Sunday, December 1, 2013

this picture

circa 1975  New Jersey

This picture might just look like a house on a hill to some, but to me it is a lot more than that.  It speaks volumes.  It kind of haunts me, but in the best of ways.  Each window conjures up a memory of life under its roof and within its safe walls.

I see a kitchen window and my mom inside making this house a home.  This time of the year I'd look for the spritz cookie recipe that we'd use with Christmas cookie cutters.  There would be sprinkles and flour everywhere… and warmth.

I see the living room window panes where mom would tape her homemade snowflakes each year made with white tissue paper… the Christmas tree would be near by.  It wouldn't have the cool small twinkly lights on it that we have today.  The bulbs would be colorful, larger and hot … and I'd occasionally put tinsel on one of them to watch it melt.  The mantle would be decorated and a crackling fire would be lit underneath. 

I can still see every square foot of our property in my mind.  I walked it.  I explored it.  I climbed it.  I cartwheeled and sleigh rode across it.  I grew up in it.

I see my brother's bedroom window and remember the view looking out of it into the woods.  Though I can't see mine I know it's on the other side of the house where the driveway wound down to the dirt road below.

I'm reminded of a back door that for a time wasn't used because there was nothing to go out to.  The rock stairs had crumbled over the years and were replaced later by a nice deck.  But the in-between time  resulted in a door that stayed locked.  This speaks to me about my parents inability to get everything exactly when they wanted it.  They had to save for things.  They had to wait and didn't get into debt just to have stuff right away like too many do today.  They worked hard.  It didn't effect or hurt us one single bit to have to wait to have any material possession.   Even a back door.

I'm hoping future generations see that clearly.  In our pursuit of stuff I hope it doesn't get lost.  The news is full this time of the year of people shopping for the best deals and fighting over them.   Consumerism is running rampant.  I see many houses so full of stuff that they can't even park their car in the garage.  It's so full of stuff.  

New so quickly becomes old… and pushed aside.

My mom and dad made the wise decision before I was born to raise their family here.  Where there was space and fresh air… and a special freedom.  They really did live the American dream.

I don't know.  I like things same as the next person, but real life doesn't consist of more and more stuff.   The best things in life aren't things at all. 

I heard this quote today by Sandra Bullock… She said, 
"When people are like, 'Life is good,' I go, 'No, life is a series of disastrous moments, painful moments, unexpected moments, and things that will break your heart. And in between those moments, that's when you savor, savor, savor.'"

I kind of liked that.  At least the words struck a chord in me.  I try not to focus on the disastrous moments though, but on the savor, savor, savor…...

Richness consists in being able to look back and say how good all the memories were that were made… and all the lessons that were learned and lived…. Richness comes when we love one another through the tough times…. 
knowing that is where a lot of the "good stuff" comes from….

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