A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zing ( #atozchallenge )

Zing logo used from April 2009 until 18 June 2011
Zing logo used from April 2009 until 18 June 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       Love is zing when it's the thing that makes us want to greet a new day.  When we are energized and inspired to be at our creative best.   There's not much better feeling than to be in love with someone who loves you back.

        You may have heard the line lifted from a song or two, "Zing went the strings of my heart!".  How many songs have been inspired by love?  Happy songs, sad songs--actually probably a majority of songs.  Love is music that fills us inside with lush orchestral strings in the heart or the plaintive sound of a lone voice in the night backed by a strumming guitar.

         The language of music tells of so many stories, but love is the story that seems to capture us most of all.  You can sing in the rain or sing on a train, but if the refrain is about love then ears perk up as others identify with the lyrics.  Nearly all of us have been in love or are in love and even if we don't know the lyrics, they're easy to learn because we know the old story.

         The zing of love has rung out as long as history can remember.  And the zing will continue to sing!

         Listen to the zing and revel in love.  Enjoy the ride.  The ups, the downs, and all that makes the world go around.  If we have never loved, then we have never lived.

          Do you like love songs?   What are your favorite love songs?   Have you ever written a song about love? 

            The Reflections Post for this blog will be appearing Saturday May 4th as we return to our regular Saturday schedule.  For more information on A to Z Reflections visit the A to Z Blog

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Yearning ( #atozchallenge )

Marley in  March of 2011
     One of the strongest feelings of love is yearning.   When separation from a loved one causes those feelings of wanting to be with them so much that we are thinking of them throughout the day, that is yearning. Yearning is like a fire in the heart.  A memo on the brain attached with a tack.  

          My wife and I have two granddaughters who live on the opposite coast from us.  We don't see them much, but we have a yearning to be with them.  Especially my wife.   She talks about them daily.  She'll buy them things when she goes to the store.  They have stolen parts of our heart.

        This week one of the granddaughters will be coming to visit us for a weekend.  My wife can hardly wait, the yearning is so strong in her.   We both are thrilled because this is the oldest grandchild--she'll be five in September.   A weekend will go so fast, but it's what we've got for now.

          Someday we'll figure this out.   We've got a third grandchild on the way.  Grandparents and grandchildren shouldn't have to live on opposite coasts.  Yes, we need to figure this one out.

            Who do you have a yearning to see and spend time with?    What has been the biggest yearning in your life?  

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

xoxoxo-- Kisses and Hugs Like My Grandmother Used to Send Me

Liberated Hugs and Kisses Blocks
Liberated Hugs and Kisses Blocks (Photo credit: Cut To Pieces)
     Whenever my grandmother used to send me cards or letters when I was a child, at the bottom she would add "xoxoxo".   The first time I saw this I asked my mother what it meant.  After she told me that the x's were kisses and the o's were hugs, I could see it.  I could see the kisses and hugs.

         I was so enthralled by this charming bit of messaging that I started adding it to my own letters and valentine cards.   To me it was like a secret code that had been imparted to me by my grandmother.  It was a while before I saw the x's and o's anywhere else--in a cartoon I think.  Eventually I realized this was a widespread bit of symbolization that many used, but for me those letters always reminded me of my grandmother's message of love to me.

         Other than in my first seven years of life I never saw my grandmother very often.  We lived too far apart most of the time to allow for many visits.  Even though I rarely was able to spend much time with her after my seventh year, she always remembered my birthdays.  Every Christmas I would eagerly await my grandmother's holiday package of homemade candies and sweets which was loaded with lots of sugar and spice and hugs and kisses.  Though far away geographically, she was always near in my thoughts.

         My grandmother died when I was thirty-seven.  I was able to see her several times after I became an adult and often traveled to where she lived.  One of the best weeks of my life was right after my first year of college when I decided to embark on my own odyssey.

        My grandparents house was one of the stops on my journey.  Each morning my grandmother would fix breakfast and sit with me while I ate.  Later my grandfather, who had already started his rounds around town before I had woken up, would come back to pick me up so he could show off his grandson to the folks he knew.   The idyllic afternoons were spent reading books from their home library or just sitting on the porch with my grandparents.  Such a fine summer week it was!

        It's now been twenty-five years since the passing of my grandmother.  She was a fine lady.  I still hear in my mind the melodic strains of her voice.   The smell of bacon takes me back to those mornings when she'd fix me breakfast.  And when I think of xoxoxo, my grandmother is the first person who comes to my mind.

         Now I'm a grandparent with grandchildren whom I love dearly.  I'll have to teach them about xoxoxox.

         Do you ever sign off letters with x's and o's?   Were you able to have a relationship with your grandparents?   What traditions are you passing on to your children or grandchildren?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Wonder ( #atozchallenge )

Don't fly away...
Image by Thomas Leuthard via Flickr

      Wonder is one of those crazy words that mean more than one thing.  You might feel a sense of wonder about something, but then you might wonder about whatever it was that you experienced.  Yeah, that sounds like how love can be sometimes.

       Love can be full of wonder in the sense of amazement.  The cliched metaphor of fireworks going off at a kiss came from the fact that sometimes kissing the one you love is like the amazing wonderful things happening that makes all of life seem bright and illuminated.   A relationship filled with hope and positive future is all flowers, smiles, and dazzling stars in an endless sky.  Love is beauty.

       But then when a day of doubt creeps in you might begin to wonder.  Wonder in the negative sense of inklings of distrust and apprehension about what will happen tomorrow.   Does my dear one still love me?  Is there someone else?   Is this the beginning of the end?   You wonder as the world darkens.

       It's best not to let doubts, fears, and wondering cloud the thinking.  Just to go on and let the future take care of itself.   Love should be a liberator and not an oppressor.  When things do not turn out as you expected, sometimes you just have to let love do what ever it is it needs to do.

       Love is not always a two way street.  And there are times when the wonder of love is in the wondering of what it's all about.

        Do you ever wonder about love?   Has the feeling of love ever given you a sense of wonder?   Do you see love as a liberator, a captor, a bit of both, or something else entirely?

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vague ( #atozchallenge )

Courtship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

       The onset of love is a time of vague apprehension.  I think of the old flower-petal game of  "she loves me, she loves me not".  Sometimes that's how it seems.  Is there something there?  Will there be a second date?  Is this the one for me?

        Courtship (such a quaint word!) has become sometimes more rushed than it used to be a century ago or in other cultures.  In the modern world the rituals of getting to know another person might happen online before two people even actually meet in person.  Talk about vague!

         Dating was never that much fun for me.  It was often difficult for me to tell how interested in me a young lady was.  In some cases there were girls whom I liked very much who I discovered years later had liked me a lot too. I just couldn't tell at the time.  It was all too vague.  Or I was just too dumb.

         I don't think vague and stupid are synonymous, but vague and ignorant might be close.  That is to say if I had been blind or ignorant to a certain knowledge of something that was true, then I may have only had a vague notion of how someone felt about me.  My thoughts or perceptions may or may not have been true, but it didn't matter because I wasn't sure of what the other person was thinking.

         Am I being vague?   Well, love is like that sometimes.   Love can be so vague that we don't realize it's there.

          Did you find dating days to be often confusing times?    Was there ever someone who you liked a lot, but never let them know because you didn't think they liked you?   Have you ever discovered years after the fact that someone you would have liked to have been with had actually liked you way back then?

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Understand that not everything is meant to be ...
Understand that not everything is meant to be understood. Live, let go, and don't worry about what you can't change. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

No man is truly married until he understands every word his wife is NOT saying. Unknown.

         Years ago I knew an older couple who had been married many years and had spent most of those years working together on the road.   I traveled with them for a couple of years and got to know them very well.  Something I began to notice after a while was when they'd be talking they'd often finish each others sentences.  

         Actually it was mostly the wife that would finish out what the husband might be saying.  I think women are more often more in tune to understanding what their spouse is thinking.  Men don't always seem to do so well with that talent.  But this man did seem to be tapped in pretty well to the nuances of his wife's needs.  They seemed like such a perfectly matched couple.

         Seeing how it was for them, I hoped that one day I might have a similar type relationship with a wife.  I've yet to be in a relationship that long lasting and doubt whether I will with my age being what it is.  I don't always understand everything my wife is thinking or wants, but I am getting better.   One thing I can see pretty readily is when she's not happy about something.   I may not know what the problem exactly is, but the icy message is now easy for me to sense.

         It wasn't always that way.  Sometimes I'd just go along thinking everything was fine and then she'd just explode because I hadn't responded in some way that she was hoping for--my understanding was not acute. Now I'm better.  I can catch that hint of a brewing Arctic emotional breeze before it turns into a gale of anger. 

        Now I'll remind her to make sure she lets ignorant me know when she wants something from me.   But my radar of understanding is now more finely attuned to her inner emotions.   I watch and listen.  And now she knows more of what to expect from me.  I guess we're turning into an old married couple with a lot more understanding than  we used to have.

         There  are some advantages to growing older.   Greater understanding is one of them.

         How good are you at reading body language and picking up on nuances of the unspoken words?   Has your understanding of relationships improved over the years?   Do you think you have a good understanding of the opposite sex?

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thrill ( #atozchallenge )

Title for the film Thrill of a Romance
Title for the film Thrill of a Romance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thrill of Love

When it's love the thrill is never gone.
 Subdued perhaps,
but still simmering somewhere within
waiting to be unleashed unexpectant.  

 Early on in a relationship there can be so many thrilling moments,
some ascribed to love while others are pure physical exhilaration.  
It's all good when it's love.
 The thrill of the moment or the building thrill of anticipation.

 As we think about our loved one when apart from them,
 we may be infused with an energy that fuels us deep within.
 Get home.  Get back to the one I love.
 I can hardly wait.  My lover.  My dearest friend.

The passionate thrill of seeing my love
 in the distance with a smiling face.
 Two of us beaming,
drawn toward that special moment of the thrilling embrace.

         How do you feel when reunited with the one you love?   Do you think about loved ones when away from them?   

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Sharing ( #atozchallenge )

The Card Players 1892-95 Oil on canvas, 60 x 7...
The Card Players 1892-95 Oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm Courtauld Institute of Art, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
      Sometimes I'll like something so much that I'll want to share it with someone else.  Not just anyone else, but someone I care about.  Someone I love.

      When I was a kid I collected stamps.  I became passionate about the hobby and though it was an activity that I could enjoy on my own, I wanted my friends to join me.   It was easy to get my sister on board with starting a stamp collection.   She often followed the lead of doing things I liked.  My friend Ross was also easy to convince since his father was also a stamp collector.  Whenever I would find a friend that showed an interest I would show off my collection and hope to get them interested in the hobby so we could both share time together doing stamp collecting activities.

         Sharing time is the key factor here.  Whether it be a hobby or an activity of play, time spent in mutual enjoyment of something can be a time of bonding and friendship.  Going to the movies with a loved one or traveling with them are other activities that can be shared with that special person with whom you want share time.

          Eating with others can be intimate like a candlelit dinner date or communal as a potluck with a beloved group of people.   Laughter and good conversation is some of the best sharing we can have.  Sharing brings us together as spouses, families, friends, or any other common interest groups.

          Sharing is an act of love.

           What is your favorite sharing activity?   Can you remember a sharing experience in your life that resulted in a deeper caring for another person?  Have you joined any clubs where you've become extraordinarily close to the members?  

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Romance ( #atozchallenge )

Front cover of True Life Romance #3
Front cover of True Life Romance #3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       Ah, romance!  This is what most comes to mind when we hear the word love.  A love story is the story of romance.   Or at least the romance is where it all starts.

         Of course when we start thinking of all the words of love, romance is but one and only a small part of the picture.  Yet we should never forget the romance when it comes to romantic love.  For some it may be the gifts like flowers, candies, or jewelry.  Or the romance can be the candlelit dinners and week-end getaways.  Romance has been traditionalized in so many ways.

         Romance can be a noun, an adjective, or a verb.   It can be a genre.  Romance can be a feeling or a plethora of feelings.   Romance can be a quest or a mere query.   It can be fact or it can be fiction.

          Romance is a beginning that we should hope will last until the end and perhaps beyond.

          What is your ideal vision of romance?   What has been the most romantic gesture ever bestowed up you?   Do you read romance literature?

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