Another Puzzling Dream

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Just before I woke up this morning, I had another puzzling dream. I can only remember pieces of it, but it felt significant to some of the things that have been going through my head lately.

The first part of the dream had something to do with a church—not my church, but it seemed to represent my church, if that makes sense—having some kind of health check, not just for church members, but for anyone who was interested in coming. There were a lot of people there. During this part of the dream, I was scrambling around trying to get myself and my kids ready for this healther check.

The next part of the dream was inside this church. It was really bright inside, almost too bright. All the walls were white, and the pews were a really bright, light-colored wood, unlike the darker-wood pews I’m so used to seeing. I was sitting with a group of women, waiting for Communion or something. We were told to pray out loud whatever came to our minds. I was really uncomfortable with that, so I just sat there repeating the things the others were saying. All of a sudden, I realized that what they were praying was along the lines of “thank you that our church does this,” “thank you that our church has that,” and the like. I didn’t feel right about that, so I stopped praying.

Then I found a worship book, kind of like a Book of Common Prayer, in the rack in front of me. I picked up that book to find prayers to pray, and I immediately felt more comfortable. However, when I tried to open the book, I discovered that someone had pasted it shut with chewing gum.

Unfortunately, that’s when my body decided to wake up, so I don’t know what would have happened next. I’m sure I’ll be puzzling over this dream later today and in the days to come.

Oddly enough, when I opened WordPress this morning, this post about Dreams was at the top of my Reader list.

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Awe-Inspiring Clouds

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The colors of these clouds in the sunset were just simply amazing! The camera didn’t come close to capturing them.

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The cloud below just kept exploding before us. I’ve never seen clouds develop so rapidly, to the point I could see them boiling upwards.

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I tried to zoom in on this one; that’s why it’s so grainy. I’ve never seen a cloud that looked like this. You can actually see the rapid upward motion of their development. My son said it looks like a tidal wave.

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Awe

Welcome Summer

Today is the first day of summer (well, actually, if you ask my husband, he’d tell you that meteorological summer began on June 1st). We’ve already had our taste of the heat, as well as a few thunderstorms, and it looks like this week promises more of the same.

I’m generally not a fan of summer. I can’t handle the heat and humidity, and I really don’t relish the thought of the mosquito bites and bee stings that are inevitable this time of year. But there are things I like about this time of year.

  1. Fireflies! I love going outside on summer evenings as the sun slips behind the mountain behind our house and scanning our property for the first yellow twinkle. Before long, the entire yard is alight with the glow of fireflies winking here and there. My younger son likes to run through the yard and try to catch them. I have fond memories of my own of filling mason jars with them on summer evenings and then letting them go before going inside for the night.
  2. Stargazing! I love stargazing no matter what season it is, but it’s just a little easier in the summer when I don’t have to put on six layers of clothing just to keep from freezing. I love to lie on the lounge chair on our deck and gaze up at the heavens at the millions of stars shining above. I also watch for jets flying overhead and wonder about the people on board. Also, I always await the announcement of the Perseid meteor shower or the Leonid meteor shower. I’ve never actually gotten to see a shooting star, but I never give up trying.
  3. Summer fruits and vegetables! Sure, these days you can go to the grocery store and buy any kind of produce at any time of year, but it’s just so much better when it comes from your own garden or from a local farmers’ market (I have never been accused of having a green thumb). My older son loves watermelon, and my husband loves strawberries, so those are among the fruits we specifically look for. My garden is a bit sparse compared to others, but I have my usual pumpkins, tomatoes, and peppers planted, and this year I’m attempting turnips, onions, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce.
  4. Thunderstorms! I’m actually a bit on the fence about storms. They scare the daylights out of me, especially when they’re severe, but it’s just awe-inspiring to watch the skies darken as clouds roll over the mountain and cover the sky. A couple years ago, we were even treated to mammatus clouds, a phenomenon I’ve heard about on the Weather Channel for years but never saw myself before that evening. 100_3462Another plus about storms is that we often see rainbows when the rain has passed.100_4130
  5. Vacations! (This one is my son’s suggestion) We try to keep our vacations to times when the kids are out of school and don’t have to make up assignments, which means we travel either over Christmas or during summer break. The kids tend to like the beach, but we typically avoid the beaches during the summer when they’re crowded and expensive. During summer vacations we tend to hit more nature-based or historical spots. This year, we’re hoping to go upstate to Erie/Presque Isle and then hit Titusville and Pittsburgh on the way back.

Those are my top five favorite things about summer. What are your favorite things about summer? Leave a comment and let me know!

Summer

Avalon

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(Just a piece from my college poetry workshop.  I was in the middle of Mists of Avalon at the time)

The Isle of Avalon has withdrawn
Forever into mists
That can never again
Be called down to reveal
A place where enchantment
And the impossibility of a hidden world
Become reality, where
The moon opened a magical realm
In which the future was glimpsed
In a mirrorlike pool.

Avalon.

A world one could pass through
Without ever setting foot
On her shores…

But they tell me it was never real,
Only a creation of simpler times
When people believed in
Dragons,
Elves,
And a kingdom that arose
Out of the hands of a sorceress,
A time when people
Believed that unwary travelers
Could stumble into a fairy kingdom
Without even realizing they had strayed.

Yet even through the practicality
Of our analytical minds,
A longing for the magic
Of those primitive times remains.
Something in our subconscious stirs,
Subtle as starlight on a river,
Allowing the enchantment to live.
It can never totally vanish
Into the mists as Avalon did…

But wait!
Avalon is not entirely lost!
It can never truly fade away
As long as its enchantment lies
In the misty minds of poets,
Waiting,
Waiting to be discovered,
And rediscovered.

Crazy, Crazy Dreams

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This is another post from a former blog, and this one hit the net in 2012. I still vividly remember all these dreams, and I still think they’d make good story scenes.

I had such crazy dreams last night, not sure why or what I might have eaten before bed to spark them, but holy crap, were they weird!

Let’s see, in the first dream I recall, I was on a ghost hunt with one of my Facebook friends.  We were in a place I don’t really recognize in my waking life, although I do have some ideas of the vicinity where this particular building was.  It was supposedly a Weis Markets, but when we got inside, it was a house I had lived in at one point in my childhood (although not in my real life).  We got all the equipment set up and started going through the house to do EVP sessions and such, but I got distracted by all the STUFF that was there, stuff that my parents had either made with their own hands or that others had made for them–furniture, paintings, wood clocks, all kinds of things.  I recognized all these things and wondered why my parents–or even my brothers–had gone away and left them behind.  So instead of ghost hunting, I started carrying all this stuff out of the building and loading it in the car.

At this point, another ghost hunting team came in, this one with TV cameras, and started bossing us around, telling everyone to get out of the way of their cameras.  They apparently saw me carrying things out of the house and called the owner, who came with her two cats Si and Am (yes, like the cats in Lady and the Tramp), except the cats weren’t real; they were mechanical.  The woman seemed to know who I was and said I could take whatever I wanted from the house.

I woke up from this dream very upset, trying to place where it occurred; I finally gathered that the road resembled the Carlisle Pike up past Wal-Mart and heading towards Carlisle.  There are some businesses up that way, as well as some very run-down looking houses, but nothing that resembles what was in my dream.  Still, I feel strongly that that’s where I was.  Why does that matter?  I don’t know.

The second freaky dream happened as I was trying to get back to sleep after my son came over and woke me up.  This time I was in Gettysburg climbing around the rocks at Devil’s Den, something I like to do when we’re down there.  Well, I was in the process of crawling into one of the crevasses, when I noticed that King Arthur was sitting on his throne inside this crevass.  Sir Gawain was there too, ready to go on a quest–his quest was to clean up all the trash around Devil’s Den, which would be quite a feat for anyone.  Well, as he pushed past me, I saw a ghost of a Civil War soldier, who attacked me and did something that made me unable to breathe.  I woke up gasping for breath and sweating.  Yes, I know that was a case of sleep paralysis, but still a bit unnerving.

The final dream again took place in Gettysburg, and it was based on something a bit odd (at least in my eyes) that had happened once when we were in the downtown area.  I had been on a ghost hunt (seeing a pattern here) with Grant Wilson, Jason Hawes, and Eoin Macken (what the heck was he doing there?), and we were just walking around looking at the shops.  Jason and Grant ended up going one way, and Eoin and I went another.  As he and I walked, I told him about this other odd experience I had had–it had to do with going in to this shop that had nothing but Christmas decorations; there was no one else in the shop while we were there, and although the doors were wide open, there were no store workers anywhere to be found in the whole 15 or so minutes we were there.  For some reason, that whole experience felt surreal and it kind of gave me the creeps.  I have been unable to even find that store anymore.

So we walked past the spot where I thought the store had been, and it wasn’t there; in its place was an herb shop.  We kept walking up the street a bit, and then came back down past the herb shop again–but it wasn’t the herb shop.  Eoin noticed it and said, “Is that the shop you were talking about? I thought that was an herb shop when we went past before.”

I  looked, and sure enough, there stood the Christmas decoration shop, doors again hanging wide open.  We decided to check it out.  Once again, there was no one else in the shop, and there were no store clerks to be found.  Eoin and I looked at each other and both felt creeped out.  We left, and started walking down the street again, just looking at each other.

We met up with Jason and Grant and told them what had happened.  They kind of looked at us like we were crazy, and we all headed back up the street to check it out.  When we got back to the place where the store had been, it was the herb shop once more.  Eoin and I looked at each other again, both freaked out.  Jason and Grant realized that something had to have happened the way our faces had gone white.

We decided to go into the herb shop to check it out.  The herb shop was really crowded, and there was of course a pungent scent of many different herbs.  As we looked around, I realized that my cross necklace had gone missing, and I said something out loud about it.  The store clerk came over to me and asked, “Did you say you lost a necklace?”

When I said I had and described it to her, she went behind the counter and picked up something.  She held up my necklace and asked, “Is this yours?”

I was shocked to realize that it was mine.  I asked where she had found it, and she told me that someone had found it lying on the floor just minutes before.  Very odd, seeing as we had not gone into the herb shop, but only the Christmas shop.

I took the necklace and thanked her, then had to ask, “What ever happened to the Christmas shop that was here?”

The clerk looked at me oddly and said, “There has never been a Christmas shop here that I know of.”

I got an eerie feeling, and we all went outside.  I asked Jason and Grant how that was possible.  Even if there would have been a Christmas shop there at one point, how is it possible for a building to be a ghost?  Buildings aren’t living things; they don’t have souls/spirits, so what was happening?  It obviously wasn’t my imagination since Eoin had seen it too.  They couldn’t tell me what had happened, and even they seemed a bit freaked out by the whole thing.

So those were my crazy dreams.  I guess I don’t have to wonder why I’m so tired today…..

Moonlight and Shadows

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**I’m in the process of moving posts from a couple blogs I don’t use anymore over to this one.**

This is a poem, or a piece of a poem, that I found lurking in a pocket-sized notebook I had lying in a drawer. I don’t know when I wrote it, but judging by the theme, it had to be around sophomore or junior year of college.

I far prefer a moonlit night
To a bright and sunny day.
I’d rather stroll a darksome path
Than spend the noon in play.

The stars are more a friend to me
Than sunny skies of blue,
And moonlight’s gentle silver glow
Is more trustworthy, too.

For in the dark, my faults are hid,
And secrets remain so,
While daylight reveals everything
I don’t want them to know.

Darkness

Childhood Then and Now

 

My kids often extend pity in my direction because I had such a deprived childhood. After all, I grew up before the advent of the internet, smart phones, video games (well, we DID have Pong), Pokemon, and all the other awesome stuff they have nowadays. But with all their “awesome” technology, it seems they still can’t find enough to fill their days. With summer fast approaching (only 2 1/2 days of school left), my kids are already complaining about how bored they’ll be. Funny, I can’t remember ever being bored when I was a child.

Here’s a day in the life of one of my childhood summers:

Mom didn’t wake us kids up in the mornings during the summer. We could sleep in or wake up early. The only deal was that if we were awake before the others in the house, we would keep the noise down till everyone was up. I had a small radio in my room next to my bed, so if I was awake early, I’d tune in to one of the local AM stations. WHP was my favorite, with DJ Ron “Ducky” Drake, whose theme song was “Rubber Ducky.” It was fun to count how many times in a morning he’d make his ubiquitous rubber ducky squeak.

My brother and I would eat breakfast–usually cereal or a Pop Tart–and do some morning chores. We’d have to make sure our rooms were clean and feed the dog. Sometimes we’d water plants or sweep the driveway–nothing that violated child labor laws.

When we were done with our work, we were pretty much free the rest of the day. We usually weren’t allowed to “go knocking” (see if our friends could play) till after lunch, so we had to entertain ourselves most of the morning, or if our friends happened to be outside, we could go play with them. I enjoyed my playtime. I had action figures, stuffed animals, blankets, play food, etc. that I could spend hours making up stories for, and I was often disappointed when lunchtime came.

Lunch was always simple too, a sandwich or a can of Ravioli. We’d eat and put our plates in the sink, and then be off again.

A lot of days I’d play outside with friends. We did the usual things like riding bikes, jumping rope, blowing bubbles, playing jacks or other outdoor games like tag or hide and seek. If it was raining, we’d play Barbies inside, or play board games, or even put on some records (you know, those things that played music, kind of like CDs or mp3 players) and have a dance party. One friend had a small pool, so some days we’d go swimming, after we cleaned the Japanese beetles and other bugs out of the water, lol.

Even when there was no one around to play with, I found lots to do. I always had paper and crayons, and I was forever drawing. I’d make little storybooks, copy pictures out of other books, try to draw favorite cartoon characters, or if I was feeling ambitious, I’d try to draw something realistic like a landscape or a person.

My favorite days, as an older child, were the days I’d walk in town or go to the library. We lived probably a mile or two from town, so it was a hike, but I enjoyed it. At that time, there were a few little shops in town, nothing fancy. I’d often check out the five-and-ten shops, and if I really felt ambitious, I’d hike just out of town to the Ben Franklin store. They sold craft supplies, small toys, and various household items, and I’d always find something there.

Library days were the best! I’d walk in to the school, which also housed the public library. I always had trouble settling on one or two books, so I’d often come home with a stack of six or seven. I loved stories about animals, and of course anything spooky, and I’d also read nonfiction books about nature, weather, interesting people, or whatever else I might be interested in at the time. I still recall the one time I came home with eight books in my arms. My dad said, “There is no way you’ll read all those books in three weeks.” Challenge accepted, and challenge completed.

Other highlights of my summers included Vacation Bible School–we had a lot of small churches in our town, so we’d always combine with at least one other church–firemen’s carnivals (oh, how I miss those!), various fruit festivals, visits to fruit farms to buy fresh fruit, visits to Miller’s Dairy for ice cream (only 50 cents a cone!), riding the ferry boat, picnics by the river, and playing at the MYO (a small playground close to the river).

In the evenings and at night, we’d catch lightning bugs and either hold them for a minute and let them go or put them in a glass jar until we had a blinking lantern. Of course, we’d let them go before we went inside. I also loved stargazing. My dad would always come outside with us and point out constellations or bring out the telescope so we could look at the moon or find planets.

Of course, we watched TV sometimes too. They had good cartoons on in those days–Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and some that aren’t around anymore like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Wheelie and the Chopper Bunch, Battle of the Planets, Valley of the Dinosaurs, and Kimba the White Lion. Primetime had good shows too, things we kids were allowed to watch, like Dukes of Hazzard, Mork and Mindy, Family Ties, Sha Na Na, The Muppets, and Hee Haw.

So kids, don’t feel too sorry for Mom and Dad. We may not have had all the technology and “cool” games you guys have nowadays, but I honestly think we got the better deal.

Childhood