Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Is How It's Done Where We Come From......

Maybe I've read Gone With The Wind too many times. Maybe I think life is too much like the movies. I truly love how polite Southerners appear when they are translated into words and actions. I love that all the men had manners and the ladies had morals. I love the idea of young girls being courted, and young men learning how.

Dating in the South is complicated. And as a Mother of two male children, I take my job very seriously. My role in helping them develop into men is not taken lightly. They have both had to learn the "uncomfortable" way, that any obligations promised beforehand, will be carried through and met, before moving onto any others. They have both been educated in opening doors, yes ma'am and no sir, please and thank you, and no thank you, I wouldn't care for any. All those thing are fairly simple to teach, it's all the OTHER things that only true Southern Mama's will know about, that are little harder to make stick in their heads.

1.  It DOES matter what color her Easter dress, Prom dress, or Party dress will want to match.  It will not be good for you when you show up in tan and red and she has on fuchsia and orange. The pictures will be a mess and it will be all your fault.

2.  When courting a young lady, you are essentially courting her mother and father as well. For a good little while anyway. And for any of you young men who do not think that is true, you my sons, are in for a very rude awakening. We parents, tend to judge how you treat us, as kin to how you will treat our daughters.

3.  On Mother's Day and Easter, if you are dating a young lady, and you are invited to dinner at her home, you will know, to arrive with flowers of some sort for the Mother. A gift for your young lady are added points for you.

4.  But more important than any of those things...these rules for eating dinner MUST BE FOLLOWED.

     A.  When everyone is called to the table to eat, do not mow down your girlfriend or any other family member to arrive at the table first. While it may have been two hours since your last "feeding", it is rude, and will not paint a pretty picture of you.
     B.  Do not dart your eyes rapidly looking for "the rest of the food". Women who have daughters, are not accustomed to serving large carcasses, sacks of potatoes, and loaves of bread at every meal. You can eat again when you get home.  
     C.  Please try and keep your head and shoulders even with the person sitting next to you. While laying your head down 2 inches from your plate is how you eat at home, it is not acceptable when you are sitting next your girlfriends eighty year old Grandmother.
     D.  Please act as if you are familiar with your fork and spoon, and try to use neither as a shoveling device. It's very distracting and the smaller children may think it's funny and follow suit. Only causing them to be sent from the table in gales of laughter and later...hunger.
     E.  I know we require you to do this at home, but please do not use your embroidered cloth napkin as a bib. Place it in your lap and use it. Often. More importantly, if you "feel" like you have gravy smeared across your face, you probably do. Wipe it off.
     F.  However, should you knock your entire tea glass over, and liquid is running in every direction, use your own embroidered cloth napkin to mop it up. Gently. Do NOT snatch Grannies napkin from her lap and lean over her plate to continue to clean. Nor should you try and dry Grannies lap, should any of the liquid form a puddle there. Let her family take care of that. For your safety.
     G.  Whatever meat is served, pry the meat gently from the bone with your fork or knife. Do not EVER pick up the bone and gnaw on it. Do not roll it up in your napkin saving it for later. And do not use the dog they do not have as your excuse.
     H.  At no point during the meal will it be appropriate for you to loosen, unbutton, or unzip your pants at the table.."to allow you to eat more". On the same note, belching (or worse) so that you can make "more room" will never be acceptable either. And belching, in NO country is really realized as a compliment to the cook. No matter what your Daddy has told you.
     I.  When the meal is over, you will offer to help clear the table and clean the dishes. Don't worry, no woman alive is going to let you handle her fine china, but it is the proper thing to ask.You will also tell your girlfriends mother how much you enjoyed your meal. Even if you were not sure what most of the fru fru food she served...was.
     J.  When your girlfriends mother asks will someone take out the trash, don't look in your girlfriend's direction as if to say " what? it's your job when I'm not here".  Ask where it goes, and take out the trash. 

Zachary is having Easter Dinner with his girlfriends family today. Zachary has attended many, many cookouts and parties with girls and boys. But never a sit down holiday dinner, somewhere besides our house, with a young lady and her extended family. I tried to cover as many of the above areas as I could in the short period of time I had to prepare him.

Zachary took his girlfriend a stuffed Bunny for an Easter gift and his girlfriends mother, a potted Easter Lily. Hopefully all will go well, and he will remember everything I have tried to teach him. But I will know, if he is never invited again, that it was that danged spilled glass of tea and trying to help dry Grannies lap with that embroidered cloth napkin, that probably caused it.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Poet And Don't Know It

Back in July of 2004, my oldest son Joshua moved away from home. I've told you all several stories by now, about that time in our lives and how difficult it was for everyone involved. I've told you how sad and depressed, my youngest son Zachary and I were. I think I even told the story of me finding my youngest son, in his older brothers empty room. Sobbing until his body could heave no harder.

Today at work, I was cleaning out my computer files. I have things from years and years ago. Pictures, newspaper articles, stories and letters. I have them all saved to various folders. Some of the folders are actually sited with my childrens names. Meaning, whatever is in that folder is something that pertains to, or began with, them.

As I am looking through these folders, trying to filter out what really needs to be saved and what does not, I ran across a poem. A poem written by my son. Well, surprise to you all. This poem was not written by Joshua. It was written by Zachary. Written when he was eleven years old, for his English class. That particular year, his class was working on a bevy of poems as a project for English. I was privy to many of them, which I thought were all good. But this particular poem touched my heart and made me cry. It was so very honest, so very clear, and so very exactly how it happened. In Zachary's minds eye.

Why I ever thought I could write a story that could have relayed it any better than what I am about to present to you, I will never know. Zachary is a very private person. He always has been. And that he allowed himself to show his pure and still very raw feelings, is still absolutely remarkable to me. I hope you all enjoy it. As my husband says, every time he makes up some silly rhyme...."A poet and don't know it, make a rhyme every time. Zachary is indeed " A poet and don't know it".

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Story Of Love To My Son

Tomorrow morning my oldest son will have been on this earth for twenty-five years. I'm sure every parent alive says it, but I swear to you, I knew, he would be one of the greatest things to happen to me in my life. I knew it, the second I heard his heart beat. The second I felt him move. The second the first trimester of motherhood began.

If I had drawn a plan, written a dialog, drawn a sketch, or outlined a story, I could have never even come close to what he has become. To how perfect he is to me. He is the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate, intelligent son a mother could ever want. He is also flawed in many ways, but rarely can I admit that. I am blind to most everything but the good in him.

The path he has taken since birth has not been easy. The first two years of his life were spent with ear infections, two tubal surgeries and every antibiotic known to man. Allergies would plague him for the better part of his life. As well as migraines from the time he was eight years old, that would take a grown man down.  He would define and discover himself later in his teenage years. Define and fit into a lifestyle that would scare me to death. But one that I knew, was necessary for him to be happy.

All the while excelling in a manner I could have never imagined. Working from the time he was fifteen years old, while dually attending high school, and college. Then at the young age of 18 years old, moving away from home. Finishing college, then taking a rest, and working a full time job. Almost three years later, he would find himself again. Apply to colleges to obtain his Masters Degree. And move away from home again. This time to another city. Another state.

My baby son is grown now. And he expressed to me just last night, how happy and exciting it is for him to turn 25 years old. So strange how the very same thing can mean such different things to two people who are so close. While I am so proud to see him grown and successful, it's just yet another step away from me. Another step in another direction, towards another lifetime. A lifetime, that will include me less and less as time moves on.

The first night Joshua was born, the nurse brought him in to me. Back then, babies did not stay in the room with you. And for whatever reason, the nurse lost track of time and left him with me for over hour longer than usual. As I lay in that hospital bed, with my teeny tiny baby laid up on my chest, sound asleep. There has never been a more peaceful feeling in my life. I have never felt so close to one human being as I did in that extra hour. Silent tears rolled down my face as I rubbed his back, and felt his gentle breathing. I knew, at that minute, I would never do anything that important again. I knew, I was meant to be this little boys mother and he was meant to be my son. I knew the love I had for him in that moment, could never be any stronger, no matter how much time should pass.

Happy Birthday Joshua Ray Helms. You have given me so many blessings. You helped make my world complete from the minute you took a breath. Today is the same as twenty five years ago. I could not love you more if I tried.


copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sometimes All The Sun Does...Is Block Your Vision

I was in and out of the yard all weekend. Planting flowers, weeding flower beds, filling bird feeders, and swinging. Swinging on my front porch glider. Watching my MaMa Calduims peeking their heads through the dirt. Watching birds fling water and wet their wings in the bird bath. On what has possibly been, one of the most beautiful weekends since Winter, I found myself in a melancholy state of mind.

I'm not sure exactly when the happy mood turned to a mediocre one. One minute I was happy as a lark. The next, my mind began to wonder and it was all downhill from there. As thoughts began to scatter about my mind, I wondered, would it all end here with me. Would either one of my children care about the beautiful trees I've planted in their Great Grandparents memories. Would they, one day, continue to plant Calduims in my MaMa's honor, her memory. Will they have have yards of their own, and plant trees that meant so much to me. Simply because they meant so much to me. Will the smell of Jasmine bring flashes of brilliant and familiar smells to mind.  Will either of my sons love the smell of freshly cut grass.  Will the simplicity of sitting in a front porch swing bring them the same joy it brings to me.

I will be fifty years old in two years. Most times, I don't think about age so much. But this year, has presented many challenges that bring age to the forefront of my mind. I have several friends who are literally fighting the fight of their lives. Fighting FOR their lives. No matter the simple face we would like to put on those situations. They are fighting for their lives. And if you're like me, you have to wonder, why them? And when will it be my turn? When will I be presented with something that will absolutely turn my life upside down and change my life as I know it forever.  Will I be as brave as they are? Will I be able to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how badly I would like to lay down until it all goes away?

I don't often get in this frame of mind. But I am today. Two different times today I have cried. For no apparent reason. During a phone conversation with my oldest son, the tears again, came crashing through. The last thing he needs is to worry about me. Especially when there is no real rhyme or reason for my tears. Joshua said, "maybe you need to write, when is the last time you wrote something.". I told him last weekend, maybe.  I couldn't really remember. He told me, maybe that was what I needed to do. To write.

So, here I am, writing. Unloading my sadness and reflections on all of you. To get it out of my head. To be rid of it. Maybe words will dissolve it. Or at the very least, make it seem smaller and less foreboding. I like to think, I'm usually a very positive person. But certainly, everyone has feelings that are less than desirable. My Daddy used to call it the "mullygrubs".  Whatever the heck that really means.

Tomorrow is a new day and back to work I will go. My mind will be forced in other directions that don't allow "down time" for a pity party. On Tuesday my oldest son will be 25 years old. Maybe that, is indeed the true root of my crybaby mode. It certainly is a big deal. But then again, so is turning 50 years old in a couple of years. Maybe today, the thought of both together, was just more than my heart could handle. Maybe after Tuesday, when Joshua turns 25 years old, I won't think about all that namby pamby, silly stuff again for a couple more years. In a couple of more years when I really do turn 50 years old.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ten Minutes To Heaven, Ten Minutes From Where I've Been

I make fun of this little town sometimes. It's inadequacies. It's lack of conveniences and amenities. It's smallness. It's nosiness.

For the better part of today, I stepped back in time. I traveled to the city from which I originally came. The busy streets. A food joint on every corner that cover every possible taste choice or craving. Multitude of clothing stores from which to choose. The streets as I traveled them, seemed familiar. Flashes of memory darted in and out of my mind. But I knew no one. No matter what road I went down, it was all the same. I felt empty and lost. I don't know what the metropolis is there now. All I know, is it's too big for me.

I can remember when I used to travel from Albany to Quincy twice a week with my job. For four years, I went back and forth. And every single time, I can still remember being so relieved to see the Albany Airport. For me, that was the next step to being almost home. Back to MY territory. My roads.

Today, I'm coming back home. My home now. Ten miles outside of the Florida line, and my skin begins to crawl with anxiousness. I know, that in ten more minutes, I will be home. Everything in Quincy is ten minutes away. From wherever you are..ten minutes away. Every third car I pass, I know who's in it. Everyone you pass, you raise your hand or finger to "wave". Whether you know them or not. The streets are lined with trees that meet in the middle and shadow the pavement. The yards are not only filled with flowers, but your neighbors are actually in the yards working. With gloved hands, sun hats and worn knees. And they never fail to throw up a hand as you go by. Wheelbarrows up and down the curbs, filled with soil, the next flowers to plant, or straw to lay out.

I pass truck after truck with boats hooked to the back. Fishing poles strapped to the side and coolers lining the floors. Windows rolled down, and smiling sunburned faces looking back at me. Expressions telling me, what a great day of fishing they must have had...reeling em' in!

It's early evening, and the streets are already slowing down. The Square is almost empty. The patrons are closing up shop and headed home. To grill in their backyards and be with their families.

That old thing we did when I was a kid and traveled...that thing where you blow the horn when you cross state BLEW THAT HORN HARD. I  blew it hard and I blew it long. And smiled from ear to I crossed into Florida...and ten minutes from Heaven. Who would have dreamed, I could have turned into a small town girl, just by moving to one?

They say, you can't go home again. I think they're right. You can visit. You can hang out. And you can spend time with friends and family. But come dark, it's time to head to the house. Head back to familiar ground. To the stomping ground that feels good and fits like an old shoe.  I pull into my driveway, waving at my neighbors who are crowding out their front yards with kids and toys. I walk into my house, greet my folks, and am greeted back with "Hey Baby and Hey Mama"..and shouts of come on in and see how far you made it, have a seat, take a load off, and tell us about your day".  I look at my two fellas, and I begin to smile, and tell the story of my beautiful day.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Never in a million years. Never if I had dreamed the wildest dream. If I had a dozen chances to guess, would I have gotten it right. Never could I, would I, have imagined, that both of my boys would have experienced their first true feeling of selflessness in the same week. Nine years of age apart, in the same week. My oldest son knew it, felt it, and was amazed by it. My youngest son, probably still doesn't realize exactly what happened.

My oldest son Joshua and I talk about our personalities a lot. The pros and cons of our chemical make-up. We are both very aware of who we are, and what we lack at any given time. Joshua is well aware of his need for self-satisfaction, gratification, and what Joshua wants, when he wants it. He has had two relationships in his almost 25 years of life. One lasted a little over five years. And his second, he is almost into his 11th month. We all learn as we grow up. We all change. And we all eventually, hopefully, find our best fit. We find the person who seems to be the missing piece of our puzzle.

Joshua is very happy. He is in a wonderfully matched relationship. Emotionally and  intellectually. His boyfriend's birthday was this week. Joshua called me wanting me to send him the homemade recipe for Red Velvet cake.  The plan was to spend Wednesday evening together with friends, go out to eat, and take the cake with them. When he called to tell me how it went, he was just beaming with joy. So proud he was able to make his Josh so happy. That he was able to do something for somebody that would make them feel that good. Said he had done things before, but none had seemed to have the same impact as this. He went on and on about how good the feeling of selflessness could feel. And I knew, with those words, he had finally found the secret. The secret that allows you to think of someone other than yourself. To want and need to think of someone other than yourself. I just smiled and thought to myself, I knew it was in there somewhere. He just had to find someone special enough for it to show itself.

Zachary is just the typical teenager. They're supposed to be selfish and self-involved. I would expect no less. And if I get more, it's a pleasant surprise. Just this past Fall, we were having a discussion about the Spring Prom, who he had already decided to take and why. A friend/girl of his, who he was good friends with, and could go and simply have a good time. No commitments, no worries, just fun. I casually mentioned, back then, well, what would happen, if you have a girlfriend by Spring. His words, "She'll just have to understand, I already made a commitment, and that's that". 

I started talking to him a few weeks ago about getting fitted for his tux. I noticed both times I brought it up, he practically ignored me. There is a reason for that. My friends, Zachary is not going to the Spring Prom this year. His school has grade restrictions. His date cannot be Kay, his girlfriend, and it is NOT going to be his friend/girl. When he finally told me, I asked him about just going stag, with no date. Nope. Not going at all. If he can't take Kay, he's not going.

Yesterday, his sweet girlfriend Kay, fell and dislocated her elbow. A trip to the hospital was necessary. They put her in a twilight sleep and moved it back into place.  I am here to tell you, my child, that boy, was some kind of messed up last night. He had very little to say. Didn't care anything about eating. And when he finally got to talk to Kay, and she was crying from the pain, I thought the boy was going to come apart at the seams trying to relay it back to me.

Kay was not able to go to school today. Zach skipped workouts. He never misses workouts. He left school immediately after it was over. Called and asked me could he come visit me at work. I said of course. I thought he had something on his mind. He did. Tonight, he went and bought Kay a dozen red roses and went to see her.

I've never had a cake made for me. But my first love, William Earl Cash, did buy me flowers several times. He bought me a promise ring, that I spent most of my time trying to keep hid from my parents. They thought I was too young for such. So I had to take it off before I got home from school every day and put it back on before I got to school the next day. And once, he walked over 4 miles to my house one night after we argued on the phone. To say he was sorry. Sometime towards midnight, he threw pebbles at my window, until I came out. Told me he was sorry and hugged me. Left back out on foot. Got right beyond my yard and back onto the street, and hollered out "I love you", and started his trek back home. We were 17 years old. I knew he loved me. I still know he did. Selflessness. Real love. It's a beautiful thing. When you find it.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Blood Of My Blood

I think every parent is blessed with an identical child. A child who is almost an exact replica. A replica of themselves. My father has one of those children, and that child is me. I would not say we are exactly alike, but we are so close to being the same human, our blood is interchangeable. Our rare, Type A Negative blood, is shared. Through and through, flushing in and out of our veins.

I have his temper, his anxiousness, his anger, his cynicism, his short-sightedness, and his impatience. But I also have his drive, his honesty, his loyalty, his compassion, his integrity, his heart and his love and protection of family. I am proud of where I come from, and how I was made. And I have learned over the years, to deliver the parts that are natural for me, and work on the parts that are not pleasurable for others. I'd like to say, for the most part, I have succeeded. But there are days like today, and many other days, that I am reminded, I still have a lot of work to do. A lot of work on my inner self.

I have two children. Two sons. One son is named Zachary and one son is named Joshua. My replica, my other half, the end to my beginning, is Joshua. And more times than not, it is my replica who is so aptly able to point out my shortcomings. Not that Zachary does not recognize them as well, but Joshua seems to know them by heart. Almost as if they are his own. Wink, wink.

Joshua has a wonderful saying...that I hear quite often ..."Know thy self". I cannot tell you the conversations we have that begin or end with that quote and my name attached to it. When he is discussing me and my behavior, I am no longer his Ma or Mama, I become ..Michelle.

Two weekends ago, we were having our usual, Sunday afternoon phone conversation. We talk all through the week, but seldom have time for more than quick hello's, how are you's, pertinent information, and I'll talk to you later's. Sunday's are our catch up days.

I had begun the conversation by telling him about Zach's prom, and that Zach was probably not going this year. I rambled on about how next year would be his Junior year, and the parents and Junior students always decorate for the Prom. I was telling him, that I would probably take a vacation day, and how exciting that was going to be, that I couldn't wait to help! Couldn't wait to be a volunteer!

When I realized I was getting no conversation interaction, I stopped and asked him was he listening. He laughed, and I said "What, what are you laughing you not think I will have a good time doing that?" He said, "Do I really have to tell you that?...Is that a question or a statement? ... Do YOU think you'll have a good time?" he is laughing his behind off after each question he fires off at me.  I begin to tell him.... Yes, yes I think I'll have a good time decorating. They string lights, hang up decorations...and... before I can say another word...he begins.

" YOU string lights, the woman who cannot string lights on a Christmas Tree without saying every curse word known to man...the woman who has Silent Night playing in the background, while she is looking for something/anything to throw at whoever is not helping the way you say help. And you say "hanging up decorations", the woman who is on the ladder..hollering..keep the #&(#@ thing still..keep the (*#@ thing still...two rungs up from the bottom. The only reason you even remotely try and keep your behavior in check, is because you want the people who love you to still allow you to sleep in the house when it's over. You're not seriously asking me what I think are you?  Because I'll tell you what I just need to be the Water Girl. The "Go Fetch It Girl".  You don't need to be anywhere near a hammer and nails, strings of lights, or ladders. No where. Do you want Zach to be able to continue attending school there????!!!! Do you want him to have any friends left?? Do you WANT people to know how cracked out crazy you really are??? For the love of all that is good...DON'T VOLUNTEER."

He's out of breath. And he's finished. Now you all probably thought that made me angry, or hurt my feelings. Let me tell you, I was laughing my ever lovin' behind off. I could not BREATHE I was laughing so hard. Because I knew, every single word he said was true. Know thy self.

Tonight we were on the phone again. He had made a cake for his boyfriends birthday. He's telling me how he made it with little to no drama. We are laughing. Because everything we do, that is out of the norm, is steeped with high drama. I am telling him what he should write on the cake.  I said, you should write, "Sticks and Stones, Do Not Really Break Bones...Happy Birthday."  His boyfriend is studying to be an Archaeologist. I thought it was not only funny, but damned brilliant. Joshua did not.  I then begin to rattle about something else..he again..did not think I was being funny. He told me, as he was laughing, that I was being "abrasive". I told him I had just a full week and half of abrasive...maybe that was why. We laugh...and move on.

I decided many, many years ago to have an open house. A house where anything can be discussed. Folks, this is what you get when you make that decision. You get children, who know you better then yourself, and don't mind telling you about it.

Know Thy Self. If you are capable of doing that one thing, then it won't be such a shock to the system, when your children decide to "out you".... to yourself.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Know That Little Girl

Sometimes I forget to look back. I am so busy thinking about now, I forget about then. I forget that I am anybody but who I am now. A wife, a mother, a friend, an employee. I forget that I was someone, before I became all of those other people. It seems I only think about these strange things when I cannot sleep.

So, I get back out of bed. I find my faithful recliner. And I pick up my other friend who never seems to sleep either. As I unlock my secret hiding place, I find the place that holds all my other friends, and my thoughts. My serious, obnoxious, inane silly thoughts.

Tonight when I entered my "other" world, the first thing my eyes laid rest on, was a picture of me in a group setting with several other girls. A dance recital picture. A picture in full motion memory. Courtesy of my lovely friend Debbie Kincaid Carboni. I'm not sure which is more special, the memory itself, or the fact that she found the dance recital program in her mother's things. Her mother who recently passed away. Debbie and her sister have been carefully going through, sorting through, all of their mother's possessions for months now. And this dance recital program was amongst all of those things. That Debbie opened it, saw me, RECOGNIZED me, and thought enough of me to send it via mail, warmed my heart like nothing else could. I now have, not just a memory of myself, but a piece of Debbie and her mother that she chose to share with me.

As I sat and stared at this picture, I thought to myself, I remember that little girl. The little girl who was taking tap and ballet classes. The little girl whose mother had enrolled her in these classes in hopes of cultivating some grace in her walk and softness in her steps. I'm not really sure that ever happened. But I still know how to stand, walk, and sit like a lady, whether I do it all the time or not.

And then my eyes flit over to another picture from long ago. Again, I am surrounded by another group of girls. All of us are dressed in ugly, look-alike basketball uniforms. I am sitting on the floor, smiling. I remember that girl too. The two pictures are years and miles apart, and none of the people are the same. Except me. The only common denominator is me.

I remember the one season I played basketball. I was in Junior High School. I survived tryouts by a luck of the draw. One day during tryout practice, I hit 53 free throw shots at one standing. Never missing. I was on the team that day, though I would not know it for another week. I remember that girl, that season of my life.

As I watch my youngest son begin his life of dating, I become melancholy. As I watch Zach and his girlfriend,  the innocence and their obvious joy, it takes me back. To those days of my own. I find myself wistful for what was, and mindful of where I am. Although I am not that little girl anymore, somewhere, deep inside, she's still there. She still knows how it feels to be a teenager in love. She still knows how it feels to hold hands. To just simply hold hands, and the power that simplicity commands. She still gets that mushy, tingly feeling in her stomach when she sees the one she loves.

Would I want to go back in time? I don't think so. Every place I have already been and everything I have already done, is who I am. That same little girl was a intricate part of all of those things. She has gone everywhere with me. That little girl has been the voice inside of me since I knew who I was. She's the same little girl when she cries because her feelings are hurt, that she is when she is surprised and cries tears of joy. That little girl is me. Whether I'm wearing tap shoes, basketball shoes, or my pink rubber avon fishing shoes.

No, I don't want to go back in time. But it's nice to explore my memory bank. It's nice to look at old pictures and feel the rush of times gone by, pulsating through your mind. It's nice to feel your heart beat a little faster when you remember old flames and good times. It's nice to remember your own first date, first kiss, first boyfriend. And your first heartbreak. All of those things bring you where you are today. And wherever that is, is exactly where you are meant to be.

Goodnight little girl. It was nice talking to you again. I'm sure we'll visit again soon. For my mind never shuts down for very long. And the slightest breeze can always take me back, to a day from long ago and memories of a life gone by, that are never far away.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Life Is Ever Changing

I think as I get older, I revise on a continual basis, what's really important. And what's not. I can remember when being able to buy a new outfit, with a new pair of cutie tootie sandals was all it took to make my world go round'. I can remember when having a night to go out, and have a good time was the bomb. And now, what thrills me, what makes me smile, what makes me tick, has little or nothing to do with money, with clothes, or with partying.

As I drove back from Tallahassee today, with my new tree in tow, grinning from ear to ear, I knew that once again, my priorities had shifted. I begin to think to myself. Rambling quietly in my own mind space, what was really important to me now. The quiet ramblings sounded a little like this....

It's important that:

My children's cars crank when they are alone...anywhere.

That I remember to tell everyone I care about and love, when they are traveling, to chances.

That my plants get enough water, to survive, and bloom, because they make me feel good.

That my youngest son knows, that manners and respect will always make up for innocent ignorance.

That my oldest son knows, that one day, his feelings of self-involvement will change and he will love enough to be unselfish.

That my parents know, I am so proud to be their daughter. And while they may think they could have done a better job with me...I think I turned out alright.

That my friend Patti makes it though her battle and is able to visit her beautiful beaches again.

When I touch my husband's face with my hand while he is sleeping, he unconsciously turns his face into my hand in return.

That I try my best to remember all of my family and friends when they have problems or troubles in their lives, and ask about them and how they are doing.  It's important they know I care.

That my friend Penny makes it through her battle and is here to raise her youngest son, and survive the grief of her oldest son.

That my friend Stacey makes it through two weddings in one year, of her son and daughter, without going broke, or losing her mind.

That I keep my bird feeders full of feed and the bird bathes full of fresh water so that I can enjoy their beauty.

That I am home from work in time to have supper ready for my son when he starts his two a days for Spring football.

I get a good nights sleep at least 3 times a week. I can survive and so can everyone else if I at least get that.

That the price of gas come down as quickly as possible. It is hindering my Saturday night drives with my husband, which I find extremely calming and necessary.

That when I am lying in bed, and I lean over, and sing softly, in my husbands ear, my latest, most favorite song, "Are you gonna kiss me or not"...that he smile that same slow smile from long ago..and..oblige me. No matter that not one single note is in key.

That I make notations on the backs of all pictures, the time and date, and the day I may not remember.

That we somehow, some way, make time to take our boat out and go fishing. I have not been this year, not one single time. And I miss the smell and the sunrise something fierce. Not to mention, my green worms.

And while, it is not personally important to me, if none of the Nascar races get rained out this season..that would be GREAT. I have to listen to a LOT of grumbling and whining when that happens.

That if my sons have to experience heartbreak, and they will, one day. That it not be anytime soon. I'm not ready for that for either one of them. And I sure do like Zachary's Kay and Joshua's Josh.

That my friend Lynn...her husband makes a successful recovery from his heart bypass surgery. She fusses about him an awful lot, but would be totally lost without him. Because she loves him so. 

I have a lot to be thankful for, grateful for, and happy about. I have a job that I like, a nice home to live in, a beautiful yard, enough to eat, and now, and air conditioner that works. I have a wonderful man, husband, Daddy to my children, and son in law to my parents. I have two wonderful sons who both have the most wonderful girlfriends and boyfriends. I have made it to age of 47, with a minimal amount of hard knocks that I surely probably could have had. So tonight...I will lay down, say my prayers, and wait to see what tomorrow brings. Wait and see, when I change my list of what's important and what is not. Because if I continue to grow and learn, it will. This I know.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims