The Towers Are Still in the Background

A strange thought hit me this evening as I was watching a few episodes of NYPD Blue from 1995……kids who start college this year were not alive when the Twin Towers were destroyed. 

I see the Towers in the background of various movies and TV shows, and every time I see them standing tall and proud, stars in the New York background, I feel that pang of pain. In my mind’s eye I still see that airplane headed to the side of the building, knowing what happens in just a few more seconds.

I don’t know anyone who died during that disaster. I don’t know any first responders, rescuers, rescue dogs, or families who lost a loved one. I don’t know anyone from Flight 93, nor anyone from the Pentagon. 

But I remember where I was when I heard the news.

Today isn’t an anniversary or anything; it’s merely a panning of the 1995 New York skyline I never paid attention to the first time around. And now I can’t help but pay attention every time I see it.

It’s just another haunting moment and memory in my life. Something those under 19 will never remember. Never experience. And maybe that’s a good thing. 

Of course, I was never a part World War II either. I watched ‘The Sands of Iwo Jima’ the other day. The movie was spliced with film from the actual landing. And watching the real troops pile off the boats and onto the exploding shoreline was painful, too. My dad was headed towards that island when the first line landed.  And it effected him in ways I will never know. Never understand.

And I will never forget that, either.

There are so many of us that are affected by things we never directly experienced. Someone who knows someone who knows someone. And we will forever be affected by that.

Never forget the pain that got us here. Don’t focus on it, obsess on it, don’t let it consume you. Living is for today. For now. For the friends and family you have around you this moment.

But never forget, either. Because sooner or later you’ll see it on TV or in a movie somewhere.

The skyline that used to be but is no more.

Strange Things

Strange things happen around you whether you notice it or not.

Last evening was one of those times.

I take the backroads to and from work. They are filled with fields and farms and a house now and then. The drive strips away all my crummy moods left over from work, and I come home a clean woman, ready for the evening.

The road itself makes three “S” turns, giving you a view of three different directions. Just after the third “S” is a huge field except for one acre that was carved out for a farmhouse. I remember when I first started working 15 years ago there was a white house on that lot and a big, dilapidated barn across the street.

I remember a kid riding a go-cart through the levels of the barn, a little old man laughing and watching him. It was a long time ago, but the memory stuck, so I wrote a short story about the old man and his ghost still walking the territory.

The house is gone now, as is the barn. The barn’s acreage has been replaced with fields of corn or soybeans, the house’s lot empty, yet mowed every year. I think about the little man every time I drive by, often giving a nod to the land he once called his.

Yesterday I made my daily morning trek past the empty parcel and there was a black truck parked on the cement triangle that used to be a driveway. I thought that odd, for there’s never anyone around that time of the morning, especially there.

Last night I was driving home from work when I was stopped by a car in the middle of the first “S”. He asked me to take an alternate route because there was a “matter” down near Freemont Street, the end of the third “S”. Dutifully I took the horseshoe around the countryside until I came to the junction of that road and the end of the last “S”.

You know how you sometimes get a feeling of foreboding out of nowhere?  I looked down the end of the “S” and there was yellow caution tape wrapped all around the old man’s acreage. Flashing lights blocked the road, and there was the same black truck parked back further on the road.

Yellow caution tape. On my sacred parcel.

Had the old man come back to look for his house that wasn’t there? Did someone make a sacrifice on my sacred land? Did one of his decedents commit suicide there? Or was it merely a gas leak?

I haven’t found out what happened, and don’t know if I ever will. But I feel as if someone blasphemed on that special place where the ghost of the old man still wanders.

Maybe I don’t want to know.

Like the visit to my old homestead, time changes things. Keep the memories and the inspirations of your first experiences and hold them close. For what comes out later is never the same.

For the past becomes nothing but ghosts in the night.

The Past is Not Always What You Think It Is

What is the quote —You Can Never Go Home Again?

Perhaps that’s not the correct quotation, but its meaning hit me this past weekend.

I have always dreampt of going back to where I spent the first 22 years of my life, the house I grew up in. Now leaving home at 22 isn’t a big deal except for the fact that it was 44 years ago. We always go back to my husband’s old stomping grounds in Chicago, but that’s because we go down there to see his brother who still lives in the house he grew up in. So we always got to experience where he grew up.

But never where I did.

So Saturday we went to pick up my brother-in-law from a physical rehab center two blocks from my old house, and I asked if I could be dropped off so I could walk around the block once more while the brother-in-law was checked out.

I remember riding my bike to the back side of the block, playing with the few friends I had. Drawing on a chalkboard in one friend’s screened-in gazebo; swinging on my friend’s swingset; Fourth of July tables in front of my house. Three brothers, three girlfriends, and my first two loves of my life lived around that block. I thought I would be swept away with memories and emotions and flashbacks to days gone by.

I wasn’t.

The only thing that hadn’t changed was my house.

The back side of the block backed up to the golf course, and all the small houses that used to be there had been torn down,  huge, gawking houses replacing them. Susie’s house is gone. I don’t even recognize Lucy and Rita’s house. On my side of the block there is an apartment complex across the street from my house where houses and fields once were; even the hospital rehab center is new. The school directly across the street has grown another floor, and there’s a stoplight there, too.

The whole area has changed. The two-lane road I used to play on at 3 o’clock in the morning while my parents were packing to go camping is now a busy four lane. Further away sit new shops, gigantic houses…nothing I knew as a child.

I walked around the block, hoping, praying I’d feel that knot of nostalgia that comes with dipping into the past. The house my dad built is still there, as was Andy the old man neighbors and Lynda’s sprawling ranch.

But the thrill I thought I’d find walking through my past never came.

Oh, it was nice walking around the peaceful back of my block; I even walked past my first love’s house…if it was his house…it was so different. I walked by John’s house, the boy who never knew I existed, and his buddies the Abbotts next door.

But John and Lucy and Lynda were long gone. It was time for me to let the past go, too. I’ve walked my last walk around the block of memories.

My memories, no matter how distorted, are much better.

 

Every Moment Is A Kodak Moment

I have been on a photography kick for the last seven years or so.

Oh, I took pictures when I was young. First married. Family, my brothers, my dad. With my kids through school and high school. But they are all sitting in a box somewhere, waiting for my A.D.H.D. to slow down enough to go through all of them.

Then came my first Smartphone.  And my learning about Picasa (which has turned into Google Photos).

I am hooked.

You would think I were a master photographer the way I run around taking pictures of everything. Of course, grandkids take up the majority of the space on both Google and my phone. Kids walking. Kids laughing. Kids falling down. Kids in daddy’s shoes. Kids standing on the picnic table. Kids Kids Kids.

None of those would win a photo contest, but to me they are unique moments in time that will never happen again. It’s like driving down a deserted road and watching a leaf fall from a tree. You are the only one in the universe that saw that leaf make its final journey to the ground. How special is that?

Of course, life is made up of special moments. 16 hours a day (the other 8 for sleep, a special moment all its own), 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

That’s a lot of camera moments.

I’m also the nature picture girl. I’ve got a thing about taking pictures of clouds, woods, water, animals (when I find them), plants, old houses, old barns — anything that looks like an elf or a faerie could be just around the corner. My husband chuckles at all the path-through-the-woods pictures on my phone. I mean — how many cool paths can there be?

At my age, EVERY path is a cool path. I imagine the turn in the road, the path not taken, the path that leads to Hobbiton and Brigadoon and Diagon Alley. That barn covered in ivy and disrepair might be the gateway to Neverland. That flower in all its unique glory could just have been danced upon by faeries. Pictures of unusual places and things tickles my imagination, and the most wonderful things come out the other end.

Maybe all this is nothing more than wanting to retain images of the things I love before the end. That when I’m old and gray I can look at these pictures and remember when — if at all. For we all have a “when”. And it flies by too fast.

Don’t be afraid to use your camera/Iphone/Android. Create worlds of your own with just a click. Delete the ones that don’t take you to Avalon, Asgard, or to your family and friends. Then let your imagination take you where it will.

Get the photo bug today!

If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time

tumblr_o4739ljd9n1tp0mqvo1_500I was writing a blog for work today, talking about how music can bring memories of days gone by. And it got me to thinking — if you could turn back the hands of time, what would you change?

I already hear whispers of “I wouldn’t change a thing” or “I love my life just the way it is” or “my scars have made me who I am today.” All of that is good and well, but there is always something we wish we could have done, changed, said.

There are few things I would change about my life. I love where I am, I love my family. Knowing me, I would have loved a different husband, different children, different grandchildren. Love is love. I was not popular in my younger younger years, but I feel my heart has grown into a beautiful maple tree because of that.

But things I would have changed — there are always a few.

I would have gone to college. Back in my day (what a cliche!) half the girls went to college, half got married. Although I didn’t get married I did fall in the second half. Maybe I didn’t have the money at the time. Or the inspiration. But since I’ve always been a writer and an artist, I should have learned more about both. It most likely would have led me down a different career path, but it would have been more of a career and less of a job.

I would have put more effort into saving my bed and breakfast. It was a gorgeous house, a dream come true. I owned it for 7 years, always moving backwards financially instead of forward. Instead of trying to support my end of the upkeep with paying guests, I should have gotten a full-time job and run the B&B on the weekends.

I would have talked to my parents more. I would have asked them about their childhood. Their teens. Their young married years. Who they loved. Who they hated. The hard times. The family problems. The war. Their illnesses. I would not have let their lives be nothing more than spectres dancing in the sunlight.

Hindsight is such a strange bedfellow at times.

It’s not so much living in the past as re-experiencing it. I would still take the hard knocks, but I would savor the sweetness even more. I would have brought the friends I left behind into the future with me. I would right all wrongs, mend all fences, and keep the love the way it used to be.

I would cherish every moment of every day much more than I did when I was younger. I would not, could not change the deaths of those who have gone before me, but I would have made much more of the time we had when they were alive.

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would never have let go of the things that meant the most to me.

But perhaps that’s what the future is for. Never letting go.

 

 

When Is A Holiday Not A Holiday?

grandmaI am beginning to see for myself why older people act and think like they know so much. Why their opinions are so die hard. So know-it-all.

I’m getting to be that way, too.

Sometimes the world seems so stupid. I know that’s a demeaning statement; it’s not fair to the rest of the world who is struggling to make it (just like me). But it’s a blowing-off-steam statement as well. For how many useless things and actions thread through our personal tapestry every day that sidetrack us from getting what we really want?

You know I don’t mean the obvious roadblocks — we all deal with them as they come. I mean the events that can (and should) be avoided that are always haunting us.

Being an “older” sprite, I can see the futility of trying to change a person, of wanting to be a vice president with a high school education, of trying to visit the capitols of Europe on a retiree’s budget. I mean, if you could you would. But some things aren’t meant to be. But instead of accepting what you cannot change (that wonderful adage), people spend hours and days and years trying to do just that.

Maybe it’s just that the older I get, the more roads open up before me. There are lots of roads that are closed, buried in rubble or sunk under the sea. But it’s like the roots of a tree — more sprout out every day. And when I see my friends, my acquaintances, my new found peeps, spending all their tears and energy and lifeforce trying to make it “better”, I get ticked off. For I find beautiful flowers trying to push the boulder out of the way instead of growing around it.

Take Thanksgiving and Christmas, for instance. Big, emotional holidays filled with nostalgia, made-up memories, and TV propaganda. People get so wrapped up in “family” and “being together” for the holidays they lose common sense. Their hearts are broken because A had to work or B got the flu and couldn’t fly in. They dwell in the mist of “this may be XYZ‘s last Thanksgiving with us” or “Why can’t Christmas be like when I was a child?”

Don’t they know that every dinner is Thanksgiving? That every day you open your eyes, take a breath of air, and see the sunshine, is Christmas?

Why do we need a particular day to focus our energy on our friends, our family? A particular day to give gifts, to cook a turkey, or to go to church? A has to work? Get over it! Nurses, waitresses, truck drivers, TONS of people have to work on the days you lay back and sing Christmas carols. B‘s got the flu? Better to stay home and get better than bring the germs cross country to incubate in the stuffing.

The same thing is true about remembering birthdays, anniversaries, and other man-created important dates. Maybe I’m biased about remembering these things because my hubby barely remembers those actual dates.  I don’t get flowers or diamonds or fancy dinners on those exact dates. But I’ve got a hubby that’s stuck around for 33 years, and we squeeze in dinners and buy plants in the spring, and it somehow has always worked out.

I don’t judge my life by the rememberance of wedding anniversaries or Christmas presents. I judge it by the times I’ve been able to say “thanks” over a meal, or by the number of sunrises and sunsets we’ve been able to share. I know I’m too old to start a new 9-5 career, but not too old to develop my writing one. I’m too old to play the “if he/she loved me they would ____”  For if he/she really loved you, they would. Period. It could just be that, for some reason, they cannot. And so it is.

I don’t think I’m a hard realist as much as I am an experienced dreamer. I have had dreams shattered, plans never come to fruition, loves lost. As I look through the tunnel backwards, I see how I could have turned a lot of keys sooner. How I wasted years angsting on things I couldn’t change. Things that didn’t matter.

Perhaps that’s what the older generation sees. They wonder why we worry about getting together on the holidays and worry about getting together tomorrow.

And that makes a whole lot more sense to me.

 

Life is But a Memory

flowerMost times I try and keep the flow of this blog upbeat — there are so many positive things in this world, I just can’t sit idly by and let them pass me without dipping my toe in their pools.  But, as many of you know, there are a lot of sad things out there, too. Some things we can change, others we can only deal with.

A good friend at work was telling me her story about her grandmother who was slipping into full-fledged dementia. K said she could see it coming for over two years, but many in the family did not (or chose not to see). Dementia comes in many ways; it slips in uninvited and refuses to leave. How and when it affects their chosen hosts is more up to Fate than choice.

Our conversation was more from her grandmother’s point of view — did she recognize her children? Did she know her grandaughter? Moreover, was she upset that she “should” know these people but just…didn’t?

Seeing a loved one go through irreversible illness is heartbreaking. Young people with inoperable cancer, friends lost in senseless car accidents, all are part of our lives that we truly have no control over. Every one of those experiences change people’s lives forever. Those who survive hurt the most, and have the hardest time accepting and moving on. But we do. We have to.  But Dementia is a gradual experience. You are alive and thinking and reasoning one minute and you are forgetting things the next until one day you don’t remember what you’re supposed to remember.

Back to Grandma.  K told me this was her first experience with anyone she knew slipping into the grey of tomorrow, and wasn’t sure how to handle it. I, in my naive way, told her that as long as her grandmother was “happy” with her every day life, as long as she was relatively healthy and alert, that was the best you could ask for. The hurt, the pain and confusion usually come from our inability to accept the fact that we’re not a part of their memory any more.

Which leads me to today’s thoughts. I wonder what the world seems like from inside a dementia patient’s head. I have heard they see and talk to people long dead, or remember 50 years ago as if it were yesterday. Does that frighten them? Does it matter to them? Often patients don’t remember their kids, their grandkids. Do they feel guilty about that? Are they sad about that? Or does it not matter in their emotional scheme of things?

I find it fascinating that, at least at the beginning, K’s grandma talks normally about day-to-day things: who she talked to (even if they are no longer on this Earth), what she did this morning. She mixes up nurses and nieces, but still processes information the same way.  It’s as if her reality is real, yet different. To her, her brother dead 15 years really sat next to her bed and talked about little things. What’s the big deal about that?

I don’t know if that’s good or not. Or whether the word “good” is even appropriate here.

People with wild imaginations also talk to people who don’t exist. Even as a writer, I find myself wandering off on a mental tangent through my character’s mind, the end having nothing to do with her/his life — or mine. I suppose the difference is that I can come back to today and know I went on a mental adventure. Dementia patients do not.

I did not wander through the Internet, looking for symptoms or shared experiences. I didn’t want the distractions to change my feeling quite yet. I have these fears and thoughts because I sometimes wonder if that’s my fate down the line. I adore my kids, my grandson, my husband and friends. The thought of having all this love inside of me fade away because I don’t remember them hurts more than I can say.

This blog has been brewing for a few days, and I wanted to hear your take on these things. Have you gone through this sort of separation? Do you know of blogs or websites that share these kinds of experiences without becoming a panic attack?  If you do, please share. If not, don’t worry. I’m sure you have experiences of other depths that you might share one day.

And no matter what, experience and explore and remember as many new things as you can while you can. For I can’t believe it doesn’t matter in the memory of your soul.

Which is all that matters in the end.

 

Flashbacks

zinniaThe other day at work I was cropping an image of a “pretend” penicillin bottle, and I swear I could smell that sweet, sticky medicine from my childhood. I found it amazing that a direct interaction with one of my senses (sight) could trigger a smell that I haven’t smelled in years.

Some people have constant triggers between scents and memories or sights and memories. All of life’s experiences are triggers, are they not?  There are negative triggers, too, but we’re not talking about them this fine Saturday morning. I mean the odd things that flash back when you least expect it.

I have a handful, too, but only a few trigger a stop-in-your-tracks kind of reaction. Whenever I walk into Menards the scent of lumber sends me back to the days when my dad took me to his construction sites.  Jergens lotion doesn’t nearly smell as rich and unique as it did when I was a teenager. Now and then, when an airplane passes overhead, I get a real nostalgic jerk back to being a little kid, swinging on my swing set, watching them following their flight paths.  A whiff of reconstituted dried onions makes me think of dad bringing home a bag of White Castle burgers, a real treat as a kid. And the weird scent of zinnias make me think of my mom’s garden. Hearing polkas (especially on Saturday mornings on some non-descript Wisconsin radio station) reminds me of my dad listening to them as he worked in his garage workshop.

Do you have flashbacks triggered from sights or sounds or smells? Pleasant, momentary dips into good feelings or childhood memories? I’d love to hear them. Maybe they’ll trigger memories for me, too.

Like the icky smell of penicillin.

Paint Who’s Wagon?

On this glorious Memorial Day I am reposting one of my most “memorial” posts from yesteryear. I hope you enjoy it!  Oh — and while you’re at it — take time and give a nod and blow a kiss to those whom we honor for their service to our country — today and EVERY DAY! 

 

What does it mean to be middle-aged? Is there a line drawn across the cosmic playfield that says on this side, you are old, on this side, young? If you love Big Band and Glen Miller, are you old? If you like Rhianna or Jay-Z are you young? If you like InSync or Boy George, are you just … weird?

The older I get, the fuzzier the line gets. I have friends on the 40/70-year-old line that lead fairly “normal” lives:  Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, Oprah. Then there are those who are a little more wild: The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, AC/DC. Where do most of us fit? How do we know where the line is between antique and hip hop? Between dancing and throwing our back out?

The trigger mechanism tonight was Paint Your Wagon, a musical made 40 years ago. Imagine:  Clint Eastwood singing. Lee Marvin dancing and singing about beans. This movie is 40 years old; twice as old as my youngest son. Yet there are some of us who sit around, laughing and singing the songs as if they were still on the top of the charts. When I watch musicals like Brigadoon and Sound of Music and Camelot, my kid looks at me like I’ve grown a second nose. Musicals give most teenagers the willies. If it’s not High School Musical or Glee, it’s not a musical. He shakes his head and goes to watch movies where people get their limbs cut off or that showcase breasts that hang out like watermelons in the summer sun or guys sitting around smoking weed and talking about getting laid. It’s at these times that I feel so disconnected. So…old.

I know that every generation has to evolve. What was fascinating, entertaining or daring to one group is not necessarily to the next. I find myself cringing at songs like Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini and The Bird is the Word. And those were from the generation right before me. I’m sure that same generation shivered at songs like Transylvania 6500 and Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree. Even my parent’s generation had dissenters: I have a song in my collection called If Swing Goes I Go Too by Fred Astaire, singing about “some old fogey wants to ration swing.” Imagine! Our parents being rebels!

Of course, there are many other reflections of generation gaps, many other blank looks from both sides of the fence when music and movies and clothes come to the forefront. I am not the first to discover that there are a number of meanings for the same word, and not everyone is on the same page of the dictionary. My son is fond of chillin’ and hangin’; I can imagine what that would mean to my grandfather’s generation. While I try not to use phrases that date me like groovy and far-out, I can’t help but fall back on standbys like cool and hunky dory, words that dance on the edge of fogey-ism.

I think alot about the generation gap. Not so much how I am on one side or another, but how I can bridge that gap. Sooner or later everything revolves back onto itself. Not back to exactly the same spot; not to the same beat (eight-to-the-bar, jive, waltz), nor to the same words (commie, greaser, beatnik), but to explanations for the same situations that haunt all human beings. As much as underwear sticking out from atop blue jeans and skull caps shake our interpretation of fashion, I imagine mini-skirts and go-go boots did the same for those who wore spats and garters.

All generations wander through the fog; some with purpose, others just along for the ride. All generations start out with a dream, a hope that they will somehow make a difference in their world. One way or another everyone wants to be noticed; everyone wants to be remembered. Some make slasher movies; others cures for diseases. Some climb Mt. Everest, others walk the track for Breast Cancer. For some of us the best we can do is pass along our lasagna or apple pie receipe. We all contribute in our own way.

But back to the over-the-top musical from 1969. Listen to the words to the title song:

Where am I goin?  I don’t know

Where am I headin’? I ain’t certain

All I know is I am on my way…

When will I be there? I don’t know

When will I get there?  I ain’t certain

All I know is I am on my way

We are all wanderin’, we are all goin’ somewhere. And few of us know when we’ll get there. And yes, we are all chillin’ and hangin’. We are all part of the same cycle, mixing and blending and blurring the lines of old AND new. Amazing what happens when all generations fall into the same pot — we become one amazingly flavorful stew.

Groovy.

What Is True Success?

So many things make us happy; so many things make us sad. So many times we wished we  had turned left instead of right; so many times we are soooo glad we did turn right instead of left. Sometimes I get really sad that I’m soon going to turn 60 — where has my life gone? Other times I look back and am sorry my mother never made 54. I’m sad that I had breast cancer; other times I’m so glad they found it when they did.

Life is packed with highs and lows, yellow and blacks, snow and scorching heat. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what it’s always been about. For us, for our grandparents, for George Washington and Kublai Khan and St. Joseph. I’m sure they all had a hundred things they wanted to do at one time, too.  Just like us. We all want to be appreciated for what we’ve done. What we’ve become. We all would like to think that our time here on Earth has been for the Greater Good.

This is not a confessional blog; this isn’t a tell-all or a bad news bomb.  I’m sitting on my sofa this cold Sunday afternoon, looking at the bare treetops in my front yard. Of course, you know me — I’m also watching football, eating lunch, doing laundry, getting ready to write some in  my latest novel, wondering what I’m gonna wear to work tomorrow. I’m also thinking about the fun I had with my grandbaby this weekend, thinking of taking some drugs for my achy legs, and feeling guilty I haven’t played fetchie with my dog today.

That’s really what this blog is about. Sometimes I feel I should be pushing this blog harder, trying to share the Word with more readers. Other times I think I’ve run this horse to the finish line, and should start a new creative venture.  Yet more often I think  I’ve let my writing simmer on the back burner for so long it’s started to dry up and stick to the pan.

How do you know if you’ve succeeded at what you tried to do? What is the measure of success? Big paychecks often are an indicator;  good health, always. Waking up every morning is a success all on its own. Family? Kids? Making the perfect apple pie? All of the above are successes if never done it before. Success has always been measured from the heart first, from the masses second. And often it takes on a meaning more cosmic than one thinks. I think I make the best spaghetti sauce this side of the Mississippi. If you don’t agree, does that mean it’s not good? Of course not. All it means is that I can eat it all myself.

Writing is the same thing for me. What is being a successful writer? Have I ever been published? A short  story here or there in the past 10 years. Have I won awards for my creativity? No. Have I ever I gotten a call or email from a publisher? No. Do I think I’m a successful writer? Yes. Definitely.  I’ve had people say positive things about my stories; I’ve brought smiles and tears to readers.  I’ve written 4 novels, 1 novella, 32 short stories, 42 poems, 84 blogs, and 3 novels in-progress. I think that’s being successful. Why? Because Ive continued to do what I love, no matter what the  result. I’ve had fun making friends, creating worlds, and trying things that make me uncomfortable. I encouraged people to believe in themselves, given life to middle-age heroines, and never killed off  the main character.

There are still so many paths to follow, worlds to explore. And that’s only after I play with my grandbaby, fetch my dogs, pet my cats, cuddle my husband, go to work 40 hours a week, clean my house, grocery shop, get together with family and/or friends, and dozens of other responsibilities. Life has only so many hours, and I’m still struggling on squeezing a few more out of every week.

So what this all boils down to is that I’ve driven the Humoring the Goddess train long enough. Hopefully I’ve encouraged you to believe in yourself, have fun with your life, and laugh as much as you can. There are so many things you can’t change, so why not toss your hands up and laugh and move on? You’ll know the things you CAN change..that little voice in your heart/head/soul is always there to remind you. Your job is to listen.

I have enjoyed entertaining you all these years more than you know. I have learned so much from you. I might try another blog, or finish one of my novels, or sit and spew poetry until I feel nauseated. I’m sure I’ll be back and visit sometime. If I start something new I’ll post it. I will look foward to hearing from you and YOUR projects. You will always find me at my email world…  humoring_the_goddess@yahoo.com.

There is always a path ahead of you. Always. It’s up to you which one you take, or how often you turn left or right. In the end, none of that matters — the only thing that matters is that you keep walking.

Keep Humoring the Goddess…and Loving your Life…

Claudia Anderson

Charmed

When I was in high school, charm bracelets (along with getting “pinned”) were the big thing. Some girls had wads of charms so thick they would leave dents in the wooden desk tops. Others, like mine, had a half dozen mementoes of graduation, birthdays, and a few others that, to this day, still make me wonder what they stood for.

 These days there are expensive, modern versions of the charm bracelet. Some have bead-type charms you string on sterling bracelets, everything from baby carriages to roses to moms charms to birthstones. There are token charms hanging in displays in department stores, shopping malls and internet jewelry stores, still an ode to the special moments of one’s life.

 I no longer have bangle jangle charms around my wrist, but I do have a handful of sparkles on a simple, long, not-gold necklace that I often wear. What’s on my necklace?  Well, I’ve got rings that my kids bought for me when they were in kindergarten, a ring that symbolizes my role-playing days, a silver “coin” for money, a rune with “enlightenment” carved on it, a dream catcher that used to be an earring, a plastic blue unicorn with his horn broken off, a faerie holding a blue globe (also a remnant from a pair of earrings) ― all sorts of nonsense that brings back memories and keeps me in good spirits.

 Do you have a charm bracelet or necklace? What hangs from your life’s testimony? What kinds of charms do you wear? Of if you could put one together, what charms would you add?