Tag Archive | memories

The Unexpected Memories ~

journals1

 

I’m a “writer”.  Not like the professional kind, or even semi-      profesional ~ just one of those people (typically women) who like to write.  I have been called a “deep thinker” by a professional counselor, and I tend to write down a good portion of my thoughts.  And I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember.  Most people refer to this commonly now as Journalling.  Back when I was in school, it was “keeping a diary”.  I have recently decided to acknowledge to myself that I am obsessed with “journalling”.  Especially when I discovered that it takes me several days, if not weeks of research on and off the web, just to find the “right” journal to write in.  It must be spiral  bound, and at least 5 x 8 as I have large, dramatic handwriting.  I need to have unobstructed room to write, so the spirals must be relatively small… etc. etc.

In the past week I decided to gather all of my respective journals and take inventory of them, and my life.  I found some dating back as far as 1996 ~ which isn’t that far ~ but most of my journals prior to this time were lost in a sea of domestic violence, quick middle-of-the-night moves from house to house or shelter to shelter ~ and they got left behind and probably destroyed.  So, in reading my journals starting in 1996, I decided I really needed to condense all of these spiral bound notebooks into one comprehensive document that is easily locateable, and easy for me to continue making entries as necessary.  I have created a journal on my computer.  Not online, but here on my desktop.  I have made all appropriate fixes to it so that I can actually print it out if I want to, and put it into an 8.5 x 5.5 3 ring binder… or not.

Well, for the past couple of days, I began to type all of these entries into my computer.  Oye vey!  Until I discovered that my fingers just couldn’t take it!  Fortunately, my beloved husband purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking for me… two years ago for Christmas.  It has sat in its box, until this past weekend when I installed it.  I was wary that it would not work as proclaimed, as these things often do not live up to (my) expectations.  However, I’m happy to say that it has been a complete blessing in this incredible documenation project!  I am now halfway through the project!

Having said that, I did not anticipate the flood of emotions and vivid memories that would come back to me during the reading of these journals from 1996 and forward.  In 1996, I was still in my “before Al” period ~ very turbulent, selfish, into drinking and prescription drug abuse, domestic violence, self loathing… wow!  You name it!  As I’ve been reading aloud the journal entries into the computer, it seems like these times of self destruction and depression weren’t very long ago ~ not long enough, anyway!  I’m through 1996 into 1997 and almost to where I met Al, my husband ~ and where everything changed.  I’m eagerly anticipating the uplift in mood and thought from late 1997 into 1998 and forward.

I’m thankful, though, for these journals of my history that I do have.  There have been moments I have read that were long forgotten until relived in writing.  I’m talking many of the GOOD times ~ yes, we did have them, as witnessed in my journals of my past, and the future to come.

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

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Mugwump ~

My "interpretation" of a Mugwump.

My “interpretation” of a Mugwump.

My Dad often called me “mugwump”, and just as often I’d ask him, “Daddy, what’s a “mugwump”?  He’d tell me that it was a little bird that sat on a fence with its mug on one side and its wump on the other.  The answer always made me giggle.  To date, I still remember it and it still makes me smile and giggle just a bit.  I think it’s the memory of the cheerful, mischievous tone in his voice when he answered my question that gets to me.

I adored my father when I was little.  I was the “baby” of my four siblings ~ the “baby of the family”.  But I can remember following my dad around wherever he went just to “see what he was doing”.  “Daddy, whatcha doin’?” I’d ask.  He’d say “Something to make little girls like you ask questions.” (with a grin)  From my father I learned the intricacies of gardening, what certain tools were and how to use them (like the lawn mower and grass clippers!), how to make peanut brittle from scratch and how to make the secret family recipe of “punch” ~ reserved mostly for weddings and such gatherings.  He also taught me, through his actions, how to respect and love my mother… which he did on a daily basis.  He adored my mother until, after 50 years of marriage, she passed away in 1994.  He followed her in 1998.

I think of him often, my mother too.  I remember all the ways he showed me he loved me without ever saying it, really.  Too many things to put into words ~ but they’re memories etched into my mind forever.  I’m glad I have them!  Love you, Daddy.

 

My Mom & Dad.

My Mom & Dad.

My Adirondacks ~

 For as long as I can remember, our family spent one or two weeks each summer camping and visiting relatives in the Adirondacks, right through my teenage years.  So it should be no surprise that I’ve always thought of Long Lake, New York, as my second home.  My mother’s sister and her family lived there, so we would go and visit and camp at nearby Lake Eaton each July 4th for the local Independence Day festivities.  While there we would swim, ride our bikes, go shopping and sightseeing at local stores, then sit around the campfire at night and roast marshmallows and see what local relatives would show up for a visit.  We were never disappointed.  And, although I’m sure we had our share, I don’t remember any time when it rained during our stay.  All I remember is the fun. 

A church steeple rises above the fall foliage as taken from the deck of the bridge in Long Lake, New York

A lone kayaker paddles in the colorful splendor that is Long Lake, New York

Now, as adults, my husband and I have visited Long Lake and Lake Eaton over the past couple of years, both in summer and in fall.  I’ve been able to share with him the members of my family that still reside there, the places we’d go when I was a child, plus we’ve experienced new places together and made new memories to share with others.  I never remember the fall being so vibrant and colorful in my childhood, and I’ve been able to appreciate it much more now. 

A view of Lake Eaton, New York, through the trees on the beach.

Another view of Lake Eaton as the light shimmers on the water and the fall foliage across the way.

 Al and I visited the Adirondack Museum during one of our stays in the Big Woods.  I think I’d been there as a child, but didn’t really remember.  Now, seeing it as an adult, I can fully appreciate the history and beauty that is kept in the museum and its many outbuildings.  There is even a small section dedicated to my Uncle Bob Wallace, who was a fixture in Long Lake for his entire life, and well-respected as they come.  I only remember him as being “larger than life” and very generous with a great sense of humor.

Al sits on this “larger than life” Adirondack chair outside the Adirondack Museum.

A hand made Adirondack-themed quilt on display inside the Adirondack Museum.

I’m so grateful that I have such memories of growing up in the Adirondacks each summer.  And now I have photos and even more recent memories to enjoy.  These photos are just a few of my memories of my childhood, my family, my Adirondacks. 

Buttermilk Falls just outside Long Lake, New York.

A seaplane takes off from the placid waters on Long Lake, New York.