Sour to Sunny Moods

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Julie AndrewsI am posting this image on the Vernal Equinox  for the benefit of my mother. Our family traveled many, many miles together on road trips. Most of them were pleasurable except when we four kids started fighting. Every time the mood in the car began to turn sour, my mother engaged us in singing songs from our favorite movie – The Sound of Music. Then the atmosphere began to lighten , better moods sprung up and we’d forget about our troubles with our brothers and sisters.

Ah, yes, as with every family there are instigators and peacemakers among us, but I am not going to point any fingers. Besides, “I can’t remember if I am the good sister or the evil sister.” Each of my siblings would probably tell you a different story! They all have their own  independent opinions, which was the reason the fights began in the first place. There isn’t one among us who doesn’t have a  strong view on everything in life.

Which do you think I might be? A peacemaker or instigator? Hey now, keep your opinion to yourself . Today is the International Day of Happiness and the vernal equinox is supposed to be about balance and harmony in the cosmos. Let’s not open a can of worms until Monday!

Do come back to All Things Fulfilling tomorrow – I’ll tell you about the road trip I am taking this weekend.

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Miles of Memories

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Family, like branches on a tree. We all grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.” ~ Unknown

Memories….for me they really come flooding back during the holidays. Since I’ve been writing a memoir, things get even more stirred up.

luggage 1950sMy native Baltimore has been on my mind a lot lately. These old photos make me think of all the times my parents and I and my three siblings took to the road. We traveled many miles up and down I-95 together in our station wagon, often headed to Vermont. Lake Champlain in the summer and then to Stowe and other ski resorts in winter whenever we could work it into our school vacation schedule. Many Baltimoreans thought we were a strange lot. After all, Maryland was known as the “Land of Pleasant Living.” Friends would ask “Why would you want to go anywhere else?”

Our family station wagon was always filled to the ceiling, with luggage and other ski gear. And arguments began before we even started down our long driveway because no one wanted to sit on “the hump!”

After the seventh or eighth hour of being on the road, tensions became heightened in the “wagon.”  We kids started fighting about one or the other taking up too much room. Although, I, being small in stature, didn’t get accused quite so often.

dashboard of station wagon“Time for car songs,”  my mother would say. Tunes from The Sound of Music always rang out first.  We weren’t deep in talent like the Trapp Family I can assure you of that. But anything to pass the long arduous miles helped. Twelve hours in a car grew old quickly with an AM radio with reception that faded in and out and crackled so badly you could barely hear the tunes. Even our voices sounded better than that.

The film The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews has a place in the memories of almost every family of my generation. It’s often played on TV this time of year. I believe the movie and the legacy of the von Trapps’s will live on and on because of the ability to order the film and stories of the family’s history through e-commerce on the world-wide-web.

julie andrews

Speaking of road trips, if you are going to be on the highway this Thanksgiving week, please drive safely. And have a fulfilling holiday!

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