Friday, August 28, 2015

What did your childhood taste like?

This morning a box that looked full of big, round greenish pink overstuffed grapes sat on my desk. "What are these?" I asked my assistant.
"Oh, they are muscadines. Someone gave them to Ivy and with their thick skins and big seeds, she said they were too tough to swallow. She left them for us." I opened up the plastic container and popped a plump, juicy ping pong ball sized piece of heaven in my mouth.

With the first bite, as the juices burst into my mouth, I immediately recognized the unique smell, that old familiar fragrance as the musky sweetness infiltrated my nostrils. Instantaneously my mind skipped back thirty five years and I was running through my childhood backyard, wrestling the waist-high vines with the green, palm sized leaves that got caught in our shoelaces and the pockets of our dungarees. Back then us kids called them "wild grapes." I remembered biting into their thick skins, sucking the sweet layer off the inside as the slimy inner portion floated over my tongue. Since no one liked the sour inside we would have contests to see who could spit the slimy balls the farthest. Many a mud pie was made with a secret "real" ingredient that grew wildly abundant in the overgrown pastures of Eastern Massachusetts, making my backyard recipes that much more appealing.

I probably hadn't eaten a muscadine since I was seven but today I tasted my childhood again. What did your childhood taste like?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Grabbing LIFE by the A$$

The alarm buzzed like several angry bees trapped inside a tin can, letting me know that it was, once again, time to get up and go. On Sunday mornings I rise early, drag myself out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, and head to church to warm up with the praise team as we prepare for the 8:45 Contemporary Worship Service. Although I was exhausted from playing with my rock n' roll band last night, (at a place where we actually got a better response playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for a trio of toddlers than when someone in the crowd sarcastically requested Freebird and we nailed it)I was happy to be exhausted as a result of living one of my dreams.

Once upon a time I thought I was going to spend my life on a tour bus playing late nights to sold out stadiums across America. Over the years the plan has changed drastically, but my passion is still the same and I feel fortunate that I am able to live that passion, as well as being a wife, mother, chiropractor, and writer. I love to play the drums whether it is in front of three dancing toddlers, a sold out stadium, or a church full of people praising the Lord. And even though I was tired as I sat lazily on the porch swing with the sun warming my face, when Senia Mae wanted to build a tent in the living room and watch Pee Wee's Big Adventure, I couldn't say no because I am aware that special times are, like everything else, limited.

Today my partner, Kim, learned that a dear friend's life was ending. She got the call as her friend was headed to the hospital, holding onto those final hours before she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. They had gotten out of touch over the years and finally reconnected a few years ago. Kim was stunned to learn of her friend's terrible diagnosis at such a young age. But there seemed to be nothing anyone could do. In the end she was very thankful that they had found each other once again.

It hurts my heart to see people going through the motions of life but not living: afraid to take the chance, too lazy to make the time, or even worse, frozen in the pavement of procrastination. Instead of saying, "Maybe one day when we win the lottery," make it happen now, take a risk, follow your heart, remember what it feels like, spend the extra time, make that call, book the flight anyway, write the letter, shout it out for the whole world to hear because we are alive today... but we are not promised tomorrow.