Its been a long time

I must write this down.

Even if for no other reason than to document and preserve the memory and feelings I’ve had since last evening.

We attended a local spaghetti supper to benefit a community.  It is a yearly event and the food is outstanding with a large gathering of people who come and go throughout the day.  I often see people whom I have either worked with or know from my hometown/community.  There is all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad bar (in a canoe!), homemade soups and desserts.

As I came to the end of the canoe and was reviewing the various salad dressings I felt someone touch my back.  I turned to find the smiling face of a former schoolmate of mine whom I haven’t seen for many years.  She game me a huge hug and we talked for approximately two minutes and ended with another hug.  It is hard to describe the feelings I’ve had since that moment.  It was wonderful to see “M” even though we weren’t close friends in school.  She was always part of the ‘in crowd,’ had many friends, boyfriends, the best clothes and involved in many school activities.  I often was jealous of her and her friends because it seemed like they had everything one could ever want.  My school years weren’t the happiest of my life due to being picked-on by so many in our small high school and having very few friends to support me (it seemed like they abandoned me too, at times).  I ended up getting an after-school job at age 16 at the local supermarket and worked a lot with no social life at all.  I am very happy that my life has turned out better than it appeared it would be when I was a teenager.

Seeing “M” was really nice, actually.  I have avoided all of the class reunions that have happened since my high school graduation and I currently have very-rare contact with a couple of girls from my class.  But seeing “M” was really good and that has surprised me.  Maybe it is because time has changed us both and we’ve learned many life lessons and have forgotten all of the childish things that occurred between us in those dark days of school.  I learned a long time ago that no matter how good someone else’s life may appear to us it may be that they are struggling with so much and  their life could be worse than our own.  Maybe “M’s” life wasn’t as good as it appeared to me; maybe she was struggling at home, too, with so much.  A few years ago “M’s” sister succumbed to her demons and took her own life.  She was a very popular, always-smiling girl in our school.  I was shocked when I learned that news and often think of her.  I remember she gave me a senior photo with the sweetest words written on the back.  I still have that and have often thought of that nice gesture to me.  When she gave me that photo I was over the moon after reading those words.  It made such a difference to me in those rough school days.

I am very happy that “M” made the decision to walk over to me when she saw me (I hadn’t seen her).  I’ve been thinking about her and our conversation and it wasn’t a bad experience to see her.  I always avoided classmates because I didn’t want to dig up all of those bad memories and feelings from yesteryear.

God does place people in front of us for a reason.  And there must be a reason that he placed “M” there for me last evening.  In His time I shall learn that, I’m sure.

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Reaching Back In Time

Is it so taboo to want to live the simple life?

In this time period, where just about everyone is “plugged-in” to something electronic or a social media site, it seems like we are evolving at such a rapid pace and no one wants to slow down.

To each generation, the term ‘good ol’ days’ has a different meaning.  As a baby born in the 1970’s, I think often of the 1980’s, of my childhood and what I deem to be my ‘good ol’ days.’  I miss the people most, who are no longer a part of my life now.  And, as strange as it may seem to some, I also miss the life I was living.  It certainly wasn’t easy and there are some bad memories mixed in there, but as a child I didn’t have all the worries and responsibilities as I do now.  And, I had lots more fun!!

For a very long time, I’ve always felt I have an ‘old soul.’  I haven’t had memories, dreams, flashbacks or recollections of a former life, but I just feel older in my soul, than my actual years and get deja’ vu quite often.

My grandparents’ generation lived through the Great Depression and endured and fought World War II.  My maternal grandmother was in Europe at that time and probably had the harshest life imaginable during all of the fighting.  I’m so drawn to that time period and I seek to learn all I can of the 1920’s through the 1940’s; especially the War itself.  I imagine what life would’ve been like on the home front (USA) or abroad in Europe during all of that time.  I wish I could ask my Grandparents.  As a child I didn’t have interest in “the War”, but I do now.  If I could go back in time to live through a time period, I would choose the early 1930’s and live forward.  Would I join the War effort as a Nurse in the WAC or choose to keep the home fires burning here for a man?  I don’t know.  But it is a part of history which I feel so much more at ease with.  I enjoy vintage items and recipes which kept company during all of that.  I’ve been canning food for many years and have been expanding my repertoire in the last few.  I will keep my Victory Garden going the best way that I can (with lots of help from my hubby!).

As I get older, I keep wanting to reach back to a much simpler life and time.  I feel technology is exploding at a very rapid pace and I just feel so lost in all of it.  I don’t use social media mega giant Facebook and don’t feel the need or desire to.  And to be extremely honest with you, the Internet is growing too rapidly that I often sit in front of the computer and feel overwhelmed by it all.  I enjoy the “task” of writing a good old-fashioned letter and putting a stamp on it and mailing it (stickers on the envelope are fun to add too!).  At least I feel that I’m doing my part to help the United States Postal Service stay open-lol!!  I think that old fashioned writing of letters is a lost art and quickly becoming forgotten.  And, I saw too much fraud when I was a bank employee so I still enjoy writing out a check and paying my bills by mail!

I love the process of making and creating by hand versus buying something which was mass produced or made by someone else.  Knitting, crocheting, cooking and baking are things which I enjoy immensely.  I recently purchased a vintage cook book through Amazon titled ‘Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book’, copywrite 1950.  I bought a used one because I wanted an original from the time period with character.  And I got it!!  (I read some posts from others who purchased a new reprint of the book and recipes are missing)!

 

Cookbook

Cookbook3

Cookbook2

 

I love making the old family recipes which I have and cooking from vintage cook books.  It certainly transports me back to a better place and time.  I decided to make the recipe for White Bread (yeast) from this cook book and I used the yeast which I have which is Rapid Rise.  Using that replaces the first rise in a bread recipe and shortens the time to get it ready for the 30-minute baking.  I used that yeast because it is what I have in my fridge and I’m all about using up what I got (see previous post).  It turned out to be the BEST loaf of white yeast bread which I’ve ever made and it was PERFECT!  Instead of using milk, as I’ve done in the past with previous recipes, I used water.  It was a tasty bread loaf; better then the ones you buy at the local bakery.  Many bakeries and family-owned restaurants tend to use their cherished old family recipes and those foods are the BEST!  I keep looking at all the new recipe books from my library and the same recipes just keep revolving around with a few differences (just compare several books of the same type of cuisine and you’ll see each author’s ‘spin’ on classic recipes).  I think the older recipes are best.  They keep things simple and use items which are stocked year-round in my home but the taste is fantastic.  When the Greatest Generation was growing up and living life in their early years, the best thing they enjoyed was putting a great meal on the table for their families and friends and everyone who visited was considered family.  They didn’t go out to eat at restaurants or order take-away food to eat at home.  Why would they?  Their recipes are the best ever!

There’s no way known, yet, to turn back time and most people wouldn’t want that anyway.  But, I can still daydream of a life that is simpler and of what I lived as a child.  I grew up, and still live, in the country.  My family was farming crops and animals with big gardens.  My mother and paternal grandmother canned lots of food each summer to help us endure those harsh winters which we once had and my family hunted to put meat in the freezer as well.  I had a good childhood in many ways; but, at the time, I didn’t think it was.  I do now.  I was fortunate compared to many others.  I’d get on my bicycle and ride to town (up a very steep hill) and visit with my best friend.  We’d spend the day together and sometimes ride all over town, or to the local library where her mother worked.  I’d return before dark and no one worried (too much!).  No cell phones, computers or electronic toys.  We’d go outside and play all day and it truly was fun!  We’d write snail-mail letters to each other and call and talk on the rotary wall phone for hours (with no call waiting).  Boy!  I sure miss all of that!  I certainly would embrace the simple life; however, others around me wouldn’t.  They are evolving, along with the rest of the world, using all electronics and social media, which has gripped the world quickly.

I think that as humans age and look to their final years on Earth, they become more nostalgic and wish for their youth.  It appears to just be a part of the cycle of life.

And, as a final thought, I will say that I really love Miranda Lambert’s song ‘Automatic.’  Here’s a link to the video on YouTube.  Listen closely to the lyrics; I think you’ll feel what I feel.  Let me know….

 

come sit for awhile…..

i recently spent an afternoon by the river with a very close and dear friend of mine who i’ve known all of my life.  when we’re together, it’s like we are 13 again!  i can truly be myself with her and we have such a great time together.  it’s like all of the other cares in the world just disappear and we have nothing to worry about.  we spent the time talking about our current lives (mostly she talks and I listen!) and we reminisced about our past.  there are so many days anymore when i wish we could go back to being 13 and have no adult responsibilities.  although, being a teenager again also presents a whole set of ‘issues’ which i don’t wish to revisit.

we both love photography and scrappin’ photos and her number one passion is writing.  she dreams of being a popular writer of something (although, i don’t know what, exactly) and not having to worry about anything financially.  she currently has gone back to school and is looking for work too.

i just miss the days of being together and having a good time.  it’s so difficult to spend time together anymore, due to our adult lives.  i would love to take a road trip across the country (or another country) with her for a month (or two!) and take photos and write something to commemorate the trip.  it would be fun~

praying that the possibility becomes reality…..

until then, we’ll just have to get together for a ‘day road-trip’ and reminisce about our hopes and dreams……

(this photo was taken that afternoon by the river)