Friday, August 16, 2019

Simple and Sweet #UseYourWords

Welcome to August's Use Your Words writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
hardwood ~ monster ~ VCR ~ bicycle ~ boys ~ motorcycle

They were submitted by: (Thank you for the magnificent words!!)

I am going to keep today's post, as short and sweet as possible. By no means due to the words not inspiring me, but possibly because they inspire me so much. If I wrote everything these words brought to mind, I would probably spend hours at my computer crying, and not all sad tears. 

The very first vision I saw in my mind, when I read these words, were my cousins and I running along the hardwood, wrap around porch, at my Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie's house. The boys would chase the girls. The girls would chase the boys. We would all take turns sitting on Uncle Ricky's motorcycle, while everyone else made sure no adults were coming. We would play monster games, cops and robbers games, tag, taking turns riding on the bicycles, hide and go seek, and just plain had fun. 

We are all growing older and memories fade, and things change, and people go away, and others pass on. Life changes. Journeys take us elsewhere. I think it is beautiful, that in our minds, we can revisit days long gone. Memories nearly forgotten, and just reminisce in their purity. Enjoy the unbridled joy that they bring us.

In so many ways, those were the best days of my life. I was loved. I was safe. I was surrounded by family. I had my Daddy. I had fun. I laughed. People loved me. Of course, my cousins and I did not always show that love, but let someone else mess with any of us, and see what happened. Trust me, we loved each other, no matter how much we annoyed one another.

I really grew up with my second cousins. My dad did not have me until he was forty. By then my first cousins, had kids my age. As was custom, I did not just walk around calling my older adult, first cousins by their name. They were Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. I knew they were my cousins, but there was a respect there, due to the difference in age. I am an adult now, and they are still Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. 

Their kids have kids, and they are growing up, just like we did. Loved, safe, and together. I hope they enjoy these days. Before long they will be gone. People will be gone. Memories will be faded. The important things will be distorted. At least, I know they will never, ever forget the love. I can close my eyes, and still feel it wrap around me. All the love I was shown. That kind of love, it can never be forgotten. 

I wish I had our old VCR, and all the VCR tapes. I would love to spend hours and hours just watching those days. I remember thinking how silly it was to film everything, and now I would give anything to have those tapes. Those visual memories, to sit, and help sharpen my mental memories. Those were the days. We have advanced so much, but those simpler days.... Those were the days. Simple, sweet, perfect.

I wish I could go back, and tell younger me, to really  soak in and enjoy those days. Focus on all the good, because there is SO MUCH good, and let the bad go. I grew up, and I spent years focused on the bad, and looking back now, I see those were not the important parts. It was all the good, that deserved focus and remembering. At least I remember them now. A bit too late, as it had a huge impact on my relationship with my Daddy, and I would love to change that. I would love to redo it, letting all that good, be what had the impact on our relationship, especially in the final years.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:



  1. A valuable lesson for us all. Unfortunately though, most of us learn it in hindsight.

    1. Truly! Hindsight truly is 20/20. It is so weird, how I spent so many years focused on these bad things, things that happened, and some that didn't happen (that were wanted), and I focused on it. I let it lead my choices. I let it impact my relationships. In one moment, one phone call, and about two minutes of feeling true feelings... I began to realize the real truth. Things came into focus, and everything changed. I wish I could go back, even just sixteen months, knowing what I know now. If only. All I can do, is learn, and use these lessons in my future actions. Years of wishing everything had been different, and now I am so grateful it was exactly as it was.

  2. This is lovely! When I read your story it made the times I ran and played with my cousins at my grandma's house when I was little. She died when I was 9 and I'd give just about anything to go back for a little while. (Rena)

    1. I am sorry you only had her for nine years, but also grateful you have those nine years of memories. I wish I could do that for everyone. Send them back in time, just for a short while, as themselves, so they can experience it all again. Just once. Only if they have pure intentions though. I would never want to send anyone back to do harm.

  3. I love this!
    My youngest daughter told me the other day that today is the 'time-of-her-life' and tomorrow will be too. And the day after. And the day after. I'm so glad she has this attitude. I totally agree that we need to appreciate what we have when we have it. I write about those bygone days and wish they were here. But, largely because of my daughter's attitude, I've started really paying attention to 'these' days!

    1. I love your daughter's viewpoint. I think that is one we should all adopt. Work on making all our days amazing and memorable. Every single day is valuable and worth our all.

  4. We are so lucky to have today's technology (smart phones) that makes it so simple to preserve memories. Sports events, birthdays, first days of school. I so love my FB history reminding me of "little Colin"!

    Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie, huh? Just like in "you've got mail", Tom Hank's kids characters were his half-brother and his aunt.

    1. I am so grateful that Gigi will have memories she can look at and hold. I have so few. I would give anything for more.

      Yes, in the South, a child so young (I was four, when I met them) would simply call them by their first names. They did not want Mr. or Mrs., and we were family, so Uncle and Aunt it was. I am an adult now, and could probably call them by their names, but I wouldn't. They are, and always will be Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. Truth be told, my Daddy loved them as more than nephew and niece. More like brother and sister, or even son and daughter, so it is fitting that I do not consider them my first cousins, but more important that that. I know it must seem so odd, but for us, it is just as normal as the sunrise.



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