Almost Thanksgiving

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the grand U.S. of A. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love getting together with family. I love eating food with them. I love drinking wine. I love recounting family stories, laughing, and just loving the people around me. Thanksgiving invariably has drama too, but what family would be complete without it? If you’re in the U.S. then Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Eat lots of turkey and enjoy your family.

Yesterday, my middle son Liam resurrected my iPod. Here he is, in a wonderful photo my friend Amanda Willis took of him for Christmas (cute guy, huh?)


This morning, I was signing up for Yuku so I can be part of yet another writing community. Over-committers R Us! I put the iPod on and the music of my whole life filled my ears. Back in June, Rob located the iPod, found out it still worked, and put it in our bag so I could bring it to Punta Cana. I didn’t run in the Dominican Republic though, so I never used it. There was too much drinking to do.

Apparently, I went through most of my CD collection (for you younger folks those are the little round metallic-looking discs similar to records, only smaller. What’s a record?) and downloaded songs onto this iPod a few years back.

I have my happy days: Dave Matthews Band, a little bit of Phish, Big Head Todd, among others. These are mostly from high school. Then morose days of college, when I was mostly pining over someone I’d never be with and discovering myself: Tori Amos, Pavement, Elliott Smith. Then days after college: Keane, Beatles, Wilco, Beck, Coldplay, among others. Then days after kids were born: Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Mumford and Sons.

These songs have given me a ride back through my life this morning. It’s funny how much music can bring someone or something or some time back to the forefront of your mind. My friend from college, the one I pined for, inspired most of my musical taste. He told me to listen to Indie and low-fi, which I still love. He introduced me to Pavement, Wagon Christ, Apples and Stereo. I didn’t know then, but he shaped my music taste forever.

Of course now I’ve added hip hop to my repertoire of music. There’s nothing better than hip hop to Zumba or workout too, and now my music taste is about as eclectic as it comes. I even like some country, which was always on my no-no list.

What’s on your play list this morning?

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Chasing Fireflies

Flash!Friday made me nostalgic for long, hot summer nights. For playing basketball with my brother and sisters in our driveway. I didn’t have a boy next door that I liked (my neighbor was a bully). But I had a great playmate who lived behind our house, and I used to creep over to his yard to jump on his trampoline, play marbles, and spend hours in his playroom. My sisters and I would swim so long in our pool, we thought our skin would look like prunes for days. I took wagon rides down Mrs. Joseph’s hill, the sick sensation of fear mixed with pleasure roiling in my stomach. I went to Mrs. Tidmore’s house and watched her make flag, and played with her daughter’s dollhouse–her daughter who was grown and had left. I whispered secrets to my neighborhood friends, wrote in diaries, spent countless hours playing wiffle ball, even with the boys who beat me up next door. I’m not sure my foot ever graced the doorway until dinner time.

Today’s Flash!Fiction story is a little bit about that, and a little bit about a sticky kind of love. Enjoy!

Chasing Fireflies
Word Count: 193

Growing up, I had a crush on the girl next door. She lived in the massive white house with columns. When I was little, my dad would talk about Richard Nixon and the White House, and I thought Amanda was the president’s daughter. She wasn’t the typical girl next door—no plain Jane.

She had a tongue on her, Amanda did. First, it was pigtails, mud pies, and wiffle ball games—she always beat me. Later she used that tongue, stuck it in my mouth while playing H-O-R-S-E. I hadn’t even made the first move. She had our marriage planned before I was eighteen. I was just strung along.

We live in a white house now, one without columns. My son is obsessed with his own girl next door. I told him to be careful, before she traps him the way his mother trapped me. But honestly, I don’t mind. My best memory is of us sitting on top of her Ford, catching fireflies and staring up at the moon, with her hand securely tucked into mine. Hopefully, my son’s girl next door will be as bold as mine was, and still is.