booked reading weekend
Please vote for my haiku on the Little Infinite website.
A car passed by
Looked like your dad’s
More status, less grill
I’m sure you drive one new
That white hearse he gave
As he pushed your life
I imagine future passengers
As you peer down the road
Your throne a higher seat
In a new but familiar place
I’m turning my neck to see
Then back at my path ahead
I shed a tear when reminded
You travel with another
Still I’m surrounded, accepted, loved
By followers who venture the same way
My prayer is answered
I progress solo, seeing doors open
Witnessing my words unfold
Holding your belief in me, thankful
Don’t forget our road trip
And how the highways here
Intertwine, so many possibilities
Even for a new car on a different route
We intersect on our great path
For we traveled together
And will pass time to time
A kind face pairs with a friendly wave
Perhaps a stop for fuel
Opens our tanks to renew
Dunk in coffee, our pick me up
To find our young faces reminiscing
We raise our gaze to each other
Meeting longing eyes that never changed
The loyal brown loves yet and admires
The big heart of his understanding angel
Over the summer fifteen years ago, my ex-stepfamily took our first and only vacation together. My stepdad made a tradition of taking his three kids on a two week camping trip each summer in a long term effort to visit every state with them. While I have jokingly mentioned that this particular trip made me never want to go camping again, it truly made a special memory for me as part of a dream came true during that trip. My stepdad made sure he took me to the New York Public Library to see the Winnie The Pooh stuffed animals in person.
For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Robin was a real person. Christopher Milne inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the original Pooh books. He based them upon the character the animals seemed to have and the imaginative play that happened in England, a spot my dad took me to visit ten years later, completing the dream. Lucky for me, though sad I was that they no longer resided in their original home, the stuffed animals were not too far from home or our other travel destinations. My mom pointed out the location of the stuffed animals, thus my stepdad knew how badly I wanted to see any of the original Pooh characters and sites, including going to England.
I got to meet the stuffed animals that initially inspired my writing passion. My grandma passed down nearly first edition versions of Milne’s books when I was in second grade, and I read and treasured them. That year for Young Author’s Day at my first elementary school, I wrote a story that revolved around Pooh Bear and Free Willy; I continued to write short stories about Pooh before I finally ventured into more original work and other styles.
Even when I was too young to make one of my dreams happen, I had someone there to make it a reality. All I had to do was express my deep desire to be in the presence of the greatness of the Pooh origins. I have treasured those people who have made my dreams theirs and helped make them a reality. Since then I have been blessed with so many family members and friends who spoke encouragingly to me, proudly shared posts I wrote, asked me to go to events (namely concerts) because they were meaningful to me, etc. Like the trip to the library to see the Pooh animals, I remembered those instances because a small dream came true and, more importantly, because someone loved me enough to get me there. I’ve always had someone by my side, helping me those steps.
Tonight I decided to try another new drink, courtesy of my friend Meredith. We met up this past weekend when I visited our hometown to sip coffee (or pineapple raspberry Italian soda in my case since I wore a sweater during summer) and catch up. As we discussed what we were up to and where our eighth grade classmates were, we recapped what we had been doing and where we were headed, namely why we and my other friend, her twin sister, Erin were headed to the reality of the big dreams we imagined.
Meredith and I met fifteen years ago when I first moved to Kansas City and were in the same third grade class. We quickly became friends, making a video together with Erin and Erin’s friend Jordan during one of our first sleepovers. Now Erin works at the local movie theater as she develops her own film career, which no doubt will soon lead her back to California.
Even as elementary school kids, Meredith and I dreamed big. We bonded over our shared love of the green jeans we owned in second grade, but we also maintained a mutual desire to develop ourselves and reach those dreams in faraway places. Meredith particularly felt convicted to move back to California where she would be a star, chiefly a singer. It didn’t take us long to decide that when we grew up we would pack up our matching yellow buggies and head to California.
You could argue that we are grown up now that we are both over a year out of college and are embarking on our careers. We both develop our writing and online presence for personal endeavors, and Meredith has even found herself in New York for work. It’s only a matter of time before she finds herself back there on her way to deepening her relationship with the music industry and before I find myself back in a city to widely spread joyful perspectives through writing, social media, and personal interactions.
Meredith recently texted me, informing me that she spotted two yellow buggies on the highway. It brought to mind our young determination, a reminder I needed as I wrapped up my time at one of my recent jobs. Maybe we have had our times recently when we felt discouraged about whether or not we would attain those goals that have traveled with us for so long since it can get difficult to establish a presence. Yet we all must start somewhere. Each of us has scratched the surface in our jobs, paving the way to strong careers.
It may be more likely that Meredith returns to New York to establish herself in the music industry and that I find my way back to Kansas City or another city to grow myself as part of that community, but the dream of packing up our yellow buggies to move to California together remains the same. Even over distances and times where we didn’t talk quite as much, we have still kept in touch. We still share our pop culture references and swap commentary during the MTV VMAs; we encourage each other in our endeavors to write and to succeed.
Fifteen years after we first decided to hit the road with our dreams, we have some good travel stories (even if some are from separate travels and some include seemingly dead ends). The road ahead promises more scenery no matter the direction or destination. Here the vehicle of the dream will determine the route and success along the way. Our articles, books, albums, record productions, and more are our yellow buggies.
To see more about my friends Meredith and Erin click on the links below to read their blogs:
I recently went on a trip to see my dad, which was sandwiched with visits with my boyfriend. As I contemplated my good time with my good fellas, I noticed a couple similar details. Each one had placed out a small natural object to make my surroundings more beautiful for me, a special touch simply because I was there. They had thought of me ahead of time and how they could make my stay special. Then they gathered around the table with me to share fine dining and discussion. All those extra details made for an aesthetically and soulfully filling trip.
Both my gentlemen also took extra care to provide wonderful meals and companies for the duration of my stay. I had always enjoyed dining with friends as sharing meals gives relationships a chance to grow as the people gather around the table to eat, catch up, discuss life. My trip started with a lovely date night in my boyfriend’s city that provided just those details. Beginning with dinner, he took me to one of the Arabic restaurants we frequent when we’re together, where he ordered enough food to fill us for the rest of the night (during which we briefly visited Starbucks and attended the movies to see The Hangover III). On my way back at the end of the vacation, he picked me up at the airport and made sure I got dinner before I headed home even though he wasn’t hungry yet. We reunited to share another meal and some face time before parting ways again.
In between those delicious Arabic dinners, my dad mostly grilled our main entres for dinner. He and my stepmom took me grocery shopping with them and consulted with me to make sure we planned exquisite meals for the weekend: lamb pops, lobster, steak, salmon. Of course, they also took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant and a fancy Italian restaurant. We even decided to make two of those meals early birthday dinners for my dad since his birthday was two days after I left.
The first nonfood detail was easily spotted. I noticed the flower my dad placed on my bedside table immediately; he put a fresh flower or flowers in a neat looking rock vase ever since the first time I visited him in Houston. That first display included a yellow, Pooh Bear bouquet (daisies I think). This time I had a single lily to gaze upon. It captured my eye every time I entered the room, in part because of its beauty and in part because it reminded me of how my dad thought to include that touch in my room.
The object my boyfriend set out, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as noticeably done for me. I had to ask about the rocks in his bathroom sink to realize he made that display for me. I had noticed them in the sink before but thought it might have been a cultural norm to which I had no knowledge. After seeing rocks in the bathroom sink at the Italian restaurant where we celebrated my dad’s birthday and having a discussion about it, I decided to inquire since none of us could come up with a reason for them. The answer I got about my boyfriend’s rocks was that he put them out when he knew I was coming; he wanted me to see something other than an empty sink. I still didn’t quite get the idea, but it made me appreciate them even more as it was yet another thoughtful gesture extended to me.. I even saw a heart shaped rock as we looked at his sink together while we talked about them. I thanked him for making it pretty for me.
In ways for aesthetics and nourishment, I had my fill of special touches during the weekend. The flower, rocks, and food all served as the physical details of fulfilled relationships. These guys thought of me and how they could make me feel a little more special, and they joined me at the table to share good food and discussion while we spent time together.
Every morning we get a new beginning, a fresh start to our current situations. I have returned from my latest trip to my dad’s house where I had a view of the water from the kitchen table. Now I am in the middle of a workweek in a new situation, ready to continue pursuing the view I want with renewed energy (from the extra coffee and the added motivation).