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Cheryl's Room

Archive for June, 2010

posted on June 20th, 2010 under Etc...

Father’s Day has been hard for me ever since my father died 23 years ago.   But after we bought my childhood home four years ago, it has been even harder.   I look out on the backyard and remember the garden he so carefully tended and long for corn so fresh it isn’t picked until the water is boiling.   I remember summer days, with my father lying in the hammock we gave him for father’s day one year.   I remember him setting up the backyard sprinkler for my sister and me to run through on the hot New Jersey summer afternoons or setting up the croquet set for us to play.   I feel guilty that I haven’t  planted a garden but I know that I could never compete with his gardening skills.

My parents loved to sit outside, on this bench in the backyard.  My mother left it when she moved away but one of the owners before us either took it with them or gave it away.   It is there now only in pictures and my memories. I must have been the photographer of this picture as my mother was not too adept with cameras.   Alas, I wasn’t the best photographer either but even though he was a perfectionist, my father never complained when I framed the pictures poorly and tops of heads were cut off.    My mother died a month ago, and when my sister and I cleaned out her apartment we found my father’s wallet that she had saved when he died.   In it was one dollar, three pictures, one of my sister and me when we were little and each of our high school graduation pictures, his drivers’ license and social security card, and his work ID card showing a very young and handsome man.   We brought it to show my mother and she kissed the picture goodbye.  Today, I kissed the picture, too.

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posted on June 11th, 2010 under Etc..., Random Musings

Carey and I were both off today so we went to the China Buffet in South Plainfield for lunch.   It’s a real bargain – three buffet lines for $5.99 for lunch and the food is delicious as well.   At the end of the meal, I grabbed a fortune cookie for each of us, handed Carey’s to him, and opened mine, expecting to learn the secrets of what the summer would hold for me.  Instead, I opened an empty cookie.  There was no fortune.   I felt a cold shadow pass over me – did no fortune mean no future?  Carey kindly offered his fortune “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier” but by the rules of Chinese fortune cookies once the cookies have been dealt the die is cast.   Besides, even with the utmost optimism to multiply my fortune,  anything times zero would still be zero.

I have decided to interpret my lack of fortune in a different way from the gloomy thoughts I had at first.   No fortune means that my future, my summer,  my year, are up to me to make them what they will be.  So maybe I will take Carey’s fortune after all and use optimism to multiply the plans I make to create a future far better than any fortune cookie could foretell.

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Quote of the Moment:

“We have to build our lives out of what materials we have. It's as though we were given a heap of blocks and told to build a house.”
by Maud Hart Lovelace Emily of Deep Valley