Monday Music #19

 

There are songs, special songs, that can transport us back in time to a certain point, a specific memory. Leaving On a Jet Plane is one of those songs for me. I think I mentioned it once before in a blog post.

The song, written by John Denver, was recorded by Peter, Paul, and Mary in 1967. So, I imagine it was around  the summer of 1968 or 69 when my cousin Paula and I sang it at the top of our lungs in the back of her parents station wagon. We, all us Graham/Denmark cousins, had been to the next town over to swim. We were headed home down a south Georgia two-lane, the summer air blowing our hair around as it dried our swimsuits, and I don’t remember if the song came on the radio or if we just started singing it. I’m not sure why this moment in time has stuck with me all these years. I think it was the pure joy of the moment, the carefree happiness of a childhood that was always made better when cousins were around.

A few weeks ago I reunited with Paula for a weekend in Arkansas. It was the first time, probably since that summer, that we had been together for any length of time. In fact, we’d only seen each other 4-5 times in the intervening years. But, there is something about the bond of cousins – the years made no difference – it was like we picked up where we’d left off so many summers ago.  We have led such different lives, yet the bond of family and the bond of Christ has held us together. For that I am grateful.

 

me 7 P

 

 

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Monday Music #17

 

“Roll with it or get rolled over.” – Raven’s tattoo

 

I love the story behind this video and I really love the song. I am new to John Moreland, but this caused me to look up some more of his music.  Take a listen to  Slow Down Easy.  And then watch the video below. Don’t cry…

 

 

 

That’s Love

clipart panda

by clipart-panda

That’s Love

Laughing at her son’s jokes
when they aren’t really funny
and listening to his long, detailed telling
of an episode of Justice League
That’s love

Driving thirty minutes out of his way
to deliver
his wife’s forgotten cell phone
so she wouldn’t worry
That’s love

Running to the kitchen for ice
when your big brother gets hit by a ball
even though he just pinched you
an hour ago
That’s love

Buying a portable wheelchair for his wife
as a surprise
so they could visit the zoo and stroll the mall
even though he’s not a mall person
That’s love

4-25-17

You can read a companion poem, What Is Love? HERE.

Monday Music #12

In last week’s Monday Music #11, I introduced you (if you hadn’t heard of them before) to The Dustbowl Revival. I promised to continue down the trail I started, so here goes.  This week’s video not only features their song, Never Had to Go, but also one of my all-time favorite actors, Dick Van Dyke, along with his wife. Take a watch/listen!

This next video is of Arlene – watch until the end…

And lastly the cute wedding video…

PAD 2018: Love

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by clipart-panda

I’ve been writing a poem a day for PAD this year, except for day 6 (the prompt was food and I haven’t come up with that one yet). I’ve been doing this almost every year since 2009. Some years have been better than others. This year has been a struggle. But, today I will share two: one from 2013 (forgot the topic) and one from today (topic was a love or an anti-love poem).

Words

They swarm from every side
They crawl in and out of my head,
Crowding out sensibilities
The weight of these words presses me down

Empty cracks fill up with snippets
As accusations harass me, overwhelm me
They climb up on one another like a pyramid
Pestering, pestering, “Give us a poem!”

They appear when my eyes are closed,
Besiege me in bed,
Stay with me in slumber,
Assail me when I awake

Then proceed to disquiet my day
Oh how the words worry me
They infringe on my free time,
Vex my best intentions

And I surrender, surrender

4-17-13

 

What is Love?

It’s love that takes the verbal abuse
Knowing Alzheimer’s has taken the mind
—love suffers long and is kind
It’s love that drives the clunker
And gets the best car for another
—love does not parade itself, is not puffed up
It’s love that mucks out the barn
To give a few minutes of sleep
To the one who labors all day
— love does not seek its own
It’s love that ties the shoes
And goes up the stairs for the one who can’t
—love bears all things
It’s love that seeks the best for others,
Even when it hurts
—love endures all things
It’s love that opens the heart and home
To those who’ve lost their way
—love hopes all things

Based on I Corinthian 13
4-17-18

Comfort Clothes

A few years ago, my cousin Debbie wrote a lovely piece about her trusty brown sweater. She says,

“This is my someone’s at the door, throw over your gown, warm, feel good, soft, sleep in, coffee stained (you can’t see them, thankful brown) enduring, lasting, missing one button, never fail me sweater. I keep it because it is the one thing I can trust to give me that peace of mind and comfort I need.”

This brought to mind Old Red. Old Red was an old red wool coat that belonged to my mom. Long past its prime, it hung in the closet for years. On Saturday afternoons when Dad would kick back in his recliner in the den, with a golf game on TV, he would say, “Go bring me Old Red.” I, or whichever of my brothers was closest, would go it from the closet. Dad would proceed to cover up and fall asleep. But we wouldn’t dare try to change the channel. He would stir up and bellow, “I’m watching that.” I wonder whatever became of that coat; it would have come in handy here in Alabama.

Then there were my overalls.
overalls

When I was in college at Georgia Southern, there was this great old fashioned hardware store in town where you could buy painters pants and overalls. In the mid-70s these were the fashion around campus. I wore my overalls a lot. A whole lot.  I have a picture of me in them a few years later at Clearwater Beach holding my firstborn son. I also remember that I had them on the day I rushed out of the house to take my neighbor and her son to the ER. I didn’t have time to change, just scooped up the baby and the diaper bag and flew out the door. Barefoot. I’m sure people were shaking their heads at me at the hospital, especially when I had to go into the restroom to unhook them in order to nurse my baby. Then, when I was pregnant with our second, I wore them through about my fifth month. I think I finally gave them up when they got too many holes in them.

My husband had a pair of comfort shorts. When he finally replaced them, we had a burial ceremony in the side yard. He put them in a  shoebox and dug a hole, and then we and the four kids all trooped out, very somber of course, while he said a few parting words over them. They had lived a good life and died with dignity.

I appreciate Debbie and her trusty brown sweater. Comforts clothes are akin to comfort foods. And to friends.  We need to keep them around.

I love how she ends her thoughts. Thank you, Debbie.

“People are constantly telling us we need to let go of the past and move forward. No, we don’t have to forget the past; it is a part of who we are, where we have been and where we are now. Holding on is what we call “memories” and what’s wrong with having those to fall back to?… It is the thread of life that connects us to each other and if I find it woven in a piece of clothing, I’ll hang on to it and I’ll continue to hang this sweater over me until it or I am no more.”

 

(originally published 11/15)

Wait Silently

irr

To look for community instead of cocktail-party relationships is part of choosing sides in the vast, strange battle. To say, “I’m sorry”; to be silent; to say “I love you,” “I care.” It is these little things that are going to make the difference. For God chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, the weak to overthrow the strong.

– The Irrational Season (1977) by Madeleine L’Engle

 

I’ve written about this before, I’m sure; I am writing to myself again. I long for community, real and true. I think I’m settling for cocktail-party relationships via social media. I see the words “I love you”, “I care” “praying” all over facebook, but what does it really mean? Is it so others can see you are so concerned? To do so in person is another kettle of fish all together.

 

It is not easy to say I’m sorry, especially I’m sorry without a but after it. However, it’s often too easy to say I love you  – love ya – as an alternate to see ya later. Said too easily and it looses its meaning. Saying I care may be harder; harder still to show you care in a tangible may.

 

But the hardest may be to be silent. Silent when you want to scream or cry or yell or explain or accuse or complain.

 

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. – Psalm 62:5

 

Help me, LORD, to be silent. To show love and care.  To pray.