Friday, January 31, 2014

Play It Again or Maybe Don't

Groundhog Day falls on Superbowl Sunday this year, and who can stand all the excitement? Ha!Actually I don't pay much attention to what the groundhog 'says' because when you live in the Northeast there is no such thing as a true early spring. Oh, we'll have a gorgeous spring-like day here and there, maybe even as early as March, but March is cruel and just when you think spring is here, BAM-snow. That's how mother nature rolls in our neck of the woods.

Hearing the radio DJ's talk about Groundhog Day this morning did get me thinking about the movie, the one with Bill Murray where he lives the same day over and over until he gets it right.  And in the spirit of Friday Fragments, and 5 on Friday, I thought it might be fun today to think about what days I'd like to live over.

My immediate thought was the two days my girls were born, and while those were two of the happiest days of my life, there's really no need to experience childbirth again, right? As I thought about it some more I realized the days I'd like to live over were ordinary days.  They were cozy slices of life as opposed to grand occasions, and they were filled with love and laughter and family.

I'd love to relive a Thanksgiving dinner with my dad at the head of the dining room table. I'd be about nine years old and he'd be carving the turkey in that elaborate way he liked to carve a turkey, and there would be a shrimp cocktail in a fancy glass on my china plate.

I'd be seated beside my brother and across the table from my sisters, and we'd all be dressed in church clothes, because Thanksgiving meant no play clothes at the table. My mom would be in her chair, closest to the kitchen because moms since time began are assigned that seat. She would light candles and have 1969 bouffant hair and a soft smile.

I'd love to relive the magical space between day and night, that after dinner early evening ritual we established with our golden haired toddlers. Where mom and dad would sit on the floor beside the tub, and listen to the sounds of sisterhood cementing itself into the fabric of our family.

We wrapped chubby legs and wet hair in hooded towels, and snuggled their squirmy selves in close to warm up. To breathe deeply the scent of baby shampoo-ed curls, as we maneuvered them into PJs with extravagant ruffles across the bum, and then we squeezed in tight for Stellaluna, There's a Moose in the Garden, and Goodnight Moon. To feel the weight of a sleeping three year old pressed against my chest as I carried her up the stairs. To kiss a soft sweet forehead, and feel the hope and glorious wonder of young motherhood.

I'd love to relive a day on our boat. A sunny day where we fly like the wind, then slow time and ease into our cove. Where we raft up with friends, and kids who are all arms and legs and laughter, leap into the water with purple noodles and carefree abandon.

Where even the blue heron stands captivated by the perfection of a Saturday afternoon. James Taylor wafts through a speaker, the sun sparkles like diamonds on a blue black river,  and God signs His masterpiece with the flourish of a pinky orange paintbrush.

I'd love to relive an afternoon in our English garden. Doors thrown open wide to the beauty of iris on the patio and poppies with their heads turned toward the sun.

The scent of lilac in the air, the Sunday Times, an ice cold glass of Pimms, teenage daughters whispering, dreaming in the wide expanse of grass. The other side of the pond. Redefining home. Feeling like the whole wide world was within reach.

I'd love to relive one tender Tennessee Smoky Mountain Christmas, before life tilted. The hodgepodge of family by birth and by marriage.

Snow up to the window sills and baked ham in the kitchen. Grandparents flanked by their children's children.


I ask myself, if I were really given the chance, would I go back? Relive something that has been safely tucked away in the quiet corners of my heart and mind?  Actually I don't think I would.  Memory is a very precious thing...moments that were savored in the living are cherished there.

I think that's how it should be, how I want it to be.
What about you have a 'Groundhog Day' somewhere in your heart?


  1. Absolutely beautiful Joyce. I wouldn't want to go back either but am thankful for the Groundhog Day memories to remember and treasure.

  2. I think about the ordinary days too - when my girls and I would take the time to have a tea party, complete with heart shaped sandwiches and fancy cookies. That would be a day I would relive :-)

  3. Oh, how I enjoyed your post! Reading through it, I was seeing memories of my own, but also thinking I really don't want to go back, when there is still so much ahead. I was happy to see you actually feel the same way! Your photos are precious, and how blessed you have been!! Thanks for sharing. I LOVE that movie, by the way. One of Bill Murray's best. Quirky, but with an excellent lesson for us, I think. Need to pull it out to watch this weekend!

  4. WOW! Love this post! You write so well. I know I have said it before, but it does bear repeating. You of course have made me travel back in my memories to sooo many wonderful, perfectly ordinary days. Some of those were just the best of times. I think I would pick one where my boys were all young and I would take them down to the beach. I'd sit in my little sand chair with my feet in the water literally feeling the warmth of the sun on my face and back (I was soo tan in those days!) and the splash of the cool water at the same time. I'd read my book lost in the pages of some imaginary story, while at the same time watching and listening to my boys run in and out of the waves and shoveling wet sand and collecting shells into their pails. It was hard to say who was happiest. Me or them. Eventually I'd open our ice chest and we'd eat egg salad sandwiches and pop grapes in our mouths. I'd eventually get up and go out into the water with them to play and we'd laugh and ride the waves and just generally enjoy the afternoon in the water and sun. Good, good times. By the time Melody was old enough to join us on these weekly trips to the beach during the summer time, some of the boys were old enough they no longer joined us. But everyone of my kids is a HUGE lover of the beach to this day, and we all remember those days as some of the best. There are soo many others I could chose as well. Ordinary days. Like you, the days they were born were wonderful, but that would mean a reliving of labor which would be a great big NO thank you for me, lol. What it has done for me this morning is thank God for memories. For the ability to travel back in our minds and relive such wonderful days and times. It does make me sad for those who have been robbed of this ability from disease or age. Hopefully the Lord will spare me from that. Enjoy your week-end, and so sorry for the LONG comment!

  5. I love this post Joyce. So sweet. Now I'm remembering times in the past with my family. Thank you for that.

  6. I adore this post... makes me think back at the wonderful memories in life.
    Like the movie, I'd like to also REDO some things over & do them right.

  7. What a sweet, sweet trip back through some awfully precious memories. You really do have a way with words!

  8. Your post reminds me of the play "Our Town" one of the main characters dies very young and she is allowed to go back and relive a day. The deceased characters encourage her to pick an ordinary day, any special day would be too painful to watch. I really love the ordinary days too.

  9. I think you've seen this video, but it's worth watching again: The Gift of an Ordinary Day

    Sometimes I want to go back a relive a day just so it can be fresher in my memory. I want to feel the sweetness.

  10. Oh how I loved your post. I agree with your other comments here..if only to refresh the sweetness of such a memory. Blessings

  11. Those kind of memories are like a kiss on the cheek from God. Loved your post.

  12. So many perfect days to relive.....
    I hope Spring is early...this winter has been too much! Happy Sunday!

  13. One of my favorite movies and our local theater was showing it this weekend. I didn't have time to go but that would have been fun. Love this post Joyce and enjoyed seeing your family photos.

  14. This was a sweet, thought-provoking post! Now you've got me wondering what five moments I'd like to relive, if I could...

  15. Sweet post, and beautiful pictures

  16. OH MY GOODNESS I LOVE this post!!! My memories are of my husband and me raising our 3 boys and bath-time was a favorite! You just couldn't believe how dirty they got and how clean they came out! Then, they smelled just like your girls, I'm sure LOL!!! We used baby shampoo forever just so they didn't whine and cry when it got into their eyes - and the youngest was a cuddle bug much longer than his older brothers and THAT was just heaven for this mother's heart!

  17. Loved this post, Joyce! You write so beautifully.