Love Rocks

Daily Prompt: Viral | The Daily Post


This daily prompt challenge is to write a piece for the New York Post that will be the first many will know of me. When my son is prompted to write something about himself he sarcastically writes “I like cheese” and it annoys teachers and family alike. But as I sit here to write something from my heart one of the first things that comes to mind is “I love rocks.” Maybe that is because I have been on our family vacation collecting rocks for days but when I’m not on vacation I also pick up rocks from beside the river, on a nature trail or just outside my front door. My husband gave me a pendant years ago that says “love rocks” referring to our love or a shared love but it also applies to me in the way that I do love rocks. The thought of these natural objects having been here for hundreds,
thousands or millions of years before us fascinates me to no end. All of the passing thoughts, plans or concerns that the average person keeps in their head seem to shrink when I reflect on the many years and circumstances it has taken any one of these rocks to become the size, shape or texture that it is today. As we live our lives and think that the things in them are so critical, countless facets of nature are just being and many of them will continue doing so long after we are gone, much like some of them were doing long before we arrived. How many families has the hearty tree behind the time-shared lake cabin seen? That sturdy, majestic tree sits behind the cabin’s kitchen door, right where every family loads their food in and out of the cabin and like the smooth sea rocks on the shore, it will be there weathering winters and summers after many families are no longer vacationing at the lake cabin, or are even alive. Feeling the bark on that tree makes me nostalgic and I think of the people who were here before me and also ponder on those who have yet to start their journey here. Like the tree at the cabin, the rounded rocks I pick up in different places remind me of the passing of time and our place in it as people. I rub the smooth surfaces of the rocks and in my heart I feel like a little girl who wonders what it is all about. And I love rocks. -smilingbug



Weekly Photo Challenge: Carefree | The Daily Post

This week’s photo challenge: carefree.
Those moments free of hassle don’t come around all often. When they do I treasure them and I feel a bitter sweet sting knowing that, like everything in life, they too will pass.

The place where this photo was taken is a lake where my husband’s family goes to be together and be carefree. This year his aunt is not with us and unfortunately, nothing is the same. Still we are appreciating these carefree times with the kids playing in the lake, on paddle boards or canoes. What is your carefree time or place? -smilingbug

Golden Years


I saw some dear lady friends on the beach yesterday. One had her hair styled, short and a sharp blonde color. The other was gray and had bright orange lipstick. One of them had brought a small plastic side table to the beach that they placed between their beach chairs. It held a classic paisley purse and a drink with a straw. One of their beach chairs had the special convertible top that flipped over her head for shade when needed. I could tell from their relaxed posture and mannerism that this was a routine they had been doing for quite some time. I instantly wished that I would have girlfriend days on the beach one day. Maybe my hair would be all gray or maybe I would wear bright orange lipstick. They looked so happy and fabulous. That night I celebrated my parent in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary and many of the friends who were at their wedding attended. I listened to stories about childhood crushes and summer cocktail parties. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking of a lifetime of 60 years, how that must feel and all of the relationships and happenings that filled those years. My husband and I joked that we won’t have a 60th wedding anniversary because of the ages we were when we were married. Sometimes getting old seems like a dreaded slow demise and other times I gaze on it as a golden era. Probably both views are unrealistic but like a little kid in awe of being a big kid I observe elderly years with curiosity and caution. I hope they will be happy and healthy years and I wonder how long this life will last for each of us. “It’s not the length of life, but depth of life” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What are your thoughts on the “golden years?”

Love and Tears of Joy

When I saw the Daily Post’s topic about being moved to tears my first thought was about my children (which I wrote about) and my second thought was the time I sat crying from joy while looking at people in love, vowing their love to one another. It was a two days after the Defense of Marriage Act was declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court and I came across this link to photos of couples getting married in San Francisco.

I was not a kid who wanted to grow up and get married or be a wife. I did not clip out photos of wedding dresses or dream of being a bride. Yet if I watch “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC I will shed a tear at the end of every single episode, no matter how annoying the bride’s sister was nor how endless the premise of the dress search dragged on. Even after all of the typical reality TV ups and downs in the episode, TLC shows that bride coming down the aisle and her father grinning, her mother crying, her partner glowing, it’s all over for me: water works. If you click on the link and see the faces filled with love and devoting their lives to each other are you moved to tears? -smilingbug

(photo above is from the BuzzFeed article referred to in this post, link provided above)

Moved To Tears


The last time I was moved to tears was a few nights ago when my son said “I love you,” to my husband.  These unsolicited “I love you’s” are maybe one of the best sounds on earth.  I got one about a week ago while in the living room with my son and I gave him a bear hug, feeling like my heart would burst from joy.  The “I love you’s” come out of nowhere and when you least expect it.  When my son did it to my husband, they were watching late night TV together.  My husband was using the opportunity to relax after a long day of work and dinner time chores.  My son was thrilled to be hanging out with his Dad.  I was sitting at the kitchen bar, tending to something on my laptop.  The only noise in our home was the sound of Tree Fu Tom (a Sprouts show for kids) and then from down the hall I heard my son’s little, happy voice say “I love you Dad,” followed by a pause.  Then I heard my husband’s moved voice say “Aw thank you son, I love you, too.”  I know my husband had a lump in his throat as he responded and I instantly got a lump in my throat, too.  My eyes welled up with tears and I felt the full force of the beautiful love shared by parents and children.  Having older children I am fully aware of how this love goes through different phases, evolving differently with each child.  When was the last time you were moved to tears? -smilingbug

When I Grow Up


I was inspired to write this by a blogger named Sreejit that I follow.  He wrote about what he wanted to be when he grew up and it made me reflect on my childhood.

When I was ten I had a new step Mom and I had been dancing classical ballet for four years under the strict and traditional style of an old school Argentine dancer.  Ballet was everything to me and I continued being quite dedicated to it until I was fifteen years old, when my body developed and I was no longer a match for the weight and body type requirements.  My pop music interests started around 11 years of age when I had a neighbor originally from Cape Cod named Danielle who was obsessed with John Cougar (Mellencamp) and Bruce Springstein.  Together we sat on my Dad’s brown sofa and watched MTV launch with amazement.  The astronaut with the MTV flag, the same ten or twenty videos looping, the VJs, it was all new and incredible to us at 12 and 13 years old.  We had a crush on a guy (yes the same guy) in our building complex, we would fish off of our dock in the river and lay on the roof of our building to get tanned.  When Danielle moved away to live with her Mother I was a teenaged brace face with a very two household schedule and dance.  I was an only child and got a baby sister at my Dad’s house when I was 13.  If I think about what I wanted to be when I grew up then, I come up with a blank.  I already knew that being a ballerina was not possible as I was not at the top of my class and my teacher weighed me and a couple of other girls each Friday because we weren’t slender enough.  I was not a kid who wanted to be a veterinarian or any of those childhood favorites.  My parents were working hard to make life happen but I don’t remember thinking I’d follow in their career footsteps.  Not because of what they were doing but it just wasn’t something that entered my mind at all.  While I was an adolescent, the thought of what I wanted to be when I grew up was never a thought.  I was processing factors in my home life, going to school, going to dance classes and later participating in sports at school.  Like most at that age I loved music, make up and wanted to have friends.  The first three concerts I attended (with my Mom) were Wham, The Jacksons and Prince.  I remember my childhood fondly but I don’t remember dreaming about a white wedding, a glamorous career or a fancy life.  The path that life takes with it’s turns and forks in the road is not predictable and I did not have a wish about what it would be like either.  The person who inspired me to write this, Sreejit, entitled his post “Dreams and the Continual Creation of our Reality” and the end of that title speaks to me more because I believe in taking action and making one’s reality.  I guess I am not a dreamer, as unromantic as that sounds.  What about you and your childhood dreams?

“Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson