#memories

OLD SHOES

Her old shoes were showing signs of age…for so many years they had been worn.

that dirt had gathered ‘round the edges..and the toe of one was torn…

 

So she bought herself an new pair…but she hasn’t worn them yet

It seems the old ones were still full of memories she wasn’t ready to forget.

 

But the time has come…she knows it…and she knows the reason why…

Time to start some new adventures….time to say goodbye.

 

She gazed down at her new shoes…then her old shoes…and thought of all the moments in between…

of all the places these old shoes had taken her…of all the things that they had seen.

 

She thought how they’re like old friends…how they’ve earned a place in her affection

and how like old friends she has learned…to look past their flaws and imperfections.

 

She sighed knowing one pair marks the end of a journey…the other…where one begins.

When suddenly…she had a thought…and could not help but grin.

 

Perhaps they have one memory left…one more walk…on more run…one more climb

 

Then she slipped into her old shoes and laced them up for the last time.

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HOW DO YOU PAINT A MEMORY

It was a ‘learn to water color’ class Deborah signed up for without restraint

and she already had in mind the picture she would to paint.

 

It was our cabin in the mountains…the one nestled in the trees 

where we sit on the porch together…where we catch the summer breeze.

 

The cabin where we’ve spent those summers with our children for over 30 years

where we’ve shared so many moments…shared our laughter, shared our tears…

 

I knew she could paint the cabin, add bright colors to the trees,

but how, I asked her, is it possible to paint in our memories?

 

“That would be impossible,” she said, “I won’t ever try.

I’ll be content with painting the cabin, the ground, the trees…the sky.”

 

But she was wrong…for when her painting was completed…

the more and more I peered…

there on the canvas before me…a host of memories appeared.

 

Each time I look at her painting of our cabin…of the stairs, the trees…the door

I quickly realize I’m not just seeing the cabin…I'm seeing so much more.

 

I see Deborah’s parents on those stairs…

I see our children, our grandchildren…I see a painting that is rife

with friends and family and a myriad of memories that bring her painting to life.

 

Perhaps that’s what a painting is supposed to do…

urge us to see not only with our eyes but with our heart…

Perhaps that is not only the beauty of this painting

 

perhaps that’s the beauty of art.


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DO YOU REMEMBER?

Have you ever noticed when you get together with friends and family

no matter where you’re at…

many conversations begin with ‘Do you remember this?’

or start out ‘Do you remember that?’

 

One person says do you remember the time…

as a smile crosses his or her face…

and you find yourself transported with them

back to that same time and same place.

 

How you all have your own version of what happened…

your own chronology….

for even though you all saw the same thing

you all remember it a little differently.

 

And each of you shares what you saw…how you felt

the way you perceived it to be…

and though you think you saw it correctly

others, who were there, disagree.

 

And you laugh as you remember that moment

for you are happily aware

how lucky you all are to have that particular moment

a particular moment you all can share…

 

And you think as you listen to more ‘Do You Remembers…

watching the smiles as people recap…

how lucky you are to have family and friends

 

whose ‘Do you remembers’ all overlap.


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MOMENTS LIKE THESE

Memories are made in moments and nothing can compare

with the moments friends and family make…with moment that we share…

 

We treat these moments thoughtfully…knowing times like these are few.

We plan activities we all enjoy…fun and interesting things to do…

 

We feed bison and watusi….both the old ones and their young.

We happily hold the pellets in our hand while they lick us with their tongues…

 

On this huge rock in a running stream we slide down together…our hands clasped…

knowing the cold water, when we hit the bottom, we’ll surely make us gasp…

 

And we do gasp but as our bodies shiver…we smile at each other…and then…

we walk back up to the top of that rock..and we all slide down again.

 

We take up two tables at a restaurant…for it’s not an easy feat…

finding a place where Deborah and I can eat our vegetables

while the rest of the family eats meat.

 

For you see we are just as happy inside as we are in the great outdoors…

just as happy playing games around the table 

as we are around a campfire making s’mores…

 

And how I love our planned activities…but I’m also a great fan

of those wonderful unscripted moments…the ones we did not plan.

 

Like sharing a quiet moment with my granddaughter…for I also feel blessed…

just sitting on a couch in an old bookstore where we stopped to take a rest

 

Yes…how I love all these moments we share together…

because in life’s endless marathon

I fell lucky to be a part of a moment…any moment with my family and friends

 

before that moment’ s gone…


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WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND

Her room was filled with a mixture of her family and friends…

Each one came to be with her…as her life was coming to an end…

 

Each person closed their eyes for a moment…once her soul had been set free.

Each person silently thinking…what this woman meant to me…

 

A scene that plays out every second around the world…when someone loved departs

There was a tear in every eye…but happiness in our hearts.

 

I was gathered with them…and though no-one spoke I was aware

How even in the silence of that room…their thoughts floated in the air…

 

She taught me how to laugh… 

She taught me hot how to cry

She taught me how to walk…

She taught me how to fly

 

She taught me about compassion…

She taught me how to swear…

She taught me about acceptance

She taught me how to share…

 

And my thoughts joined with the others…

She taught me how to live…

She taught me how to love…

She taught me to forgive…

 

And I couldn’t help thinking standing there…knowing she was finally gone…

How she may never be here with us again…but what she taught us all lives on.

 

And how it really does matter how we live our life…

as part of man and womankind…

because the way we live our life each day

 

is what we leave behind.


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THE GOOD OLD DAYS

I’ve heard it said if you live in the past

the less future you have to enjoy…

yet, sometimes I long for the ‘good old days’…

back to the time I was just a boy…

 

Back when people found time for each other…

a time of kindness and courtesy…

back when we would sit in the shade and find faces in the clouds…

back when we were more innocent…and free.

 

Oh, I know life wasn’t perfect back then…

and memory has a way

of highlighting the good while forgetting the bad

and calling it all the ‘good old days’.

 

Still…there’s a reason we hold on to those good memories

why life seems, in retrospect, happier than it appeared

why we think back on those times with a smile…

why we remember the laughter instead of the tears…

 

It’s because we cannot escape our past

no matter how comforting…or beautiful…or frightful…

but If we can bring the best of our past to our present..

it makes our future much more delightful…

 

So now when I sit in the shade and find faces in the clouds

in the belly of the mountains distinctive blue haze…

I take a moment to say thank you…for my future looks bright

 

because of those ‘good old days’.


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...LIKE HOME

A sight…a sound…a touch can awaken a memory

and in that memory a moment is revived…

And even a simple aroma…can make a memory come alive?

 

Cookies baking in the oven…is a smell I’ll always adore,

clothes fresh out of the dryer…fried chicken in the store.

 

The smell of rain…a bubbling pizza,…strawberries…

an afternoon barbecue…

an orange…a watermelon,…a fresh peach…

that perfect honeydew…

 

Onions caramelizing on the stove,…cooking garlic in a pan,

bacon…donuts…Coppertone—you know that stuff that makes you tan.

 

The salt and the sand at the ocean…dogwoods blooming in the trees,

popcorn,…a newborn baby…the smell of a mountain breeze.

 

Chocolate,…vanilla,…a Christmas tree…apple pie that’s al-a-mode,

coffee brewing in the morning…grass…once it’s been mowed.

 

The smell of books…almost any flower…a gardenia…a carnation,…a rose

peanut butter when you first open the jar…the smell of a loved one on your clothes.

 

Grandma’s perfume or Dad’s cologne when I smell them in the air…

makes me stop and think about them…as if they were standing there…

 

These are some of the aromas…over the years that I have known

Feel free to close your eyes a moment…and add some of your own…

 

And relive the magic of aromas…for wherever we may roam…

We know we’re smelling so much more…

We’re smelling love

 

We’re smelling home.


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Bucket Wish List

Folder: 
All and nothing



You need to 

get yourself a bucket,

or so I'm told,

Fill it, Fill it, till it overflows.

 

A wish list.

Of all to see

and all to do

before my lust is lost

for this husk of dust,

 

ONLY...

 

I've climbed many mountains,

and sat under a few fig trees,

The sky was coolsome blue,

the grass as lush as ever...

 

So my bucket hangs empty,

my head instead

carrying a memory,

that can't be bought,

or chased, or caught,

 

A dying gasp won't be wasted

on all to see

and all to do,

what is past is passed.

 

So here's to a bucket wish list

just take my bucket

and f**k it far from me.

OLD SHOES

For 30 years we’ve been coming to the mountains…to our cabin in the trees

where we listen to its serenade and catch the morning breeze…

 

But it’s not just a vacation cabin…for Deborah’s parent’s sake we try to renew it…

If there’s something that needs to be done around here…then happily…we do it.

 

I was working in the yard today…getting the cabin ready as summer nears

When I realized as I looked down at my feet

I’ve been wearing these same shoes for 30 years.

 

For 30 years around this cabin on every job that I complete

these shoes have been the only shoes…I’ve worn upon my feet.

 

They go everywhere around the yard…they’ve seen dirt and mud and ice

They’ve even helped me escape the yellow jackets…that only stung me twice.

 

They’ve been on little walks and hikes…in them I’ve laughed and cried

They’ve been on my feet for many campfires…and the day our Whitman died.

 

For 30 years we’ve been coming to the cabin….with still so much to see and learn

I’m glad these old shoes are here each year…waiting for my return….

 

You find as you grow older you experience something strange

Your head doesn’t feel any different but your body starts to change..

 

Your skin begins to wrinkle, your vision becomes unclear

Your nose flattens out…enlarges…and don’t get me started on my ears….

But every summer I slip on these same shoes…and as their friendship I reclaim…

I realize no matter how old the rest of my body gets…my feet remain the same…

 

Perhaps it’s natures way of reminding me…no matter how much grayer I get each day

My feet will always be there 

to hold me up…and help me find my way.

 

These shoes are filled with memories both good and bad ones too…

But they’re also filled with the hope of all the things I’ve yet to do…

 

And that’s why every summer when we return to the cabin

I put them on so joyfully

Because even though they’re old and weathered 

 

They keep going…just like me.


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