Archive for May, 2011

Summer Memory

I was probably about 9 or 10, the beginning of summer .. Memorial day weekend … and an annual family re union at Lush Meadows Lake … my family:step father, mother, sister & me
Mom’s sister (I’m named after her) her husband and 5 children and any foster kids they had
My mom’s brother, his wife and 3 children.
My mom’s mother who bought property at the lake giving us membership privileges. We’d also go to her lot to go sledding in the winter.

School would resume after Memorial day, until about mid june, but it was still what everyone considered the ‘beginning’ of summer.

One rule we had was: if you couldn’t swim across the lake, you had to have an adult with you to swim and you could only swim in the swimming area. (and NEVER swim alone but if you and a sibling or cousin both passed the test you could swim at any time anywhere)

every year we’d start off at the ‘pier’ (a jut of land that we fished from) and take off with my mom or my aunt. Every year we’d get a short ways out and have to swim back (or worse, drug back by the adult) but every year, they let us try. My sister, the athelete of us all .. couldn’t swim that well and usually made it about half the length of any of the rest of us, even the littlest. (I don’t think that even at 16 she could swim acrossed it)

This year, when I was 9 or 10, it was particularly hot. My cousin that was my age and I were determined we were going to have open lake privileges and even more determined to beat our older siblings to it. We got the normal speech about safety and that it’s a great privilege but it’s not worth risking our necks to gain … and we took off with my mom. About half way through the lake, mom let out a WHOOP! we had no idea we’d made it that far! My aunt ran around the lake and jumped in from the other side just in case someone had to help.

She met us when we had about 1/3 of the way left …by then the entire clan had come around and they were cheering us like we were olympic swimmers (and we were beginning to feel like we were!!). The exceptions were my older sister and T’s older brother, N. The older sibs did not like being out done by their youngers!

About 15 feet left to go and my dad and my uncle jumped in to swim with us (which was remarkable and the only time I EVER remember either of them swimming!!!) .. we finished and climbed out of the lake. I suppose we should have been tired but we were far too excited! WE had OPEN LAKE PRIVILEGES!!!

I can clearly remember the moment I looked up to see everyone cheering me on … and feeling coming over me that “I CAN DO THIS” it was a moment unmatched … till recently.

I saw that 90 hours on my transcript and student ranking of “Senior” and read the emails and FB remarks and twitter remarks over my end of semester’s A’s … and realized
I CAN DO THIS!!! I WILL be a therapist some day!


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I blogged for years at http://Pearlsanddreams.blogspot.com.Recently my computer and blogspot came to a distinct disagreement and nothing I have been able to do has allowed me to post.
I decided that maybe it was time to move on.

I started at Pearls And Dreams as a ‘patient blogger’. A place to record what it was like to be a caregiver, a patient, a mother of kids with issues .. I found myself quickly needing to write about other things and it just became an eclectic blog … nothing specific, nothing focused. Which is my plan here .. . just life as a wife, mother, friend, student and working toward a goal.

I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams lately .. for a long time I was unable to dream .. life was too hard and I was just surviving but then I began to dream a little … and then a lot and then I began to LIVE and thrive and my dreams became goals. I think it’s a great progress myself. Since my life focused has changed, my computer decided it didn’t like the old blog I decided it was time to move and start anew.

So why the name WillowElephant? Well if you know me, you know I collect elephants and blue willow. The elephants started as a 13 year old. My step father used to read to me the Horton Hears a Who and the line “I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant is faithful one hundred percent.” stuck with me as I lived a rather stressful year with my real father and my step mother. I desperately missed my home, my step father and I started to collect elephants to remind me that he would always love me. (having no idea that when I was 14 he would die .. it is still my clinging thread to his love).

The Blue Willow obsession started much younger …. 9 years old I was given, by my step mother a miniature blue willow tea set. She made me read up about the history of the blue willow, a book on a little girl who clung to her blue willow plate as a reminder of her mother’s love … and faithfulness again became a running theme ..

The blue willow legend is beautiful and haunting … and I’ve always seen the bridge in the plate as a ‘bridge to safety’ a bridge that took a young couple from terror to flight .. and enabled them to live out their lives in a beautiful garden (the same one they’d fled from ..so their own lives really!) but filled with beauty and passion, not fear and restriction. I have found that in my own life as I tried desperately to flee what was hard and dreadful, it is my own life that I am being brought back to .. and finding beauty where there was once fear.

So, that’s why I collect those 2 items and why I chose the name for my new blogging adventure.

(2 blue willow legends found here: http://www.angelfire.com/mt/bevspage/page5.html)

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Hello world!

old blog broke .. new journey deserves new blog anyway ..don’t ya think? (ok, so I’m 3 years into the ‘new’ journey, but now that I’m ranked as a ‘senior’ it’s starting to feel not only more of a reality, but possible and achievable)

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