#memories

A THREE HOUR LOG

The first night was to prove to us there were special times ahead

When we lit a 3 hour log in our fireplace before we went to bed.

 

We all slept soundly comforted by our dreams, not much tossing…not much turning

And we awoke to find that 3 hour log, in the fireplace, still burning.

 

Have you ever wondered what makes a host of little memories join together to form a whole?

What etches them into our heart…what imprints them on our soul?

 

Our family members from all over…filling up their cars…going for a ride

meeting at a state park where we rented two cabins side by side.

 

An owl was there to greet us, Nana’s chocolate chip cookies, a riddle book…

Playing football between the palm trees, lasagna that took all night to cook.

 

Sitting outdoors by a campfire, walking a boardwalk under a star lit sky…

Listening to birds sing in the darkness…shining a flashlight on alligators eyes.

 

Sharing a cabin with two grandchildren…hoping they would not hear me snore…

Playing Pictionary together…on the cabin’s wooden but sandy floor.

 

To guarantee you have a host of happy memories there is only one sure fire plan…

You get together often…and make as many as you can.

 

Waking up early, heading back to the boardwalk in the coolness of an Autumn breeze

Seeing the birds we only heard last night as the sun peeked over the trees.

 

Wherever we looked…all around us…birds of every size and color could be found…

Cranes and kingfishers and herons…eagles in the sky and on the ground.

 

Hiking through the woods…losing track of the time of day

Walking on the tree tops across a bridge that bounced and swayed.

 

Memories that hopefully will remain forever within our brains

A hammock nestled between two trees…grilling in the rain.

 

Card tricks, playing poker and Uno as outside began to flood

Sitting on the porch and watching children playing in the mud.

 

Home-made chili with rice and macaroni served up on a rainy night…

An inside campfire, eating s’mores…with marshmallows cooked just right.

 

Ending the evening playing Reverse Charades as socks by the fireplace dried…

Playing together as a family and laughing until we cried….

 

Yes, coming together and making memories is what life is all about…

 

And if we’re lucky, like that 3 hour log…some memories will never burn out.


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OLD FENCE

I love old fences…they remind me of an era…

an age that was simple and slow.

They are rustic, pastoral…picturesque…

and harken to a time long ago.

 

They span generations…they are a link to our past…

In the present…they can still be our guide…

and when we climb them we gaze into our future…

waiting for us…on the other side.

 

It’s easy to tell by their crudeness…

They were built with a few tools…all by hand.

You can find them all over the countryside

they add beauty and texture to the land.

 

They were valuable to the farmers

They controlled livestock while allowing the wind in to air condition the trees.

They were places to sit and talk with your neighbor

to exchange ideas…or just shoot the breeze.

 

Old fences remind me of dreams that I’ve had.

Dreams built in another time…long gone by…

Perhaps they have weathered a little over the years

But they’re still standing today…as am I.

 

We need old fences in our life…

as mementos of the dreams we’ve amassed…

to remind us as we look to our future

 

It’s still wonderful to remember our past…


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ROCKEWR ON THE PORCH

It’s just a weathered old rocker sitting on our porch…

It looks a lot like all the other ones to me.

But this one is a little bit different…for it has a history.

 

This rocker sat on Deborah’t Great Grandmother’s porch…

and I think it would be fair…

To say of all her furniture…this was her favorite chair.

 

This rocker began in a simpler time…

when people still sat and enjoyed the night…

Before television…cell phones and I-Pads…

when all photographs were black and white.

 

This rocker passed from Deborah’s Great Grandmother

to her parents…and it always made them smile…

to sit and remember the good old days…

and now it’s Deborah’s for a while.

 

How many starry nights has this old rocker seen…

and the older that it gets

how many rainbows will it gaze on…

how many sunrises…how many sunsets?

 

I wonder how many people have sat in this old rocker?

By now, it’s hard to tell…

how many people she has welcomed in…

and asked to sit a spell.

 

It’s old and a little weathered…from the heat the cold…the sun…

but her history is not quite over yet…

 

there’s still a lot more rocking to be done.


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WHITE SPOT ON MY SHOE

We painted the kitchen cabinets recently…after 30 years it was long overdue…

And I noticed when we finished painting…a white spot on my shoe.

 

We never know when a memory will call on us…when it will linger with us a while… 

when it will find it’s way from whence it lives..to make us stop…and smile.

 

Our house is filled with many items…which we usually walk by unaware…

but every now and then we’re visited…by the memories lodging there.

 

A drawing completed by my dad…when he was just a boy

A recipe written in Deborah’s mom’s hand…that to this day fills her heart with joy.

 

A counter cross stitch hanging on the wall…A picture…a photograph

A Scattegories game that still reminds us…how Deborah’s dad used to make us laugh.

 

A growth chart filled with grandchildren’s heights…A walking stick… A teddy bear,

and we cannot sit around a campfire…without memories filling the air.

 

A spot of paint from our kitchen project…as we tried to change its hue… 

that escaped from the brush as I painted…and landed on my shoe.

 

A spot of paint that had no idea…what it would come to mean to me…

A spot of paint dropped from my brush…that would paint a memory.

 

A spot of paint that may cause other people…when they see me walk by…to stare

 

but because I understand it’s meaning…a spot of paint I’m leaving there.


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ON AN OVERGROWNPATH

We were walking in the woods one morning as we are won't to do

Feeling a gentle breeze upon our faces…kissed by the morning dew…

 

We were following our normal trail…ambling along with ease

When he happened onto an overgrown path leading through the trees.

 

A path we quickly followed…brushing away low branches…shuffling through the weeds…

Because sometimes you need to take a path…not knowing where it leads.

 

We had walked a little distance enjoying our early morning stroll

When up ahead a lone old lady was stopped upon a knoll.

 

Her eyes were closed, she was smiling…I don’t think she noticed us al all

as she seemed totally engrossed in the emerging colors of the fall.

 

When she saw us both she smiled, put her hands upon her hips

then waved us over,…but as we approached she put a finger to her lips.

 

“Close your eyes.” She whispered as we joined her on the knoll…

“Some sounds you can only hear,” she said…”when you open up your soul.”

 

“Now open your eyes and take this in…all of nature’s art.”

“Some sights you can only see” she said…”when you open up you're heart.”

 

“My husband and I used to walk this path…some of these trees were seeds we’d sown…

And now, to keep his memory alive…I walk this path alone…”

 

Sometimes I need to walk in the sunshine…I need to listen to the birds

I need to walk with only my memories…in silence…without words….”

 

“Because my heart needs the trees as companions, needs to walk under the sky

It is then I feel he’s walking with me as he did in years gone by.”

 

We were glad we took this path…glad we shared her laughter and her tears

And we left her as we found her…awash in her yesteryears.

 

As for us…we didn’t want to disturb her any more…so we marched on straight ahead

 

feeling blessed we took this path today…and amazed at where it led.


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THE THINGS WE LEAVE BEHIND

Life is a series of transitions …it’s part of humankind…

that as we move ahead with life…some things we leave behind….

 

We leave behind our crawling…when we first learn to walk.

We leave behind our babbling…when we first learn to talk.

 

We don’t walk as much as we used too…when we learn how to drive

It seems we leave behind our childhood…when our teenage years arrive…

 

Then soon…before we know it…we turn around …we’re fully grown

it’s time to leave our parents…and head out on our own…

 

New friends, new apartments, new jobs…life is changing…redefined…

and we’re saddened as we move on…for all the things we leave behind…

 

But crawling, walking, talking…parents….have not gone very far.

Can we really leave behind the things…that made us who we are?

 

Friends, jobs, apartments, homes…everything is intertwined

for though we may move away… 

move on…

they’re never far behind. 

 

Because we are blessed…we humans…as in this life we climb…

for the things we thought we left behind…are with us all the time.

 

They can be found within our memories…anytime and anywhere…

If you want proof just close your eyes…and smile…

 

they will be waiting there…


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OUR OLD THRIFT STORE TABLE

Deborah found it in a thrift store…in the back, next to the wall.

When she happened upon it that day…she was immediately enthralled.

 

A wooden dining room table…solid oak…round with four claw feet…

and a red tab taped across its top showing a price that couldn’t be beat.

 

When I finally made it back to her…I joined with her in making a fuss…

“It’s a little old and beat up.” Deborah said, 

And I smiled…“In a way…it’s just like us.”

 

It had some nicks and bruises and its base was cracked in at least two places…

but we brought it home, we cleaned it up and added a few braces.

 

The thrift store gave us 4 chairs…free!…completing our new old dining room set

and for years around that table is where our friends and family met….

 

for birthdays, parties, dinners, oftentimes just Deborah and me…

It’s hard to put into words how important that old table came to be.

 

Yesterday our old thrift store table was feeling the effects of age…when…

try as we might, after our family left, we couldn’t push its two sides together again.

 

In an attempt to fix it…we tipped it over…but halfway through the flip

we heard a crack…then another crack…as its braces lost their grip.

 

Suddenly after supporting us for so long…it could take the weight no more

and that table, with it’s years of conversations, tumbled to the floor.

 

We have a friend, a carpenter…at least a carpenter every now and then…

who we’re hoping can work some magic and put our table together again.

 

Why you might ask?  

Why not get a new table now that the old one can no longer stand…

Perhaps you have to reach a certain age before you understand…

 

how even old and a little beat up…over that table we can still make a fuss…

and we’d like her to be around for a little while longer…

 

as I said before…just like us.


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TWO OLD COOKIE SHEETS

We never know where our thoughts will lead us 

down which lane our memories will be stirred.

Sometimes it’s a photo, a smell, a taste…

sometimes a song…sometimes a word.

 

Yesterday my memory was piqued…

which caused my heart to skip a beat,

when, as part of cleaning the dishes, 

I was drying our two old cookie sheets.

 

Just by looking at these cookie sheets it’s quite easy to deduce

by the marks of age that cover them…they have seen a lot of use…

 

I smiled when I thought about how Deborah and these cookie sheets endear…

and I stopped to wonder how many cookies they have baked in 30 years.

 

She’s baked for family…for friends…

for years her cookie batter’s flowed…

and all the time these two cookie sheets have shouldered all the load.

 

She’s baked for our children and now our grandchildren.

cookies…delicious, warm and sweet

and long ago these two metal trays became much more than cookie sheets…

 

For they have grown old along with us.

They’ve seen us through laughter…and through tears

and it is my hope they will be baking cookies

for another 30 years…

 

Yes, I love never knowing where my thoughts may lead me…

down which memory lane…or boulevard…or street…

and I’m glad they chose to pause today

 

on these two old cookie sheets.


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MEMORIES: BY DA VINCI & MONET

I love da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, I love to linger with her awhile

enjoying the beauty in her face, the elusiveness of her smile. 

 

And from the first time I laid eyes on them I’ve loved the paintings of Monet.

I love the subjects, love the impressions, love the way the colors interplay.

 

I’ve often wondered as we go through life…if this is how memory unveils:

Initially brushed upon our minds like a da Vinci…in detail.

 

Then over time those fine details seem to blend a little everyday

until, as we grow older, we remember in Monet.

 

When we first make a memory…we remember it exactly as it appears

but slowly, imperceptibly, those details become less clear.

 

And the more experiences we add…the more new memories we overlay

before we know it our detailed da Vinci seems to look more like Monet.

 

But through the the wonder of our memory as these two painting styles converge

from within the impressions of our past…old details will emerge.

 

And we remember certain facts as if they happened yesterday

until they blend back to impression and gently fade away.

 

Perhaps it is this blending of the two that makes our memories last

and we are meant to find some small details in our impressions of the past.

 

Perhaps this is the essence of how we’re designed to see

Perhaps this is the nature of art…

and the beauty of memory.

 

 

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