Sunday, March 31, 2013

{Rock-and-Roll Daughter}

All I can think about when I look at this photo is ZZ Top. I also think about yellow and how it's way too much for one vintage ride, but mainly it's just ZZ on my mind. The band. The beards. The classic cars. It's all here...staring back at me.

This is actually Doug, a guy I don't know all that well. In fact, this is one of the only pictures I have of Doug, standing next to something he lovingly restored with his own hands. He is so full of pride and love. His baby. Doug is no ZZ Top, you see. He's just my dad.

I've mentioned my dad before. The one who left when I was two, showed up again in my life at 19, and hasn't been back since. I'm 35 now (in case you're counting). He calls every few years to tell me he thinks of me often, but his words have never been worth anything, certainly never made of action. He is daughter less guy. I am his fatherless girl.

Yesterday, I met Doug's brother for the first time. Great guy. He's been married to his wife for 40 years with four children and many grandchildren. He's also a minister. He glowed when he talked about his faith and his family. There were some tears, too. 

He cried when he talked about the abuse that he and his four siblings, including Doug, endured at the hands of their step-father after being abandoned by their real father. He spoke of a mother incapable of affection and love. Extreme poverty. No second changes. Hurt, that for years, has gone unhealed in many of them.

I listened. I soaked it all in. I looked at family photos, including this one he gave me of Doug. I only cried once during our visit. It was when he was talking about how he didn't love or hate his own dad, who would come in and out of his life. He mainly felt nothing. I cried because I felt nothing, too. It makes you sad to have that hole in your heart for someone you should love, but simply don't.

It was a tough day yesterday. But it was also good. For the first time, I was able to hear a solid reason why my dad may not have been able to show up to be my dad. It's more than just not knowing how. He may not be capable. And then, even better, I meet someone full of love and warmth that learned to love despite being unloved. It means there is hope for me, too. Hope for us all. The cycle can be broken.

I like this photo. I really do. It makes me laugh to think my dad could really be ZZ Top instead of what he really is. I'm glad he's found something he loves. I have to.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

{I Am a Tree Sniffer}

Forget roses. Stop and sniff the trees, my friends. There is nothing better than the smell of pine as you hike in the forest. It is seriously the best smell in the world.

Tree Sniffer, 2013
This is me yesterday hiking at Three Creeks Conversation Area near Columbia. It was my first time hiking this trail and, even though we had to creatively cross a few creeks, I loved getting back outside after a long winter of hibernation. 

I sniffed the tree. Or made love to it. It's hard to tell in this photo, I know, but I love the smell of pine enough to stick my chubby cheeks right up in it's grill. I almost hyperventilated breathing it all in. I think the tree appreciated the love, too.

Today, back to snow and sleet in Missouri. Boo. Hiss. I am posting this picture as a reminder that tomorrow brings a new day, a new trail, maybe even a new adventure. Sniff it. Stick your face in it. Breath it all in. We get no guarantees in this life. 

P.S. This might be a cedar tree. I can't tell the difference between cedar and pine. I just sniff everything. No discrimination here, folks.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feeding the Beast

The blogs I love post several times a week. Some, even daily. I follow cooking blogs, DIY blogs, parenting blogs, comedy blogs, and even the blogs of a few friends. I love the writing, but mainly I love staying connected. Writers post stuff to stay connected. 

I haven't made a blog post, if I can even call it a blog at this point, in six months. It was fall when I last wrote. Today, I realized it's spring. Well, shit. This totally confirms I'm a complete slacker.

No excuses. Okay, I do have a few (the best slackers always do, right?). Work has been chaos. Kids played basketball this winter, so there was no "off" season. I stopped walking. I started devouring sugar. I took up hot yoga, if you can call taking two classes and puking like a champ after the first one a new hobby. I run from meeting to meeting. I referee fighting kids. Housework is piling up, laundry even higher. 

I feel exhausted. Dried up. A writer with no words to give.

BUT, BUT, BUT....instead of doing the things that restore me (walking) and energize me (writing), I do the exact opposite. I escape into the pages of stories I didn't write and under the comfort of covers to sleep. I scroll endlessly through people's Facebook posts and candid pictures. I research new adventures with intensity, knowing in my heart I will never go. I seek bigger dreams than the life I am living.

Someone said the other day, "We become the creature we feed most." Such truth in this simple statement. What we feed, flourishes. We we nourish, grows. Hopes and dreams are wonderful, but it is our actions and what we practice daily that ultimately defines us.

I guess what I'm trying to say, friends, is I'm not a writer. Not yet. But I'm tired of silly dreams, of others and my own, with no action behind them. I'm ready to feed the beast. Get ready.