Archive of ‘Pure Randomness’ category

I Remember When She Was My Hero

I remember dancing through the warm summer grass,  my heart singing a happy tune as I listened to my grandma chatter.

“I’m here with my pride and joy,” she said to the gravestone as she pulled at the weeds obscuring its face. “She reminds me a lot of you. Oh, how you would have loved her.”

a single dandelion

Then she fell silent, and although I didn’t understand why, I knew she was sad. Quickly, I pulled a dandelion and danced over to where she was kneeling. I didn’t know what to say, so I just held it out to her.

“For me?” she said in a high falsetto. “Oh, thank you, honey.”

She hugged me tight and by the time she let go, her smile was back in place. And when I saw it, I knew all was right in the world again.

I cherished the time I spent with her. She taught me how to play war (the card game). She introduced me to the delicious concoction that is jello with a dollop of cool whip on top. She even taught me a little bit about what it meant to be a woman.

To this day, whenever I begin to dot foundation on my neck, I hear her say, “Always make sure your makeup goes all the way down to your collar. Otherwise you look unfinished.”

She wore dresses and heels, and her shoes always matched her purse. To a little girl still enamored with dress-up, her wardrobe was a dream come true.

Even then, I knew that her arrival made my mom anxious, and that she wasn’t always nice to her only daughter. But I was her Pride and Joy. The female grand baby (her only girl grandchild) that arrived a mere nine months after her husband’s death.

I could do no wrong.

But then I began to grow up. And I didn’t do so gracefully. Nope. I was chubby, had zits and braces,  and an awkward sense of style to boot. I still preferred the dresses and skirts I’d worn as a young kid, but teens didn’t dress that way, so I never felt right in my clothes. Or looked right, really.

And when that happened? I began to feel the bite of her tongue.

Eventually, the hero worship faded. I began to resent her for the pain she brought to my mother. I spent less and less time with her, until, as an adult, our only contact was quarterly phone calls and an annual Christmas visit.

But that day in the graveyard stuck in my memory. I’ll never forget the way I felt that day. The way I loved that day.

A part of me never stopped loving her that way.

And so now, knowing she lies in a hospital bed, her body seemingly giving up, I can’t help but mourn for the life that’s not yet gone.

She’ll be 92 in the morning. She’s lived a long, full life. It’s understandable if she’s ready to leave this world.

But the little girl I was is crying inconsolably inside. She doesn’t want to let her go.

She was my very first hero.

I can’t quite imagine a world without her in it.


Photo credit: Charles Harvey, Flickr




The Blog: My Invisible Appendage

Every once in a while, I wonder what my life would be like without a blog. I fantasize about all the extra time I’d have, and the neuroses I’d shed.

I imagine that I’d have more time to do June Cleaver-esque things, like baking cookies, and canning tomatoes, and cleaning toilets. All with a great big smile, of course.

It’s a nice dream.

Barbara Billingsley

Barbara Billingsley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But then, it happened.

While doing some routine maintenance, I clicked “update”  on a plug-in and, boom, the screen went blank.

I think I may have screamed.

Frantically, I clicked out of my dashboard and tried to log back in.

“FATAL ERROR,” the screen said.

I tried again.


And again.


And again.


I  shot a frantic text off to my husband. “My blog is dead. I am doomed.”

Then I told Twitter. And Facebook.

Then, and only then, did I think to email the techie friend who had recently help me move the darn thing.

“Hmmm,” he said, looking at the error message I sent him. “That file path doesn’t look right.”

In other words, we had bigger problems. The site wasn’t where it was supposed to be. I couldn’t even access the FTP.

If this were a movie, that’s when I would have fainted.

Instead, I moaned to one of my Facebook groups. And snarled at my (very patient) husband. And mentally wrote all kinds of nasty tweets to the developer of the plug-in.

Then all I could do was wait.

I could have baked something. Or cleaned something. Or hummed a little tune.

But I didn’t.

I paced. And fretted. And cursed the developer some more (quite eloquently).

I thought about all of the mushy, funny, and just plain silly posts I’d written over the years. Posts that were in danger of disappearing forever. And I realized that I most definitely didn’t want to be without a blog.

It’s part of me.

When (with my hubby’s help, and thanks to our techie friend) I was finally able to delete that dastardly, blog-destroying  plug-in, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.

My baby’s back.

Cue a giant sigh of relief.

My name is Amber, and I am addicted to blogging. But, you know what?  That’s okay.

I ‘d make a really sucky June Cleaver anyway.




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Change is Hard.

I like to think that I am an impulsive creature, capable of turning on a dime and tossing my schedule to the winds without a care.

That is a lie.

The truth is, I am a woman who needs her routine. Who gets a bit…flustered when things get out of sync. I am, in fact, much like my three-year-old daughter in that regard.

And right now? My routine is out of whack. Between the new gig, a renewed focus on getting healthy, and a daughter who would really love to be a night owl, I am quite kerfuffled.

Writing, of course, is the thing that has fallen through the cracks. As it so often is.

I’m not making excuses. I hate it when bloggers do that. I’m just letting you know what’s been going on in the real world while this space has been sitting so helplessly blank.

But I’m getting back in the swing of things. I’m establishing a new routine. And writing here is part of it.

I’ve worked too hard, for too long, to let this all go.

For now, how about a cute kid picture?

That munchkin of mine, she’s morphed into a lovely, funny person again. A person who, thankfully, enjoys the water as much as we do. I think this grin says it all:

Tori the paddler

Don’t you?

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