4th of July memories …

I asked my Facebook friends today, “What are your favorite 4th of July memories from when you were younger?”  Feel free to answer the question and share your thoughts and memories in the comment section.  It’s fun to be nostalgic from time to time.

Food-related Memories: When I was a child, our traditional 4th of July dessert was Angel food cake with whip cream and strawberry frosting.  That particular cake was our family’s traditional birthday cake, and because my dad’s birthday was on July 7th, we celebrated his birthday early on the 4th as the entire extended family was together anyway. Yep, birthday cake on the 4th was my favorite tradition, food-wise. Other than that, I remembered we had an All-American feast of grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, bbq chicken, potato salad, macaroni salad, strawberry jello with sliced bananas, corn on the cob, watermelon, marinated cucumbers and onions, baked beans.  Yum.  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.  🙂

We would eat dinner outside on the back porch at my grandparents house on Yarrow Point.  The porch was shaded and was close to the barbeque.  The rest of the day, we’d hang out by the water to stay cool. Lots of swimming, wading, splashing, floating on air mattresses.  Cold lemonade and sliced watermelon for snacks.  (The photo above is my grandparents’ front yard.)

Then in the evening we’d drive to Seattle and watch the fireworks over Green Lake. When our neighborhood all returned home from watching firework displays, the families gathered at the end of our little cul-de-sac and shot off our own fireworks. Mr Razor always had a welding torch handy for lighting the fireworks so we didn’t get to play with matches or lighters very often. lol

So how ’bout you?

~Debi

Advertisements

Back into hiding …

DSCN4207

So I bravely stuck the tip of my toe into the water of being gut-wrenchingly open and transparent on this blog.  And I have to say, I’m feeling way too vulnerable and afraid.

Knowing that my readers have no idea what has happened in my life over the past two+ years, leaves a lot of room for misunderstandings and judgments.  But I’m not currently — if ever — ready to reveal what’s been happening.  It’s too personal, too scary, and also involves people who I feel I don’t have the right to tell their stories publically for them.

Let’s just say I’ve lived through my worst nightmares and am still trying to find my way to a life worth living again.

As there are so few people still reading this blog (less than a handful from the blog stats), I’m just going to go back to privately journaling and regaining my sense of self and personal well-being.

I’d thought that perhaps sharing my own painful journey of healing might be beneficial to others.  And I’ve heard from several folks that it has been helpful for them.  But if sharing my successes and steps forward (and my failures and steps backward) bring me to a place of pain and fear again, then it’s probably not in my best interests at the moment to be that open.  Perhaps later?  Maybe.  Perhaps not.

I may still share things from time to time here.  Photos, poetry, funny stories.  But the vulnerable sides of me will be kept for my personal journal.

Thanks for being there and being understanding.  Sorry I’m being flaky about this blog, but part of the reason I started sharing a little bit again was to figure out if it was a good outlet for me or not.  “Not” is the answer, I guess.

Take care.

~Debi

DSCN4214

 

Facing my fears …

“You faced something that frightened you, and you approached it with strength and the willingness to deal with it directly. This is pretty much the theme of what you’ve been working on over the past few months.”

This was spoken to me by my therapist as she walked me to the elevator this afternoon. Wow. I hadn’t even realized that I had a “theme” in therapy. I thought my theme was staying alive. Seriously.

“Your focus, at first, was survival, but you turned a corner a while back. You’ve been working on moving ahead with strength, courage, and purpose. You’ve been looking deeply at issues and traumas from your past, and you’ve been able to leave those things behind and move on into a different future.”

Wow. Sometimes it just takes someone else to reflect my life back at me to be able to see things clearly.

I knew I was making progress. I knew I was facing my fears. I knew I was tackling painful memories. I knew I was working on rebuilding purpose. I knew I was sensing renewed hope.

But just knowing those things in an abstract way wasn’t as real to me as it was hearing someone articulate the very same things to me. Someone who’s been walking with me through the current trials and traumas.

I had been listening in the car on my way to my appointment to a CD of a lecture. It was by one of my favorite poets, David Whyte. He’d been talking about the idea of things that scare us — that we refuse to look at — as being things we throw into a black bag that we carry around with us throughout our lives. When we’re children, the black bag is small enough, it can fit on our belt. As life goes along, we accumulate more and more things for our bag, and the black bag expands and grows larger until it’s so big, it drags along behind us and catches in elevator doors.

When my therapist noted that I’ve been dealing head on with things that frighten me, it fit in so well with David Whyte’s conversation about the black bag. I think it’s possible to stop and open my personal black bag, and begin dealing with those things that have been out of sight and dragging along behind me for far too long.  My bag is quite full and contains memories of past traumas, phobias, nightmares, people who’ve hurt me, gossiped about me, personal failures, mental health issues, abandonment, grief, rejection, bullying, lies, abuse, and plenty more.

So, I’m curious … what themes are you seeing your life? And what things have you put into your black bag?

~Debi

Grandma …

I’m sad to announce that my 107-year-old grandmother, Madeline L. Taylor, passed away last week. When my dad saw her last, she’d been sleeping peacefully. A peaceful passing was what we’d wished for her.

She led a long, full, and interesting life. If you’re curious, you can read an Oral History report I did on her life for a class at University of Washington Tacoma several years ago. I made the report into a small website, so that Grandma’s life could have a presence on the internet.

She was much loved and will be greatly missed.

~Debi

grandma-and-granddaughter5

Last week on Facebook …

Nothing too exciting on my Facebook feed this week.  Mainly memes and album covers (“Post the Covers of Your Top 10 Albums You Still Listen To”).

I had a pretty quiet stay-at-home, avoid-all-people sort of week.  Although I did take myself to the symphony one evening, and then took advantage of sunny day and drove up to the University of Washington (Seattle) to enjoy the blooming cherry trees on the Quad.   More photos below.

Here are the highlights (such as they are):

  • Went on Youtube to look up something quickly, and after getting thoroughly distracted, I now know how to do make-up for women over 50, I’ve seen a cow who lives in someone’s house, I’ve learned to style short hairstyles (I have long hair), I’ve watched debates over the pros and cons of getting eyebrow tattoos (that would be a no for me), and I watched a parrot talk to a banana. Yes, my week is complete. Thank you, Youtube!
  • Possible TMI to follow. I inhaled a piece of granola bar. Coughed so hard, it felt like my lungs were going to bleed. Scary thing to inhale crunchy scratchy hard things. I hope it’s all out of there. I’m exhausted.
  • Just finished re-reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. After living through the past couple of years of my life, I have a completely different perspective on the book. I think it’s going to take me a while to process this. I have a feeling this is going to get processed with lots and lots of writing. I’ve already started a file for whatever comes out of this. I may go back and reread the book again but take notes this time. So many times I found myself thinking things like, “Yes, but for me it was different.” Every life is different. It’s interesting to see how different people with different personalities and different emotions and different circumstances can still wind up in somewhat similar situations.

Last night I watched the live production of Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC.  I’ve seen many productions of the show over the years.  Many.  Very many.  And I found this morning when I woke up that I had opinions about almost every scene and every actor/actress.  I may take notes of my thoughts and write it up as a review of sorts later today.  Spoilers:  I enjoyed it.  More spoilers:  I didn’t love it.  😉

Hope everyone out there is doing well this week.  Feel free to leave a comment.  What book(s) have your read recently that made an impact?  What are your top ten albums you still listen to?  What’s the silliest thing that’s distracted you on YouTube or Facebook lately?  What flowers/trees are blooming in your area?

Love hearing from you all!

~Debi

Here are the promised photos: