Thursday, August 2, 2012

small things {slide show}

small things #54 ... slide show

Refreshing Evenings.
All My Favorite People.
Good Food Eaten Outdoors.
Chorus of Laughter.
Retelling of Memories.

Sitting within the circle of the campfire's light, there is room for everyone.  Camp chairs with cup holders, folding chairs with nylon mesh sprung loose and rumpled blankets filled with all my favorite people.  The circle is big.

Amidst the darkening shadows, in the stretch of lawn behind the chairs, little kids play hide-n-seek, older kids throw washer rings at their wooden target - cling!  Girls giggle from within the apple tree, whispered secrets and wishes.  Cousins and friends call out to one another to play.

The sun is flirting with the horizon, slowly settling into the mountain tops.  Pink and orange clouds stretch across the sky - a sailor's delight.  With the coolness of the evening, a slight chill prompts the appearance of sweatshirts and long-sleeved wraps to drape across goose-bumpily legs and arms.  The bugs steer clear of the campfire's smoke but are wooed to the glowing blue bug zapper.  We hear the zit and zat of winged insects flying too close to the light.

I reach across the darkening space to hold hands with Brett, and a small child has found a place on my lap.  The delicate perfume of chlorine in her hair replays in my mind the pre-dinner cannon balls and "watch me, Mom's" at the pool.  We are worn out from water, sunshine and food eaten outside in the fresh air.

In the campfire's flickering light, I see the remains of dinner on my little one's cheeks and chin.  We ate well ... burgers fresh from the grill, sugary sweet corn-on-the-cob, creamy coleslaw with hidden gems of avocado and cilantro, baked beans with bits of bacon, orange Cheetos fingers holding enormous triangles of ice cold watermelon.  So much food, but still room for gooey s'mores.

The darkness ushers the kids toward the circle of laughter.  And the promise of sugary goodness.

Family and friends lean in toward the light, skewers extended with marshmallow gems melting in the heat.  A s'more assembly line forms:  molten sugar, dark chocolate squares and crumbly graham crackers.  Soon the supplies run out and we sit back into our chairs and sprawl out on blankets, sticky and satiated and a little sleepy.

Until the stories begin.

Familiar words weave together to form a slide show in the dark.  Above our heads, above the flickering campfire, memories emerge in the re-telling of well-known tales.  The magical phrases bring to life snapshots from years and days gone by.

... the little girl secretly riding the hot pink yardstick and hiding the pieces away in the closet, hastily glued together.  The surprise and denial when days later Mom discovers her treasure bent at a 30 degree angle.

... two-year old chubby parts looking adorable in a ruffly yellow and pink flowered bikini, lounging pool-side at Cocoa Beach. And the yellowed newspaper clipping of said bathing beauty remembered thirty-five years later.

...  reciting key lines from favorite movies and hearing an echo from across the glimmering circle ~ "sometimes their noses are horns...", "I've got an idea forming in my brain," and "bye, Buddy ... good luck finding your dad..."

... swim team marathons with endless games of Spite & Malice, Saturday night pizza dinners, guzzling green water and never ending recitations of The Princess Bride.

Stories passed around the circle.  Hearts (and bellies) full.  Tired kids listening to the love and laughter among dear friends and family ~ some whom have known me my entire life and others I'll spend the rest of my life getting to know better.

Slide show ... in place of the plastic carousel of slides, a chorus of snapshots woven together telling the story of lives lived together.


#1 - What five images paint a perfect picture of summer to you?  Put those five images together in a writing piece.

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. my name is inigo montoya, you killed my father. prepare to die.

    Princess Bride is a huge favorite in my house...Elf is too. Smiling's my favorite. Work's your favorite. Make work your favorite.

    Really well written piece!

  2. This was an awesome post. It reminds me of all the camping my family did when I was a child. What a great feeling of nostalgia to follow me around the rest of the day :)

    hi from mk's


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