The Things They Leave Behind #2

So, this is it. The only arrowhead that I've ever found.

I asked my dad, the last time I spoke to him if he "planted it" for me to find.
Which he emphatically denies.
I was quite relieved.
I mean, that would be sweet and all. But I'm glad it came to me own it's own.

The story about finding it came back to me at Christmas. My dad, Eileen, and my brothers came over on Christmas Eve....

Being adults (and I use that term loosely), Rav & I don't expect much from anyone for Christmas.
However, I know that I'm always in for it with my dad. He usually throws something emotional at me.
So, this year he hands me a box. And they specifically held this box back for me to open. Rav & I opened our Soprano's Family Cookbook, our assortment of gourmet cooking sauces and such. But this gift was held back.

We finally finished opening and the gift was handed over to me.
To be honest, I was scared.
Scared of having an emotional outburst.
I open it and inside of the box is a small shadow box.
And inside of the shadow box on batting, my dad arranged various of his artifacts from The Farm.
A handmade marble, a thimble, old buttons, pieces of pottery, various small tools - similar to arrowheads.
I was shocked and stunned.
Such a beautiful, heartfelt gift.
Probably one of the best I've ever received.
Receiving such a gift, kick-started my brain and reminded me of the arrowhead and the story, which I retold later that evening.

I probably could do this post and my dad/the gift better justice.
But the gift touched me so that I cannot find the words.
All I can say is that I look at it everyday and smile.
Just smile.


Getting On & Off The Wheel

In another life, he might not have had so many run-ins with the po'-po' (= the police).
But he was a young man and if you ask him he would have said that all of it was in good fun. He didn't mean any harm.

In another life, he might not have had to do a tour in 'Nam.
Only to come back broken, haunted, demonized by memories.
Some of which, left him wondering what happened to 9 months of his life over there.
It's probably for the best that he doesn't remember.

In another life, he might not have had to work for gangs to make a living.
Throwing dynamite at people's houses to persuade them to pay up.
He was just doing his job so that he could eat.

In another life, he might not have had the stuffings beat out of him when he said he was
done with the lifestyle and wanted to lead a straight life.

In another life, the woman he loved might have stayed.
She might have stayed to see the child grow.
The child that he helped make with her.
But she had other fish to fry.

So this wounded, lost man stepped up to the plate.
And he lived for this boy.
This boy was his life.
He picked up and carried on after she left.

In another life, he might not have been a friend/co-worker of my dad's.
This rough, sweet, loyal man.
My dad can be a magnet for lost souls that way.
The two were instant friends.
And that was a lifetime ago....that my dad and he whooped it up everyday at work.

In another life, this man's mobile home might not have exploded in the middle of the night.
Burning himself and his son.
In another life, the son had no burns on the lower portion of his body.
And in another life, the only family he has to speak of is not laying in a hospital 1 1/2 hours away, in critical condition - most of his body covered in burns, and breathing by way of machines.

But that is life.
Those things did happen.
And I am left wondering if my dad's old friend is getting off the wheel finally. He has lived through so much.
If he is letting the suffering of this life go.
I am left wondering what will happen to the boy - the 15 year old boy - who is on the brink of losing everything.
The man who lived for him after living through so much.


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment

Serena Ryder opened for Paolo Nutini when we saw him in concert in October. Rav & I have been hooked ever since.

Today's pick is: Weak In The Knees by Serena Ryder.
If you listen carefully, you may hear Gracie even singing along, coming to you from the East Coast.

And Magpie, in answer to your question....you'll find out this week.

Phenom: we watched Stripes now I know what you were talking about :)

Have a great Sunday everyone. And I hope you enjoy the song.


The Things They Leave Behind - #1

When my dad was young and living on The Farm, he would spend most of his time outdoors.
In the Fall and early Winter, he would spend time hunting.
In the Spring and Summer, he would spend time fishing and walking the fields.

For many years, my dad had built a collection of Indian Arrowheads, pipes, pieces of pottery, and the like from his time spent scouring.
There seemed to be one spot in particular that was a hot bed for lost things.

My dad's collection became quite large of these forgotten artifacts of another time.
Many exquisite arrowheads of many different colors, pieces of pottery, even teeth.
Lots of them.
(He didn't tell me about this until a month ago.)
In fact, he had found such an exquisite piece - a rather large and perfect arrowhead - he donated it to a museum in our state where it was on display until my early childhood. Where it is now, who knows.
Time slipped away, the young boy became a young man and an even younger father.
This hobby of his fell by the wayside.

I remember being a young girl and sitting with my dad for countless hours (willingly) examining arrowheads and other pieces of hardened, ancient earth that he had found.
He would tell me the story behind each piece and I would sit transfixed by what these were.
Small little bits of history that my dad had unearthed on The Farm.
I would very selfishly ask if I could have them.
And he told me one day, they would be mine.

As I got older, dad & I would walk the fields together.
Examining deer prints or other animal tracks.
Talking about the migratory patterns of geese and other winter-time escapees.
We would both walk and talk with our heads down.
Searching the ground for any piece that wanted to be found.

At age 11, I began getting really pissed off and utterly frustrated that I had never found anything.
As dad & I walked the fields, I said You know, all of this time you and I have been out here, looking, searching, and nothing. You have cases and cases full of arrowheads. Do you think you found them all? Do you think there are any left? I can't believe I haven't found one!
I looked down at my feet and there it was.
The one and only arrowhead that I have ever found.


On Christmas, we headed for home from my mother's house after a long, busy day.
The kids were spent and so were we.
Rav & I each have a kid to buckle in and as we do so, Gracie asks me if Santa is coming to our house tonight for more presents.
No, honey. Santa is not coming tonight. Christmas is all done until next year.
These attempts at explaining are futile.
And the look on he face punctuates that.
She is crestfallen.
Maybe even a little depressed.

I remember that feeling.
Though I didn't feel it until I was about 11.
I remember saying to my Dad that the day after Christmas is pretty depressing.
After talking with him about it, I processed it. Made my peace with it as best I could.
However, seeing this realization was over my three-year-old's face has hit me rather hard.
She is over it. She is not asking about it anymore. But seeing her like that broke my heart into a million pieces.

Today was Connor's first day back to school.
Today marks the start of the first full week back to work after the holiday madness.
Today is the start of my classes for the Spring semester.
And it's back to the way we were.
Back to racing around in the morning looking for a matching set of socks.
Back to making sure the kids have breakfast, while my hair is air drying, half-dressed, wild-eyed, and maniacal.
Back to cramming a waffle or 1/4 of a bowl of cereal into my mouth as I run out the door.
Back to racing around trying to make sure we all get to where we need to go. On time.

These mundane rituals signify that, compared to many, we have it good.
I'm trying to remember that as I am dialing up with a 24K connection because our DSL is down.
I'm trying to remember that as I am already obsessing about school work after downloading a 30 page syllabus and wondering how I will balance again. Balance it all.

All while I do this, people are suffering, many of whom are invisible and on the margins.
People are living lives and having babies and losing loved ones and fleeing from erupting volcanoes, losing their belongings in floods, working for nothing, living on nothing, and having babies in shelters in foreign countries.

I keep hearing about this crazy notion of change.
In fact, I'm quite sick of it.
I feel like it's going to turn into this hip, mod, in-thing to say.
Yeah, it will turn into this thing to


Sunday Morning Song of the Moment by Rav, sort of...

Tab had to run out so she left me the duty of posting this. Today's song is Tonight You Belong to Me. This song is an oldie. Some may remember that Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sang it in movie, The Jerk. I didn't, I just read that on YouTube. Anyway, this version is by Josh Ritter and Erin McKeown. We love it, and I bet that you will too. Enough rambling. Listen to this already...


A Quick Aside

Just to let you all know...
We are having major internet issues.
I'm trying to get caught up on all of you via Google Reader and I drop comments here and there. But until our internet "stuff" gets sorted out and until I get all caught up on reading, my comments might be scarce.

Just thought I'd let you know what the deal is.


And I Think To Myself

The past month or so, I've been doing a lot of reflecting.
And as many of you are probably doing, I am reflecting on the year, my conduct and progress or lack thereof in 2007, etc.

I'm of the mindset that resolutions are pretty lame.
In fact, as I was watching the Today show this morning, I began getting just a tad bit annoyed.
I began thinking about this cycle of unrealistic expectations and inevitable let-downs.
The pieces of spirit that can become broken and left to feel like a failure because
perhaps it didn't quite shave the body down to some ridiculous notion of what beauty or proper weight should be.
Maybe having a cluttered home really is the sign of a happy home and not having a closet that looks like it was ripped out of Posh's house isn't the sign of a failure.
Maybe driving a Honda or a Hyundai rather than a BMW or a Bentley is OK.
I don't know. I mean, there is more than one way up the mountain. I just think resolutions are a set-up for failure and shouldn't we be doing something to feel better about ourselves and each other?

As I've been reflecting on the past year and such, I was thinking about simplicity.
How it is the teeniest of acts that really do start a movement.
Whether that movement be within society or simply within someone else's heart.
That in one way or another we all have the capacity to do this, we just try to make it seem so hard as a way to justify being asses to each other.
An experience I had the other day, finally made the lightbulb go on.

You all know, that have been reading for a time, that I truly try to make it a point to let others know I care. Sometimes it is misconstrued, sometimes it is seen for what it is.
Sometimes I care so much that I become immobilized. It's almost more than I can bear to do or to speak. I become so overwhelmed, so full.

Anyway, I've noticed that opportunities have not presented themselves in "grand" ways for me to extend my hand.
And in fact, I had become quite irritated because I thought I had fallen off the giving train.
That people were not being sent my way for a reason (if that makes any sense).
And the giving of myself feels better.
It feels awful when I am not.

I've been making it a point lately to look directly at people when I am out walking.
And not only that
but to smile at them.
Possibly even say "hello" or "good morning".
Whatever feeling presents itself is what I will do.
(this paragraph makes me sound like a grump. i keep picturing in my head old man Potter from It's A Wonderful Life. I truly don't believe I walked around like that before. I just went about my business like a million other worker ants.
So I've been making this effort, which brings me to the point.....are you shocked that there was one?)

I was on the phone with my academic institution to ask a question the other day. A lady was assisting me with my question and was most helpful. As the call ended, I simply said to her Have a good day.
Pretty innocent. Pretty pedestrian.
I didn't say to her I have the address and phone number to Beckham's house. He's waiting for your call.
I didn't say Oh, I happen to have this extra $1M sitting in my back pocket. Want it?
I simply said Have a good day.
And there was a reaction.
A reaction of shock.
A reaction of pleasant surprise at such an utterance.
(Now listen, I'm not claiming to be this wonderful, always do-gooder.
I know this tale of human interaction is one that could be told a thousand times a day by a thousand other writers who could write it in a more brilliant way. I am simply sharing this experience and the shock of it with you. Sharing it from me, Mrs. Incredible (Tabba) to you, lovely reader.)

I hung up the phone feeling glad that she got off the phone with me in such a way.
And a little sad too.

Sad because it sounded as if she had never heard it before.
How is it that we are so 'busy', so clinical with each other?

I am hopeful though.
Hopeful that things will get better.
Hopeful that maybe if we all could take these resolutions and maybe cram them up - er, that's not nice, T.
(try again)
Hopeful that maybe rather than worry about driving a car that costs as much as it would to feed a small nation or injecting foreign materials into our faces, or hell worrying about the pile of papers that cram your credenza, desk, and sock drawer
we could just take the time to say
Have a good day.
And smile.
Maybe say hello or good morning.

It sounds idealistic.
I know.
But it makes a difference.