Saturday, July 24, 2010

The horse you rode in on

When I was growing up in NewSuburbia Illinois I hated it. Or shall I say I hated the idea of it. A subdivision in between two cornfields, no major shopping, at the beginning not even mail delivery. Driving to the neighboring city to the train station, driving miles to the nearest department store, no city vibe, not the experience my heart the time...... I always yearned for more while playing kick the can, ghosts in the graveyard on endless summer nights and cool fall evenings trying to cheat a little bit of time before the snow covered the ground. Riding bikes on makeshift ramps at construction sites of the new jr high, church and pool....walking to the liquor store with a note from my parents and actually being sold liquor...opening the door of the local ginjoint only to hear yourself be greeted by your parents friends (and promptly walking your underage self out of the place). Suffering hour after hour of plebeian thoughts, midwestern mindsets, puritanical values and big hair........

I fled to the west, disdained my upbringing and started on a new discover.....what a lovely journey it actually had been to get there. How amazing it was to have the freedom to ride those bikes through construction sites, be known enough so the the liquor store owner would sell you the hootch and knowing if it really wasn't for your folks you would be found out, how crazy it was to be 10 years old and running through the dark neighborhood at 10 at night with your gang, no cell phone, no beeper, no worries....How the plebeian thoughts and midwestern mindsets combined with puritanical values made you safe, cherished, loved...created an atmosphere in which you had a whole town that was your safety net, your cheerleader, your biggest fan....(The big hair, not so much). How wonderful to meet with the people from your lucky to be given the opportunity to hold one hand out to your future and firmly grasp with the other hand your past...a past full of love, comfort and support.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


So we were all in flagstaff at a family reunion. A couple of heavenly days with children running amok, delicious food, hiking, grand canyoning, drinking grand canyon brewing company beer (well really just me, nice to be with mormons....meant an endless supply of beer in the little lobby store!) and basketball pick up games. Whenever I attend these events it makes me a little sad as I wish I had been able (made impossible due mainly to geographic location) to know more about my adult nieces and nephews. Luckily there seems to be a bond that has maintained and a closeness that comes from watching a human go from tot to adult. This family is generous of spirit and has a warmth and honesty that comes from having a matriarch who was smart, funny, determined, practical with a well defined idea of "what is the right way". "I'm not sure that is right" and "I'm not saying that my way is the only way, I just think it is the right way".

On top of all of this, I got to spend a few days with my adults, who even tho they truly are adults are still my babies. Seeing them interact with each other and then their cousins...well its worth the price admission (seeing burke and his cousin's husband clint endlessly challenged to basketball games by 10 year olds, hilarious, sweet and a tale to be told through the years!). The icing on the cake was a poolside visit with one of my original babies, cam, her husband and her baby, plus her parents. There is a wonderful moment in life when the people you knew as babies turn into amazing adults and you start to relate to them on a peer level. You still keep the unconditional I'm the auntie love for them but you also realize you want to hang with them on an adult level.