Memories – So Far Away; So Very Clear

“Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.” ~ Jean de Boufflers

While contemplating writing a memoir, I recently began rummaging through boxes full of old memorabilia I almost forgot I had.  Ask anyone who really knows me; I despise paper and if it isn’t needed for tax purposes, personal documentation or other legal matter, more often than not it gets tossed.  So when I happened across clippings, letters and other such papers meticulously stored in several small cardboard boxes, I knew they must be something I deemed worthwhile keeping.

 Steve 19650002Sure enough, opening one of the boxes, I discovered a small collection of faded colored photographs that appear to have been taken in the mid 1960’s.  Instantly, I was transported back in time to my childhood living room.  There was that big old television – with its folding doors which protected me from Mighty Mouse as he burst onto the screen at the opening of each episode.  And there was my brother, mid-afternoon, still in his bathrobe, clowning with my uncle and neighborhood friends.  It’s amazing how many wonderful memories can emanate from one old photograph.

 SJD Ltr1 11_65It’s a shame some of the photos and letters I found in the box were so faded.  Luckily several letters were fairly legible and the photos still had some color to them.  I especially enjoyed reading the letters my middle brother Stephen wrote me while he was away at college.  Twelve years my senior, his writing conveyed levity, tenderness and love.SJD Ltr2 11_65

 

I must admit, reading the part where he asked me if I wanted to “play house” was a little creepy.  SJD Ltr3 11_65Back in those days however, little girls loved to “play house.”  There was nothing wrong with my brother wanting me to visit and help him straighten up his apartment; I was good at cooking, cleaning and ironing even at the tender age of 8.  Other notations regarding schoolwork, music, friends, pets, and especially about my father were heartwarming.  (Curious why he mentioned “witch” in both letters…I was always an “angel!”)

 The last few years have been challenging for my brother.  He faced a series of unexpected and unpleasant situations.  I pray my brother continues to heal and hope revisiting these letters brings a smile to his face.  We may live many miles apart, but he, along with my other brothers and sisters, are always close to my heart. 

 SJD Ltr1 10_66

Discovering these priceless memories help me realize how truly blessed I am.  These are feelings I didn’t recognize as a child.  Today, everything is quick – a text here, a tweet or status update there.  How many people actually take the time to sit down and write a letter?  Not many.  Life is so fast-paced that we often don’t realize how much we are missing.  A simple note or letter is able to bring so much joy to another person, joy that brief electronic communication fails to convey.

 I never did finish the letter to my brother; I wonder what I would have said next…but it would have ended with “Love, your sister Marybeth”  (that’s now my alias!)

SJD Ltr2 10_66Call me old-fashioned or traditional, I don’t mind.  Sometimes I feel I can’t live without all the new technology and make certain I’m current with it, as best I can be.  At other times, I’d rather do things the way I used to, MED 10_66 replylike making bread from scratch rather than using a bread machine (if I had one).  Several minutes of vigorous kneading works wonders for a person’s sanity.  The treasured little box I found brought me back to basics.  I can’t wait to see what other wonderful memories are yet to be revived.

Steve_Mom weddingSteve Hawaii2 2006

I’ve been reminiscing the past year recently and when I came across this post, it precisely mirrored my thoughts. Thanks to Philosiblog for the post. Sometimes, others’ words fill the bare spots of your own conscience.

philosiblog

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you. – Lao Tzu

What does that mean?
Once again, we have another Twitter-friendly shortened quote. The more complete version is “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

What is it that you are lacking in your life? Conversely, what do you have in your life which you take for granted? About what could, or even should, you be rejoicing? Your health, your relative wealth, your friends, your family? Even if you have none of those, you could rejoice in the quiet and tranquility.

So many of us focus on what we do not have, and overlook or even ignore what we do have. At least until it’s too late, right? I’m sure it never happened to you…

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Jack of All Trades, Master of … Few?

Waking to a blanket of fog engulfing the cul-de-sac this morning was not exactly motivating; however, I managed a good breakfast, some exercise, taking care of kitties and checking e-mail, eager to begin my day.  While preparing breakfast, I had to acquiesce; I’m just not proficient at some of life’s little skills.  Then again, neither is Martha Stewart; how disappointing.

For your amusement, I’ve created a list of some common endeavors which seem to evade the OCD in me.   Can you identify with any?

Sectioning grapefruit   -By the time I’m finished, it looks like something the cat hacked up.

WordPress, Pinterest   –Still trying to get the knack of these sites.  And I joined Pinterest because?  Certainly not because I enjoy spending countless hours looking at dog and cat photos, although I’ll have to admit, they are adorable!

Fixing hair   –I’m blessed with a full head of hair; however, it takes at least 40 minutes to blow dry and style and that’s just to get it looking neat.  Putting it up, braiding, clips, etc., I’m all thumbs.

Water-skiing   –Not in this lifetime.  Why can’t you just start in a standing position?

Making homemade pasta  -Damn eggs keep sliding over the flour well!

Electrical wiring – Amps, volts, ohms, watts, neutral/ground, breaker/fuse, pigtail, busbar, gang, splice, Yikes!

Planting tulip bulbs  –Wondered why the stem was so short; guess I should have planted the root side down???

Pruning trees/shrubs  –What pruning, just chainsaw the hell out of them!

Making Pot Roast  –Nothing beats my sister Kathy’s pot roast; but I can make a kick-ass chili!

Clipping cats’ nails   -Not unless they’re dazed and confused first.

Using an iPod  –My daughter donated her old ones to me…haven’t used one yet.  What’s wrong with the radio?

Source code  –Per Wikipedia, “…any collection of computer instructions (possibly with comments) written using some human-readable computer language …” Human computers or computer humans?

Zumba   -Another reason to wriggle, writhe, bump and bounce and pull my back out!

Photography/Videography  –So many buttons, so many accessories, so little time to understand what they all do.

Sewing tulle  –I’d rather get a root canal.  Needle gets caught in holes all the same.

Angry Birds  – Have no clue what this is, how to play, never owned a Wii or Xbox, etc. but I used to play a mean game of PacMan…waccka, waccka!

Bra shopping   –Natural breasts slope; so why make rubberized bras that look like they’ll cover torpedoes?

Choosing between a comma and semicolon -MS Word keeps highlighting my commas, wanting me to use semicolons when they should be used for emphasis, no?; yes.  Arrggg.

Skimcoating   -There has to be an easier, faster, less dusty way to make a wall smooth.

Competing with my sisters in Scrabble   -I’m the youngest and they cheat…enough said.

Surviving the NY Times Sunday Crossword with my brother I’m the youngest and he’s the oldest…and he doesn’t cheat; he’s just too smart for me!

Hope you enjoyed my bit of joviality for the day.   Peace – Out ;D

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~ Thomas Edison