The Moment

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this (this!) particular moment is THE moment.  It’s all we have.  From time to time, I’ve recorded the details of THIS moment, capturing a series of phrases to describe what’s going on—both with me and with the world at large.  This “now” is all we have, but it’s also a slice of our ongoing lives that in ten years will looks quaint, intriguing, or possibly even disappointingly motivating.  But I guarantee you that these captured present moments, read somewhat later on, are not only intriguing but instructive. 

I have one from 1971.  It names things like finding a used refrigerator for our newly rented farm house, getting the oil changed on the 1952 GMC pickup, going to hear George McGovern’s wife speak in his stead since he couldn’t make the rally, lining up jars to can home-grown tomatoes on a camp stove, and promising to practice so my fingers could work the bass guitar fast enough to produce what I could hear in my head.   This list of moments makes me laugh now.

That’s then.  What’s now?

22 responses to “The Moment

  1. What’s now? Well it’s this…

    Happy Birthday to you….
    Happy Birthday to you….
    Happy Birthday dear Shaddy…..
    Happy Birthday to you….

    Of course that had to be then for this to be now…

  2. Happy birthday, Shaddy-gal. Enjoy the moment. Life is a verb!

    • If that’s the case, I’m LIFEING it up most definitely today and (after my hangover wears off) every day thereafter.

      I’m buying y’all a drink, so belly on up to the bar…cheers… and bottoms up.

  3. Ta-da-da-da-da-da-da-da..Today is your birthdday. Ta-da-da-da-da-da-da-da..Where going to have a good time..

    Happy Birthday Shaddy!

  4. This moment in time, Thursday morning, January 21st, 2010:

    -I’m working at Dr. Onderak’s dental office trying to make a good day out of a cloudy winter day. Smiling and chatting with patients as they come in lifts my spirits and hopefully does the same for them.

    -I’m still feeling the residual effects of my head cold but know I’ll soon be as good as new with a renewed respect for abiding by a more realistic exercise routine.

    -I’m humming along on the energy provided by a glass of grapefruit juice, coffee, a Kashi Trail Mix bar and a glass of soymilk.

    -I’m listening to the True Oldies radio station with “Bad Blood” by Neil Sedaka fading away and the words of “Baby I Need Your Loving” by the Four Tops coming at me.

    -I glance out the window at the dirty snow but don’t allow the sight to dampen my spirits.

    -I consciously keep my attitude upbeat and my mind focused on maintaining positive thinking.

    -If I should look back, I do so only to recall pleasant memories.

    -If I should look ahead, I do so with a hope.l

    • When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. As I look ahead I see a multitude of things to make me smile. Keep smiling, those smiles will return to you.

  5. The year is 1973. I’m driving my 66 Mustang with Kansas booming through the speakers as I cruise main street one last time as a high school student. In a few short hours I will have my diploma in my hand and I will be setting my sights on college. Ah yes college, I have plans for college. Late night parties, college babes, finish high in my class, snag a good job and maybe someone I could spend the rest of my life trying to spoil. In May of 1973, those were my dreams.

    January 2010 has rolled around and more water has crossed under the bridge than I want to admit. I had those parties, a few of the babes, finishing high in my class, no, because of the first two reasons. Did I find someone to spend my life with, yes, except a few years later she decided differently. Yes, January 2010 may be a little different than I had envisioned as a eighteen year old. As I look out my window I see the acres I call home. I hear Beautiful playing in the kitchen. I see pictures of kids and grandkids. I got a job that I’m good at that pays the bills. I think I may have exceeded my eighteen year old expectations. As the Good Book says, “Things work for good….” Yip, I believe it.

    What’s my expectations as an old fart in 2010? I’m going to become a writer, an author, a user of fine words. I’m going to stand up before a crowd of thousands and say, “Thank you Ann for the inspiration and instruction that gave me the foundation to become a writer.” Yip, that’s my expectations in 2010, maybe I can exceed them also.

  6. June 1995

    We are just moving into our newly remodeled home.
    We stand in the middle of the open 600 square foot top floor, and look out a wall of windows east to the Willamette River and beyond to Mt Hood.
    The 1905, 1200 square foot home now has new tile floors and counters, a fireplace that works, new plumbing and wiring, new walls, new windows, and a new exterior; it has a new life.
    My builder-creator-husband has taken the old house down to the studs and rebuilt it to today’s code, using some of the old wood so we can call it a remodel.
    It was worth living in an apartment for the last nine months to wait for the birth of our new home.
    We have moved Franklin the Fern, on his pedestal, into his 4 x 4 foot space in the northeast window.
    We look in wonder at the newspaper clippings and sewing patterns dated 1925 and 1933 that we uncovered tucked in the lath and plaster walls when we were tearing them down.
    We buried our cat of 16 years, who died before our move, in the garden to be with us in spirit.
    We have been interviewed for suitability to adopt two kitties from a cat rescue shelter, and will be bringing them to their new home in the coming week.
    We chuckle at our cleverness for installing a drycleaner-style rotating clothes rack in our
    small master bedroom, to use an otherwise unusable space as a closet.
    Happy, wonderful times here.


    We are presently in our next- to- last home, 35 miles away from the city of Portland, in rural Oregon. We have been here almost 7 years, different from our previous 20 years of moving every 3 years. My husband’s profession as a builder kept us continuing to build something new and move.
    We look at horses, fields, and farmland now, instead of the river, but we can still see Mt Hood from the top floor.
    My builder-creator-husband took 6 months, this time, to turn the house we bought into our home.
    We moved Franklin the Fern, now 32 years old, on his pedestal, to his current 6 x 6 ft space with window on either side of him. He is now 7 feet tall, and I have to stand on a step-stool to water him.
    Our kitties from the shelter are still with us, 15 and 16 years-old, and happy here.
    Nomadic living kept my storage areas relatively clear. They are now becoming full.
    Happy, wonderful times here.

    • Ok, I need to see a picture of Franklin, my wife will freak out.

      • parrot writes

        I’ll get that on my blog in a bit! He is a Roosevelt Fern and we got him in one of our house transactions when he was 10 yrs old. You should see the faces of the movers when they realize they have to somehow transport him!

      • parrot writes

        Ok – it’s there along with a short story. Haven’t figured out to get the instant feed from this site work yet, so for how go to

    • Thank you for a wonderful glimpse into your life and thank you ever so much for the photo of you and Franklin, because I have to say, I was eager to see a fern that large. I’ve never EVER seen such a healthy, happy fern! I plan to forward your website to my sister the Master Gardener, who will be equally as astounded, I’m sure. I enjoyed reading Franklin’s history. Glad to hear someone besides me names their houseplants, too.

  7. How awesome to have a husband who’s a builder! It must be wonderful to be able to transform homes into living spaces exactly to your liking.

    Franklin is truly amazing. He’s fortunate to have you to care for him now that he’s gotten so spacious.

    Thanks so much for sharing your life back in 1995 and presently.

    • Yes, it is wonderful to have a builder husband. It always amazes me how he can look at a piece of ground or a building to be remodeled and visualize the finished product.

      When we were moving so often, it wasn’t a problem for me, because we were always moving into something new and exciting. And, if there was a box of something I hadn’t used since the previous move, it went to the Goodwill!

      I think its garage-sale time this spring…

  8. We were sitting in the pizza joint all alone in a room full of people. We had just met forty five minutes before and now sat arm in arm gazing into each others eyes, totally in love.

    She was the cousin of a friend, who was sitting across the table with her latest lover, who happened to be my best friend. At least I think they were sitting there, we didn’t pay much attention to them.

    We were talking dreams, ambitions, how her nose crinkled up when she smiled. She pulled close to me and whispered in my ear, and my nose crinkled as I smiled. We were laughing, I proposed marriage, we laughed some more, and then she accepted on one condition. The next song that played on the jukebox had to be “our song”. She went on to say that depending on the song’s lyrics whether or not she’d accept.

    “Colour My World” by Chicago was playing, verses were over and just the long musical ending played on and on. She looked at me and said “Too bad we weren’t a song sooner, I’d have to change my last name.” Her eyes were dancing and I knew that if we were serious, if we really did get married, there would be no regrets.

    The jukebox went silent, and it seemed time slowed down to super slow motion. Even our double date buddies seemed anxious to hear what would blare over the speakers. You could hear the inner workings of the jukebox, and could envision what was happening, the arm came over and plucked up “Colour My World” and replaced it in B14. It hummed again as the arm grabbed the next record and sat it on the turntable. Then came the initial hiss of needle against wax. Within the first few notes we started laughing as we recognized “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John.

    At first it didn’t sound too bad especially since my dates name was Suzie. I really liked the part when the chorus talked about Suzie wearing her dresses tight. Then came the bummer in the second verse, Suzie went and left with some foreign guy.

    She looked at me with unbelievable sadness in her eyes, the total opposite of how they looked just moments before. For a minute I thought she was going to cry until I said, “Those damn French guys with their fancy talk, an Okie don’t stand a chance.” The dance came back into her eyes and her nose crinkled up as she laughed once more.

    Those memories make me wonder the ole “what if” and the “wonder what life would be like question. Those questions are really mute, they aren’t worth wasting time considering. My life has followed a path, sometimes rocky, sometimes smooth. I can’t say that I’m sorry for the path it has taken, I am fat and happy. So to all the girls I’ve loved before, tough luck, ya missed out on a great ride.

  9. Sing it ” Willie” Walk:

    “To all the girls I’ve loved before
    Who travelled in and out my door
    I’m glad they came along
    I dedicate this song
    To all the girls I’ve loved before
    To all the girls I once caressed
    And may I say I’ve held the best
    For helping me to grow
    I owe a lot I know
    To all the girls I’ve loved before
    The winds of change are always blowing
    And every time I try to stay
    The winds of change continue blowing
    And they just carry me away”

    That song popped into my head when I was reading your reflection. Even though I don’t know you well, I bet they missed out on someone special.

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