A few of my favorite things

So when I saw the Post of the Week subject, I went all over the place, which is just me. A few of my favorite things??? How could I possibly narrow it down to the point where I wouldn’t be writing a book? That is what I want to do one day, but this is just my first assignment, a teeny tiny first step. Plus, I did not have all day, I had to get out and do more of my favorite things. To start off, I decided to photograph a few of my favorite things by putting them altogether outside and trying to get them all in the photo. It didn’t take long to get the photo; I was surprised. The collage consists of my Father’s personal brand, the bar x, a painting my daughter gave me for Mother’s Day a few years ago, a publication which included my son’s work, an orange flower from the back yard and the book I am currently reading.

The branding iron

This reminded me of my childhood, of growing up on a 500 acre ranch outside Dallas, Texas. I could write volumes on my life on the ranch. The iron evokes memories of the days on the ranch, a lifestyle that not many are able to claim, but one that I wouldn’t trade for anything. My sister and I worked cattle, rode our horses, pretended we were being chased by Indians, saw life and death in very raw moments. We learned so much there, especially about hard work and living off the land with our garden, baling hay, fattening a steer for slaughter. And we learned how to use our imaginations. Not only did we play games on our horses, we played with chicks and rabbits and plastic farm animals on the kitchen floor, moving the little white fences around forming different pastures. Our idea of being bad was getting in the ditch and throwing walnuts at the cars traveling down the little two lane highway in front of our house. It’s a bit hard to throw anything uphill when you are lying down on the ground hiding, but we got a kick out of it just the same. There is no room here to tell all our stories but they remain in my memory and that childhood on the ranch gave me things I will never forget.

The orange flowers

These represent my love of the outdoors, nature and flowers specifically. I love flowers! Their scent, their delicacy, the transformation from seed to flower are all miraculous wonders to me. They give me such joy, allow me to put my hands into the earth and teach me patience as I wait and watch for the vicissitude they bring. Their beauty and variety are astounding and I enjoy learning about the native plants and flowers when I travel. A trip to Spain brings back memories of rows and rows of tall sunflowers turned toward the sun. I’ve always loved giving flowers, loved seeing the delight and surprise on my recipient’s face.  For one of my daughter’s recitals, I gave her pink tulips. She was probably 5 years old and I remember that time as if it happened yesterday. The flowers given to me by my good friend when my Mother passed away are still in my memory and I think of my Mother when I see that particular flower even today, five years after her death.

Books

I could not live without books. They take me away to wonderful places, bring laughter or tears to my eyes, allow me to feel things deep in my gut. Other than very vague memories of Dick and Jane, my favorite and earliest memory is that of Black Beauty. We had moved out to our ranch the summer prior to me entering third grade. Our town had a very small library. My mother took us there and I remember sitting for over an hour, looking through and piling up books to take home. I still remember the cover of Black Beauty and the smell of it, the awe I felt just in looking at the cover. It was the beginning of my love of books.

My children

Robby and Lizzy make my life complete in a way nothing else can. Their talents are in my photo. Robby is a writer, Lizzy an artist. The trips, the talks, the lessons, the fights, the heartaches and so much more have enriched my life in a way I cannot explain. They have taught me about so much about life. My son has taught me about passion, about giving up everything in order to do what you love and to never stop trying. He has taught me perseverance and frugality. My daughter has taught me about survival and making it on your own in this world. She has also taught me about control and how it is only an illusion. She has taught me about acceptance. For the lessons my children have provided me, I am forever grateful.

As I write about a few of my favorite things, I see how blessed I am, not only in having my children, but also in having such a wonderful childhood. I’m blessed to be able to be in nature and to read and to own so very many wonderful memories. And I’m blessed in being able to begin this new path on my blog and the first weekly assignment.

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