Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Memories

Appreciation is a wonderful thing; It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well. ~ Voltaire

I went to town yesterday with Jaycee. We looked at Easter dresses. I took her in the dressing room and put some of them on her. She looked like an angel. I could not afford to purchase one but we did have fun.

I may not be able to give her the things that were given me as a little girl but I can certainly share my memories and thoughts with her as I watch her grow.

My Dad always bought me an Easter Outfit when I was a little girl. I really enjoyed dressing up. I remember a yellow dress that brought tears to my eyes when it would no longer fit. I left that store with that yellow dress holding my Dad's hand and skipping. I remember skipping. I skipped when I was happy. That year I got the dress and matching shoes, hat and purse! I even got these little white gloves, white tights and a yellow ribbon for my hair. That little girl is still inside me beaming from the wonderful childhood memories that still rest within me.

Easter is filled with beautiful memories. Every single Easter memory from childhood is filled with feelings of love and joy. I loved and valued my family and they loved and cherished me. This was the time to rejoice! This was the time to laugh and live and be happy! My Dad showed me the Tulips, Daffodils, and the Easter Lilies. It was a time of Love. It was a time to be thankful for all that we had. The beginnings of life were awakening after the winter. Spring is here! The fragrance in the air was refreshing. The Easter Services were beautiful and thought provoking. We were saved, we were forgiven. Jesus has risen and he is in us! I can feel him in my heart; I can hear him in my thoughts.

We will shop today for two Easter baskets and a few things to put in them. We will buy eggs. We will purchase the items I need to make a wonderful Easter dinner tomorrow. I am so very thankful for all that I have. We will decorate eggs tonight and have a great time!

We did the shopping but everything went south on the way back home. The day began full of promise, full of optimism, full of joy. This should be a warning to me; you think I would learn by now. When everything appears to be going well, watch out! Life is so uncertain and things will not always turn out the way they began. The place of joy and happiness is tentative. It is fragile. It shattered before me into a million tiny pieces. A Hornet was loose in the car!

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Juggle

I recall being in a place where I felt like I had too many balls in the air. I was too busy! Life felt like a juggling act. Now things are slower for me. I can take time to smell the roses, listen to the birds, play with my children, read, and of course my newest addition this blog. I am looking for all the things that can be enjoyed without money. I can now take the time to watch the sunrises and sunsets. On the days that have a blue sky and clouds, I can lay with my daughter on the lawn looking up as she names all the things that she sees in the clouds. She can see cats, dogs, fish, dinosaurs, and a hundred other things. She loves to watch the birds. She calls them with hope they will fly to her so she can touch them.

I love to walk my dog, Teddy, and daughter, Jaycee, to the park a few blocks away. Teddy is not quite a year but went from the size of a large cat to the size of a small moose quickly. It is comical to watch a 3 year old and this big Shepard together. They take turns going down the slide. Teddy always goes first. On rainy days we can listen to the sound of the rain. We can inhale the scent of the rain in the air. We can sit and read Dr. Seuss. Sometimes I have to read the same book 10 times because she keeps saying “Again Momma!” I have time to oblige her. We play dress up. She is a ballerina or a princess. She is a Bambi or a rabbit. Teddy is a Bambi too? This is fun! Life is good. It was a long winter and spring is finally here!

I am still trying to figure out how to upload items to the blog. I wanted to upload a video. Instead I will direct you to the address where it can be viewed. This is an amazing juggling act performed to music and is awesome! Click on the link below and enjoy!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Memory

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away. -- Author unknown

One of my greatest memories is of water skiing. Some of my moments are so memorable. I can see, hear and feel these moments. The clarity is unreal; it feels as though it was yesterday. I find the passage of time incredible. How is it that those moments that took my breath away are etched so vividly in my memory? Some of these special memories or moments took place more than 30 years ago. I can see it so clearly. I feel like I am there right now.

The boat was a powerful Sea Ray. She was an inboard/outboard. She was sleek and beautiful. She was fast. Her name was Tilakama. I have many memories and stories regarding her. She could be a lot of trouble. When she ran as she did on that particular day and many more to follow she was awesome. She brought happiness and joy to our family. Just don't ask Ralph Nader because he got a letter from her Captain, my Dad, which cited her many faults. When she wasn't running it was devastating. That says something about the amount of joy she provided. How could we feel so devastated and disappointed when she could not run?

The time was in the 1970's. The place was Avalon New Jersey. Tilakama was in a slip at our dock behind our summer home. The captain was getting her ready. Items we needed were stowed on board. We were going skiing! Our heading was the ICW, the Intercoastal Waterways, winding through the marsh grass. The air smelled of salt and marsh. The sun was shining the breeze was good. Excitement was in the air. The water was a little choppy that fine day.

We traveled to the area where we wanted to ski. I am not certain if a hat was lost on that particular day. This is where you laugh. The Intercoastal Waterway owns many of my father’s hats. I think they became wonderful homes for the blue crabs resting on the bottom. On rare occasions we caught them with the big aluminum boat hook. On most occasions those wonderful hats sank.

The Captain speaks: “Who wants to go first?" I did not volunteer. I wanted to watch my Dad ski. I hoped he would be first. I wanted to watch. I was the spotter, my favorite position aboard. My Dad, the captain, is going first! Wooohoooooo!

We had two ski ropes, one was a straight bar, the other had two handles and it looked like a giant yellow letter Y. Dad used the Y. I hooked the rope to the boat and let it out carefully making sure it did not catch in the motor as my Dad motored slowly ahead. The rope was out. The motor was shifted to neutral. My Dad pulled out his ski that was stowed inside along the port edge of the boat. He lifted the ski and headed to the stern. He tossed the ski into the water. It made a slap when it hit the water. The ski was heading toward the end of the rope on its own.

There was nothing timid regarding his departure from the boat to the water. He always made a big leap. As he was midair between the boat and the water he would yell:"Geronimo!" A huge splash rippled the water on entry sending water flying up into the air. He would swim swiftly out to his ski and the rope. He quickly put on his ski. He positioned his ski tip between that Y. Then he gave the ready sign. I am responsible to translate his wishes to Rachel. I holler: Ready! The boat pushed from still to fast quickly. My Dad is standing in seconds. I yell:” He’s up!" The first order of business is fixing the trunks. He transfered both handles to his left hand and with the right pulled the legs of his swimming trunks down. The handles then transfer to the right hand and the procedure is repeated. I can see his wonderful smile. A thumb goes up and I yell to Rachel faster! He made goofy faces. There is one that I call a motorboat face. I watch. In retrospect I do not believe I ever saw him give the thumb down sign to go slower. Look what my Dad can do!! He is great! My heart was pounding. I was so happy I was so proud. He cuts through the water. He moves from side to side crossing the wake with his motorboat face. Then he would slice the water with an edge of his ski and make this huge water wall fly in the air by his side. He is so graceful. He is so beautiful. The ski made a slapping sound over the ripples in the water. He took the shock in his legs. He has perfect form. I make a huge circle with my arm up, index finger in the air, to let him know we are turning around. We are making a counterclockwise turn. As we are beginning the turn my Dad moves from the port side of the boat across the wake to the starboard side in the turn. Here he comes! He is going to pass the boat! He lifts the rope high into the air pulling the Y apart. This takes up the slack and the boat again takes the lead. When we reached the position where we started I waited with anticipation. Will he go again or will he quit? I waited for him to raise his arm and make a circle to inform me he wanted to make another run. I wanted to watch him ski forever. I loved when he wanted to make another round. When he was finished his hand moved across his neck and that was the cut sign. That meant he was done. After I received the cut signal I yelled to Rachel: "He's done!" The boat slowed down; he would fling the rope and raise his arms high above his head. He would glide, arms up the whole time, standing as long as he could, slowing, gliding, graceful, down into the water. We would circle the boat around to pick him up and as he was climbing the ladder his smile, his joy, his happiness was palpable. What a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.

In time I learned to slalom also and I could see the pride in his radiant face and the mist in his beautiful eyes. He was proud of me too!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A Beginning

This is a brief introduction. I am known as Raggedy Cat. This has been my internet name for so long that I decided to use it as my blog name also. This is my picture. There is a long story behind the picture I will save for another time. It is from a glamour photo shoot that a girlfriend talked me into doing many years ago. This first post is simply a test to see how this looks. I picked a background. I am following the "create a blog" steps. This is my entry into the blog world.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License. It's a Raggedy Life