Tag Archives: reminiscing

Embroidery of Life

A pink Rhodochrosite caboshon wirewrapped and dedicated to the memory of Auntie Rose Emmons

We were at a celebration of a long time friend who was retiring after 37 years.
We were in San Jose, CA at the Bella Mia Italian Restaurant. There were just
six of us. Steve and his wife Sue, Monica and Bret, and ZoAnn and I. Steve,
Monica, and ZoAnn taught third grade together in Morgan Hill Unified School
District for many years. They had formed a strong bond of fellowship and
friendship during those critical times. It was one of those special moments in
life when people share their memories with treasured stories of those “Camelot
Moments” in life.

One of the stories was a big surprise. Steve passed around to each of us a
sheet of paper with a story I had shared years before. It was a story from
my Aunt Rose Emmons. The following is the story Steve called Embroidery
of Life.

When I was little, my mother used to sew a great deal. I would sit at
her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She
informed me that she was embroidering. As from the underside I watched
her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her
hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat.

She would smile at me, lookd down and gently say, ” Child you go about
your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering
I will put you on my knee and let you see the front side.”

I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with some
bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view. A few
moments would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Child,
come and sit on my knee.”

This I did only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower, or a
sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.
Then my Mother would say to me, ” My child, from underneath it did look
messy and jumbled, but you did not realize there was a plan on the top.
It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side, and
you will see what I was doing.

Many times through the years I have looked up to heaven and said,
“Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering
your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The
threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?” The father seems to
tell me, “My child, you go about your business of doing MY business, and
one day I will bring you to heaven and put you on my knee and you will see
the plan from My side.”

It is strange how a story of my Aunt Rose Emmons came back to me from a
dear friend at his retirement celebration. Steve had remembered the story
and typed it up to be shared with us many years later. I was amazed and
very proud of my Aunt. The story has taken on a life of it’s own.

A subtext to this story is that I have seen my Grandmother Mary Brinkman
crochet and embroider using the same hoops mentioned in the story. I have
fond memories of being in the small living room of the little duplex on 5th and
Pearce in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Grandmother sitting and crocheting. I
remember the clicketedy click tickedy tick of her needles and of her quiet
ways. I still have her treasured wedding gift of embroidered pillows
received 50 years ago on June 2, 1962.

Auntie Rose sent this story to me many years ago in an email. I thought it
was one of her personal experience. However, the story can be found in many
places on the web. I have found that the story is a common one. Here is one
link to the story elsewhere:
http://www.turnbacktogod.com/story-gods-embroidery/

It does not take away from the reality of it in our family. Grandmother Mary
Brinkman did embroidery and crocheting. The pillows I have are real. The
memories of the house in Milwaukee are also true.

A Passion for Living

A rose the symbol of love and passion

A rose the symbol of love and passion

To live is to love.
Ah, the passion of living.
Each moment precious.
Each day and year collecting

The good, the bad and
Even the ugly part of life.
Each experience precious
Even priceless.

My collection growing
As my hair is greying.
My appreciation of life’s variety
Expands until it Is boundless.

Originally written: January 11, 2004

I sat across from a friend and listened to the stories he was telling about his life. The stories reflected growing up in an envronment of anger and hate. Later, I was reminiscing on the conversation and how different my life was. I grew up in a poor family wearing hand-me-downs and shoes purchased from Goodwill stores. I admit there were days we hated our unreasonable father.

My sister was the only sibling that remained home to finish high school. All four boys got their high school diplomas later and several went on to college. I came the closest to staying at home until I finished high school. I left two weeks before graduation and went into the military receiving my diploma in the mail. As we grew into teenagers each of us began to have
an increasing number of conflicts with our father.

Yet, I must say we were privileged to grow up in that environment. We can face any challenge and know how to survive even thrive. Each experience we have had whether it was good, bad, or ugly enriched us. As I have grown in age, wisdom has provided a view of past happenings that has morphed from distaste to appreciation. In discussions with my brothers we discovered each of us has confidence in our abilities instilled by having been through difficult times.

I would even go so far as say each brother has a passion for living.

Caught in the Act

To observe the instant a child learns is a miracle.


I am amazed,
And in awe.

To see a baby,
Or a young child

Caught in the act,
Of seeing something for the first time.

The arms, legs
of constant motion stops.

The eyes open wide
Seem to be absorbing.

It is as if I can see
The child’s mind learning.

It is a wondrous sight,
A treasured moment.

Originally written: January 11, 2004

I saw a baby in a stroller see a robin sitting on a branch for the first time. I was totally captivated by the baby staring at the bird. For it’s part the robin chirped and chirped calling for a mate. The child stopped all motion and just looked at the bird. I could see her eyes widen and focus on the bird. It was absorbing and the thought came to mind was the baby was learning. I was elated to have watched the child see the robin red breast for the first time.

Choices


In life
As in all things
Choices come
And must be made.

Choices can be black
Or white
Very easy to discern
Without regrets.

Many days
And times
There are no white
Nor black anywhere
On the horizon

Yet a choice
Must be made
Ambiguity is the normal order
Choices with little information
Of lessor evils
Or least negative impacts.

All choices
Come with small
Or large regrets
Ambiguity reigns supreme
Yet choice is a must.

Postponement’s a no-no.
Procrastination in past
Can no longer be used
Decision must be made.

Regret will be a part.
Pride will be a another part.
Growth within your heart
And progress will happen
Knowledge and experience will queue up.

Another choice
Will be right there
Demanding another choice
And so we go back to the first line.

Originally written: November 13, 2003
Updated: January 4, 2012

We have had to make difficult choices. This poem is a reflection of those choices we have made and will make it life. We cannot live without making these choices. To live is a choice. Yes, I have accumulated regrets, but along with those regrets comes happiness and pride. With age we become wiser in the choices we make. At least most of the time.

Snuggle, Snuggle, Snuggle

Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle,
Rub, rub, rub,

Scratch, scratch, scratch.
Sigh, sigh, sigh.

I love you, love you, love you
Communicated through each touch.

Heard through each word.
I need you. Yes, need you.

Originally written: June 20, 2002

Once the bedroom door closes and a couple slips under the bed coverings a
different type of communication begins or on frequent occasions continues.
Yes, it can and will become intimate. There are times when it does not. The
communication is less urgent. It conveys something deeper than lust. It
conveys almost a basic emotional and personal need. Even a back scratch can
be something almost supreme pleasure. There is this quarter sized spot on
my back in an unreachable location that almost makes me want to stamp my foot
in beat with the scratches. I am sure many others have a similar spot satisfied
by a bamboo back-scratcher from China or a person of choice.

The Perfect Christmas Tree

In days long remembered
A young boy lived in a small village.

Small is wrong image.
Just 4 streets, one block long.

Surrounded by farms
Snuggled close by forests.

Days were happily fillled,
Filled with walking here to there.

Walking the forest’s pathways
Listening to the birds singing.

Leaning against the trees and rocks
Listening to the breezes in the leaves.

Enjoying the colors and shapes
Of the trees, bushes, and streams.

The perfect person to find
The special Christmas tree.

A memory of journeys past
Trees along the path.

That perfect tree comes to mind
The path known and followed.

Snowshoes strapped on.
Shush-shush out to the tree,

Zaw-zaw, the saw cuts through
The perfect tree is taken.

Pulled down the path
To home to be our tree.

Shush-shush,
Tug and tug again.

It is the perfect tree
Everyone agrees.

Oh no, our friend has none.
Unanimously, give him ours.

A wonderful Christmas gift
A perfect tree to decorate.

We need a new tree
And tonight is Christmas eve.

There is no more time
For a long walk to the next tree.

Rush-rush, pick one quick
Zaw-zaw cut it down

Tug it home
Tugging quickly.

Oh so scraggly,
Up goes the ugly little tree.

Put the lights on quick
A ornament here and there.

Put the tinsel on top to bottom
Wrap the garland round and round.

A miracle is taking place
The transformation complete.

From the scraggly little tree
To our perfect Christmas tree.

It was a replacement no more
It was our perfect tree.

Originally written: December 6, 2011

Once upon a time, I did pick out a Christmas tree. A beautiful fir tree
shaped by nature. It was straight to the sky with full branches, a conical
form. Proud of the tree even to beat my chest a little. It felt so good to
have looked all year for that tree and now it was our tree.

A neighbor had been laid off and was not able to go out in the woods to cut
a tree nor purchase one from the Boy Scouts. Dad took our tree to them
about 4 pm on Christmas eve. So I went back out and cut another tree. I
was ten years old. It was the first Christmas I got to go pick our tree.

The scraggly tree was transformed by our holiday spirit. A holiday season
remembered and cherished by our family and our friends.

Rose Colored Glasses

I view the world through
Colored glasses.

Colored by  my beliefs,
My background.

Background made up
Through each day’s experiences.

Experiences endured,
Overcoming  life’s impediments.

Learning profound truths
Changing perspectives

Anger and hatred,
Colored dark and black.

Even different colors
Violet for laments and sadness.

Rose tint for love
Taken from my tears and sighs.

My vision changing with happenings
Causing new lenses ground each day

Each new lens
A filter changing perspective.

I am biased by the filters
In my life.

I am amazed
When I bump into a “truth.”

As viewed  from someone
Else’s perspective or bias.

It changes my lenses
Of yesterday to this moment.

 

Originally written:   January 27, 2002
Updated:                 May 30, 2011

No two people experience an event in their lives describe an event in the same
way.   My experience  is changed by sharing with others.