Monday, August 11, 2014

Connecting to Home

“One writes to make a home for oneself,
on paper, in time, in other's minds.
                                                        Alfred Kazin
So many aspects of my life have felt like "home" that I could write more than one post on what creates that sense of belonging.
One is Smell

Fragrant dirt on a rainy day reminds me of my mother Trudy, and her large family.  
Visiting Pennsylvania, always meant time frolicking with my cousins and older brothers. One time we headed out into the wide wilderness of their surrounding property eventually winding up at the pond.  At that small, ribbit-filled spot of water we would catch tiny almost see-through tadpoles. Sliding them gently into mason jars, that felt like they weighed a hundred pounds to my little 5 year old hands, became the focus of the moment. While we were laughing and screaming in pursuit of those little fidgety baby frogs raindrops start softly falling on the earth around us. Bigger drops fall more rapidly eventually clouding over our eyes and soaking our skin. 
(Kids don't care about rain, they just keep going on with whatever they are doingIt's the olders and the adults that make the nonsensical decision to have to get out of the rain because they are soaked.  If they are already soaked why not stay out continuing to have fun? To this day, I don't understand that reasoning.) 
Those care free days of cousins and fun soaked into my soul just like the rain was soaking into the rich, dark dirt. The freshness of the air, the rich aroma of the soil have become embedded in my mind.
I've been working on a short memoir relating to my mother through the depiction of this very exact visit involving the sense of smell.  It has eluded me. It is driving me absolutely batty.  I had my old professor (my mentor) read it over and she had me taking so much of myself out of it that it no longer seemed even an inkling of memoir. 
It ticked me off.  I know that you should write with enough truth to be yours and then fill in the missing imagery to have it be something that connects to the reader subsequently becoming theirs; however, what she was asking me to do was to infuse the blood back in, sew up the cut and act like it had happened to someone else.  How do you write something that doesn't even have an ounce of truth to your soul?  I had to stop writing it, it was no longer MINE.

I really want to finish that memoir, so tomorrow in the peace and quiet of the morning, (hopefully there are no landscape guys to ruin it) I will attempt a fresh start on my memory.

*What makes you feel at home? Is it a smell, a place, certain music, particular people? Home is both a place and a state of mind. 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Sitting on a Stoop

My early morning is usually spent sitting on my front stoop reading with a big glass of O.J. sitting besides me.
Today that peace was ruined by two landscapers who stared at me instead of doing their job. After staring them down for a what felt like forever but was really only a minute, I wandered despondent to the backyard where the sun doesn't shine until late afternoon.  I love the sun, I need the sun, my day will now be crappy without that morning rejuvenation to my soul.

I was annoyed —I could hear those obnoxious weed trimmers buzzing, overcoming the lovely sound of the chirping of crickets and the songs of the cardinals that usually inhabit my bush and bird feeder at this time of day. 
I am sure that when the cardinals flew away they were squawking at me to go away, just like I was willing the landscapers to.

Those 5 cardinals love the backyard as it is their private domain in the wee hours of late morning. 
Copyright: Life is a Snap! photography 2014

I feel bad— those landscapers are ruining the day for my red headed friends too. Grrr... 

Some how the humidity is more noticeable without the sun being involved. Funny how that happens. Most people complain about the sunshine AND humidity, I'm a tag team type of girl I guess. It's fine when they are together, it's not so fine when it's just the humidity. The breeze playing in the backyard doesn't seem strong enough to change my mind on this point. 

Maybe if I sit real still and quiet my friends will come back? 

All of a sudden another truck drives up to the home which sits kiddie corner from mine (where did the term kiddie corner come from anyway?) It's another landscape truck, then a white truck with a water barrel creeps into view from the road running through off those backyards, great- the fence painters are back!!! 

I have to think, it really is Thursday, correct? Usually all the work guys come on Wednesday to all these homes, why are they a day late? 
Why can't these neighbors do their own yards like normal people on Saturday????

Boy, I really need to find a new place to wake up. I really do love my front stoop though. I guess I better head in so my little friends can play. I am sure the Landscape guys don't bother them.
Five minutes inside and it is quiet once again.  Isn't that the way it always goes? 
I guess I throw on some sneakers and head off for a walk while there is peace in the air.