Tag Archives: memory

A Collection of Joyous Small Moments

I haven’t shared the beauty in a while, so I’m going to take this lazy Sunday afternoon to do just that! 

I promise, I’ll be brief so that you can spend your moments exploring these wonderful treats:

In a recent post, At Least for Me, Kris, from Pretty All True, lovingly wrote about her eldest daughter’s transition from her crib to a big girl bed.  When I read it, my heart grew so big it nearly exploded.  This post is beautiful and tender and I could reread it many times over.  Though it spoke to me partly because we recently introduced Katie to her big girl bed, this story of a mother’s intense love for her child is a gift for us all.

Andy, from Crazy with a Side of Awesome Sauce, recently captured a lovely small moment with a gorgeous, warm photograph, Golden Afternoon, that made me peaceful and happy.

My favorite food is salmon.  Every time I eat it, I am overwhelmed with bliss and caught in that very moment.  Meredith, from In Sock Monkey Slippers, recently posted a recipe for Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Salmon that screams out for me to make it and eat it entirely by myself.  Some things simply cannot be shared.

I am often struck by the way we remember things and by which bits of an experience stay with us.  Jen, from Denton Sanitorium, has written a beautiful post, M is for Memories, that thoughtfully questions how her children will remember their recent vacation. 

Though Guilty Squid never fails to make me laugh, I read a post this week that made me giggle, guffaw, and cry with laughter.  I loved it and I think you will too. Read it here:  This is the story of how I thought this Hollywood writer/director/producer was proposing to me. As it turns out, I may be proposing *for* him.

Chris Jordan has captured the essence of living in the moment with these beautiful shots of summer bliss:  The Camera Just Loves This Kid

Now, I’m off to feed Katie some watermelon!

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Memories of Childhood and Home

It could have been thirty years ago, it could have been yesterday, the memories are that vivid. 

You walked in the front door and to the right sat the living room.  The carpeting, red and black shag rug.  The furniture, black leather.  This is where I watched Gilligan’s Island reruns, waited for Santa every year, and where my mother would play Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Suzie Q” and dance with me for hours. 

You moved through the living room and entered the dining room, where we gathered to celebrate birthdays every year.  We would eat cake that was always beautifully decorated by my mother, in the shape of a roller skate one year, of Holly Hobbie in another.  We would have ice cream–it came in a box and was sliced with a knife, and was always Neapolitan–stripes of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.  (Do they even make that anymore?) 

Eventually, you found yourself in a kitchen bathed in the warmest sunlight, sunlight that made my mother’s hazel eyes sparkle, the flecks of gold just glorious.  The sun shone through the windows and across the kitchen table, where I ate bowls of chicken and stars soup, mountains of grilled cheese sandwiches, and piles of warm peanut butter chip cookies.  There was a television in our kitchen, where I watched episodes of The Donny and Marie Show and Sonny and Cher, by myself,  in the dark and in complete bliss.  (The flickering light of the television in otherwise darkness still transports me back to these nights.)

As you left the kitchen, you moved through the dining room and faced the staircase leading upstairs to our bedrooms.  If you passed my mother’s bedroom, you walked directly into mine, a room furnished with a  white canopy bed with butterfly bedding and matching bureaus.  It was here that I hosted annual slumber parties–parties where we would whisper about Shawn Cassidy and have dance competitions.  Many hours were spent here playing house and giggling with friends.

Outside was a large yard, perfect for making mud pies, watching a parade go by, and playing freeze tag.  Summer days were spent mixing dandelion petals into mud and offering them up to my mother for lunch.  We ran in the sprinkler, the water from the hose just cold enough to make us squeal with equal parts delight and discomfort.  We manned our lemonade stand (how lucky we were to live in a time when people still bought lemonade from children selling it).  In the fall, we would rake up all of the leaves and jump in our piles for hours.  I can still recall the smell of the decaying leaves, the joy I had jumping in them, and the discomfort of having the broken leaf bits inside of my clothing.    The winter brought so much snow that we could dig and make forts tall enough to stand inside.  We built seats and huddled together for warmth. 

This house sat directly across from a Catholic church and if I sit still, I can still hear the sounds of the church bells that rang out each Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  If you were quiet enough and the breeze was just right, you could hear the parishioners singing the hopeful hymns in beautiful unison, their voices spilling out through the open front doors. 

This was my childhood home.  This is the home where my mother raised me for the first decade of my life.  This is the home that I will always conjure up if you ask me to describe where I grew up.  This is the home in which I was happiest. 

I’ve always missed this house.  If you asked me why, I’m not entirely sure what I would say. 

Was it the house itself?  Unlikely. 

Was it the neighborhood?  I don’t think so.  

Perhaps it was more a combination of things.  It was not just playing outside, but knowing that my mother was inside making cocoa, the kind with those tiny little marshmallows that always melted just before you could actually feel them on your tongue.  It wasn’t just watching tv in the kitchen, but knowing that my mother was in the other room, waiting to tuck me in and tell me just how much she loved me. 

As I watch our children in our home, I wonder what they will remember.  Will they be able to recall the smells of rosemary or cilantro or pancakes that came from our kitchen?  Will they hear a Dave Matthews or Keith Urban song and be transported back to our living room, to hours spent dancing and laughing?  Will they see a Giant’s game on television and remember lazy weekend days, spent in our living room watching them play on television?  Will they see  and smell gardenias and remember how they grew just outside our back door? 

Will they combine these tangible things with the intangible, the love we have for them, the love that we have for each other, and combine them into a full and beautiful memory? 

I pray that we are giving them the ingredients for these memories.  I pray for happy childhoods for our babies.

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