Mikayla is my best friend’s little sister. She is 12 years old. She is also my (non-legally) adopted sister*, as I live with her and her amazing family every time I go to Boulder. (One time, we made penguins. They were awesome). Continue reading
The plains ignore us,
but these mountains listen,
an audience of thousands
holding its breath
in each rock. Climbing,
My sister Megan is the Queen of Goodwill. That’s a fact.
Abba even did a song about her:
*The song was written a few years ago, she’s not 17 anymore. ** These might not be exactly the lyrics to the song. But they should be.
Ooooo she’s a Thrifting Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen*,
Thrifting Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine (oh yeaaaaahhhh)
You can shop, you can buy, having the time of your life, (oooooo ooooo oooo)
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Thrifting Queen.” **
And now hopefully you have that extremely catchy tune stuck in your head. You’re welcome.
She took part in the Something to be Found blog’s March Reader Thrift Challenge. Check out her entry, and then vote for your favorite! (Which is #4, Megan. Obviously.)
Here are a couple pictures of her entry:
And here is the link:
Vote for Megan!
Cause she’s awesome and finds cool junk at Goodwill and makes it look pretty!
Which does indeed take some skill, let me tell you.
Meg, you rock!
Christmas time is nearly here
Give a shout, hooray!
It’s time to be with those held dear,
To frolic, sing and play.
But behave yourself, the warning goes,
To kids, both naughty and nice
See, Santa Claus, he always knows,
Every kindness and every vice.
Still, I’ve never met a kid who hates
The Christmas season time,
For parents though that love abates
With all the Christmas whine.
So give a hug to one you love
And go romp in the snow,
But don’t forget when push comes to shove,
It’s Christmas time you know!
I wish you happiness, I wish you cheer,
This glorious Christmas time,
I wish you joy, with loved ones near,
Enjoy my Christmas rhyme.
As you might have known from my previous post Max Seigal Photography, I’m good friends (I’d even go as far as to say best friends) with Max Seigal, who takes epic pictures. Seriously, they’re epic– check them out.
If you’d like:
1) the chance to honor Max’s mom Alice, a veterinarian in Boulder, Colorado and all-around amazing woman, who passed away in October,
2) to support the Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue, and specifically a dog named Coco Puff who needs cataract surgery, and
3) the chance to win one of Max’s pictures (makes the perfect Christmas present!), then check out this Facebook link:
To purchase tickets, write a check payable to:
RMCR, c/o Shannon Matthews, 2138 Doris Court, Loveland CO 80537.
You will be sent a receipt with your ticket(s).The winner will be announced Sunday, December 8th via email, and also posted on the RMCR Facebook page and RMCR website. Said lucky winner will receive a promo code to use on Max’s site for the 20×30 print of their choice, on either paper or metal (go for the metal– they look fantastic, don’t need to be framed, are much lighter than a traditionally framed picture of that size– no glass!, and are quite durable and easy to clean).
If you need any help selecting your photo, I’d be happy to make recommendations. My first recommendation is this: buy a couple tickets, and then go over to his site and buy a few pictures. One Max Seigal photograph is pretty sweet, but two (or more!) is even better.
Good-night! good-night! As we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I see you there, in your fleece zippered robe, bare feet, smile. We sit at the computer, watching a television show, giggling and exclaiming together. Three of us, brought together by your love. They laugh, secure in knowing they were chosen, they are treasured, the daughters of your heart. You keep asking if you can adopt me too, and I grin and say yes. First to bed, first to rise, you usually head upstairs before we do. They have school tomorrow, so we won’t be up late. I will ride with you, and after the school run we take the dogs for a walk before going for coffee. We will meet the guys at the coffee shop. We do this almost every school day; a routine, a ritual.
Now we are left, loving echoes and memories. We listen for your voice on the stairs.
NIght-night honey buns! I hear you say. I love you!
Love you Mom! Night Mom, love you!
Goodnight, I say. See you in the morning.
January 14, 1957- October 23, 2013
In honor of my little brother’s birthday yesterday (22, you’re making me feel old here Eric!), here are of some of his more recent quotes– as in, these are the only ones I can remember off the top of my head. I could write a pretty good series of Things Eric Says, and I’m fairly certain one of these days that will probably happen. So perhaps consider this a preview of epic works to come. They say that as a writer you should mine your family life for material. Pretty sure I’m set for writing material for the rest of my life. For a kid with selective mutism he sure has a lot to say when no one else is around, and most of it is hilarious.
Selective mutism is defined (by Wikipedia) as “… a psychiatric disorder in which a person who is normally capable of speech is unable to speak in given situations or to specific people. …. Children and adults with selective mutism are fully capable of speech and understanding language but fail to speak in certain situations, though speech is expected of them. The behaviour may be perceived as shyness or rudeness by others. A child with selective mutism may be completely silent at school for years but speak quite freely or even excessively at home.” This describes Eric to a T. It can be a challenge, but hey, we’ve all got our issues. Some are just more obvious than others. I’m sure some of his teachers, who I don’t think he ever spoke to during his 4 years of high school, would be astounded at at the Chatty Cathy he turns into as soon as he gets home. One never knows exactly what will emit from his vocal cords, so it’s never boring (see below).
Things My Brother Says
- “I’ll bet this metal pole would float.”
Dad: “Are you in shape yet?”
Dad: “Well then we better keep biking until you are.”
- “Don’t make me turn on my synthetic lightning.”
Mom: “The bison like those dry spots to hang out in.”
Eric: “They should try my lips, they’re pretty dry.”
- “Look at that wad of goats over there.”
- After farting in the kitchen directly in front of me, just before leaving the room: “Here’s your gift of Christmas stench.”
- As we approach a waterfall on a hike: “I hear the pitter-patter of falling water. Or 100 mountain goats peeing at the same time.”
- “I think my ass geyser just exploded.”
Happy Birthday Eric! You’re the best little brother I’ve ever had, and I can’t imagine how boringly-normal my life would be without you. You are one of the most righteous dudes I’ve ever met, and I’m so proud of you.
Rock on, bro.
This one is for you, my Mother Dearest,
A mother of three, whom we all both love and fearest!
Today’s a day of thanks for my lovely Mom,
Like every mother, she’s def da bomb!
She cooks, she cleans, she sweeps, she sews,
And whenever I am bad, she somehow always knows!
She’s a band director, the finest teacher of music,
Somehow listening to 5th grade clarinets doesn’t make her lose it!
She teaches kids who aren’t her own
How to play the tuba, flute, or saxophone.
I don’t know how she does it, her patience is legendary
Except for when it comes to bad tuning, then she gets scary.
She marches, she copies, she fixes, she files,
And she does it all with (mostly) real smiles.
I’ve always admired your passion and drive,
To be like you is for what I strive.
You’re the bestest Mom I’ve ever had,
Without you my life would sure be sad.
You meeting Dad sure was fateful,
You gave me life, for which I’m grateful.
I love you mom, I hope you know that,
I may journey far, but home is where the heart’s at.
I love you deep, I’ll love you long,
I love you sure, I love you strong.
So Happy Mother’s Day Mommy Dearest,
To my heart you will always be nearest.
With lots of love from your most favorite eldest daughter, who didn’t know that there was a MCB Clarinet website, and that both our pictures are on it. Interesting things can be found when one searches for your name on Google.
And Happy Mother’s Day also to my mother’s mother, my grandma Elvera, whom I love dearly and who prints out all my blog posts and puts them in a three-ring binder. Everything I write, I write for you.
Love you much!
For my Dad, one of the many Mike Smiths that exist in the world, but definitely the most important (at least in my life). You’ve taught me just about everything important in life, like how to eat pizza, play euchre and softball, how to stack firewood and how to go on long walks in the woods. You’ve taught me how to “walk it off,” to be a team player, how to be committed and a hard worker, how to laugh at corny jokes. You taught me to take advantage of opportunities, and how to be a good person. You taught me to appreciate the “classical” music of Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and the rest.
Four years ago I graduated college on your birthday, something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top as a birthday present. You paid for four years of education at a private, liberal-arts college, and I wrote you this poem. I don’t know if I’ll ever really be able to tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and how much I love you.
Thanks Dad, for everything.
In honor of your birthday Dad I wrote for you this po-em
For though I may be far away, today I wish I was ho-me.
The world is great, but can’t compare
To you, my Father Extraordinaire.
You taught me how to drive a car,
Which let me leave and go quite far.
That same skill though is what brings me back
‘Cause throughout the world, my family is what I lack.
It’s from you I think that I’m low key,
One of the things I like the most ’bout me.
From you I got my temperament,
Way of looking at the world unbent.
Because of you Dad, for my best I strive,
And without you Dad, I’d not be alive.
You’re my mountain, my sturdy base,
As necessary as the nose upon my face.
Your beard might now be a little more gray,
But to me you’re always going to be more than just okay!
If you can’t tell Dad, I think you’re the best
A man above all others, better than the rest!
I love you Dad!
This one was sent to me by my sister Megan. Apparently my brother was watching The Blue Collar Comedy Tour Movie in which one of the comedians tells a story about a man and a beaver.
Eric: “How do you get your nipple bitten off by a beaver?”
Dad: “It happens all the time.”
And then, the next day, I came across this news blurb on Outside:
Read it here: Beaver Kills Belarus Man With Deadly Bite
So see Dad– it really does happen all the time.
If you’re interested, Whitney and I saw a beaver while working at the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina last year! Read about it here: Animals on the Refuge.