Old Memories and People go With them.

There’s a few things I can still remember:

I remember catching my first fish. it was at Lake Wanda Reita.

I remember my first day in school. They had to tear Sandy Hammond away from her Mom, but she was ok from then on.

I remember every person who lived in every house in my neighborhood in 1958. Jake Woods family lived next door, then the Ardens, and across from them lived Van Buren Rice. Across the street was Frank Watts and family. Up on West Pine was Paul Rosser, Flossie Mae, Dale, Annette, and their older sister…Paulette? was it…

And on the next street was my Uncle Curly, The Floyd family…Sloppy and Doris, Nancy Jim, Susan and Jimmy. The Barfield family, Jan and her sisters. Across from them, the Haygoods, with their boys…Mark was my age, then Randy, I think. Mrs. Rush and Marilyn. The Collettes, Joe and Ruth, Johnny and Jimmy and Marsha. Up on the hill to the North, The Caheelys, The Sprayberries, The Hawkins…with John and Jim. Just around the corner was Dennis and Don Durham and their folks…then the Langston family. I could go on and on. I know I left some out too. The Styles a little further down, and the Webb twins.

I reminisce as I walk that area. Then I walk West Hill, and a lot of those people are now there. Not more than a block from where they lived. Time goes by quickly.

Anybody who grew up in a little bittie town knows how I feel walking these streets. It’s past and present all rolled up a ball, and for people like me nostalgia just sometimes overcomes me, and stops me in my tracks. I’m 65, but I’m 6 sometimes too. But there is also still a future to live.

By the time I get back home, I’ve gotten it all pretty much out of my system. I’m back in the present and ready to press on. And I know why I stayed here. For the memories. To give my kids a chance at the same, not too bad small town raising. Its getting a lot different now, but I can’t complain too much. (although Paula might tell you different) Its still home, and that’s where the heart lies.

The Ordinary Things of Life

It is the ordinary things, the mundane moves…which make life…life. Day to day to day, what you have done is, in reality, the terrific.

I find an out of place blue pacifier on the shelf, and I think of all the pacifiers I have handled, stuck in baby mouths, wiped off and sterilized over the years. I still have the very first one I ever saw from 47 years or so ago…it was a baby bottle lid with tape across the bottom. They have definitely improved over the years.

The grass was cut Friday and the smell of it, freshly slain and lying defeated in the yard was intoxicating and primal. It always takes me back to a time before I have memories, a time of just happy, smelly bliss.

I find I love a song by a group called “Casper Baby Pants”. Google them. They’re real. It’s a lullaby, kind of…and it makes me smile. It picks my soul up and transports it up, and up…into the sky above skies. I have always loved music, almost any kind of music. Music is my constant companion and soother of last resort. It doesn’t matter to me how silly the name of the group.

I exercise every morning. Hard enough to make my heart beat hard and fast. Hard enough for the sweat to soak my brow and neck. Not because I love working out that much, but because I want to help anyway I can to prolong this wonderful life.

I raked brush and leaves yesterday like a Tasmanian devil of yard nullification. Huge piles were left in my wake, and then I leaned on the rake and felt the thump…thump..thump…hard and fast. No pain. Good. Another day then.

I love being a human. I love doing the simple things that humans do. Every day doesn’t have to be a trip to Disney World or the beach….although that would nice. But, just to open a book and lose myself in another person’s wonderful imagination, to see a beautiful photograph, to watch the birds and squirrels in the yard, feeding. Just to see the stars at night, or even the lightning and hail of a few days past!

How spectacular is existence! How glorious is sensing all of this wonder surrounding us.

I waste way too many thoughts on things which are far beyond my ability to control, and I’m angered by actions which others take, which I have little ability to affect.

My appeal to you, my friends is to not let yourself fall into the traps and conditions which cause you to miss the beauty of life which is unfolding before you each and every day.

Witness the ordinary and think on the mundane, and be content.

Looking in the Mirror

When you look in the mirror, who do you see looking back at you? Of course, I see “myself” the person who is an amalgamate of my Parents, my Grandparents and all of my other ancestors who have come before me.

Sometimes I see a glimpse of my Grandfather Stewart, sometimes a glimmer of my Dad. As I get older, this happens a little more frequently. I know that genetics has certainly played a part in what I see physically looking back at me. I also know genetics has also played a part in some of the personality traits which I have, some of the ways I act. I know that environment and external influences have also combined with these other factors in making me what I see.

We are limited by our genetics to some extent, but able to overcome much through learning and the environment we put ourselves into. That being said, then only our souls are individually ours, aren’t they? Until we are able to love that creature we see in the mirror and embrace what he or she is, we will not fully be able to love others to any extent. If we are not satisfied with what we see, only WE are able to affect a change for the better.

It is no bad thing to love one’s self…warts and all, faults and all, sins and all. As a matter of fact, it is a good thing. Only by learning to love ourselves can we learn to love ALL others, and only by doing that can we prove that we are individuals worthy of the title “human”