Archive for the ‘Pre-College Memories’ Category


Mother Earth

October 4, 2010

A lot can happen in 20 years. Life changing events can unfold in 20 minutes. Thus, it is no surprise that I feel like I’ve lived life times in the 20 years that I have been out of high school. I have the college years — which went on for 10.5 years as I pursed my doctorate. These were awesome years for me. I developed as a person, dated and married Coach, climbed and hiked whenever I pleased, played rugby, traveled the world and worked long hours in the field and in the lab. I gained confidence, experience, and a love of nature.  After I got a job with a very large oil company, which lasted 1.5 years, we had one year before the next phase of our lives came, my birthing years. I first became pregnant in the summer of 2002–8 years of birthing and nursing. During this time, I learned to be a professor. Now, I’m beginning the next phase, raising my children and something else professionally (to be discussed at a later date).  This reminiscing was brought about because I attended my 20 year high school reunion (see previous post about visiting where I came from).

Honestly, I had few intentions of attending the reunion. As the time grew nearer though, a few of my old friends contacted me and asked me to come. I wanted to visit Norah’s grave so I decided to go with Sunshine, currently 5 months old. I drove up on a Friday and allowed all day for the drive; I was not in a rush. On Saturday, I went to a picnic. 25 of my classmates were there plus their families. I pulled out a wrap soon after I got there so that I could wear Sunshine. I had a friend tell me who everyone was and set out to speak to everyone. I was shy in high school and I’m still shy but I make myself into a social person when I go to meeting in my science discipline so I just put on my convention face. This was a pleasant time, with conversation easily flowing, and laughter emitting from us all. Toward the end, someone was saying something and called me “Mother Earth”. I asked what they meant. Apparently from the time I had got there and wrapped up Sunshine, my high school cohorts were calling me “Mother Earth”. Later that night, I met a few of my closer friends for dinner. Instead of using my name, they called me Mother Earth. A wife of one of the friends said, “You not one of those ladies who gave birth in a tub without pain medication, ARE YOU?” I said, “Why, yes, I am.”  A few minutes later, I heard her say to her friend that if all babies that were birthed that way were like Sunshine that she would go back and birth without pain medication. When I think of their births, I think of Peace, Love, Mystery and Wonder.  Yes, Sunshine is a remarkable baby. And so were the three before him that lived. I know that Norah would have been peaceful. I should have told her that I meet all of Sunshine’s demands so he has nothing to cry about. I wear him so he is comforted by me. I nurse him so he is never hungry. However, I do admit, he is a sweet, happy baby.

My friends were using the “Mother Earth” name as an insult. But, they honored me. If people can tell within a few minutes of meeting me that I love nature, I align myself with the natural world, and that I study nature, then I’m getting across to people what I want them to know about me. When I went to this reunion picnic, I told myself that I would not talk about myself so that I wouldn’t appear to be snobbish or stuck up. Yet, from my mannerisms and how I acted they could tell that I am “Mother Earth”. I accept the nickname and hope I can live up to the standards.



July 6, 2009

It is amazing how the mind works especially when dealing with memories. We all know memories are incomplete, only snippets of space and time. Our memories are biased. Each person can remember the same event in different ways. I am always amazed at what triggers a memory — a smell, a touch, your surroundings, a thought. For those of us who have lost a baby, memories can be triggered by something we used to do in pregnancy or a commercial we see on t.v., or whatever we are reading. I let my memories of Norah be triggered by almost anything.

Last night, I had trouble sleeping. I got up to go to the restroom. I opened the door, saw my hand reaching for the door knob and boom, a memory was triggered. Or I should say the awareness of the lack of any memory. I have no memories of growing up in my parent’s house that are related to doorknobs. My house was build in the 90’s, when gold ruled so the doorknobs are gold colored. Growing up, we did not have doors on the bedrooms, or anywhere for that matter. The entire house was a modifcation of an existing house that was build a long time ago (40’s/50’s?). There were door frames because one had to get in and out of a room but no doors; thus, no doorknobs. Since it was a modification of an existing house, or what I imagine must have been more of a shack because it was really small. The rooms they build on have a 3-6 inch step, depending on which room you are entering. This made for the perfect place for a kid to what the activity in the household.

Back to the topic, my memory was triggered reaching for a doorknob. Yet really, it was the lack of a memory. Strangely interesting. That is like saying “I remember that I did not have a doll growing up”….a memory of something that wasn’t there. Our minds are wonderous creations which never cease to amaze me.



March 1, 2009

My Dad died 18.5 years ago to Lung Cancer. He battled hard but did not win. We were relatively untouched by death for a decade. Various aunts and uncles died but no one too close. My Grandpa and DH’s Grandma died in 2002.  In May of 2007, DH’s Grandpa died. That was tough for him. I was pregnant with Norah. Then Norah died in Nov. 2007 and DH’s Dad had a stroke in Dec. and then my Mom died in April, 2008. Wow, that was a tough year. Tomorrow is my Dad’s Birthday. He would have been 77 years old. He always told us growing up that his birthday was a national holiday.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY. I have to call to President and let him know (A-rock Obama). Call the banks and post office. I have a lot of work to do before tomorrow. Or, I could just sit here and think about my Dad and the gifts he gave me.

1) Work ethic – he was the hardest working person I have ever known, with lots of mouths to feed at home

2) humor – our family is bonded by humor and mostly because of the long drawn out stories he told

3) charity – give as much as you can to friends and family and if you can’t give money, give time and skills

4) the need for reflection – Dad used to write in a journal every night and think about what needed to be done. I never disturbed him during this time but remember him sitting in his room in a rocking chair.

I know he brought more to my life but the above points are the highlights. After 18.5 years I can see clearly what he brought to me. I hope in 16 years, I’ll understand the past two years a little better.



February 20, 2009

Late in the evenings on summer nights, my brother and I used to lay in the grass below our house. The sun was behind the mountains, not yet set all the way. The valley was bathed in dusk but the tree top still had sunlight on them. As we sprawled out, our eyes would always turn upward. And we would count….one ufo, two ufos, three ufos. There were objects zooming across the sky which surely must contain aliens. What were they?  Where were they coming from? And…why is there a white trail extending out the back like an airplane trail?

Because they were airplanes. When the sun hits the airplanes just right, they glare and you can not see the body of the plane, just a flying glowing light. We thought they were UFOs. And to us, they were unidentified; yet, totally explainable. Sometimes, things are exactly what they seem.