This blog is dedicated to Joy Kennedy Perry, my mom. If she were still alive these are the details of my life that I would want to share with her. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Family Trips

Family Trips are awesome!....That's so funny I can't even type it with a straight face.  Let me try again....Family Trips are......nope, still not happening.  Family trips, in truth, are a mixed bag and must be approached like a wild animal - with extreme caution. (Some might even argue not at all!)

We went on a Family Trip recently to the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Museum.  I thought it would be great and that everyone would find something enjoyable in the experience.  I mean life is about gathering stories for your bag of life, right?  The museum is the 1916 Steam Engine which takes you on a beautiful 9-mile round trip through hill and dale. 

This is how our trip played out:

My son Sean loves trains and we positioned ourselves right behind the engine to get the utmost enjoyment.  We could hear the whistle, feel the steam and wind in the open passenger car.  He was so excited he couldn't sit still. 

He laughed joyfully

He jumped joyfully

He embodied joy. 
He vibrated such joyful enthusiasm it wouldn't have surprised me if he couldn't hold his body together in one piece any longer.

But the true heros of the day were Tak and Maya.  For I firmly believe that if they hadn't made such a valiant effort to balance Sean's exuberance, the world as we know it would have ceased to existThey truly deserve an award.

"Relax in the open car behind the mesmerizing sounds of a 1916-vintage steam locomotive". (From their website.  I guess Maya did some research and took it to heart.)
In the end Maya was happy (because we were leaving most likely) and Sean was sad because he had fallen and skinned his knee.  Did I mention the mixed bag, wild animal analogy - approach with caution and no expectation.

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;  they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  Marcel Proust

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Summer of Reckoning

There are many lives of mine that I won't live - and I hate that.  Mainly because they are all inside of me wanting to be let loose.  These "lives-that-won't-see-the-light-of-day" and I had it out this summer - toe to toe.  I call it my Summer of Reckoning.  We have always gotten along well, these lives and I, because I have kept promising them through the years that their time will come - I have plenty of time to make it all happen.  And then, in my 40th summer, I had to say goodbye to some really amazing versions of myself.  I liked them all and didn't want them to go.  I promised I would write while knowing in my heart the relationship was over.  They knew it, too, which was why there was lots of gnashing.

Here, for your viewing (possibly laughing) pleasure, are the versions of me that could have been.

I Reckon I won't experience being:

  1. Archeologist, digging for Celtic ruins in the UK.  This life appeared when I was 12.  I was in my first beauty pageant and needed to state on stage what I wanted to be. I thought this sounded fantastic and dreamed myself in this life for many years.
  2. Graphologist, at  a Ren Faire booth providing handwriting analysis.  This life also included a day job  using this skill but it was always really about getting access to Ren Faires.  Mainly because it combines my love of handwriting (and what it reveals about that person) and fascinating people watching.
  3. Large animal Veterinarian, preferably working alongside James Herriot (yes, he has passed but when this life was in full force he was still with us.)
  4. Rare Book Librarian at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.
  5. Book Conservator with a studio in my back yard where I fixed broken, hurt, old books - preferrably with an antique French book press.
  6. Professional Genealogist specializing in Gaelic Records.
  7. Genetic Counselor
  8. My own enchanted shop filled to the brim with papers, pens and books - and fairy lights.  They seem to go together in my head.
  9. 6th Grade Teacher:  but this was when I was in 6th grade and I only wanted to become this to torture some irritating boys.  What I didn't know then is that boys can be no other way at that age.  THANKFULLY I have not been set loose in the school system.
  10. I am only going to briefly mention wanting to be a backup singer with Paul McCartney, Irish Dancer with Michael Flately and research assistant for Diana Gabaldon.  I think those require talent!
My chickens who also nest - usually in my bushes!
The life I do have was/is also one of my dreams because I love to nest.  And I have always wanted to provide a nest for my family to flourish in.  That family would live on a little farm (which turned out to be a house in a neighborhood but I am good at pretending) with animals (trying to figure out if a miniature horse would work in my yard along with my chickens and dog) and an amazing community to help me raise them (the kids, not the animals). 
I am pretty lucky because I have lived these "livesthatwillneverseethelightofday" in little ways through the years.  I have volunteered at the San Diego Archives where I helped restore books and helped out a large animal vet.  I have taken Gaelic language classes, Genealogy classes, graphology classes, book-making classes.  I am the historian of my town.  I majored in Genetics.  I occassionally people watch at Ren Faires (how can I resist?)  And if I ever need to visit one of these lives they are only a bookshelf away.

My girls have decided they are done listening and are heading home - to nest!

"There are times when Life surprises one, and anything may happen, even what one had hoped for."  Ellen Glasgow
Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Joys of Summer

Maya and Sean getting ready for
the Preston water balloon fight.
It is 8 in the morning and my candles are lit;  my fire is roaring and my one, threadbare but very dear cashmere sweater is donned.  Fall has arrived in the Northwest.  It is time to bid summer farewell.  Summer has never been my most favorite season (I always say you can only remove so many clothes...and then you are still hot) but this summer took an unexpected twist and turned into my Summer of Reckoning (summon the dramatic music!)  But that is for another post.  Here I need to say goodbye to summer.  Thinking back, though, what I find fascinating is that although I can articulate why this summer wasn't my best one (not really even in my top 10) my specific memories only bring forth these images:
On the last day of school every year at the Preston Alley bus stop we have a water balloon fight.  The kids have a choice of either staying on the bus or getting off and getting drenched.  It is great as you can hear them screaming in excitement (or torment) before the bus is even in sight.  This is my offering, some moms bring wheelbarrows full.  Showoffs!!

This is the Fourth of July with many of our neighbors.  I love this picture most because they have both assumed mirroring Japanese squats.  She is so her Daddy's daughter.  Sorry for the blurriness!

There is no greater joy than being five!  Nothing gets in your way - what's a little wet grass on the face when there is fun to be had!

La Push Beach, WA

I do love my Daddy

Forget a bird in the bush - how about 16 eggs in the bush!
So what I mean to say, especially to myself (and, in fact, the point of this blog) is even in the throes of certain trials there is always joy to be had - whether and when we choose to see them is our choice.

"The cream of enjoyment in this life is always impromptu.  The chance walk, the unexpected visit, the unpremeditated journey;  the unsought conversation or aquaintance."  Fanny Fern

Thanks for reading!!