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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's Not Yarn, It's a Rescue Mission

I had a little accident on Etsy.  I was looking around at different vintage crochet pieces, just wanting some color inspiration, when I saw it.  My colors.  Old, unloved, with a story.

Over 25 years ago these lovely hand crocheted granny squares were set aside in a basket, while work and family filled my days. Now these older gnarled fingers are saying, Let someone else take up the task of doing the finishing up of joining them together and completing this afghan’s pretty border. 

And it had to become mine:

I can't even make these.  I don't know how.  The pattern will come with this and the extra yarn, and maybe I'll be able to make a few more squares,  but even if I don't, I will put together what I can (I can totally SC these together and add a border).

This is from 1974 (sorry to my FB buddies, I said '72 originally.  I got the date wrong.  It's still older than me!)  And I just love the fact that it's coming from it's original owner, and that I'm finishing something someone else started.

If only I felt such adoration for my own UFO's.....

But we won't talk about that.

(And this was totally less $ than the yarn to make a new version.  Quite a bit less actually.  And oh the colors!!)

Can.  Not.  Wait.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Worst Day

This is Noah.  He has challenged me from the very start.  He just did everything so darn early.  He skipped crawling entirely and went straight to walking at 10 months old.  All my other little ones were just barely wobbling around at their first birthday party, but by his, he was climbing all sorts of things.

If I listed all the crazy things  he has done in his short life, this blog would take me hours to finish.  We'll just say every day since he's been mobile,  there's been something that has freaked me out or convinced me he has a guardian angel (who's begging for relief, I bet!)

This child is responsible for my worst day.  You'd think with all we've been through, one of those days would be the worst, but no.  The worst day was when we had to call 911 because that little sweetie above, at that tender, tiny age...was missing.

He was 18 months old and still my little shadow.  Everywhere I went, he was there.  I got nothing done without him beside me and that was okay by me.  This day in particular my older girls had begged me to "walk the dogs" just outside our fence line and I allowed them to.  Noah had followed them outside to the gate, but I quickly retrieved him.  He watched them go outside the gate and "walk the dogs" (why they needed to walk the dogs when we have 5 acres is beyond me).

A little later that evening, I got a phone call right as dinner was coming out of the oven.  Ordinarily I wouldn't answer it, but it was a friend I knew was having a rough time and she needed to discuss something pretty heavy with me.  As I am talking to her, Jamie is getting out a new recipe "Firecracker Salmon" and whispered for me to taste it. WHEW! It was hot, so we were scraping off a bit of the "fire" and making all the kids plates.  My phone call was about 10 minutes long and I hung up and called the kids down for supper.  In came the troops ...except Noah.  I asked the girls to bring him, figuring he was watching TV with them and they said he wasn't with them.  So I hollered up for the boys to bring down Noah and got "He's not up here Mom."  Something inside me just knew.  We started looking for him around the house.  The more places he wasn't, the more the panic spread.  We all raced outside.  No Noah.  Back inside, this time hardcore.  I checked the dryer, I tossed all the cushions off the couch,  moved furniture.  If you've ever seen one of those movies where they toss an entire living space, that was the scene here.  The kids and Jamie were outside, scouring the woods, calling his name and as I walked back outside, panic all over me, Jamie looked at me and said (I'll never forget this...) "Tell me this isn't happening....this isn't happening!!"  The scene was insane, emotional and just intense.  I can't remember how many times I went inside and outside and finally dialed 911 and broke down completely when I was asked what he was wearing.  It was right after I hung up the phone that I heard the scream "WE FOUND HIM."  I swear I FLEW down the stairs.  There was no walking, no feet had wings.  I just ran, screaming his name, bawling....running, crying, grabbing him from my oldest son who had found him and collapsing right there, on the side of the road, squeezing this child so hard I doubt he could breathe.  I was a mess.  A complete wreck.  Kyle, who found him, handed him off to me, hugged us and just walked inside.  He wouldn't talk for a while.  He was just wounded.

Noah had, for the first time in his entire life, opened our door, walked outside, across our large lawn, opened the gate, walked across the ROAD and was in the neighbors yard diagonal from us.  18 months old.  We figured he got the idea seeing his sister's go out of the gate earlier in the day, but he had never once strayed from our home, never once been outside on his own, never once been ALONE period.  He was always wanting to be on me, or with me, or hanging with his siblings.  It was just a shock.  An absolute shock he would venture so far, so fast, with no advance warning to it's possibility. We all kind of picked at dinner, and just sort of stared at each other.  As we were eating, the sheriff rolled up and he had a chaplain with him.  That was a huge reality check.  I cried all night long, barely putting Noah down.

For the next two days, I cried on and off and gave myself a good emotional beating for being a "bad mom." Once I got over the feelings, I realized the logic was skewed.  I took one phone call and made dinner plates. I wasn't off getting high somewhere or neglecting my child.  This thing just happened and I realized then, I had judged so many people, so many times for "bad parenting..."  And yet, this thing happened to ME.  To Melissa, the wonderMom.  The helicopter, hovering, checklist, babybook keeping Melissa.  It was a hard lesson in humility.  And in how precious my children are.

Noah still challenges me.  He scares me.  He has made me question the how of my parenting.  As in how do I keep a little boy who doesn't understand how fragile he is, safe?  How can I maintain my sanity knowing at any second he could do something to top his last crusade to stop my heart? I have to live on faith with this child.  I've had to examine my own personal sense of justice and the idea that bad things only happen to bad parents and if you're a good enough parent, you can control all things and insulate yourself from anything bad.  He's been a game-changer.  A heart-softener.   A soul-searching antidote to my belief that a certain  method of parenting is a guarantee of a certain outcome.  He's my faith builder, my sunshine and my love.

Noah.  Oh boy, what are you here for?  Whatever it is, I'm sure glad I get to be the one to watch you grow from challenging child to amazing man ;)  Now just give your Momma's heart a wee rest, would ya??

Throwback: True Confessions of an Inpatient Gardener

This is a blog from several years back.  I am going through old stuff and rearranging and will be posting some oldies I want to remember.  

The Bible says that whatever a man reaps, that he will sow.  Makes sense really.  If I plant tomato seeds, I will get tomatoes.  Green bean seeds, green beans, and so on and so forth.  I would look pretty ridiculous if I was upset that I was harvesting tomatoes, when *I* planted the seeds.  I wouldn't pick them off the plant, constantly whining and griping that they weren't green beans.  That would be....well....stupid.

But....I do this every single day of my life and most of the people I know do it too.  Not with plants, but with people, relationships.  My children right now are having some issues with bad attitudes, not listening, getting upset when asked to clean up after *themselves...*  And it's MY fault.  I have sowed into them cleaning up after them, not making them do that which I know they are capable of doing, and having a bad attitude myself.  But here's where it REALLY gets frustrating.  RIGHT NOW, in my life, I have it all together.  RIGHT NOW I am on top of things, have a good attitude and feel great.  So why is it that at THIS point, when everything is going great in my own life that these problems are cropping up.....I didn't know until I read something very simple, yet profound!!


Wow.  Seriously, just wow.  I can't go out today and plant some seeds and then harvest the fruit from those seeds by dinnertime tonight.  So whatever it is I am reaping in my life right now, it's from something I've sown a while back.  This can become such a vicious cycle.  You sow some bad attitude like three months back into your children, realize the error of your ways and make a change, and as soon as you are getting that change down pat, you are faced with bad attitudes (or whatever) from the people around you.   Then you say to yourself there's no point in trying anymore because you ARE being the person you are supposed to be and it's "just not working...."  So you stop trying, again sowing some more bad things, and so on and so forth.

Realize today that you may have to weed out the bad stuff while planting the good stuff in everyone around you.  Allow them to get it out of their systems and start planting the good stuff.  Smiles, words of appreciation, a soft voice when you feel like yelling, and then let those seeds have the proper amount of time to grow into beautiful fruit. Right now, you'll still be harvesting some bad, because that's what you've sown.   But if you start today by being the person you know you should be, you will be able to harvest those good things in the proper time.  It takes faith and a belief in what the Bible teaches about this.  And since the God I know is one of truth and never breaks His promises, I know I can rest assured that nothing I do in His name will be in vain.  He wants a good life for us, I just think our tendency to follow the flesh instead of saying no to it gets the best of us most of the time....

I will return a bad attitude with a smile, with patience, with understanding.  Not only am I planting the right kind of seeds, I am leading by example.  My precious children and my wonderful husband are so worth it, even when I want to pull my  hair out and run away :)  Life is too short and the people in it are too sweet to do anything less....

Sunday, February 24, 2013


You know, as far back as I can remember, every injury I've sustained has been because of my gracelessness (Yeah, not a real word, but when it's me and the keyboard, all bets are off)

There was the time I wanted to be first to the door after the telltale ring alerting us that the pizza guy was standing outside.  I raced and slipped on a baby blanket, smacking my face into the hard kitchen floor.  Rather than enjoying Hungry Howies with the rest of the family, I was holding ice on my nose and then carted to the ER to make sure it wasn't broken.  I believe this was the first time I saw stars and I was intrigued it could happen outside an animated world . Cool.

Then there was that time I was looking for something and decided it could be under my bed.  I dropped to the floor and apparently there was a stray Jolly Rancher hidden between my bed skirt and my view so....I ended up in the ER with an injured knee cap.  Injured by a piece of candy?  Seriously.

I had twisted ankles and a hand that got mauled by a new Momma cat and all sorts of other stupid injuries that had me getting x-rayed and tetanus shotted and it was never something cool, like blowing out a knee scoring a winning goal or falling out of a tree saving an endangered owl or some shit.  It was always just STUPID.

This affinity for side show violence to my person followed me into adulthood.

Like the time we were stuck in traffic and my baby was SCREAMING  bloody murder, and I needed to make formula, but hadn't brought the can opener.  I had nursed her before we left and there should have been no reason for her to eat before we arrived at my Mom's house, but gridlock on the interstate for a couple hours had a screaming baby and a Momma that would have done anything to ease her distress.  I had new scissors and I had water, and dammit, she was going to EAT. (We used concentrate, not powder)  I lifted the scissors up in the air and just as Jamie turned and screamed "BE CAREFUL!!!" the scissors missed the can and went into my thumb.  I had a gash in my thumb, on the interstate, in a huge traffic jam, with a screaming baby and now defiled scissors.  We eventually crawled off the interstate to buy a can opener and the baby was happy, but Jamie arrived with the children at my Mom's with no Melissa.  Once my mom heard that I was sitting in the ER, she came to join me.  I had to have stitches.  And if ever I wanted to lie about something, this was it.  Mumbling "I stabbed myself with scissors" doesn't sound heroic at all, even if you explain the circumstances and the screaming baby and the sheer panic knowing your child is hungry and you have nothing to feed her.  I'm just glad I wasn't put on suicide watch or something.

Three days before Eli was born I was nesting hard core and managed to get that stubborn blanket chest out of the small closet we had crammed it in, taking off my big toe nail in the process.  I was waddling into the ER and of course, they thought it was baby time, but no.  I just needed like 4 shots in my big toe and my nail removed.  I don't think his early arrival was a mystery.  That shiz hurt.

And while I was walking, WALKING, from one room to the other, touching for the briefest moment the door frame, a freaking splinter went into my thumbnail and holy hell, that hurt.  Thankfully, this injury didn't require an ER visit, but had I gone, this time....I would have totally lied.  I was prepared to explain that I had been building homes from recycled scrap lumber for the homeless or that I was tied to a rare species of tree that some evil contractor was trying to tear down to build another Wal-Mart.  I couldn't bear to say, I touched a door and it attacked me.  No.

I've fallen down stairs (again, after Jamie warned me to be careful because we had just steamed cleaned the carpet and I had walked across it before stepping on to our polyurethaned stairs...boom....boomboomboom.  The bruises were impressive!) and slipped while cleaning a laundry room (again brusies...Jamie threatened to lock me in a padded room at this point) I've spilled hot things on myself and I've never been able to cook bacon without it spitting grease at me violently.  I'm just accident prone and while it can be funny, it's kind of embarassing.

But beats all.  Today I am sitting here typing with a greenish, bluish right hand.  And there is no way I can explain this without sounding like a moron, and I'll just have to own it this time.  I was looking for the remote.  We have lost our TV remote and I can't figure out where it could be.  My living room is sparse and minimalist, so much so that besides the TV Worth Stealing, the Puritans would be totally impressed.  There is no where for it to be stuffed.  Except, in my mind, the couch.  Friday, I was determined I would fine that stinkin remote if it killed me.  I'm alive, but bruised.  I shoved my hand in the couch so deep that it seemed almost inappropriate.  I found some toenail clippers, a crochet hook, a barrette and a safety pin and DIRT.  Oh the dirt.  How disgusting!!  I had my son fetch the shop vac and I shoved the tube in, under the piece of wood and proceeded to suck out dirt.  I called for an attachment  'Nurse, hand me the slanted thingee with the tapered other one...." and I carefully reached my hand in the cracks of our leather sectionals, pushed the squishy portions out of the way and eased the hose under the wood block (that my hand kept hitting, thus the bruising) and sucked, sucked, sucked and as I was working my way around the couch, all I could think was "Oh my God, I'm giving my couch a colonoscopy...."  I found myself VERBALLY apologizing to MY COUCH.....ahhh..sorry...just a little more...almost got it.  And I knew had anyone  been witness to this event, my reputation as a sane member of society would be ruined.  But no one saw me, so I didn't have to explain and here I am confessing, in print (uh?) on my blog.  I assaulted my couch.  But it's now clean and free of dirt and I am tarnished forever knowing that even though my living room looks clean, there's probably a good 20 pounds of dirt in the couch cushions.

And no remote.  Dammit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm A Mess

I admit.  I'm a crazy mess.  I feel like a bomb (not the kind that kills, more like a confetti bomb) has gone off in my head and I'm all over the place.

Been writing.  Been getting sick of writing.  Not sick of adding to the family coffers even though it's not truly necessary.  I did buy a gorgeous bunch of fabric with my last little payment and am looking forward to playing with it, but....

My sewing machine needs to go to the doctor and my washing machine just needs to go to the graveyard, which makes the entire process more challenging than it needs to be.  And that sort of applies to my entire life right now.

I explain it to Jamie that it feels like I'm camping in my own house. Everything is out of sorts and out of place and ugly and I have no idea where to even start.

We are making huge amounts of progress in our house, but it's all backwards.  The more we get done, the more undone our house looks.  HGTV is such a liar.  You know how they tear crap up in like half hour and then bam, a finished room...Oh if it were only that easy.

We tear down walls, put up new, and then stare at blank canvas, not sure what it wants to be.  We are building the footprint (we, ha...Jamie...but I'm part of the visionary process) but then we're out of time and out of money and out of inspiration to finish it out.  Or, I'm waiting for the space to tell me what it wants to be and what purpose it will serve and how it should be decorated and arranged to be more than a place to display pretty things.  My house is not a museum and I never wanted that, but I do have a hard time with functional things sticking out (coughstereocough) and I realize that without that piece of important equipment, the entire room would be nonfunctional.  And I'm lost as to what to put where and how to arrange it and what colors to bring in and I swear if I ever had to build a house from scratch and like pick out everything from faucets to counter colors all at one time, I'd lose my flippin mind.  So I'm glad the process is slow, but not....Does that even make sense?

We haven't planted our fruit trees yet as the weather has been terrible, and our baby tomatoes might be experiencing an untimely death and we can't figure out why.

And I'm planning a huge party.  And my house will still suck when the party happens.  And I kind of don't care because there will be people and food and fun and laughter.  Maybe I AM learning something ;)

I've also started threeish new projects with yarn.  But who's counting?

Sigh. Breathe. Repeat.

10 Things I'm Ecstatic About:

1. I saw my son help his girlfriend into our van, like it was nothing.  Like it was what all 15 year old boys do, holding out a hand, making sure she got in okay and I saw his father in him and I knew....He's going to be a good man.  He makes me happy.

2. My daughter, my super shy, super sweet almost teenager is FUNNY.  Her sense of humor, even poking a bit of fun at herself (in a healthy, funny way), is shining through and I know, she's going to be okay.  Even if she did spent half the Vday dance in the corner, she said it was "fun" and that makes me happy.

3. My hellion with the wild spirit and sassy mouth asked me, "Momma is there anything I can do for you?" and she softened up quite a bit yesterday when she got a letter from her penpal.  We butt heads a lot...because she is me.  I have to remember this.  She just wants to be sure that she is heard, seen and loved and the more I pour into her, the more she has to give.  Yes, she drives me crazy some days, but I can see that just around the corner, I have a girl that's going to do great things ;)  I'm also just slightly proud of the fact that she is helping another girl come out of her shell a bit, in a friendship that is just precious to watch.  Her strong qualities that can be quite abrasive are the very qualities that are bringing out the best in her friend.  It works.

4. Middle son is playing the banjo.  He is actually playing a musical instrument and it's like I have NO idea how a child of mine can be musical and like it.  When you see your child do something that is so beyond what you can do, it sort of blows your mind.  He also made the best French toast ever this morning.  Go homeschool!!!

5. Miss Maam is playing guitar.  She got Calla's tiny one and she's making up songs like 'You have to love your faaaammmmmillllyyyyy because they are spppppeeecccciiiiialllll." And I have to try really hard not to laugh because she thinks all laughter is mocking, which I don't quite understand, but I trying to protect her spirit (Its SO hard when she says REALLY funny things!)  Yesterday she admonished the older children to be quiet because they were breaking her brain.

6. Noah didn't break anything the other day.  This is a miracle.  I allowed him outside to wait for the UPS with the "guys" and I made sure the gate was secure and the car wasn't here, so he couldn't climb on it.  All good, all safe, right?  No.  He climbed ON TOP OF the 15 passenger van.  And was jumping.  On top.  I have no words other than "Thank you Lord."  I just don't even try to understand.  How is it that I got to child #6 without all the possible scenarios already eeked out in my mind?  He challenges me.  Such a good kid, but man, I've earned these grey hairs!! ;)

7. Roo :) She's trying to crawl and saying "Dadadadada."  Drooling all over everything and breaking my heart with her smile every day.  She's squishy and sweet and what would I do without her?  She has everyone in this family wrapped and I look at her and think "You have 8 people who think the world of you..." and I wonder what it's like to be the baby in a crazy family like this.  She will never know loneliness and never wonder if she's loved, or wanted....I am so happy she exists.

8. I miss my husband.  Yeah, not something to be "happy" about, but it is.  He's had a lot on his plate and when he's not fully there, I miss him.  He's had a lot to share with lately about his life, his goals and most importantly his work/life balance.  He's a keeper ;)

9. Yarn.  Because I have new yarn (Shut up, Kelli) and I am working on something in grown up colors and I love it.  For SO many  years I could not figure out the granny square thing, and since I know how now, I'm kind of obsessed.  It's something I can do while I talk, do math, read, and anything else.  I am happy to know that I could knit or crochet blind now ;)  I've got mad skillz!!

10. The aforementiond sewing machine/washing machine dilemma is being fixed soon.  My washing machine was purchased in 2006 and we've used it hard and it's time for it to be put to rest.  Other girls may dream about diamonds and furs (ew, really?  You think people really still ogle dead things? I don't know...) but this girl gets a little woozy and heady over new appliances ;)

Very busy weekend.  Running. Shopping. Playing with toxic fumey chemicals and planting trees, while trying to put some pictures on pretty paper for Roo and Noah's scrapbooks.  I am so behind.  Such is life.
New bucket list item:

I will make this someday. I won't start this today.  I won't.  I wonder if...Oh never mind.  Maybe I will ;)  Ha!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reality Check

Okay, I know what you're thinking.   You're thinking I'm an obnoxious, braggart who thinks very highly of herself by constantly mentioning writing, what I'm working on and how funny it all is.  But, you've got it all wrong....

You see, I've always had dreams of being a really real writer.  I pictured myself in fuzzy socks, yoga pants, a baggy sweater pounding out deep and meaningful prose, whilst tucked in the woods, or on a mountain, in a cabin somewhere.  I've wanted to be a writer since...well...forever.  And I know, I've talked about writing and being paid and thinking it's all grand and wonderful, but let's examine that a little further.

I have messages sent to me with words like "Great Job!!" and "Brilliantly Crafted," and you might think I'm gloating a bit by these words, but you can't see me cracking up behind my computer screen and why would I?  Because that great job was given for an article on Pest Control and I "brilliantly crafted" a story about snoring.  And I got paid for it.  Follow me here for a minute, because you're probably still scratching your head (or laughing yourself if you've ever written)  This is like someone coming up behind you while you are brushing your teeth and saying, "WOW!!!  You're doing an AMAYYYYZIG job!  Here's $10!"  Really?  Wouldn't you kind of stare, nervously giggle and want to run off with that ten bucks before the person realized you did nothing special to deserve it?  That's how I feel everyday.

I am sitting here with a baby on my lap, kids all around me, washer and dryer humming in the background, kids being annoying and typing a bunch of crap to describe flower arrangements.  Glamorous much?  No.  So I get a little uncomfortable at the thought of anyone thinking I'm a really real writer or that I'm full of myself or any of that.  Don't worry, I'm still good old self-depreciating Melissa.  It's what I do best.  I figured out that it's my edge ;)

I've also found out that being under contract, which is what really real writers have to deal with, is terrifying and sort of suffocating   Am I sure I really want this?  No, not really but when I'm not pounding out sales copy and SEO articles, I have actually moved into the realm of really real writing and it turns out I don't exactly love it as much as I thought it would.  When my name is attached to something, it makes me a little bit nervous because if someone hates it, than they hate ME, not the b/s writing I've turned in for a few bucks.  Sigh.  But because it's still a dream of mine, I will continue to pursue writing with my heart instead of my smart ass and one day maybe I'll gain momentum to submit my writing in greener pastures again one day.  For now, it's all about the flowers, recycling, home beauty and how to cook fish and maybe a little something that will actually have my name on it.

Maybe.  Still waiting.  Terrified, although I did get some initial feedback.  Wanna see?

They're great! I love the conversational tone, self-deprecation/humility, and humor; they're exactly the articles someone considering homeschooling would love to read. 

These have my name attached to them.  I'm dying.  I don't know where they will be published or what's happening, but I fulfilled my contract and am waiting because I just now sent my invoice.  And it kind of sucks to toil and sweat and freak out over something and then wait.  At least when I'm bullshitting about how important organic carrot juice is (I totally made that up) I know at the end of that ten minute, I get paid.

Reality Check.  I'm a writer because I write.  And yes,  a grocery list counts.  (And I'm kind of wondering how the writing making you a writer relates to all other activities I do everyday.  Especially intimate ones...Hmmm...something to think about)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Mirror, Mirror

I've often wondered how is it we choose the people we interact with most often.  What are the qualifications we've set, even without realizing it, for someone to become part of our inner circle?  Who do we confide in and share our deepest fears, hopes and observations to?

I've always thought that maybe we sought balance, like the whole ying and yang thing, so we opted to include people whose strengths would be listed as our weaknesses.  Friends who can cook when you get together, while you are steering clear of the oven that catches fire if you come within three feet of it, or those who can pull together an outfit from the same closet that makes you look like a trash picker.  I've tried to find those qualities within all the people who I tuck under my wing of prayer at night, and while they do balance me out, I've found something deeper than all that balance stuff.

They must see me.  It doesn't matter how different a person is from me, if they cannot see me for who I am, I cannot get close to them.  If I am close already, I find myself pulling away.  If I confide something that's truly bothering me and they offer me some flippant advice about "getting over it..." it stings.  Because they haven't seen that this thing has caused me some serious self-examination and I want to talk it out.  If I am going that route, it's not something I need to "get over."

I often wonder why it is that someone can be so convinced of something to the point that they think they know someone better than the person knows themselves.  When did everyone become therapists?  I'm not asking for anyone to see something that isn't there, but I do ask that they don't make up shit that isn't.  I've never asked a mirror to reflect an untrue vision back at me, but I will not accept the smudge across it as a flaw on the person looking into it.

It's either me or it isn't.

In the case I'm thinking of now, it's not.  And that bothers me.  I am not being seen as me, but a version of myself that simply does not exist.  I am undervalued and overburdened.

And it sucks.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Get Over It!

I have a confession.  If you paired me with a couple hours on Etsy and a limitless credit card, my house would go vintage hoarders faster than you could do something you do really fast (Yeah, an eye blink would count, but how cliche!)  My most prized material object is a 1940's high boy dresser I snagged on Craiglist and I especially love vintage dresses (from back when curves where sexy and not something to work off at at the gym)  I love vintage when it comes to fashion, home decor and music.  I admit it.  I love those oldies but goodies.  

However, my affinity for old ends there.  I can't get down with old.  It's an oppressive master than demands we look into our past to figure out what's wrong with today.  There's a propensity for those who can't keep up to glance ove rtheir shoulder, wishing that yesterday's accomplishments could count towards today's expectations and when that isn't the case....well, then it's time to pull out the story about how far YOU had to walk to school in what kind of horrible weather and how YOU didn't have those electronical doohickeys ruining your brain.

Get over it, Grandpa.  Time is marching on, and you're letting it march over you.

I'll reiterate that I have a great deal of respect for antiquity.  I believe with age, comes wisdom, and I totally get that.  However, with youth comes enthusiasm and hope, and so often people forget that.  They downplay the real perspective young people have to offer.  This annoys me.  While we demand respect for our battle scars, we fail to realize that those younger than us are in the process of earning theirs. They are gaining valuable experience that we could learn from, if only we'd humble ourselves.

There is nothing wrong with a child, teenager or young adult doing things differently than you did.  They are living in a different time, in a different culture with different pressures.  Their experience is just as real, and palpable as your own.  Just because you are older, doesn't make you better.

I am raising teenagers right now and I am blessed to learn just as much from them, as they are from me.  It's because I am open to their perspectives that they are open to mine.  It's because I'm willing to listen to Dubstep to get a grip on what it is that my son is willing to sit through all three Back to the Future movies.  He shares with me, I share with him.  We're making a connection and we are finding common ground.  I have never once made him feel like HIS music, HIS TV shows, or anything that defines HIS generation is lesser than my own.

It infuriates me to hear old people ranting about the styles kids wear today (unless it's a modesty issue....I can totally get on board with the rants about seeing too much skin these days), or the way they wear their hair, or the music they like to listen to....or that they talk through Facebook, or text instead of talk.  Who cares?  This is the technology they are growing up with.  As you recall fondly watching a black and white TV, do not allow yourself to take some sort of moral high ground.  It's annoying.

This past election, I noticed a strange theme of Ronald Reagan worship.  I will admit I have no idea what about his presidency that was so great, and I am sure those who are more political than I am could educate me on this (and I'd be more than willing to be educated....I'm cool like that.)  The thing that baffled me is how people will latch on to a person, a time period, or a style as the defining example of morality.  News flash: Every day in the history of humanity has seen immorality, lying and cheating bastards so ravenous for power they'd kill their own kin (Dude, Cain and Abel? Hello),  and every manner of sick, twisted perversion you can imagine.

I truly believe being "old" isn't about how many candles you're trying to burn your cake up with, or whether or not you get a discount on your 4 o'clock dinner.  It's about keeping yourself fresh and open to the newness each day offers.  It's about respecting what each new generation has to offer with their existence.

Instead of dragging youth kicking and screaming into a past that's....well....passed....why not open your mind to today, and all it has to offer?  Rosie the Riveter was hot and all that, but dude...

She's kind of dead.