Childhood · family · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Week 45: I’m failing at dinner—but not as a parent | Everyday Nostalgia

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It’s 7:48 in the evening, and my daughter, Zoey, and I are almost finished with her bedtime routine.

Almost.

I close the chapter book we are currently reading, set it on her nightstand, and turn off her lamp.

Darkness fills the room, and I feel the bed shift beneath us as Zoey finds her way over to me. She lifts my arm and settles into the spot on my chest she has come to claim as her own.

“Know what time it is?” I ask.

“One of the best parts of my day,” Zoey replies. “I’ll go first.” Continue reading “Week 45: I’m failing at dinner—but not as a parent | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past

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As with many Octobers here, we’ve already seen snow. Twice. In between those snows, we’ve hit 80 degrees.

Such is the weather in Colorado.

But when I think of first snows, I tend to think of the snow that ushers in winter—that first snow that comes along sometime in mid to late November when the trees are bare and the grass is brown. (Okay, yes, I realize winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, but to me, winter starts in November.)

And when I think of that first winter snow, I’m transported back in time, back to the excitement I felt as a little kid, sitting next to the big picture window in our living room, watching the flakes tumble in slow motion to the ground. It always made me want to listen to this song

That first snow—and that song—also always made me eager for an adventure, so my older brother and I would don winter jackets, not-so-waterproof mittens, and itchy wool hats. We’d pull on our Moon Boots and make our way out the door to our backyard tundra. We made first tracks, created snow angels, wrestled around, and put slush down the other’s back. And in those years when the snow was heavy and actually accumulated, we engaged in fierce snowball fights and built snowmen. Continue reading “First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 40: Mark My Words: My ‘Will Not’ Manifesto | Everyday Nostalgia

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I’m wrapped up in a moment, but it is not one I want to be in.

In an attempt to steady myself, I reach down and plant my hand on the closest thing next to me. The cool, smooth wood my palm finds provides a brief respite, but after only a few seconds, I feel my arm slowly start to shake.

I quickly take stock of the situation and realize my only way out is through a door—a door that is, at the moment, blocked by someone else. So I stand here, trapped, forced to listen to the words that are being thrown my way.

The words—words that tumble out in a sharp, stinging staccato—are biting and harsh. My mind races, trying to figure out what I’ve done to warrant this barrage, but I fail to come up with an answer. I lift my hand back up and cross my arms as I take a small step back, hopeful the extra space I’ve just created will prevent these locutions from hurting me any more than they already have. Continue reading “Week 40: Mark My Words: My ‘Will Not’ Manifesto | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 39: Lessons in Laughter | Everyday Nostalgia

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Soft morning light gently nudges my eyes open, and I’m greeted by the appearance of a large picture window. Unfamiliar heavy, brown curtains frame its edges, and—for a moment—I don’t know where I am.

But as my senses begin to wake, I hear something: The sounds of hand washing and the voices of my mother and my daughter, Zoey—sounds that are happily interspersed with peals of infectious laughter—and I remember that Zoey and I are sharing a Wisconsin hotel room with my parents. Later today, we will attend my cousin’s early fall wedding.

The unforgiving, uncomfortable bed I’m laying in creaks beneath me as I roll over toward the direction of where the sounds are coming from. A full-length mirror hangs on the wall opposite the bathroom, and in it, though I can barely make out their reflection, I can see those faces I love. They both hold an expression I would only be able to describe as ‘bliss.’ Continue reading “Week 39: Lessons in Laughter | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 33: The Preservation & Protection of Beauty | Everyday Nostalgia

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It’s morning, and I’m walking down our long upstairs hallway toward my brother’s bedroom. Just moments before, Kurt had woken me up, telling me I needed to come look at something. I hadn’t wanted to get out of bed, but he’d insisted. So here I am, eight years old, following my brother down the hall while I’m still half asleep, wondering what on earth warrants this type of urgency so early in the day. His door is closed, but when we reach it, Kurt turns back toward me instead of going in.

“Ready?” he asks.

“Ready for what?” I whisper impatiently.

“For this.” Kurt places his hand on the knob and gently pushes the door open. Continue reading “Week 33: The Preservation & Protection of Beauty | Everyday Nostalgia”