Here and Where

weighty thoughts, paperweight, blogThe music takes me away from my writing chair here and brings me to where. Any where I want to go. On this morning, I’d like to go back to the weekend, where my son-in-law sets an individual lava cake ramekin in front of me, proud of his accomplishment, beaming in my praise.

Sons-in-law have it tough, I muse now as a chilly May breeze blows through my window, bird song following with twirling high notes of friendly greetings.

I lean back in my oak chair, my rear aided by a turquoise pillow at the seat, a flowered thicker pillow at my back. I may be here a long time as I tap out my musings, wild things scampering out of my morning brain.

Where was I? Oh, yes, sons-in-law. The music wafting from my computer – the San Francisco classical station I listen to all day – is Dvorak’s Bagatelle #5 Op.47. The notes weave in and out like the thoughts in my head as my hot green tea cools. Sons-in-law are rarely good enough for our daughters. They have an impossible job – loving our progeny with absolute perfection. My son-in-law may not be perfect, but he came close this past weekend.

dogwood tree, trumpetHe handed me a bouquet of peonies as he grilled fish tacos for the entire family, including their three children, and then finished off the meal with his homemade lava cakes. But first, we all watched as he surprised our daughter- his wife – with a new dogwood tree, digging up a hole while the kids oohed and aahed, asking his wife to name the tree – Delilah the Dogwood she proclaimed immediately – and then playing a trumpet dedication with their 9-year-old daughter.

We all stood outside in front of the newly planted tree, blessing the scene, blessing each other, blessing the sunshine and the two boys who acted horrified and delighted by the newly dug out grubs that slithered and squirmed in the wheelbarrow.

CSIRO via Wikimedia Commons

I stop my thoughts and return to the here – my computer desk covered with scattered pages: the Table of Contents of my unfinished novel, the small papers of quotes that I save for just the right occasion, the purple paperweight that my son gave me eons ago. The morning sun glows through the round glass weight that is holding down my thoughts, stopping the breeze from scattering them all over.

spring in New England,

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotion.” James Michener

121 thoughts on “Here and Where

  1. Great post Pamela,

    music has that power to bring us whenever we want, because she awakens emotions in us.Interestingly, our brain remembers emotions ,and a certain song always bring us the same emotions.

    • I just taught a writing class about the importance of music in our writing and our creativity. A few notes ring out, and wham, the listener can be filled with emotion: sad, joyful, a memory forgotten, pain, but mostly, pleasure.

    • A lovely glimpse into your family’s life. Music is indeed an evocative force here on planet earth. Hurrah for Delilah the Dogwood! And fish tacos! and trumpet dedications! And lava cakes! And loving sons-in-law!

        • I have recently re-discovered the music of the Carpenters… Karen’s voice is so heartful and soothing (and for me there is the added poignance of the personal demons she was wrestling with for much of her career). I use music every day to motivate and organize my thoughts and actions. Lovely to learn that many people accompany their writing with music!

          • I agree about Karen Carpenter and her voice. It’s absolutely angelic and takes me to a different place when I listen to her songs. Funny, many people have discounted the Carpenters’ music as either being too ‘sweet’ or too ‘old.’ They’re missing out. I love finding out here how many writers listen to the musical notes of others as they create their own writing notes.

  2. Beautiful post, pics and quote, Pam! Music can take us places in just a matter of seconds and the journey from here to where is never a dull one. 😊
    Have a lovely weekend! ❤

  3. You stopped me at “Sons-in-law have it tough.” I’d never looked at my two sons from that perspective, one deserving of attention. And so I’m off, to my girl cave upstairs, to write, to attend. In your honor I’ll try Spotify once again. Thank you, Pam.

    • Ah, interesting, Janet. Yes, sons-in-law AND daughters-in-law can have a tough job — to love our children as deeply as we do. Hope Spotify found you just the right music to inspire you and your writing.

  4. Such a beautiful post, Pam. It sounds like you had a truly lovely mother’s day with your family.

    My son-in-law is wonderful, and I think my husband is enjoying having a son. 🙂 He listens to classical music while he studies.
    My other daughter has a wife, so we have a daughter-in-law, too, and she is also wonderful.
    I love music, but I can’t listen to music while I write.

    • I think if we love our children, we need to love their spouses. It’s only right. Oh my gosh, I’m just now listening to a piano solo that brings tears to my eyes. Poetic. I’m fascinated that you don’t/can’t listen to music as you write. Perhaps because when you’re creating poetry, you don’t want to be influenced by the strands of poetic music.

      • I can listen to music while cooking or doing chores, or exercising obviously, but not writing. Yes, and music that brings tears to my eyes, I definitely cannot write to. 🙂

  5. I love the love and sense of well being that flows through this post, Pamela….planting a tree, cooking and then asking his love to name it, while their daughter serenades nature. ❤

    • As much as many (including me at times) decry the commercialism of some holidays (like Mother’s Day), something special can occur when we stop and thank someone special in our life, be it a mom, a dad, a birthday child. Celebrating each other – now that’s worth a holiday for sure. ❤

  6. A wonderful post. Love your musings and you set the scene so well. Yes, sons-in-law have it tough but I think daughters-in-law have it tougher. There is never going to be anyone who can take care of my son as well as I did. xo

  7. I really liked this post, Pam. I think daughters-in-law have a tougher time as mothers seem to be so over-protective of their sons, but I’m lucky with my m-i-l. Looks like you are lucky to have this son-in-law. What a wonderful Mother’s Day! (I was sorry to see that you also have those grubs like we do here, but even those couldn’t ruin the beautiful day you had.)

    • Yes, Jacqui – respect and cherish are two wonderful (and necessary) qualities in a good relationship. You’re bringing to mind that (old) song “Cherish” by The Association. It’s an old-fashioned word that we hear too seldom. xo

    • Interesting, Roy. I’d guess you for a good classical listener – not during your running, of course, but for after, when you’re contemplating the joy of stopping. I wonder what background music you listen to as you write? Right now I’m listening to a piano solo – Hope Endures – by Philip Wesley, which seems to soothe the soul and encourage the fingers to move.

  8. Haha I was just thinking about how interesting it is after raising 3 boys, to find that I am now a mother in law. Having no experience being a mom to girls, it is all a new learning experience for sure!

    I say your son in law gets a medal for such an all round “performance” for mother’s day. Wow. Impressive. No doubt though he is super lucky to have you as a mother in law.

    My kind of music. Just what I used to like to paint to. Puts the brain in that meditative zone for creativity.


    • Yes, Peta, that’s it. Contemplative classical music can relax our brain into that creative zone. You expressed it exactly.
      Raising three sons is worth an award in and of itself. My son and daughter-in-law have 3 boys – 5 1/2, 7, 8 1/2,and I watch, amazed. I plan on staying young and active and ‘with it’ for the next 25 + years, because I can’t wait to see the partners my grandsons select, and how my son and daughter-in-law handle the new balance of bringing ‘girls’ into the mix. 🙂

  9. What a lovely day you described. You all made a beautiful memory to flashback to when you’re trying to write. LOL Happens to me all the time. I listen to classical when I write, too. Hope you have another lovely weekend, Miss Pam.

  10. You are truly blessed Pam…in this world of complex and demanding relationships, you seem to live at an oasis of love and respect. Stay blessed! Thanks for sharing a heart-warming story of real life.

    • Sweet words, Balroop. Many days our family is chaotic and crazy busy, but finding a way to STOP on a special day, making that soft oasis of appreciation for each other and for our lives, helps keep us going. I wish you that same oasis, my friend. Your poetry is an oasis for the reader. ❤

  11. Pam, your whole post excudes love and happiness – so much warmth.
    Are you getting just a bit spoiled there?:) with such an attentive and capable son in law. grin.
    With family gatherings like these there is little else to wish for.

  12. A quiet, joyful and peaceful post. You have a lovely family! And I enjoyed listening to Dvorak’s beautiful Bagatelle #5 Op.47. I listen to music as I read posts, but find it harder when trying to write.

    • Interesting, Patricia. For some reason, I find it difficult to listen to music while I’m reading, but classical music gets me to a creative space where I can write. Ah, the brain is a mysterious creature. Glad you enjoyed Dvorak’s music here. xo

    • Thanks for commenting here. I find it peaceful to have classical music in my background at home. But when I walk I want to listen to natural musical sounds (birds, trees humming with the breeze, my own scattered thoughts). I haven’t become a pod cast listener yet; good to know that you enjoy doing that.

  13. Pam, the ethereal music weaves through my mind as I read your lovely post … of love of life, family. In this quasi- stream of consciousness you paint a vivid image to the beautiful tree naming service, of your writings, thoughts … beautiful. Happy Weekend, my friend! ❤️🌺

    • Dear weaving writer. Like you, I believe we should celebrate the ordinary of life – the small everyday blessings of family and love and play. Too often, all we read about is the ugly and the mean-hearted. Let’s be joyful in the ordinary!!! 🙂

  14. Your son-in-law sounds like a gem. He was surely thoughtful to plant a beautiful dogwood for your daughter. And a musical salute to the tree- unheard of in my neck of the woods. I bet the dogwood will flourish with grace and beauty and be the center of many conversations to come.

      • Music for the trees. Just maybe the music makes the tree healthier and robust. I have read about people that talk to their plants. They say it makes them happy and they grow better. I give my new plants a spiritual blessing and tell them how beautiful they will be. It is very nutty of me, but then I thought, why not? Humans and pets benefit from a loving touch so maybe all living things do as well. 🙂

        • I don’t think it’s nutty at all. Perhaps because I talk to (and stroke, and name) my indoor plants all the time. I like the idea of a spiritual blessing. We should bless all living things. xo

  15. I am so sorry for being so late sending a comment! This was a fantastic post! I have to say, music is my savior from all the insanity in the world. I have my earbuds in all day at work and it helps. To me, music is very magical and even inspiring! Thank you for this amazing post!

    • Can we imagine our lives without music? I think not. I like choosing the music I listen to according to my mood. Although it’s always classical when I’m writing. And, sometimes if the mood is low, that’s the time for a spirited song! 🙂

      • I think I would be lost without music!!! There is NO way I could make it through a day at work without music! When I was finishing college I would listen to classical when I was studying and it helped me focus!

  16. It sounds like the perfect family weekend Pam…and that lava cake…sounds so yummy. There is truly nothing better than family time..
    Enjoy the week ahead. I’m finally working on catching up.

    • Funny thing about the lava cake, Cheryl. My guy and I took one of our (8-year-old) grandsons out to a restaurant for his own time with us a couple of months ago. By chance, we ordered him a lava cake for dessert. My god, you’d think we’d just given him a hundred dollar bill, or better, $1,000 toward any Legos he wanted to buy. If he remembers nothing else about us when he’s an adult and we’re gone, he’ll remember that lava cake. 🙂

  17. I absolutely love Dvorjak (I put the “j” in so I can say it right. . . Ha ha!)
    The beautiful blown glass paperweight was a wonderful, thoughtful gift from your son. The pink dogwood was a lovely gift for your daughter. Then, homemade lava cakes. . . I may swoon over the vision and wafting chocolate heaven you mentioned!
    The sweet photograph of your granddaughter blowing the trumpet was heartwarming. 💞

    • I have never pronounced Dvorjak correctly, but oh how I love the way he pronounces love and joy and life in his musical notes. Thanks for smelling the lava cake and enjoying my musings. xo

      • Oh, I was a nerd and played in three bands, marching, orchestra and symphonic. . . Somewhere in my fingers are the notes to some amazing music. I was always second row clarinet, first seat. Ha ha! The director always emphasized​ the time in history and how to pronounce the Masters’ names.
        I’m so happy you hear all these lovely things, as the music is soaring through the air, Pam!! xo
        I am eating so my tummy is not growling but it is sweet you have a SIL who can bake and cook. ✨

    • Oh my gosh, Kate. This is …. amazing. I literally just hit the send button because I just read your latest post, and at that second, your comment to me here came in. HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT? To the sounds of nature, the messages from birds, and to our messages to each other.

  18. I think your son-in-law did pretty darn well, Pam. What a lovely Mother’s Day and splendid fanfare over the dogwood and dinner. 🙂 You are right that SIL’s have a tough time, but I think your daughter made a fine choice. Thanks for the lovely listen too. I can just picture you at your keyboard with the swirl and swing of words. 😀

    • I doubt that SIL will ever read this, Diana, but someone in the family just might send the link to him. Not me. I know it would embarrass him, but really, if we can’t say something nice about our people, it becomes a Trumpian world. (Sorry, I keep politics out of my blog usually, but I couldn’t resist…)

  19. Here and there, the lens of our perception shifting back and forth. I felt right “there” with you in the “here” while reading your post!

  20. Pam, Found this today and thought of you…..

    ” Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Blessings, Joyce

  21. Wonderful post, Pam. The scene came through beautifully: your desk, your surroundings, the music (Dvorak is fantastic)—and what a lovely weekend you all had together! Your son-in-law definitely sounds like a keeper 🙂

    Thanks so much for stopping over at Susan’s for my guest post; so glad you liked it, and thank you for the lovely words. You made my day 🙂
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  22. Excellent post! Music is so important, it is a great connector to the past – drawing us back into our memories. Your Son-in-law sounds great 🙂

  23. What a delight to arrive upon your page to the melodies of music to accompany me on my travels through your gentle muse, of being part of your amazing day. 🙂
    Still the music plays as I write and hope you enjoyed all the bounties of Cake, Flowers, Trumpets, and Family..
    Treasures that are priceless..

    Love and Blessings dear Pam, Enjoy the rest of your week as you write within the orchestra of life.. ❤

  24. A lovely scene! I have the music playing in the background as I write my comment. It’s wonderful! Might have to find that station also.
    I am having an awesome moment myself. We are in Scottsdale, AZ this week for a conference/vacation. Well, hubby is at conf. I am sitting on our terrace getting caught up on emails, blogs, journal etc. I will leave shortly to have breakfast with a friend who is also here at the meeting with her hubby. We haven’t seen each other since 2015. One of the greatest things I have done on this trip was have lunch with a friend I met through our blogs!! she is also a published author and it was completely wonderful to hug her in person! Now I wish I didn’t live so far away! I have no idea when I can get back to AZ 😢😢

  25. I’d say that’s some son-in-law, one to be grateful for. And I love the trumpet welcome to Delilah. But mostly I love the meandering process you describe about writing, listening to music, and how wonderful it is to just let ourselves happily drift.

Love to hear your comments.

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