reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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good moments. [k.s. friday]

goodmoments song box copy

i keep a calendar.  my sweet momma kept a calendar.  the written kind.  she had the old-school kind that you buy the yearly refills for, with two holes in them to line up with the two curved rings of metal on the holder.  she wrote on it every day:  appointments, important things, birthdays and anniversaries, dates of import, big events, the smallest fragment of time memory she wanted to keep.  i guess that’s where i get it from.  i love my old-fashioned calendar.  i look forward to getting it at the dollar store every year and i keep a mechanical pencil with a good eraser in it.  i write in it every day.  and at the end of the year, i have always sat down and read through the year, re-living each day, sometimes a good thing, sometimes hard.

if i went through my calendar, even for this year so far, i would find moments i didn’t want to forget.  days that were tough, days that were pretty amazing.  i would read about My Girl calling out “mom!” and running over as i walked into where she was working and i could recall -way deep in my heart- exactly what it felt like when she introduced me to a friend and said, “this is my mom!”  i would read about the manifest destiny of cucumbers and pickles, a funny-made-me-laugh-aloud debate over wine with My Boy.  i would read about the gluten-free-dairy-free-egg-free chocolate cake my husband made me and the day we stayed in bed to read a book all day.  i would read about lots and lots and lots of walking, hikes near and far.  i would read about potlucks with our dear friends and laughter and wine and conversation lasting well into the wee hours of the evening.   i would read about late late nights with each of my nieces and laughing till we were snorting.  i would read about spending sweet time with my sister and ashes floating on the breeze over the lake.  i would read about the quiet peace of the canoe and the sunshine and endless conversation on the pontoon boat.  i would read about antiquing and the vintage typewriter i had fallen for that 20 sought out for my birthday.  i would read about gatherings in our home and at friends’ houses, sharing time with our community of people.  i would read about difficult days of worry or times of sadness.  i would read about the hours of working together with d:  writing all these posts for our MELANGE and designing all the products.  i would see that it’s been much much more than 208 days in a year.  it’s been 208 days in my life and every moment has counted. whether or not they are all joyous, all successful, all funny, all productive, they are all good.

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K.S. FRIDAY (KERRI SHERWOOD FRIDAY) – ON OUR SITE

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GOOD MOMENTS from THIS PART OF THE JOURNEY ©️ 1998 & 2000 kerri sherwood

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feet. the places we go. [two artists tuesday]

feet copy

if you scroll through our phone camera log, you will find sooo many of these…pictures of our feet posing, posing, posing, traveling, traveling, traveling.  there are pictures on beaches, in the car, in the woods, in paris, in snow on a-basin, on the train, on the subway, on the gondola, on the pontoon boat, on crab meadow sand, on the trail in telluride and aspen and minturn, in the river in ridgway, in boston, in boca grande, in san francisco, in northport, in columbia, in chicago, in brussels, at the coffeehouse in breckenridge, at the pub in silverton, at the harbor, at the airport, at the waterfront in buffalo, at the park in savannah, at our friends’ houses, at our wedding, at home.  we document our traveling – our lives – with lots of other photos as well, but there is always one of our feet…in frye boots, in sandals, in flipflops, in heels (well, i’m in heels, not d), in hiking boots, barefoot.  i’m not really sure how that started, but it has become an important tradition for us…saving the moment of our experience.

years ago when i was performing upstate ny, there was a guy who had this foot-thing.  he asked after the concert if he could have a photo of my feet (he wanted them either barefooted or socked) on the piano pedals.  uh….no.  i was pretty weirded out, but not as weirded out as i was when he started sending letters to the label (in very very painstakingly-precise penmanship that resembled type from a typewriter) asking for these pictures.  repeatedly.   when i got a thanksgiving card that expressed how thankful he was for “all our times together” and how he “looked forward to all the times to come” i called the authorities.  some things are just too weird.

sometimes i think about that guy when we take pictures of our feet.  yikes.  but oh, i love the places we go.  and i love documenting the steps we take to get us there – into the heart of each memory.

“congratulations! today is your day.  you’re off to great places!  you’re off and away!  you have brains in your head.  you have feet in your shoes.  you can steer yourself any direction you choose.” oh, the places you’ll go (dr. seuss)

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TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY – ON OUR SITE

feet collage image  ©️ 2018 kerri sherwood & david robinson

 

 

 


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stars [chicken marsala monday]

youcansleepanytime WITH EYES jpeg

opportunities.  to drink in life.  they happen every day.  sometimes we scoop them up, with the scooping-zeal of a small child building a sand castle.  sometimes we choose to sleep through.

this chicken nugget was inspired by a late-late-night-laying-on-the-rocks-by-the-lake viewing a meteor shower.  it was one of those moments we chose.

i remember one freezing cold wisconsin winter evening.  i was driving My Girl to an oboe lesson in town.  in a crazy-fun moment we opened the sunroof, put on our sunglasses and played loud summer music.  we laughed and it was indelibly etched into my memory bank.  it could be cold or it could be a faux-summer drink-in-life.  another day we drove across the state, donned southern accents and strode around an eau claire, wisconsin country music festival, pretending to be from “naaaaashville” but here in wisconsin because we had “kin” who lived here.  the accents and pretending stuck with us all day and the memory still makes me giggle.

there was the time that i had to rent a vehicle while mine was being repaired.  the only thing available was a big (and i mean big!) pickup truck with a extra-long bed lined with rubber.  My Boy was little at the time and he (an avid car/truck fan at the time) couldn’t get over how big the pickup was and remarked that the bed was so big you could sleep in it.  that night, unbeknownst to him, i carried out extra comforters and sleeping bags, pillows and flashlights and pulled the pickup further up the driveway.  when it was time for sleep and he was saying goodnight, i asked him where he was going.  he replied, “upstairs.  to bed.”  laughing, i led him outside to where i had set up our camp, in the bed of that rented pickup under the stars and dewy night sky.

sometimes you just have to say a loud affirming YES to opportunity.  scoop it up.  my goal is to do that even more.  less sleep.  more scooping.

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read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

you can sleep anytime.  how many times in your whole life can you see stars that shoot across the sky? ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 

 

 

 

 


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make time for clouds. [chicken marsala monday]

maketimeforclouds WITH EYES jpeg copy 2

the crystal clear water was cool around my feet, cold actually.  the current pulled at my flipflops, necessary –  for the rocks below were slippery and i didn’t have the cool sandals My Girl had on.  the hot-hot high altitude sun blazed into my hair; it made me think i should have worn that new packable hat i got last year.

i scanned the horizon, a 360 of mountains and trees and sagebrush and blue-blue sky.  and this river.  going on and on.  as far as i could see, it meandered through the landscape i was reluctant to leave.

and i stood in the water.  never-minding the feeling of almost-numbness of my feet.  because in this moment, i could feel.  the very hot of a brilliant sun, the very cold of snow-capped mountain runoff.  this time of cloudless sky and the murmur of the river.  this time of being with my daughter.  this time of dreaming and imagining and creating scenarios in my mind that would allow me to stay in this very spot.  this time of (in this case, metaphoric) cloud-gazing.

every good cloud-gaze creates a story.  every good cloud-gaze builds a memory.  every good cloud-gaze gives you pause to breathe.  it’s the same with your feet in the river, your blanket on the beach, your chair in front of the bonfire, your boots on the trail.  make time, i say.

if you'd like to see more CHICKEN...

read DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN NUGGET

CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY – ON OUR SITE

make time for clouds ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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chicken marsala monday

thismomentunique WITH EYES jpeg copy 2late yesterday afternoon, after a day spent working on computers and designs, with technology sluggishness taking over our souls, we headed to the woods to take a hike.  any time we feel tired or ‘stuck’ we walk.  around the ‘hood, along the lake, or to the starbucks about 2 and a half miles away.  any time we feel exuberant or elated we walk.  sometimes in the mountains (ahh!!) or in chicago or the third ward in milwaukee.  any time we need a ‘business meeting’ we walk.  mostly in the woods, in a county or state park.  walking and breathing in fresh air brings us back to the moment.  it re-centers us.

we hiked up the small rise in the woods, the light was waning and behind us the sky was deep deep orange.  in the clearing beyond the stand of trees stood, very still, a deer.  it was clearly the ‘lookout’ as way back in the field were six more deer, easy to count in the almost-dark as their white tails bobbed when the lookout gave the alert.  we stood perfectly still watching this beauty, a magic moment in the woods.  neither of us wanted to leave the spot.  i took a picture, not because you can see the deer in it, but because it preserved the moment for me.  i didn’t want to forget.  because, as you already know, i am thready like that.

around me, every rock or feather or piece of wood or ticket stub or scrap of notepaper carries with it a specific moment – preserved in time.  i could not necessarily tell the story of each of those moments – there are far too many for my synapse-challenged-brain to remember.  but i know that each one had meaning for me.  each one defined yet another piece of me, my relationship with someone i love, a time i shared with another being, a learning, a moment of sheer bliss, a moment of deep sadness.  each moment renewed me and brought me to my next moment of living.

as i have moved through life one thing has become certain.  that everything changes.  nothing stays the same.  life is in flux, always fluid.  what more do we have than each moment as it arrives for us?  i ask myself, “how do i want to spend this moment?  what do i want to feel about this moment?”  for i can never get it back.  i can never re-do it.  time has moved on.  and so i must keep moving.  i write about moments, i compose about moments, i tell stories about moments.  for me, those details count.   attempting to put succinctly (ha!) into words my philosophy-of-what-moments-mean is impossible; it is the umbrella that skies over everything else i believe, everything else i think.

when The Boy was little, he called the rearview mirror in cars the “review” mirror.  particularly poignant i think.  i have seen it written “don’t stare into the rearview mirror.  that’s not the direction you are going.”  instead i try (read: TRY) to review the past moments, learn from them, find grace in them, save the memory threads.  and wholeheartedly embrace the ones to come.  the moments.  unique.  in every way.   i love this chicken marsala image.

THIS MOMENT…UNIQUE…IN EVERY WAY MERCHANDISE

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ThisMomentUnique iphone case

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CHICKEN MARSALA MONDAY

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check out DAVID’S thoughts on this CHICKEN MARSALA

this moment…unique…in every way ©️ 2016 david robinson & kerri sherwood

 


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ravioli in the moat.

easiestwaydownwith the grocery list in my hand, i stared at my husband. he looked back with a question in his eyes. he asked if i wanted to add something to the list. i continued to stare blankly and then said, “yes….umm…those square pasta things with stuff in them…..whaaaat are those called???” “ravioli?” he asked. “YES!!!! that’s it!! ravioli!!!”

menopause strikes again.

i told this story in the middle of directing a ukulele band rehearsal. suddenly similar tales were surfacing. jay talked about how she called kleenex “little blankets” not able to remember the word ‘kleenex’. sally said for the life of her she couldn’t remember the word for “those things you sit on at football games”….(that’s easy, you quip….bleachers!)

what is it about menopause??? or is it aging? i swear that there is a moat surrounding my actual brain and every so often things just fall into it. i am completely incapable of getting them out – at least for the moment. ask me at 3am and i will have no problem remembering what it is i forgot earlier in the day. ask me at 3am and i will list more things i am thinking about then i have thought about all week. these synapses aren’t firing as they used to….and yet there are some things i am really grateful for in this middle age. (no. hot flashes are not one of those things.)

it seems that prioritizing becomes a different animal at this age. it seems that you reach the point where you are not ‘striding’….instead, you are ‘strolling’….not really from a literal point of view, more of a figurative thing. even just ten years ago, there were things that were so much more important than they are now. i like this new time, this new age.hopscotch copy

even with the hot flashes, the seemingly overnight fluctuations in the size clothing i wear, the memory lapses, the i-have-to-be-goofy moments, photo-4the mushy-mushiness, the menopausal attention-deficit. i love when i am at rehearsal, surrounded by amazing women (and men too, but they have their own menopause and can’t have ours!), and i say “i’m hot!!!! are you hot???” and they all reply – in girls-who-have-your-back-tribal-fashion, “YES!!! we’re hot!!!”

and now i have to go make dinner. maybe we’ll have those square pasta things with stuff in them.growingoldisnotforwimps

 

 


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there if you look

photoi walked into the bathroom this morning and it greeted me. the scent of my sweet momma’s favorite perfume – estee lauder’s pleasures. it took me by surprise, making me stop suddenly. i stood still. i looked around, thinking maybe there was some other reason for this beautiful wafting ghost of perfume lingering in the air. i could see no other reason, no cause of any scent into which i might have meandered. so i stood there.

a few long seconds went by until i could speak and i stepped out of the bathroom to tell him that my momma’s perfume was in the air. he smiled and i could see he was moved. i went back into the bathroom slowly, wondering if i had imagined it. but as i entered the space again, it was there. most definitely – pleasures. the tears in my eyes weren’t tears of sadness. i spoke to her, telling her how much i missed her, how glad i was she had ‘stopped by’. i have been hoping that somehow she would show up, somehow she would make herself known to me, somehow she would let me know she was around.

so now i wonder – if this was her first wave from heaven. i imagine she’s been busy, her energy running high as she catches up with everyone she loves who got there before her. i imagine that she’s been talking up a storm, so to speak, and embracing all the opportunities she has to be with those she loves. so i am grateful for this moment today. this moment that – in an instant – made me feel like my momma is right here, just on the other side.

i talked to my sister during her lunch. i was sitting on the edge of the deck in unseasonable 65 degree sun and she was in her jeep at a favorite lunch spot. i told her about momma’s perfume. she said she had goosebumps. i told her, too, that the other day i found myself saying the words “betwixt and between”. now, who says that these days? we laughed when i said i was channeling mom. my sister said she had said something mom-esque a few days ago and i asked her if it was the word “irked”. again, we both laughed and we could both hear our sweet momma….

last night i woke in the middle of the night. i have no idea why or what woke me, but there was this one thought i was aware of as i made my way into awake-ness. the words – something like this – the more you have gratitude for every little thing, the more the universe gives you to have gratitude for. i woke him up. to talk about it. i’m not sure where the words came from but they were present in the air around me and my pillow. gratitude for every little thing – not just the good things. but also the challenging things. the things that make us weep. the feeling of being tired. the feeling of being exhilarated. with gratitude, the glass never has to be half-empty. it’s always half-full, waiting for the moment it spills over. our universe isn’t full of bubbles and rainbows, but they are there if you look.

my sweet momma’s perfume brought me a moment with my sweet momma. i look for the next time with great anticipation, wondering what this amazing woman will do to let me know she’s there. in the meanwhile, i am grateful for estee lauder’s pleasures in the air. a little thing? i don’t think so.

after working on projects, we played frisbee in the street. we never took a shower but wore sweats and sneakers. (we did brush our teeth.) we ate fresh strawberries and drank strong coffee.

we agreed it was a magic day.

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