Happiness. Sometimes we just fail to open our eyes and look, even when it is within our grasp. I fear, that I have given the impression that I am stuck in an unhappy rut. While I am sort of in that rut, I also feel like I am close to the edge of climbing out and getting back on sure-footed, happy ground.
In an attempt to focus my thoughts, and climb farther out of that rut...I offer the universe some of my happy memories and thoughts.
Growing up: B.E. Before Eileen.
I was blessed to be born into a family with two parents who loved not only each other, but their children. My family regularly did things together, especially on the weekends. We were campers. We started out as a family of tent campers. I grew up around a campfire on the summer weekend nights. Eventually, our love of camping led us to a pop-up trailer, and with that came adventures!
The way my memory recalls it, the first summer we owned the trailer, we became acclimated to our new, upscale life. There was a routine to pulling into a campsite. Everyone had jobs that needed to be done before solo exploration could happen. Clearly Dad would have the job of backing the trailer into position. Mom had the job of making sure she guided dad into the correct spot. I recall whenever they reversed this job...things didn't go as smoothly. Once the trailer was in place, the blocks holding the tires in position needed to be set, as did the piece of wood to level the trailer. Trailer set up included the ends needed to be pulled out, the top raised, electrical cords unwound, stretched out, and plugged in. Patio lights strung, laundry lines set between two trees, kindling gathered, food unpacked, beds made, and the lawn chairs set out. Everyone had their jobs, and we all worked together. Rain or shine, we camped.
Starting in summer number two as pop-up trailer campers... Our best trips with the trailer included two-week summer adventures: to Yellowstone, to Niagara Falls and Canada, and to Key West, Florida. I recall being wide-eyed, amazed and awed as I looked upon Mount Rushmore, felt the spray of the falls on my face, saw Old Faithful erupt on schedule, visited Disney World for the first time (where I heard about Walt's future "world" to be called E.P.C.O.T - Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), played in the snow of the Rockies while in my shorts, visited the Coors plant when Coors beer was only sold west of the Mississippi, and wondered what made the Badlands of South Dakota so bad.
I learned how to play Euchre while camping, and I had the best partner. Dad and I would take on my mom and brother. When our years of traveling with the camper ended, our card playing continued. Our neighborhood was prone to frequent power outages, and they seemed to always fall on Friday or Saturday nights. When playing by candle light, I still always had the best partner!
When I was 15, my parents sat my bother and I down. They had something to tell us. The next summer, we would be getting an addition to the family. Apparently I was to blame. All the prayers I had said, the ones where I asked God for another brother or sister, were finally being answered!!!
Life was changing. But our family love just grew deeper and stronger.
It is this love, the family love I grew up with which I can not, and do not want to let go. It lingers in the fibers of my very being. I am forever grateful to have my sister and my brother.
Recent Past: 25 years, give or take
As I spread my wings and flew from my childhood home, I wanted to take what I grew up with and plant my own seed/s of love in the world. I wanted to watch my seeds grow and bloom.
As I look at my own two children, I know I have done exactly what I had dreamed of doing. That warms my heart.
I am grateful that I have been able to share adventures with my children. I am happy that I took them to San Diego and walked on the west coast with them. That I took them to the top of the arch in St. Louis. That I took them to Chicago, Cincinnati and Indianapolis for weekend and day trip get-aways. I am happy that I was able to be available for them, and their friends as they grew up. I am happy that I am talented enough to sew Halloween costumes, to make dinners and deserts that spoil them, that I insisted they do the summer reading programs at the library and then would spend many evenings being the one who read stories out loud to them. I am grateful that they love Harry Potter, Lego's and Mario as much as I do. I feel blessed that I have been able to skip, while holding their hands and singing along to Disney songs while at Disney World, and that I have experienced the magic of Disney with them as well.
Today: The past two years, or so
Today I am happy for me. Simply me. I am excited about what my future holds. I am proud that I decided I wanted to go back to school to get my masters and that I did. I am excited that I have an opportunity to do something that I love, which is to teach. I am excited to continue exploring the world around me, being awed and amazed by it and then being able to bring it, along with my joy, into my classroom. But, I am still young. I still have love to share. I want to plant more seeds. I still have time to watch the new love I share grow and bloom. Watch out my friends! I just might have to share my love with you!
~Lisa, formerly known as Hootie