Because we all can use a reminder…
Monthly Archives: October 2011
A few years ago my good friend, Heidi (see her blog at Banana Buzzbomb), mentioned that she would like to host a, “songs of your life” home party. The basic idea of this party was to get a bunch of girlfriends together, drink some wine, eat some chocolate, & each girl was to come up with 5 songs that could sum of their lives. I loved the idea of that! Not just because of the wine & chocolate, but the whole premise behind the party intrigued me (you would never find a bunch of guys getting together to do something like that!). Now to my knowledge, the party never happened & beyond talking of it during a work shift, I haven’t really thought of it since…until a few days ago. My mom lost her good friend, Tammy, almost a year ago to cancer. She heard a Martina McBride song on the radio (I’m gonna love you through it. Youtube it if you haven’t heard it, it’s a good one) that reminded her of Tammy & her husband, Jim. Heidi’s party idea popped into my head at that moment & it got my mind spinning…what songs would I pick to describe my life? To describe the ups & downs, the joys & heartaches…what songs would they be? I thought it would be an easy task to pick 5 songs, but I was very wrong! It’s amazing how certain songs are reserved for different periods of a person’s life, songs that are connected to specific memories. For instance, the Salt ‘n’ Pepa song, “Push It” always brings up memories of my 12-year-old self, roller skating at Skate World or “Remember When” by Alan Jackson is dripping with thoughts of my grandparents. And every relationship I’ve ever been in has a song attached to it, a song that transports me to a time or event that’s connected to that moment. But, to come up with 5 songs that are just about my life, about me only, and not associated with a memory…that turned out to be tough!
I’ve been working on this list for a few days. It’s been re-wrote & changed numerous times. I recognize that, my 31-year-old self, has picked these songs & that they’re dependent on my current mindset. As the years & my situations change my songs will probably change also.
As of today, these are the top 5 songs in the life of me…Carey Dawn Henderson. 🙂
1. Here Comes the Sun
the smiles returning to the faces
it seems like years since its been here
here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say, it’s alright
-I’ve been through some tough times. This song is a good reminder that I got through them & it’s always been a lesson learned.
2. I Won’t Back Down
-Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers-
Well, I know what’s right. I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
but I’ll stand my ground, and I won’t back down
Hey, baby there ain’t no easy way out
I will stand my ground and I won’t back down
-One of the most important things you can do in life is standing your ground when you know what’s right, even if you stand alone. I admire people who stand firm in their beliefs, even if they’re different from mine. You never know who could change your opinion on something or whose opinion you can change if you just take the time to listen to their point of view. And once your mind is made up on something, stand behind it & don’t apologize. I hope that others see me as someone who is strong in their convictions & not afraid of opposition.
3. Amazing Grace (my chains are gone)
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed
My chains are gone, I’ve been set free
My God, My Savior has ransomed me
and like a flood, his mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing Grace
-Amazing Grace, the hymnal that epitomizes the goodness & grace of God. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions & choices in my life. I’ve disappointed & hurt others, including myself. It’s amazing to me how forgiveness, both giving & getting, can free you. Forgiveness that, to me, has come from my relationship with God. Anybody whose ever had “chains” in their life & then been set free of them will understand how light you feel when the guilt & heaviness is gone. I’m not where I need to be, but I’m not where I was.
4. Great Day to be Alive
Yeah, I think I’ll make me some homemade soup
feeling pretty good & that’s the truth
neither drink nor drug induced
no, I’m just doing alright
And its a great day to be alive
I know the sun’s still shining when I close my eyes
there’s some hard times in the neighborhood
but why can’t everyday be just this good?
-It’s not always easy to keep peace & find joy in everyday situations. People always tell me how, “happy” I seem to be & how I’m always, “smiling”. Well, the truth is I’m not always feeling happy & I frown just as much as I smile. But, everyday I choose to smile & think happy thoughts…somedays I’m good at it, & other days I fail at it. But good or bad, it’s still in my control. A friend recently told me that she loves how, “simple” my life is. I take that as a compliment. I’ve done stress & complicated, so not a fan! By smiling, & being happy, I’ve found that peace & joy have slowly started to creep in.
5. I’ll stand by you
Hey, what you got to hide?
I get angry too, well I’m a lot like you
When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along, cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you
-I think if you’re known as being an honest & loyal person, everything else is secondary. Because being those things stems into all other areas of your life. There’s been times in my life when I’ve struggled with both and because of those struggles I try to not pass judgement on others & I try to recognize that I don’t have the right to judge. I would never turn my back on someone & I will always believe that people can change, hearts can change, thoughts & actions can change. Addictions can be broken, hearts can mend, faith can be restored…nothing is ever impossible, but you need to have support from others. Regardless of how many times someone has failed, one time they won’t and I want to be around to see them victorious. I’ve had people never give up on me, and because of that I will never give up on anybody.
So, I’ve given you my song list, just a few lyrics of each, but it’ll give you the general idea. Think about what songs you would pick to describe your life & the reasons why you’d pick it. It’s a fun little exercise to do with yourself & a great little conversation topic to have with someone. You’ll be surprised at what you realize about yourself & what you realize about others by the songs they pick. Life & people really are amazing!
Every town, all across America, is known for “something”. Bigger cities, for example, have nicknames that are known worldwide-New York City is the Big Apple, Chicago is the Windy City, but its the little rural towns that make up the heart of the U.S. My little town of Vermilion, Ohio is known as the Woollybear Capital of the World. Outside of Vermilion, maybe even as far as Northeastern Ohio, many don’t even know what a woollybear is. But every year in late September or early October this furry, fuzzy little caterpillar has a whole day dedicated to honoring him.
In the olden days, even before my grandparents time (they’ll love to hear that!), farmers would gauge how rough the winter in the Great Lakes region would be, by studying the brown stripes compared to the orange stripes on one of these fuzzy little critters. I have no idea which way meant heavier or lighter winters (recalling my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Lapp’s, woollybear story. I think longer brown stripes means a rougher winter, but not positive) I do know that every fall these cute little guys can be seen slinking across any hiking trail as long as the sun’s out. You can’t help but want to pick one up & watch it curl into a ball in your hand. Not to many insects would I consider “cute”, but woollybear’s are soft & fuzzy…perfect combination of cute.
The Woollybear festival & parade was started in the early 1970’s by Cleveland weatherman, Dick Goddard, who still heads up the festivities to this day. It’s a one day festival (the biggest in Ohio) complete with a 2-hour long parade. This one day event turns my little town of 15,000 (give or take) into a circus of 100,000.
Now I really don’t know much about what actually happens down at Victory Park-the festival location, in fact I probably haven’t been down to the actual festival in 3 years or so. The Woollybear weekend consumes Vermilion with bike races, 3k/5k events, and the day of the Woollybear festival hosts woollybear costume contests, pet parades, & woollybear races (which people enter their pet caterpillar’s to race one another…something I’m totally against, but that’s saved for another blog!). Woollybear Sunday is something I look forward to every year. Not because of the hoopla of the events, but because it’s the one time a year that is a guaranteed opportunity to spend time with extended family & friends.
My grandparents live on the parade route, so naturally their house is a meeting point of Woollybear goers. With the exception of one year, my grandparents have always hosted a Woollybear cookout, that’s 30+ woollybear’s!!! I have so many memories of Woollybear Sunday’s spent on a blanket (lawn chairs as the years & I aged) in front of their house watching the parade. Looking back on pictures taken on Woollybear, the hairstyles & clothing of guests have changed, but the people are still the same. Eating hot dogs, drinking hot chocolate (on the colder Sunday’s), smiling, hugging,& just happy being together. Great aunts & uncles, 2nd, 3rd, & sometimes 4th cousins, all show up for the cookout. Some being relatives you haven’t seen since the previous year’s Woollybear. People walking by on their way to their own cookout, or to head down to the festival, are oftentimes old friends that you haven’t seen in years or childhood friends of your grandparents & parents, who haven’t seen you since you were “this big”. All over downtown Vermilion houses are full of families doing the exact same thing, with their own set of relatives, creating the same types of memories. I love that! More than anything the Woollybear festival is such an amazing opportunity to connect with people, that only small-town’s can provide. Being in the company of others is the best way to spend an afternoon, & having marching bands, firetrucks, & “queens” with their swirly hand waves (that always make me laugh) creates the perfect background atmosphere.
So next year in October, if you happen to be in Vermilion on a Woollybear Sunday, make sure you stop by my grandparents house for a visit. We’ll have plenty of food to feed you, and can offer you a front row seat on the parade route. It’s sure to leave a smile on your face.
Hope to see you there!
September was a rough month! I had a death in the family, so my quote list is a little thin. Even though my list lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality…the one’s I did manage to jot down are some of my favorite’s EVER! Enjoy! 🙂
9/1-“For the first time ever I heard pain that didn’t belong to me.“-from the book, The Cross Gardener.
“Even if you’re a kitten, roar like a lion.“-shirt lady at Target was wearing
9/7-“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”-Viktor Frankl- (made my list of all time favorite quotes)
“Studies show that we’re happier on Friday’s. So live everyday like it’s a Friday.”-Joel Osteen-
9/8-“Plant your garden & decorate your soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”-Allie Cooper-
“Love heals. Love Inspires. Love triumphs.”-The Love Chronicles
9/11-“I would rather live alone the rest of my life & be forgiven with a clear conscious than live a lie & go through that pain again.”-me- 🙂
9/13-“Uncle Gary’s in heaven playing with Skyy.”-my 7-year-old niece, Alexis-.
9/16-“I am only one. But still, I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because i cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”-Edward Everett Hale-
9/19-“If you’re telling the truth you don’t need to have a good memory.”-Judge Judy-