There’s so much content running through my brain as well as content already contained. I’d like to invite you, dear reader, into my world of Busted Flip Flops. We’ll explore observations of life, musings about becoming Mom, Cherry Pearl the snorting pug, weird dreams, recipes, movies, ’80’s nostalgia, picking up strays (the furry and the non), and unfeigned poetry. Watch for weekly upcoming posts as these beach reads begin to build and form like, well, a castle in the sand...
When we clothe ourselves in the past
we are suffocating our future
like a wool scarf wrapped around the neck
during a long, stifling summer
These photographs on the wall
a reminder of all we have worked for
all we have accomplished
the adventures and the love
I could cry like I did yesterday
and long for the good times
the beginning of a journey
that would indefinitely change its course
I could enshroud myself in regret
and guilt and longing
like I have many times
looking through the cracked mirror
But then I am not breathing
am not truly living
So I must inhale the air of the present
nod to those smiling photographs
Know I have done good in this life
and there is much more to do
unravel the woolen suppression
unbound by the virtue of today’s truth.
When the sea was calm
I was restless
awaiting the flip
of a mermaid’s tail
And when it did not
come into view
I closed my eyes and
floated for a few
Then the swish of the
shimmering propeller came
and I welcomed it joyfully
and she the same
The sea swirled around us
and we became a team
the stars and sun
Our movements synchronized
our thoughts one
And the swirls continued
and the restlessness passed
lifted at last
Her gleaming essence
my solace in waters of blue-green
her songs always calling to me
Her fondness growing as well
as she inhaled breaths
of my starry air
Then swirls became waves
and waves became storms
we held tight to each other
never washing upon the shore
But there was nowhere to dock
nowhere to keep moored
Our cadence continues
on the high seas
her fins never tire
my feet never sleep
We sometimes dream
when all was composed
was all we owned
But the truth among
the swish and the stars
is that our sea
was never really calm.
Photo courtesy of http://sapphiresirendreams.com/mermaid-lore/
I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately. The one who is deceased, not the one who is alive. Granny is still dipping snuff and listening to country music in her ranch-style home. Nana is somewhere with that great spirit in the sky, perhaps noshing on walnuts and dancing to Glenn Miller.
But I have felt her presence lately. I’m not sure why she has decided to visit but I will welcome it nevertheless.
The other day I was sitting at the dining room table, a worn 1920’s set I inherited from Nana’s mother. For a moment I was ten again, or rather wished I was. I could hear echoes of my cousin’s laughter and smell the buttered toast Nana would broil for us every morning. I could see her spinning in the front room to the sound of the jazz album. I could feel the spongy firmness of the big eraser I used to delete scattered lines from my latest Spirograph design.
There was always something to do at Nana and Papa’s. Whether it was trudging and scavenging and playing among Papa’s junk yard or dancing to the music from the turn table and playing “Office” in the living room or being a guinea pig in one of my older cousin’s traps or home-made haunted houses in the basement.
Sometimes it feels like those times were a hundred years ago. But thank god I have those memories at least.
I love that my own son now plays around that worn antique set. Does his homework there. Builds Legos. Has chatty weeknight dinners with me there. I bought him a Spirograph set a while back. He didn’t quite take to it like I thought he would.
I think my Nana would be proud of me for the most part. Maybe that’s why she visits from time to time. Just to let me know.
And to remind me to keep dancing.
We’re sun-kissed and
not just grey matter
Hopeless romantics and dreamers
Keepers of secrets
collectors of quartz and jasper
We listen to guitar and synth
Take out the garbage
bring some in
On this plane we have evolved
no more screaming in the driveway
all is calm
No we are not just grey matter
We are of the same blood
I’ve always been a proponent of vacations. Every vacation I ever took left me with a newfound sense of zen, an inspiration to tweak things in my life, and an altered way of looking at my surroundings.
I just got back from a three week road trip (tour de South) with the boy, who is twelve years old- that splendid minute between childhood and adolescence. He still sleeps with his stuffed animal Snuggles yet he forgot I existed once on our trip when a fellow 21 Pilots fan with long dark hair and a braided choker necklace entered his world.
Besides my glorious trips overseas in my teens and twenties I have not been away from home for this length of time. I can be a cave-dweller. When not at work or grocery shopping at Walmart I stick to my minute radius, often ignoring the slight nag to interact with humanity on a physical level.
Vacations pluck you out of your comfort zone, plop you into the unknown, and enlighten your sense of self. I learned I can keep up with preteens on a floating obstacle course (although I could barely lift my arms the next day). I realized I am pretty good at being a chameleon when it comes to cohabitating with various families and groups of people (although I had to slink away at small intervals to get away from the tiresome chatter I’d rather replace with a good book or staring at the tops of the trees).
I urinated in several outdoor locations without soaking my feet. I got lost in the banjo-echoed boonies without becoming completely inconsolable. I drove through thunderstorms and along winding mountain roads and alongside Live Oaks draped in Spanish moss.
I sang aloud to Boz Scaggs and Jimmy Hendrix and Weezer. I sipped coffee with my brother. I read fairy tales to my nephew. I poured my grandmother a glass of milk. I floated down rivers with friends I hope I have forever.
And all this with my son.
When we pulled into our driveway I was a bit dejected. Reality. Chores. Bills. Work. Homework. But if I can tackle these things with the zen I felt on the mountain, the freedom I felt on the open road, the happiness I felt surrounded by friends and family, then maybe these mundane tasks won’t be so stressful.
“I feel strongly about Saturn” was written in marker on a wooden bed in a cabin in the north Florida woods. It made me think of all the travelers who came there before me. And the dreams of stellar travels to come.
This photograph encapsulates so much of what I remember-and miss- about the ’80s. This is a real photograph (as if you couldn’t tell from the faded color and
hideous retro wallpaper) of me, my bro, and some neighbor kids in the kitchen where I ate many of my meals from 1979 to 1995.
This kitchen went through several make-overs over the decades but this is what it looked like for many of my young childhood years. That damn telephone cord ticked me off more than a few times as it either coiled up in a way even Houdini would have a difficult time unraveling the thing or it choked me or my brother as my mom methodically raced around the kitchen prepping hobo dinners and fried apricot pies.
But there was always a surprise to who may be on the other end of the line when it loudly rang until you picked it up. And during phone conversations there was not really anywhere to go but stretch the cord beyond its limits into the dining room to have a “private” conversation.
And that Tupperware. I don’t know how but I have that olive-green bowl I’m eating from in the photograph resting on a shelf in my own kitchen now. Don’t know what happened to the others. I suppose they are in Tupperware heaven, reuniting with their lids. I take my Greek yogurt to school in mine and the kids look at it as if it’s a relic from an ancient civilization. God knows how many PBAs have mutated inside. But I love it because it reminds me of this time. The ’80s. A time I will forever be nostalgic about.
Look how happy we are eating our ice cream. At first glance I thought it might be cottage cheese because we did eat that with canned pineapple at times but what kids would be that excited about curdled cheese?
My brother was always goofy. I was the overachiever who loved him making me laugh. Though now he is 700 miles away from me I can hear a line from a movie or song from our childhood and burst out in laughter thinking how he would mimic it.
There are hundreds more nostalgic memories I have from those years but right now I’ll just leave it at this one photograph.
Even though most everything in that kitchen is now in a landfill (except the rustic fall scene painting- my Granny has it) that is how the kitchen always looks in my dreams.
What did your childhood kitchen look like? Is there anything you wish you still had from it?
Two weeks into summer break and I already can’t spell certain words. For a moment I almost forgot the word ‘selection’ starts with an ‘s’ not a ‘c’. I guess this is why they have my son doing summer homework.
“How often do you need me to do homework?” he asks.
Given that he has 30 days of math problems, two books to read and answer a series of questions about, and some writing exercises (fun!), I suggest EVERY DAY.
And I have given myself homework as well. Such as reading (I finished a young adult novel in 3 days) and writing (here I am). Of course I will also help him with his homework as long as it’s not algebra.
Brain gets stagnant and dumb if you don’t use it. Or if you watch too much TV.
Everyone deserves a break though. I think everyone should have two weeks off each season to fully enjoy all that nature and other passions have to offer. Alas other types of learning during those times.
But this is America and unfortunately I don’t see this happening. Only in my little dream world where ice cream has no calories and unicorns prance around the streets.
But thank god for summer break. And I am truly sorry for those of you who don’t get one. If it makes you feel any better this school year I had to wipe poo off toilet seats, smell about 35 stinky sneakers every day, observe at least 10 bloody teeth being extracted, act as counselor/therapist/nurse in countless situations, and cried to myself on a few occasions while feeling all the feelings that erupt embarrassing stifled bouts of snot-bubble sobbery at work. And that was just the first three months.
So we’ll both enjoy this break and learn a little something along the way. And for the record I do know how to spell