Tag Archives: time

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.

 

Time Transformed, Time Abandoned

Warning: Photo heavy post. This week’s theme for Photo Friday was ‘Time.’ Below is my take.

“Why is it I only realize how much I miss the foothills of my childhood when I return for a visit?” I posted this question on twitter and Facebook during a recent visit to my parents’. To which a dear friend replied: “that’s why they call it home.”

I travel ninety miles to visit my parents every couple of months. A few weeks ago when I went I took a new route for part of the journey. One that took me through an old military base that closed in 1999. As I drove through an area of Fort McClellan I had never seen I was struck by how time had changed the area surrounding my childhood home.
I visited the base as a child. My dad as a member of the National Guard had privileges on base, but my visual knowledge of the base was limited. Driving along an area in the eastern part I realized the government owned some of the most beautiful land in our county. Untouched by habitation or development.
When it was announced in 1997 that Fort McClellan would close everyone worried what impact it would have economically. I haven’t studied the economic impact now twelve years later, but it seems that the county is doing as well as any other area in the country considering all things. While a portion of the base belongs to the Alabama National Guard the majority of it has been given to the city. Many of the homes are being remodeled. Businesses are moving in.
I saw signs of growth. Base homes remodeled and sold. The senior officers area known as Buckner Circle showing signs of life. These more upscale homes of the base restored and now home to civilian families. Bicycles and swing sets dot the back yards.
Time has transformed these areas.
Yet other areas remain abandoned. As the detour wound me through the base I was struck by the dichotomy, the juxtaposition of it all. Vines overgrown, grass too high around buildings now empty with stories untold.
Time transformed. Time abandoned.
To view more of these photos visit the set on my Flickr here. I’ll also be sharing more photos I took from other areas of the county in the coming days.

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Gift of Ordinary Time

 

God gives us the gift of ordinary time. Days of normality. Much needed respites.

Life is filled with roller coasters of emotion. One day my spirit seems to drift high with His presence and peace. Anxiety and inner turmoil bombard on others. Days when I wonder what my purpose is. When I ask if my simple writings will be used by Him. Days when the mundane morphs into drudgery. Days where the endless questions from my eleven year old bring exhaustion.

We all wish to float on the high days do we not? I’m often jealous of those who seem perfectly balanced and happy all the time. But who am I to judge whether they have joy or not?

The days that seem so ordinary though are truly a gift. Days where balance holds reign on the emotions. These are days where our souls rest.

Our minds need respites. Respites give our spirits freedom to breathe. It’s in these moments of ordinary time our creativity can be refilled. My thoughts and ideas emerge amidst the ordinary moments. Preparing dinner, folding piles of laundry, taking a shower. These ordinary moments can become worship if we allow.

But it’s also these ordinary moments where we can learn to rest in the silence. For they often are filled with silence. There is something to be learned from worshipping in the silence. In the uncertainty when you don’t hear God’s voice or feel His presence. Maybe this is much more so for those of us who feel so deeply. Perhaps worshipping with our silence is in its own way seeking. You may think that worshipping in the silence is simply going through motions. Yet in these moments of ordinary time and silence I wonder if it is even more important to go through those motions.

Remembering during the silence is also in its own way worship. As I’ve felt these times of silence I’ve struggled to count the gifts He sends. I have to seek them……even in the silence. To take note of the gifts. I go through the motions even when my spirit does not feel like counting or seeking. I must.

Yet in going through the motions we are still seeking and the seeking becomes worship.

Ordinary time is a grace. Grace to give our minds, bodies and spirits time to breathe and worship. For these ordinary moments of our days can become extraordinary in His grace.

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.