Category Archives: Family

Karma Comes Around

I’ve heard a lot lately about ‘Karma’ and ‘people getting what they deserve’ after a recent heart break and bad break-up of one of my children.  Their friends feel strongly about it.  It’s a comforting thought for the bad things people do – to think that they will get what they gave.  But that’s not really what Jesus wants us to do.  He wants us to do the HARD thing of ‘forgiving’ and not judging.  Which, in the end, truly does help the aggrieved person to forgive because it loosens the binds formerly held on them.

But what of people who do bad things and are NOT sorry at all for them.  People who are self-absorbed and only worry about their own feelings without empathy or sympathy for others?  Will “Karma” really get them?  Or, as my brother-in-law Billy says in his East Texas accent, “What comes around, goes around.”  Does it really?

I want to include a spooky story in this blog post where it does.  I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did.

The following story is an excerpt from a book where the guy is telling the story of the spooky show he watched on TV as a boy called ‘Night Gallery’ which focused on the dark closets of the human soul.  One particular story stayed with him (as it does with me now!) and I will tell it in quotes straight from the book:

“Josef Strobe is a Nazi war criminal hiding out in South America-Argentina, I imagine.  In spite of his cruel and evil past, his deepest longing is simply to be a fisherman.  His history haunts him, forcing him to live in a world that is dingy and bleak, a vivid contrast to his opulent life while in power.  Always afraid of being caught and constantly on the move, he is a different kind of prisoner than those comrades who were captured years before and condemned for their crimes against humanity.

He stands in front of a beautiful painting of a fisherman in a small boat drifting serenely on a still mountain lake, imagining himself as the man in the boat, free from all the problems that he has created for himself.  Josef is drawn to the painting over and over again.  He asks a forgiving God to give him another chance, a chance to survive, but in truth is asking God to absolve him from his sins while he abdicates all responsibility for his actions.

As he dreams of being the man in the painting, he wonders if, by concentrating all his mind and all his desire, he could enter that picture, leaving behind the life he has created to enter a life he could only dream of.  It’s clear, though, that Josef has never known contrition.  In the midst of his anguish, he runs across a Holocaust survivor who recognizes him as a former guard.  Josef kills the Jewish man and tries to escape by leaving town.

Instead, he is captured after some tense moments.  He escapes and sneaks back into the museum, rushing toward the painting that holds the world he longs to live in.  It is dark not only from the lack of light but from the ominous presence of the moment.  He prays to God to allow him to enter into the painting, then suddenly disappears.  Rushing into the room seconds later, a security guard and a museum official hear muted screams where Josef had stood. The picture of the mountain lake is gone, and the curator explains that the painting of the mountain lake was a loaner.  In its place hangs the image of a man crucified in a concentration camp.  Slowly the camera scans to the picture, and we realize that Josef has taken the place of the person who was crucified.  In a twist of irony, Josef Strobe has found his way back to the world he created.

from Erwin Raphael McManus’s book “The Artisan Soul”Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art“- btw, I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to all artists of any religion.  It is spiritual at times but mostly inspirational and though provoking.

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Filed under Family, Fiction, Psychological rabble dabble, Random Thoughts, Writing

On Brain Farts and Shoplifting Lessons

Today I had a couple of quick errands to run so I went by the mall to visit Dillard’s first.  The Elizabeth Arden counter was holding my pre-ordered lip balms along with my free gift for me to pick up.  (When you spend enough money at the make-up counter the clerks will start calling you to see if you need anything when they offer free gifts for purchasing a certain amount of their products – Clinique also calls and I ‘betcha I start hearing from Lancôme too!  Magic creams to prevent wrinkles and whatnot...)  Anyway, I digress.  I rushed into Dillard’s thinking I’d get this done quick before something caught my eye and sidetracked me.  I am an admitted ADHD shopper.  I get off track easy.  When Tara shops with me it’s double trouble and we find ourselves constantly reminding each other to “Get back on track for what we came for!”  My writing seems to be ADHD today as well, so good luck keeping up with this.  It’s a funny story though, so if you stick with it you might get a good laugh.

I got sidetracked before I even got close to the makeup counter.  A new shipment of yellow box flip-flops on display pulled me towards them.  I buy at least one new pair of these a year because I wear them so often they get worn out.  I wear the flat ones and find them more comfortable than tennis shoes.  (The other 2 months in the year I wear boots.)  Naturally, I did find a new pair that I couldn’t resist.  The ones at Dillard’s don’t actually come in a ‘yellow box’ though, they are connected to hangers like the cheaper flip-flops.  I still hadn’t visited the makeup counter so I let the flip-flops hang from my pinky finger and walked straight towards my planned destination.  Although my eyes were distracted along the way by lots of pretty dresses.

I ran into my friend and fellow book lover Ms. Beulah who works there and we visited for a bit.  When she handed me my bag of stuff and I didn’t realize that I had already paid for it over the phone so there was no need to check out.  Convenient.  This also meant I could walk back through the store and see if there were any dresses I wanted to buy (along with my flip-flops still dangling from my pinky finger on the same hand that I now carried the Dillard’s bag stapled shut with my Arden products inside.)  I said my good byes to Beulah and flittered through the store eyeballing a few dresses. None were casual enough (or cheap enough) for me to want to bother messing with them though.  My mind began to think of the other things I needed to do so I headed to the path way out of the store.

I walked out with my head held high, full of busy thoughts.  A big truck stopped to let me walk in front of it, so I waved while thinking, ‘that was nice of the driver.’  I had parked fairly close and just when I opened my car door I looked down and discovered the flip-flops still dangling from my pinky finger!  I was so shocked and horrified I actually spoke out loud to myself, “I just walked right outside the door with these and didn’t even pay for them!”  Nobody was around to hear (I don’t think.)  And evidently nobody noticed me leave the store with them.  But still.  I locked my car and walked back inside to the nearest clerk to tell her what I had done.  My conscience would not allow me to drive off with stolen yellow box shoes.  Even though I did it on accident and I know those stores figure in a certain amount for thievery (and much of their stuff is overpriced anyway.)  But I couldn’t do it.  The clerk was very nice and thanked me for being honest.

I was reminded of the time when I was about 3 years old (maybe 4, who knows?) and I went to the local drug store with my Mom.  I remember getting impatient waiting while my Mom shopped because she wouldn’t let me get anything.  I remember being creeped out by some old biker looking dude who rubbed my head and smiled at me while asking, “Do people call you Rusty?”  I must have looked confused because he elaborated, “Because of your red hair!  It’s the color of rust!”  He walked off chuckling and I decided to busy myself by sniffing the different flavors of Chapstick on the nearby shelf.  There was a new cherry flavored one I had not seen before and as I smelled it I couldn’t resist taking a bite out of it to see if it tasted as good as the smell.  I about gagged on the wax, it was awful and then I realized that I couldn’t put it back with a chunk taken off and my mom had already told me I was not allowed to get anything.  So I stuck it in my coat pocket.

When we got out to the car I pulled it out to look at it and sniff again, wondering what trickster made such a tantalizing smell taste so horrid.  My mom watched me do this, astounded, and screamed my name in frustration.  “Did you just steal that from the store?”

I said something like, “Well, if putting it in my pocket and not paying for it is stealing, then yeah.”  I knew she was angry by the tone of her voice so I started to feel bad knowing I had done something wrong.  She confirmed this with a few choice words and then she marched me back inside and made me apologize to the clerk at the counter and explain what I had done.  I was embarrassed and know my face probably turned redder than my hair.  I felt the eyes of other shoppers watching me in judgment.  I had been looking down in humiliation but looked up at the clerk with sincerity and said I was sorry again. By that time I could no longer hold back my tears of shame and I could feel their warm saltiness fall down my freckled cheeks.  The clerk must’ve felt sorry for me because he said not to worry about it and didn’t make my Mom pay for it.  But I did have just a little change in my pocket of my own and Mom made me give him that to learn my lesson.  It really stuck in my head.

I’ve never understood those people who shoplift for the thrill of it.  I certainly don’t find it thrilling!

Lesson learned Mom, lesson learned.

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SPORTS BRA WARNING: WOMEN BEWARE!

I have to share this embarrassing moment with other women simply to warn them of a possible issue that may occur while trying on sports bras.  I really am shocked that this hasn’t happened to anyone else yet, but I definitely want to get the word out so that no woman is harmed by these treacherous ‘sports’ bras.

Here’s my story:  Every new year I start a new exercise routine for inspiration and variety.  This year I decided to challenge myself by attempting this Couch to 5k program that so many of my Facebook friends have been posting about.  After a couple of weeks I realized I was going to need some new ‘support‘ and went to our local sports store (Academy.)  I discovered some new bras that were not only cute but promised to “Banish the Uni-boob!”  The tag touted it’s schtick “The Great Divide – Shaping, Support & No Uni-Boob.”  Wow.  I was not aware that my old sports bras were giving me a ‘uniboob,’ but upon reflection, maybe they were!  “What a wonderful new bra,” I thought to myself.  I gathered two of them with hangers that declared them a size Medium (my size, at least in my old sports bras) and decided not to try them on since I had other shopping to do and a limited amount of time.

Fast forward to the next day, Monday morning.  The kids are gone to school, husband to work and I’m flitting around the house like a, well – a dragonfly, because while I tinker on the computer, I also stop to do other things like:  “Oh, yeah, I wanted to finish cleaning the bathtubs.  Oops, laundry needs to get started.  Oh, I need to go through those papers cluttering the dining room table.  Uh, there’s some dishes that need to be put into the dishwasher.  Are those leaves on the floor?  Let me just sweep those up.”  Are you getting the picture?  I am an ADHD homemaker.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, the bra fiasco.

My daughter and her two fellow cosmetology students/friends generally swing by our house for a quick bite to eat & bathroom use before continuing on to their Cosmo class located on the other side of town.  When  they arrive this morning I’m scampering about the house when I realize I never did try on those new bras.  I needed to try them on before cutting the tags off and washing them with the laundry so I excused myself from the gals in the kitchen and shut myself in the master bedroom to get started.

“Hmmm.  I think I’ll try on this cute pink one first.”  I took the top half of my outfit off (Ok, I took off my pajama top,) released the sports bra from it’s hanger and began pulling it over my head.  “Hmm, this is a tighter squeeze than it should be.  I think they might have mislabled this one.  It seems extra small.”  I get the bra over my head and barely get one arm through it, struggling in a vain attempt to pull the other arm through and while trying to pull it down over my breasts I wonder, “Maybe it’s the new fabric, but it’s still not stretching enough.”  When I begin turning red in the face and the bra still won’t move, I give up.  “This must be an extra small!”  Geez.  Alright then, I will just take it off.

I try to pull my arm out and get it back over my head to no avail.  I am stuck.  Both literally and figuratively.  After many deep breaths, groans and near muscle pulls, I am now breathing heavy, starting to sweat and very seriously stuck half in/out of a sports bra!  It ain’t going down over my boobs and it ain’t going up over my head and I can’t move my arms.  UH OH!!!!!!!

I hear the girls talking in the kitchen and say aloud, “Thank God!  Tara is still here!”

I crack open my bedroom door and raise my voice (as much as I can considering I am out of breath from the struggles with that damn bra) “Uhhhh – Tara!  Tara, can you come help me for a minute?”

I hear her approaching and when she walks around the hallway corner she sees me peeking my head out from behind the door.  She looks at me curiously while saying, “What is it Mama?”

Yes, indeed.  What is it.  “Uhm,” I say, “This is kind of embarrassing, but uh, well – I was trying on one of my new sports bras and I think it was mislabeled because now I am stuck and I can’t pull it off!”

She starts giggling and enters the bedroom.  I can’t imagine how I must look.  A forty-four year old Mama, one arm stuck in the air, one arm stuck down through the bra, boobs popping out underneath from the pressure of being squeezed diabolically by the tightness of the fabric and hunched over – because I couldn’t even stand up straight at this point!

I bend over more at the waist, half waving my one free arm that is stuck upwards and beg, “Just pull it off of me!”

She’s laughing as she yanks it off and I sigh with the freedom of release.  She looks closer at the bra and says, “Yeah, this is a small.  Have you tried the other bra yet?”  I’m frustrated and complaining as I show her the hanger, “Look it says Medium!  Darn!  I guess I better try the other one on too- while you are here, just in case I get stuck in it!”  By this time we are both laughing about my predicament.

The other bra is much easier to get over my head and one arm into, but – uh, nope.  I can’t get both arms into it either!  I bend over at the waist (again) grappling to pull it off and I hear Tara say in disbelief through her laughter, “Don’t tell me you’re stuck in that one too!

Yes, I’m stuck,” I say with disgust.  She’s laughing so hard now that I imagine tears are rolling down her face.  “Just pull it off of me,” the frustration is evident in my voice.  I know we are both girls and related, but it really is embarrassing to be witnessed half in/half out stuck in a sports bra, no matter who is viewing the chaos.

After I get dressed into regular clothes and come walking back into the kitchen where the girls are now all congregated, a light bulb goes off in my mind and I say to them, “Oh my goodness!  Can you imagine if I would have tried them on at Academy?  I would’ve been in a uni-sex dressing room stall mumbling, “Help me, I’m stuck.  Can somebody help me?  Ahh!!!!”

We are all laughing while we picture that scenario, but really – how could I have faced a store clerk stuck in that position? Can you imagine?  That’s why I am writing this and sharing my embarrassing moment – because whether you are family, friend or enemy – I would never wish that on any woman!!!!

P.S. And by the way Academy store clerks – You are very welcome for me not attempting to try on those sports bras in your store!!!!!!!

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Random Thoughts, Sports, Writing

My Outlander Book Obsession or Why I Haven’t Been Writing

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything.  I’d like to say that life got in the way, but I’d be lying.  Books got in the way.  Yes, I discovered a series of books that I had somehow overlooked in years past and became hooked – line and sinker.  Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series stole my attention and I became shamelessly addicted to her main characters Jamie and Claire.

I was glad that it took me so long to discover the series because that enabled me to go from sequel to sequel without waiting for that annoying process they call writing.  And some of those books ended on such cliffhangers that I might’ve gone totally loony waiting for the next one to arrive in stores.  (Yes, in stores, because the series started back when that was the way people actually bought books!)  As it worked out, I was satisfied with the ending of the latest ‘In My Own Heart’s Blood’ but it did leave me a bit bereft – you  know, like a smoker with no more cigarettes…a drinker with no more alcohol…

Okay, I have a confession to make.  My name is Deana and I am an Outlander addict.  I think I may just have to re-read the first novel in the series again.  Because I need more of Jamie and Claire.

But, I promised my family when I finished the series I would stop reading books for awhile as they were missing my attention. My youngest son likes to tell people about how he caught me reading while I was walking down the hallway – I bumped slightly into the wall and just kept on walking and reading.  (I was on my way to the laundry room to take the clothes out of the dryer, but I was at a really good part and didn’t want to put it down…)

So, I’ve been holding off – for now.  I’ve given my family lots of attention over the holidays.  But for anyone who has been hooked on this series – you know exactly my baffled state of mind.  I know I’m not the only one who started talking with a Scottish accent while reading the books because I’ve heard others admit to it on Facebook.  (By the way, I don’t think anyone ever really picked up on my Scottish accent because my Texas accent is so strong, but I dinna fash, LOL.)

At any rate, I’ve been ‘jonesin” for some more ‘Outlander’ and have enjoyed listening to some Facebook friends as they have discovered the series and I get to re-live it through their joyful posts, but it’s not the same as 1st hand Outlander relief.  Thank goodness we at least have the new Outlander series on Starz to watch this coming year, Praise Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!

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Behind a Smile

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters…compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I pulled out some old pictures from my childhood the other day and a flood of memories hit me with each one. One photograph jumped out at me. It was the juxtaposition of emotions that this single picture produced that made my heart skip a beat and my throat tighten. To a bystander, it was just an old, color faded 8×10 school photo. The colors look as if they have been put through one of the new digital age photo filter mechanisms – the one that gives the picture an orange tint. For me, this picture represents the light, happy innocence of childhood before the darkness of oncoming turbulent adolescence.

This photo was taken my 4th grade year in elementary school. I was 9 years old and wearing the proof of my ‘Tomboy’ moniker. I remember my mother questioning my choice of clothing for the school picture that year, but I was adamant that this was the shirt I wanted to wear. Most of the other girls were in frilly dresses or nice button down blouses. Not so for me, I was proudly sporting my Cincinnati Reds T-shirt. My hero’s name, Johnny Bench, emblazoned across my chest with a picture of him catching a baseball on the side of his name. The previous summer my step-brother, Scotty, and I had orchestrated a backyard baseball game every single day of the vacation. We lived in a rural area and rarely had enough kids to fill two full teams, so we created ‘Ghost Men’ to play. I also had a shoebox full of baseball cards, always looking to trade for more‘Reds’ players. Once school started, baseball resumed on the playground, but only boys were allowed to play. Scotty took exception to that when he told them I was going to play on his team. I immediately proved myself valuable and became the only girl player. I was never picked last when teams were chosen either, because I played better than some of the boys. Those were fun times. (Later in the year, the adults would interfere and made us include other girls and then it became boys v. girls and that is when I quit playing. Most of those girls didn’t even know the difference between a mere ‘run’ and an actual ‘home-run’ and that irritated the tar out of me.)

When I attempt to look at that 4th grade photo using a stranger’s eyes, I can see that I could easily be mistaken for a little boy. My short burnt orange hair, green eyes, light skin with a spattering of freckles across my nose and cheeks blended with my clothing choice makes me look a little androgynous. My smile, though genuine, reveals the beginnings of the crooked teeth that would sully my life and contribute to the self image problems I still battle today. My teeth were the most crooked monstrosities ever possessed by an unassuming child. Each large, adult sized front tooth, besides protruding enough to be what was labeled at that time as being ‘bucked’ went outward in opposite directions of each other, as if trying to run away because they didn’t want to touch. The teeth next to them wanted to overlap them in confusion. And for some odd reason, I had too many, so they all crowded crookedly vying for space in my extra small child sized mouth. The effect of this dental horror show combined with my untamed natural curly red hair provided fodder for many jokes and name calling by both mean kids and adults alike.

As I became aware of the grimaces I would receive when I smiled, I began to try to cover my mouth with my hand. I am probably the only child ever who was okay with the orthodontia pain I would later have because I knew that it meant my teeth were being corrected. Trips to the orthodontist involved replacing or tightening the wires on my braces and I would not be able to eat for days afterwards because of the soreness that caused, which left only the bitter iron taste of blood in my mouth. I still remember one visit to the orthodontist where he had to prop one of his legs up on a chair in order to get enough leverage. He grunted and strained so hard he began to sweat. All that, just to get the wires on my braces to tighten around my severely crooked teeth. Ouch.

While the braces were working on my teeth, I worked on my hair. Learning how to style naturally curly hair is an acquired skill, as is learning how to manage it when the weather changes. Remembering the childish, cruel taunts of “I’d rather be dead than red on the head,” as a teenager I begged my mother to allow me to get my hair colored. When she finally agreed you can imagine my exasperation when the Stylist refused to do it, saying that my natural color was too beautiful to destroy. I had to go home to do a double take in the mirror. What was that stylist talking about? I still saw that rusty haired little Tom-boy with crooked teeth when I looked into the mirror. But after blinking a few times, I began to see the teenager looking back at me, the transformation of an ugly duckling to a swan, right before my eyes. It’s amazing how orthodontia, hair and make-up can make such a huge difference on how one is perceived by others. Materialistic as it may be, people treated me differently once they began to recognize me as ‘cute’ and this is when I made a silent vow to myself that I would never judge a person by their looks. I knew from personal experience that the cover of a person is not necessarily a true representation of what lies inside. And what is in a person’s heart is what matters most.

I do admit though, I enjoyed the fact that now, when I smiled at people, they smiled back.

My 4th Grade School Photo

My 4th Grade School Photo

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The Invisible Blanket

Everyone needs to have a dream.  A ‘hope‘ of some sort, that keeps them moving forward through the occasional drudgery of everyday life.  As children we might have dreamed of being a Super Hero with magic powers like flying, super strength and being invisible.  Have you ever wished you were invisible?  I think we all have at one point in our lives.  What would you do if you could be invisible?

As adults we might choose to hear private conversations that we weren’t invited to.  Or checking up on teenagers to make sure they are behaving as taught.  But as children, oh, the fun we could have teasing people, right?

When Chance was about 5 years old he loved his super heroes.  He would watch the Batman, Superman and Spiderman movies and cartoons repeatedly.  He played with his action figures, dressed up like them for Halloween and even had Spiderman pajamas with the spider web wings on the back.  (Note:  This was before they made one too many movies and ruined Spiderman for him.)

I still have vivid memories of him playing after bath time in the evenings.  He would run into the living room with his Spidey PJ’s on, do a roll in the middle of the floor, jump up and run to the wall pretending to climb it.  He would straighten his arm, turn his wrist up, point it at you and catch you in his make believe spider web.  The options were endless with his imagination.

One day he went searching for his big brother and found him visiting with my (surprisingly imaginative) husband in his home office.  Trent had been talking to Robert about special abilities before Chance walked in.  Robert glanced at Chance and said,

Well, for example, I have this invisible blanket.  If I were to throw it over top of Chance, you wouldn’t be able to see him.”

He gave Trent a secret look, hoping he would play along but not knowing if a 9 year old would catch on to the game.

Trent has always been quick witted and not only caught on, but played along with Robert.

No way!  I don’t believe you.  I’d have to see it to believe it,” Trent said, acting indignant.

Chance was bursting with excitement.  His grin stretched ear to ear revealing the gap in his front teeth, his blue eyes widened and he jumped up and down.

Yeah!  Throw it on me!  Throw it on me!

Chance still believed in magic, Santa Claus and the possibility of super powers.

Ok, but with special powers comes responsibility.  You can’t do anything that would hurt somebody while you have the invisible blanket on,”  Robert said, in his serious ‘you better behave‘ voice.

With that agreement in place, Robert pretended to throw the invisible blanket over Chance.

Does it work?  Can you see me?  Can you see me?”

Chance was jumping up and down as the excitement bubbled out of him.

Where’d Chance go?” Trent said, faking confusion.

He’s invisible now,” Robert said.

Chance immediately ran over to Trent and poked him in the side.  He laughed his ‘I’m a little devil’ laugh and poked him again.

Now, we can’t see you Chance, but we CAN HEAR you,” said Robert with a smile and a chuckle.

I’m going to get you now,” Trent growled as he jumped toward Chance.

The race was on.  Chance ran under his arms and took off down the hallway with Trent on his heels.  He ran into the kitchen, where I stood by the stove cooking supper, and pinched my leg.

Hey,” I start to scold Chance.

Chance has an invisible blanket on Mom,” explained Trent, grinning big, revealing his dimples and gleaming green eyes.

Well, where is he now?” I ask, looking around as if I couldn’t see him.

The boys played that game for years.  It went way beyond the time that Chance was too old to still believe he was invisible, because, as he said recently,

It was so much fun, I WANTED to believe it still worked.”

Such is life, if you think about it.  We may know a truth, like maybe our dream is to far-fetched to ever come true, but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to believe in it, and that maybe it COULD come true.

As adults we may lose the childlike awe at life, yet some of that childish wonder still remains in us all.  It just manifests itself as ‘Hope‘ in adults and the belief that

Dreams can come true‘,

that same belief that our patriotic forefathers held when they founded America.

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Filed under Family, Kids, Psychological rabble dabble, Random Thoughts

Papasan Play

When I was young and in college I always wanted a papasan chair.  I loved its casual, comfy look.  The wicker evokes a beach like atmosphere, while the big round cushion entices me to curl up in it to relish reading a good book.  I could never afford the chair while in college and later when I had the money, I didn’t have the space, considering its unusual shape.

It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s and found myself moving to a new town that I had both the money and the space to purchase the papasan chair.  My husband had just died, leaving me with three young children to raise with the help of his life insurance.  The money from that afforded us a larger home where we could have more things to help us overcome the fact that we were without the large personality and magnetic presence of “Daddy!

I placed the papasan chair in the family room.  A rock fireplace grounded one corner, while the television on one wall and computer desk in another corner contributed to make this the most popular area of the house.  More than ample space in the room’s center beckoned the kids to spread out toys and play to their hearts’ content while I flitted about nearby like a fly on the wall.

The kids were between the ages of three to seven at that time.  The ages when their imaginations overflowed with possibilities, going into overdrive as their make-believe worlds came alive.  I can remember curling up in the papasan chair with a book and enjoying their playtime talk tinkling like music in the background.

One day while cleaning in another room, I could hear the children’s giggles, their voices brimming with energetic excitement.  It was contagious and captured my curiosity enough for me to stop working in order to investigate.  I entered the room to find the round frame of the papasan chair removed from its pedestal and placed in the center of the carpet.  All three children were inside the chair.  The oldest boy, Trent, grasped the wicker side controlling the rocking motion to make it mimic a ship riding large ocean waves.  The youngest boy, Chance, was on the other side with a paper pirate’s hat on his head, using one toy sword as a paddle and the other as a brandishing weapon held high in the air.  Tara, my girl and middle child, literally sat in the middle of the ‘boat’ as the Captain directing its occupants away from the sharks and alligators infesting the rough waters surrounding them.  I laughed at their creative imaginations in action.

The kids heard the noise and turned toward me with gleeful eyes, “Hey Mommy!  We’re in a ship!”  Tara greeted me in her light, high-pitched little girl’s voice.  Chance, who always had to have his say, attempted to imitate a pirate, “Ahoy Matey! Arrrgghhhh!”  Overcome with enthusiasm, they began rocking their ship side to side as well as front to back.  Trent’s big smile revealed his dimples as he proclaimed, “The waves are getting stronger!”

From that point on I knew if I walked into the family room to find the papasan chair disassembled that it was because the kids were playing pirate ship again.  I always just smiled and put it back together.  New scenarios would be created and played out repeatedly.  Throughout, the wicker frame remained strong and never collapsed amidst all those waves and stormy seas.   The kids are all teenagers now, too old to pretend and too large to all fit in the papasan ship.  Yet, we all still fondly remember those days in their youth when imaginations reigned supreme allowing them to escape harsh realities and enter into another dimension where pain isn’t a thought and glee is plentiful.

We have since moved again.  The papasan chair really no longer fits our decor, yet I will never be able to relinquish ownership of it.  The memories attached to it are too heart warming.  And I’d like to think that someday, a future generation of children might want to make some of their own adventures in the papasan ship.

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