AVFM: A Confession…for when life gets too full

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

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The past week, I’ve been making a valiant attempt to de-clutter my world.  My home, my office at work, the garage, the yard, all my surroundings have become claustrophobic with piles of stuff.  I refuse to say I am a hoarder, but I certainly am a random treasurer.  I don’t save things for their material value.  No, I save get well cards, newspaper clippings, phone numbers of people I never get around to calling, projects my children and grandchildren have made.  I hang on to these things with an ardent fervor, hoping I can slow down the march of Time somehow if I just lay a memory in its path.

Nostalgia is an emotion best shared with someone who knows what you’re talking about and can appreciate how you got there.  No one in my world today can even envision me as an idealistic, change- the-world young college girl. Even if I share photographs of those days, my current circle has no concept of that person and no understanding of the journey to here.  Going through old photo albums, sorting poems and writings produced in my youthful angst, trying to decide what can be discarded when everything is emotionally attached, somehow is as cathartic emotionally as it is physically.

It has been said that we spend the first half of our lives accumulating and the second half giving it up.

There is truth to that.  I am finding more and more that the family treasures we have inherited over the years need to move on to someone else.  I don’t need those things to remind me of all the beautiful memories their owners evoked. I don’t need a four bedroom home with my children all grown.  I don’t need the extra car.   I do need a calmer, simpler, sleeker life style.  I haven’t yet untrained myself from my tendency to save things.  It is a lifelong skill set I have developed, and I suppose it will take awhile to undo.

For now, I will try to discard the things I don’t need and aren’t helpful, just as I discard emotions and influences that are the same.

The journey continues. . .Here’s to that calmer, simpler, sleeker life style!

Blessings,

© Carlene Welch, 2012

Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.

AVFM: First Memories- A Christmas Post

This post is part of a series I like to call “A Visit From Mom.”  These posts are written by, well…my mom. I think she kind of rocks! My mom and her mother were the primary inspirations for me to starting writing way back as a little girl.  Now, I share my blog with my mom cause I think she has some things to say that you might really love.

I awoke in the cozy warmth of our featherbed, covered with one of Mama’s handmade quilts, listening to my little sister giggling incessantly.  A warm, moist nose nuzzled my neck, and I opened my eyes to the most beautiful little lamb I had ever seen.  Those big huge eyes were staring into mine, and I was transported!  My baby sister had obviously just greeted her new friend, too.

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I called out, “Mama, Daddy! Look what we have!”  They came rushing into our bedroom, smiles as big as Texas spread across their faces.  My sister and I hopped out of bed and cuddled our new found friends with unabashed joy.  The cinnamon and cloves hung in the air, and the evergreen tree we just decorated stood in the corner by the sofa.  Our wood stove warmed the whole house as Daddy and Mama led us into the living room to look under the tree.  There were two pairs of deerskin moccasins, beautiful with beads and stitching and gorgeous in every way!  Daddy said, “Try them on and let’s see if they fit.”  They were absolute perfection!

Mama fixed biscuits and ham for our breakfast, with fresh milk from our milk cow, Bessie.  As Mama opened the oven,  we could tell from the fragrances that something VERY special was cooking in there.  I looked at the tree, with its popcorn strings and paper chains cut from a comic book, and this creation we all made together was magnificent.  My baby lamb bleated and Arlene and I ran off to our room to play with our new companions.popcornGarland

That Christmas is one of my first vivid memories and it stays with me to this day.  My sister and I were toddlers and we lived on a sheep ranch which would now be in the valley below the Fayetteville mall.  Life was idyllic and innocent in my world.  I’m sure my parents found it much more difficult.  We spent Saturday nights on the front porch listening to the Grand Ole Opry.  From our farmhouse, we watched the Fourth of July fireworks being shot at the drive in movie theater down the road.

But above all, this memory of Christmas is the most poignant—probably because I now know the truth of it.

The lambs, of course, came from the sheep ranch we lived upon.

The cinnamon and cloves spiced up the stick of bologna which was our Christmas dinner.  It was superb and so very special to us!

And those moccasins, beautiful as they were, represented the love my parents always gave to us.

The deerskin came from my dad’s good jacket, cut lovingly to fit our little feet.

The beading came from my mom’s one necklace, a set of beads my dad had won for her at the county fair.  She hand stitched them for us-creating as she always did- something beautiful out of bare essentials.

We’ve all grown up now, creating our own families and our own traditions.  But I never fail to remember this special Christmas and to pray that somewhere in my children’s world, my husband and I have created such a memory for them.

May this Christmas be filled with simplicity and joy and love for you!

Carlene Welch is the General Manager at Home Instead Senior Care of Northwest Arkansas, and avid writer and poet, and my mom. She serves as a Stephen’s Minister at her church and is one of the wisest women I know. She writes custom poetry and prose for cards and gifts. For more information, contact us at stringsattachedministries@gmail.com.