It’s not my feet (though they are pretty cute, and my husband affectionately refers to them as “finger toes” because I can pick things up with them). Object #35 is the pool at my mom’s house, overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. Her house is one of my favorite places to be year-round, but there’s certainly no place like it in the world during the summer months. Sitting by the pool, relaxing, while the kids splash about in the water (or better yet, take a nap!). Sitting and chatting with my sisters, mom, husband, a close friend, or simply sitting and taking it all in.
I’ve blogged about my book several times over the years, and since I’ve put almost 6 years of my life into this experience, it’s only logical that it deserves a place as one of my 100 objects.
Scattered began as a shadow of an idea in 2007, made its way to paper, was rehashed, edited, re-written, edited, abandoned, revived, and finally published in 2012. It was one of the most educational, scary, and meaningful experiences of my life. I took an idea, nurtured it and watched it grow, and finally (after lots of pushing and prodding) put it out there for others to read.
It’s very hard for me to say that I’m proud of myself. But I am. I really am.
I am disgustingly, dangerously behind on this project that I love. I’ve let my blog collect dust. A lot of dust. More than you can find on top of Marcus’ dresser (if that’s possible…but in my defense, the dresser is tall and I am not).
But I always come back. There is always this outlet to share who I am, what I’m doing, what’s going on. A public journal. For that reason, there are some things that don’t make the cut when I’m deciding what I can and cannot share with the world. What stories are mine to tell and which are the girls’. I don’t worry so much about how I appear and being judged, but I try not to cross that invisible line that I’ve drawn as a sometimes-blogger.
For those reasons, object #32 is the blog, which has had various formats over the years, been used twice a day or twice a year, and still remains an important part of who I am and what I do.
Object 30 is something I’ll have with me forever, but I just got yesterday. My first tattoo!
I never, never in a million years thought I’d be the tattoo type. But tattoos have definitely become more acceptable in society (much to the dismay of some, I suspect) in the past decade. While I’m not sure I’d ever be the girl with a full-sleeve, I thought about this tattoo for almost a year and absolutely, totally love it. It’s full of meaning for me, and I’m totally thrilled to have it with me always.
3 daughters, one of three myself, and turn it on the side and it’s a lowercase m for my husband and my maiden name. It’s everything that matters most to me in the world. It might be small, as tattoos go, but it has big meaning.
Maryland crabs. Enough said.
I made this when I was a little girl. I remember my dad taking my sister and I to a craft store, where we got to pick out the materials, paints, glue, and everything we needed. Kiki gave hers to Nanee and Poppy, and mine went to Grandma and Granddaddy.
For as long as I can remember, this hung in their kitchen. As I got older, I remember thinking it was so absurd. I forgot to paint the mouths on some of the bears. It wasn’t perfect. It didn’t go with anything.
It was also a reminder of the argument Kiki and I had at the time, over who’d give which one to which set of grandparents. We’d both wanted to give ours to Nanee and Poppy. I’m not even sure why. As kids, maybe we saw them as the “fun” grandparents. We had to be quieter at grandma and granddaddy’s house. We didn’t get to watch as much tv. There was no air conditioning (the horrors!).
In the end, I simply gave mine to Grandma and Grandaddy. It didn’t really mean anything to me, anyway.
But it meant something to my grandparents. I had done it. Me, one of 15 grandchildren, had made it for them. And they didn’t take it down until Marcus and I bought our first home and they gave it to us.
Now, I can’t imagine my house without it. Time has taught me so much. About love. Faith. Family.
My Grandma died on Thursday. She’s meeting my grandfather in heaven, of that I’m sure. And they’re so very, very welcome there.
But she…they…are missed more than I can ever put into words. There are no favorites anymore. There is only love.
Yesterday my family and I attended a BBQ not far from the beach house my grandparents owned when I was a child. On a whim, we drove a little bit out of the way to see the old house.
I was so surprised to see it, and all of the changes that had taken place there over the years. Gone is the wraparound screened-in porch, there’s a large second story where there was once none. It’s yellow. It’s all wrong.
I snapped a picture and we drive away. Marcus asked me what was wrong, and I burst into tears. Everything. Everything was wrong. The house wasn’t right. My grandparents, both older now and in declining health, aren’t right. The passing of time felt wrong. Nothing was right.
My parents, divorced now but both with hundreds, thousands, of memories of the house at Breezy Point were quick not reminisce, pointing out all the wonderful things that happened there. Those should be the focus. They’re right.
But I still look at this picture and everything seems wrong. Object 27 is this house…but moreso, it’s the lifetime of family memories that took place in this house. And that isn’t wrong. It was, it is, so very right.
I know, I know. I’m behind. I’m super behind. I’m sorry. I love this project and my goal is to get it back on track and finish it long before the year’s end.
I’m incredibly embarrassed by this object, but it’s the truth and it wouldn’t be a true history if I didn’t tell the truth. It also seems incredibly fitting time-wise based on a recent IPO. My object #26 is Facebook. Facebook has been a big part of my life. I joined in the biggest social network in October 2007, which means I’ve been an active participant for almost 5 years now. Five years. It doesn’t seem possible. While Facebook has been a bit of a curse for me (I’m easily addicted, as you know) it’s also been just as much of a blessing. It allows me to nurture my inner social butterfly while I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I have found that that small amount of online socialization is invaluable to me and my mental health.
Not to mention, I like keeping up with what family and friends are doing. I like sharing my work with other writers (and reading what they’re writing, too). I like relaying a funny story and sharing pics of the kids. I like Facebook and everything it affords me.
When a family friend recently sent me this beer mitten, it didn’t initially occur to me that this picture, meant to show the gift in action, would be ideal for the 100 objects project. Of course, it totally is, though. The beer mitten itself isn’t one of the objects (though give me awhile…it’s pretty awesome and getting plenty of love!).
Instead, object 23 is the Washington Redskins, whose team colors are so perfectly represented in this beer mitten. I’m a cradle-to-grave Skins fan, singing Hail to the Redskins before I could walk (or so the story goes!).
Object 24 is the beer I’m holding. Though not a beer lover in my youth, I’m a fairly recent convert to this frothy beverage. There’s nothing better than an ice cold beer on a summer evening on the porch, while watching the game in front of the fireplace, or over a slice a pizza. I’m no connoisseur, preferring a light beer to a seasonal ale or heavy brew. But it hits the spot, nonetheless.
Oh Thrashers. You will never know how much you mean to me. From the minute I arrive in Ocean City, Maryland, I swear I can smell you. Never has a potato turned into something so delicious. Nothing responds better to a topping of salt and vinegar.
Oh Thrashers. I love you.