Dear Kitchen Table

This week leading up to Christmas, I am sharing a few of my favorite posts from the past.  This letter to my kitchen table makes me smile.  It still remains sturdy and proud in our kitchen – though it is usually covered with a table cloth these days.  I love the memories formed around our kitchen table.

Dear Kitchen Table

kitchen table

My Dear Ole’ Kitchen Table –

I know you are growing old and tired and worn (and as I look at this photo I took of you just yesterday, I realize it even more!)  There are days I think I want to replace you – or at least refinish your surface.  Many a discussion has been had about you!

But then I remember all the things we’ve been through together… The memories you’ve been a part of…  The people that have sat around you…    the food and festivities you have held…    the activities that you supported….   the different homes you have moved to with us through the years….  and I have a hard time parting with you.

Remember all those Christmas cards we colored on you?  Hours and hours over the years of markers and ink accidentally sliding off the paper onto you, which you gracefully accepted.

Remember how many times milk was spilled on you?  It often slithered through the cracks and off the edge onto the floor, but you never complained while we all scampered to gather clothes to wipe you off and rearrange dinner.

Remember homework, filling out school papers, permission slips, sick notes….?

Remember science projects and art projects?

Remember gift wrapping sessions with paper and scissors and tape and boxes and bags and tags?

Remember daily family dinner time conversations?   Arguments?   Laughter?   Prayers?   Tears?

Remember games of Chutes and Ladders, Old Maid, Monopoly, Life, Trouble, Five Crowns, Rummy, Yahtzee, Set, Operation, Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, and the hardest of all on you – Jenga!?

Remember breakfasts with friends with strips of sizzling bacon, stacks of pancakes, bowls of eggs, and cups and cups and cups of coffee?

Remember when the boys were in high school and we hosted weekly Thursday night flag football games for 5 or 10 or 15 at a time – and then served pots of spaghetti or chili or whole hams or turkeys or roasts to all for dinner – always with a cake or pie or plates of cookies for dessert for hungry growing boys (and girls!)?

Remember vacation-planning sessions discussed around you – like our trip to Hawaii with Jill & Todd – or reminiscing about favorite vacations like our Caribbean Cruise where we met our wonderful Bubby and Glenn or our ultimate excursion to Alaska with our sweet Janet?

Remember our first Christmas reunited with Dad and Carole and Aunt Gwen and Uncle Frank and John and Jeff and Dawn and Jen and the whole gang?

Remember bantering and jokes between Pap and Ron?

Remember shower and wedding planning discussions for Jake and Colleen?

Remember meeting Liz and seeing how happy she makes Nick?

You’ve cooled cookies and cakes and pies on warm summer days and cold winter evenings.

You’ve held fresh flowers and birthday cakes and candles.

Each scratch and fade and mark is a reminder of all of these times….

Thank you for being with our family and helping to keep us in touch with each other.  You were often the center of important deep and meaningful conversations.  Other times you were pounded on as we laughed until we cried…..   or cried until we laughed.

You may not be as beautiful as you were 24 years ago when we bought you from the quaint shop that sells handmade Amish-built oak furniture, but neither am I?

And I’m ok with you if you’re ok with me.

What we have together goes much deeper than superficial “looks.”

Thank you, my dear ole’ kitchen table, for all you have given to our family.

With love,

Jodi

*This post was inspired by Thursday’s Daily Prompt at The Daily Post, entitled:   Literate for a Day:   Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Let the Rain Fall

Goldfinch in the Rain - Autumn, Mars, PA

Goldfinch in the Rain – Autumn, Mars, PA

Let the Rain Fall.

I watched you as you sat proud and beautiful
while the rain fell on and around you.

You didn’t need
the sun to make you shine.

In fact,
you stood out even brighter in the cloudy drizzle.

And I was reminded
true beauty comes from within.

It can’t be soaked or drenched
or washed off.

It can’t be dampened or doused
by the storms of life.

Let the rain fall.
Let the storms crash.

And continue to shine
your authentic beautiful self.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

On this Road called Life

Early November Morning Walk after the Storm - thecreativelifeinbetween.com

Early November Morning Walk after the Storm – thecreativelifeinbetween.com

On this Road called Life.

There will be ups and downs…
There will be twists and turns.

There will be sunshine and rain…
There will be seasons of change.

But straight roads
don’t make skillful drivers.

And flowers can’t grow
on smoothly paved roads.

This road called life
is your path to choose.

And if you don’t like the one you are traveling on….
pave a new.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

We had an unseasonably strong thunderstorm this past Saturday night, but Sunday morning brought shiny, clean beauty on my morning walk with Charlie that was made even sweeter by the extra hour of sleep gifted from “Falling Back” from Daylight Savings to Eastern Standard Time and the gorgeous colors of Autumn leaves.

Daily Stretches

Daily Stretches.

Stretch your muscles
to move about with ease.

Stretch your eyes open wide
to see the beauty in this world.

Stretch your mind
to explore new experiences.

Stretch your wallet
to give to those in need.

Stretch your heart
to give more love.

Stretch your imagination
to create art or music or beautiful words.

Stretch your arms open
to embrace in a hug.

Stretch!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

10 Months Ago Today…

10 Months Ago Today.

I crossed the railroad tracks today,
like I do so many days.

And I realized, after the fact,
that for the first time in 10 months

I didn’t get a lump in my throat…
I didn’t hold my breath…

I didn’t think of you
and the decision you made

10 months ago today.

It caught me off guard…
Made me both happy and sad.

Only 10 months ago
you were still here…

barely hanging on…
but still there was hope.

10 months later
there is no more hope

and the memory is beginning
to fade.

I want to be happy,
yet that makes me sad.

10 months ago today
you took your life away.

Rest in peace dear brother.
Rest in peace.

Love,
Jodi

I want to ask you …

I want to ask you …

What makes your heart skip a beat?
What memories cause goosebumps on every inch of your skin?

I want to ask you …

Who has hurt you so deeply that you have lost all confidence in who you really are?
What loss has caused bitterness in your soul?

I want to ask you …

If you could be anywhere right now, doing anything you wanted to..
where would you be, and what would you be doing?

I want to ask you …

When you take a deep breath and close your eyes, what is the first thing you think about?
Does it make you happy, or does it make you sad?

I want to ask you …

What makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning?
What makes you smile when you go to sleep at night?

I want to ask you …

What do you think life is really about?
What is our purpose?

I want to ask you …
but is it okay?

Maybe I should just ask you …
How was your day?

Isn’t that
the polite thing to say?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Just Do it Anyway

Elvis the Penguin at the National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA - September, 2017

Elvis the Penguin at the National Aviary, Pittsburgh, PA – September, 2017

Just Do it Anyway!

It might be scary.
It is probably risky.

What if someone is watching,
and it turns out to be a flop?

What if people laugh?
What if they say, “I told you so.”

There’s a pretty huge chance it won’t work out.
But guess what?  That’s the point!

Be brave!
Just Do it Anyway!

 

This is a mantra I am trying to reiterate to myself.  I am taking on new experiences, new challenges, new risks – with my art, writing, self-development….

It might turn out to be a great big flop, but I’ll never know if I don’t just do it anyway!

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do?  Pick up a paint brush?  Write a book?  Travel to a faraway place?  Learn a new skill?  Begin a new relationship?  Record a song?  Learn to fly?  Heck – maybe it’s even just a new hairdo?

It might not turn out……..

But then it might?

If you don’t just do it anyway, how will you ever know?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Broken

"Broken" - Abstract Watercolor 11x14 140lb Saunders Waterford Cold Press

“Broken” – Abstract Watercolor 11×14 140lb Saunders Waterford Cold Press

The broken
will always
be able
to love harder
than most.

Once you have been
in the dark,
you learn
to appreciate
everything
that shines.

Zachry K. Douglas

Embrace
the brokenness
and let
your light
shine.

Cheers & Hugs
Jodi

"Broken" - Abstract Watercolor 11x14 Matted and Framed

“Broken” – Abstract Watercolor 11×14 Matted and Framed

 

Lately…

Mars, PA - Late Summer Sunrise - August 20, 2017

Mars, PA – Late Summer Sunrise – August 20, 2017

Lately…

Lately, I’ve been reading
“The Storyteller”
by Jodi Picoult.

It has touched my heart deeply,
profoundly moved my soul,
and makes my hands
want to bake Chocolate Babka.

It’s made me consider,
Inside each of us is a monster.
Inside each of us is a saint.
The real question
is which one of them will
we nurture the most?
Which one will smite the other?”

Lately, I’ve been binge-watching
Bloodline
on Netflix.

It’s made me realize
how past family secrets
and hurtful lies
can cause lasting scars
and shatter lives.

Lately, Hubby was out of town
on a business trip.
Not far. Not long. But not here.

It’s made me realize
how much I truly miss
the little things
I too often
complain about.

Lately…
I’ve been thinking about
a new perspective.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi