Tuesday, April 11, 2017

stop this train.



     The other night I had an urge to look through some of our old pictures. We were little kids, looking for Easter eggs in the old chicken coop that isn't there anymore. We were sitting cross-legged on the floor at Grandma and Grandpa's house playing with the Indian figurines. We were on the haywagon, blowing bubbles in the yard, sleeping in blanket forts with armies of stuffed animals, never realizing we were young and carefree because that was all we'd ever been. Those were the days before we had our drivers' licenses, before we had jobs, before we cared who the president was or what kind of car we were riding in because all we cared about were the popsicles in the freezer and how long we could play outside before our parents dragged us in to get ready to leave.

    Some days it's great. We can drive wherever we want and pay our own way with cold hard cash that we earned ourselves because we're working now. We can do things we only dreamed of doing before.

    But then there are days it's not so great and I'm sad because my grandparents are getting older and time is not kind. I remember when Grandma and us picked blackberries in the tall bushes down by the creek, and she would wear long-sleeved flannel shirts and gloves to keep from getting pricked on the thorns. I thought that was tough as it got, in the middle of burning August. I also remember once, there was an orange that was so rotten even my mom wouldn't eat it, and Grandma put it in her mouth and swallowed it just to show she could. She made a horrible face. I thought that was the ultimate spunk.

    My Grandma, who got married at barely eighteen against her parents' wishes, and walked down the aisle all by herself because her parents wouldn't even attend. My Grandma, who helped her husband run a farm, raised four kids, made clothes, baked pies, and picked blackberries wearing stuffy hot clothes in the middle of the summer.

    She still has spunk, but she doesn't bake pies or pick blackberries anymore. She doesn't do the things she used to. She doesn't have the strength. She does what she can, which isn't much. But she keeps on even when the pain won't seem to go away and there's nothing weak about that.

    We were at their house Sunday afternoon, and she got up and sat with us at the table again. She helped peel apples for applesauce and Grandpa was making jokes like always and I watched them from the kitchen sink where I was washing dishes. For a little while it was the way it used to be. And like always, I didn't want it to end. I wanted to be absolutely sure not to forget it.

     I don't want to forget any of it: eating ice cream out of the container on barefoot summer nights with Sadie, riding bikes on the dirt road in the pitch dark, going to dance class with all the cousins in the big diesel truck. I want to scrap my own selfishness and learn how to love better and do everything I can for all of them while I still can.

    Once again there was a song that came to me when I couldn't find my own words to say what's pounding in my heart:

   
     Once in a while, when it's good
     It'll feel like it should
     When they're all still around
     And you're still safe and sound
     And you don't miss a thing
     Til you cry when you're driving away in the dark,

     Stop this train,
     I wanna get off and go home again
     I can't take the speed it's moving in
     I know I can't
     Cause now I see I'll never stop this train.

     - Lindsay Ell, Stop This Train


     "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understand in unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."      - Isaiah 30:28-31

Monday, March 13, 2017

create

 

      To preface this, I will say that Youtube is a beautiful thing. This afternoon while I was writing a very boring paper for school, listening to one movie theme after another, I realized that my entire homeschooled career would have been 99% less interesting and bearable if it hadn't been for Youtube and its unending musical possibilities. Also, autoplay. You never know what's going to come on next. You discover the most beautiful gems (like this one that's got me walking around with stars in my eyes) (I just want to listen to that song over and over and over).

    Today the music made me think. I write. I don't know why, I just do. I have all my life. I'm really bad at it but once in a while I crank out something really good (I only show the good stuff on this blog, so you all think I'm amazing, but actually...I'm not). I'm terrible and yet I keep trying -- even when I hate it -- even when there doesn't seem to be any point or any reason to keep going.

    So...why do I write? Why do we all have that one thing we love to do that we couldn't live without? I think maybe everyone does, even if they haven't found what it is yet. It's some sort of need to create. Why do we have this crazy urge to make our own form of beauty when everyone else and their second-cousin has already written the book, made the movie, recorded the song, stitched the quilt? It's all there for us to enjoy, but no, that's not enough. We've got to do it ourselves, our own way, and we don't feel complete until we do.

    I believe it's because we are born of a Creator. We are all made in the image of God and we are His beautiful work. He was the first One to create beauty, and He planted that same seed of desire in all of us. Because of Him we have to do this.

    Those are my thoughts. How do you feel about it?

~Emma

 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

backseat



August 28

All I wanted was to be in the backseat of that truck.

You knew that. I was in the truckbed with all the other kids, and you were up front, and there was one more seat left. You turned around and looked at me, so I slid in through the back window even though I was wearing a skirt and my underwear could probably be seen from some angle. But I didn't care because I would have done anything to be in that truck. You knew that, and you knew why.

I was one girl in four boys. And there he was, right in front of me behind the wheel. He started up the truck and we both held our breath. The big rattly thing rumbled out the driveway, leaving a huge cloud of exhaust and a bunch of running kids in its wake, and I felt more than rightly satisfied that I was the one sitting in the backseat of the truck, in full view of his red head, and not her.

The gears buzzed into place while he shifted without looking. A little ways down the road we turned into the church parking lot and he took it around in a circle. My heart rate was already through the sky, I didn't need any more. But then he crushed the brake and the truck spun around and dust rose like we were in a rodeo ring, and I clung to your arm so tight I must've cut the blood circulation off. You had that look on your face, like maybe we were going to die, but we were going to have the most fun ever doing it.

He looked back at me from the driver's seat and grinned and then I did die.

The test drive was complete and so was my life forever after. Back to the house, we spilled out of the truck and you and I looked at each other without saying a word. We knew we'd just seen something legendary. We knew it was an honor. And we knew exactly what the other was thinking because after all, you were the one told me to get in the backseat.

Anyhow, girls don't forget stuff like that.


________________________

     They say only rednecks are best friends with their cousins, but that's okay because I guess we kind of are. Check out Henry's youtube channel Henry Williams and help make him famous because he'd like that.

~Emma