When I started this year's Bead Journal Project using the theme of Secret Treasures, I thought it would be a breeze. And so it did in the beginning. I could usually do the beading and construction of the actual recycled jar in only a few days, but choosing the piece to go into the jar and then actually telling the story of the piece is what has taken time and "challenged" my Muse. For June, I was stuck. I had the jar completed and I had the piece to put into my Treasure jar, but the story just wasn't fit to tell anyone.
My Summer started out in a bad tone. I was so excited in going to Lexington to take the Tambour Beading class, but it was an act in frustration for me. I should never have taken the class as it was for advanced people, and I didn't have a clue. In the past, if anything comes along where I use my hands, then I have no problem figuring it out even if my fingers and eyes twisting and turning until I've mastered the technique. But not this time. I struggled so hard to even figure out the first thing causing me to get more and more frustrated as the weekend went along. And when I get frustrated with something, that is it! I do the "sour grapes" thing trying to talk myself into hating what it is that I can't do. But I paid for this class, so I went even though I'd only spend 3-4 hours a day because I was determined NOT to let this foil my supposedly fun filled weekend. I'm usually a very cheery fun student wanting to talk & chat & socialize with my fellow students, but not this time either. I don't know if it was that I felt so out of place, or my frustration just put a big aura of "don't talk to her" sign around me. I was isolated in my inability to figure this all out. I finally did, but by then it was too late. My mood was ruined, and that was that. So began my Summer.
I enjoyed going out to Tacoma for the Puget Sound Bead Festival meeting new people & learning new techniques (which didn't frustrate me this time around) and visiting with my best buddy. But under all this was calls from Ohio telling me Fiona was getting more & more ill. I enjoyed my week, but I knew there was going to be pay back. And brother was there and still is. So all along there has been this dark undertone to everything this Summer. As too it has with the story that I wanted to tell about my June BJP.
For June, I wanted to put my class ring from Portsmouth High into a green jar, but I was so black with mood swings about everything that all I could think of were dark sad thoughts. I love my baby brother, Victor, so much. He & I can talk for hours about everything, but he is such a busy man with his 4 growing children, but I called him to talk to him about Portsmouth and this rage I carried in me. He grew up in Portsmouth. He was born in Portsmouth. He loves Portsmouth. Me? My parents moved back to Portsmouth Ohio in 1967 when I was in 8th grade from Los Angeles. It was a nightmare for me being pulled out of school and friends I'd known since 3rd grade and put into a strange situation that was beyond coping. I still have so many bad memories of going to school and living there. I wanted to write about this ring, but how to do that & NOT get caught up in hate. The ring itself is my version of difference. Everyone else bought their class rings from the vendor that came into the High School so all their rings could look alike except for small differences. I didn't want that. I was different and was treated different, so I wanted something I could wear on my finger to show that I was what they all saw me as...strange, different, odd. I talked to Victor about this, and told him I truly wanted to get all this away from me. I thought blogging about all these past experiences of those 5 years would help me get this out of me. To be sixteen years younger than I is something when he with his soothing voice told me, I needed to put that ring in the jar along with all my dark black thoughts and seal it up and never open it again. Let all that wither in that jar and then instead write about good thoughts about Portsmouth. So I am going to do that. I put the ring in the jar last night when I finished the pictures...the past is in there with it.
Things I remember about Portsmouth:
Walking along the foggy streets dashing from one pool of light pouring down from the street lamps.
Rolling down the blazing leave colored hills around Portsmouth in the Fall when Daddy hunted for berries in the brambles.
Eating hamburgers on a snow day with money we'd made shoveling snow with Jerry and Cheryl.
The day Victor was born.
Meeting Chris for the very first time at Shawnee State's library and knowing this was HIM.
Sitting on the front porch of our 11th street house swinging and singing with Jerry & Cheryl while Jerry attempted to let the whole state of Ohio hear his off key voice.
Sitting on the Flood wall watching the barges slowly crawl up and down the Ohio River.
Riding my bicycle up the hill with the frosty hair pulling hairs from out of my cap.
Sitting with Grandma on her huge porch in August listening to the insects sing.
Cheryl & I laying on our beds listening to Bread over and over again on our turn table.
Playing in the sprinklers with Jeannette and Teresa.
Noel Family gatherings where my uncle who had a blue grass band would let me play my Accordian with them and not grimcing.
Buying my first car and being so proud of its paisley top and interior.
Picking the peas out of Teresa's Vegetable soup.
Watching Star Trek IN COLOR with Grandpa who'd then drive me back home because everyone else was watching Bewitched.
Sundays with everyone crowded around the television watching Bonanza.
The Christmas season downtown where all the stores where decorated and everyone was truly happy.
The candy stand at Kresages where the lady would let you have 25 cents worth of chocolate covered anything!
My first real adult job as a Pharmacy Technician at Scioto Memorial Hospital
Spending the nights with Mom Gray rocking in chairs and listening to radio plays.
Eating homemade noodles at my Aunt Rosie's house.
Telling jokes to my Uncle's Doc & Charles and they laughed!
Christmas I gave Victor the 1000 piece Martian landscape kit and seeing my Dad roll his eyes.
Driving my Plymouth Satellite out into Shawnee Forrest on a dirt road, rolling out a blanket and just sitting quiet listening to the breeze.
Taking Victor to school on his first day. And the teacher thinking I was his Mom.
Victor calling me Mom and laughing as he ran way.
Cheryl & I walking down to Shaeffers to get a bottle of Pepsi.
Icy cold sips of water at Kenny Springs.
Tangerine ice cream.
Getting a fog pass at the Johnda Lou drive in in Wheelersburg while trying to watch Marthon Man.
Driving around Shawnee Forrest with Chris at night.
Our first apartment in Portsmouth with plastic curtains.
Cheryl and Jerry's wedding.
Dad being so proud of his Meat Processing shop.
Grandma Gifford walking us downtown and buying me a lavender blanket because she knew my "blood was thinned out" from living in LA.
My graduation party.
Getting accepted at Ohio State.
Daddy holding my hand the night before I left.
Mom packing all my things into a trunk.
Looking at pictures of long passed people with Mom and Grandma.
Going through Grandma's house looking at all her stuff while she tells us stories about each piece.
Our dog Buck. Our cat Terry.
Toby jumping into bed with me after Jeannette had gone to school.
Teaching Victor to read.
Rocking Victor in the chair late at night while he was teething.
Taking Jeannette & Teresa to Mound Park drugs to get their school supplies
Spending hours at the Portsmouth Library.
The dark hall ways at PHS and that one staircase by the auditorium.
Paula and I in the high school play "Pennys from Heaven" where we didn't stretch out the balloons for the performance and made everyone laugh when we adlibed the scene.
Walking back and forth at Richard's News trying to find the perfect paper back.
Crispy Creme donuts and hot chocolate.
The juke box at Pizza Pub.
Family. Friends. Chris.
Now to live my life with all these good thoughts embraced within my soul.