Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

First Snow | Nostalgic Memories of the Past

first-snow-nostalgia-diaries

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 30: The Luxuriousness of a Lazy Day | Everyday Nostalgia

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I’m standing in the elevator, waiting for it to reach our floor. My foot taps an impatient rhythm as my arms hold my daughter, Zoey. She is beyond upset that we have just said goodbye to my mom—her beloved Grammy Sue—so she is loudly, and messily, sobbing into my shoulder, her cries reverberating in my ears. Her wet tears, the ones trickling down my skin, are the closest thing I’ve come to a shower this morning.

The elevator opens, and I walk into the hall toward our apartment. As Zoey’s tears slowly subside, she begins to feel heavier in my arms: I can tell she’s simply worn out. After we’re in the comfort of our home, I set Zoey down and she plods slowly toward the living room, her shoulders lower than usual. As I watch her walk away, I see raindrops start to splatter against the windows, and in that moment, I feel my own tiredness settle in.  Continue reading “Week 30: The Luxuriousness of a Lazy Day | Everyday Nostalgia”

Nostalgia · Stories

Week 5: Create a Warm, Happy Home | Everyday Nostalgia

warm-happy-home-nostalgia

Let’s face it: Unless you are fortunate to live along the California coast or somewhere south of, say, Las Vegas, February is cold.

And it’s not the exciting cold of a November or December day that invokes visions of sleigh rides and jingle bells. No, February cold is an angry cold.  A depressing cold. It’s the kind of cold that makes you want to daydream of white sand beaches and coconut palm trees, but instead you think of Bill Murray’s line in Groundhog Day: “I’ll give you a winter prediction. It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life.”

The other day as I drove to work, a slick sheen of ice (“freezing drizzle” they called it) covered the roads while fog and low-hanging clouds darkened the sky. A thought crossed my mind as I white-knuckled the steering wheel:

“I wish I was back in the comfort of my home.” Continue reading “Week 5: Create a Warm, Happy Home | Everyday Nostalgia”

family · Nostalgia · Recipes · Stories

Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia

restore-key-nostalgia-diaries

Last Spring was a bit of a blur for me, but today, if I close my eyes and think about that time, I am transported back to a cold April day. It was a day the promise of many things—including snow—hung delicately in the air. And it was the promise of a beginning that manifested itself in the shape of a key—a key that would open the door to a hopeful, happy future.

I remember the sound as the key slid into the lock and my footsteps’ hollow echo as I walked across the floor.  I remember the way the space felt and smelled, so fresh and new. I remember wandering around as if in a trance, pulling open the blinds and seeing a hint of dust dance in the flood of sunlight and—although I was on a tight schedule and needed to get back to work—sitting down on the floor and taking in the moment.

I pressed the key firmly into my palm now and it moved ever so slightly against the pulse it had found—a pulse now slower, calmer, than it had been in months and possibly years.

And as I sat there in the emptiness of my new place, so full of promise and potential, I remember thinking, “Now what?” Continue reading “Week 2: In With the Old | Everyday Nostalgia”

family · Nostalgia · traditions

Week 1: New Beginnings | Everyday Nostalgia

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The second weekend of November felt like an Indian summer here in Colorado. It was 68 degrees outside, but there I was, sitting inside, decorating for Christmas.

I know, I know. That’s waaaaay too early. But before you start thinking I’m crazy, let me explain.

The past year brought a whirlwind of change, and the end of 2016 found me in uncharted territory. I was in a new place—physically, personally, and emotionally. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to feel, but what I did know is that I felt a little lost.

Ultimately, I think I was craving a connection to my past, to myself, to the person I used to be.

So what better way to remember those things than to put Christmas up early? I had boxes of Christmas decorations filled to the brim with my childhood ornaments, full of wonderful, warm, nostalgic memories. And since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I thought this was a good idea.

begin-nostalgia-diariesAlthough I was excited to decorate, as I opened the boxes, I began to worry that this activity might leave me feeling, well, a bit…sad. Christmases were going to be different now. This Christmas my daughter Zoey wouldn’t be there to wake up in the wee hours on Christmas morning. I wouldn’t hear the pitter-patter of footsteps down the hall as she raced to the tree and her stocking, excited to see what Santa had brought. She’d be there in the afternoon of course, but I knew it just wouldn’t be the same. Divorce changes things, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few tears shed on my part. No matter the circumstances, change like that is hard. Lamenting the loss of the familiar, the loss of traditions, is a natural reaction, right?

But anyone who knows me well enough knows that this little emotional pity party didn’t last long. Because what good does feeling sorry for yourself do?  We must Keep Calm and Carry On. We have to stay hopeful. We have to remember that things get easier. They get better. They turn into to new things. And new things? Well, they’re filled with so much wonderful hope and promise.

So I reached in a box and pulled out an ornament. Because when you don’t know where to start, you just have to begin.

Continue reading “Week 1: New Beginnings | Everyday Nostalgia”