home by morning

hours after the sun goes down
she settles into her bed
her head on the pillow
and her eyes gently close

and she quietly slips out the door

to fight the darkest of shadows
the kind that break hearts and families
and to travel along the greatest of paths
behind courageous thinkers and dreamers
and those who made things happen

once again she sees and talks with the ones she loves
who are no longer here to hug
she sings on stage
and dances in the rain
and has the conversations she always meant to have
sometimes yelling at the one who brought all the bad to be

she protects the weak and feeds the hungry
and rides a horse along the beach
then swims as though she has the tail of a mermaid
for miles and miles

she hears the music she long forgot
and picks the fruit from the trees at places
she can no longer call her own
and she tastes it, every nuance of flavor just as she remembered

she accepts the blame she should have long ago
and makes things right from times before
she cooks fabulous meals and burns the biscuits
and sits for hours laughing around the table
where all the stories she’s lost are told again

she wears fabulous ball gowns
staring up at the midnight sky from the deck of a ship
and walks into a room of her peers
in only her underwear
cringing in fear of being noticed
and worrying over the test
she never studied for

she laughs over a joke she cannot remember
and speaks to the embassy
and holds the hand of the one she loved

with every moment she moves quickly
from one thing to the next
seemingly seamlessly

until finally
she is home by morning

where she is meant to be
tucking her dreams away
until night comes again

By GlacierNPS [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By GlacierNPS [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

the parts of me that never were

I huddle in the back of the cold room

and lift the lid of the wooden chest in the corner,

in the bottom right

there is the faded cardboard box

I lift it out and gently take the lid off

 

the tissue paper is just as I remember

a bit more yellowed, some disintegrating

between my worn fingers

 

and then, there amongst the wisps

and clouds of tissue

are what I’ve tucked away over the years

 

the dreams

 

from all the years–

the silly and the real,

the big ones and the small,

barely dared to be breathed aloud ones

 

dreams of being

a teacher

a veterinarian

the first female president

dreams of writing a book

of starting a home for those with none

of dancing under the starlight on the deck of a ship

of wearing an elegant gown in a castle

 

the dreams of singing with a favorite star

or of acting on the stage again

or of seeing the Space Needle or

walking down a snow-covered street

in New York City at Christmas

 

of traveling across the country in an RV

 

dreams that, one at a time,

I’ve let go of

and tucked

unceremoniously

in this box

 

as I touch them and feel them

and wrap my heart around each one

I no longer feel the loss

or sadness over letting each one go

they are fading memories of a time gone by,

of a person I used to be

almost a comfort

like an old, familiar quilt

or a story I’ve read over and over

 

and memorized in my heart

 

they are all a part of me

and yet they never were

 

############################

 

Today our Princess was beaming as she told Mess Cat that since she will be eleven in almost a year, she will be expecting her letter from Hogwart’s next year–or the next, since school will have already started for them at the school of magic when she has her birthday.  I asked her did she really think she would leave us and go live there, and our bright and shining girl smiled and said with a wave of her hand–“Oh I will write…..I can use the owls to send letters back.”

She dreams big, and she is happy living in the dream for now.  It is my hope that she can tuck it away with a heart filled with peace one day, and that her heart won’t break when her letter doesn’t arrive.

 

Big, beautiful dreams and love to all.

 

 

 

 

 

First Presidential Candidate for 2044 Throws His Hat in the Ring

“Mama, how did President Obama get to be President?” Cooter asked me today as I was fixing his lunch.

I explained that the President had to tell everyone his ideas and the people who liked them voted for him.  He got the most votes so he was elected President.

He took a bite of his homemade pizza.  “Wow.  So I could be President?”

“Well, yes, if you decided that’s what you wanted to do and people liked your ideas,” I answered.

“Yes!” He pumped his fist.  “Yes.  That’s what I’m gonna do.  I’m going to be the President and I’ll do a better job than even President Obama.”

I was immediately swept back in time.  I was a year or two older than Cooter I think.  I lay on the carpet at my Great Aunt’s house where I was spending a few days.  I had a big book of facts (wonder where that book got off to?), and one of the facts was all about being President–how old one had to be, the lifelong responsibilities and privileges, and so on.  In the front of the book I wrote out all of the election years from that year to  2004 (it seemed so far away then), calculating when I would be over 35 and could run.  That was the year.  I was so convinced that I was going to be the first female president.  That year.

Wow.

I even started a story/book about me being President of the USA back then.  United Stuffed Animals.  I lined them all up on my bed and wrote away.

My political career was short-lived.

Only time will tell if Cooter’s will be as well.

He did not mean his comment about being a better President to disparage our current President.  All politics aside, we don’t do that around here.  It’s an office that we respect.  The end.  He just thinks he’d do a fabulous job.

And I’m inclined to agree.  At least he seems to have his priorities straight.  I’m told he did ask for prayers last night in his Bible story class.  One for the safety of his cousin who was heading out of town.  And the other one for more doughnuts on the weekends.

Yep.  He’s got it together.

Well, you know, as together as a seven-year old politician can.

Love to all.

 

 

What would you take?

Sleep is an elusive creature these days. I can be very, very tired, eyes drooping and fall into a deep slumber only to find myself wide awake in the early hours and unable to fall asleep again anytime soon. I find myself missing my college days of truly sleeping in–rising on Saturdays at 11:30 and dashing over for brunch in my sweats before they shut it down at 11:45. Those were the days…..for sleeping anyway.

But last night, I was sleeping soundly. So soundly I did one of those things where I woke up, reviewed my dream, and fell back into it. In part one, friends of ours stationed in Germany were living in this huge complex that was housed in a beautiful, historical looking building. They were living up on one of the top floors. Outside of their “apartment” was this very open staircase area, and the staircase could be seen as far down as you could look. It was as though there were no end–they were up that high. The husband told us that’s where we should live–it was beautiful and efficient and a great place. Well…..heights and me…..fair weather friends. I can handle it in some situations, but not in others. And never,  in my wildest dreams, would I live in such a place with the scary, horrifying stair situation. Oh wait. I was wrong. In my wildest dream, just last night, I DID live in that place. This was after the intermission where I woke up to think, why is he telling us to live there? That’s just crazy. Zzzzzz I was back out and there we were, living in this very high rise mansion. With all those staircases.

But good news, it was beautiful. However, this is about the time someone started talking about structural instability…..and how the whole thing could collapse at any point. The culprit? You got it. Those ridiculously frightening staircases. I knew when I stepped out on it and IT SHOOK, we had serious problems. This is when the order was issued. Everyone was to get out. There actually were elevators in the complex,  and some folks were using them. No way. I know what can happen with that. So I started easing my way down those already collapsing staircases, only to find myself back in the apartment with the assignment of grabbing what was important to take with me.  (I think my children were with me, maybe, but this was a pretty egocentric dream, truth.)  What I chose to take couldn’t be very heavy or cumbersome. I grabbed a bottle of spices–probably the Greek seasoning I used to make our Greek chicken burgers last night, but I didn’t have time to really check. I also grabbed a huge glass jar of juice or liquid of some kind. You know, because that’s not awkward to manage at all when exiting a collapsing building. Then I was off.

Not the actual jar and spices from my dream, just added for special effects

Not the actual jar and spices from my dream, just added for special effects

The rest of the details are hazy, and I woke up again. And I lay there. Spices? Juice or whatever? Seriously?

So I thought about my LIST. I have a friend who has a specific list of what to get out in case of a fire. I know in general, but a specific list? Beyond the children? Ummmmm, not really. So at 3 a.m. I worked on my list. In the dark.

What really matters in that situation is humbling, isn’t it? I think I would grab the hard drive. It has our pictures on it, and I wouldn’t want to lose those. I would like to grab the fire proof box, but I decided I would chance it living up to its name because it’s pretty heavy. I have a bag that has legal documents that I’m dealing with right now, so I’d better grab that or I’d be in big trouble. The thing is, there are so many things I am not able to get rid of for sentimental reasons or because “I might need” or “Maybe one day,” but when it comes down to it…..I didn’t put a one of them on my list. My children and my pictures. My past and my future.

Someone shared the other day that if you see your house is on fire and are relieved, that should tell you something. I do not want my house to burn down, but when it comes down to what is really important, what I no kidding do not want to let go of, that is telling. This is the season for rebirth and spring cleaning and growing into something new. I think that my dream last night, and the hours of processing after are teaching me something. I can let go of some things that I haven’t been able to before. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but when it comes down to what really truly matters in my life, I have a bunch of stuff around me that really doesn’t matter.

And included in that are the spices and that jar of juice.