The Garage, the Tahoe and Remembering — SOL Day 25

We gutted the garage so we could put our old Tahoe in — it’s been sitting out front for years, getting a little weathered.  Dad wanted to sell it, but it’s the truck we all kind of grew up in.  When we got our house some 13 years go, very soon after we got the Tahoe, with several in our extended family saying we didn’t need it with only 3 kids.

We popped out 2 more sometime after.  🙂

In 2008, gas prices went through the roof, so we got another little car in 2009, 2010 (forget which), and, of course, that’s been our go-to vehicle for commuting.   Meanwhile, Tahoe sits until we need him for little family jaunts.

Dad wanted to sell him, but I told him we worked too hard for him to just get rid of him for a few thousand bucks.  The A/C’s pokey, he has an oil leak (we prepped the garage floor for it), there’s a problem with the windows so we’ve got to keep them up .. and although he has over 250,000 miles, I’m still absolutely in love with him.  My plan is for him to be our project car.. just like some people do.  When we moved to the city, we abandoned the plans of raising our family in the country with space and traditions that would have followed from our own upbringing .. long walks in open spaces, skygazing at night without the sound of cars nearby, tinkering with trucks in the garage.  Keeping the Tahoe is my little consolation prize after all these years.

It’s funny, because as we unpacked the garage and sorted stuff into trash (new vacuum box, new tv box, new tennis shoes boxes) and goodwill things, for the 45th time, I was shoving boxes of kid things and grade remembrances in corners, just to make room for the biggest keepsake of them all.

I don’t mind.  Days like this — and I knew this would come — made me slow down and savor our history, which is what I’ve really, really needed lately.  Life is just so high-pressure-everything.  It’s everywhere — phones, social media, noise, politics — fast, intense, urgent.  I tell my children life doesn’t have to be like this where you don’t have time to pause and look at each other.  We don’t have to be ships passing through the night.  Let’s slow down, think about this moment, remember the past together.

It’s working out.. because they kids helped me clean the garage today in record time (about 3 hours).  Every now and then, they’d pause .. and I’d watch my own children tenderly stacking boxes of their own memorabilia they want to keep and remember, too.

“Mama.. I have such strong memories about this, it’s so important to me.”

Me, too, baby, me too.  What’s most important is right in front of me…


Pie Day – SOL Day 10

Youngest walked into class with a freshly baked dark-cherry pie.  I couldn’t be there because I teach.  Just now, though, she gave me a hug and told me, “I feel like you were a part of my class.”

My daughter’s given me the key to being close to her when I can’t be.

My days rush together, my energy falters.

I’m so glad I still get to be her mother.  :)(

Marry the Dog – SOL Day 7

I forgot my Notebook at school, so here’s a quick write over something that happened at dinner.  Planted this one in another Notebook, too, before bringing it here.  This year for SOL, I’m committing to notebooking first, before bringing anything to this blog.. 

Kids seem to have memories that last longer than the years they’ve been alive..

We chomp over dinner, and eldest-middle child says she once thought she’d marry her younger brother and that older brother would marry older sister.  Younger brother says, “And I thought that the Baby would marry the dog.”

… because when his two-year-oldish reasoning (at the time) figured there was no one left.

I depend on my children’s memories to get me through.  I’ve told you.. my memory faults me for so many reasons.  Know God is the keeper of my memory has let me drift into more important things — priorities, the present moment.  But, even so, every time they tell me some miraculous memory from another life (That happened to us?  Really?  Mama doesn’t remember.. ), I want to tell them with urgency to Write it down, Write it down, Write it down!!

But the teacher part of me wants to rest once I get home, and barely, just barely, I’m beginning to overcome my hesitation to impart what I know are best practices with my own children.  We play, you see.  And I believe in letting the mind rest for the few hours we have before we have to do it all over again.

It’s their viewpoints I want to remember, what I want to keep.  It’s those memories and viewpoints I want them to value over time by putting down those little meaningful details somewhere permanent.  I want them to believe, understand and commit to the importance of reflecting on a meaningful life.. among other things…

I’m telling myself now, so I won’t forget:  it’s not too late to bring the Notebook habit of mind to my children.



Caves. – SOL 2016

The cave I visit in my memory casts shadows on the ceiling, tall, skinny men, dancing in time with the angle of my flashlight.  Their silhouetted moves jar, then disappear as the cave breathes — in, out, in, out, as my steps go up, down, up, down, slip, slide, up, down, slip, slide.  I make my way down the tongue of a fossilized beast.  I hide and play with the men on the ceiling.

But its really just my memory who wants to play peek-a-boo.

I realize what I know came from a Viewfinder and its accompanying reel from Carlsbad Caverns, purchased at a garage sale when I was 5.

I wonder.. what reality will our children claim for themselves after this digital age?