reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the storage unit. [two artists tuesday]

storage unit copy

on my nightstand next to the bed are two frames.  both written in little-kid-writing, they are notes i saved from long ago.  one is from My Girl and it reads, “goodnight mom” surrounded by hearts.  the other is from My Boy and it has two words on it, “craig” (with a backwards g) and “mom” and has hearts filling up the rest of the notepaper.  each night i see these as i wish them both, from far away, goodnight, sweet dreams, restful sleep.

i come by this threadiness honestly.

we were in florida visiting; two of the days we were there, despite bright sunlight and temperatures in the 80s, we spent in a storage unit.  what was left of my parents’ belongings was packed in boxes, stacked in a unit, waiting for us to put our eyes on all of it and decide what to do with each of these things.  my mom’s impulse was to keep things, especially paper.  photographs and slides aside, there were files and files – some of which we will wade through later.  there were boxes of mugs and baskets and trinkets, a kaleidoscope of the pieces of life, carefully packed by my sister and brother-in-law during a time of sadness, a time that was not ripe with paring down or organizing, a time that is difficult for anyone who has packed up a house. larger items were already distributed – furniture given away or passed down to the next generation.  but these boxes….

i was quite sure that, even if i hadn’t seen anything in any of the boxes, i had all i needed….my treasures of my sweet momma and my poppo are tucked in close to my heart and i have physical memories of them around me in our home.  they are not the high-priced treasures you might think people would save or claim.  instead, they are small, meaningful, invaluable and thready things that speak to me.  old calendars of my mom’s, my dad’s small rickety wooden boxes from his workbench, glasses from which my dad sipped his scotch, a flannel shirt my mom wore that matched my dad’s, a board with hooks that is wood-burned with the word “keys” and hung in our growing-up house for as long as i can remember…

spending time in the storage unit, surrounded by memories and the fading scent of my mom’s perfume and their house, i was heartened to see that i actually could go through and pare down.  it gives me hope about our own basement.  the real things of our past – sweet treasured memories – are not things.  everyone gets meaning from and sees value in different stuff.  two days in the storage unit reminded me again of that.

this time i didn’t cry.  i laughed with my momma, who, no doubt, was rolling her eyes in heaven over the fact that she had saved sooo many pieces of paper…paid bills, old house contracts, warranties from appliances long gone, car receipts from several cars ago.  a collection of life gone by, i know she smiled when every now and then we stumbled onto something i loved to touch….i kept the little scrap of paper that fluttered to the floor that my mom had written my full birth name on…i kept a couple calendars with my poppo’s handwriting…i kept a tiny folder of maps my mom collected in her curiosity about the changing world…i kept my dad’s brown suede cap, the one i bought him a million years ago…i kept a manila folder of letters i had written to them over the years – that my momma saved…these pieces of evidence of who they were, heirlooms of what was most important to them.

i vowed, once again, to go through, give away, sell the things in our own home that are not necessary.  but those bins in the basement labeled “kirsten” and “craig”?  those will stay.  i will delight in going through the artwork and stories and notes and school projects from their childhood and growing up.  and some day, maybe they too will see how infinitely important each of the baby steps and adult steps they have taken are to me.  and maybe some of the thready treasures i have left behind will give them pause and, maybe, they will save a scrap or two, a calendar, a notebook of unpublished songs, photographs, something that reminds them of what was most important to me – the thready things that are memories of love, of family, of them.

it wasn’t sunny or 82 degrees inside the storage unit.  but it was warm in a whole other way.

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

mommaandpoppo deer ridge website box

 

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simple question? [two artists tuesday]

these are the things we notice.  little and big.  the things we love about living two-artists-together. little and big.  the things we ponder.  little and big.

this one? an existential question indeed.  but that sweet caterpillar….

for some actual thoughts on this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY, you might want to click here and read DAVID’S blog

alice's restaurant, california websitebox copy

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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.

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

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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and now

i was surprised the first time i walked into the bathroom and my toothbrush already had toothpaste on it. it was one of those moments – you know, the kind where you get a little mushy (who, me?) and think “wow, that was so sweet of him!” it’s just a little thing, but in the overall scheme of life, it’s those little things that really matter. the big stuff will always pop up, lurk, threaten to overwhelm us, but the little things comfort us, reassure us, heal us.

the girl was home for just a bit. i was sooo excited to see her. i thought of huge things we could (maybe) do, places we could (maybe) go, even though i knew that there really wasn’t even time; she had commitments that would make any of those things impossible. still, a mom can dream. instead, it was the moments at the kitchen table laughing and doing a crossword puzzle that really counted. it was the girl holding on to the pen we were using, refusing to relinquish it to me, filling in all the boxes and just being herself -the amazing daughter i recognize- fiercely independent (see previous post) – that made my heart so filled, so grateful.

my big sister sat on the bed with me and we talked about the big day ahead of us. i was tired and she gently told me to put my head on her shoulder and rest. i can’t remember a sweeter moment i have spent with her in recent days. no shopping spree, mutual pedicure appointment, shared meal, anything, could have been better. i am, still, so grateful for that moment.

the hot chics (aka chics caliente) shared the reading aloud of ‘the blessing of the hands’. they have been there with me for three decades. three decades of time spans many changes, much turmoil, much bliss. in this reading aloud moment, the tears fell freely and the hugs were full of new life, new hope.

these are the miracles of life. the times we need for the rest of the times. it is a miracle sometimes that we even notice the miracles. we stand in grace all the time and don’t see it for the warbled un-grace we grant ourselves.

i stood in the balcony and looked down at the church (which right now, thanks to frank, is stunningly beautiful in its white-light holiday splendor) and remembered a day not too long ago. it hasn’t even been two months since i walked down that aisle into the future. i remember looking around at all the people there to witness these moments and then looking ahead to the man at the end of the aisle. the one who puts toothpaste on my toothbrush. the one who is infinitely tender, who loves to hold hands, who chooses to slow dance in the front yard in the middle of raking, who brings coffee to my pillowside, who reads aloud with me, who chops dinner ingredients alongside me, who makes me madder than anyone i’ve ever met, who makes me weep when i catch his eye, who is “my favorite pain in the ass” (a little sign we bought on our honeymoon). when i wrote this song i didn’t realize he would walk with it down the aisle into us. a miracle of life.

you wonder what the universe has in store for you. you think that you know. you think you have it covered. you think you have control of it, of timing. and when it isn’t playing out how you think, you rail against it, wondering why it isn’t working the way you thought/wanted/worked for. but the universe seems to have a way of connecting the dots, allowing these tiny little miracles to happen, forming the big picture…making the grace bubble around you bigger and bigger and bigger.

until now. when i realize that maybe all the things that happened before -the joys, the pains, the mistakes, the accomplishments, the huge things, the littlest things – add up to now. one of my beloved nieces sent me something on our wedding day. it read, “sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” wow. true. my other beloved niece sends me unicorns and rainbows and bubbles and reminds me all the time of the magic all around us at every moment. those miracles. showing up again.

just turn around and look. ahead.

and-now is showing up.

and now~a wedding song : on iTunes

 holiday CD sale on www.kerrisherwood.com

iTunes: kerri sherwood