Journey through the Past

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“Will your restless heart come back to mine on a journey through the past? Will I still be in your eyes and on your mind?” ~ Neil Young

They say when you have a child you begin to flash back to your own childhood, with memories creeping in that have long been forgotten.  Around the time the Bean was 5, vivid memories came rushing back of my life in my childhood home on Choctaw Lane in Ohio.  On my birthday a week ago, the Bean had a birthday party of her own to attend for a friend who was turning 10. I began to reminisce about my childhood birthday parties on Choctaw Lane; parties my mother so joyfully threw for me every summer.  No party themes, no menu, no Disney characters on hand to entertain and no rules on who must be included on the guest list.  The guests were simply the neighborhood kids, menu of ice cream and cake,  and games of pin the tail and dropping clothes pins in a jar.  The gifts were so awesome (and cheap).  I remember clinging to a slinky during most of the party; to this day one of my favorite birthday gifts of all time.   We would swing on our swings, run around the neighbor’s cornfield chasing the chickens, do cartwheels, ride bikes and just play.

40 years later, kids have Alice in Wonderland tea parties with the Mad Hatter as the guest of honor, race go carts, indoor skydive, attend events at country clubs and travel on ski trips.  The party the Bean attended was a murder mystery ~ Clue ~ themed party.  She had a script, a costume and was beyond excited for the event.  We wouldn’t have had a “clue”  back in the day how to even approach a party like this.  So, maybe some of these parties are over the top.  Life, in general, today is over the top.

You might think I’m now going to say “I miss the good old days”; the days when life was simple.  Well, I’m not and I don’t.  Indeed, the memories are lovely; however, I’m thrilled to be a part of the changing times.  I am in awe of the children of this generation.  These kids define our future.  They are smart, kind, globally aware and conscientious!  They don’t need to be convinced that our planet is in danger.  They know it and are eager and willing to help fix the damage caused by their predecessors.

So, 40 years later the small child attended her friend’s birthday party and successfully solved the murder mystery while I sat with friends drinking a martini or two and sharing stories about the good old days (not really 🙂  Life is good ♥

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Go West (paradise is there)

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“If you’re going to San Francisco ~ be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” ~ John Phillips

I believe it was 1970, the year I turned 7, and I had just purchased my very first album.  It was Crosby Still Nash & Young’s DejaVu.  Wouldn’t that be cool if it were true!  In reality, my first album was the The Partridge Family Album; however, DejaVu came shortly thereafter.  After spending many of my days trying to master the Tracy Partridge tambourine (while standing on the coffee table) I believe it was the 20th replay of “I Think I Love You” that sent my older brother over the edge.  He tossed the record and put on DejaVu.   I listened to Teach Your Children over and over because they said “hell” in the lyrics and it was the first time I could say that word without receiving a bar of soap in my mouth.

During the 70’s I was completely enchanted with the hippie culture.  I dreamed of moving to San Francisco to join the flower children and wear flowers in my hair.  I had left David Cassidy behind and fallen in love with Neil Young.  By the time I was 13 I had decided I would forego college, move West, find Neil and marry him.  By high school, I still was determined to go West and leave my boring, conservative upbringing far behind.  Still enthralled with the hippie culture, me and my high school friends tried as hard as we could to hang on to the coolness of the 60’s and 70’s.  We hung out on a hill we called Sugar Mountain, smoked pot (okay, I didn’t smoke; but, I wore pot leaf earrings and settled for the contact high) and listened to Neil.  All, of course, while wearing our Harvest t-shirts we silkscreened in shop.

Ah, the best laid plans.  Perhaps the 80’s got the best of me.  Big hair, bad clothes and a college degree made sure I didn’t move to California.  Not only did I NOT move West, I moved East and worked for big law firms.  The good news is that by the 90’s I had given up the big hair and my wardrobe improved dramatically.  I wore Ally McBeal skirts, made a bunch of money and landed a cool husband (probably thanks to the Ally McBeal skirts).  He wasn’t the rock star I had planned on, however, he proved early on that he could party like one (while still maintaining gainful employment) and assured a life far from boring and conservative.

They say you are born with a vision, a “birth vision” if you will.  So, as it turns out, I am living happily ever after in California.  Sugar Mountain is nearby.  Sometimes I wear flowers in my hair, especially when I am photographing flowers.  My daughter, Ally (named after……KIDDING!!) loves to wear hippie clothes and peace signs; and, sometimes I wave to Neil when he drives by.  I still don’t smoke pot, but, every once in awhile I stumble across an isolated plant or two in the mountains thanks to the old hippies who still lurk about.

It’s good to be home!