Category Archives: I wish I could remember more of my memories!

A stroll down Christmas Memory Lane – with a few potholes

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I’ve been feeling bit “Scrooge-ish” lately… having a major lack of funds this time of year makes it hard to feel the “peace and joy” of the season.  So, I decided to spend a bit of time looking back for some of my best Christmas memories.

One of my happiest memories isn’t one particular event, but sort of a “state-of-being” that took place each year.  My dad has always had a workshop attached to the garage of our home.  He builds things; mostly out of wood.  He can also fix pretty much anything.  Some of my fondest childhood memories are hanging out with my dad, pounding nails into wood or some such activity.  I was welcome out there whenever I wanted to come… except at Christmas!  At this time of the year, we kids were banished – because daddy was out there making us something!  It was so exciting – wondering what in the world dad was putting together for us each year! Every year he made us something wonderful… the one thing I remember most clearly is the year he made me an easel to paint on.  It was two-sided, with holders on the bottom for holding my paints and brushes, and painted an antiqued gold.  It was beautiful, and I loved it!  There were lots of great gifts over the years, but that one was far and away my favorite.

Another great Christmas was the year my older sister and I decided my parents should have stockings for Santa to fill.  We girls always got lots of great stuff in our stockings, so why shouldn’t mom and dad get in on it?? We found some red and green checked fabric in mom’s sewing room to make stockings out of, courdoroy cuffs, and we cut out fabric letters to write “mom” and “dad” on them.  Oh-my-gosh those things were soooo cheesy!  And do you know, just this very year I convinced my mom to buy new ones?! Those suckers must be over 40 years old, and it’s not like we were amazing seamstresses!!

Stockings have always been a big part of my family’s Christmas celebration.  That first year my sister and I set an alarm clock so we could wake up after our parents had gone to bed, sneak out, and fill their stockings with all the goodies we’d bought.  It was awesome seeing their faces in the morning! From that year forward, every member of the family got a stocking… as we added husbands, they got stockings too.  Not just for children any more! Over the years it got too pricey or too much of a pain, I really don’t remember why… but we started drawing names. Of course, that meant each lady had two to fill, because men are lame! Lol.  Maybe I should’ve known that someday this would all come back to haunt me:  Today I spent about $35.00 apiece to fill 4 stockings! (dad’s, mom’s, Alan’s and Kiki’s). Yeah, that was pretty much my Christmas budget.  Now what do I do??

Well, I have another great Christmas story, but that’ll have to wait ’til next time 🙂

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Stumbling in the Darkness

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Depression sucks. 

Depression sucks the life out of you.

Then, someone will tell you “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with life….”

Uh, huh.  Have you ever thought about that statement?  Do you even know what boot straps are?  If you do, you can maybe understand why I think this is about the stupidest statement ever made.

Here is a cowboy boot:

A cowboy boot comes up about mid-calf, so for the sake of argument, I will allow you a hunt boot, which comes up to your knee (to give you a little more leverage):

On the english boot, the strap is on the inside, but you can see the stitching where it’s located.

Now, picture this:  Life gives you a good sucker punch to the gut, followed by a whack upside the head.  Or, if you prefer to stay with a horse related theme, let’s say that crazy horse of yours has bucked you off… at any rate, you are laying in the dirt, struggling for breath… not only have you no real idea how you really got here, but you wonder how in the world you are going to get up. 

The best scenario involves a friend who will come and give you a hand. But sometimes it’s someone close to you who’s doled out that sucker punch, so you can’t always depend on that.  No, you may have to get up on your own.  So – pull yourself up by those boot straps!  Picture yourself laying flat on your back.  You’ve got those boots on!  So, reach up, grab those straps, and pull.  Hmmm – not happening?  Not getting up that way?  Okay, here, I’ll even give you a cheat –

Boot hooks.

These are just what they say they are – hooks to help pull your boots on.  Or, in this case, pull yourself up by.  You loop that hook right through that boot strap and haul yourself on up.  Still nothing?  C’mon, try harder!  Harder!!

Geez, loser.  Can’t pull yourself up?  I can guarantee you, no matter how hard you tug on your bootstraps while you are laying on the ground, you will never, never, get up that way.

You will, eventually, have to try something else. If it was an easy fall, you may be able to just sort of pop up.  A harder fall, you may have to roll over and use your arms and your legs to push yourself up.  A serious, life-changing sort of fall?  You may lay there awhile.  Then, you may have to drag yourself over to the fence and slowly, gingerly pull yourself into a sitting position.  How long it takes you to get all the way up is anyone’s guess.

I have been living under a cloud for… years.  Over a decade and a half.  Oh, I’m waaay better than I was at the beginning – back when life blindsided me, tossed me under the bus, however you want to put it.  A traumatic event happened in my life, and I have yet to get fully “over it”.  I’m no longer standing in front of the medicine cabinet, wondering if I have enough stuff in there to end my life or not… Thank the Lord.  In fact, most people who know me wouldn’t know this about me.  I seem fairly happy on the outside.  I actually feel fairly happy on the outside. I make people laugh – alot.  I just have this… underlying sadness; it is always with me.  And what I’ve realized is that I am not really living life.  I am not fully “here”.  I’ve spent so much time under this fog that the years have gone by in haze – I am missing it.  

My little girl is 13.  Already.  Don’t get me wrong – I have enjoyed being a mom, and loved the moments we’ve spent… but I wonder how much I have not enjoyed.  Not just the mom stuff, but all the life stuff!  I want it to stop.  Not life, like I wanted in the past, but the sorrow.  The missing.  Living in the past so I can’t live in the now. 

It is time to try.  Not to pull myself up by the boot straps, ’cause that’s plain stupid.  And impossible.  But to let the past be the past, to embrace the future, without fear, come what may.  I don’t want to miss today because I am in fear of being knocked down in the future.  I am going to try, God help me.  Because, I know He will.

Trippin’ Down Memory Lane…uh, now, which way do I go…???

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For some reason I have been hearing a lot of pregnant women telling about their weird dreams, (Mrs Skrumshz is one!) and I have a good one I thought I’d share.
 
I really, really wanted a baby girl.  I have never been a real ‘girlie-girl’ but on the other hand, I grew up with sisters and didn’t really ‘get’ boys.  Besides, I am a shoe junkie and little baby girl shoes (and their clothes, too) are to die for!!   Even back before I ever dreamed of wanting a baby, I wanted the shoes.  I would stop in the store and ooh-ahh over little baby shoes…Alan would always say "those won’t fit you".  Oh, and the hats and headbands!!  You know I do have a girl, and from day 1 that little cutie always had a hat or headband on.  Do you know, at 10 years old she still almost always wears a hat?!  Pavlovian??  But I digress (See?  Staying on the memory path is hard for me…!)  I tried to convince myself the baby was going to be a boy so I wouldn’t be too disapointed when the time came.  So I suppose that is why I had dreams about my "baby boy".  One went like this:  
 
I had delivered my baby.  I had never told anyone I wanted a girl… I said either was fine.  My  mom called and asked "what did you have?"  I told her "a boy" and after a pause she said "Oh.  I’m sorry.  Better luck next time."   I felt really sad, so I went in to cuddle my newborn son.  He was about 3 or 4 feet long, very bony, with long, scraggly, oily black hair.  I’m talking like, past his shoulders.  He also had a very sparse fu-man-chu type mustache and goatee.  And long, yellow, jagged teeth.  (He was like, one day old!!)  I decided to put him in the car and take him for a ride, but he was so big I couldn’t get him into his car seat.  I shoved and shoved, and he made angry faces at me.  I decided to take him for a walk in the stroller instead.  All I had in my dream was this horrid little umbrella stroller, and he was all scrunched up in it, his feet dragging the ground.  We headed out, and I brought along some bottles.  In my dream I had decided to give him formula because I couldn’t imagine breastfeeding him with those nasty teeth!  I gave him the bottle, and he hucked it down the sidewalk.  I tried and tried but he just wouldn’t drink it at all – wouldn’t even try it.  So we stopped at a convenience store and I filled his bottle with Coca-cola, and he was happy. 
 
 
My family still teases me about this one!