Posts Tagged ‘Grandma smith’

The Gift of Dreaming

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Do you remember your dreams? Do you think they are a message you are supposed to receive and think on? Or are they just your brain’s way of working things out for you while your body rests?

Mine are very vivid, in color, and the ones closest to waking up are sometimes so real that when I do wake up, i confuse the dream with reality. I often talk as I am waking up, as I did the other morning when I said, “There are no more colors” to Todd and Tiller. I wish I could remember what that means, but that one is lost to the ether.

Todd and I talk about dreams often, because he rarely remembers his. When he does remember them, though, they are doozies. (Perhaps he will comment with the story of his ghost dream. I cannot possibly do it justice, it is so funny. When I match that dream story with the sounds he was making while having the dream, I am overcome with giggles.)

I had a wonderful dream last night. Scary and vivid and special, and tied to things going on in my life. We have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC. (I you aren’t watching it, you are dumb. It is awesome, and also, set in Atlanta, which makes it even more fun!) So, the beginning of my dream involved living with a group of survivors or refugees, somewhere out in the wilderness, not unlike the survivor group on The Walking Dead. (Or like the one that I started writing a short story about after having a similar dream while in NC and having seen a Walking Dead episode the night before, then dreaming about that!) Except that, last night, we were not Zombie Apocalypse survivors.

We were survivors of some sort of alien attack. This was no doubt prompted by the announcement yesterday that NASA will have a 2:00 PM Thursday press conference to discuss an astrobiological finding that impacts the search for extraterrestrial life in our universe. The buzz about this press conference was all over Twitter yesterday, and in true nerd fashion, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Not surprisingly, it showed up in my dream.

So, in my dream, there is little explanation for how my group ended up with one, but I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FLY ONE OF THESE GUYS:

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Have you ever had a flying dream? I don’t have them very often, but they are the absolute best dreams out there. It is the most exhilarating feeling in the world to soar over things in dreams. (Ironic, considering I am phobic about both heights and flying.) Except of course, flying dreams pale in comparison to one other kind of dream: the dreams where you get to hang out with deceased loved ones.

At some point during my dream, it was announced that good aliens were coming to earth, or maybe we had befriended the original attacking forces. I don’t know which, in that weird way that dreams are logical at the time, but never make sense when you try to describe them to others. But i was in downtown Atlanta and there were tons of people there, hanging out in the shadow of the Equitable building, waiting for the Alien Welcome Parade to begin. (Shadows of DragonCon, i suppose?) There were people I went to high school with, parents of people I went to high school with, some of Todd’s friends from Auburn, and pretty much any other random person that I can think of ever having met in my life. That guy that served me and Todd poolside rum drinks in Belize and told us about the Temptation Island folks? I think he was in my dream, too.

So, in my dream, i am rushing to find a good spot, and someone links arms with me as I am walking, and I look down and immediately recognize the green and white outfit my Grandma Smith wore. Apple green polyester background, with white polka dots. It was one piece, I think. Head-to-toe green and white polka dots. And grandma was beside me, walking damn well (she was a little wobbly there in the last few years, but not in my dream) and she was just SO EXCITED TO BE MEETING ALIENS! My grandmother was thin, wobbly, gray, and psoriatic. But her smile? Grandma had a million dollar smile, and one of the funniest, most contagious laughs I have ever heard.


And me? I went to bed last night worrying about all of the things I had to do today. And I woke up this morning having received a precious gift. I got to link arms with my grandma, celebrate something happy, see her smile, and hear her laughter. And today, I feel as if I have been visited by someone special, and I know there are things in this universe that we will never explain, or understand, but for which we must have respect.

My Buddy

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

The other day, i was listening to the radio on my television. One of those music channels options. I do that sometimes when i am washing dishes or cleaning the main floor of the house, because i get tired of the CDs in my kitchen. (You can only listen to my usuals: Blonde on Blonde, Pleased to Meet Me, and Picaresque so many times. It is funny how my recently played songs on never actually take into account my time listening to cds in the kitchen the old-fashioned way.)

A song came on, and as so often happens in my distracted life, it was halfway over before I realized that I had known and sang along with every word, despite the fact that I don’t think I had ever heard the song before. I stood at the sink, up to my elbows in dirty dishes (we are currently grieving for our deceased dishwasher), looking blankly out the window on my fall garden, and trying to pull a memory out of the ether. It came to me in a flash, a quick glimpse of my grandma’s smiling face, with thick coke-bottle glasses, laughing at the piano in our old house.

My Buddy. It was My Buddy.

I used to love to watch my grandmother play the piano. She could still play, even into her 80s, and i think now that it is a lost art. Now, only the virtuosos play piano. But in her day, all young girls learned to play the piano, and standing around the piano playing songs and singing together was one of their favorite past-times. My grandmother would play songs out of the Cokesbury Hymnal. Her favorite was In the Garden. To this day, i get weepy every time I hear that beautiful hymn. I think that when I was little, I had no idea it was religious in nature, and the walking with, and talking with, and telling me that I am his own just made me feel so very loved. I never hear that song without thinking of Grandma Smith. But it was Grandma playing the songs My Buddy, and I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles that I really loved. She would sing as she played, and Lisa and I would sing along with her, following along in the songbook the words that she sang by heart, the songs she had listened to as a girl in Slidell, Louisiana and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“Nights are long since you went away I think about you all thru the day My buddy, My buddy, No buddy quite so true

Miss your voice, The touch of your hand Just long to know that you understand My buddy, My buddy, Ooh your buddy misses you

Miss your voice, The touch of your hand Just long to know that you understand My buddy, My buddy, Your buddy misses you

Yes I do”

Grandma, you’ve been gone for 16 years now, and your buddy still misses you every day.


Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I come from some wild women. . .


This was in my mom’s family photos. The photo says “Mother 1870,” but that seems a little early for this one, especially since the sign says something about auto insurance. Would love to be able to research the clothing to date it more accurately. We are also not sure who “Mother” is (she is the one third from the right), but have it narrowed down to one of the following:

  • My Grandmother Vivian’s mother, Ida Stevens Dunstan
  • My mother’s Aunt Zelma’s mother who, do to an out-of-wedlock pregnancy and adoption, could have referred to her birth mother, who was my grandmother’s mother (Ida)
  • Ida’s sister, Beulah, who adopted and raised Zelma.

Confused yet? Anyway, I love the picture and think it is just the coolest thing ever. They look like trouble. I think they are holding instruments, too. Nice twist.

This is my mom (right), with her best friend Judy in Daytona Beach.

Virginia and Judy Sitting On Johnny Dunstan's Car, Daytona Beach, 1960

Then there’s Grandma and Aunt Dot. My cousin remarked that he thought this picture was staged. I don’t think so. This is what family gatherings in my childhood looked like. Seriously.


I’ll leave the wild woman pictures of myself for Matilda to blog. Plus, I ain’t finished. Grandma and Aunt Dot were still doin’ it in their 80’s. I’m not even 35 yet.