What We Remember

What We Remember

What we remember…what we forget…the heart of our mind speak…a source of much joy or tearful regrets…the memories we replay again and again…rewound and reliving…the loop never ends…the good times…the laughter…the smiles shared with friends…some memories we will cherish…from now till the end…held onto like treasure…stored deep down inside…stories we’ve collected…some that we hide…cruel words and poor choices…sorrow and lament…guilt and repentance…locked somewhere within…seeking forgiveness…accepting His love…a free gift for our choosing…bought with His blood…self talk and mind speak…a blessing or curse…hold onto the good times…learn from the worst…focus on family…love and good friends…your children and grandkids…again and again…relive the memories that build you up from within…childhood adventures…a song from back then…a coach or a teacher…your first dance and first kiss…family reunions and camping in tents…a child’s first words…and then their first step…their first day of school…how fast the years went…grandkids that cuddled while rocking them to sleep…now running to the toy box to make you some tea…soccer and church plays…school concerts and events…sports and robotics…again and again…first Beaver’s ball game…meeting their friends…being there for each other…loyal to the end…doing life together with family and friends…a lifetime of memories…the loop never ends…replaying and reliving the stories from within…His love and forgiveness…a gift with no...

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Home On Wheels

Home On Wheels

This well worn travel trailer parked in waist deep grass appears to be settling in for a long stay at its final destination point. It left me wondering about the memories shared by a young family making their maiden voyage in their sleek “home on wheels”. Did they make trips to the coast to enjoy the winter storms, the salt air and the crashing waves from the comfort of their wood paneled walls and turquoise Formica counter tops? Or were Crater Lake and the Oregon Caves among the local natural wonders checked off their bucket list of “must see” attractions, each captured in faded black and white photos stored randomly in a shoe box restng near the Mason jar half full of dusty grey volcanic ash gathered on another of their family adventures. With children now full grown and moved on, was this once shiny abode carefully backed into the far corner of the deep narrow lot one last time by the owner who had invested in a dream and now reaped the happy memories of cramped quarters and the cheerful echoes of laughter, forever etched into┬áhis heart and...

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Parked and Dusty Memories

Parked and Dusty Memories

Parked and dusty memories…stored fondly in a quiet place, reserved for those who’ve touched our hearts and left their mark while passing through our busy lives. Favorite stories…family tales…photos, keepsakes, homemade gifts…young children’s handprints cast in clay. Faded papers…sports events…high school yearbooks…programs from an 8th grade play. Scraps of fabric…quilts and dolls and baby shoes…pocket knives and boy scout books…treasures stashed in every drawer and every nook. Circumstances bring us here…random thoughts and passing years…mixed emotions…smiles and tears. Standing in an empty home filled with 50 years of days now gone…a family scrapbook filled with things…some remembered…others odd and hard to place…years and years of gathered stuff…keepsakes…cook books…cobwebs…dust and endless love. Making choices…what to save…sorting, grouping, scratching heads. Memories triggered by hidden finds…of loved ones passed…a different day…another time. A story shared then back to work…sentimental value measured first…praying for His guiding hand…to make wise choices…to trust His...

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Safe Haven

Safe Haven

“A nest like a home…created with care…stitched together with love…safe haven to share. Built of twigs and soft moss…and white cotton string…a blue strand of ribbon…a few shiny things. Wrappers and feathers…an old lace from a shoe…each patiently gathered…and woven like glue. A collage built with purpose…a young family’s nest…where delicate eggs will soon lie at rest. Created with love…done so with care…a nest like a home…a safe haven to share.” I have long been intrigued with the concept of “building a nest” when moving into a new space…a home, an office, a work shop, a blank canvas waiting to be “painted” to feel like it is truly our own. I enjoy the hunt for just the right pieces, right colors, textures and elements that reflect who we are, what we treasure and value, taking on a comfortable feel that welcomes us back each time we return. Over the years, my wife and I have gathered an eclectic collection of artwork and pottery, relics and books and photos and “stuff”, with the hunt bringing nearly as much pleasure as enjoying our finds when they reach their new home. Second hand stores, Goodwill and St. Vincent’s, garage sales, estate sales, thrift shops and art fairs…frequently visited, seeking out treasures which capture our eye or trigger an emotion, a memory, a story, a smile deep inside. Their value is personal, based on the connection, frequently measured by the simple sense of pleasure of adding a perfect new “twig” to our comfortable nest. With the passing of time, our nest seems to be shrinking, with more treasures than space, complete with grandparent’s eye glasses specially equipped with large blind spots, unable to see an ark full of stuffed animals, plastic dump trucks and doll houses, pirate hats and eye patches, Polly Pockets and tea sets, Lincoln logs and much more. A once pristine carpet now reads like a road map, with highways and by-ways and spills from last Christmas (and Easter and birthdays and days just because) clearly marked for quick reference, well-known and well traveled…a nest shaped by memories and laughter, a nest we call home. Bursting with found treasures, good times and gatherings, straining at the seams, a comfortable safe haven, well-worn and familiar, the place of our dreams....

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Reflections

Reflections

Old friends are like gifts that give without taking…valued and treasured, always there when you need them. They have time to listen and reason, to hold up the mirror, ask the hard questions, to be honest and straight with you without passing judgment. Friendships forged and carefully crafted, shaped and then tested by the unyielding trial of time and mistakes, laughter and fun, tears and frustrations, all in the blink of an eye with the passing of years. Reflections of adventures shared, milestones passed, good memories held tightly, disappointments forgiven, unexpected rough patches, incredible highs and day-to-day experiences which come together to form the tattered and treasured scrapbook of our lives. Trusted friends, like a favorite book, ready to pick up where you last left off with them, when reunited both still on the same page…consistent and true, same story, same author. God gives us choices, who we decide to align with, the handful of close friends, the ones we do life with. Our old friends we’ve chosen, like mirrors on the wall, reflecting our values, our scratches and similar flaws, shared lives and events spent with those who we love, who we trust and relate to, undeniable bond. His love and forgiveness the most important choice we will know. A love given freely to those who would choose Him, the best gift of all. A choice we weigh and freely accept, deciding who we align with, who we select, who we choose to do life with, to trust and...

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Aging Friend

Aging Friend

An aging friend with classic lines, grey and weathered, a seemingly proud yet frail stance. I have been driving past this old barn on my daily commute for several years now. Tucked back off the road partially hidden behind over-grown fruit trees and once decorative shrubs, I cannot remember ever having passed by without my eye being drawn to catch a deliberate glance of this old friend with her moss-covered roof and tattered shingles. There is something enticing to me about imagining the storms and events that this old barn has surely endured. It is reassuring to see her still standing on each brief passing visit day-after-day as I go about my routine. Deep inside I know the day will surely come when gravity and Father Time will gently pull her down to rest and sleep in the fields which she has stood guard over for so many years but I am not ashamed to admit that I don’t want it to happen on my watch. Surely if she could understand just how much her presence and her continued strength and brave example mean to me and other daily passersby who catch a glimpse, a fleeting glance, a sign of calm and simpler times when life was not so rushed and filled with expectations, goals and roles and questions why. On a few isolated occasions, I have stopped by the roadside long enough to catch a closer look, to better see and appreciate this aging friend of mine. This visit last spring stays fresh in my memory, when the lilacs were in full bloom, their fragrance drifting in the air. I snapped this photo of the old barn posed gracefully behind the pink blooms which seemed to capture the beauty of her timeless lines and enduring spirit. I have often wondered what stories she may have to tell if only I had the time to get to know her better…to learn about her younger days when children played in the hay loft, laughing and swinging on ropes from fresh hewn beams. As I have grown older and greyer myself, life’s lessons are helping me to better understand how important and meaningful it can be to take the time…to make the time…to spend with loved ones who I have long admired and cherished…who have weathered storms of their own and endured events which they would love to share and talk about if only I could slow down long enough to enjoy and listen and appreciate the stories of┬átheir younger days. The gift of time and listening…a loving hug…a story shared…a hand held tight…does she understand just how much she means to me…how much I admire her strength and brave example…her...

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