Sunday, May 6, 2012

Are You Enjoying Your Story?








Subtitle: Birthdays, Beers and Bonfires.

Because we all love stories, and because we are ad infinitum creating our own unique histories every blessed day we're gifted to kick up a few stones on this earth, the best we can do is share our stories; and by doing so, we share our precious lives.

SO...while the guys brewed beer on the deck at my house, the girls threw a birthday party for Coral up at her house (over the river and through the woods...kinda; that's how it is in our neighborhood). 

Coral is 7 years old today; a little green shoot growing up right before our eyes; before we could blink, there she was morphed from a baby into a kid, the oldest of four, soon to be five, youngins, who with all their mischievous wildness, are the smartest, most unspoiled (meaning, not over-indulged), delightful and well-behaved children on the planet (IMHO, of course); who will, I might add, grow up to be thoughtful, responsible adults...even amidst the neighborly craziness they have grown up with.

But back to brewing. Did you know that brewing your own beer in this country was an illegal activity until 1984?? 

Yes, really. In fact, another neighbor (one of the elders, who lives over the river and through the woods...kinda) testified before a legislative committee in the early eighties to the effect that home brewing was a noble, creative endeavor that should be enjoyed by law-abiding citizens everywhere. And so it goes...



     






Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble. Looks delish...no?


Meanwhile, over the river and through the woods...kinda, the girls were painting pots, jazzing them up with jewels, playing with new baby chicks (the hit of the party), and collecting grass and moss and twigs to make beautiful, organic art.


Please, allow me...


....to remind you what it felt like to be seven.  When you got your feet all wet and muddy in a creek, and didn't give a hoot about your scuffed-up-dirty new shoes. 

When you skinned your knees on gravel and it really really hurt, but you brushed yourself off and kept right on playing. 

When you twirled and twirled, looking up at the stars and fell down laughing coz you were too dizzy to get back up on your feet. 

When you painted any willing person's face (your own included) with charred pieces of bonfire wood, just for the fun of it. 

It was all good and beautiful. When you were seven.

But the day hadn't ended yet. After the beer brewing, and after the birthday party, adults and kids came from far and wide with dishes of food in their hands, and musical instruments slung over their shoulders to sit around the fire and drink home brews, and sing songs, and just do what friends do. 



Besides, the sun doesn't go down until almost midnight, so you might as well burn the candle from both ends. 


Life is too short not to, if you can manage it...in your own unique way. My husband didn't start playing the harp until he was 50, and he's not that bad to listen to.


And it was meant to be lived with the greatest of passion. Life, that is.



This I learned from once being seven myself.  In a decade, I'll be 70.



And now, I hug the kids a lot, and watch them play so that I'll remember to remain seven years old in my heart. Pick myself up when I fall down. Brush all that grunge-y gravel off my knees, and pour me another beer. Just for the fun of it.

Lastly, I hope you'll watch "Have You Enjoyed Your Story?" 
Patiently. And all the way through. With the volume cranked up.
So you'll remember, too.

9 comments:

  1. I have to live 7 over, anew, for the first time. Back when I was really 7, I was always fighting with my dad, looking for mischief to get into, vandalizing, shooting heads off of flowers with BB guns, etc. A neighbor shot me in the eye with a toy bow and real practice arrow.. exciting things like that.. pure trouble. I need to do 7 over again so I can enjoy grups (grown-ups on original Star Trek), play with my very own dog, get my new shoes back from the bully down the block and muddy them up... ah. And yes, I was fond of girls even then... Your group is lovely, ha. MAG

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  2. Hahaha! Well, you made my day on that account. I imagine you being pretty crafty at 7, and a master entertainer, perhaps? I always enjoy your thoughts, Mike. You know, I don't think people change all that much over a lifetime...from their basic core personality. But that is another discussion!

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  3. ah, there is nothing like tasty home brew and a good fire and the company of family and friends. my son is really good at brewing. and life at age 7? can't remember too much, but the mountains of new hampshire are always there in my memory because they formed a deep impression at an early age. it was mostly good and beautiful and still is.

    fun pics. fun people. : )

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  4. Wonderful, Monica! Age seven. . . such a long time past. Second grade -- Mrs Dietz in a small town school in North Dakota. Walking barefoot on gravel until our feet grew tough as leather. Scraped knees all summer long. Dolls made of hollyhocks and toothpicks. Thanks for the memories this morning!

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  5. I'm happy your memories have been stirred, just for a moment, before you go about your day. They say a contributing behavior to a person's well-being and happiness is to "stay in the now", without regard for the past or future. But I think remembering stories from the past (choose the good ones) are uplifting and healing; music has the same effect.

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  6. Thank you for letting Granny enjoy a day in the life of our lovely family and extended family up there in that beautiful valley. I'm looking forward to seeing you all this summer and welcoming baby Mercer into the clan! Granny/Becky

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  7. You are always welcome to enjoy bedroom space just down the hill at our place. We'll be in and out in July, and would gladly give you an extra key! We are very excited about the new little one; your family brings such great joy!

    Looking forward to seeing you all this summer.

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  8. Monica--loved the joyous photos of the kids--oh my!! A wonderful reminder of the value of childhood. we need to prolong this time in kids' lives and resist the cultural pull toward growing them into adult consumers! Thanks for the post!

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  9. I couldn't agree more. I just watched a movie the other night about the childhood obesity epidemic in our fast food culture, and I just wanted to scream. Make them play outside!!!

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