Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dare To Dream!

Every year from 1963 until I married and left home in 1980, I spent Christmas morning under the tree with my baby brother, Michael. I am five years his senior, so I had lots of Santa experience by the time he came along. It was a special moment to rush into the den and find all the goodies that Santa had left us. As I grew older and learned the Awful Santa Truth, I was able to enjoy a few more years of magic through my little brother's eyes. Once he too was jolted into reality, we performed a conspiratorial ritual each year. One of us would watch for Mom and Dad, while the other would ramble in closets and secret hiding places for our loot. On several occasions we hit pay dirt, and would locate our treasures, and then have to act surprised on Christmas morning. We soon learned that having no surprises often lead to disappointment, and the novelty of the hunt wore off. One Christmas in particular comes to my mind that was pretty special. I believe it was 1980, my first Christmas after getting married, which meant that Michael got the entire tree, and didn't have to share his prizes with me. That year he had his heart set on a component stereo system, and had very little hope that he would receive it. Music runs thick in his veins, and he longed for a "bad" stereo system. Upon arising Christmas morning, he took the lonely walk to the tree, and found the usual socks, jeans, maybe a book or two, some candy and maybe an eight-track tape or two. (Oh yeah, I'm dating us here!) Always the gentleman, he hid his disappointment and expressed his appreciation to Mom and Dad for his gifts. Ten or fifteen minutes later, my Dad said to him, "Son, I think I might have heard old Santa making some noise in the living room. Why don't you go see if he dropped anything in there?" I'm sure a surge of adrenaline must have risen within him as he dashed into the living room, where, to his great delight, sat a shiny, new, state-of-the-art stereo component system!! How excited he was!!! And I just loved it. It was such a thrill to see him get what his heart so desired. The element of waiting for what he wanted was a trait that he would carry with him into adulthood, even to this day.

My brother and I enjoy a very unique relationship. We live only 20-ish miles apart, yet we don't call or visit as often as you would think. He has an insanely busy life, and combined with the insane chaos that is mine, there is just an unspoken, unvisited connection between us. I treasure that. We have both seen some dark days marriage-wise, and while I have remained unmarried, he is now happily married to a gal with children and grandchildren of her own, which adds to the busyness of his life. But the cool thing is, no matter what is going on, we both know the other one is "there" at a moment's notice. He keeps up with me by reading my blog (Hey Michael!) and I keep up with him through bits and pieces on his web page, or through our mom.

This Christmas Eve, as we gathered at home for our traditional celebration, he handed to me a piece of paper and an envelope. It was a letter to me. In it, he shared about a dream that he had as a very young man to own a particular set of drums- not just any set of drums, but the Holy Grail Of Drums for him. Of course, it was financially impossible, but he never gave up on his dream. Sometimes life has other plans for us, and for a long time he didn't play at all. Twenty years later, he helped form a band called Departure, a Journey tribute band. They are doing very well and stay booked on a regular basis. Once again he thought about that set of drums and decided to save his gig money in order to acquire his dream set. This time, however, he decided that he would build his own- just the way he wanted them, custom-made to his specifications. He saved for over a year, and one day the time was right, and he took the money, purchased the finest of materials and painstakingly crafted them with love and attention to the finest of detail. In his own words, "It is a drum set fit for the most discriminating musician, and one beyond my wildest dreams of ever owning." How thrilling! I was so excited by reading his letter, and so happy that he is now living his dream. I know that the drums he has built would rival any Stradivarius violin or Steinway piano in their perfection.
However, as I read further, the tone of the letter changed. He shared with me that building his own drums, even with using the most exotic wood destined for Lear Jet, and solid oak boards, etc., actually was less expensive than buying them from a factory. There was still a good bit of money left in his envelope. Now let me tell you what he did. And I quote: "Please accept this gift from me to you, for there is no one more deserving. Do with it as you will. I hope that it will bring as much joy and happiness to you as it does me to give it, and that it may allow you to realize some goal or desire that you, too, have carried around silently for years. It is a wonderful feeling and I want to share it."
My precious baby brother presented an envelope to me that contained his left-over dream money. How amazing is that? By the time I was finished reading the letter, I was in tears. It would not have mattered to me if there was only a single dollar bill inside that envelope. But there was ever so much more than that. Inside the envelope was hope. The letter and the envelope have commanded my thoughts to even dare to dream. The saddest thing, I think, was that I told him I'm not even sure I have a dream any more. Of course I do, but responsibilities and reality dictate that my dream of having a place (and the time) to be creative are always at the very bottom of my list of things I must do. I love to write. I love to make things to give to other people. I love to preserve memories. I love creating things.

Now, here I am starting a work schedule that is going to allow free time that I haven't had for so many years. My carport-enclosure project is to begin in a week or so. Michael's dream money comes at the most perfect time ever, and while I may not purchase an actual "dream item" with it, (more likely a commode and some carpet!) it will further my cause for a dream "studio" without going into more debt. For right now the room will be used as my office and bedroom, but when Whitney and her family move, it will be the most perfect place for me to write, create, glue, and cut to my heart's content. And it will be large enough to invite my friends over to create with me. Though I told him I wasn't sure that I even had a dream, in thinking about it, I can tell you that I do. I have spent hundreds of hours dreaming of a place- a nook- a room- a studio- in which to create. Perhaps a selfish dream- not one of saving the world or any comparable feat, but a dream nonetheless, because it always seemed such an impossibility. Thanks to my parents, who are loaning me the money for the carport project- (not because I want a play room, but because my house is simply not large enough for three adults and two babies) and now to my brother, who has provided the final resources needed to complete the project without maxing out my Lowe's card!!

Michael, when the kids move out and I'm able to put my house back in order, you have a standing invitation to bring those drums over here and play me some music, while I write my short stories, or create memory art. I love you very much, my wonderful, thoughtful, generous baby brother!! And I promise to never stop dreaming, ever again. xoxo Love, Cat (your sister)

1 comment:

  1. thank you sis for the kind words. i am so pleased to be able to contribute to your dream!