Memories, Pictures and Art Galleries

“Memory…is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Oscar Wilde

Memory is a funny thing. How, why, and what gets tucked into the recesses of our mind is so subjective. I have seen families plan big expensive vacations-to assist in making a memory for their children-only to ask them later if they remembered the times in such and such. Blank expressions look back. Heads shake of no….then eyes might light up and a recollection of the trip to the store they took when they were getting suitcases. “yea”, they say. “Remember that little white poodle on the escalator?” and the grown up kids laugh around the table. The parents look at each other with zero recollection of that shopping trip and wonder why they hell did they spend that 10 grand to make those great memories at the Florida Keys.

Memories fade, some stay vivid. Some can be recalled, some seem gone forever. I have recently re-connected with old friends. I have memories of times shared, laughter enjoyed and encouragement given. I wonder what memories they have.

I remember the days when pictures were taken with cameras that produced those little square slides that you would put into a projector to see on the screen you set up in the living room. Or perhaps you just moved a chair aside and showed them on a white wall. Mom made popcorn, or her famed chip dip, and we had our weekly allotment of soda. We gathered as a family to see the slide show. Perhaps that is what helped with maintaining memories. I might not really remember the trip, but I remember the slide that showed us on the trip.

Today we take digital pictures. We have to gather around someone’s computer screen to see them. Or if we have the capability to show them on the TV from our camera, we get a larger view. Some put them into little picture frames and let the pictures rotate through. To see them all, one has to stay in one spot for the duration of the rotating pictures. Some print pictures and put them into scrape books with cute captions.

My grandparents put them into a box. Later in their lives, they could not recall who was in the pictures. Even if the picture was of themselves as young adults.

So I have also wondered about pictures. I love to take them. I use my IPad. I use a digital camera. Some of my pictures are on the camera, in a frame that rotates, in my laptop, and in my IPad. I share some on Facebook.

I rather miss the days when the family got together with their favorite snack and watched the pictures of their trips, family events, reunions, and day to day fun. Not only did the pictures get reviewed, but the memories were re-shared.

One day long ago as I stood at Santa Monica beach and stared at the ocean crashing in, I realized nothing will adequately capture this. So I stood and watched and painted a portrait of it in my mind. I have a whole art gallery in my mind. I stroll through there from time to time and smile at the memories, feelings, and beautiful encouragements those ‘paintings’ bring me.

When my memory begins to fail, as it might, there are not enough pictures in a box to bring it back. My art gallery may go unvisited. That is one fallacy of the value of my art gallery. It is difficult to pass on. But a box of pictures….those can last a very long time.

Perhaps what is important, is not so much the specific memory, but in how that person, or that event, made you feel.

“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” Lionel Hampton


And One Fell Out

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” Dr. Seuss

Oh to be young again. Those days filled with fun. When the busiest things to do were to ‘Count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds from the sky..’ as Kenny Loggins sings House at Pooh Corner.

The days filled with fun, eventually adds chores. The days go by and we keep adding to them:


Fun, chores

Fun, chores, school

Fun, chores, school, work

Fun, chores, work, marriage

Fun, chores, work, marriage, children

Fun, chores, work, marriage, children, taxi driver to kids events, counselor to troubled children, care giver to aging parent

So just like the little nursery rhyme, Ten in the Bed…”There were ten in the bed and the little one said, ‘roll over, roll over’, so they all rolled over and one fell out.”

And before we know it, Fun fell out.

I have to remember to keep fun in my life. I love the zoo. Cincinnati Zoo has recently enjoyed the excitement of the birth of a baby Bonobo. Mama Lisa and baby Bell.

Zoo Chimp

I love to watch her play. Days filled with fun. Many years ago I visited the San Diego Zoo with my sister. I wanted to remind myself to try and not let Fun roll out of my life. So I bought a little stuffed monkey. I named her FooFoo.


FooFoo sits in my dressing room. A little green crystal glass monkey sits there too. They remind me to play and have fun. Some days I just see them out the corner of my eye. Some days I look at them more intently. Some days I pick FooFoo up, hug her close to my face and heart. After a bit of hugging, I begin to dance around my room singing; my heart being cheered and my spirit lifted.

“I never lose sight of the fact that just being is fun.”  Katharine Hepburn

Patience-is it really all that necessary?

Must patience be a virtue?! I am so pro-active that waiting for something can take me over my acceptable frustration threshold. I suppose being pro-active is good. It can be helpful. It can also be devastating if I do not allow myself to wait for the right time.

We have broken ground for the new addition. There is a huge hole out my kitchen door that will be the stair case to the cellar. The staircase sits in the middle of what will be the new addition. The entire back yard has lost it’s green grass and graveled curved path. It now hosts piles of dirt which were dug up to create the huge hole. Concrete blocks are stacked in several locations. Two pyramids of pebbles and stones stand tall at the back of the yard. Cement trucks have compacted the ground. The yard shifts from dusty trails to muddy sludge.

cellar stair vault

This would be easier to take if it were only for a few days. I would like a team of young bucks to come and get that hole shaped into the cement slab I so richly deserve. That does cost money. My husband is a brilliant engineer and drew the plans and is totally capable of doing the job. One man, two arms. So…I wait and I try to be patient.

Part of my trouble is my pro-active planning. In my mind, I have moved beyond the open pit in the back yard. That will get done. I have moved on to concerns of how we will get the two story addition built. Remember, one man with two arms. He says don’t worry. It will get done.

So I worry. I stew. I try to visualize, how in the hell is he going to do that?!

Then I remember the workshop. He had to build it in one spot and move it to another. He built it on top of PVC tubing so that it could be rolled into place. Really? Rolled into place? I had never heard of such a thing. I could not imagine it. I worried. I stewed. I waited for my turn to say, ‘I knew this wouldn’t work’. But it did work! He and a friend used a truck and a chain and they moved that workshop into place.

Workshop pulling it Workshop finished

I love the cottage workshop. I will love the new addition. I remind myself that I could not imagine how the workshop would get done. But it did. So now, I remind myself that the addition will get done too. I need to be patient. I need to trust the plan and enjoy the journey.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”  Saadi

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin