Sunday, January 5, 2020

To Every Season: Holding Memories Dear

I had a great weekend in Casper, Wyoming. My usual wanderings in search of (and always finding) great coffee did not disappoint. I think I've found "my" coffeehouse: Java Jitters. Small, cute, quaint and the perfect refuge on a Sunday morning...or any morning, for that matter.

Had an awesome time at the 25th Annual Veteran's Biker's Ball at the Central WY Fairgrounds. What an awesome crowd of Veterans and bikers, coming together from all over the entire country for a great cause and, got a bit intense there at the end when the raffle for the Harley came down to the line!

I'm often reminded of my birth father, Jim Richard's, words: "Life takes strange turns." (upon discovering that he had a daughter, yours truly). And so did the evening/early morning take a turn, when I received news that my Uncle Ned passed away.

Ah, my Auntie Betty and Uncle Ned! So many memories! Once my Grandparents Starks passed away, Pheasant Crest Farm became not just a memory, but an associated title in my mind. It was there where the Sunday afternoons of my childhood were truly magical and care-free. I couldn't wait to take off my little black patent-leather shoes and lace-lined socks (yet, still in my Sunday dress)...and run through the grass...climb a tree to spy a magpie nest of eggs...sit on the wrap-around porch and listen to my uncles and cousins crank out old school country and bluegrass tunes (in harmony, I might add!)...while smelling Grandma Starks' homemade cookies baking in the oven. My Grandpa Starks would come around, offering sticks of Doublemint or Juicy Fruit gum. I remember sitting in the old attic, reading Peanuts comic paperbacks and Louis L'Amour novels. It was dark when we'd leave, and my Grandpa Starks would slip me an extra cookie with a twinkle in his eye, and say, "Don't tell." I never did, although...I'm sure both Mom and Dad knew, they just didn't say anything!

It's what memories are made of.

I've had several regrets in my life, but one of the biggest has been ever leaving my home state of Wyoming. I've been through a whole lot in the past 30+ years of my life, and it has taken that long to realize that my heart has always been right here. I actually live in my Grandparent's (Lund) home...I mean, c' cool is that? So many memories here, too, however...I've made this place my very own. I cannot say I "feel" my Grandparents' spirits here, but for me...I choose what I want to keep and remember in my heart, and the rest is, well...meaningless.

Memories...both good and bad...shape our timelines here on this tiny planet called Earth. I hold so very many memories dear, but it doesn't mean that I dismiss the ones that are considered "bad". It's cliche to say that "Everything happens for a reason", but just because it's cliche, doesn't mean immediate dismissal because of possible association of "bad blood", family drama, taboo or superstition. To me, it means consideration and derived wisdom...and on we go into the present!

After all, time is all we have.

It's okay to shed the bad and remember the good. It's okay to let go and foster present goodness. Heck, my own brother wore a Trump hat on Christmas Day, and did I care? Hellz, no! Why? Because he's my brother, and I love him. Politics, religion, race, color, creed, etc. aside...all of it is so very antediluvian at best when it comes to love

Love is and will always be the most powerful answer, because we remember the very moments in our lives when we felt love, when we felt joy, when we felt free, running through the grass...smelling cookies baking in the oven...climbing trees and making mud pies...running across the sagebrush-filled prairie with rattlesnakes, rattling their warnings...nests with magpie eggs...Peanuts comics...Bluegrass hymns wafting through the evening air...

And the sunsets. Oh, the sunsets! I see them every evening, off the back porch.

I remember and felt all of that at Pheasant Crest Farm.

I love you, Uncle Ned and Aunt Betty. With all my heart.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

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