Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's been more than a year?!?!?!

Uh, oops!!!!! I knew I was behind on blogging, and then I knew that I hadn't blogged in a long time, and then I thought I'd get back into it when I felt like it. Guess I didn't realize that it really had been over a YEAR! And you know how everyone tells you, "Write it down because you'll forget it," it's true. Reading through some of the older posts, it's like I'm reading about someone else's life it seems so long ago. I feel like blogging again. My memory thanks me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Legacy: What are your earliest memories?

When I was very young, at my grandma's house there were adults, adults, adults. I was surrounded by grown ups whose conversations were things I didn't understand because they were over my head figuratively and literally. I was lifted onto each aunt's, uncle's, and grandparent's lap throughout the day, not at all attention stared, nearly the opposite. I was the only grandchild - the sole recipient of people seeking a dose of cuteness, the only one they would teach to say catch phrases or buy random presents for.

I recall one visit to Cincinnati. I must have been 2, maybe 3. At some point, I guess I had wet myself because I remember my mom scrounging around suitcases, trying to find another set of clothes until my things were finished in Grandma's dryer. Somehow, and I really don't understand why this happened, the only thing for me to cover up with was my Great Aunt Marian's red lacy underwear. The women safety pinned them to the point that they'd stay on me. I had never seen underwear like that before. I remember everyone giggling, and since the majority of the crowd was in their early twenties, I can understand why they may have picked out that spare outfit anyway.

It was the early 80's, and a song that my grandparents danced to at one of their square dancing events was Elvira. In the livingroom with an audience lining the walls, my grandpa taught me some line dancing steps, some backward forward step and kick move. laughing ensued from the crowd and, oh, I enjoyed an appreciative audience. And so I kicked my; little foot as high as I could and sang along to the Eyll-vi-rah!! And this is why years later when I pass by red lacy underwear while heading to the diaper aisle, in my head, I sing giddy-up-a-oom-bapa-oom-bapa-mow-mow..

Legacy: Where were you born? What were you told about your birth?

I was born in Athens, Ohio. It was my actual due date, May 6th. My parents were college students at Ohio University, on the swim team, and newlyweds. They lived in a college apartment without much furniture - a crib and maybe some beanbag chairs or something like that.

I know that the day I was born, the nurses were on strike. Because of this, my mom was in labor longer than she should have been. She was so young, without the experience of close girlfriends who would have already filled her in on all the details. Apparently she stayed in bed the whole time instead of walking around like the nurses would have told her to do. She told me about this when I was carrying my first baby, hoping that the advice would come in useful, but I had an epidural and couldn't have walked around if I wanted to.

My grandparents drove across the state to meet me. I hardly had any hair. That's about the extent of what I know. When I was born, it was one of the few times in my life I was punctual, I had already been on a swim team, and the nurses were on strike.

(Alright, so this prompt didn't make me write anything too wonderful, but maybe next time.)

Changing Perspective

For fun, we were asked to write a story from the perspective of random objects. Each person was assigned a subject. Mine was toilet paper...

I was jammed between my friends, enjoying a quiet moment of rest, squished yet cozy in the dark, going along for a car ride. When the car stops and the trunk opens, it's still dark and quiet. Music has been turned down and there's a quiet rustling. My friend leaves and I'm just sitting there waiting. Then I am lifted, and I'm starting to be unwound just as I anticipated.

But , I feel myself rushing up. I've been let go. My layers unraveling faster than they should, and I feel poked and tangled, trapped on dewy twigs. I'm only half left.

Again, only higher, I am hurled, tying into branches among the remains of my once composed and neat friends. I am spread out more than I was intended to be. I am on display and embarrassed for instead of being discreet, I am spread wide and being shown.
The sun peaks over the horizon, and I know what is about to happen. I know that I am about to be discovered. Should I just go with it and reflect the light? Or should I droop and hide among the branches?

Recipe for Sadness

one clear, warm ocean with
an abundance of sealife

Combine with white clean sand,
breezes, and sunshine.
a sprinkling of a beach vacation, just as soul-quenching as you imagined.

Cover with Horizon.

This was a brief assignment given during a presentation by Adrian Matejka, a poet who has recently published the book Mixology and will soon publish a poetic narrative about boxer Jack Johnson.

One year ago, my parents took the family to Destin Beach for a week's vacation. TO say that Destin has soft white sand and clear blue water sounds cliche, but it's absolutely true. We'd head out to the beach in the morning, set up an umbrella and let the babies' feet sink into the warm, clean sand.

Owen would swim out chest deep and ride waves all the way bak tot he shore on a boogtie board. My dad spent his morning snorkeling as if her were swimming laps up and down the coast line. I swam too, and I'm the not the type who likes wimming with fish or plants or crabs. It gives me the willies to go into a pond where you can't see what might brush against you. But in Destin, the water is so clean, you could see. All the way to the bottom.

All day, every day, a significant amount of our time was spent listening to gentle waves, playing in the sand, and swimming, swimming, swimming. We took a few day trips. Tim, Dad, Devon, and Ashley went deep sea fishing and brought back plenty for dinner. Tim and I took Owen on a dolphin cruise where we got to see about four pods, one of which had two adults and three babies, just like us.

You know how at the end of most vacations, you're ready to go home? Well, we weren't. We planned to come back soon though, maybe in a couple of years. Tim and I had met in Destin one spring break, we'd honeymooned there, and now we'd brought our three children. We were anticipating taking them back as soon as we could, but one year later to the day...

(here should be a video of oil on Destin Beach and a little girl who's crying because she can't get it off of her foot. Working on getting blogger to post it.)

And this is just the beginning. Day one on Destin Beach. The impact will last for years, even decades.

Not to go all dolphins and rainbows here, but start around 6 minutes:
(Another video. You can see it at

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sadie's Picture

My Little Jane,

Oh I love you. I swear sometimes it's like I'm raising myself. If it weren't for your blue eyes, I might get your baby pictures confused with my own. Your flippy pigtails and adorability, it's just all so natural to you. It comes so easy. Your girly mannerisms. Your ruffly goodness. When you're just waiting in the line with your brothers and notice a bar that is the perfect height to hang on, it's all so present even when you aren't paying it any attention.

There will be times when it doesn't seem like this prettiness will come so easily. There will be times when you're not so sure and won't feel like you're radiating joy the way you do in this picture. But Sadie, this picture is you. You are knowing and enjoyable and so completely lovable. Know that even when you don't know it.

Always your fan,

P.S. I love your shoes. I'm glad you picked them out.