As Amanda was picking up the toys that were strewn all over the floor, a song came on the radio. It was the song that would always transport her back to that summer.
As the familiar song played in the background she remembered another time and another place where she heard that song. Soon she was back to that summer of 1970, the summer she turned 16 and the boy who would steal her heart.
School had been out for a few weeks as the summer routine stated to settle into summer time fun. This was the summer at the lake where she would met Matthew.
Matthew and his family had just moved into the military post where both of their fathers were stationed. He looked a bit older than his 16 yrs, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she ever saw.
As Matthew arrived to the beach area at the lake near the post where they lived, Amanda quickly invited him to join her and her friends. As a special song played they all introduced themselves to him and eagerly offered to show him the ropes of the post. Joey would know all too soon what it would be like to be the new kid again, he just finished telling everyone his father was being transferred and this would be his last summer there.
Summer continued on, Matthew and Amanda always showing up at the same places. It seemed fate was throwing them together. It was inevitable that Amanda fell in love with Matthew.
Joey had left soon after, followed by Ann whose father had been killed in Vietnam, her mother was moving her little family back home to Idaho. Reality set in to everyone there. Especially to Amanda, along with her best friend Ellie and her two other friends Michael and Laura who just found out their fathers would also be leaving soon for a tour of duty in Vietnam. A few days later Matthew found out his father also had orders. It would become not only a long summer but a long year of uncertainty for Amanda and for those she care about.
By the end of summer Amanda and Matthew were inseparable, bonded by knowledge that their fathers may not return. That special song soon became their song as they clung to each other for support in the months ahead.
Matthew was with Amanda when she said good-bye to her father and she was with him when he said goodbye to his father. The next 11 months of watching the news and waiting for their father’s return would become unbearable. During this time they found young love. Their special song would be a reminder along with the ring Matthew gave to Amanda that summer for the promise of a young enduring love.
Summer turned into autumn, then winter and soon spring. Fathers were returning home and one day her own father came home. The same day Matthew and his family got word that his father was killed in action.
Soon after Matthew’s mother left the post and returned home to Pennsylvania and Amanda’s father was transferred to Washington state. They wrote each other and spoke on the phone often. Soon Matthew enlisted in the Army and Amanda went to nursing school. And at what always happens life got busy and soon they lost touch.
Amanda never took off the ring Matthew gave her that summer, it was a constant reminder of a lost love and deep friendship.
Matthew kept a picture of a girl next to him as he went from post to post a reminder of lost love and deep friendship.
Every time a special song would play both Amanda and Matthew would think of how they found love in the summer of 1970.
Years went by and Amanda got a new job at the Army Military Hospital where she once lived. It would be there 10 years later that she will find love one summer afternoon at a lake.
A young man, tall, confident with the deepest brown eyes she had not seen in over 10 years walked in, just as a special song began playing.
As Amanda thought back to the summer day 45 years ago she felt the touch of the man who stole her heart in 1970, as he hugged her and sang along to the words. They had kept a promise of enduring love they made to each other all those years ago.
Soon grandchildren came running in as the older couple continued dancing. In the midst of laughter and chatter from little children, they only saw the young lovers they were in 1970.
Autumn. Don’t you just love the smell of the weather change? “Fall is in the air” my dad would say when the temperatures begin to change.
Although autumn doesn’t start until Sept 21, for me it starts with the first day of school. My children are grown now but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the excitement of seeing back to school supplies, children shopping for school clothes and the memory of a class room on that first day. Do you remember the smell of the first day of school?
With the coming of September I welcome the change from the slower pace of summer to the hustle and bustle of church and school activities.
It is interesting how each season has its own distinct qualities.
Winter is a time to curl up with good books in front of my fireplace (it is an electrical one but still a fireplace!) while enjoying a hot cup of British blends teas. Winter is also a good time to get caught up on all those sewing projects I have lying around. Who can resist that first snowfall that blankets our world?
Spring refreshes my world with hope as I watch earth’s slumber awaken with the signs of spring; new growth, spring flowers, baby bunnies and all of the birds returning from their southern journey. Spring is also the opportunity to indulge in spring cleaning as I clean out my closets and freshen up the house. Don’t you love the smell of the house that has just been scrubbed with Pine Sole as the window curtains flutter in the spring breeze?
Summer is set aside for vacations, working around the house and lazy days on the deck. The dog days of summer brings relaxation and enjoying good old-fashioned southern ice tea in front of my air conditioner. Who can remember laying down on the grass, watching the clouds float by and daydreaming of your future?
Oh but Autumn ~ my favorite time of year. The air is not only cooler after the lazy hot days of late summer, but it is brisk, fresh, and clean. Our mountains come alive in the colors of autumn, gold, russet, brown and orange. The smell of chalk boards and freshly copied paper from an old mimeograph machine permeates my mind. To this day I still enjoy buying new clothes in August and enjoy opening up a new notebook just waiting to be filled. Who remembers the anticipation of the first day of school?
Today as an adult my routine in Fall takes a different direction. Instead of getting ready for school, I prepare for committees and activities after a restful summer. My office is also busy as the committees of the Presbytery return from their summer breaks, new pastors move in and other pastors move on. The Presbyterian Church is also ready to start-up doing what they do best – helping others.
And that is where the next chapter in my life is taking me ~ helping others ~ as I anticipate the new challenges God has called me to.
I will be serving on a mission committee at church. We will have our first meeting next week as we find ways to help those in need both locally and in different parts of the world.
Then there is my term as the Historian for the Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the Trinity. This year I will also serve not only as Historian but on their mission board. In addition I will also be undertaking the job of webmaster of their webpage. This is a story for a different time, because I did not see that one coming and walked right into volunteering to take over! But it is a challenge I welcome and will enjoy. I look forward to working with the person who set it up. (If you are reading this A.T. I thank you for this opportunity)
The biggest challenge has been to accept the responsibility of a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group leader. I have been in leadership for a few years but not as a group leader. We had our first class night and God has blessed me with a wonderful group of ladies. I look forward to not only seeing where God will lead me but where He will lead the class as we study about Moses together.
Regardless if I buy school supplies or office supplies or if I purchase clothes for work instead of for school I will always anticipate the new challenges that autumn brings.
It starts with a low rumbleAs the sun shines brightlyOff in the distance clouds gatherFirst white, and then gray turning blackOminous and forebodingRain pours down from the heavensDarkness sets inWind blows and hail beginsTrees bent cowering in the stormThe clouds begin to scatterFirst black, then gray then whiteForeboding replaced with stillnessLight shows the wayRain turns to mist as the rumble fadesTrees stand tall no longer afraidAs the thunderstorm goes its way
The sub-title reads, ” A new generation of sisters”. As I read the book I could almost see Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in today’s world. But instead it is the story of Jo’s granddaughters, Emma, Sophie and Lulu ~ a new generation of sisters.
Lulu finds a collection of letters written by her great – great grandmother Josephine March. As Lulu sisters find romance and a career, Lulu seems to be heading nowhere. As she reads Jo’s letters she is drawn to the past as she discovers what her future may be.
Although I am the youngest in my family, I felt drawn to Lulu, like I have always been drawn to Jo. Is it because I too have always been restless moving from one thing to another, not quite knowing where I fit in? The more I read I saw Jo in Lulu and I saw both Jo and Lulu in my own life. Lulu found “solace and guidance” from Jo’s letters and I found encouragement from Lulu and strength from Jo’s life from remembering her life in “Little Women”. Just as Lulu will find her place in her life, I am learning to rebuild my life and finding new purpose for my own life.
If you enjoyed Little Women you will enjoy this book. It is a good summer book, something to relax with on a warm summer day as you allow it to transform you back into the lives of the March family.
When I saw the weekly photo challenge I knew I had the right picture for it . So I searched high and low and could not find the original pictures on disk. Of course I will find them once I post this picture!
So I took the picture I had framed off my wall and went to scan them, but for some reason my new photo program really highlights the pictures and I have yet to figure out how to tone them down. So I did the next best thing, I took a photo of the photographs.
The pictures are from one of my Lilac bushes. I took the series during a time in my life that I was experiencing an emotional winter and needed to be reminded that spring will be coming soon bringing renewal followed by summer which would bear fruit from my hardships and eventually autumn would return to prepare me once again for a winter season.
The picture is not as perfect as what hangs on my wall, but since it is a picture of a picture I guess it is not too bad.
Today I was going to post a book review. But something happened in my yard that I have to share with you, so my review will have to wait for another day.
As I was outside with my daughter a noise caught my attention and I noticed something moving in the weeds and bushes on our fence line. I wondered what was lurking in the shadows – stalking – and ready to pounce on me?