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Childhood Remembered

I remember Saturdays going to town with him. Town was a six mile trek and riding along with Pawpaw was a treat. I am sure he brought along other of the grandchildren on occasion. But I think he had this way of making each of us feel special so I only remember it being just him and me. I remember him buying me a chic-o-stick at a store. The store vague in my memory. A hardware store perhaps. The remainder of the Saturday trips unclear in my memory now thirty years later. Odd the things we remember. I rarely see chic-o-sticks in the candy section now, but when I do I always remember these trips to town as a little girl.

I remember sitting beside him at his old upright piano. Listening. Pecking at keys. Discovering. Roots of my love for music found with him. The music was woven into his being. A God given gift. For me it was a talent, but one requiring more work. Not as easy as it was for him.

I remember my fingers gliding over the keys. A child’s version of Beethoven’s Fur Elise I was learning. Him listening and encouraging.

I remember other things too that I would rather forget. Like the cancer.

But I’ll choose to remember the other things. The pleasant things more. The chick-o-sticks, the piano and a pawpaw that might not have hung the moon, but in a granddaughter’s eyes helped God set it in its place.

What are some things you remember from your childhood? Do you have special memories of your grandparents?

I’m linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time blog carnival and also 3 From Here & There.

Fences Can Almost Always Be Climbed

Fences line the country roads of my youth. Keeping the animals from escape. Keeping them safe.
How many fences do we have in our lives that keep us safe? Sometimes safe does not lead us to our purpose. Safe does not always allow us to grow. 
Do you build fences around your heart out of fear? Has your fear of failing built a fence between you and your dream? 
Do you ever feel others build fences to keep you from becoming who you want to be? Their expectations smothering your true purpose?
To be fair many times these expectations are assumed by us and not overtly given. Perhaps we observe actions or gossip causing us to realize our friends would not approve of the real us. So we hide part of who we are or what we believe. 
I have been a people pleaser most of my life. I have lived wanting everyone to like me. I could see what was on the other side. What I could accomplish. But the fences, their expectations, felt safe. If I decide to scale that fence they won't like me. If I verbalize how I truly feel about certain things they will judge. 
But this fear of failing? This fear of no one liking me? They have built fences around my dreams. 
While I am learning to overcome this need for people to like me, there are still days I hold back. The fear of not being good enough still attacks. 
The thing about fences though? They can almost always be climbed over.
Linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time Blog Carnival.


Not a Farm Girl

Foothills surround the valleys and farms of my childhood. While farms were a part of my life I was never a farm girl. Even being raised ‘out in the country’ I am unsure I was ever meant to be a country girl.

I remember many afternoons sitting on my great grandparents’ porch on their farm. Snapping beans and shucking corn. Oh how I hated those chores. Temperatures were hot and I would rather have been reading. Escaping into a fictional world where I was a princess.

I live in a small town now. No longer the southern belle living near the farmlands. However there are aspects of the country I miss. Especially when I return to visit my parents and am reminded how a part of me will always belong amidst the roads and paths of the farmlands and countryside.

The Appalachian foothills that look almost blue on a sunny day. The horses grazing at a neighbor’s farm. The cows bellowing at my uncle’s farm.

The sounds of night are always better there. The pollution of noise and light confined to the city fifteen miles away. Only the occasional car passing by instead of the busy highway. Stars twinkle brighter and constellations reveal themselves with less apprehension than near the city. Frogs croak louder and crickets chirp faster. The nocturnals call out from the forests.

At night I sit on my porch here at the edge of our small town. I gaze at the stars although they don’t twinkle as brightly. I listen to the frogs and crickets although the sounds of the highway muffle them somewhat. And I remember. I remember what I love about the farms and countryside.

And I’m thankful.

Linking up with Peter Pollock for the One Word at a Time blog carnival. 

Mind Games

I'm linking up for the first time at the One Word at a Time blog carnival with Peter Pollock. I'm not sure this will even make sense considering most of what I have written are rambling thoughts from the past day or so. 

We play games with ourselves. In our minds at least. Or maybe we allow someone else  to play games with our minds.

I've been there. It's easy to allow those thoughts to take over. Doubts creep in and you wonder why things aren't different. The "if onlys" start. The loneliness sets in. You wonder if you'll ever have friends that can truly identify with you. I think these feelings are magnified for creatives who often feel misunderstood. Creatives are often blessed with hyper sensitive spirits. At times it feels like a curse. 

You give and give and give until you are just sick of pouring out. Sick of listening. Yes even sick of caring. Drained. If others do try to pour into you it’s difficult to hear the positives. Instead you hear everything you’re doing wrong. How you're failing. 

Thankfully God sends another voice to battle the game the negatives like to play if we will only listen. Reminding us we do not need the approval of others. Wrapping us in His grace. 

Oh the games those little voices play on the battlefield of our minds. Yet I'm beginning to believe we should guardedly listen. Is there a lesson to be learned? And which games in life are worth playing? We must listen carefully for the one voice that matters. For the only voice that matters in the games played in our minds. 

It's when we recognize that voice we know: which games we are supposed to play and from which ones we need to walk away.