Looking Back


  THIS WEEK:  At some point in your past, was there a year – or a significant period of time – that you consider your “favorite” time (or, at least, one of your favorites)? What was going on?

I put off getting to today’s post because I didn’t want to be a “Negative Nancy”.  My life has not been an easy one. In fact, a few years ago after watching the Harry Potter series once again I realized that I probably would never be able to produce a Patronus. Poor Neville struggled enough with it and I recognized why. (If you don’t know HP, a Patronus is a strong protective charm that manifests itself as a wispy, vapor-like animal. To be able to conjure one up, a person has to focus on a strong, happy feeling from one’s past.)

I got a good laugh out of the thought, actually, even though when I tell that to people, they get sad.I will take a laugh anywhere I can get one. I was told in public on Facebook by a very old friend that I am too easily amused. I have taken that as a badge and wear it proudly:  I am too easily amused.
It beats the alternative.

If Jeff-The-Hound had not brought up that life is sometimes not easy, I may have outright skipped this week, which is something I never do. Not long ago we were asked about happy childhood memories and I brought up the good times that I had, so to rehash those so soon, as my post was on April 1st, just two months ago, it would be boring to all of us.

That isn’t to say that I haven’t had fun. By the latter part of the 70s, in Northern Virginia. we would go to the beach quite often, or go on an in-law’s boat around the Chesapeake Bay; those were incredible times. At that time we also would take my nieces, and sometimes friends, to Hershey Park. We would go to the movies, see the newest Pink Panther, or what hit our fancy. Sometimes I would even go with a young man,(one is now The Husband). This was before VHS/DVDs and cable, and when Disney films would be released, we’d use the excuse of the girls to see Sleeping Beauty and the rest at the theater.
I even went to the Kennedy Center and saw an opera with a troupe from La Scala with my aunt.

But there were many unhappy things happening in my life.

When my kids were growing I was already diagnosed with chronic health problems, but then,  like now, I kept going. In Denver and its area from the late 80s to the early 90s, we had gotten a nice townhouse which was my own to decorate as I pleased,(and budget allowed). Part of that time I was working again, (part time from home), and that was income I could splurge with on the house and crafts; I even got into woodworking. The place had a good-sized deck and yard in back, with smaller in front. I enjoyed making planters and growing all sorts of vegetables on the sunny deck, with some flowers against the house or in the shade of our few small poplars, (the rest of the small yard was given to the children, with a swing and shady grass to play on. We also had an extensive greenbelt that ran outside of our privacy fences, which was bordered by another privacy fence that surrounded the belt. A nice park with a playground was across a quiet street beyond that. The front yard had the best plants and flowers that I could fit in from a lovely garden center nearby. I always got mentioned along with some others in our monthly Homeowners Associating newsletter.

I was asked to go on the HOA board just before we moved, which I would have loved.  Homeschooling was big there and I was involved with several groups. Another woman and I arranged parties for the smaller one. We all got together as moms or families, and others arrange field trips every month. Another, larger group also had at least one field trip a month, plus weekly outings to parks or what-have-you where we talked and the kids played. There was also our own Scout Troop and Pack, and I became very involved in Scouting. I was asked to teach other Cub Packs who were struggling; I helped run Day Camps, and I was involved in all of the meetings and training.

We took family trips to the mountains, and we belonged to the museums, which we frequented.

Not to say that we weren’t having problems in the family, or personally and definitely financially. We made many sacrifices there for the small school where Joe taught, (the last 4-5 months without pay so that the seniors he had been teaching for many years would graduate.)
 My job disappeared, but we made it and we were not always unhappy.

Here in Kentucky, I did find times when I went back to work and got to be very creative. It was interesting running the bakery/restaurant. I will not go into why the man I worked for felt that he was pushed out of the town where it was situated and why I, who had thought that he didn’t want the responsibility, felt the same when I decided to try, nor why, after we had planned to move the business, everything crashed around us.

I got involved in the local school and tutored children. I worked in the library there and I helped with the book sales. The reason I was at the school is not a happy one and the stress was great, but I knew that I was helping more than my own family and I look back on it with pride.

But here I got back into writing and getting published a few times, which were the best! I need to press myself because that is a favorite time. I have let family problems and taking care of everything else get in my way.

I need the peace. I need the accomplishment. With the exception of my grandchildren, the friends that I have made here, via friends on blogs, which led to the friends that I have made on Facebook, and friends on vlogs,  have been the best that has happened to me in the past years.

(By the way, the rhyme above was unintentional, but I am leaving it; I am still a poet at heart.)

We have to find the best in where ever we are, whatever is happening;
not to deny the bad,

but to survive it.


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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9 Responses to Looking Back

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    Yes — make the best of things and do what is necessary to survive.
    I’ve recently begun reading a book about the dustbowl era when the “okies” began moving en masse to Calif. It’s a searing look at lives that were barely above survival minimums… and I find myself wondering how some of these characters — a novel based on real experiences — will survive. Or even IF they will.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Grapes of Wrath.It’s hard to watch, but it should be compulsory.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Salter says:

        this is actually the contracted novel that was BUMPED (and NOT published) by Random House, after Grapes of Wrath came out with such a splash. The editor, Bennet Cerf, supposedly decided the public demand couldn’t support two novels on the same subject.

        Liked by 1 person

        • trishafaye says:

          Jeff, what is the name of that book? The Grapes of Wrath (or is it The Grape Giraffe? LOL) is one of my all time favorite books. I think that it – along with stories from my mom and grandma – is what made the 30s my favorite era to read about. I’d love to read the bumped book too.


        • I had no idea. I remember Bennet Cerf on TV. I have read some of his own works.Funny man.


  2. Elaine Cantrell says:

    We have to find the best in where ever we are, whatever is happening;
    not to deny the bad, but to survive it.

    You are so right! My sister who died back in December didn’t know this truth. If she could have wrapped her mind around it she would have been a happier person. I tried to talk to her, but it didn’t do any good. She always chose to dwell on the bad and not the good.

    Your life sounds very interesting even if it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. You should write a book about it. Lots of people would be interested in reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I agree with Elaine. You’ve had a lot of experiences many of us would find interesting. Life isn’t all sunshine and lemonade, but it does no good to dwell on the pitfalls. What’s important is how you deal with the challenges. My attention really wanders when all I hear and read are complaints.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Honestly, Patty, I was flippant with Elaine, maybe, but there are too many other people involved in my life that cannot be talked about, it simply would not be right. To quote C.S.Lewis in The Horse and His Boy “That is her [their] story, not yours [mine]”


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