What of the Past?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited.”  Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood?

10455917_10204558174699331_3410357358904183577_n On my 50th birthday my daughter sent me a card that said, “Congratulations, you are now half a century old!”  (Gotta love that girl)  In response, my next thought, “I’ve lived longer than I have left to live,” resonated within my mind.  This thought came as a surprise and a shock!  I pictured an upturned hour glass, its contents dwindling to the bottom.  Try as I may, I could not flip the glass, so each sand particle sifted its way to lay where it may, proclaiming “The past is the past.”

Therefore, in answer to the proposed question,  I have to reply as the fifty year old woman I am today.  I’m sure my response as a twenty something would have been quite different.

Then I would have traded the old house, of peeling paint, for a brand new, brick model.

My Mom and Dad would be diplomats, CEO’s, doctors and lawyers, anything but  factory workers in a textile mill.

There would be plenty of money to secure my happiness and open the doors to glorious opportunities.

Thank God, through the years, I’ve matured and no longer see the world through the same pair of lenses.

After all,  I  have plodded 601 months, including  12 leap years for a grand total of  18,296 days.  The numerous years, months and days have taught me to be thankful for my past, good and bad.

I now realize, the old house was a home that, not only, kept me safe and warm, but also enveloped the unconditional love of wonderful mother.

The textile mills provided a means for food on the table and clothes on the back.  I learned to be thankful for the provisions.  It also taught me  compassion for those less fortunate and that it, truly  is better to give than receive.

As a child I stuttered profusely.  The shame and frustration I felt  taught me to never give up.  I have a voice and that voice should be heard.  Desiring to be heard has also taught me to listen to others because their voice, though different from mine, is just as important and should be celebrated as such.

My childhood is gone.   It is forever written within the annuals of history.

Our past is the past but know this, it is never silent.  It loudly proclaims many a lesson.  They who have ears let them hear.

Our past, good or bad, is not a curse but a blessing that leads to truth, and there is much freedom in truth.

What of the past?  I would not change it.  It has made me the person I am today.  And 50 years later, I kind of love that person…finally.

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Broken Rail/Broken Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Broken.”

For this challenge, capture something broken: an old window, a vintage sign, a toy never fixed, a contemplative friend. Or go deeper: find beauty in something broken.

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I captured this photo of a broken rail after it captured me!

I’m a runner.  Sometimes I’m pretty good at it but most of the time it kicks my ass, and this was one of those ass-kicking days.

It seemed to be a normal run because I had, once again, forgotten my inhaler, forgotten my sunscreen and forgotten my five minute, warm-up, walk.  Unfortunately all of this forgetfulness gave louder voice to the lies of the first mile, that every runner experiences:  “I can’t breath,  my skin is on fire, my legs are killing me, my feet are made of lead, I am going to die and I have to pee.”

My intentions were to run thirty minutes from my door and then take an about face and run the distance back.  So off I went hitting the pavement one foot at a time and didn’t stop until I came upon and old abandoned railway.

Intrigued, I changed course from pavement to trail in order to explore this new find.   The way was quite ragged so it wasn’t long before I stumbled over a rock and skinned my knee.  I stood up, blood running down my leg, and ga521739_10201260434657891_1619077758_nzed at the broken rail.

It was beautiful.

Cell phone in hand, I captured the brokenness that had broken me.  I was a warrior and I had the scar to prove it.

Enveloped In Love

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enveloped.”

When I think of the word enveloped, one thing comes to mind, love.  Could you possibly be surrounded by anything better?

I treasure the love of God that envelops me, always.  Corinne, the love of my life, envelopes me with love…and I am blessed.  Unconditional love  is given, without question, from our beloved pets.

And so it is with these thoughts, I took a walk through pictures of memories past.  These are my photos that convey enveloped.

Kisses

Maggie giving kisses to Corinne.

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Morris enveloping me in his arms as well as his snores.

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Luna enveloping me in her trust.

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Danica enveloped within a reflection.

Me my girls and the beach

Me enveloping my girls with a hug full of love.

The Road To Chimney Rock

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”

chimney-rock-north-carolinaWhen I perchance to dream I often think of my childhood days spent within the Appalachian mountains.  Many a day was spent in the backseat of my brother’s red 442.  With Larry at the wheel and Vicki beside him, we traveled  a many mountain road.  This poem is about the excitement I felt upon one of those roads:

The Road to Chimney Rock

I remember the road of asphalt and tar,

As girl, I looked from the back seat of a car.

A snaky creature it seemed to be,

Weaving its girth around many  a tree.

Through Appalachia it coiled its way,

Up mountains then down where valleys lay.

The little car would sputter and spit,

But it was determined and would not quit.

Each hairpin curve held promise for me,

A mystery, for sure,

this red head to see.

lec101Maybe a Cherokee with bow and quiver,

Drinking the fruit of a mountain river?

Bear1

Or maybe a bear, with cubs of two,

Searching for nuts and berries of blue?

It could be a goat chewing his cud,

There by the laurel beginning to bud?

Perhaps a tunnel deep and dark,

Grim and cold, desolate and stark?

En06-Lumsdale-Waterfall-and-full-spectrum-rainbowLet’s not forget the waterfall too,

Its prisms mirrored in morning’s dew.

And rocky crags on mountains sit,

That plummet into a bottomless pit!

Then it is there for my eyes to behold,

A massif pillar, ancient rock of old.

Into the heavens so high it arose,

I saw through, binoculars atop my nose.

A smokestack it seemed, American flag on top,

This road had led to Chimney Rock.85d03d549c028f35003a4d619c75817a

Now, as a women, I ponder that day,

With fondness of heart, within me lay.

My future, my roads, my paths, my lot,

Enchanted, to be as the road to Chimney Rock.

The Mad Hatter!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Green-Eyed Monster.”

the_mad_hatter_by_isabellewallgren-d525r5rI couldn’t really pull a green-eyed-monster out of the hat this morning so I decided to throw caution to wind and free write for 20 minutes.

And away we go!  Twenty minutes here I come.  I will eat you up like a ice cream cone in the summer.  I’m sure I’ll devour you so fast I’ll have the biggest brain freeze this side of the North Pole.

So what to write?  Hell if I know and besides that’s not the point.  It doesn’t matter a hoot and a holler what the damn words scream from the page.  No.  The point with exercise is just to write like a mad woman.  I think I could be a damn good mad women.  Heck I’d probably even win an Academy Award, because in truth I’m already half way there…to madness, I mean.  The mad-hatter has nothing on me!

Oh damn…there goes my phone.  The question is:  should I continue this pointless exercise or answer the phone.  Oh well…problem solved.  By the time it took me to write that last sentence my phone began to sleep as quiet as a baby.  Thank God….this is an exercise of thoughtlessness.  No smarts required to fill a page with ink letters.  Crap if I were so inclined I could just hold down one key for 2o minutes.  For instance…lets say my left pinkie suddenly put on tons and weight and for the life of itself it fell and couldn’t get up.  His/Her fall would look something like this: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Well there you have it.  It doesn’t pay to gain weight too fast, because if you do you’ll get stuck in a rut just like the little “a” above.  I should have seen that one coming.  I’ve been stuck in rut for a while (about 2 years now) Been gaining weight on a steady basis since the death of my mom.  I know….I know…it sounds as if I’m using that as a crutch!  BUT it’s the God honest truth.  Before her death I was on a downward spiral but in a good way.  I was loosing weight and training to run in a 1/2 marathon and then it happened, she died.  I felt as if something inside of me went with her into that casket.  I remember when they started tucking the cloth inside the rim of the casket and I knew what was next.  They would shut my mom in a box of darkness.  I couldn’t help it…I cried and had to turn away because I just couldn’t watch them do it.  I must have looked too long because some of  me is still trapped in that darkness.  Like a blind person it is pressing it’s hands against the walls and trying it’s best to escape.

My 20 minutes are up.

Going to answer the phone.

20 Days of Writing 101: Day 1

20 days of writing inspiration…each day offers a new prompt and a special twist.

Day 1:   Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write. Keep typing (or scribbling, if you prefer to hand-write for this exercise) until your twenty minutes are up. 

the_mad_hatter_by_isabellewallgren-d525r5rAnd away we go!  Twenty minutes here I come.  I will eat you up like a ice cream cone in the summer.  I’m sure I’ll devour you so fast I’ll have the biggest brain freeze this side of the North Pole.

So what to write?  Hell if I know and besides that’s not the point.  It doesn’t matter a hoot and a holler what the damn words scream from the page.  No.  The point with exercise is just to write like a mad woman.  I think I could be a damn good mad women.  Heck I’d probably even win an Academy Award, because in truth I’m already half way there…to madness, I mean.  The mad-hatter has nothing on me!

Oh damn…there goes my phone.  The question is:  should I continue this pointless exercise or answer the phone.  Oh well…problem solved.  By the time it took me to write that last sentence my phone began to sleep as quiet as a baby.  Thank God….this is an exercise of thoughtlessness.  No smarts required to fill a page with ink letters.  Crap if I were so inclined I could just hold down one key for 2o minutes.  For instance…lets say my left pinkie suddenly put on tons and weight and for the life of itself it fell and couldn’t get up.  His/Her fall would look something like this: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Well there you have it.  It doesn’t pay to gain weight too fast, because if you do you’ll get stuck in a rut just like the little “a” above.  I should have seen that one coming.  I’ve been stuck in rut for a while (about 2 years now) Been gaining weight on a steady basis since the death of my mom.  I know….I know…it sounds as if I’m using that as a crutch!  BUT it’s the God honest truth.  Before her death I was on a downward spiral but in a good way.  I was loosing weight and training to run in a 1/2 marathon and then it happened, she died.  I felt as if something inside of me went with her into that casket.  I remember when they started tucking the cloth inside the rim of the casket and I knew what was next.  They would shut my mom in a box of darkness.  I couldn’t help it…I cried and had to turn away because I just couldn’t watch them do it.  I must have looked too long because some of  me is still trapped in that darkness.  Like a blind person it is pressing it’s hands against the walls and trying it’s best to escape.

My 20 minutes are up.

Going to answer the phone.

Now That’s What I Call “Styling”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man.”

Question:  How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

country-girl-21307767Without clothes where would I be?   I guess I would be hanging my hat at my residence in a nudest colony.  (Is it against the rules to wear a hat there?) Hey, anything’s possible, and you have to admit it could be downright interesting.  I wouldn’t have to spend money on clothes but  I wonder  how many cases of sunscreen would it take to keep my lilly-white fanny from blistering.  Being Scotch-Irish I would do well, indeed, to slather myself from head to toe and not just me arse!  Therefore, to answer the first question, clothes are important  because I don’t relish the idea of modeling various degrees and shades of skin cancer.  That’s one run-way I’d truly like to avoid.

If you haven’t already guessed just let me make it clear I’m definitely not a clothes whore, far from it.  I grew up relatively poor.  My mom was a single mom who worked very hard to keep us fed and clothed, and she did a damn fine job.  I always had something to put in my belly and I never had to walk barefoot in the snow as claimed by many a old timer.  Neither were my under drawers sown from burlap flour sacks.  They were made from the cotton that grew in the fields close by.  So when I claim to growing up poor I’m definitely not painting a picture of bloated bellies and rundown shacks.

The scenery of my childhood was more to the liking of pinto beans and cornbread,  fires from a wood stove and paper bags of hand-me-downs  from siblings, cousins and friends.  The red haired, pony-tailed girl I use to be enjoyed seeing each one of those grocery bags of used clothes.  country-girl-cayla-samano

Times have changed.  The pony-tailed girl now lives in a 50 year old body.  I purchase jeans and tees from Kohls ,  enjoy steaks from Texas Roadhouse, drive a truck I adore, feed not only myself but also a wife, two dogs, two cats and anyone who happens to walk through the front (or back) door at supper time.   Indeed my social and economic status has improved but I can honestly say I’m still a simple country girl who is tickled pink to wear faded Levis, “Walking Dead” tee-shirts and a good pair of Asics for my feet.  Now that’s what I call styling!

School House Rock Was All I Needed

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Land of Confusion.”

Okay folks, here’s the question:  Which subject in school did you find impossible to master? Did math give you hives? Did English make you scream? Do tell!

'My digital revolution was when I learned to count on all ten fingers.'
‘My digital revolution was when I learned to count on all ten fingers.’

Math never gave me hives but I can say it taught me how to count on my fingers.  It’s amazing how well they go together–math and fingers.  They’re sort of like Bonnie and Clyde minus the muscle car. (Notice the math terminology)

I will say each one of my ten  go to the “gym” on a regular basis, especially around April 15th. They tackle those damn tax forms like a NFL player on speed.  In fact they exert so much energy, that if possible, each phalange would have its very own sexy six pack.  Hmmmm…maybe I should teach math to my belly…

English never made me scream. Actually it had quite the opposite affect, it made me sleep like a baby. The “I’s” before the “E’s” except after the “C’s”…  Little ditties of this nature only served to produce  a massive network of cobwebs within my mind.  I liked to think of it as my zombie brain.  I literally felt like the walking (sitting) dead.  The only thing that even attempted to cure this plight was laying my red head on the desk and sleeping it off.  For some reason none of my teachers understood and often became quite irritated when I did this.

I’m afraid, as a child,  English was dead to me.  It stayed that way for longest time until one Saturday morning I turned on the television and was introduced to a school called House of Rock.  I sat dumbfounded iSchool_House_Rock!n front of the screen and all I could think was, “Oh my God…so this is what the wind-bags were trying to tell me….”

After that awakening I became a diligent student.  Not only did l learn of nouns, verbs, and conjunctions but also of The Declaration of Independence, The American Revolution, The Boston Tea Party, Immigration in America, and how bills become laws with the classic, “I’m just a Bill.”  (Hmmmm…is it just me or does anyone else think Congress could benefit from that last one?)  The plethora of information was almost limitless and it’s presentation was fabulous.  Everything I needed to know to be successful I learned from Saturday morning TV.  School House Rock was all I needed.

(Of course this was written, tongue-in-cheek.  I had some of the best teachers in the world…they weren’t wind-bags at all)

Hope Challenge Update

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The Challenge Continues:  

Even though I have not recorded each day after day five I have been diligent to continue the challenge.  Each day I have asked God for something, I have tried to do something fun, I have sought to be a blessing to someone every day, and I have earnestly tried to be thankful for at least one thing everyday.  I can’t say I have been perfect  because I have let depression steal my hope and joy on a few days during this challenge.  That’s okay…that is life.  When life knocks you down (or depression, or discouragement, or sickness or any other burden) you get back up and try…try again.  Somehow and someway God comes through and gives us the strength we need.  Keep the Faith and Keep your Hope in God! 

So, I thought I would go back over the five days I’ve recorded and do a quick update as to what has transpired and how or if God has answered my prayers.  Here we go:

1.  Day one:  I asked God to comfort Corinne’s elderly dad who had fallen and possibly broken a hip.

 Update: Mr Replogle’s hip is not broken, therefore he will not need surgery.  However, he is in extreme pain as he goes through physical therapy.  Also the insurance is threatening to stop payments for the PT if he doesn’t improve soon.  He’s 94 years old so this is not an easy task..

2.  Day two: I asked God to give us good news and to help us get the loan for our house so we could be reunited.

Update:  We did indeed receive good news.  Everything is still in the works and moving along; however it’s not                 moving as fast as I would like it too.  God’s timing is perfect and so in that I rest and know that He is in control.  (close date tentatively May 22)

3.  Day three:  I asked God to be with all those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.  I prayed for peace and I prayed that the world would step forth in love to help.

Update:    Almost 8,000 lives were lost and over 16,000 injured.  The devastation is horrific and heart breaking to say the least.  Many countries have come together to send much needed aid. Just to name a few:  United States, India , Israel, Pakistan, China. Germany, Japan, Singapore and the list continues… Major companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kellogg, Toyota, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and UPS have sent much needed funds.  Even communication companies such as:     Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Vodafone, and Time Warner Cable have waived all fees for calls to Nepal.  Of course many non profit companies have had a major role in providing relief as well.  If you would like to contribute I suggest sending your donations to one of the following:

Save The Children/www.savethechildren.org;

Sumaritans Purse- www.samaritanspurse.org                                                                                                                      

Unrefugees- www.unrefugees.org/about-us

Red Cross-  RedCross.org                                                                                                                                                     

Joyce Meyer Ministries-  www.joycemeyer.org/HandOfHope

4.  Day four:  A prayer of blessing and opportunity for Josh.

Update: Still waiting expectantly.  I know God is working.

5.  Day five:  Asked and answered the same day.  (See Hope Challenge Blog/Day 5)

Once Upon a Time in a Graveyard Past

65092_10205389386799114_9196551487969920902_nIn response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Forces of Nature.”

I am a runner.  I’m not a great runner.  I’m certainly not a fast runner, but I do run so that makes me a runner. It has taken quite a while for this to resonate in my psyche.  A slow process of evolution has given me the freedom to proclaim myself a runner. Also it is easier to lay aside self judgments of “You’re too fat”, “You’re too slow”, and “You look ridiculous.”  (If any of this sounds familiar I encourage you to read, “No Need for Speed” by John Bingham.)

After a really good run I love a really slow walk just to take in the scenery, the sounds and the smells surrounding me.  It was during one of these walks I found myself meandering around the gravestones of people who had long since passed from this life to the next. I wondered who they were and what kind of lives they had led.  10659439_10205389380918967_7411403253841000841_n

What would these, the dead beneath my feet, say if given a chance. It was quite spiritual and most melancholy.   And so it was with these thoughts roaming my mind, I took the camera captured these moments in time.  I like to call them, Once Upon A Time In A Graveyard Past.