Being aware because of the hoop

Last month or so we Mark, changed the basketball hoop we’ve had in our backyard, for a long time.

I remember when we bought that first basketball hoop when we bought our house (20 years ago) and decided it was an expense we wanted to spend, even when our pay checks were not that big, and after buying a house, it felt that the $20 was overspending.  But we did it, and looking back, I think it has been the most used $20 we’ve ever spent.

DSC_0083

The hoop was completely broken.  There was a hole on the side of the garage wall, from all the bouncing and use of the hoop all these years.  The hoop was crooked, falling off the wall, loose almost dangerous some might say.  The net couldn’t be held because the metal hooks were broken as well, and it could have probably been better not to have a net.

Lucas never said anything, and kept on playing, shooting hoops every single day, time and time again.  By himself and with friends.  One friend, two, three or eight.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s always fun and he’s always out there.  More in the recent years, but he’s been always playing.

Changing that hoop, made me think about the past and how much we’ve changed as person, as a couple and now lately, as a family.  Changing that basketball hoop after 20 years of playing and bouncing balls off the rim, made me realize how different my life is after 20 years…. of adulthood.  (Or when did I become an adult?  Is it really at 21? or 18?  Not sure I know when that was, but for me, my life changed drastically when I got married and moved to the States.)

I was 25, and we had just bought this house, our first house.  We had lived in rented apartments, but this house… this is ours and this is home.  And it was in that first month of home ownership that we bought that one basketball hoop.

Back then, it was just Mark and I playing basketball, with no dream of having a family just yet, actually scared of the thought of it.  We had other plans and other dreams.  We were doing what we loved to do, and whatever we wanted to do. We traveled and went out to dinner as often as we wanted.  We didn’t have to be back home at any given time, except when we were tired.  We were in that sense free of those responsibilities.

Today, I still can say I am doing what I want to do, and what I love to do.  It is just different but it is exactly what I want for right now and love.  I want different things and it makes me happy to know that I can do them.  It is my choice, and I feel so very lucky to be able to do that.  Yes, I am doing my dream job.  I do have to say, that like any job, there are  those hard days.  But for the most part, I think I’ve won the lottery.  I live with my best friend and these two amazing kids that I love so much.  I can’t think of a better way to spend my days.

I would have never guessed that having bought that basketball hoop was going to be something special for me and for my family.  Not that I am attached to it, but I am thankful for what it has given me, us.  I am thankful for all the times Mark and I played basketball out there (him making more baskets than me, but who cares.)  I am thankful for the times we had friends over and we’d end up throwing the ball.  When we’d have our neighbors for dinner, and end up shooting a ball or two.  Or someone would stop by to say hello and would be enticed by that basketball laying on the ground to try once or twice.  Or now, with kids, when they too feel the need to bounce the basketball and shoot at the hoop.  And their friends, and our friends.  And today, all those invitations specifically to play basketball in our back yard.

It is not a full court by any means, not even a half court.  The dogwood covers much of the area that can be used for shooting the ball, especially beginning spring.  The branches have been trimmed many times in these 20 years, and we’ve had to decide what is healthy for the tree and what we can live with.  Which shots are worth having clear and which ones will have to live with a branch crossing over.  It is a compromise.

I am thankful for what it has made me realize and think over, because it reminds me of the fleeting moments that sometimes I don’t take the time to savour.  It is just a thing, I know, but a thing that has made me feel lucky once again.  A reminder.  A reminder of how lucky I am in so many ways, in so many levels.

DSC_0084

Lucas is the one mostly using this basketball hoop these days, and you should see in his face the excitement of having this new metal orange round hoop.  One that works.  One that is not sideways, almost falling off the wall, threatening them to fall on your head. One with springs that make the ball bounce off its rim.  Really.  It is a pretty simple luxury, that is well worth the $30 (inflation).  And who knows.  Maybe we won’t have to change it until we are in our sixties. Wouldn’t that be a treat!  Twenty dollars for twenty years of basketball fun.  I’d pay a $1 a year any time!

Left behind

DSC_0086 When I see empty buildings, it always makes me wonder what the story is behind the lives, the families, the people that lived here.

DSC_0087DSC_0096 This mobile home still there, with lamps and shades and shelves, but all ripped from the walls and fallen.

DSC_0159 DSC_0162DSC_0128 I am no architect or engineer but it makes me wonder why they built this rocks and wood pieces that makes wonder its stability.

DSC_0132

DSC_0095The house almost still standing, but yet, mostly gone.

DSC_0152 DSC_0153 DSC_0158 DSC_0167 Farming equipment left behind, covered by grass and oxidized.

DSC_0169 DSC_0175 At the end of a road, not well traveled.

DSC_0177 DSC_0180 DSC_0182 DSC_0184 DSC_0212DSC_0185 DSC_0189 Now this barn being used by rodents, and owls, and others I am sure.

DSC_0195DSC_0192 The gate still swinging with the wind.

DSC_0198 DSC_0200 Hinges and hooks meant to withstand the rough cold winters and hot summers as well as the strong winds.

DSC_0203 DSC_0207 DSC_0209

The recycler and thrifter in me makes me hope it could be saved, or the materials re-used.  But I think this is fine too, I guess.  I love the colors and the sight nevertheless.  I love it that makes me think of the history and the stories of these places.  But it also makes me think of what I might be leaving behind when time comes.  And what it will all look like.  I am sure there will be people who will be wondering then what all that I am leaving would have meant to me.  And so the stories are being built.

what if…

How Would You Live Then?

What if a hundred rose-breasted grosbeaks
flew in circles around your head? What if
the mockingbird came into the house with you and
became your advisor? What if
the bees filled your walls with honey and all
you needed to do was ask them and they would fill
the bowl? What if the brook slid downhill just
past your bedroom window so you could listen
to its slow prayers as you fell asleep? What if
the stars began to shout their names, or to run
this way and that way above the clouds? What if
you painted a picture of a tree, and the leaves
began to rustle, and a bird cheerfully sang
from its painted branches? What if you suddenly saw
that the silver of water was brighter than the silver
of money? What if you finally saw
that the sunflowers, turning towards the sun all day
and every day–who knows how, but they do– were
more precious, more meaningful than gold?

Mary Oliver

DSC_0102-small

 

Sometimes it’s hard to go against the norm, against what is being told and shown to us is what we need to be happy today.  I know what we have is all we need, because what they tell me I need, are always changing, quicker than my life changes.  I am fine just this way.  I am perfectly fine.

I hope you are staying warm and dry and that your days are filled with love as well. Happy weekend to you all.

DSC_0243-small

thankful

It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each others light.

(Songwriters Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, Richard Page.)

My mind travels from one person to another, from one place to another, from dreams to memories, from hopes to wishes. I am connected to these in different ways, in different places by different reasons.  And they are all here.   And I am thankful for them all.

DSC_0333-smallDSC_0249-smallDSC_0188-smallDSC_0149-small DSC_0870 copy DSC_0870-small DSC_0149-smallDSC_0149-smallDSC_0188-smallDSC_0770-small DSC_0188-small DSC_0188-small DSC_0188-small DSC_0245-small DSC_0188-small DSC_0321-smallDSC_0112-small DSC_0112-smallDSC_0188-small DSC_0188-small DSC_0188-small oregon    DSC_0234-smallDSC_0188-smallDSC_0188-small  DSC_0554-small DSC_0055-small DSC_0055-small DSC_0552-small  DSCN0455-small DSC_0155-small

DSC_0188-small DSC_0188-small

maybe what the planet needs…

“The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” ~H.H.The Dalai Lama

DSC_0157-small DSC_0150-small DSC_0150-small plants    DSC_0015-smallDSC_0453-small DSC_0445- small lightDSC_0150-smallDSC_0454-smallDSC_0504-small DSC_0154-smallDSC_0245-small woman working DSC_0158-smallDSC_0504-small DSC_0156-small DSC_0300-small sunsetDSC_0045-smallDSC_0300-small DSC_0300-small DSC_0300-small DSCN0300-small

DSC_0645 copy DSC_0453-smallDSC_0509-small DSC_0504-small DSC_0150-small DSC_0501-small DSC_0250-small DSC_0350-smallDSC_0145-small DSC_0245-small DSC_0453-small light DSC_0445-small DSC_0455-small DSC_0445-small DSC_0455-small DSC_0456-small kids DSC_0245-small DSC_0454-small DSC_0245-small DSCN0455-small DSC_0345-smallDSC_0300-small DSC_0300-small

These are all photos taken by me.  They remind me of places, far away ones, and closer to home.  They remind me of family and loved ones, and of new friends and people we never had the chance to meet, in places far, far away.

These are photos of nature and places discovered by my family.  Traveled and adventured in the world in hope to bring awareness to each one of us, of all the differences, all the similarities, that there are in this wonderful, beautiful world we live in and share.

Some of these adventures were in hope to restore and heal and most of all, in hope to make our own stories.   Hoping also, to grow up as a caring world citizen and make this planet part of our lives, part of our stories.  Because maybe, it is when we’ve experienced things, places, people, we will care more about them and about each other.