Posts tagged youth

Going Home

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Jen drove slowly down the old dirt drive. “There aren’t many dirt roads or long driveways left,” she thought. She hadn’t seen her great aunt Sarah in many years. All sorts of excuses rushed through her brain as she got closer to the lovely old farm house at the end of the driveway. “I’ve lived too far away, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t seen her since I was a child,”she thought, then guiltily threw each excuse aside.

She had not taken the time-period. Now, she was 27 years old, a high school history teacher, engaged to be married and she could surely have thought of more valid excuses than those. But something had tugged at her heart. She had come to Alabama to tour a local schools system for a study she was conducting. Remembering that Aunt Sarah lived in this county, she looked her up in the phone book. Surprisingly, she was still listed.

She got out her I-phone and turned on the app that showed her a map to the little town of Rosewood and soon found Cornfield Lane right off the main road. “What would she say?” she wondered as she pulled up the two story house with a wrap around porch. Would Aunt Sarah remember her, welcome her, or would she be treated with disdain?

Jen remembered that Aunt Sarah, her mother’s aunt, had been married, had 3 children and then her husband had died at a fairly early age. She didn’t think she had remarried, because her name was still the same in the phone book. It seems the children would be about her mother’s age, probably with grandchildren of their own.

With her heart beating quickly inside her chest, she parked her Maroon Chevy Van near the house and walked towards the door. It was nearly Halloween, and even in Alabama, there was a nip of autumn in the air. Jen, pulled her sweater around her as she walked up the old brick sidewalk. Before she started up the steps, an elderly lady walked out onto the porch. The screen door creaked as it closed behind her.

“Why, Jenny!” The lady exclaimed. “Jenny Markham! Is that you?”

“It’s me, alright, Aunt Sarah.” Jen said with a blush. “I have no excuse for not having seen you in so long. It makes those Christmas cards seem awfully pitiful.”

“Well, don’t you think a thing about it,” Aunt Sarah said with a smile as she opened the door and motioned for Jen to come in. Jen obliged, remembering the high ceilings and the slightly old scent of the wooden house. She looked around and smiled. It was as if she had been here only a short time ago.

“Come on in here and let me make us some tea,” Aunt Sarah smiled as she lead Jen to the room behind the living room. Sarah stood and looked around at her Great Aunt’s kitchen. The same long table and chairs sat upon the worn tiles, the curtains were new, but of similar pattern, an autumn harvest with ruffled bottoms around the windows which hung over the sink and the one on the slightly opened back door. It brought back memories of her mother and rest of their big family coming here for watermelon on the Fourth of July when she was young.

“It sure is good to see you, Jenny!” Aunt Sarah smiled. “What on earth brought you way out here in backwoods Alabama?”

Jenny told her about her research project, career and upcoming marriage, inviting her long-lost cousins and families to come. Aunt Sarah sat and sipped tea with her for maybe half an hour before she invited her to come through the house and see the walls and dark walnut dressers filled with pictures of her children, grandchildren and even their kids. Again, Jen’s heart beat rapidly inside her as she took in the years and memories that she had missed out on when her father had taken a new job in East Texas.

She wondered what her life would have been like if they had stayed here. Would her and her brother’s kids been friends with Aunt Sarah’s children, would they have ridden the same bus, lived on the same road, had watermelon on that worn front porch on the fourth of July? Would she already be married, maybe to someone she knew as a child.?

Thoughts swirled through her head as the “what if’s” rushed by. What was the name of the high school here? What college would she have gone to? Would she have been a teacher, like she was now? It was at that moment Jen decided not to tell her Aunt Sarah her secret. She would save it until after the wedding, it would seem better then.

Inside her, Jen felt the movement of her baby, a girl, she had learned just yesterday. She wondered how Aunt Sarah would feel about her being pregnant before her marriage and then grabbed her Aunt’s wrinkled hand. Of course, she would love this baby, just like all the other children that decorated her dressers and walls. Surely, out of all of them, there had been children conceived before their parents married. Perhaps their parents had never married at all.

After a long visit, Jen walked back to her car with Aunt Sarah and her collie, Barney, beside her. She promised her Aunt that she would never let their families loose touch again, and she meant it. In Aunt Sarah’s younger days, having a baby before marriage would have brought many cross looks and perhaps even a few rejections. But this, thank goodness as a different time.

Jen vowed to herself that she would write her aunt a letter and tell her more about her soon-to-be husband and the baby she was carrying as soon as she got back to Texas. There was one more thing she would ask of the Aunt she had just come know again. She would ask her to allow her the honor of naming her new baby, Sarah.

Jen drove slowly down the old dirt drive. “There aren’t many dirt roads or long driveways left,” she thought. She hadn’t seen her great aunt Sarah in many years. All sorts of excuses rushed through her brain as she got closer to the lovely old farm house at the end of the driveway. “I’ve lived too far away, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t seen her since I was a child,”she thought, then guiltily threw each excuse aside.

She had not taken the time-period. Now, she was 27 years old, a high school history teacher, engaged to be married and she could surely have thought of more valid excuses than those. But something had tugged at her heart. She had come to Alabama to tour a local schools system for a study she was conducting. Remembering that Aunt Sarah lived in this county, she looked her up in the phone book. Surprisingly, she was still listed.

She got out her I-phone and turned on the app that showed her a map to the little town of Rosewood and soon found Cornfield Lane right off the main road. “What would she say?” she wondered as she pulled up the two story house with a wrap around porch. Would Aunt Sarah remember her, welcome her, or would she be treated with disdain?

Jen remembered that Aunt Sarah, her mother’s aunt, had been married, had 3 children and then her husband had died at a fairly early age. She didn’t think she had remarried, because her name was still the same in the phone book. It seems the children would be about her mother’s age, probably with grandchildren of their own.

With her heart beating quickly inside her chest, she parked her Maroon Chevy Van near the house and walked towards the door. It was nearly Halloween, and even in Alabama, there was a nip of autumn in the air. Jen, pulled her sweater around her as she walked up the old brick sidewalk. Before she started up the steps, an elderly lady walked out onto the porch. The screen door creaked as it closed behind her.

“Why, Jenny!” The lady exclaimed. “Jenny Markham! Is that you?”

“It’s me, alright, Aunt Sarah.” Jen said with a blush. “I have no excuse for not having seen you in so long. It makes those Christmas cards seem awfully pitiful.”

“Well, don’t you think a thing about it,” Aunt Sarah said with a smile as she opened the door and motioned for Jen to come in. Jen obliged, remembering the high ceilings and the slightly old scent of the wooden house. She looked around and smiled. It was as if she had been here only a short time ago.

“Come on in here and let me make us some tea,” Aunt Sarah smiled as she lead Jen to the room behind the living room. Sarah stood and looked around at her Great Aunt’s kitchen. The same long table and chairs sat upon the worn tiles, the curtains were new, but of similar pattern, an autumn harvest with ruffled bottoms around the windows which hung over the sink and the one on the slightly opened back door. It brought back memories of her mother and rest of their big family coming here for watermelon on the Fourth of July when she was young.

“It sure is good to see you, Jenny!” Aunt Sarah smiled. “What on earth brought you way out here in backwoods Alabama?”

Jenny told her about her research project, career and upcoming marriage, inviting her long-lost cousins and families to come. Aunt Sarah sat and sipped tea with her for maybe half an hour before she invited her to come through the house and see the walls and dark walnut dressers filled with pictures of her children, grandchildren and even their kids. Again, Jen’s heart beat rapidly inside her as she took in the years and memories that she had missed out on when her father had taken a new job in East Texas.

She wondered what her life would have been like if they had stayed here. Would her and her brother’s kids been friends with Aunt Sarah’s children, would they have ridden the same bus, lived on the same road, had watermelon on that worn front porch on the fourth of July? Would she already be married, maybe to someone she knew as a child.?

Thoughts swirled through her head as the “what if’s” rushed by. What was the name of the high school here? What college would she have gone to? Would she have been a teacher, like she was now? It was at that moment Jen decided not to tell her Aunt Sarah her secret. She would save it until after the wedding, it would seem better then.

Inside her, Jen felt the movement of her baby, a girl, she had learned just yesterday. She wondered how Aunt Sarah would feel about her being pregnant before her marriage and then grabbed her Aunt’s wrinkled hand. Of course, she would love this baby, just like all the other children that decorated her dressers and walls. Surely, out of all of them, there had been children conceived before their parents married. Perhaps their parents had never married at all.

After a long visit, Jen walked back to her car with Aunt Sarah and her collie, Barney, beside her. She promised her Aunt that she would never let their families loose touch again, and she meant it. In Aunt Sarah’s younger days, having a baby before marriage would have brought many cross looks and perhaps even a few rejections. But this, thank goodness as a different time.

Jen vowed to herself that she would write her aunt a letter and tell her more about her soon-to-be husband and the baby she was carrying as soon as she got back to Texas. There was one more thing she would ask of the Aunt she had just come know again. She would ask her to allow her the honor of naming her new baby, Sarah.DSCN1026

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The Desire to Live

 

The warmth of the sun propelled me towards my garden.

All winter, I had agonized over whether to even have one.

 

But the sun got to me, the 60 degree weather and out I went.

The grapevine needed to be moved-NOW. I didn’t know,

 

The roots were 6 feet long on three sides-what had I done?

I dug a hole for what I thought would hold the vine.

 

I dug up half my flower garden trying to save roots.

I replanted daffodils, some with buds, and stomped other plants.

 

They were trying desperately to peek above ground,

after a cold winter with a big snow only a week ago.

 

Spring does crazy things to me, It makes me think I am young.

I am strong-the girl in blue jeans and peasant shirts.

 

Then, a few hours later, I am struggling to make it to the house.

By July, all hope is gone, it seems. September brings a valiant cleanup.

 

Spring and gardens do something to me that I desperately need.

Somehow, we both have an unquenchable desire to live.

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Memories of Younger Days…We are Stardust, We are Golden,,,

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Words to Woodstock theme song-1969-and thought on those days

 

WOODSTOCK

 

Well. I came across a child of God,he was walking along the road,

when I asked him where he was going,this he told me,

Well, I’m going down to Vascar’s Farm,going to join a rock-n-roll band,

going to live off on the land,and set my soul free.

We are stardust , we are golden,

and we got to set ourselves back to the garden,

By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong.

Everywhere I went, there were songs and celebrations.

Well, maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s the time of man,

And i don’t know who I am, but life’s for learning,

we are stardust, we are golden,

and we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Ad I dreamed I saw the bombers, riding shotgun in the sky,

turning into butterflies above our nation.

We are stardust,we are golden,and we got to get our selves back to the garden.

Woodstock and then Altamont, the two outdoor concerts thatstill stand as monuments to the decade of love, the innoncense and irony of youth.  The song makes everything sound so wonderful, magical, yet in fsct, it rained during most of the festivsl, there were few sanitary fscilities, little food, people over-dosing on drugs and getting sick everywhere.  Litter and trash left to the farms owners to dispose of, and at Altamont, an African American man killed, right in front of the stage by the Hell’s Ageks motorcycle gang, who had been hired for “security”.  Now, when all of us who were too young to go, and only read, with envy, about going, to those who did, and found that it made a profound impact on their lives, we must remember youth as it really is.  Within a year, two of the stars of Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin were dead of herion overdoses.

Decades later, we “baby-boomers” are retiring, grandparents, company executives or in some less fortunate cases, still stuck in a world that cannot be and never really was.  I look at my grandchildren and wonder  what the “Woodstock” will be, their pivotal event, how they ill look back on this yet-to-be-revealed event as they sit and tell their grand-kids about the glorious days of their youth.

Sometimes, I enjoy getting on you-tube and listening to interviews and songs from the stars of those days. I smile and remember that computers and “you tube” and cell phones were not yet even a dream to most of us.   It will be the same with our grand children. What was once our yet-to-be-invented future, will be their past. And we will not be able to imagine  what they tell their grandchildren about the magical days of their youth meant to them.

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A Trip to the Past

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“Serena,” Raven sputtered excitedly as they walked to the cafeteria beneath the beautiful autumn maples.

Raven turned around and giggled. “Serena, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s this new cafe off campus.”

“So?”smiled Raven, walking as they talked.

“Well, they serve tea ,coffee, hot chocolate or pastries, but that’s not the exciting part.”

“Then what is?” Raven asked, stopping in her tracks.

“When you walk in the door, you go back in time.” Serena whispered. “I swear. I thought I’d been drugged. Even my clothes were from the middle ages. Everything was, the food….”

“Raven grabbed Serena’s hand. “What are you waiting for, let’s go!”

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What Matters Most

 

They hadn’t seen the little stream flooded like that in decades! Eight-year-old Johnny brought his little brother out to the edge of the stream to see the roaring of the muddy water.

“Wow!” shouted little Bobby, as he gazed at the roaring stream . “What happened?” Bobby’s little face gazed at the boiling, debris-filled water.

 

“It’s a flood,” Johnny explained, walking down the edge of the creek, observing the shaking of the shrubs being torn from the banks, as they slid away as the water overpowered the banks, now slick and muddy from the power of the rumbling water.

 

Suddenly, Bobby broke away and ran down to the edge of the bridge.

 

“Bobby, come back, the bank might collapse!” Johnny cried.

 

“No! He cried. The bank was sliding away, carrying Bobby with it.

 

With his last bit of strength, Johnny grabbed Bobby’s’ belt as he clung to a bush with his other hand. He plucked his little brother from the deluge, carrying him back to the trailer on the hillside where they lived.

 

“Oh my God!” cried their mother as she ran down the rotting steps. “What in the world happened.”

 

Tears were running down Johnny’s face as his mom held Bobby tightly in her arms. Johnny was lost for words, all he could say as he sat breathlessly on the steps was, “The bank collapsed, I couldn’t get him!”

 

“No, baby, their mom smiled, you DID get him, you are the bravest boy I know!”

 

They were all crying now, dirty and cold as they sat there watching the rushing water carry away the bush that Johnny had been holding onto.

 

Suddenly, nothing else mattered, the rusted trailer, the old red truck, daddy loosing his job. They had each other. Mother carried little Bobby in to his father, as he sat with his head down on the tattered couch.

 

For the first time in weeks, Daddy smiled. He knew everything would be alright.

 

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Your Inner Soul

 Vintage Music Paper Butterflies

My love, It seems I have known you forever.

I smile as I imagine that I can read your thoughts.

Who else could pick that special jewelry,

Your favorite color or dessert,

The outfit you would pick from your closet,

to catch a second glances at an important party?

Would it be daffodils or autumn leaves,

Soaring mountains or the roar of waves,

that made your heart leap in joy?

There is but one thing I am desperate for,

My love, that you have kept secret.

So please give me, finally-man of my dreams,

a glimpse inside your inner soul.

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Storm of the Century

We had watched the weather channel for days, awaiting the storm that was predicted to hit on New Years Eve. I started home from the store, with the wind picking up. I knew the storm was on the way. I hurried up the steep mountain road, hoping to beat the beginning of the snow. The kids were both home, I felt tears on my cheek.

The television was still on the Weather Channel, predicting “The Storm of the Century.” The kids, 14, and 17, were excited, as they looked out side. I was not so exuberant. We we were alone and I didn’t have a four-wheel drive. I would be stuck up here for days. I knew the electricity would likely go out and we had only a fireplace and a portable radio for comfort.

 I went down into the basement to get some wood to start a fire. Gathering the wood, I raced back up thee stairs, wanting to get the fire started before the winds got too fierce and we lost power.

 “Mom,” My daughter yelled, it’s snowing like crazy!” The excitement in her voice echoed down the hall.

 Sure enough, the air as filled with huge flakes of snow, already sticking to the ground. I rushed to get newspapers for kindling, and ran to the kitchen for matches. My son lit a candle in each of the main rooms, so that we would not be left in darkness. I was proud of how prepared we were.

 Suddenly, I thought of our elderly neighbor, Mr. Carter, who lived down the hill around a steep curve. He didn’t have a generator and was not able to contend with making a fire or cooking. We had to go get him!

 I yelled at the kids that we had to go find Mr. Carter. It was already dark outside by the time we got ready to go. We loaded up a wagon, in case he couldn’t walk up the hill and started down the road, streetlights still glowing in the snow and stiff wind.

 The wind took on a loud roar as we shivered in the blowing snow. I thought I heard a faint voice in the wind. “Oh, no!” I thought. “Mr. Carter had started up to our house own his own.’

 “Mr. Carter!” I called back. “Don’t go anywhere, we are on our way!”

 I heard a weak voice near where his long driveway started. “I’ve fallen.” he cried out. I think I hurt my leg!”

 Suddenly, the lights went out. We could see nothing in the swirling snow. I shouted out, hoping to hear his voice against the power of the wind. “Mr. Carter!” I cried out. “Can you hear me?”

 Nothing. The forest was silent between whirls of snow and crackling limbs. “Mr. Cater, can you hear me?” I shouted again. The snow fell on as we wandered in the dark, now on a desperate search.

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Interview with the Modern-day Teen

04290005This interview is with my teen son, a computer geek and my best friend!

What is your favorite subject in school and why?

Son- “Probably Civics, because it is interesting to learn how our country was formed and the changes it has gone through in only 200 years.

What is your favorite video game and why?

Son- “Minecraft- because it is to easy to customize. It is never-ending, you can customize, design, even create animations for it. There is always something new you can add. It doesn’t have “levels’ and such like old video games had.”

Who is the person you admire most in business? Why?

Son: “Steve Jobs, because no matter how many struggles he went through, he always kept going, never let himself feel defeated, even in death.”

Who is your favorite music group?

Son: “That’s very hard-I’d say it is a music distributor called Proximity. They distribute smaller artist and helped them gain popularity.”

What are your ambitions for the next five years?

Son: “I’d like to learn to code all kinds of computer programs and create animations using all kinds of programs.”

How do you plan to use these things to make a career for yourself?

Son: “I plan on going to go to college for Computer Engineering and I hope to create animations for a side job.”

Do you get along well with your siblings?

Son: “ Yes, we connect, have fun, socialize. I am the youngest, so I learn a lot from them.”

Do you get along well with your peers? Older people/ Little kids?

Son: “Peers-yes, we don’t disrespect each other, we find ways to socialize and help each other.”

“ Older people-yes, because the have experience and are a great source of knowledge. I love to hear their life stories.”

“Little kids-most of the time, I can find ways to mess with them, play with them. I have little nephews and nieces I have had to learn to entertain them and laugh at the way they see things and express themselves.”

What do do think our societies main issues should be right now?

Son: “Figuring out a way for Republicans and Democrats to agree on something and stop acting like preschoolers.”

Thanks for being my volunteer!

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The Meaning of the Word

The sprinkling of soft snow through ancient pines-remember?

The ice sparkling on the lake like mirrored glass-remember?

Your gloved hand touching mine for the time-remember?

Those days seem so close, as if I could reach out and touch them, yet my heart knows that time has passed and life has changed, you are there and I am here, We were young and now are old. Still, somehow, that day, that place that touch will remain with me forever. It truly defines the word-remember.

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If you could do it all over….

Remember when you were a teenager? Your hopes and dreams all seemed possible-even probable. Time seemed endless, look how long it had taken to get old enough to get your license! Now, you are no longer young. Life did not turn out as you hoped. You had your ups and downs, your joys and tragedies. I’ve had people say to me, if you could do it all over, what would you do ? I wiped a tear, thinking of the hell of my son’s death and my illness caused by it. “I wouldn’t” I said, and walked away.

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