Memories and Perspectives

Look back in your past and choose a memory. Think of all the people that were part of that memory. Think of all of your friends and family members that should know all about that memory. Do they remember that memory the same way you do? If they were older or younger than you were, how would their perspective be different than yours?

I have recently realized that not everyone remembers the same things I do. Laugh now! I am the oldest sibling, and 5 and almost 10 years older than my two siblings. I finally realized that they may not remember the same things I do, and if they do, their memories would be radically different. I try to share memories with my niece and nephew, because my mother is no longer around to share those memories with them. Unfortunately, my mother passed away 26 years ago, and my niece and nephew never had the opportunity to meet her.

An example:

Saturday, July 6, 1968 was a beautiful warm day. It was not quite dark, so I am guessing it was between 8:30 & 9:00 pm. A thirteen year old is not aware of time of day. I was 13 , my sister was 8 and my brother would be 4 in the fall. We were in the car, driving home from Helena. My father’s mother and my family had driven to Helena to visit my mother’s family. Interstate 90 was still under construction. At that time you could drive from Missoula to Drummond on I-90. In Drummond travelers had to exit to the ‘old highway.’ We were east of Drummond on the old road. There was a small hill, a creek and farmland on the left side of the car. Suddenly, my mother cried, “Turn the car around! There are kittens across the road sitting by an old bag.” So, my father turned the car around, and we scrambled out of the car. The ‘old paper bag’ was the kittens’ mother. She had been hit by a car. Someone had dumped her and her litter of kittens off the road. They had no way to get to the farm across the creek, and there were no other houses near by. As an adult, that action, by a heartless individual, angers me deeply. At 13, I didn’t totally understand why someone would do that.

We scrambled around, rescuing the six babies and ensuring that there were only 6 in the litter. We got back into the car and drove home. I remember all of us, except my father who was driving, having great fun holding the playful kittens,. I remember them being about 4 or 5 weeks old. We got them home, and gave them milk. Our cat was a grumpy cat. He hated fireworks and would disappear up on the hill behind our house to do an extensive hunting trip/fireworks escape. He came home that night. Six hungry kittens were gathered around his bowl eagerly lapping up milk. He growled, hissed, spit and then left for a few more days!

That is my memory. I finally realized that at 8 and almost 4 my siblings would have very different memories of that night. So would my father. I have never asked any of them what their memories are, but one of these days, I will. It would be interesting to compare those memories, especially 53 years later.

I am beginning to collect memories. I will record them here in rather rough forms. One day, I hope to turn them into a simple memoir. Family stories are important, and should not be lost. Be warned! You will probably have many of those memories inflicted on you.

Memories are subjective, but they are also a matter of perspective. I have a specific memory that illustrates this statement. Picture a two year old standing at a screen door sobbing and heartbroken. Her parents just left to go and work on the ‘new house’. She was left behind-all alone. Even when I still recall that memory 64 years later, that feeling of being alone is the primary emotion that comes with that memory. As an adult, as a mother, and knowing my own mother I know that I was most definitely NOT alone. My grandmother was there with me.

Perspective is a large influence on memories. A memory is truly your perspective on any event. Others included in that memory have a different perspective. My mother and father knew they were not leaving me alone. They were talking and planning as they were on their way to do some painting on a new house. After a long work day, my father would have been tired, and I am sure that he could think of things he would rather be doing that painting rooms in our new house. The day we could move out of my grandmother’s house and into our own new house was becoming a reality. To be honest, I am not even sure we were living at my grandmother’s house. Mom and Dad may have been dropping me off there. They had no idea how devastated I was.

My grandmother did her best to comfort me. I don’t remember those attempts to comfort me, but other memories of my grandmother tell me she would have done that. Her grandchildren were very important to her, and she would not have just left me there sobbing. In my two year old mind, I was all alone, but my other memories tell me my grandmother was doing her best to comfort me.

I smile as I type. I am now a much older woman than my grandmother would have been when I was sobbing my little heart out. Another viewpoint of perspective! People seem to stay in our memories as we were when the memory happened. And in present time, I still see her as older. Perspective is interesting, and at times comical.

Here I am. This photo would have been taken about the same time as my memory. I know this is my grandmother’s house, and I was two when it was taken. I am not sobbing here.

I am finding that when I start stirring the memory pot, many memories surface. I am excited about recording them here. If my memories stir up memories of your own, please share them in the comments.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Recent Musings

I meet with several ladies via Zoom. We started meeting at the beginning of the pandemic, as a way of staying in touch. Recently, the moderator assigned the topic ‘Kindness’. We were to talk about an act of kindness we had performed, and how it made both me and the recipient of that kindness feel.

I spent a lot of time that week thinking about showing kindness. I struggled with talking about it. I have never liked to ‘toot my own horn’ and that felt too much like tooting my horn. I asked myself, “Have I shown enough kindness? How do I show more kindness?” You are probably familiar with the saying, “Kindness Matters” or with “Random acts of Kindness.” In my YouTube viewing, I have seen videos of people show kindness people in the grocery line, or other places. Those acts of kindness are for strangers. Stranger kindness is satisfying, it makes both the giver of kindness and the recipient’s day brighter. I spent a lot of time thinking about all of this. As it happened, after all of my struggles, we never discussed that topic. I can hear you laughing!

I am inspired to share kindness when someone shows me a kindness. Years later, I remember a quick dinner break at a local restaurant. I stopped by, grabbed a quick sandwich and asked for my check. I was told that my dinner had been paid for. I never did find out who paid for it, but the memory is with me years later. It also served as an inspiration to do random acts of kindness. Opportunities come up in the most mundane of places. It can be an adventure to go looking for them. I appreciate the random acts of quiet kindness that don’t get shouts of thanks. Those kindnesses happen at work, at home, on the street, wherever I am. It may be knitted hats and scarves for the local homeless shelter during a cold winter. It might be hand knitted red scarves for the Red Scarf project, or hats for Head Start. It might be food for the local food bank, or just a simple smile when someone desperately needs one. It might be a listening ear for a motel guest that just needs to talk. Those kindnesses remind us how important others are, and how important it is we all work together to support each other.

I added a sunset photo, as a break in the text. Nature’s colors amaze me.

We really are not islands, and we need interactions with each other. Those interactions often teach us that we have as much in common as we have differences. Commonalities and differences should be celebrated! Wouldn’t life be boring if every sunset every night looked the same! Wouldn’t life be boring if we all looked, felt and thought the same? I remember reading “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’Engle. One of the chapters in her book involves a trip to a planet where everyone must do the same thing at the same time. A group of children bouncing balls must bounce in unison, and any mistakes are punished. Showing kindness is a way of celebrating that we are each individuals. It allows us to bounce our balls to our own tunes, to create a symphony. I have been working on myself to allow people their differences. That involves reminding myself that I have a large enough challenge keeping myself together. I am not even confident that I make all the right decisions for myself, let alone someone else! With all of my religious experiences, I despise judgmental attitudes. I saw so much judgementalness in my trips through the various denominations I spent time in. I am working to root them out of myself. I ask myself what does it matter what someone else wears? Who cares whether it flatters them or not? Does it make them feel good? Then there is nothing wrong with it. I am not better than they are because my clothes match. I am no better or no worse than anyone else. I am me. You are you!

Letting people be who they are is so easy when they aren’t a part of your work life, part of your neighborhood, or someone who have to be in close contact with. When you have people whose personalities or habits affect your work, it is difficult to keep a good attitude. When they are in your neighborhood, it can be the same. If you are roommates you have to negotiate a living arrangement that works for each of you. I don’t have any answers for these issues. I am a work in progress, and I must accept that others are also a work in progress.

I have taken a long hiatus from Word Press, and I am learning all of the new changes. I certainly didn’t have the ‘old’ Word Press mastered, either.

Let’s see if I can publish this blog successfully! Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee-Clyde Coffee

Happy Saturday!  I was headed out on errands, including a trip to a local farmer’s market.  It was a bit chilly, and I decided to wait out the sprinkly rain storm at Clyde’s Coffee.  I hadn’t been in there in a while.   It is a pleasant little coffee shop in our ‘south of downtown’ area.  It is a popular study spot for university students.  It is close to campus and the areas where many of the students live.

On a summer Saturday, studying was at a minimum, but people wandered in.   I really enjoyed my visit.  It is a pleasant shop.  I had breakfast and coffee.  I am glad I stopped in.  The rain stopped, sun came out and I continued across the bridge to the market.  Didn’t buy anything, but spent a pleasant time wandering around.  People watching, looking at everyone’s produce.  Almost bought some huckleberries-maybe next week.

Have a great weekend.

 

Adding bonus shots this week!  These are ‘on my way’ to & from the market.  I crossed the bridge twice, once on the east side, and once on the west side.

The away from….includes the river, and the shots that caught my interest on the ‘other’ side.

And finally….. a couple of market shots.  Lots of people, lots of goodies…

Our town is nicknamed ‘The Garden City’.  There was a time when there were large truck gardens here.  We now have many, many gardens…enough nearby gardens to fill two Saturday Farmer’s Markets, and flower gardens galore.  We also love to ‘decorate’ street corners in town and all around with small (and not so small gardens)   Here are a couple of shots of those gardens…

 

We revel in summer’s color!

Potpourri

This post has been simmering for quite a while.  I have been entertaining a multitude of thoughts these last few weeks.  One of the purposes of this blog is to inspire me to take a closer look at my hometown.  I have lived in the same town for all of my life.  I haven’t done a lot of traveling.  I would love to travel, but free time and $$ curtail that.

I live in a lovely city in Montana.  We are in the Rocky Mountains.   I work in the service industry-as a motel desk clerk.  I meet many fascinating people.  So, people I have met, things I have seen fuel my meandering thought process.  Buckle in…

I have been noticing the ‘little’ things.  We have flower barrels at the motel.  We plant flowers there every year.  Flowers, particularly pansies, get the reputation of being delicate, weak, BUT they are anything but….the seeds fall, and they search out any place to grow.  They amaze me with their determination!

I also love to watch the birds.  Our town has many trees, and the birds nest in them.  They also nest in store signs, any part of building where they can sneak in and nest.  I am sure we have a nest in the overhang at the motel.  I can hear the birds singing, but that nest is well hidden.    Adaptability is a key to survival.  All of nature understands this, but why are some humans so reluctant to admit it? I look back at who I was in my 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s….I like who I became (and am still becoming) in my later 40’s, 50’s & now early 60’s.

I had a bit of scare last week.  To begin the story, I have to go back to a clumsy fall I took.  I wasn’t hurt seriously, avoided a concussion, but I reawakened an old whiplash injury.  So…last week, I was driving home from work.  It had been a crazy, interesting, but not stressful night.  All of the sudden my left arm starts going totally numb.  I panic, pull over, adjust my seat belt and feel better.  Still in panic mode, I go home.  My heart rate is normal, I feel ok, and am setting down from the ebbing scare.   It happens the next morning when I buckle my seat belt.  The seat belt is pinching off a nerve.  I fix it, and now realize what happened the previous evening.  I decided then at there that I need to start taking a daily walk, to fight my mostly sedentary life style.  I challenged myself to take daily walks, and post photos to Instagram and Facebook.  My way of holding myself accountable.

I walking in my neighborhood, the new recreation fields, the downtown Saturday markets, I am staying in touch with my town, with people’s lives.  I am also enjoying books on Audible as I walk.  So…a win/win.

Some of my neighborhood walk photos…

And then they are doing massive additions to a complex of sporting fields.  They used to have a small walking trail, a few baseball diamonds and a tennis court. NOW….it has tripled or quadrupled in size.  It looks like great fun.  They have all kinds of new walking trails, several playgrounds, large picnic area.  I took a few photos.

I look forward to exploring this new area in the future.

I love the lavendar plant/herb.  I love the fragrance, use it to safeguard my wool yarn from moths, have a few plants growing in a pot.  I have discovered that many of my fellow townsfolk love the plant, and I have seen it growing in many gardens.  The bees love it also.  Many hives have lavender flavored honey.

Today’s walk was downtown.  We have bar that has been here for more years than I can count.  It is a working man’s place, and is known for its ‘brains & eggs’.  They also believe in beautifying the area outside of the bar.  I love to visit and see each year’s flower offerings.                                                                                                                                                           I am hoping to keep up this walking and observing habit.  Since sharing encourages me, I will be sharing some of my daily walks with you.

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Coffee, Coffee, Coffee-Drum Coffee South Ave.

I had a great cup of coffee and a wonderful chocolate treat at Drum Coffee yesterday.  Drum is a fun stop.  The Coffee shop is owned by a drummer for a well known band.  They play great music at both locations, but the emphasis is not on the owner, but on the shop.

I stopped at the premier location yesterday.  I hadn’t been by in a while. It was good to reconnect.  The shop is bright with natural light.  They also have a great patio for outdoor seating.  They take a unique look at the treats they serve. Shortbread with bits of Greek Olives, chocolate ‘beet’ cake, great salads and sandwiches.

When they opened their second location, which I will revisit soon, they installed a coffee roaster at that location.  They now serve their own roasted coffee, sell their whole beans, and are looking at other outlets to sell it.  I am so happy to see them growing and thriving.

They also believe in giving back to the community.  When you stop in and buy a cup of coffee you can take a wooden token.  There are three glass containers, each one has the name of a local charity on it.  You can then drop your token in the container of your choice.  At the end of the quarter, a portion of the profits is donated to each charity based on the number of tokens.  It is great fun to give a little back, somehow it makes your coffee taste better.  It is also a great way to learn about a charity you might previously been unaware of.

I didn’t have my knitting with me, but Drum is a great place to knit.  I chatted with the manager, enjoyed my coffee and read my Kindle.

I love the idea of local business, and they are my preferred places to support.  I will also stretch that local to my state.  If a business opened originally in another part of the state and opens a location here, I will make sure to try them out.

Local businesses help paint the portrait of your town.  They are unique, and should celebrate all the things that make your town yours.  Please patronize and celebrate your local places.

When I travel I love to go to the local places I can find.  They create great memories, and help me learn a bit about the town I am in.   If I had unlimited funds and time for travel, I would visit specific places and live like a citizen of the place for a few weeks or months.  I would explore and celebrate the places that make that city unique.

Celebrate uniqueness!  Celebrate differences!  Leave judgemental attitudes behind!

Here are few pictures.

Massive Project

Early in April a friend had a birthday.  I have known her since she was around 12.  When my second son was born, she adored him, and loved to be his big sister.  She is now a lovely woman, with a family of her own.  I wanted to find this photo so I could attach it to her Facebook page for her birthday.

That plan hatched an enormous project!   I couldn’t find that photo. I went through ALL of my photos and decided that this would never happen again!  I was going to scan all of my photos, so that I didn’t lose them again.  I did find that photo in one of the last places I looked.

This project is great fun.  I scan a few every day.  I save them to Google Photos so that I can share them.  My family has links to everything, and I think they are enjoying this project as much as I am.

If I am quiet here on WordPress, it’s because I am putting together my photo history.  I will share a few of the photos here.  These photos don’t show any of my family because I refuse to post pictures of them without their permission.  These photos are just various ones I have snapped-usually because it caught my attention.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee- Cafe Dolce in the Mall

I am not a mall shopper, but I do stop by the mall once or twice a year.  I usually stop to make sure I till don’t want to shop there.  Today, I stopped by, and I still don’t want to shop there.  I did however get coffee and breakfast at Cafe Dolce.   We have two stores in Missoula.  I have already reported on the main store.  This one is in the mall.  It is smaller and they have a different menu.

It is nice to sit in the mall area and watch the shoppers.  That is usually what I do.  Saturday morning wasn’t super busy.  I am sure many shoppers were waiting for the afternoon.

I enjoyed the coffee, breakfast croissant and brownie.  It was a nice stop before errands, and before work.

I have been busy scanning photos to share with my family. That has kept me busy.  I have photos going back a ways, and it is an interesting project.  It stirs up lots of memories.  So, writing, knitting, scanning and organizing photos-I have been busy.

I am trying to decide on the next Coffee, Coffee, Coffee visit.  I am excited to share it with you.

Still Here-Cogitating

I am still here.  I have been doing some cogitating.  You will probably be treated to the results of this cogitating when I get into legible thought.   I have also been sorting through photos, and learning how to scan and save.  Will share some of those photos, too.  They do fit into my thinking.

I haven’t visited a new coffee place yet.  I am trying to decide which one I want to visit next.

It is amazing what starts working in your heart and mind when viewing 50+ years of photos.  Some of those photos are of me, my growing up, my high school years, and most of them are of my kids, places we have been, events that have happened.

As usual, this started because a good friend had a birthday. I remembered a specific photo I wanted to share with her.  I started going through all of my photos. I never did find that photo, but I found so much more!  Little by little, those photos are being scanned into my computer.  I will then save most of them to flash drives for my kids.  I haven’t decided what I will do with the actual photos. In this day and age, it is good to have electronic copies of them, also.  Everything I save into my computer also goes into the cloud.

Saving photos and blogging fit into my desire to record life.  My life, life  going on around me.  Recording life, living life, enjoying life!

You will be hearing more from me about these photos, and I will be sharing some of them.  I am sharing some flower photos because in many parts of the US we are experiencing ‘The Winter that will not End!’   I live in a pocket of Montana where spring is trying harder than other places, but we aren’t there yet.  So, in hopes, sharing some color.  The large photo below is from just a few days ago.  It is lavendar.  I accidentally left the pot out last fall.  I went over to check on it, and the lavendar wintered over!  It is the first time I have been able to save it.  When I had a ‘real’ garden, it was never an issue, but with a flower pot garden, it has been.  I think my mistake was in trying to winter it over in the house.  This lavendar is alive and waiting for spring with the rest of us.
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Coffee, Coffee, Coffee–Buttercup Market and Cafe

I am back with another coffee report.  I had a post planned for last week, but my plans were changed abruptly.  I postponed my trip.  I spent this week deciding where to go next.  I have a good list full of options.

Today I went to Buttercup Market.  I took some knitting, and my Kindle.  I haven’t been here for a while, but it was good to re visit.  It is a pre-requisite of coffee shops that the baristas must be friendly.  Buttercup Market scored well.

Buttercup Market is near campus, and on a ‘non Easter’ Saturday I am sure it would be crowded.  I wasn’t alone there, but I did have my pick of tables.  There were three girls near by, and I heard them say they were all invited to an ‘Easter’ sleepover.  It sounded like great fun.

I also ran into a dear friend, and we had a great talk. I got some knitting done, and enjoyed reading my Kindle.  I go to coffee shops and local restaurants to be near people, but not have to interact with them if I want to.  I work a job that is customer service/people heavy.  Down time is re-charge time.

In a world that is full of ‘sameness’ it is such a delight to explore those places in my town, that are unique to my town.  I have said I will not profile Starbucks, because to me, if you have been to one, you have seen them all.  They have done a good job of promoting coffee places, but in my town, we have had local coffee places for many years.  I first enjoyed my coffee and great times with friends in a coffee shop in the early 80’s.  It had been there before that, but we started visiting it on Friday afternoons then.  I will visit it again soon, and give you a report.

Celebrate and enjoy the places, the scenery, the people that make your town uniquely your town and your home.  Happy Saturday!