Thursday, October 30, 2014

Juxtaposition

Mama Kat gave me juxtaposing prompts this week.

List 7 things you miss about being a kid.
Write a post inspired by the word: bitter.

It's a double whammy for me. How do I determine what I miss from a childhood of broken memories? Am I bitter (angry, hurt, or resentful because of one's bad experiences or a sense of unjust treatment) about those broken memories? Maybe I have to answer both to answer either one very well.

What do I miss about my childhood? Well I miss thinking everything was normal, just the way it was supposed to be. The thing about kids is they tend to assume whatever their world looks like is reality for everyone. There is a (false) sense of security in feeling superior to other people. 

I also miss some really key people from my childhood. My great-grandmother called Nur (nuh) and her sister, Auntie (ainty) and her husband Uncle Horace. They were my havens of safety growing up. I doubt they knew it, but I sure did. The unconditional love they showed me probably kept me going, even through all the horrors.

There are a few toys from my childhood I wish hadn't gotten lost along the way, but I still have my treasured Dahlia and the red rocking chair I got the same Christmas she came to live with me.

I miss reading all night long, because I could. It's easier when you don't have anywhere to be the next day. And I miss eating Nana rolls until I was nearly sick, and fried chicken at my daddy's mama's house. I miss feeling as if I belonged with that group of people, but they're all gone now.

Am I bitter? I don't think so. My life wasn't a bowl of cherries, but it wasn't all bad either. I went through some horrific experiences, but I did have a family. A place to live and good food to eat. I had family who loved me as best they could, I guess. No, I'm not bitter. But I am sad. There are a lot of experiences I'll never have as they were meant to be. Like sex with my husband the first time, or feeling accepted and secure right away with other people. I missed out on childhood the way it was meant to be. Innocent. 

For whatever reason, I've never felt the need to play the "why me" card. "Why not me" has always been the question for me. I wouldn't wish those experiences on anyone else. Not anyone. No, not even the abusers themselves. It's not that I'm happy or okay that it did happen to me. I think I'm just accepting that what was, was. It's not something I can change, so there's no point dwelling on it.

It's taken me years to work through a lot of the issues, and I'm sure there will always be things that crop up. Things to be addressed as time goes by, but that's true for everyone. 

I guess my life is actually just like everyone else's. There were good things and bad things. Things I miss and things I'm glad are in the past. Life goes on.

linking up with Writer's Workshop and 31 Days of Writing






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Little Reminders





linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Unite


Unite -- come or bring together for a common purpose or action

That's one of the best benefits of 31 Days of Writing. Writing is by its very nature a solitary activity. Those of us who write do it because we feel compelled to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, but we do it alone. 

As a rule I'm okay with that. But every now and then it's nice to be reminded that while I am alone in my nook writing, there are lots of other people alone in their own nooks writing as well. And that makes me part of something larger. 

For the past 29 days we've had the opportunity to write and share about what ever interests us, and it's been wonderful. I've connected with people on my blog, on their blogs, and on our Facebook page. 

We're creating a community of writers that will last long after these 31 days are behind us.






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . October 28, 2014

Outside my window . . . the skies are overcast, but there is a beautiful sugar maple turning shades of orange highlighted against the gray skies.

I am thinking . . . about understanding the differences between "want to" and "need to" particularly as it applies to my lifestyle.

I am thankful . . . for a good night's rest.

In the kitchen . . . last night we had pot roast with roasted potatoes, carrots and onion, and steamed green beans. Tonight is pasta and sausage.

I am wearing . . . a cotton gown with my turquoise and red shawl.

I am creating . . . more goodies for Presents with a Purpose (November 8th -- The Well).

I am going . . . to therapy and then home for a couple of hours of creativity with my bestie.

I am wondering . . . about trust and faith in God. I don't know if I have faith about the future or if I am just naive in believing things will be fine.

I am reading . . . The Secret Rooms: A True Story of a Haunted Castle, a Plotting Duchess, and a Family Secret by Catherine Bailey

I am looking forward to . . . all the little trick-or-treaters on Friday night. Now that my kids are all grown, it's nice to just sit back and hand out candy.

I am hearing . . . the dogs puttering around the house after their breakfast and possibly my dear son rousing himself for school.

Around the house . . . order is returning. At my pace, but I am just fine with that. 

I am praying . . . for peace and understanding concerning change in the future.

One of my favorite things . . . is writing this blog. I've never been very good at keeping up with a diary or journal (except during the worst of the abuse remembering). The blog gives me a journal of sorts, and I feel compelled to do it because I see it as being more for others than myself.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . no extra activities this week! Yay! Daylight Saving Time ends on Saturday/Sunday, though.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
the Hoosier




linking up with The Simple Woman and 31 Days of Writing



Monday, October 27, 2014

Keeping House


We're in the final stretch of 31 Days of Writing. I'm pretty content. I've only missed 2 days so far -- although I did make up Day 9. Yesterday just never happened. I don't usually write on Sundays, so those have been the hardest.

I asked my husband yesterday what I should write about. He said I could compare my life to the Titans football team this season. I should be offended by that, but there are some comparisons. We both just seem to run out of steam before the job is finished.

I thought about writing about the cooking I did this weekend. 
Monkey Bread

Roasted Compari tomatoes and zucchini

Polenta with garlic and olive oil

Grilled barbecue chicken

Not to mention the baked shrimp scampi, baked salmon, succotash, and new potatoes for dinner last night that I forgot to take photos of. Apparently the cooking mojo came back over the weekend.

What I really keep thinking about though is the idea of making homemaking meditation. It's so easy in our current society for the idea of staying at home and making a "home" to be viewed as a waste of time. I fight it everyday in my own head. My kids are grown, but I still want to be at home doing these kind of things. I just need a little more validation and appreciation for it. I'm no Martha Stewart and I don't want to be, but I do like taking care of the home front. 

I read a book years ago, Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson. It really spoke to me about recognizing that making and keeping a home are spiritual endeavors. They provide intrinsic value to our lives. Homemaking cannot truly be valued in our money driven society. 

So I don't really know what I'm trying to say here. Maybe I'm just preaching to the choir. I want to feel proud of the job I have and I want to feel valued; like what I do is enough. The fact is I'm the only one who can make me feel that way. For today I choose to believe that the path I've chosen is a path of value, and that I am making a difference.

Blessings!

linking up with 31 Days of Writing



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fun Girls and Patio Life



I have a group of friends we call The Fun Girls. I've written about them before, but essentially it's a group of friends I've known since elementary and high school. We get together one Saturday a month to craft, catch up with each other, and sometimes just catch up on stacks of stuff that accumulates over a month (you know, unopened mail, catalogs, newspapers). One friend usually brings The New York Times which she peruses, occasionally pausing to share tidbits with us. We snack. We work. We talk. We laugh. We share. It's a really good thing.

This month we had intended to go camping instead. Our ringleader or cruise director as we call her, owns a popup camper, so last month we decided we should take it out for a spin. Plans were made and then fell through unfortunately, for a variety of reasons. So instead we met up at the cruise director's (TCD) home for a weinie roast with chili and all the fixins'. And we included our significant others.



TCD's husband is a whiz with backyard beauty. He took a standard concrete patio, added a flagstone area to enlarge it, covered the patio with a lovely tin roof. The whole area is surrounded with an enchanted garden that looks as it if just naturally appeared one day. 

We all sat around their chiminea and chatted and ate. We made smores, and followed those up with ice cream treats. 

Dh and I had to leave early because he had homework, but I know the festivities went on for a bit after we left.

I suppose the point of sharing all this is two fold. 1 -- I wanted to remember what a lovely night it was. There was no event that drove us to do this. We just did it. 2 -- I want to appreciate how lovely the simple things in life really are. Sitting around with old friends and eating everyday food. Laughing and feeling accepted. 

It's a cliche, but it really is the little things that make this life worth living well.

linking up with 31 Days of Writing


Friday, October 24, 2014

Dare


"I dare you. I double dog dare you."

I don't take dares. I never played truth or dare but once. I hated it. It felt as if I were allowing myself to be set up, and I'd had quite enough of that already, thank you very much.

But then I look at the definition 

:to have enough courage or confidence to do something 
:to not be too afraid to do something 
:to do (something that is difficult or that 
people are usually afraid to do)

And I realize, I may not take dares, but I do dare. Every single day that I had acknowledge my survival I am daring to live an authentic life. To call truth, truth. To call darkness and evil, darkness and evil. 

So I dare you today, confront boldly, contend against, venture, try. You might be surprised by how daring you are.