Thursday, April 14, 2011

WRITING AWAY FROM HOME

Since I have started writing this blog on a regular basis I have come to realize how difficult writing can be. First I have to let my mind wander through the many memories of days past.  Those memories are sometimes easy to write about and sometimes it takes awhile to form how it will be written.

I mostly write during my lunch hour at the office and occasionally at home.  Both of these locations are filled with memories of events that have happened in the past.  It takes awhile to form what the story will be like and sitting in a familiar place relaxed and just looking around often trigger a story long forgotten in my memory.

Since I live in the same neighborhood that I grew up in a lot of those memories come as I look out onto the streets or drive around doing errands while in the neighborhood.  I have come to realize how important that neighborhood and the office has impacted my life over these many years.

Now I am sitting in my sisters living room in Alabama where there are a few memories.  I have memories of past trips down here and some of the things that happened while I was here.  Memories come back of times spent not only with my sisters but with my nieces and nephews as well.  The trouble is that I am not in a constant reminder of my surroundings like I am when I am at home.

I have written some stories about Georgia and Alabama in the past but they seemed more real coming from my surroundings in Kansas City then they do here, where the memories were formed.  I think that possibly the reason for this is that all those stories from down here eventually ended up with finding myself back in Kansas City when all was said and done.

I love it down here in the south.  Alabama is a wonderfully beautiful state.  The trees are completely different than those found in Missouri.  The lay of the land is totally different.  In my mind though, Alabama can not compare with Missouri.  No offense meant to my friends in Alabama, I think it is just a case of what I am use to and what I have come to be comfortable living in.

I am writing about my life and my life is not in Alabama.  I am thinking that when I get home to Kansas City suddenly I will find stories that are from the south flooding my mind and will find it easier to write about.

Tonight was a good night with the kids.  Conner wasn't here because he is running a fever and so he stayed home with his mother Kristi.  I missed the both of them.  But there was some drama that happened tonight as Hayden recounted the complexities of having girlfriends while your friends are competing for the same girls.  Apparently a group of four boys have created an alliance that is designed to keep the girls under control.  Unfortunately, a couple of the guys broke the alliance rules by talking to the girls and being caught in the girls trap to become boyfriends.  The other members of the alliance had to sit them down and have a talk with them on why the alliance was in existence in the first place and bring them back into the fold.  Very dramatic.

Mei seems to be a little shy and possibly a little low on her social skills.  She is learning though and is getting better as she grows.  I have noticed a big difference in how she interacts with me since I saw he last October in Kansas City.  Then again, at that time it was her that found herself away from comfortable surroundings while I was feeling totally at home.  She has developed some good coping mechanisms that she turns to when she needs to make herself fell more comfortable.

Joshua spent the whole time being extremely active both physically and mentally.  Joshua has a gift for thinking and putting into practice what he thinks.  He also has developed the ability not to let his thinking get in the way of his playing with his cousins.  Joshua is one of the most interesting kids I have ever had the joy of knowing.  He is very outgoing and communicates extremely well.  He has a great sense of humor that is very quick.  He doesn't let all of that get in his way of having rowdy kid fun though.

The adults will be having a conversation and suddenly you will hear Joshua make a comment in the conversation before heading back to his puzzle on the computer or back to playing with Hayden.  He seems ti keep half an eye on his sister and I think if something really went wrong with Mei, Joshua would be there to help her or protect her.

All of these kids the parents as well as the children are people I am proud to not only know, but be able to call my family.

I have made friends with my sister's dog Tillie.  I took her for a walk this afternoon that pretty much wore her and me out.  She reminds me of Mine and Barb's first dog, Babs.  She is the same color, about the same size and has the same facial features that Babs had.  She is totally puppy though where Babs never really was.  She is a fun dog that craves non stop attention and petting, much as Dutch does.  The difference is that Tillie weighs about ten pounds climbing up on you to get petted while Dutch weighs sixty five pounds trying to climb up on you and get petted.  Still I would take Dutch in a heartbeat over Tillie.  He seems more like a dog somehow.

Tomorrow I am going over to Kimberly's house for dinner.  This will be interesting because Joshua will be wanted to show me everything he can think of.  The reallyu interesting part in my mind though will be if there is much of a change in how Mei interacts with me when she is in her own house.  Hopefully she will feel more at ease around me over there than she did tonight here at Elaines.

So the first full day in Alabama was relaxing.  The weather was wonderful.  I got to watch my sister work her magic on a cake.  I had a great visit with the kids.  I also found out how hard it is to write away from home, which makes me have still more respect for the real writers out there.

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