Category: Throwback

Goodbye, Childhood Home!

As you know, Ryan just came back from visiting his childhood homea last visit.  His parents are officially moving!  It doesn’t feel at all real to me probably because I wasn’t there to help box things up and watch the house become bare.

We are so excited for them.  So excited.  But there are definitely a lot of emotions going on!

Stolen from Jenn

Stolen from Jenn

I know for me it’s super weird to think that I’ll never walk into that house again.

I’ve only been a part of the family for 12 years and, even for me, there are so many memories there.  So many things I am sure I will miss.

Like visiting and meeting the Mecham’s for the first time when Ryan and I were dating, sleeping on Jenn’s trundle bed and being so completely intimidated by Craig AKA Grandpa Mecham (Haha! All the in-laws have said this. I have no idea why. He’s such a teddy bear!)  Matt coming home from his mission.  Or the time Ryan poured ice-cold water on a teenage Jared in the shower—and throwing Jenn in fully clothed.  Lunch at Applebees.  Watching Jared’s pole-vaulting meets and Jennifer’s track and cheerleading.  Listening to Grandpa jam on the guitar when he’s supposedly “working” in his office.  Seeing our dog Annie gave birth to puppies (“Our Dog.”  Hear that? LOL.  Their dog! Their dog!  They felt like our dogs too…)  and Wrinkles grew up into this amazing, feisty, hyper dog who would throw herself head over paws to fetch whatever you threw her way.

Nate, Matt, Ryan, and Jared Mecham

Brothers

Then there was the Christmas Grandpa-Great and Grandma-Great came to visit. How Grandma-Great busied herself helping with cooking, laundry, and re-arranging all the cupboards so no one could find anything—but oh how very organized and neat they were!  How Grandpa-Great insisted on joining me when I ran to the mall to get Jared’s gift of Victoria’s Secret Cologne.  Yes.  He went into Victoria’s Secret with me.  It was stupendously awkward.  Mostly for me, I believe. Afterwards, we sat outside in the car for about an hour, engine running while he told me story after story from World War II and about meeting his dear wife Wanda and starting their family.  He gave me advise and sucked me into his world and loved me like his own Granddaughter.

There was also the time when I was visiting Ryan and staying in Jennifer’s room, pre marriage.  Nathan was packing up to go back to the school the next day. Ryan was asleep in the basement, and I was reading my scriptures (of all things) on the kitchen table.  To be fair, it was pretty late.  Probably 1:00 am.  All of a sudden Craig wakes up and realizes I hadn’t gone to bed yet, comes bounding down both flights of stairs and turns on all the lights in the basement to find a startled and bleary eyed Ryan. The best part was Nate running after him saying “Dad!  Dad!  Wait!” knowing full well what he thought was going on.  As I was reading my scriptures.  At the table.  At 1 AM.

Image-124933E47A4A11DA

I remember coming home after Matt and Em’s Spokane wedding reception, everyone hurrying home to curl up on the couch to watch the pilot of a new TV show, Psych—which ended up being a family favorite for years to come.  Them renting a tiny apartment for the summer and going running with Emily every morning (okay fine….most mornings….when I woke up in time), buzzing about starting our college majors in the fall and talking about our brother-husbands.  Later on, Matt and Em moved back and Ryan and Jared helped him tear down the rock wall and Matt completely re-did both the deck and the living room.
DSCF2042

I was also so excited when Mel and Gary came to visit because it meant we could force everyone else into doing what no one else really liked to do, but we loved (and by “we” I mean Mel and I.  We, in no way, includes Ryan. =) —the competitive sport of board-gaming!  Killing many zombies and Horde.  Eating Sunday dinner on the back porch in the summer and being eaten ALIVE by mosquitos while everyone else was untouched!  Jared and Jennifer graduating high school.  Jared leaving and returning home from his mission in Finland.

Jared Jenn

Then, of course, there was the time I forced everyone to be my patients through dental hygiene school and they single handedly made it possible for me to pass (They love me. There is no other explanation. Why else would they endure a three hour, snail-speed dental appointment every 6 months for 3 years?).

1

After college in Spokane, we sold and packed up everything we owned, waved goodbye to friends and family, and moved to my home state of Colorado. We were so excited for what came next and I was surprised to feel my resolution breaking as we pulled out of the driveway, feeling that familiar sting of change and grief peaking over my eyelids and stealing down my cheeks.

That house was such a huge part of my life.  I know it wasn’t my house and that Ryan’s memories far surpass mine.  I know it’s not where I grew up or where I spent most of my time but I did an awful lot of growing up there too, married and all.

When I am in those places where memories pop up on their own, over time it almost feels like they reside there, like their life-force is somehow infused into the walls and I wonder if we will ever feel those things again quite as vividly, remember those tastes and sounds and laughter quite the same without the walls to hold them in.

It does feels so much like losing something—and yet not.

What are walls? Of course those memories will not be lost (as evident by the “Where’s Jared?!” story that has never lost it’s grip on the family).  And of course we will have many, many more happy and ridiculous memories together.

But, for now, I’m taking some time to be a little sad, allowing myself to feel a little worried, investing a bit in remembering all the love we experienced there, and wondering all those things we wonder when change is looming.

So goodbye blue house!  We’ve loved you!

#TBT Embracing Difficulties

There is something school taught me that is more valuable than any salary, job I enjoy, or the expertise and knowledge I carry around.  It gave me power.  I learned through that crazy hard time that in no uncertain terms:

I can do anything.

This also came with the realization that:

I can’t do everything, but I can do anything.  

I may need a lot of time, tools, friends, support, a helping hand, the guidance of an expert, or an added degree of patience.  I don’t have to do it alone, I don’t have to do it the first time (in fact, I probably wont) and I don’t have to be a “natural” at it.  I may have to approach it 6 different ways or, depending on the difficultly, I may have to sacrifice a lot of other things in my life in order to make time for the learning process.  I stopped telling myself “I’m not the artsy type” or the “smart type” or any other type I believed I wasn’t.

There is something rather empowering about this knowledge.  I take it for granted and am surprised to realize that not everyone knows this about themselves.  It really is true for everyone.

I think I mostly become discouraged when I am trying to do everything.  I start to confine myself again, and tell myself what I can or can’t do.  Or think I should be able to do it on my own.  When really, what I need to ask is:  Is it worth the sacrifice?  Is it worth all the things you’d have to give up to be good at that thing?  What are my priorities and how important is it?  Can I increase my ability a bit without needing to be an expert?  Is it something Ryan and I can work on together?

In a very weird way,  I miss hygiene school.  In those really hard times I find I was most humble, malleable, willing to learn and accept my shortcomings.  I was more kind to others because I knew I needed a lot of kindness too.  In some ways, I was broken.   I knew I couldn’t do it alone.   I would never willingly go through that again, and yet, I wouldn’t trade the way it changed my life either.

It also taught me to embrace the hard stuff.  It’s supposed to be hard and it’s okay.  It can be a good thing.  Some things aren’t worth doing unless they break you a bit and make you see the world differently.  So, for that, I am grateful for the hard times (at least when they are over).  I still don’t walk into them willingly, though.  =)

90’s YouTube

 

Right before my fifth birthday my family picked up and moved to a new state and into a rental house in Colorado. It was a tight tri-level with two adjoining decks and an unfinished basement. The backyard was landscaped with basketball sized rocks that layed on a steep hill, rendering half of the back yard completely unusable and extremely prone to weeds. The front yard featured a few trees and my favorite: lava rocks.

“You mean this is real LAVA?” I showed everyone. It was a miracle and it was in my front yard.

If you were to visit our home you’d most likely find the kids in the basement. It was our play-land, fully stocked with boxes, toys, my large barbie house, and a silver 10ish inch dial antennae television. It didn’t pick up much but we really didn’t care. It meant we could watch America’s Funniest Videos in secret while we took turns holding the antennae and standing on one foot.

This was easily my favorite show. I know, the show still technically exists but it in no way represents what it was. It was the 90’s equivalent of YouTube with a goofy host and grand prizes. I would watch and laugh and then plot how to win the big moneys.

“Okay, so John just needs to walk through the kitchen and slip on that towel there! It’ll be hilarious. We’ll win for sure!” My plans typically involved my brother injuring himself. “Or you could ‘accidentally’ run into the screen door. That one’s a classic!”

My older siblings would roll their eyes and explain that it wouldn’t look real if we planned it.

Okay. Fine. Then we’d just have to film something organic. We’re kids. Stuff like that happens all the time.

Our video camera was given to us by my grandfather. It was a pretty nice camera for it’s time but it’s time had passed. It was roughly the size and weight of a retro computer monitor (I just realized I have nothing modern to compare it to. They just don’t make em bulky and monstrous anymore. Think 6 blu-ray players stacked on top of each other with the weight of a head sized rock. About like that.)

When the moment struck I’d clumsily whip out the oversized camera–and the fun would immediately screech to a halt.  In my frustration I also realized this approach left me on the wrong side of the camera and out of the spotlight. We couldn’t have that.

So that’s when I started “hiding” it around the house attempting to capture moments of hilarity. I use “hiding” loosely because, unless you think large piles of clothing is normal on the window sill, couch, or dresser, you’d know something was up.

I knew this would work. I foresaw my doll house filled to the brim with new clothes, furniture, and more Ken boyfriends. We were going to be rich.

Imagine my surprise when there were no usable nuggets on the tape, just lots of people walking in and out of the room, instructions from Mom to set the table or do homework, and my family members inspecting (and chuckling at) the poorly hidden camera and pile of clothing.

I had met my match.  Rather than mourn my failure, my five year old brain suddenly saw America’s Funniest Home Videos for what it was.  Legendary.