Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen

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Before you slide home, make sure dad has the film!

20142014 sits on my doorstep…just a day away.  The date is mind-bending, since I remember being excited for 1969.  Nevertheless, it is one of those times when most people take stock of their life, remember the good and hope to never repeat the rest.  So acting on such a sentimental impulse, I started scanning our family slides into digital files.  In doing it, I found that the film may have faded, but the memories never did.

Fishing trips without make-up or style, perfumed with trout always framed the picture of my childhood, along with family dinners, unprepared flash shots, new babies and holidays.  If life was a baseball game, I would say I am comfortably sitting at the top of the sixth after enjoying a loving slide into home, and just like a real game, some of the players that came up to bat were only one time all-stars, not staying  for the whole game, but bringing a win.  Likewise, my parents are again young, their cars  now considered vintage and oh the clothes!  Regardless of the exposure we allowed back then, I wouldn’t change a moment and I’m proud of how I turned out… despite and because of it

However, a sadness did creep in, as I remember wanting to get this done for my mother, giving her the same happiness in her life, which had become empty after my father passed away.  The plans I had for a movie night with her, laughing at cat-eye glasses, scarves and skylines, all of which are no longer around, never were to be…because neither is she.  Unfortunately, the quick pace that followed her accidental fall cheated me out of that date night, but I know she is here is spirit, along with dad, both laughing and loving at where we once were.

This silent reunion with my family has been nice, but such a journey is always best shared, while the soundtrack can be provided, with memories, laughs and tears, bringing full color to the black and white film as it faded into red-tinted Kodachrome. Sure, I have a sister via email, so we laughed at many of them through words, like the first 1965 “selfie” my father took trying to figure out his camera. Maybe we weren’t side-by-side, by we were heart-to-heart, loving the assorted memories, which after all was the reason dad took all those crazy pictures in the first place.

Going into a new year, I’m happy that the old ones are coming along in my old kit-bag, and there will now be times in the future when I can easily email or post them, offering up a time that might have relevance in a modern moment.  Maybe in years yet to come, my daughters will see them and shake their heads.  They might not understand the time that was, but they will have a blueprint for why their mom was who she was.  Who knows, they might actually see a little of me in their own aging reflections, in between this life frozen forever on film.  If they do, maybe they will finally realize I didn’t just live…I had a wonderful life and have more than a few negatives to thank for it!


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See The Colors in your Heart


Once upon a time, so very long ago three little girls found Santa left a show ….

Any of us who grew up in the 70’s remember a commercial telling us that “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” … doesn’t mean we really thought about it, but we remembered it, just like those damn fried eggs basted in marijuana.  Nevertheless, it isn’t the mind that is wasted anymore, it is the pure engine of imagination, which propels it into infinity and beyond…you know…the place we are allowed to get a “Buzz” on.

Christmas truly brings that to the forefront, and the recent resurgence of Elf on the Shelf has helped more than I had hoped.  Regardless of the prop though, children need to be given the ability to look into their heart, and not just a video screen to see the movie only they can direct.  Seriously, no matter how it is allowed… a little Santa does the heart and soul good.

Years ago I snuck home from work early, and laid out an imagination trail my daughters mentally followed for years, and I hope someday will recreate with their own children – much like the yarn web from the Easter Bunny, but heck that has time to be spilled.  That particular Christmas, I left trails of pine needles, and spilled ingredients for cookies, flour coated footprints (loved full size baby dolls) and even put a lighted pine branch halfway up the chimney (thanks to a neighbor who bought a tree too tall for his house).  I also celebrated who my daughters were that year.

When I brought them home, the first one noticed tiny footprints “walking” along the counter, and she knew they were also in the walls! Another saw the branch, becoming horrified that a tree was stuck in our chimney, probably because Santa had been in a rush.  The last one, still so young she could only marvel at the fact there was real snow in the living room (had to work quickly on that one…God love a freezer that refused to defrost).  That night they told stories, probably believing in  most of them, all thinking Santa and the elves were in the house watching everything they said and did.  Even though that was my job, I didn’t mind the demotion, because seeing the colors flow from their imaginations was a lesson in hope.

Time isn’t always kind, it gives us wrinkles and makes us forgetful, we have stress and anxiety and worst of all, doubt what we believe and what is right in front of us. Childhood is gone so quickly and even faster now with schedules, activities, video games, blogs and mini-beauty queens – please, don’t get me started on the violence and shattered youth on the nightly news.  We just need to remember that simply because we know it is glass, doesn’t mean it isn’t a sparkle of fairy dust for an innocent, and hopeful eye.

The greatest gift as we are taught is Love, and seeing it through the imagination, joy and delight of a child disappears far too soon.  Eye Spy with My Little Eye might find a color right under your nose, but even Horton knew there could be a Who there as well.  So before the week begins, the ads will have thankfully stop running, too much money will have been spent and we look to getting back to the daily grind of living too fast, too hard and not enough, sit down in front of some lights and ask a child what they see.  Then tell them what you see and share… I can almost bet you’ll remember the first Christmas when a gift came true, carrots left for Santa’s reindeer that were chomped and left on a plate, or even better, that first Christmas with the child you are sitting with.

Look in your heart and let the mind of a child tell you what they  see, because it is the one thing you will mind  having wasted as time moves on, because colors fade no matter how hard we try to stay in the lines, and Goggle will never get the image right, no matter how many search engines try.

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Lies where you live


Holidays are upon us, and of course that means televised specials, too much eating and shopping, and of course…bringing out all your values affirming yourself for the coming year.  Never was this more evident than after the recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, an event known for years because of hot air balloons and celebrities. Marching down the streets of New York last week were bands and floats, beautiful people, stars and commentary.  Oh did I forget to mention some boots were also doing the walking?

Kinky Boots is a delightful journey into the working mind and loving heart of the human soul. Taken from real events, it has received awards and acclaim, as well and just making us feel good about ourselves!  This Lola isn’t a showgirl at the Copa…but she is nevertheless a showman of intense talent and delight. So why in the world are people up in arms over these boots?  Simple…hot air needed a place to float away.

Headlines screamed that Kinky Boots spoiled the Macy’s Parade, saying once again there was a Gay agenda tossed into our homes.  Pity the fools.  Several said they had to explain why men were dancing in thigh high boots, laughing and celebrating a Broadway production to confused children.  Are these the same children who watch super heroes in tights – nipples actually, if the new Batman suit has anything to say about it and don’t get me started on video games?    The only thing spoiled, appears to be the truth that lies hidden trying to live in some homes, the ones that don’t promote equality, compassion, and common decency … ok class too, but heck, not everyone likes theater.

When a child is raised they are a gorgeous angelic canvas, which we are able to paint with emotions and thoughts, dreams and fantasy and love.  Yes, at some point every child questions a wheel chair or skin color, glasses or obvious disability.  They also might question why parents have split up or why a pet is humping their leg – indeed, we are the knowledge bank they come to for a withdrawal and in turn, their innocence is the deposit we cherish.    I guess however, that is only in a perfect world anymore, because somewhere out there it appears children have been damaged for life, after seeing a man dancing in boots (and it wasn’t Captain Jack Sparrow).

I never heard or used the “N” word in my home.  As I grew up, it was however, reflected in school books, and I found it ridiculous and not worth my time. My parents confirmed as much, with the open minds and front door they provided.  So unless there is an issue in your values, living between the cracks where other disturbing things might grow – why would something like that offend you?

Does your child also need to have explained why movie stars kiss and are married to other people? Why giant football players don’t really come into your house, only during cable TV commercials and animals can’t talk no matter how much you want them too…just in film.  As long as you are being selective in the lies or unmentioned truths you live with, explain how not everyone goes to sleep at night in a warm bed, Santa is not real, the tooth fairy is …. Oh hell, don’t go even there …. And, of course loving a person for who they are to you, isn’t as important as what they can do FOR you … right?

I loved Batman as a kid, but I knew he wasn’t going to sweep me off my feet in those gray tights, Capt’n Kangaroo didn’t have a real ship, Cindy in my Kindergarten class was special and rode a bus home, and I always felt bad when kids teased her, and I hated how people assumed because I wore glasses and didn’t do drugs I wasn’t any fun.  However, I grew up with the values I treasured and raised my own family, collecting friends along the way that have made me who I am.

Life is our own personal journey and hard enough as it is… so don’t share your lies and warped beliefs with innocent minds – the same ones I might add, who would love to try on such boots and dance around laughing.  Let them decide for themselves, in a waiting world of more colorful floats and marching bands than they can imagine…. But let them…because imagination should never lie down and die.

On a side note – the playbill for Kinky Boots offers a remarkable section for teachers, with historical information, facts and wonderful thought provoking answers, should a legitimate question ever come up.  I don’t remember seeing something like that here in Colorado, after someone obsessed with super hero villains shot up a movie theater and caused a nightmare that will never be explained.