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The Days Of Our Lives


Paulie Mississippi

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No... not the television show, but the sands through our own hourglasses...

Does anybody else ever marvel how so many of the most important moments of our lives we miss... and those which we think could be important at the time of their happening, fade into the darkness of the past; never to be recalled again?

Ten years ago this day... in fact in these exact moments... I was savoring something that I thought was going to be special to me forever. A "first time" to end all first times... and now, at a time I could and should be celebrating its happening, it is nothing more than a distant and bittersweet memory. Not the way I would have had it, but it is what it is. Life never asks us what we want and even when we are younger, the philosophies of our older selves must be honored... enjoy each day for what it is... live life like there is no tomorrow... live in the world you wake in each morning... and don't be overly concerned for a tomorrow that may never come...

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Not me...Since my kids were born, I have savored EVERY minute with them...taking it ALL in.

Mentioning that Hollies... I want to share an event in my childhood that I just described on my deviantArt page CLICK HERE

*****

"The year was 1967. The FEC Railroad had halted passenger service due to a strike of its union workers and had gone to a freight only service. Railroads were losing money hand over fist and my parents feared that railroads of all types might go under. They feared that my sister and I might never expeience a ride on the rails.

So in the summer of that year, we were taken on a weekend trip... a surprise as we rode together in the family car from Holly Hill/Daytona Beach across the county to DeLand, and to what is now the Amtrack station... where we then rode together on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad north to Jacksonville.

There we had dinner, walked around for a while and then caught the train back to DeLand.

The ride up was uneventful; as I recall (I was just shy of 8 years old) I was taken by the passing scenery and the clackity-clack sound of the train riding the rails.

The ride back was more of an adventure as our train was not just a pasenger train, but rather our passenger cars were placed at the end of a freight train... and shortly more freight cars joined the train behind us. It was a late night; as we stopped at several points to add more cars to the train. It was an adventure, to be sure, but not one that we as kids enjoyed for the ride back. My mother would often discuss the train ride; right up to her passing in 2004; and it was always the ride back to DeLand that stuck out most...

Of course I did not remember until I recently found the tickets from that ride tucked in an old cigar box... the date was July 29, 1967 and it was my parents 20th anniversary. The event became the core of their wedding anniversary; a chance to share what might have been a once in a lifetime event for my sister and I.

I've never been lucky enough to have a 20th anniversary of my own; it's starting to look like I never will... but if I did, I doubt I could make it as special as my parents made theirs... insuring that their children savored the joy of the railroad at least once in their lives...

"You are about to take a trip by train - the most dependable, carefree, comfortable form of travel known. The Coast Line wishes you a pleasant trip..." - Taken from the inner sleeve of the ticket envelope... "

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Guest Rachan

Wait until they are 13 HAHAHAHAHAHA......!!!!!

Actually I am on board with that...took the first 5 years off until Rachel started kindergarten & they will go down in the history of my heart as the best 5 years of my life....

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Guest Rachan

Paulie

I LOVE train travel.

We took my daughter to Disney by train when she was 3.

It was 2 weeks after 9/11 & we walked into an empty disney & got on every ride with no wait.

The trip was so much fun. The dining car...the stops...having "refreshments" in our sleeper car.....There were only 3 large "suite" type sleepers & we had one of them & it was an adventure.

As far as the not hitting 20 years with someone....So what?!

If you meet someone you really connect with...& it can happen at any age...(I've seen it) 1 year is as good as a lifetime if you are really happy....keep at it!!!

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I see what you mean. We sometimes forget really great moments when we were very young--they kind of recede back in our memories. I think that's what you meant.

And also that you expected to make that kind of moment for your 20th anniversary, but it never happened. So you mean, enjoy the moment right now, don't base your hopes and expectations on future plans that may never happen?

Your thought was melancholy, but I love to read such thoughts because they make me reflect on what's really important in my life. And now I'm trying to remember moments of that kind in my young childhood. It's very difficult to remember so long ago, especially after about 5 decades.

Thanks for sharing. You always have such great insights about life.

:)--Love, Dar

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Great post about the train ride in 1967 Paulie!...I loved it.

I (like Tracy and Paulie) love trains. In the 1960s when I was a little kid growing up in Columbus, OH my grandmother would visit us once/year from Chicago. She wouldn't fly so she took the train. We'd pick her up in Marion, OH (about an hour from Columbus)...and it was one of the most exciting things I did as a kid. One because I loved my grandmother, but also because I loved the old fashioned train station!

We also (as a family in like 1973) took an auto trian from Kentucky to Disney World, a trip I'll never forget. I remember the movie on board was "The Way We Were", our family (6 kids) met up with another family and in a day we were instant close friends, and then we parted to never see each other again. We travelled a lot as a family so we experienced that type of poignancy often. Meet, become great friends, and never see each other again.

I remember in the middle of the night on the way to Disney World, while everyone was asleep, the train stopped in Alabama to switch cars or something. I stayed awake as I wanted to step off the train, touch Alabama soil and add another state to the states I could say I'd visited (I was a geography rat as a kid)..!...I had to sneak off the train as it wasn't a passenger stop, but I did it!..

I travelled Europe twice (1992 and 2006). Both times I travelled by Eurrail. I loved those fast speed European trains!.....so comfortable!.....great views!...great company and conversations with fellow passengers!..

I rambled to long again, sorry..

:-)

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James, when the topic is interesting, there's no such thing as rambling too long... laugh

Missm... there are so many cliche's... and they've become cliche's for a reason... like "Stop and smell the roses..." Like most trips, life's journey has a final destination... and sometimes we forget to savor the journey as we rush headlong toward the finish line...

Dar... sometimes when I'm in one of those moods, I just let my fingers type and try to keep my brain out of the way! :yikes:

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When we were growing up, my parents didn't have a lot of money, so trips were not taken until my sister got married at the young age of 17. First trip I remember was to Niagara Falls, Canada, with my parents and my brother who is 14 months older than I am. I was so enthralled with those falls, I can remember it so well! My brother went into the service in 1973, so we took a trip out West as far as Arizona. Just my parents and I. I enjoyed that trip, but in Colorado, as we went to Mesa Verdi, I got quite sick with a stomach virus, so I couldn't wait to get home. Got better quickly, so enjoyed the rest of the trip. My best memories of my childhood were just times we were at home as a family of 5, and the love we all received from my parents. My mom is still living and I try to spend LOTS of time with her. She'll be 81` in December. She lives next door, so I don't have far to go to be with her. I treasure times with her and my little family here.

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Guest Rachan

I love to reminisce!! Great job Paulie smile

My Moms parents married when her mom was 16 & father 22.

Her mom died during childbirth (1931) at 17 & her father died 3 months later at 23.

My Mom's fathers mom took my mom in as an infant, & as a result I had my Aunt mary & Aunt Betty(My grandfathers sisters). They were actually my great aunts & were in their late 50's early 60's when I was from about 7 to 12 ...They had never married & had spent their lives working & supporting their mother, my mother growing up..their 2 brothers that were injured in the war etc...

They were on one hand "old ladies" & on the other...they were FUN!!

They adored my sisters & I & I STILL adore them.

We would play cards after sunday dinner.

Every year they saved to take my sister & I to the wildwood shore in New Jersey. They would walk that boardwalk every night & wait for us to get on every ride we could squeeze

in.

When the boardwalk was closing ,we would stop & get waffles & ice cream & walk back to our dinky room that we were renting. (The Howard Hotel) In the morning we made our own breakfast because they would buy the little boxes of cereal that you would cut along the dotted lines & be able to eat it right out of the box....we LOVED that!

I traveled with old ladies & never realized it (they were FULL of life) & I LOVED it.

I have a picture of my sister & I in Disneyland the year they took us. I am 8 & she is 12.

My aunts HAD to go get their hair done (can't go to disney without having your hair "set") They didn't want us to feel left out, so they had our hair "done" too...

There we are in the early seventies...all the girls with their long straight hair etc...& there is my sister Valerie & I ..in our ponchos...oblivious to the fact that we have "beehives" & not only that...we have Hairnets,so our hair doesn't get "ruined" on the rides. They weren't just any hairnets either...they had "jewels". We are just big goobers as proud as peacocks in the picture.

Ten years ago I would have cringed at that picture because of our lack of style & the fact that we were clueless.

NOW...I RELISH that picture! We were Unique! laugh

When I look at it all that I see is that they loved us so much,they wanted to share what made them feel good with us...& we loved them so much, we wanted to be just like them...

Time passes quickly & things don't always turn out as we would choose (I am the only one left from that picture) ...I think it does take growing older & looking back to really appreciate certain things....

In THAT sense, getting older is a blessing.

I'm happy that I realize now,REAL reasons to be happy.

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awww.....believe me, i do understand about the somedays that never come. you just have to make today your someday.

oh wow, the train stories bring back so many memories..during my dads military days, when he was stationed stateside, he would go ahead of us and arrange for a place to live , then we would follow by train...my poor mother..travelling by train with 5 kids..can you imagine?

i can recall going to texas (ft hood) by train..some old wino

gave me a quarter every time he passed by me..by the time we got to texas i had 5 bucks...haaaa....fun times

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James, when the topic is interesting, there's no such thing as rambling too long... laugh

I agree, Paulie.

Great thread and a lot of great stories here.

I haven't posted in several months. There were times I didn't think I'd ever post again...no hard feelings, I just didn't have the time and it seemed the place was dying anyway. Reading this thread made me want to come back "home". I guess it's just natural for "big goobers" to want to hang out together...

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Love the story Rachan... My parents were "older"... dad married my mom when he was just shy of 20 and she was 28... it was his first marriage and her second... and they had 57 years before she passed. When I was born, she was 40 and he 32... so I grew up with basically the oldest parents, though a couple of kids I knew did live with granparents... I was adopted at birth, and the irony is that I later learned my birth mother was a 16 year old girl... so I went from having one of the youngest parents to the oldest, but I wouldn't trade them for anything.

As many of you know, I had to pleasure of caring for Dad his final two years on this Earth... and though it was something of a hardship when it came to maintaining a relationship, it was time that was well spent... and amazing... Although I do regret that I didn't prod him for more "history" about the family, but it seemed like when I was poking around... it was almost like telling him I didn't expect him to be around, so I passed on some things I'd have liked to known...

Now I think I'm the one who's rambling; I really just wanted to compliment the others like Rachan who share their stories as well... and Missm... there are many who'd think those were cool shoes today! laugh

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Great, great thread and stories, Paulie, Tracy, and everyone who shared here!

Ironically, as we reflect on our individual lives, in many instances, it really is those little moments, moments that at the time, may seem somewhat mundane and ordinary, that somehow evolve into some of the most unforgettable, extraordinary days of our lives...Moments that are sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, sometimes bittersweet...yet all an indelible impression in the unique mold that reflects the shape of what each of our lives have become.

And maybe, most importantly, moments that provide us with the memories to offer us hope and strength for our future.

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I can't help it but when I start pondering special moments I tend to drift into missed chances and a whole lotta "what if's"... which always lead me into theories of alternate universes... the myriad so diverse that every possibility that can be imagined has happened... and then some...

But you're right in that sometimes mundane moments go a long way into building who we are and who we become. Take away not just the major events, but some or even any of these more mundane events and we are not the person we are...

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First off, I am enjoying this thread. I was not sure where to jump in as it seems to be ever changing.

Now...having said that, I found something I wanted to comment on.

Ok...I’m not sure where you guys are going with the “mundane†events in one’s life making an impact. Remarkable events, not the unremarkable moments are the ones that have changed me or at least are the ones that I like to reflect on. But, if you could give me some examples of what you are thinking about, it would be much appreciated so I can understand usage of the word “mundane†to its fullest.

As for me and remembering the past...

I personally only like to reminisce about certain times in my life when relevant. Such as with my family about a deceased family members or our childhood or with friends about when we were young. But...it is rare, if ever that we ever bring up dull/boring memories and reflect on them as if they were something so significant. If it was important for me to remember and reminisce about, then that memory was far from mundane---at least to me.

Also, I try not to reflect too much on the past, though at times I can’t help it. However, I always look forward to a new memory being made in the present. So that’s why I try my best to live for now and plan for tomorrow.

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First off, I am enjoying this thread. I was not sure where to jump in as it seems to be ever changing.

Now...having said that, I found something I wanted to comment on.

Ok...I’m not sure where you guys are going with the “mundane†events in one’s life making an impact. Remarkable events, not the unremarkable moments are the ones that have changed me or at least are the ones that I like to reflect on. But, if you could give me some examples of what you are thinking about, it would be much appreciated so I can understand usage of the word “mundane†to its fullest.

mundane-

Synonyms:

commonplace

everyday

prosaic

routine

worldly

normal

banal

Wendy, memories are such a personal, subjective topic. I'm sure you have special memories of times shared with other family members that impacted you in a unique way. Memories that to others, maybe even to some of the family members who may have been present at the time, might not even remember, or may recall as somewhat "mundane". I have many memories I treasure now that, at the time, seemed like normal, everyday (mundane) moments. As I've matured, and time has passed and situations have changed, those very moments have evolved into unforgettable and treasured memories.

For example, Paulie spoke of caring for his elderly father, and Lori spoke of spending time at home with her family. I'm sure many of those times together were, at the time for them, just everyday, routine, commonplace (mundane) moments, yet small nuances, such as enjoying a laugh together, holding someone's hand, or maybe even seeing an unspoken word of gratitude in a loved one's eyes, turned out to be the instances that somehow stayed with them, distinguishing those moments from other moments, and over the years, have become special, unique memories for each of them as individuals.

As for myself, probably the best example of what I thought was, at the time, a largely mundane period in my life, occurred during the summers of when I was around eleven to thirteen years-old.

During that time, my family lived in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky. My father purchased some farmland on property where he had grown up, in a rural area about an hour south of where we were living. The land consisted mainly of hills, creeks, and hollows. The soil was fertile, the land was largely untouched, and the ground was prime for hunting. It didn't take long for my father to become somewhat obsessed with his newly acquired playground, wanting to spend much of his free time there. He obtained permission from an elderly neighboring farmer to use an old, abandoned farmhouse on adjoining land as a shelter. The house was to be our home away from home, our weekend getaway, a no-frills place for the family to stay, with no electricity or inside plumbing. We pitched in and cleaned the house, and even applied a coat of paint to the outside of the graying clapboard structure.

At first, like any eleven year-old, I was excited at the prospect of our upcoming weekend adventures. However, it didn't take long for that newness to wear off. The house was accessed after traveling from a dirt and gravel road up the side of a steep hill, only accessible from a tractor or a four wheel drive vehicle. During the mid 70's, no one in my family owned a four-wheel drive vehicle except my uncle, who owned an old Army jeep, so our mode of transportation to and from the house was usually by tractor and wagon.

Once at the house, we were very isolated from the rest of the

world. There were no neighbors nearby, no telephone, no electricity. While my father was planting crops or hunting with his brothers or brothers-in-law on the nearby farm, my mother, sisters, and I were often left at the house to spend much of our time. Sometimes, some of my aunts and cousins got to come and spend the weekend with us, but often, it was just our family present. My mother kept busy doing chores, or planning and preparing meals on the wood stove Daddy found and put in the house. If it was too hot, sometimes we grilled out, or mom used a little Coleman propane cook top stove. That left my sisters and I to resort to our own resources to occupy our time and keep busy. Even though we went on hikes and explored the untouched nature of the area, read books, or listened to the radio, I can remember complaining to my mom on numerous occasions of how bored I was, and how much I wished we were at home. Once, I remember climbing to the top of a nearby point, where the view was breathtaking and one could see for miles, yet all the the 11 year-old girl in me could focus on was my lonely boredom. I began to scream at the top of my lungs, knowing no one other than my family could hear me, or think I was crazy or injured. Night times were the worst. After sunset, because we had no electricity, the house was totally dark, other than the flashlights or Coleman lanterns used for necessity. I felt there was absolutely nothing to do, other than to listen to some of Daddy's stories, or to the transistor radio, where sometimes only a couple of stations would even come in in our rural setting. We usually went to bed early, and sometimes I was still wide awake, listening to the croaking frogs and the Whippoorwills repetitive cries, creatures so prevalent in our little corner of untamed wilderness.

It wasn't until years later and life became much more hectic, I realized that those times at the house on the hill, those times I thought were so mundane and boring, were some of the best times of my life. I was forced to spend lots of quality time with my family, explore nature, and expand on my love of music by listening to my little transistor radio, when I thought there was nothing else to do. In this high-tech world we live in, I've often wished through the years, my boys could be exposed to a few weekends like the ones I spent in those summers in the country...Talk about an adjustment!

Well, Wendy, I hope my example helped. As you can see, to others (and even to me at the time), there was nothing really special about those glorified camping trips. But for me, those days I once thought so mundane, evolved into memories I'll forever hold dear.

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Hi Elle,

Thank for taking the time to post. One thing I do love about you is that you will take time to clarify something and never just with a line a two. We chicks do things in detail. lol

Ok, I see where you are coming from, kinda but...I didn’t get why mundane “impacts†anyone’s life. Everything you gave me (to me) are examples of, “special†moments and/or memories. And BTW, I loved hearing about the tractor and wagon as mode of transport. I find that so cool since we had a VW wagon with 8 people shoved into it!

I see mundane as routine, boring, every day, bland things we do---like brush our teeth or ironing clothes, ho hum...zzzzzzzzz. Remembering special moments in our otherwise everyday life and things that impact our life don’t always go hand in hand.

Like...watching TV is mundane. But a “special memory†of my whole family watching the David Frost show where I first saw Paul McCartney (and the Beatles) LIVE was different. That impacted my life because their music blew me away and I became a music fanatic. So mundane led to a special moment but didn’t make an impact...the Beatles did.

Or walking home from school is mundane, but a special memory was one day walking home from school and meeting my friend Sue Vomacka. Things that Sue and I did together after that, that were special, made an impact on my life...not walking home from school.

Most every day is mundane, but within every day may be a special moment that may impact one’s life. So I guess we can agree that “special†moments may have an impact on us and perhaps have a hand in making a change in our lives. Otherwise...they are just happy memories and not life altering. I still don't see "mundane" making an impact.

Anyway, thanks again for posting and I really did enjoy your story of growing up in the suburbs of Louisville. It’s great when we get to know just that much more about each other. smile

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I think many, if not most people, feel like Wendy--that the everyday, routine events seem boring and would not likely be those they remember, or even want to. It's usually the momentous events in our lives, the life-altering ones, that we consider big memories.

But I understand exactly what Elle means, too, and she hit it right on the head. The times we may think are "boring," uncomfortable or even unpleasant are often those that end up contributing in large part to forming our characters and make us who we are.

We all would love (or THINK we would love) lives in which every moment was exciting, adventurous and amazing. But that's not life--at least that's not REAL life. Dishes have to be washed, homes have to be cleaned, the garbage has to be taken out and children have to be diapered or put to bed. Sometimes we say, "Is that all there is?" to quote Peggy Lee's famous song. I sometimes think it's the routine that "grounds" us because I think excitement every second of the day would surely end up being stressful in the long run.

It's fantastic when those memorable celebrations and triumphs come, but those less glossy "routine" moments become cherished, treasured ones when we no longer have them due to the death of a loved one or even just the passage of time and life changes.

Like Paulie, I cared for my Mom when she was stricken with Alzheimers and it wasn't easy because I was also teaching. Herman took over when I was working. It was physically tiring and it was very very sad, but I realized even at the time that those would be my most cherished days and nights, and they are. I wouldn't give up a second of them, and I would do it again for the rest of my life if I could.

Likewise, when I was a teen, I remember not always liking the "routine" days of school during the week, church on Sunday. Now those days too are absolute treasures that I wouldn't change one bit and I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and go back for just a little while because I would give anything to have my parents and relatives who are gone back again. As Billy Joel sang, "I've loved these days."

As for "what might have been," never regret what wasn't. I truly believe in life "there are no accidents" and that everything happens for a reason. Had I forsaken college to marry I would now be a widow of 45 years. Had I made any of dozens of choices, I know I wouldn't be as happy as I am now--not nearly.

Rent the movie, Mr. Destiny, sometime. It will give you a good perspective on the grass on the other side of the fence, and why it is never as green as it looks.

Don't waste precious now time on "what ifs" or "what could bes." Make now into something even better than what might have been, because we do have the power to do that.

:)--Love, D

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