When your first kiss passes…

It was the summer of ’69.   I had always been a bit taller than most of the kids in my class.  I had nicknames like, Stilts, Stretch, Legs, Wilt through what is now known as middle school.  I didn’t mind though and actually sort of liked those names, as they set me apart from other girls and made me feel like I was acknowledged.

In the summer of ’69 I was heading into my freshman year of high school.  I was 14.  I had my first summer romance.  Yes, I know, it is young, but, when you are tall and every boy you have met thus far was at least a half-foot shorter than you, and then you meet someone who is taller than you, has a cute smile and thinks you are cute, it is love.  Albeit, young love.  We used to meet at the pool and swim and talk.  I was smitten.  But, alas, it was not meant to be.  His mother (wise woman she was)  said, “Good Catholic boys do not date girls at 14 years old.”   So, my summer romance ended.  I was heart-broken.  All of this happened before the middle of July.

In August of the summer of ’69, my older sister (another wise woman) suggested I join the local group of “Up With People!”.    She most likely was tired of seeing me mope around the house, so I listened to her and joined.  It was some of the best times of my young life.  I learned more about leadership, and team work and community involvement in my years in Up With People than I have since.  But, that is another story.

I met many kids, some that I would be going to school with, since I was transferring to a new school in my freshman year.  It was exhilarating.  One of the people I met was a somewhat shy boy.  He was a freshman also and we clicked right away.  He was easy to laugh with and you never quite knew what he would do next.  He had a great voice and I soon learned that young love can be renewed.

My first official show for Up With People was in our hometown, in the bandshell, which now no longer exists.   I had looked forward to this time for at least a month and I was so ready to go on.   As the group did their pre show  gathering we all took our places to run onto the stage.  Suddenly, right beside me, was this shy kid.  He looked at me, wished me good luck, reached down grabbing my hand.  He then lifted my hand and kissed it.

My first kiss.    Not the most heart stopping experience.  Not the most drop in your tracks romantic.  But, to me, it changed my world.  A boy had kissed me.

We were a ‘couple’ for the next couple of years.  We could fight like cats and dogs and then we would be back to laughing together.  A typical young teenage ‘couple’.

His family moved to California before our junior year.  We wrote for a bit and then completely lost track of one another.  Thanks for Facebook, though, we reconnected a few years back.  We didn’t message each other often, but, we at least kept in touch once or twice a year.

He recently retired and he and his husband went on a cruise.  I told him to have fun and congratulated him on his retirement and didn’t think anything else about him.  Friday while online I saw of picture of him in front of the New York City skyline.  I laughed to myself and thought, he is making the most of his retirement.  I read the post below the picture.  I reread it.  I read it the third time.  This time I spoke, telling my hubby that he had died.   My dear sweet husband, who didn’t miss a beat came to my side and asked me how I was.  I don’t think I would have thought to do that if his first girlfriend had passed away, but, he did.

I stood in my husband’s arms and realized that this news had hit me harder than I could have thought it would.

Yes, that kiss on the hand led to other kisses not on the hand.  We went to the junior high prom, me in a yellow dress and he in a green suit (hey, it was 1970!) .  We collected tickets for the junior/senior prom when we were sophomores.  We continued to be in Up With People until he moved.  Suddenly memories flooded my mind.  They have swirled around all weekend long.

Yes, it was many years ago.  Most people don’t keep in touch with their first kiss.  I truly didn’t think I would.  But, I did.  He died unexpectedly, which kind of fits him.  When I knew him, you never really knew what he would do next.

He is the third person in a little over a year to die.  The third person that had impacted my life in a memorable way.  Each time I have been affected.  Each time I have paused to think of how dear people are and how important it is to keep in touch and let others know how special they are for you.

I never thought I would remember so clearly that event of August 11th, 1969.  So many more dates carry heavier and deeper memories for me.  A reminder for me to let people know their importance in my life.

Thanks for stopping by.   Cathi (DAF)


One Liners…

Last night while on Facebook, there was a post that caught my eye.  I actually ended up sharing it.   The meme asked to name a movie quote that gives away the title without actually mentioning it.

It was fun to read the comments and I realized reading these one liners made me smile.  Made me smile and remember.  Times of our lives are marked by movies and by music.

As I read comments, memories of where I was and who I was with came into my mind. It is an interesting journey when you stop and think of things like this.  Someone mentioned the need for speed.  Of course, that is Top Gun.  Great movie for eye candy there.  It’s amazing any lines were remembered by women.  Hubby and I saw that movie after a get away to a bed and breakfast in the mountains in San Diego.  We had a nice breakfast and were lingering over the table talking to each other and to the owner of the bed and breakfast.  She asked what we had planned next and we realized that we had planned on going to a movie that started in thirty minutes and we were forty minutes away.  We grabbed our bags and threw them into our car and raced down the mountain.  Luckily the highway patrol was nowhere to be found and we actually had time to get popcorn and find a seat and see some of the previews.  I will always remember that time.  I think my heart was racing so hard from the trip down the mountain that the scenes in the movie were easy to take.

I was amazed at the response this post got on Facebook.  But, as I mentioned before, people begin to think of favorite lines of movies and it begins memories of several other movies.  Those that we remember lines from, are those closely tied to events, times and people in our lives.  They were usually the great movies we have seen, not those that we struggle to remember the name of the movie we saw last week.

Some of my fondest memories are those I have of watching movies with my girls and hubby.  Those are the times we have snuggled on couches under blankets, eating popcorn and junk food while suspending reality for a few hours.

What are some of your favorite movies?   I love Hook, Beauty and the Beast, all the Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, most of the old musicals, and the list could go on and on.

How about you?  Thanks for stopping by today.  Cathi (DAF)

I can’t be that old…

Last night as I was waiting to go to sleep, I started to think of my oldest daughter.  Her birthday is tomorrow.  Her birthday gets to me each year.  It gets to me because she is getting older and I know that I cannot be old enough to have a daughter her age.

Yes, this is a personal post.  I am truly feeling sorry for myself today.  You see, when I think of my darling daughter, I see her with her Shirley Temple curls falling down her back.  I see her with her tiny tap shoes tapping with her Grandpa, laughing with him.

I see her standing in front of our full length mirror talking to herself.   I see her poking chubby fingers into the side of the crib talking to her ‘seester’.    I see her many ways.

Today, she is the mother of Little Miss.  A good mom.  A partner to a Navy man.  She has done what I have had to do.  Hold down the fort.  Keep the home fires burning.  Take care of the house and it’s occupants.  She does it well.

Yes, I am very proud of her, and yet, with each passing year as I watch her grow in grace and maturity, I feel a bit older.  So, my dear daughter, my first-born, Happy  Birthday!  I am proud to be your Mom, but, this making me feel older has to stop!  I still feel like I am your age, not mine!    I pray your day is filled with the very best.  Laughter with Little Miss and her Daddy and lots of hugs and kisses from them too.  Thanks for being you and for teaching me what motherhood is about.  Love you.

Back to the Basics

John is our pastor from San Diego.  His wife, Lois and he are two of our dearest friends.  I worked as the admin for the two of them for several years.  They are more like family than pastor/friend.  Working for them was a joy, and in the office there was much laughter and heartfelt conversations.  It was wonderful.

Before John became Pastor John (or PJ as my daughters refer to him), he played baseball. He was a pitcher and very good at it.  He was scouted by a pro team and most likely would have gone on to the major leagues had he not had a lung collapse (ultimately loosing it) and end his baseball career. From that incident he went on to Bible college and joined the ministry.

Years ago, on a Sunday, John preached a message (a good thing to do, if it is your occupation).  His message was called, Back to the Basics.   I don’t remember the scripture reference, but I do remember he used the baseball he kept on his desk as a prop.  He recalled that, while playing ball, his coach would gather the team around him to encourage them and instruct them.  He would do this when the team was not performing up to his standards.  PJ went on to say that the coach would hold up a ball and say, “This is a baseball”.  Basic stuff.  The team all knew it was a baseball.  But, the point, was to refocus the team to the very basics of the game.  To instruct them on what the game is and how to play.

This story has stuck with me through the years.  Often we need to go back to the basics in all areas of our lives.

I have been pretty antsy and nervous this week.  I have not been in a great mood.  I have tried to pray, but feel like I might as well talk to a dead tree. I feel like my prayers are falling into the trash as I start to pray.  Not very encouraging, right?

About the middle of this week I closed myself into our guest room while dear Hubby was making several phone calls.  I didn’t want to cause distraction, so I went to another part of the house with my laptop.

I ventured onto you tube to listen to some music.  I never do this, but, I was willing to just distract myself however I could.  I stumbled onto some Christian recordings from the late 70’s early 80’s.  I enjoy this time frame, as I had just decided to commit my life to the Lord at that time and I was also a mother of a very young baby.  So, I was up a lot and listening to music a lot.

Second Chapter of Acts was a group that I loved listening to.  They quieted my spirit when I was upset and frazzled with being a mother.  They encouraged me and I always felt better after listening to their records (remember records?)  So, I was surprised to see some video on you tube of this group. They  represented the ‘basics’ to me.  Simple truths.  Long forgotten truths.  I returned to the basics especially with this song’s chorus.    Here it is:

” So why should I worry?
Why should I fret?
‘Cause I’ve got a Mansion Builder
Who ain’t through with me yet.” 

(Mansion Builder/ Second Chapter of Acts 1978)

I have played this song over and over in my mind the past couple of days.  It is truth, at least for me,  why should I worry?  I don’t need to worry or fret over my circumstances, because I know that, like I have mentioned in the past couple posts, He is in control.

Basics.  They are so very important.  They are easy truths that we neglect so often because we allow our thoughts and worries to grow into giant mountains when actually they are just another bump on the road of our life.

So, I will sign off now, singing this song in my mind (no one ever wants to hear me sing aloud… that’s too scary) and hope that your day is free of frets and worries.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF



A little background music

Last night we invited a neighborhood couple over for dinner.  It was impromptu and very casual.  I had made a pan of lasagna and I know my dear anonymous husband and I cannot eat a whole pan for dinner.  We will see that same lasagna for the next week.  Really it is worse than Thanksgiving leftovers when I make it.  So, to ward off looking at those noodles for the next week, my solution is to invite someone over to help us eat it!

I mentioned that to mention this.  In order to have some background ambience, I turned the television to the golden oldie music channel and let it play in the background.  No one really noticed it during dinner or during the conversation after dinner.  But it was there.

When we were all settled in for the night, neighbors gone, dirty dishes in the dishwasher and laptops in our perspective laps, my dear anonymous hubby and I sat and listened to the music.  It was wonderful!  He grew up in a very rural area and the music he listened to as a child was country/bluegrass.  I was a “city” girl.  We listened to the radio and all the current music.  I would catch him looking at me as I sang quietly along with the songs.  They took me back to places and events I hadn’t thought of in years.

I could remember the smell of spring coming in through the open windows of our home, dancing like idiots with my sisters, conversations with them also.  I could remember hearing my mother sing songs that were popular.  Wonderful memories.

There were songs that put me back to walking to elementary school in the snow the winter after my mother died.  Hearing my older sister encourage us to sing songs that she hoped would brush the grief away and get us going one more day without our mother’s presence.  It’s funny, but I remember every word of the songs popular that year.  Music did play a part in the healing process, I guess.

There were also songs from my high school years.  I remembered how it felt to dance my first dance.  How it felt to have someone’s arms around me, the thrill of being near to my first summer romance, the glow of his smile and the energy you just had at that moment.

Before we knew it, it was well past midnight and we sat listening and walking down memory lane for several more minutes.

This morning as I was fixing breakfast I heard some familiar strains coming from the living room.  I walked in to find the music channel back on.  I looked at my Sweetie and he smiled.  So, today our home has been filled with nostalgic sounds and our conversation has drifted back and forth from the past and the present.  The mood of the music and house has matched the outdoors today, warm, pleasant.

Often we are not so blessed to have such a relaxed day, there are appointments to keep, cobwebs to sweep and schedules that dictate our every move.  I take this day as a gift.  It was a mini break from the usual hectic pace we too often keep.  I sit as the sun is beginning its descent in the West and I thank my Lord for such a blessing it has been.  He uses any thing that will get our attention to bless us and help  us.  For that I am grateful.

On top of all the blessing today, I was also notified that I had my first “follower” of my blog.  What a brave person!!  We may never meet, but that was the cherry on top of my ice cream sundae day.  So, thank you brave person.  I hope I can bless you as much as you did me.  As always, I am your Dear Anonymous Friend