Category Archives: Anamnesis

These are all the posts that I wrote for the Anamnesis writing project. When Natalie passed it off it wasn’t the same, so I haven’t written for it currently. Some of these posts are my best blog writing, though not all.


Weekly Anamnesis #31

The road twists and curves through the countryside, a flutter of leaves that never quite settle as the cars drive through. Colors so intense they suffocate all your other senses, and you wonder if you dare to breathe. Hues of yellow, orange, and red mixed with a bit of green still clinging to summer days smother the countryside. As the breeze rustles the branches and the leaves shiver and shake the hills almost look to be on fire. The road winds around until we arrive at an old Mill on Slippery Rock Creek. The falls crash against the nearby rocks sending a fine mist into the air driving the chill of fall into your bones. I love the old wood and stone building, but just down the red I catch a glimpse of red and something that steals my heart.

I loved it from the first moment I think I saw it, stretching across the water, a covered bridge. I loved the feel of walking through it, it felt magical, out of another era not my own. I can still picture the red paint, and the crossbeams on the inside as we walked through, stepping out of the paths of cars. Something so simple, it almost seems silly that it captured my heart so.

I decided to look on the Internet, to see if I remembered it correctly. The white weight limit sign at the top of the entrance, the yellow caution marks as you approached. All was as I remembered it. But the last picture left my heart with a chill. It lay there, something I loved and remembered so dear, smashed in smithereens by a fallen tree.

(The picture was taken two years ago, if the date was correct anyway. I wondered if it would be rebuilt. Perhaps I shall visit someday and I shall know. But I hesitate; it just wouldn’t be my place with out the covered bridge.)


Filed under Anamnesis, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #30

This one was hard (which is why I am late posting it), a lot of my posts have to do with being a mother or my mother, many of the stories that I would select have been written previously.

Though I must say when times are rough, and the children driving me crazy there is just one moment in time that I must remember to melt all the frustration away. That moment when the brand new baby is placed in your arms, and you wonder how you can love anything or anyone more than this. That moment of awe and wonder to realize you hold a tender spirit so fresh and new from Heavenly Father’s loving arms. That moment of amazement when you realize the awesome trust He must have in you to entrust one so dear to your tender, loving care. A heart so full you fear it might burst, as it spills over into your eyes, and courses down your cheeks. That moment, when I first became a mother.


Cradled against my breast
Our hearts beat as
A classical paragon of innocence
A glimpse of divinity
Arcadia in my arms

-J.H. Schmidt

(I posted this on the Poetry Reading blog, but I had to include it here)

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Filed under Anamnesis, Parenting, Poetry, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #29

It looked like a science experiment gone wrong, or the latest goo technology of the 80s. I eyed the bowl warily as I saw long flat green things swimming sinisterly beneath the murky surface. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. In horror I watched my mother dip in a spoon and fish out some of the green stuff. A pale greenish slime drip from the spoon, there was practically enough elasticity that I thought it was going to bounce right up again before the line grew thinner and separated. With a resonating “schlop” she plopped it on my plate, a sound similar to a suction cup slowly being peeled from a window.

“I have to eat that!” I gasped as my nose caught an odor equal to dog vomit. My brothers were eyeing the mess with as much timidity as I, but my sisters didn’t seem the least bit phased. “They had probably helped make it,” I reasoned in my head.

My Mother’s glower was enough to answer my question. I knew the rule; once on the plate it had to be devoured in order for us to make our exodus from the table. I poked my forked at the pile of sludge on my plate and a chorus of “let my people gooooo” rambled through my brain as I leaned in my seat, gazing with yearning through the door where freedom lay. There would be no hope of Salvation for me as I eyed my Promised Land beyond the kitchen table.

“It looks like mucus,” my brother whispered in my ear sending us into a fit of giggles.

“Mom, what is this stuff anyway? Are you sure it’s actually edible?” I was expecting it to walk of my plate any minute as I waited for her answer.

“It’s called okra; it’s very good, and very edible.” (Let me insert a disclaimer that I have heard that fried okra is quite good, but I can testify that boiled okra is of the devil himself, heh)

“No guts no glory,” I mumbled under my breath. I speared one of the long green things with my fork and deftly clamped down on my nose with my left hand. I tipped my head back and held the dripping okra up over my plate. I cranked open the hatch and let the slimy thing fall. Trying my best not to gag, I felt it slip right down my throat, no swallowing or chewing involved. Disgusting and slimy, but at least I didn’t have to chew it!


Filed under Anamnesis, Farm Stories, Humor, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #28

I tucked my fuzzy pajama covered knees beneath my chin, wrapping my arms around them, hugging them close. I rocked back and forth a bit staring longingly at the sleek dark finish of the bedroom door.

“I won’t cry! I won’t!” I whispered to myself as tears threatened, brimming and pooling at the corners of my eyes. I dashed them aside with my grubby hand. I could hear them, laughing and giggling, their sounds muted by the closed door and the distance of the hall. I could picture them sprawled across the floor munching on their popcorn and laughing over their silly poses on the slides. I saw the slide of my brother in my mind, his hands placed upon his cheeks in a surprised “Oh!” and laughter in his eyes as he stood below a waterfall in naught but his underwear. Oh, how we giggled and laughed at that one. The water splashed off his elbows scattering in disarray, with the brown rock behind him. I heard a burst of laughter, no doubt my sister, and I hugged my knees tighter. “I won’t cry!” I whispered fiercely as I unfolded my little body and crawled into bed.

Only when the covers were yanked over my head did I let myself dissolve into a heap of gut wrenching sobs. Mother had said, “Go to bed.” But I wanted to be with the family. I hadn’t been bad had I? My crying softened and I heard someone at my door. A soft tap and the slight creek as it opened, followed by quiet footsteps. I felt the covers slip over my sodden hair and I looked up into my Mother’s worried eyes.

“What’s wrong? Why didn’t you come out?” She asked.

“You … said … I had to go … to … bed,” I gasped as the sobs threatened another act of piracy. I looked into my Mother’s astonished face as it crumbled into compassion.

“Oh, darling, I said to get ready for bed,” she whispered as she gathered me into her arms.
I turned my tear-streaked cheeks up to gaze into her face, a glimmer of hope in my eyes. “Then, I’m not in trouble?
”I can come out and watch slides?”

My tears forgotten I scrambled out of bed and followed my mother out the door, leaving them to dry.


Filed under Anamnesis, Memory, Parenting, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #27

“Stamp it out J! Quick! Stomp on it! Stomp on it!”
With a flurry of feet I stomped all over the glowing sparks that had burst and scattered across the ground. We were gathered around the burn pile, a giant bonfire, watching to be sure things didn’t get out of control. That is how it was done when I was a kid growing up on our farm. Once a week, maybe more frequently, we had burning day where we would burn our garbage. As kids we enjoyed it and occasionally would whoop around it in a big circle doing our version of Indian dances. We always had at least one person on fire duty to keep an eye on things to be sure that things didn’t get out of control. One night, it was my turn. . .

The wind came up unexpectedly, ruffling my short blondish hair. I didn’t think much of it until I saw the first few sparks fly into the dry grass. With a crackle the grass immediately burst into flame, the wind carrying it further in the direction of our neighbor. With a shout of alarm I raced as fast as my short little legs could carry me. I burst through the back door of the farm house, “The fire is spreading! The fire is spreading!” I heard the sound of feet hitting the floor as everyone charged for their shoes, a bucket and a burlap sack. I didn’t wait. Charging on I ran to the neighbor’s house, pounding on their front door. “We need your help! The fire is spreading!” The neighbors were out the door in seconds and running after me.

As I approached the fire I could see our family lined up, stretching from the nearby pond to the fire, silhouetted against an eerie orange glow passing buckets and wet burlap sacks down the line to where my dad and oldest sister were battling the fire. The wind had died back down, but the damage was already done. The fire wasn’t big, but it had fuel now as it chomped hungrily at the parched grass. It was beatable if we worked quickly. Dad had worked on the lookout towers in the mountains of the Cascades for a number of years, spotting fires, and on seldom occasions even putting out small ones. He was a machine, beating away ceaselessly at the licking flames. I took my place in line as the neighbors began helping Dad stamp out the flames. Bucket after bucket passed through my tired arms sloshing across my arms and chest, as the fire shrank, smaller and smaller. Soon it was just a pile of embers and charred grass. We all began to soak burlap sacks and fling them on the embers, stamping across them to be sure the fire was out. We continued to beat the ground with a fury long after the red glow had diminished from the embers, smothering the heat. We could still here the hiss of steam rising into the air as our sacks whacked the ground.

Finally the hiss and the steam stopped, the ground was soaked, and the fire was out. We looked around at each other, our faces, hands, and clothes muddied with soot and water. We clapped each other on the back, congratulating each other for a job well done, shaking hands with our neighbors and thanking them for their help. There was a feeling of camaraderie, no one felt like bickering and squabbling, we had joined our forces, even if only temporarily (as siblings often do, heh) to battle something greater. I have seen that happen many times, not just in our back yard battling a spreading fire; uniting together to battle many things, standing up for each other. I learned many lessons that night as we strove together to stamp out the flames.


Filed under Anamnesis, Farm Stories, Personal History, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #26

“There is a free CPR class that we can schedule you for, it is held one floor down in the NICU,” the nurse was sweet and smiling as all the nurses were. I still felt like I was walking in a fog and the thought of something slightly distracting was welcomed. My husband and I scheduled for the next available class. We thought we were just volunteering for the class. We didn’t realize that our participation was required by the condition of our son. I remember thinking through the class, “I didn’t even think about CPR, maybe I should have.” But then I realized that had I had the presence of mind to perform CPR I would have wasted valuable time and he would have died. It was good to participate in the class just to learn that I had done the right thing.

At the end of the class, the nurse teaching it accompanied us to our son’s room in the PICU and showed us where we would place our fingers, etc. It was when she had us sign the form saying we had taken and passed the class that the realization hit. It is good to be prepared, but it was an eerie feeling, participating in a class because you knew they were afraid you might really need to use it, and not on some stranger that you happen across, but on your own child.


Filed under Anamnesis, Heart, Parenting, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #25

Light glinting off the resting ocean
A flower nodding gently in a soft breeze
The rise and fall of a child’s slumbering chest
Your loved ones arms wrapped around you in the morning.
The stillness of the world around you
A strange feeling of slow motion as your world spins wildly out of control
The peace you feel when you witness a miracle
An answer to a prayer
Wiping away someone’s spent tears
The quiet after a storm
An outward appearance while your soul is in turmoil
An inward assurance that, “This too shall pass.”
A sunrise on a mountain peak
Holding your baby the first night after giving birth
Reverence and awe
The hours of twilight when the soft glowing light of the lightning bugs begin to appear
Fishing in the wee hours of the morning
Gazing across a field and watching the tall grass ripple in the breeze
Skipping stones across the glassy surface of a still pond
That song, the one that melts away your barriers, eases your pains, and washes away your worries
A sunset that turns the world into splendid shimmering color
Observing a butterfly perched delicately upon the petals of a rose
A hug


Filed under Anamnesis, Poetry, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #24

(the ‘he’ in the story is an acquaintance, no more, no less)

He was an amazing musician. I first made his acquaintance when I was taking French horn lessons from his uncle in highschool. He accompanied my Solo Ensemble piece, it was not an easy piece.Two years later I met him again, this time as a piano teacher. I was in need of piano lessons during my summer break from college. I learned a lot that summer, more than I had with any other teacher.

I didn’t see him again until after I was married and had Elizabeth and Dorothy. I was feeling stagnant and in need of piano lessons. Something to inspire me to practice, and a need to feel that I was working to improve myself in something other than mommyhood. Not that I didn’t love being a mom, I loved it thoroughly (and still do) but sometimes you just need that something extra for yourself. I began to take lessons again. I learned Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Maleguena, Dvorak, and Beethoven, just to name a few. I soaked up anything I could glean from his teaching and I loved the challenge, learning, and progression.

A few years ago it was time to take a break, a need for cutting back on the budget among other things. I have kept up my playing much better this time, and I have not become stagnant.

But he has, due to some poor decisions in his personal life. He sits stagnant in jail.


Filed under Anamnesis, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #23

We were trying to get out the door for church. There is that moment when you realize that if you don’t leave “right now” you will be hopelessly late, well, this was it. The complication was enhanced by the fact we were visiting Paul’s parents in Montana. Finally we had our two children shoed and outfitted, and ourselves too (that is the amazing part!). It was in the final surge to the car, I suppose it was inevitable. In her haste Elizabeth, 2, trip and crashed, he knees digging into the driveway pavement. Shrieks and cries filled the air as we picked her up and dusted her off, setting her temporarily on the hood of the car. After inspection we realized that she was fine, not even enough damage to require a band-aid which was good, because should we have to go doctor it up we would be late. But what to do? She wouldn’t be sattisfied without a band-aid.

Then I had a stroke of genious! It really was a spectacular moment, these things don’t happen to me very often. heh 🙂 I reached into Daddy’s pocket and pulled it out.

“Elizabeth, do you know what this is?” She shook her head, looking slightly puzzled.
“It’s an invisible band-aid! Do you see it? Right here in my fingers.” I held my thumbs and index fingers in the shape of a band-aid. A slow smile spread across her face and she nodded her head yes.
“You need to open it.” she reached over and “peeled” off the invisible wrapper.
“Now, you need to take the tabs off.” She grinned while she took the invisible tabs off the band-aid. Her owie now all but forgotten.
“Do you want to put a kiss on it?” Her hair fell forward framing her chubby cheeks as she leaned forward and kissed the band-aid.
“Shall I put a kiss on it too?” she nodded her hair and blew a kiss onto her invisible band-aid.
“All right, let’s put it on now.” she lifted her skirt and I fastened the little invisible band-aid onto her knee.
“As I proclaimed, “Good as new!” she hopped in the car with the biggest smile on her face and then proceded to show every one in her nursery class at church her invisible band-aid.

They have become our cure-all. The kids are plastered with invisible band-aids. The supply never runs out and they bring their friends to me for the invisible band-aid treatment. It’s really rather silly, but it is imbedded into our family, cherished and loved.


Filed under Anamnesis, Children, Lizy, Parenting, Writing


Weekly Anamnesis #22

With 4 children ages 7 and under things get pretty chaotic. Words like accord and harmony, just make me chuckle and think, “yeah, okay when the kids are sleeping maybe.” But there is a time everyday, when even if it is for just a brief moment we experience those moments of peace. About fifteen minutes or so before Dad comes home we gather in the living room. I pull out my towering piles of music and shake off the dust while Elizabeth hauls out the box of rythm instruments for the kids. I check to be sure that Paul’s spoons are sitting on top of the piano and then I sit myself down on the piano bench, flex my fingers, and begin to play.

It definitely isn’t quiet accord, but there is an element of peace to it. The peace that comes with joy. I usually start with Joplin to get the kids going, everyone grabbing instruments and playing and dancing around the room waiting for Dad to come home. Even Jacob joins in, playing and singing with the best of them. The house is full of joyous music, laughter, and singing and then I feel it, that moment of harmony when everything is just right in the world, and I see my kids all around me sharing my love, my passion. The sparkle in their eyes, the curves of their mouths as they grin from ear to ear, the joy spilling forth from every crack and I know that this old house is rejoicing with us. Then Daddy walks in and admist hugs and kisses picks up his spoons and joins the frey. Jacob tries to copy him whacking the little children’s set of spoons against his legs, singing all the while.

If I could take a spontaneous picture of my family, when none of us were looking or aware, it would be in that moment. All of us united sharing a passion that only we can share and experiencing the love and harmony in our home. Love, laughter, accord.


Filed under Anamnesis, Family, Music, Writing