was qualified to share the following points.  I've been around the block, people.

When children create, they sing.  Some of them sing loud and clear.  Some of them hum.  Some of them sing songs with real words and some of them sing something that sounds like a grocery list and others sing their stream of consciousness.  They don't sing the same songs as those around them; they are not using three part harmony.  Sometimes the songs are funny.  Sometimes the songs are sweet.  It's fun to hear.  

On Sunday afternoon my kids were painting their pumpkins (note:  they weren't painting their jack-o-lanterns because I thought it was a wonderful creative activity - they were actually painting them because I convinced them that painting them would be awesome and we wouldn't have all of that messy stringy stuff to deal with). Their singing was wonderful.  I sat, mostly quiet, and listened.  I liked it.  They sounded happy.

Another thing that happens when children are painting or creating is that they have no stress.  They might have been angry with one another minutes before they started creating.  They might be going through a period of being anxious about something.  Oddly enough, while they are mid-creation, there is no sign of stress.  There is no anger.  There is no competition.  There is no worry.  There is no negative energy - none.  And no one involved is trying to be anyone other than themselves.

I was thinking about my kids, my artists.  I was thinking about the joy I feel while they create; how I love to hear the music and watch the concentration and comfort on their faces.

I've been wondering why we don't all do more of this.  I've been thinking about how I feel when I create, paint, dream.  It's good for the soul, to be sure.  I've been considering the ways that we grown-ups put up barriers to keep us from letting go the way children do.  I've been wondering why.  Of course we aren't all professional artists, but neither are any of the many children I've watched creating beautiful messes.  

They aren't stopped or silenced by not being the best.  A crazy perfectionism, worry, and fear do not stop children from expressing themselves.  

When do we lose that?  Why do we let it go?  Don't we want to sing unabashedly and allow stress to fall away?  

You're not an artist?  Yes, you are.

You don't have the supplies?  Yes, you do.

You can't sing?  Who cares.

Don't think the stress could be lifted?  Try it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Possibilities . . .

We've recently moved.  We love our new (very old) house, and part of the fun of starting over is discovering all of the pieces of the picture that unfold with each new day.  I will admit, it being a house built in 1930, some of the surprises are not all together happy ones; but many of them are!  It's fun seeing little glimpses of the past or watching what comes up in the yard as different weather makes its way here.

This morning, as I headed out with Sadie for our walk, I loved seeing all of the fall blooms that emerged overnight.  I couldn't help but smile, wondering who planted the bush?  What were they going through at the time it was planted?  How long did they imagine it might bring smiles?  Etc., etc., etc.

If you've read this blog for any length of time at all, you know that my brain works like that.  I like wondering.  I like imagining.  And . . . well, I like flowers that bloom overnight without my help!

I was delighted by the blooms, I was.  As I walked, though,  I realized I was actually more delighted by something else - something not as beautiful, but more giving, I believe.  (I hope no former English teachers are reading this - I'm well aware there were some rule breaks in the former sentence.  That's the way I wanted, though.  So there.)

What delighted me most - what brought me the most hope - was the bountiful number of buds.  The bush is laden with buds too many to count.  That means flower after flower after flower, for days and days.  That means that as we begin to don our jackets and sweaters, we are promised the gifts of blooms and blooms.  I love that!

I spent the rest of my walk considering the gifts of possibilities.  I wondered how many I pass by and don't notice.  I wondered how many times I see the picture right in front of my face but fail to notice and wonder about the possibilities hanging all around.

What other possibilities are out there?  Are you missing any?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One little question . . . and a bunch of hope.

You know how it feels when you hear something and you know, somewhere deep inside, that you won't ever forget hearing it?  I had that experience yesterday, and I'm delighted about it.  It's a bit of a life changer, I do believe.

The last few weeks I've participated in a parent class/discussion at my kids' school.  It has been a good experience, with  meaningful conversations and much to consider when I leave the group.  I'm thankful and grateful to know that the folks around me are just guessing at this 'life' thing, too.  It feels better knowing I'm not the only one who is hypothesizing in child-rearing and life and relationships and all of the other things that get tricky.

The class has been helpful in making a few things more concrete, and I like that.  Maybe because I taught kindergarten for years or maybe because my brain just needs assistance, I like pictures - I like lists - I like simple ways I can remember difficult things.

Yesterday I heard a question in a completely different way.  "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was the question.  Just plain ole' that.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

The belief of the instructor is that that very question may be the most important one we can ask our children, and maybe anyone.

Why?  I wondered the same thing.  What's the big deal?  The big deal is that the question offers the answerer hope that they will grow up and that there is something bigger to live for.

I love it - I really do.  We can ask that one little question and change things?  Well, I believe so.  I guess it doesn't much matter whether the answer is a cowgirl fairy go-go dancer princess or a medieval knight who fights fires on the weekends.  The point is that it matters, that there is a future, that you have a vision.  I'm all over this thing, folks.  I'm taking it on the road.

I'm thinking back over long past conversations with my kids and the trillions of kids I've known.  I'm remembering their various answers to the age-old question.  (I've been smiling a lot during this thinking.)  I remember asking the question when my girls were tiny, and I'll never forget their answers.  Emma wanted to be a cashier at Kroger and she wanted Daddy to be her bagboy.  Molly wanted to be a doctor and she wanted me to be the 'sticker lady' at her office.  Their answers have changed 1,567 times since then.  Molly realized she didn't like blood or needles and Emma realized the life of a cashier seemed tough.  That's not the point.  The point was that those little tiny souls knew way back when that folks cared about them, that they would grow and grow and grow and they had a vision of the future.

I sit here now, wondering about the simple ways I could change things - you could change things - if we but wondered, alone and with others, about what we want to be when we grow up?  I wonder at the ways I could offer hope to those who need some and the ways I might help someone formulate a vision when it's needed.  Sometimes we need a vision, a big and bright one, for way in the future.  Other times, I realize we all might just need help with the next five minutes or so.

I'm liking this newly attained tool.  I'm liking how it makes me think, how it slapped me in the face, woke me up and said, "Look at things with new eyes!"

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Monday, October 15, 2012

I wish I could do this . . .

Recently, I was thinking about how I never leave a shoot without learning a few lessons.  Really!  And most of the time they are helpful lessons about living, making choices, attitudes and raising kids.  I'm thankful.

This shoot taught me a lot.  Aside from being completely and utterly astounded at this awesome, incredible, X-games'ish' talent, I learned much about intentional living.

This was to be the last full summer with everyone at home, so it was the perfect time to capture some moments.  The weather was definitely not on our side, but hanging out with this fine family was a reminder of how important it is to live as we wish.  I loved seeing their place at the lake and hearing the stories about making the switch from town to lake life.  It made so much sense!  They loved the lake.  They were happy at the lake.  They were always at the lake.  Why not move there?

Maybe we can't all pick up and move to the coolest water source around, but there are tips for us here.  This summer, as we were making our move, I thought a lot about this family.  I remembered about the need to do more of what brings joy and less of what scrunches up my shoulders.

I don't have it all figured out.  I'm assuming this is one of those lessons that I might keep being taught, but I've got new pictures in my mind's eye of an amazing young man flying through the air and a family enjoying each other even more, as they do what they love.

Thanks for that, friends.

Click here to see our whole session:

Masseys at the lake

Friday, October 12, 2012

List 34 - These things are true . . .

I have no idea who will win the presidential election or whether this will be a warm winter or what new ridiculous reality show will change the world in the coming months.  I'm clueless about these things.  I've been thinking lately, though, about the things I do know.

Here are a few things I know personally to be true:

  1. When I walk up the stairs in my old house, the stairs are creaky.  My knees are far louder and creakier.
  2. Children believe that it is easier to put stuff on the top of a pile that is hanging out of a full trash can, pick it up when it falls on the floor, put it back on the top of a pile that is hanging out of a full trash can, pick it up when it falls on the floor, etc., etc., etc. than to empty said trash can.
  3. Preteens believe that it makes perfect sense to wash one t-shirt in the washer when it is needed the following morning, throw the unsuspecting dryer inhabitants onto the floor to ready the dryer and move along.
  4. I do not feel happiness when I proudly (and secretly) order the third series of a book for my oldest child for Christmas and hear her say (four minutes after there is no turning back with the order) that she has decided she actually hates the series.
  5. Children do not have a working understanding of the steps involved to replace toilet paper rolls.  It is beyond them.  They are not able.
  6. Preteens will make the average adult feel like the world's scariest roller coaster is nothing.
  7. I believe in Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day.  It gives me a false sense that I have actually cleaned and taken care of everything, and it brightens my mood.
  8. Children like you better when you provide food.
  9. Preteens can cause whiplash.  The changes in attitude are dangerous and should be attended to in a slow, controlled manner.
  10. At the end of each day, I go to bed thankful that children and preteens live with me.

What do you know is true?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A sunny day, a train track and two precious boys!

I adore capturing real life moments with fun people, so this shoot was a blast!  I was excited when this awesome gang chose the railroad tracks.  Railroads are fun settings for neat images; but, more importantly, these guys love everything railroad!  Authentic spots are the best, and it was a joy to follow along as these two fellows investigated, played and daydreamed.

They played and I chased those beautiful blue eyes - perfect day!
I love the way they are relaxed and enjoying themselves, and I love to wonder about the days in the future when they'll share these photos with their little ones.  Good stuff.

 Again, the eyes . . . oh, the eyes.

Thanks, friends, for allowing me to tag along on the fun!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Don't forget to remember . . . or something like that.

(Can you dedicate a blogpost?  I think I will.)  This post is dedicated to the memory of Lucile Rivers, Bonny's mother, and one of the most amazing people I have ever known, and to Janet Scarbrough, Bonny's sister, who cared and cared and cared and taught us all with her caring.

Today my family will say goodbye to our Bonny, and the world will lose one of the sweetest souls who ever lived here.  Bonny Rivers Morgan was my Dad's cousin.  I'm not sure what that makes us.  It doesn't really matter . . . what I know for sure is that she was a treasure.  I can almost hear her laugh now, as I write this post.  I haven't heard it in a while, but I suspect she is laughing in heaven at just this moment.  She deserves it.

Bonny didn't have an easy life.  I guess maybe nobody's life is easy.  Hers seemed to be sprinkled with more sadness than the rest of us endure.  You wouldn't have known that if you had met her, though.  You never would have known.

If you had met her at the grocery or heard her singing in the choir or sat across the table from her playing race horse canasta, you probably would have imagined that she lived a jolly ole' life.  You would have seen her face light up in her fabulous crooked smile or heard her fantastic laugh, and you would have thought she hadn't faced what she had.  She would have been asking you questions, too, so there wouldn't have been much time to talk about her.  She would know all that you'd been up to, would be fascinated by what you'd done and would spend your time together gathering up important information about how your life was going, what was special and where you'd been.  She'd be smiling while you talked.  She'd be quiet a lot and then something would trigger her sweet laugh.  Her eyes would be on you through the whole conversation.  She would be truly interested in you.

That was the thing about Bonny.  She was interested in everyone, cared about everyone and went about her days hoping for the best for all of us.  You would never have guessed that she had buried a baby way back when or that she had outlived her husband, Stanley, and her precious grown son, John.  You'd never have known.  You wouldn't have known how much she had suffered.  She wouldn't have told you that.  Oh, she would tell you amazing stories about John if you asked.  You would see in her eyes how very bad it must hurt every day of her life, but you'd be so happy when you saw those same eyes light up when she told the tales of her sweet John.  You'd wonder why someone like Bonny had to suffer so much, and you'd wonder how she kept smiling.

You'd know that she hadn't ever been too many places or that her health had never been too good, and you'd wonder how she could know so much or how she could have such an engaging and open mind.  She would care so much about what was happening around her, and you might wonder how she got outside of her own sadnesses enough to see the problems of the great big outside world.  She wouldn't have exciting tales of her every days, but she'd adore hearing your tales or imagining the 'what ifs' of all that was possible.  You'd see that she was as grounded in what she knew and believed as a human could be, and you'd also notice that she could dream and imagine and wonder.  You'd enjoy her so much.

I promise you'd want to play cards with Bonny.  You'd be frustrated at how long she made you shuffle all of the decks of cards, but you wouldn't really mind.  There would be such laughter and the time would be filled with a contentment and joy you don't find everywhere.  You'd love it.

I knew it was time for Bonny to leave this world when I heard she no longer had the will to play cards. I knew she was tired when I saw that the spark in her eyes was leaving and that the joy she found in everyone else was dissipating.  You would have known, too, if you had been with her.  You would have known that Bonny was ready to go home; that she was ready to hear the tales of her precious children and laugh with them.  You would know that she was ready to see Stanley and hear what crazy trips he had taken on his bicycle.  You'd know she was ready to feel good again and get back in the choir and sing her heart out.  You'd know.

Bonny saw a lot.  She endured a lot.  And she gave so much.  I'm sure I have no idea the gifts she gave to the many who loved her.  I do know what she gave me, though.  She gave to me the picture of real strength - the image of someone whose body wasn't strong but who whose soul would stand up to sadness and sickness and continue on with a sweet and gentle spirit.  She gave to me an illustrated version of how to keep on ticking with a grace and peace that is unwavering.   I wish I had told her that.

On the evening that Bonny peacefully left the constrains of this life, I read a facebook post of my friend, Sandy, who lives far away.  Sandy lamented about a friend who had just died and added, "I hope this is the last time I forget to ask the questions.  May this be the last funeral that makes me think, I wish I took the time to know them better."  Amen, Sandy.  Amen.

Why this post?  you might be asking.  I'll tell you why.  Because I want the world to know that someone special just left, and I want to remind you and me that we mustn't forget to ask the questions, spend the time and take the time to know them better.

This world will miss you, sweet Bonny.

Friday, October 5, 2012

List 33 - what the creek told me . . .

Last week I did a lot of paddling in the kayak.  It was glorious.  If you haven't tried it, you should.  No worries, I'm not referring to the daring flips, spins and dunks of the ultra-cool river folks (though I'd be proud if I could); I'm speaking of the calm practice of maneuvering through flatter water, moving with the moods of the winds.

A year and a half or so we made the (unusually) wise choice to purchase two sea kayaks - wow, am I glad we did!  They're great for everyone!  And kayaking along alone is a perfect antidote to today's frenzied world.  They are amazing.  We love them, our kids love them and we all enjoy that added, hyped sense of starring in our own National Geographic moment.  I wish you'd try it.

Paddling along the creeks and inlets of the low country is superb.  I loved deciding between moving about on the creek side or huffing it around the end of Pawleys Island to get out into the ocean.  Both are perfect - really.  The kayaks awaited us each morning on the creek side, so usually I put in there and explored about.

I saw a lot.  I heard a lot.  I heard nothing.  I wondered.  I smiled.  I learned.

Clearly, this list must be about what I learned along the salty waters.  And - yes, clearly, I have  noticed that I keep learning the same things in different places.  I'm glad I keep receiving the same lessons.  I'm glad that God and the universe keep on keeping on with the illustrations!  I like stories with pictures.

Life is that way, huh?  I guess it takes us a long, long time to learn what we are supposed to.   Most of the time, I enjoy the learning . . . especially in the kayak.

So, friends, here are a few of the things I have learned from one kayak, one paddle and the nearest body of water . . .

1.  Even though you don't always want to do what 'they' say, it really helps to take a moment or two to really look at the water before you begin.  You want to be sure that you do the hard part first and enjoy the moving along with the current on the way home.  Oh sure, from time to time you'll forget or override that general belief; but chances are high that you'll be sorry.  It's gratifying to get the hard stuff over with and get the calm seas on the return.

2.  Sometimes you might find yourself hustling and bustling to go as fast as possible.  That's great for a time, but then it's good to slow down a bit and listen to the sound of your breathing and the little splashes of the water as it swirls around your paddle.

3.  For numerous reasons I do not completely understand, it is good and important to stop completely sometimes and simply watch and listen.  You're kind of a different soul when you've silently watched a snowy egret on the sneaky hunt for food or the clean and simple choreography of a school of minnows as they dart and dance.

4.  After you've had a great trip or found the best route ever, it is inexplicably fun to share it with a loved one.

5.  Oft times you have to figure out a way to be your own rudder.  It might be a special way you slow down your strokes or the simple practice of keeping your paddle in the water a bit longer in the follow through.  Sometimes the forces in control need our help in choosing the direction of the trip.

6.  At times you'll be energized by the loud cacophonies of the paddle and the choppy water and other times you'll just know that you require a more silent approach.  That will come just by listening to what's in your head.

7.  It always does us good to look back at where we have come from and see it from a different point of view.

8.  There are few feelings as gratifying as captaining your own ship.

9.  It's always okay to stop, put your feet up and see what happens.

10.  If you're exhausted at the end, enjoy it.  That might be the perfect time to jump in the water, cool off and hold onto your boat for the lazy trip home.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A tale of the forgotten . . .

A story.  A sad story.  Just for you, my friends.

Please take heed on our tale from the family beach trip.  I hope you can do better than us.  At the least, I hope I'll save you the efforts as you prepare for your next journey.

I'll explain . . .

We were to join our family at the beach.  We were excited.  Plans were underway.  Bags were being packed, the car was being readied and spirits soared.  It would be wonderful!

I set about to run errands for the final preparations.  "I'll pick up some healthy snacks," I proudly told myself.  It would be great!  At the beach, the clear skies and salty air would lead us to healthy choices and encourage us to refresh, to start anew.

Without keeping with my usual (hahaha), I was running a bit late.  I wouldn't be put off from the healthy snacks, though, so I swerved into Fresh Market.  I casually perused the aisles, searching for just the right things - the bags of vittles that would entice us all on our vacation and begin the new regime.  I pondered the sweet and considered the salty.  I would hit on both - that was important.

I settled on my choices - a little something for everyone.  "Heavens," I thought smugly, "they'll probably all be gone before we even reach our destination!"

We packed the car.  I put the new snack choices out in the open, for everyone to see.  They were overlooked.

We arrived.  The groceries were pantried and the kitchen was stocked.  I confidently placed my snack picks at eye level on the appropriate shelf, knowing the masses would be swarming for them in a matter of seconds.  Hmmmm, no real action on the shelf.  They would come.  I had bought them . . . they would come.  They didn't.

"I'll probably choose them for my next option, and everyone will want some," I muttered to myself.  I didn't.  They didn't.

The Ruffles bag emptied.  We called to remind the latest family shopper to grab another bag.  After hanging up the phone, I quickly jumped up to reorganize the snack shelf and move the healthy choices to the front again.  They would entice us all.  They would.  I just knew it.  They didn't.

The Ruffles bag emptied again.  We called to remind the latest family shopper to grab another bag, again.  "After we finish this bag of sin, I'll remind everyone about the new snack options," I tried to convince myself.  I didn't.

The week went on.  Fun was had.  Junk was eaten.  Cards were played.  Waves were surfed.  Naps were taken.  The kitchen was messed up.  The kitchen was cleaned up.  The pantry was reorganized, bringing the healthy options back to eye-level.  This sequence was repeated a multitude of times.

The wonderful vacation was drawing to a close.  The hours sped up as we moved closer and closer to that ever-unpopular moment when it's all over.

There wasn't much left in the kitchen.  The once-full fridge and counters, shelves and cabinets were emptying.  Still remaining, though, were my trusty healthy snacks.  They had been overlooked by us all.  They had stood proud through the week and ignored by the masses.  They remained shiny, enticing and available.  They kept trying.  They were there for us.

They were put in the most available spot for grabbing in the car on the long, long way home.  I could nab them from the driver's seat for a quick boost.  The kids could see them and remember what a great choice they would make.  I didn't.  They didn't.

We arrived home.  We unloaded.  We unloaded some more.  The car was a disaster.  My trusty friends remained - standing tall . . . standing proud.  They had been with us since the onset.  They stayed the course.  They were still shiny, still perky, still beckoning.  A bit dejected, I removed them from the car and placed them hopefully on the snack shelf in the pantry.

They are still there.

The end.  Grab a snack and have a great day.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Why the blog? - you ask. Because we can't rewind.

Good question.  I've been thinking about my blog lately.  Last week was my first planned week off from the blog and it had me wondering.  Had me looking back over the last year, little snippets and pictures from the year's stories and reports.  Some days, as I stared out over the vast ocean expanse or heard my kids giggling and splashing in the surf or quietly paddled the back waters of the low country, I let myself wonder about the blog, the stories, the tales and the work.  I silently asked myself what I thought about this new form of communication - the blog.  I listened as my mind went to work, recalling the thanksgivings and the muses about writing and using pictures to mark my time.

I like it, I heard myself say.

I think it's important to tell my stories.  It's not that my stories are any more important than anyone else's - that's just it.   We all have to do it.  If we don't, they get lost.  And that makes me sad.  Over this year, I've begun to hear a running discourse in my head.  Usually it feels productive and mildly entertaining.  I seem to be writing the blog as I maneuver through my days.  I try out different phrases or wonder about a myriad photographs and I consider the ways to transfer an idea to my friends.  It's like my own little storybook, happening all in secret.  Maybe that makes me sound crazy.  I'm fine with that.  It gets on my nerves sometimes, too, though, and I wish my brain wouldn't keep thinking about how to show it with pictures or how to tell it with words.

But I'm beginning to believe that it is what it is.  It's my stuff, awaiting its chance to get out, to tell the world, to be heard.  We all have it - it just gets told in various ways.  For now, it seems to me the blog is working.  One of the most rewarding dividends of Press Pause  has been what you all give me back.  I've received the most awesome letters, heard your amazing tales and been swept away by your comments.  If what I write, what anyone writes, stirs something in you to tell your stories - we all win.  And little pieces of what makes up our lives get sprinkled a little farther and a little longer.  It's important.

I remembered a lot of folks this past week - thought about old friends, past co-workers, loved ones who have left this world - and it filled me with a greater sense that our telling and our listening are vital.  If the stories die when the worn out bodies do, then too many amazing things are lost.  I can recall bits of stories that my grandfathers told and I can remember that I laughed and laughed and laughed.  I don't remember the details, though, and I didn't ask enough to keep the stories alive.  I wish I had.

Hopefully, in years to come, my children will read back over some crazy lines from some plain ole' day in 2012 and get a little clearer picture of who I was when I was the forty eight year old mother of three.  Hopefully.

I think it might work.

A few years ago, my Dad was witness to a line from my son Harry that completely explains our need to know.  Dad was whistling, as they rode along in the car on a day of errands.  'Pop' is a whistler extraordinaire, and it's difficult to describe him without adding the whistle.  My son is a thinker, a wonderer, and I treasure that about him.  Harry, in the back seat, asked Pop how he first learned to whistle and Pop explained that his father, Pappy, had been a whistler and Pappy had taught him how.  Harry pondered on that for a few minutes and then came out with the wish - words I'll never forget.  "You know what, Pop?"  he said.  "Don't you sometimes wish that we could just rewind?"

You got it, kid.  I wish we could.  I wish I could rewind, with a magic button with a two left pointed triangles, just like on the dvr.  I wish I could sit Harry down with Pappy and I wish they could laugh together and tell each other stories and that Pappy could teach Harry about whistling.  I wish Pappy could tell about how he learned to whistle and about how it was when he was growing up and about his multitude of adventures, growing up poor poor and parentless from his young teens.  He could tell the awesome stories about hiding in the train cars and hiding under the hay - the ones whose details I cannot remember.

I bet Harry's big brown eyes would be wide open.  I bet he wouldn't move a muscle.  I bet he'd never be the same.  And . . . I bet after the sad stories and the tales of adventures and mischief, Harry would take Pappy out to the driveway and teach him a thing or two about how to do tricks on a pogo stick.  They'd switch stories and it would be grand.

Yeah, my sweet Bear, I do wish we could rewind.

The stories . . . the funny ones and the sad ones, the serious and the silly - we have to tell them, share them and keep wondering and listening.  We don't have a rewind button, but we can sure press pause
on little bits of times.  I figure it's when we are telling and listening, sharing and remembering, crying and laughing that we are really awake to all that's around us.  I don't want to forget those moments and I want to hear about yours, too.

We can't rewind, so let's wake up and share the good stuff while we are here.
I'm listening.

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