Christiane D is a multi-award winning artist from Pittsburgh, PA. She is an acclaimed musician, painter and playwright. Some of her awards include being the winner of the 2010 August Wilson Center Fellowship, a 2007 honoree at the New Hazlett Theatre “Celebrating Women in the arts”, a 2003 winner of the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship for World/Jazz/Blues musical composition, and a 2002 Pittsburgh Magazine “40 under 40” award winner.
Yesterday, as is my habit after eating, I found myself aimlessly strolling in the house, trying to walk off the roast chicken I’d had for lunch and checking the rooms for intruders. I may sound paranoid but, to me, security of the home is paramount.
Prudence was sleeping upstairs and you could tell the kids were at school from the blissful peace and quiet that permeated the whole place. The only noise I could hear was the ticking of the grandfather clock in the hall and the regular hum of the fridge in the kitchen. I’d just finished my tour and was about to go take a shuteye when I saw this huge beetle lurking by the entrance door. Hairs stood on my nape.
In the spring a song of Meghan Trainor’s was pretty popular on the radio… Dear Future Husband. Following the release of this song, I heard on more than one media outlet that men were ‘up in arms’ about the song and that they cannot possibly live up to these high expectations.
I am not sure I am really seeing what you are all whining about here, but then again, I am a female and it can be completely oblivious to me… what are the high expectations that women now expect you to live up to, thanks to this song? (And fellas, I don’t think the song now put fantasies of how women should be treated into our heads, expectations have always been there).
I heard the song a few times but for the purpose of this article I googled the lyrics… because I didn’t want to misinterpret anything here…
So let’s start at the beginning shall we…
My first memory is one of a golden sun playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds above a playground and a rosy cheeked lady. She’s dressed in a light blue sweater and faded jeans; knelt down, ready to embrace my small body that’s running as fast as my little legs can carry me. She doesn’t stop smiling, not even for a moment and I behold the ever familiar underlying fragrance amidst the soft cotton wool that to this day never fails to transport me home.
My second is of a story encased in the watercolor images of a leather bound book. My young eyes had never before been laid upon something as perfect as the light dancing on the water depicted in the picture before me and I wanted nothing more than to capture something as perfect as that. The next page displayed a mother lion standing proudly by her cubs, bearing a striking resemblance to that of the woman I had come to know so well. The previous page had just then somehow lost its perfection.
*Note – If you have not read this story, this review contains some spoilers. All opinions are my own and may differ from your views of the story.
Ah, summer. A time for vacations and time off, as well as a time for good reads. And this month, The Holiday Café has an intriguing read to share. So while you’re reading this review in June, I started considering my book options in March/April. Sometimes I know right away what I want to read, other times I wait for inspiration. And in April that inspiration came with the 103rd anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. While this sounds a wee bit morbid, in my defense I had bought the book months ago for a rainy day and forgotten about it. So the anniversary was merely a reminder of the book hanging out on my Kindle. However, I’m so very glad that I remembered this book and went back to read it, as it was a lovely story of history, adventure, romance and just good story telling. Here’s more on The Girl Who Came Home.
I’m not a history buff in the sense that I can tell you of the varying wars, delve into the Mesopotamian Civilization (whew reached back on that one), etc. But I do enjoy a good story and a lot of good stories are historically based. I also have a special place in my heart for stories based in Ireland or with Irish characters. So when I remember I had The Girl Who Came Home on my kindle, I re-read the synopsis. A story fourteen people from an Irish town traveling to America for varying reasons: some for work opportunities, some joining family who had already come here, but all looking for the freedoms that America promised. In addition to the adventure of traveling, they are doing so on the maiden voyage of the mighty RMS Titanic (fun fact – the RMS in the title is because the Titanic was a mail ship and was scheduled to carry parcels/letters back and forth between the continents).
I sit alone, crying and screaming, wishing I could just die. I look up into the dark night sky, watching for some movement, but I see none. The breeze lifts my hair, a soft caress to my cool skin. I don’t deserve that. I don’t deserve anything. I stand up, losing my balance, which causes me to fall back against a tree. I gasp as another sob shakes my body; I crouch down, my hands tearing at the ground.
“Someone, please,” I cry out into the night, shattering the silence. “Please take me away. I don’t want to be here anymore. I can’t!” My vision is blurred as I cry out again. My body shakes inside and out while tears races down my cheeks. “Take me away. Do something!” I stand suddenly and blackness overtakes my vision. I close my eyes tightly, freezing until my vision clears. “I can’t take this,” I whisper. I start walking blindly, instantly wishing I had music to shut my thoughts off. But no, instead I’m stuck with listening to the screams echo in my mind.
My sister Violet died thirty years ago. I was the last person she saw. Her death was tragic, as is the death of any ten year old hit by a train. We were playing meaningless games by the tracks behind our house, beyond a vacant lot and a dense cluster of trees.
In the winter we watched trains pass by our backyard, the deep hum of the engines rumbled across the snow. The cold Nebraska wind stripped the trees of their leaves to reveal blurred trains speeding behind the grey lattice. In the summer we could hear the hidden trains chugging by on the other side of the barrier of thick green leaves. The mini-forest sheltered us with its towering maples, aspens, and oaks.
Recently it seems that more and more parents are public shaming their children on social media for their children’s indiscretions. They are trying to teach their children lessons by humiliating them into not doing such indiscretions again. There are two cases which have made the headlines recently that come to mind. The first was a mom who found out her daughter was trying to portray and older image on her social media pages and was posting scantily clad pictures of herself. The mom videotaped the daughter telling her actual age and whatnot. The video went viral, as so many things do these days.
Nothing says summer to me like fresh homegrown vegetables and farmers markets. I love trying to grow fresh produce in my backyard, but I also try to get to the local farmers market, too. I recently spoke with the people at Farm to Table, who takes the farmers market one step further by not only getting fresh vegetables and fruits delivered to your door, but they also provide school programs and on-site food talks. This is definitely a good organization to look into…