The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
― Albert Einstein
This month’s prompt was challenging: What did your day look like when you got home from school?
I am most certain that it would bring no benefit to anyone and most especially me to go back and recall what my day looked like when I got home from school.
I visited my library on Friday and picked up a book of Naomi Shihab Nye’s poems: Fuel
And of course she had the answer for me… (because doesn’t poetry always?!)
BECAUSE OF LIBRARIES WE CAN SAY THESE THINGS
by Naomi Shihab Nye
She is holding the book close to her body,
carrying it home on the cracked sidewalk,
down the tangled hill.
If a dog runs at her again, she will use the book as a shield.
She looked hard among the long lines
of books to find this one.
When they start talking about money,
when the day contains such long and hot places,
she will go inside.
An orange bed is waiting.
Story without corners.
She will have two families.
They will eat at different hours.
She is carrying a book past the fire station
and the five-and-dime.
What this town has not given her
the book will provide; a sheep,
a wilderness of new solutions.
The book has already lived through its troubles.
The book has a calm cover, a straight spine.
When the step returns to itself
as the best place for sitting,
the old men up and down the street
are latching their clippers,
she will not be alone.
She will have a book to open
and open and open.
Her life starts here.
Before we get to our exhibit, I need to pause and reflect on the Lahaina that was and mourn the loss of it… as it was and shall never be again.
Decades ago in 1985 my then very significant other took me on the most incredible vacation to Hawaii. He worked hard (and played harder) and so we had “mileage tickets” for first class tickets to Hawaii. It was delightful… so incredibly beautiful… and we spent a good bit of time in Lahaina. It was so lovely… with such history… and those Banyan trees. The news of the devastating fire that decimated the town is heartbreaking. I have not stopped thinking about my time there. The awe at the majesty of those trees, the quaintness of the whaling town, and the rustic bars that were abundant on Front Street. There was nothing quite like Lahaina… and my heart aches for those who lost their lives, those who lost their homes, their businesses… everything. I am so glad that in my “mind’s eye” I can still see it as it was and am so grateful I was able to visit it in my life.
Waimea Canyon (on Kauai) is the backdrop for a much thinner me. And how about those sun glasses!
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. ― Virginia Woolf
Welcome to the post that has challenged me this month: What foods do you eat now that you couldn’t have imagined eating as a child?
Hmm. Great question to ask the child of the world’s worst cook – my mother. Really! The. Worst. (how did I know this? Well, her mother was an amazing cook… and I don’t quite know what happened, but there we have it!) In my home the was lots of “goulash” (not to be confused with gulyás), fake mashed potatoes, Campbell’s Soups (yeah my mother never, ever made soup from scratch), and “Chili” with celery (really… it was just a “soupier goulash” with beans substituted for macaroni). Needless to day, I much preferred my Nana’s home cooking… my nana made *everything* from scratch.
I have always, always been an adventurous eater… that kid who liked things other kids did not. Yes, I was “that kid” who would eat – and enjoy – liver, tongue, chicken hearts, livers and gizzards… but I especially loved trying new things! I had a friend whose mother made the best enchiladas I have ever eaten… and every enchilada I have eaten since Mrs. Collazo’s enchiladas have paled in comparison!
But I think the thing I most appreciate now is someone who takes the time to cook *anything* from scratch. There is something about someone taking the time to make a meal that just elevates it to another level… even the simplest of dishes! Something made with love just tastes better.
Today, there is little I won’t eat…and I am still on that search for an enchilada that compares to Mrs. Collazo’s!
Thank you so very much for visiting this months exhibit! See you all back here next week!
Welcome to this month’s exhibit which has been a bit hastily put together… I forgot that a new exhibit was due!
This month suggested exhibit: Put together a soundtrack for a day in your life. What songs do you choose and why?
What songs and why… well, I think the songs sort of explain themselves. But the why… well a perfect day is not every day. So the music I selected is for that perfect day.
I cannot start the day without coffee… really. And my favorite “coffee” song is Java Jive by The Manhattan Transfer!
Once that coffee is made and Sherman has been walked… I savor the quiet. Cue Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence (I know, I know… this song is about much more than silence… but it still works!)
In my perfect day, I would have uninterrupted knitting time… and who knew there was a knitting song?! Thanks Bill Eddie for The Knitting Song!
As the day winds down, that magical hour arrives… you know it… the Happiest Hour! LOL UB40’s Red Red Wine works for most days!
The perfect day is one where I don’t have to answer the dreaded question… what’s for dinner. I so appreciate a night of “to go” delivered! We don’t do this often so when it happens it is a real treat! Manhattan Transfer’s Soul Food To Go…
I know I said the perfect day… but really… most nights Bruce Springsteen’s 57 Channels (and nothin’ on) is reality.
Finally… the perfect night means one with no insomnia… Bing Crosby’s Count Your Blessings from White Christmas has some great advice.
I hope you all found this musical interlude into my day as fun as I did! See you all back here next week!
This month’s exhibit is a study in contrasts… the then and now of my Happy Place! And… has my Happy Place changed over the years.
When I was much younger my Happy Place was tied to a physical place… my grandparent’s home was at the top of that list… and if going to a physical place was not possible, then letting a book “take me away” was the next best thing! And those things worked for my happy place for a very long time.
My Happy Place now has expanded a bit… grown up, perhaps. I still love to read a book that will “take me away”… thank goodness! But I don’t need to physically go someplace. Although, I’d love to be able to head over to my grandparent’s house and while away the hours with them! I think my grandpa would love for me to recite some of my favorite poems to him! And an afternoon cooking with my nana sounds heavenly! Thankfully, I have their memories tucked away safely inside me and those memories are there for me to visit any time I want!
Today however, I also am so incredibly happy when I am making things… knitting was the best thing I ever did for myself… picking up some yarn, needles, a how to knit book and teaching myself to knit (pre-YouTube days!) was so wise as was finding a LYS that was a true delight and who helped expand my love for knitting. Knitting remains the gateway to happy these days… and I am so grateful to past me for embarking on this journey!
However my happy place has been expanding recently! Watercolor painting has moved up significantly on my Happy Place List in the past year. I am so thankful that a friend forwarded me an email that put my feet on this path…
And I even have a couple of “exhibits” to share with you… the first and last lessons from the latest painting class!
It took me several years to figure out who I am and a few more to accept what I discovered. Now, I’m in the enjoyment stage of that process and it’s a happy place. — Jolene Blalock
It took me a while to get to this point, but gosh I am so happy to be here now!
Happy Friday everyone, I will see you all back here on Monday!
There is always one moment in childhood when a door opens and lets the future in. — Graham Greene
I have spent a good bit of time contemplating this post. Then versus now… 10 year old me versus 62 year old me.
I looked for photo’s, but… sadly, there are few photos from my childhood. I could find my 6th grade photo… but not one from the year before. But perhaps my memories will be enough… and by leaning in to authenticity… perhaps I will have some success telling a story that is hard to tell.
Ten year old me was an avid reader… books, you see gave me the greatest escape. I could settle into a book and suddenly be miles away. But, really… the only hope I had for my childhood was to simply survive. The “open door to my future” did not come until my sophomore year in high school, when I moved in permanently with my grandparents.
I’ve never spent any time then… or now… immersed in self-pity. Do I wish things had been different for me? Some days yes… (especially, when I have to figure out how to unpack the past and talk about it in any fashion…sigh) but most days not at all and though it has taken me a long time to say this… I very much like the person I am today… a person who still loves to read and most definitely is a survivor!
I think that 10 year old me would love what I am today… a confident, independent woman. I think that 10 year old who had no confidence for so many things, herself included, has found the confidence to say yes to things, and, perhaps more importantly, to say no to things as well..without worries of repercussions. I think that 10 year old me would love that I make myself a priority for some part of each day. I think 10 year old me would love how I am working through this year learning how to be more authentic with myself… a big part of which is learning to temper my inner critic. I think 10 year old me would be amazed that I am like myself…lots! And that I am learning to nurture those moments like the treasure they are!
But there are fun then and now things as well… I think 10 year old me would be shocked at how I now have an entire wardrobe made by me… that I wear regularly and LOVE! (10 Year Old Me thought ready-to-wear clothes that were not “second hand” were a wonder!)
I think 10 year old me would really wonder how I can like to read books that aren’t about horses…(for the longest time 10 year old me thought that Black Beauty was the be all, end all of books!)
I think that 10 year old me might wonder why I don’t spend time outdoors galloping around… or singing silly songs… (10 year old me could belt out all the “jingles!” and I still have perfect recall of all the words of this ditty as well as practically perfect recall of every episode of Schoolhouse Rock!)
I think that 10 year old me who struggled mightily with math would be in awe of my mad math skills today!
All in all… I am so grateful to that 10 year old girl who knew that escape and survive was the best solution then…and to the me now who realizes that it is okay for the past to stay in the past. That while that past made me what I am, it does not make up the minutes of my day today. And that makes then and now so much better!
Thank you for visiting this month… I will be. back on Wednesday with some Skirt Knitting updates!
This month’s prompt asked about what old, worn out thing can we not part with… I have thought long and hard about this post… and I am twisting it about a bit. Rather than worn out, I have found the well-worn… as in well-worn memories. (and it is especially relevant this month!)
Most exhibits in the Museum of Me all exist in the deep pools of my memories… well-worn and much loved memories, but not memories that I reminisce over regularly. But then something triggers those memories and they float to the top of the pool when they shimmer on the surface, lingering in the most wonderful way.
This month is one of those Memory Triggers for me…always in April my thoughts turn to my maternal grandfather… who loved poetry. He did not just love poetry, he memorized poetry and recited it often. He loved to talk about poetry, he loved you to ask questions about the poems he read and recited.
When I was a little girl, I can remember him reverently reciting Joyce Kilmer’s Trees and wondering if he was praying. My grandpa especially loved two poets… yes, Joyce Kilmer but also Carl Sandburg. He read other poets, but he memorized the poems of Kilmer and Sandburg.
My grandpa frequently quoted Sandburg poems, Fog and When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d. I did not realize until I looked up Lilacs how long it was and I am not sure if my grandpa knew the whole thing, but I remember hearing many of the verses.
Like Kilmer, my grandpa was a man of profound faith and later in life when MS ravaged his body, his recall of Kilmer’s Prayer of a Soldier in France had new meaning for him. I remember many discussions with him about how MS might defeat his body, but it would not defeat his attitude… and it would never take his faith.
Now my days start with poetry… and I can hear my grandpa asking “what took you so long?” Reading poetry is something that I have come to love and it is something that connects me to my memories of him… and occasionally, those memories rise to the surface and I feel that connection even more.
My grandpa… in the back… the only one looking at the camera!
Thank you for stopping and reliving some of the memories of my grandfather with me!