November 23, 2015

That's the Last Time I'll Listen to Ryan Gosling - NaBloPoMo

After leaving my job back in June, my bank account has now gone Ryan Gosling on me.


Like any red-blooded American woman, I can't resist Ryan Gosling, so I dove in.

Understand, the last time I applied for a job was fifteen years ago. FIFTEEN. It was simple back then. I'd show up with a resume and a starchy blue suit, scribble in forms with a fancy pen, sign the application and leave. There'd either be an interview call a couple days later or a thanks-but-no-thanks letter in the mail.

It was simple.

But online applications are icy cold as a Wisconsin winter and as frustrating as driving through a snowstorm in rush hour.

First, I searched. Then I refined the search by city, then I further refined by miles away from the city that I just refined. Then, I searched by industry and then refined the industry by sub-industry.

How refined of me.

After an hour, I finally found the position and description.

Press Here to Apply!

Yay! I thought, Technology really does make this easier! And I pressed here to apply.

Do you have an account?

Why no, no I don't have an account, but I'll set one up.

That was easy enough until I encountered the cryptic password guidelines which stated:
The password's third character needs to be an uppercase character followed by the eighth letter of the Albanian alphabet with an underscore followed by a numeric character that isn't between 1 and 2 million. And your password must be less than 5 characters total.

An hour later, I was signed up.

After another hour, I remembered the position for which I wanted to apply in the first place and happily hit the Press Here to Apply button; and then:

Press here to upload your resume.

Could it be that easy or are the Technology gods yanking my chain? Success! It uploaded easily.

I was about to praise technology when I was taken to a screen of fields upon fields demanding to be completed to complete the application.

Field 1: Name
Field 2: Address
Field 3: Phone Number (and alternate)
Filed 4: Please list your experience.

My name, address and phone? My experience? Didn't I just upload a resume? Is this some kind of sick joke on the unemployed?

Another two hours later and my application was finally complete.

Nearly a full day's work to get a full day's work.


Thanks a lot Ryan. Thanks a lot.

November 22, 2015

An Amazing Thing - NaBloPoMo


Despite having every intention of holing up during today's first snowfall, we attended the commissioning ceremony of the USS Milwaukee today like many other "hearty" Wisconsinites. County sheriffs, city police officers and military personnel - active and veteran were well represented.

One sailor in particular caught my eye. He couldn't have been that much older than my own teen daughter, I thought, and he definitely couldn't have been a Wisconsin native because Wisconsinites feel the cold, but we don't necessarily look like we feel it. This poor kid, he looked like he was feeling every bit of the minus zero wind chill and snow.

In my mind, he was a baby. His ears stuck out from his sailor's hat. They were bright red from the cold and his teeth visibly chattered. My motherly instinct was to grab his shoulders and give them the warm-up-down-rub or at least shield his ears.

Before I could do any well-meaning gesture that would get all of us removed from the ceremony, the ship was officially commissioned.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/ship22-b99620500z1-352741471.html


The ceremony was then concluded by a prayer.

I bowed my head and closed my eyes and thought of the sailor and all the service men and women on board...just babies. Somebody's babies. And I prayed for their safety.

I thought of how in this age of fear-mongering rationalized by race, ethnicity and religion, that I was standing there out in the open, praying --in front of God  and to God with black, brown, yellow and white people. Babies, all of us, God's babies.

I thought about how this scene, the show of military leadership alongside our prayers for God's blessings on them couldn't happen in some places in the world today.

Is the US flawed in terms of racial, economic and gender justice? Does it have a habit of appropriating land, culture and narratives? Definitely.

At the same time, it can draw people together despite all of that.

And that's pretty amazing.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/ship22-b99620500z1-352741471.html
Keep them in your prayers.

November 20, 2015

We Are a House Divided - NaBloPoMo

There were no recipes. No measuring spoons. Just a mish-mash of ingredients that went in the stuff. We used our senses: did the veggie pile look like another celery stalk should be added; did the dressing feel too mushy when you stirred it; could the sweet potato pie use a little more vanilla when you tasted it?

The heat, the stirring, the tastes of my childhood Thanksgiving followed me into adulthood.

And then I got married.

Of all the things people tell you about marriage, the thing they don't tell you is about Thanksgiving -- or more specifically -- Pumpkin Pie v Sweet Potato Pie. My husband and I can handle the black/white thing. We can handle the financial thing. We can even handle the division of labor thing.

But Pumpkin Pie v Sweet Potato Pie? That's another matter entirely.

Our first Thanksgiving, we found ourselves in the midst of an escalating war of the pies.

Him: Um...why don't you have pumpkin pie written down on the Thanksgiving menu? We always had pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving when I was growing up. (This was back when I took the time to actually write the menu down because, newly married and idealistic, AKA stupid)

Me: Um...why would your family make a tradition of eating slimy pie...my love? But we shall carry on your slimy pie tradition and I shall make the slimy pie and forego the sweet potato pie that civilized people eat. (Because stupid.)

Thanksgiving rolled around and in my sweet potato pie's absence, I'd watch, while suppressing my gag reflex, as people scarfed the pie down. I felt sorry for them. But more sorry for myself because I didn't make my pie.

I vowed right then that the next Thanksgiving would be different.

As Nature intended.


The next year on Thanksgiving eve, sweet potatoes simmered on the stove while I happily fetched the condensed milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, vanilla, eggs and the big bowl to create my Thanksgiving, when:

It's getting late. Do we really need another pie.. we already have pumpkin.
AS IF PUMPKIN'S A REAL PIE.
LIKE IT'S A THING.

In the split second before responding I prayed,
Lord, please help me help him understand that for the past thirty years he has been eating slimy, tasteless gourd pie befitting of Pilgrims at Plymouth who could do no better.

My prayer was heard and the only thing I uttered was a side-eye, lips-pursed YES.

And it's been that way ever since: he asks for pumpkin pie, and I buy it (Because, not stupid anymore); then he complains about the extra effort I take into making a sweet potato pie on top of everything else I'm making, and I don't even answer (Because, not stupid anymore.)

And we have a glorious Thanksgiving, even though we are a house divided.

But seriously, when has pumpkin pie inspired people to SING about it like this?




I thought so.
Point: Sweet Potato Pie.



NaBloPoMo November 2015

November 18, 2015

Comfort Might Be Overrated: This Morning's Close Call - NaBloPoMo

One the way to school this morning, my daughter asked What's with you wanting stay in pajamas all the time?

She had a point. At that very moment, in the car, in public I was in my pajama uniform: standard t-shirt layered with a standard blue sweatshirt, my husband's standard blue sweatpants and baseball cap.

Comfort, I told her confidently. I like being comfortable. Besides, who's gonna see me? I'm only dropping you off and heading back home.

Thing is, I had heard about insanely low gas prices at a station I always pass on the way home. The car was nearing a quarter of a tank, so I stopped to fill up when I heard...

GOOD MORNING!

I flipped around to see a TELEVISION REPORTER and CAMERA MAN. They wanted to talk with me ON THE AIR about the cheap gas I was innocently buying while I was in my PAJAMA UNIFORM looking like this:


And mind you, it wasn't just a television reporter and camera man but a reporter with whom I had been on television back in the day when I semi-regularly looked like this.


From that point, it was kind of blurry. I remember babbling something about Oh no, see I can't be on the air because I was on the air when I didn't look like I look like right now but after all, I'm not working and all I wanted to do was be comfortable in my pajama uniform and buy cheap gas so okay please leave me alone now nice to see you too. BYE.

And then I pretty much did this.

http://i.imgur.com/WGGw1QW.gif

Comfort might be overrated...but then again, I think I'll keep on taking my chances.



NaBloPoMo November 2015


November 17, 2015

The Great Thanksgiving Listen - NaBloPoMo

Today's NaBloPoMo post also appears in Metroparent Milwaukee.


I don’t remember mom enlisting me to help her with Thanksgiving dinner prep, it somehow happened naturally. It was an annual exercise that ultimately helped me absorb family recipes and replicate them now that I have a family of my own.

We must have exchanged a thousand stories in between the stirring, chopping and tasting.

Now, in the week before Thanksgiving, the stories of social and political unrest and extreme violence frighten us. But startling as they are - they are, unfortunately nothing new. History is a continuum of life-changing, civilization-changing events – many of them frightening.

How I feel about it all is heavily shaped by motherhood; and sometimes, I wish I knew how my mom felt of about the social issues going on when my siblings and I were kids through her lens of motherhood.

But throughout our years of Thanksgiving cooking and stories, those particular stories were never told because I never thought to ask:
  • What was her reaction to public prayer being outlawed in public schools when my oldest brother was a toddler and my sister was an infant?
  • What was she feeling when JFK was assassinated days after my older brother was born?
  • Was she fearful when race riots broke out in Milwaukee after MLK’s assassination? Did she have an unspoken plan in her mind to keep all of us safe?
  • Did she fear terrorism during the Iran Hostage crisis?
My mom’s been gone for almost thirty years, so I’ll never know. Lesson learned. So now I look at Thanksgiving dinner prep and Thanksgiving gatherings as more than a time for passing down recipes, eating and reconnecting with family and extended family.

Thanksgiving is also a valuable time for stories, and that’s what StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen is about. Kids 13 and older have an opportunity to “interview” extended family and learn about their family’s place in history. Anyone can do this, and an app has been developed to help people record the stories which will then live on in The Library of Congress.

According to an NPR interview with the project’s founder, the Great Thanksgiving Listen’s ultimate purpose is to "create a very powerful and important bottom-up history, history through our voices, through our family's voices and stories of the last 75, 80, 90 years of United States history."

So in between Thanksgiving’s chopping and measuring, eating and napping, and even the Packers game, I'll encourage my daughter to ask questions. I'll encourage her listen and soak up our family’s place in history.

And maybe thirty years from now when she has kids of her own, she'll look back on the stories she collects...and she’ll be thankful.


November 16, 2015

The Umpteenth Sunday after Pentecost - NaBloPoMo



Get out and I’ll park. Just find a spot.

It’s gray, cold, and clammy. Misting enough to make kinky hair get kinkier, but not enough to merit an umbrella. I’m happy for the favor, especially because we’re running late. My daughter and I tumble out of the car and hightail it to the megachurch’s entrance while my husband parks the car.

Exterior door ushers extend a warm welcome, and I hug the usher whose smile is familiar. I still don’t know his name, but I’ll always know his smile. As my daughter and I look out the interior entrance searching for my husband’s tippy-toe trot between the misting drops, ‘Visitor Coffee Aroma’ reminds me that we were running so late I’ve missed my morning caffeine intervention.

My husband finally enters and we make our way toward the sanctuary entrance, past ‘Visitor Coffee Aroma,’ through smiling volunteer lobby greeters, past the grand visitor information desk, past the early service’s attendees still milling around the central fireplace, and…past County Sheriffs sprinkled throughout the scene.

After an attack on an Amish School, and after that, a shooting at a salon not a stone’s throw away from our church, then violence barely a year later at the Sikh Temple, I wondered what sacred public place would be next. This suburban megachurch that we think is our space?

Or when a protective presence would be a presence.

So I was grateful for those cops. Those sheriffs. A presence. On duty, on high alert. At church.

*  *  *  *  *  *

The tires nearly come to a screech outside an austere city church. Get out and I’ll park. Just find a spot. he says.

We’re on the brink of tardiness. Again.

My daughter and I tumble out and scramble up concrete stairs toward gigantic double-doors. The doors are wooden, heavy and old enough to make me wonder if I’d find evidence of nails from Luther’s 95 Theses if I had the luxury of time to examine them.

A smiling familiar usher swings the heavy door open, and I greet him with something about the noon Packers game. Soon my husband bursts in, beating the church bell’s toll by a good two minutes. I guess parking is easy today.

Beirut and Paris are fresh in our memories, and Kenya’s memory is rekindled after all. In everyone’s memory, I figure. I hope. But at the same time, not.

Pastor began with prayer and I wanted him to say Father God, we’re scared right now, but Scared wasn’t scheduled in the church calendar. The Umpteenth Sunday after Pentecost is.

So I pretended I was praying about the Umpteenth Sunday after Pentecost and prayed to God on my own behalf:  Father God, I’m scared right now, and responsively ended each of pastor’s petitions about the Umpteenth Sunday after Pentecost with Hear our prayer.

And I meant it.

Best find ever via ravishly on Twitter.
Pastor’s sermon was about End Times, how they will be hard and that there will be wars and rumors of wars. Okay, um…yep. Like, NOW.

I blanked out on what pastor was saying for a long while and wondered what I would do if someone burst through the 95 Theses Doors with guns blazing, even as we listened about wars and rumors of wars and the hope we have despite the darkness.

I hatched a plan: I’d push my baby girl down to the floor and tell her not to say a thing.

Just hide. Be invisible.

May the Lord bless you and keep you…then the closing song with seven verses that left me singing an octave lower than when the hymn started.

And then the recessional. We waved at familiar faces. I hugged the elderly man who says he likes to hear me sing (I’ve gotta get this compulsive hugging under control). Then a short walk to the car. My husband made a U-turn and we headed home.

That’s when I noticed the policeman keeping watch just across the street from our church.

I waved. And I was grateful.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

November 9, 2015

Dear Prince Charming



Remember when she found the tallest inflatable slide at the festival? She crawled to the top with a trail of fifty kids lined up behind her waiting their turn. You panicked while I beamed with pride at our daughter’s fearlessness.

She decided the top was too top and refused to slide down, damned the kids behind her. But you were her Prince Charming that day, scaling up along the side and coaxing her down to the ground. She felt safe, was unapologetic and I saw you relish your role as her protector. My heart melted at the scene, and I took her stubbornness as an early sign of an independent attitude, nearly immune from herd mentality.

It’s been ten years since that day. She’s now a teen who is fearless about standing out, and you – you still see yourself as Prince Charming. And that’s sweet.

But, honey, there are some things from which Prince Charming can’t rescue her. She’s part you and part me. She’s our biracial daughter, and though we know and she knows she's white and black, the truth is that perception of some people outside of our small circle, is that she’s black. Like me.

While I know what that means personally – from assumptions made about her musical likes, to curiosity about her hair, to the possibility of being stopped for DWB -- you know it only anecdotally. We talk about this from time to time, and you bristle at the thought of someone prejudging your Princess.

She will face dragons you can’t slay or castle walls you can’t breach, even though you are her knight in shining armor. But there are things you can do to help her along this journey which she and only she is taking.

Ask
Ask her what she thinks about the graphic novel that features a black heroine. Ask her about how she feels identifying as black and white, versus some of her biracial friends who identify as one or the other but not both. Ask her how she feels about her natural hair. Ask what goes through her mind when she hears about Sandra Bland, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice.

Listen
As much as you may want to interject or correct, don’t. Just listen. She’ll be telling you the world as she sees it through her eyes and experience. Discounting her experience because it is not yours will leave her feeling like she’s crazy and fighting imaginary windmills. If you listen, she’ll learn to trust herself and stand up when/and if she feels slights or side eyes.

Walk
Some of what she may tell you will have you rolled up in a ball of worry and anger that are likely rooted in your helplessness to change the world for her. Hold your tongue, hold your sigh or even your reflexive rant. Look her in the eyes and understand that she is trusting you to hear and hold her fears, opinions and insecurities. She doesn’t need you to change the world. She just needs to know you are walking beside her in her world.

Expand Her World…and Yours
You probably don’t remember showing her some Youtube video about two black guys who are classical violinists, but it made an impression on her more than you’ll know. She talked about it for two days straight on our morning ride to school, which led to us talking about stereotypes and the senselessness of them.

Then there was the time we were front and center for a spoken word performance by black, urban poets. You showed genuine appreciation for the show when you could have easily written it off as boring or too foreign to your culture; but your wordless nods and smiles spoke volumes. And she heard it.

When we went to New York, you commented on all the different kinds of people we saw, and then we all talked about how our own hyper-segregated city could take a page from downtown Manhattan. It may have been a small conversation to you, but even mighty oaks were once small seeds.


Prince Charming, I wish you could rescue our daughter from all high towers that race will erect throughout our her life. But you’re already doing so much to help her rescue herself.

I'm proud of you...and proud of us.


 NaBloPoMo November 2015


November 8, 2015

Home is Where You'll Find Me - NaBloPoMo

Hey, you didn't go anywhere today, my husband said.

Any day I don't have to go anywhere is good day, dude. The answer tumbled from my lips before I had a chance to edit it.

He looked worried and I swear he started dialing 911 to get me the emergency help I obviously needed. He might've even Googled Involuntary Commitment on his phone.

Maybe I should've answered better. Maybe I should've said

Why is staying home not good? We call it home, we dust, vacuum, scrub floors and baseboards and Febreeze it to make it feel homey, and yet people think we're crazy if we want to stay inside and enjoy it.

Although I meant -- and mean -- every word of that, I didn't say it.

Maybe I didn't say that because deep down in my bones, I know the greater joy in not leaving the sacred doors of home is in the not-having-to-make-yourself-presentable to people who live outside of your home.

Understand, I've been willingly unemployed since June of this year; and there was a lot into the project that is me and the level of presentable needed for going to work and not frightening colleagues, small children and the elderly.

So the first day I wasn't required to be there, I clearly remember the realization of not having any pressing, scheduled reason to strap on a bra, don clothes that suck in all the things that are dying to be un-sucked and completing the five point ordeal associated with slapping on makeup.

And it was fricken AWESOME.

I also remember the days of bursting in the house at 5:30p after work like a starter pistol went off, kicking off shoes followed by the immediate kneaded dough swelling of my feet, culminated by the home stretch to the bedroom where I could FINALLY unhook the hooks in the back that held everything up in front and let out an X-rated groan of relief.

And the groan, while X-rated (big apology to everyone who lives with me, my next door neighbors, my neighbors across the alley and probably the ones across the street and five blocks down, too), was also AWESOME.

So would I change my response to my husband's keen observation?

Nope. I stand by my answer.

 NaBloPoMo November 2015


November 6, 2015

What We Were Watching - NaBloPoMo

This marks the 6th day of my participation in NaBloPoMo - or National Blog Posting Month. What it means is that I, along with thousands of other bloggers, are posting something EVERY DAY in November.

It's no small task and, frankly, my brain is a little bit tweaked.

So what helps when a brain is tweaked? TELEVISION does. And that's what I'm posting about today.

********************
There’s something about the solitude of home when everyone, including the dog, is asleep. That's when the dark sky brings a peculiar comfort as it settles on everything it touches. So tonight, I’ll cocoon myself in a plush blanket with laptop or cell phone in reach and channel surf until sleep arrives.

Now that I think about it, I’ve always been a late-night loner who kept close company with TV.

Especially during high school, that whole innocent time before boyfriends that never should have been boyfriends, two drinks over what should have been drunk, marriage, babies and pets.

On weekend nights, when the popular kids were out doing whatever popular kids do, my BFF and I would co-watch television via telephone, and our only interruption was someone else picking up another phone in another room asking You’re still on the phone?

That time in life and those shows still make me giggle until the tears leak.

See if they don't do the same for you too.

Fridays
Who else remembers Michael Richard's Pre-Kramer Days?


Dance Fever
That hair. Those eyes. Why yes. Yes I was crushing hard on Denny Terrio.



Solid Gold 
Where lycra met interpretive dance.



SCTV
Where I learned Canadians were Hosers who ate back bacon, eh?



So what were you watching on weekend nights when the popular kids were out popularing...or were you one of the popular kids?


 NaBloPoMo November 2015


November 5, 2015

Could Someone Please Open the Door - NaBloPoMo

This is ridiculously adorable. And funny. 

Go ahead and watch; it'll only take a minute.




I cried laughing the first time I saw that little fluffy dog refusing to enter the house because he needed someone to open a door that only he could see. I watched it again and laughed just as hard.

Then I looped it a third time for good measure, but that's when something eerily familiar resonated with me.

Doggone if that little dog and his invisible closed door didn't remind me of me. 

I think we've all stood on the outside, looking in and waiting for someone to open doors that existed only in our minds.

For me, the 'right time' was my door. I kept waiting for the time when we'd be more financially stable, or for the time when stress would resolve itself and then -- then I could get out of a miserable job situation and into peace of mind. 

I waited outside of that closed door only to finally realize the right time wasn't even a real obstacle. There's never a right time. The obstacle was me, but it took years for me to have the realization. Finally, I stepped through it, out of that job and walked into a better place mentally than I've been in years.

My invisible door was time, but everyone has an invisible door of one kind or another.

For some people, it's unforgiveness of words or deeds that break family bonds; for others the door is insecurity that separates them from exiting an unhealthy romantic relationship to wholeness; and still others imagine a door of past mistakes that bar them from trying something new.

I expect that little dog is still entertaining his family by stubbornly waiting for someone to open a door that isn't even there.

And I'll definitely pull up his video when I need a chuckle or two down the road...but I won't laugh too hard because I know just how the little guy feels. 

 NaBloPoMo November 2015


November 4, 2015

3 Reasons Why I Talk About Race - NaBloPoMo


People, places, odors, phrases can hit me in a visceral way. Dying autumn leaves, for instance, take me right back to the time my mother was fighting cancer. Phrases like No offense, BUT… shoots a reflexive, defensive clench from my jaw to spine. Whatever comes after BUT is never good and always offensive.

In the past week, the infamous Spring Valley High School video was the visceral gut punch to me, and I just carried it around inside. I swallowed back tears seeing that girl tossed around like a rag doll. I stifled back the anger and exhaustion at history’s echoes of rationalizing abuse of brown and black bodies.

I got quiet and relegated the incident and my feelings about it to another place within myself that was far enough to be safe and out of reach to write about in a post.

I’m guessing that any time I write about race or my feelings about injustice or structures that uphold the unevenness of it all, one of the five people reading my words will roll their eyes and say with a sigh There she goes again. Another one will ask Why does she always have to bring up race?

So I asked myself the same question. Why do I talk about race when it can be such a lightning rod? I came up with 3 reasons. There are way more than three, but I think these ought to suffice for now.

1.) Because I have friends. And their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds vary wildly. Yes, we’re all human and not one of us is getting out of here alive, but in the meantime our paths through this life are different based upon our differences. I want to hear points of view that I’m unable to see. And, if I can shine a light on the path I’m walking on as a black woman who’s married to a white guy and mother to a child who is both black and white, then I’ll bring up race.

2.) Because I can’t ‘get over it.’ The ‘it’ being race. Just because I can’t get over it, doesn’t mean I angry about it nor does it mean I’m looking for pity about ‘it.’ It just means there are few parts of my life where I’m not expending a little extra energy on shoring up loose ends of others’ perception of my race.

It could be simple as calling a salon ahead of time to make sure they know how to do black people’s hair. Or, making sure my GPS is working when I venture out into the burbs so I don’t get lost and then stopped for looking like I don’t belong there. (That’s happened at least twice). Or, it could be explaining my side of my daughter’s ancestry to her and why, even though we’re African, we also have forced Irish blood running through our veins.

3.) Because I have a daughter. She understands about the racial legacy the US has inherited more than I’d like her to understand at this young age. When Rachel Dolezal was outed as white, my daughter looked at me with furrowed brows and asked Why would someone want to pretend to be black? I babbled on about mental illness and confusion, while my internal dialogue was screaming OHMYGOSH EVEN A 12 YEAR OLD KNOWS THAT BEING BLACK IN THE US IS HARD AND WHY WOULD ANYONE CHOOSE THAT!

But I want her to understand that being black is deeper than being hard.

Historical structures and implicit bias result in black folks spending extra energy to get through daily life, yes. And it’s true my daughter might even have to spend a little more of her own energy for the same reason, despite her being both white and black.

But I want her to know that slavery, rape, lynching (that also happened in my family at least five times) is no source of shame for the people who went through it. I want her to know it shows black folks – her folks – are survivors.

I guess until we’re all alike, untouched by race in our daily walk through this life and until we can acknowledge the ripples oppression has left on not only black and brown people , I’m going to keep bringing up race instead of swallowing the pain of racial injustice down.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

November 3, 2015

You Can Go Home Again - NaBloPoMo



This is the house we used to live in
This is the place I used to know
This is the house we used to live in
Where if I liked could always go

-Smithereens



My second earliest memory is a tiled floor. Rich reds, burgundy and brown tiles, an inch wide each and three inches long. They overlapped and intertwined each other making a shiny patchwork of floor just inside the house’s entrance. From there, a Jacob’s ladder staircase that seemed too high, too majestic to see what was at the top.

It was 1974, back when you could buy a house with four bedrooms, a formal dining room and bathrooms enough to keep kids and adults alike from going at each other’s throats for $28,000.

Which is exactly what my parents did.

$28,000 for scenes and sounds permanently etched in my memory and retrievable at will. 

Echoes of Baptist hymns and selections from the Fred Waring songbook mom played on the living room’s upright piano.

Front steps where Zeus, the family dog would patiently wait for someone to let him back in after he’d taken himself for a walk.

My dad’s old-southern-man whistling religious songs from church as he did outdoor chores. No one can whistle like an old southern man.

Strained arguments, giggles, merciless teasing, and secrets between brothers and sisters.

Sweet scents of the blooming magnolia tree that's just a phantom now. 

Even though I’m married with a family of my own living in a different house in a different part of town, there will always be a corner of my heart that protects this house, the shiny patchwork floor and Jacob’s ladder… and will always call it home.

Despite the adage, you can go home again. 

 NaBloPoMo November 2015