Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia

branches-nostalgia-diaries

I’ve been feeling awfully introspective lately, and a little bit sentimental, too.

Perhaps it’s this time of year, where we are perched precariously between seasons: in a few short weeks, the last of the leaves will fall, leaving us with the gray, barren branches of winter, the ones that always, for some inexplicable reason, make me think of my childhood.

I spent my grade school years growing up in a quintessential, suburban Colonial house in South Carolina. Aside from being adorned with pink heart wallpaper and furnished with my mom’s girlhood 1960’s Dixie White and Gold dresser and desk, my second-floor bedroom was equipped with a large window that looked out over our sprawling front yard.

In that yard, a tall, strong tree stood, one that waved us away to school in the morning and welcomed us home in the afternoon with outstretched branches mimicking a massive set of open arms. My dad helped me move my desk in front of the window so I could sit at it and look out at that tree as I read and colored and drew and wrote in my little turquoise diary with its tiny, plastic, silver lock. Continue reading “Week 44: The Magic Between the Past and the Future | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 41: Letting Go of the Monkey Bars of Life | Everyday Nostalgia

Learning to Let Go of the Monkey Bars of Life | Everyday Nostalgia | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog


“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem…” – A. A. Milne

It’s one of those beautiful fall days. The sun sits high and warm in a crystal clear-blue sky, the fresh scent of grass delicately dances in the air, and yellow-stained leaves twist and twirl in the gentle breeze, trying their hardest to not let go of the life-giving branches they’ve called home for the past few months.

But a slight crispness surrounds us, a sign that the snowstorm forecast for tomorrow has started to reach its icy fingers our way, ready and waiting to snatch up these remaining summer moments that have somehow stretched into October.

Wanting to soak up that warm sun before it’s finally stolen away, we decide the afternoon would be best spent outside. Continue reading “Week 41: Letting Go of the Monkey Bars of Life | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

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

wont-mainfesto

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

childhood-everyday-nostalgia

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 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia

redefining-perfection-Week 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia | The Nostalgia Diaries Blog-diaries

My daughter Zoey looks up at me, her face a mixture of excitement and anticipation. In her hands she holds a pastry bag, squeezing it just tightly enough that a bit of the rich, dark chocolate, buttercream frosting inside has begun to escape its shiny, silver, open star tip.

“Can I frost it now, Mommy?” Zoey asks hopefully, her voice faintly twinged with impatience.

The cake that sits on the table in front of her—the one on the business end of the buttercream pastry bag—has been our labor of love for the past two days. After Zoey announced that the only thing she wanted to do this weekend was make a “fancy” cake, I made it my mission to make sure I provided the perfect cake-making experience for her. And after hours of baking, making buttercream frosting from scratch, creating colorful flowers out of flavored Tootsie Rolls, and mixing, rolling out, and covering a two-layer chocolate cake with pale turquoise marshmallow fondant, it appears that we have perfectly executed the task at hand.

It looks simply delectable. Continue reading “Week 37: Redefining Perfection | Everyday Nostalgia”