Family

You can go home again, but maybe you shouldn’t…

Have you ever had one of those experiences that really just defy words? At least, right away? I went home to Indiana for a week and only recently got back to Washington, and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around my trip. I discovered something pretty profound, at least to me: they say you can’t go home again, but I don’t believe that’s true. You can, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to feel like home anymore.

We moved from Indianapolis to Seattle last August. Last September, my parents moved out of the house they’d lived in for 29 years. When I headed to their house after arriving at the Indianapolis airport, I was driving to an unfamiliar house in a town I’d never been in. There was no “going home.” In fact, home was gone.

Continue reading “You can go home again, but maybe you shouldn’t…”

Reflection, The big move

Materializing memories

When preparing to move, rooting through boxes of crap is inevitable.  You find things like your high school yearbooks, which you haven’t looked at in years because you’re friends with most of those people on Facebook anyway.  You find your collection of New Kids on the Block memorabilia from when you were just a kid, and your husband urges you to throw it all away, only to receive a heated glare because your Joe McIntyre doll isn’t going anywhere. Continue reading “Materializing memories”

Home, The farmgirl life, Writing

When You’re a Country Girl (memoirs)

Running barefoot in the morning grass, the freshly-cut blades sticking to your feet.  Mom won’t let you back into the house until you’ve sprayed your feet with the water hose but, even after the grass is all gone, the bottoms of them stay green for a full day.

Spending most of your afternoon standing in the cool shade of the old oak tree, unable to take your eyes away from the tiny little green frog that’s been clinging to the bark. (You name him Phil.)

Continue reading “When You’re a Country Girl (memoirs)”

faith, Family, Holidays

An unexpectedly blessed Christmas

I approached the Christmas season with a healthy amount of dread, as I have previously wrote about in this post.  I planned on avoiding all family gatherings and had a great excuse because of the hours I was working the fact that I would need any time off to rest.  But, as it often happens, things change.   Continue reading “An unexpectedly blessed Christmas”

About me

1 year

It’s been a year, Kyle, since I kissed you on the head for the last time and watched as you drifted into a peaceful death.  I know that you’re finally free from pain but a year later, I’m definitely not.  Our family isn’t the same without you, buddy, and I’d give anything to have you back.  I know I can’t, though, so I have to deal with the pain and trudge on.  You were the most wonderful companion and I hope I did right by you.  I hope you knew I loved you right until your very last breath.  I’m sorry I didn’t know how sick you were sooner.  A year later, I realize that I was in denial.  I refused to accept that my Kyle, my baby boy, my shadow for the past 13 years wasn’t doing well.  In the end, I know that we couldn’t have stopped the cancer and that it was your time to leave me but it doesn’t make the hurting any less acute.  I’ve shed many tears, and I’ll shed many more in the years to come because you’re gone.

21Dec (44)

05Jan (9)

Kyle vs toy 008

Kyle1

 

 

About me, Holidays, Home, Reflection

What happened to the magic?

A few weeks ago, I was excited about the upcoming holiday season.  With a new job in a company that is heavily focused on the holidays, I thought this year would be different.  The last few years, I have preferred for December to just skip by and leave me be.  Due to family issues, Christmas wasn’t joyous or even fun; it was simply uncomfortable.  This year, though, I decried my negativity of Christmas pasts and decided to jump in feet first.  I remembered the magic of the holiday season and I wanted it back.  I burned a CD of Bing Crosby Christmas music (because hello?  He OWNS Christmas) and happily tossed it into the player of my car.  I was greatly looking forward to the grand displays of lights that I would easily see since I drive home from work in the dark now.

About five days after my exuberant start to the Christmas season, it started to wane.  I realized that my heart wasn’t in it like I thought it would be.  I wasn’t listening to the Christmas music and paying attention to anything on my drive home besides watching out for drunk drivers.  Tonight, we watched A Christmas Story  (favorite holiday movie ever) and took Roxie for a walk at 2am and I noticed that there weren’t any Christmas lights twinkling in windows or lit trees glowing against the backdrop of gossamer curtains.  And then it made me wonder – where is Christmas this year?

I remember Christmases as a child. From the time I was 8 until age 13, the majority of my holiday seasons were spent inside my parents’ jewelry store.  I remember the Santa’s village that my dad built out of wood and decorated to put in the window.  I remember Mom playing Bing Crosby on the stereo and going to stand out in the street so that I could hear “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” blaring through the outside speakers as I watched the residents of the town bustle by on the sidewalk.  Mom’s big, gorgeous Christmas tree that stood in one corner of the store, beautifully decorated.  The scent of cinnamon candles.  The sound of the polisher as Dad finished sizing a ring that would end up on some lucky woman’s finger on Christmas morning. The sound of crisp wrapping paper being torn from the roll.  My brother and I watching the little mouse that peeked out of the pockets of the advent calendar that hung in our mom’s office, our eyes heavily focused on the number “24” because we knew that was when the magic really happened.

During that same time, we lived in the country outside a tiny town with nothing but a Revco and a grocery store for shopping.  Anytime we needed anything, we had to head to New Albany or Jeffersonville or even Louisville.  I distinctly remember bundling up in my winter coat and climbing into the backseat our Chevy Celebrity for a trip to Service Merchandise or Target or, if we were really lucky, a trip to the mall to go Christmas shopping.  Afterwards, we would wind our way up Floyds Knobs to look at all the Christmas lights and stare out over the twinkling lights of the Louisville metro area. My teeth would chatter with excitement.

And then, Christmas Eve would come and the jewelry store would close in time for us to pile into the car and head to Corydon, where we would gather with my Dad’s family.  “Santa” would always visit, wearing the same threadbare suit my father had originally purchased in the 1960s.  Every year, it was toted out by an uncle or a cousin and we all got a present from his bag.  Every year, the suit looked a little worse.  The material was starting to unravel, the beard nothing but a few spindly threads of white fuzz.  Then, once we’d had our fill of holiday cheer in the form of my dad’s odd family, we’d climb back into the car and make the hour drive home.  By then, it was late.  My brother and I usually slept on the way and went to bed as soon as we got home, but we rarely slept on Christmas Eve.  We always camped out in my bedroom and would force ourselves to get two or three hours of sleep at most, then wake up at 5am and stare at the clock until 6, which was the designated time that we were allowed to wake up Mom and Dad and then dive into the living room to see what Santa brought us.  There was always evidence of Santa, too.  Half-eaten cookies.  A sooty boot print left in front of the fireplace.

So many memories.  So much magic.  

I started this post wanting to know what happened to all that magic but I think, over the course of writing this, that I found it.  It’s not gone.  I haven’t lost it at all.  It’s simply not the same as it used to be, but it’s there.  And in my memories, I find that the magic is still as strong as ever.