weekly photo challenge: change.

My kitchen.  It has seen 18 years of unrelenting traffic.  Its floor supported 4 infants in their tireless progression from crawling to walking. Its walls have witnessed family meetings, pasta parties, book club discussions, and family political debates.  Its walls are happy walls, having heard their share of life’s familiar sounds: garrulous gossiping of teenage boys and girls, cries of toddlers, rants from frustrated parents, relentless barking from a Goldendoodle.  Its oversized, now very distressed, farmhouse table has been loved to the point of its own exhaustion (one leg is barely holding on with a pathetic looking screw.)  It is a proud table.  Proud of its ability to hold plates and glasses and books, papers, and pencils, and 9- year- old boys.  My kitchen is a gallery of children’s artwork – all priceless originals.

My kitchen is about to change.

Walls are being torn down to make space for a kitchen a bit larger and much more efficient and able to accommodate this growing family of mine.  It no longer is home base for 2 adults and 4 children.  Children are quickly becoming adults over here, and we need more space!  As much as I am welcoming change – and believe me I am –  this kitchen has been good to us, and I will miss it in some ways for sure.

However,

CHANGE? 

…Bring it on!

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Daily prompt: The Transporter.

Tell us about a sensation– a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood

I wonder sometimes when I hear the song “Seasons in the Sun” by Cat Stevens (which I don’t hear often,) why I am immediately transported back in time.  I always go back to a specific place.  It is a beach house owned by a friend of my father’s, but I can’t remember whose house it is.  I remember holding my father’s hand in the hot sunshine.  I remember a covered front porch where people gathered.  I was definitely less than 10 years old.

It is interesting that a song with such meaning transports me to this place.  To be perfectly honest, I sometimes wish I were not transported because when I hear the words, it saddens me.  Quite obviously, someone is facing death, saying goodbye to friends and loved ones.  Perhaps this song was a reminder to a young child to enjoy life – enjoy every day.

I keep this song close to my heart for many reasons.  It tells a story of love shared not only between two people, but also among family and friends.  I was lucky enough as a girl so young to have received the message of this song so strongly.  It speaks of young friendships, passing time, families, and forgiveness.  Even though the stars we can reach may be just “starfish on the beach,” I say keep reaching for them.  As my father (who is forever holding my hand) would have said,  it is through the simple life experiences in this song that we “learn how to love.”

“Seasons in the Sun”  by Cat Stevens:

goodbye to you my trusted friend
we´ve known each other since we
were nine or ten
together we´ve climbed hills and trees
learned of love and abc´s
skinned our hearts and
skinned our knees

goodbye my friend it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing
in the sky
now that spring is in the air
pretty girls are everywhere
think of me and i´ll be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the hills that we climbed were
just seasons out of time

goodbye papa please pray for me
i was the black sheep of the family
you tried to teach me right from wrong
too much wine and too much song
wonder how i got along

goodbye papa it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing in the sky
now that the spring is in the air
little children everywhere
when you see them i´ll be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like the
seasons have all gone
we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like
the seasons have all gone, yeah

goodbye michelle my little one
you gave me love and helped
me find the sun
and every time that i was down
you would always come around
and get my feet back on
the ground

goodbye michelle it´s hard to die
when all the birds are singing in
the sky
now that the spring is in the air
with the flowers everywhere
i wish that we could both be there

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the stars we could reach
were just starfish on the beach

we had joy we had fun we had
seasons in the sun
but the wine and the song like the
seasons have all gone

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daily prompt: Show and Tell

You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation. 

Last month, a close family friend passed away.  Our families were neighbors.  We celebrated holidays together. I grew up  with his children.  We walked to school together.  We played kickball together in the street on those long spring evenings when it seemed the night would never fall.  I lounged on the gold shag rug in the basement of his house as his daughter and I shared stories.  I split my lip open after a fall on the “ice” (really just frozen swampland filled with twigs waiting to be tripped upon) in his back yard while attempting to skate at night.  In his kitchen I sat and enjoyed Italian cookies fresh out of the oven, coated in quickly melting powdered sugar.  I trusted him like I trusted my own father, and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

This post is dedicated a family friend and neighbor who will always be thought of with a smile and a chuckle.  A man who was happy on the day I was born, simply because I arrived.  Thank you for the memories Mr. Farina, we will miss you dearly.

 …

As time passes, and I am living through the losses of people from my childhood, I have found myself thinking, “Was he/she happy on the day I was born?”  It’s interesting really, to think back to a day that you can not humanly remember, and yet know that your presence brought joy to someone who has life here on Earth has ended.

I chose to use a book for “Show and Tell.”  On the Day You Were Born, by Debra Frasier.  The quotes that I use are from this book.  Who doesn’t like to hear the story about the day they were born?

As I look around the room at all of your young faces, I notice something interesting.  Something that we may take for granted every single day.  Something really cool.  That something is this:  Every single one of you is different.  You don’t look like anyone else.  You don’t sound like anyone else.  You don’t “feel” like anyone else.  You are the one and only you!  And that, my friends, is a very special gift.

As different as we all are, we all have something in common.  We all have a special day of the year that we celebrate our very own event.  That day is our birthday.  What a fun day it is!  It is the day you remember the moment that you came into this world.  The moment that so many people were joyful because of you.

“On the eve of your birth word of your coming passed from animal to animal.”  Your mom and dad, your grandparents, your brothers and sisters…all of these people (and more) learned that you would soon be born and could. not. wait to meet you!

The earth that we live on and all of its wonder and beauty was doing the same thing it does every day; everything from the sun’s rising to the ocean’s waves hitting the beaches, to the moon’s appearance in the nighttime sky.  On your birthday these things happened just like they do every day, but you made it a special day.

The minute you were born, all the people who were expecting you cried with joy.  “Welcome to the green Earth,” the people sang, … And as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear, “ We are so glad you’ve come!”

I read you this story today because you may have times when you feel sad inside, or feel left out, or you just don’t feel great.  At these times,  I want you to remember how happy you made so many people on the day you were born.  Remember that no matter how old you get, you should always celebrate your birthday.  Just like all of those people did on the very first birthday you ever had!  Remember the people who smiled because of you on the day you were born.  I think that will make you smile too!

Cover of "On the Day You Were Born"

Cover of On the Day You Were Born