This will come as NO surprise to anyone who is an IRL Facebook friend…
My very first celebrity crush… began when I was 7 years old. Wil Wheaton as Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: TNG. He is the reason I started watching the show with my dad… and I’m thankful for that, because now it is a show I really love, for all the reasons.
My second celebrity crush ALSO stemmed from a show I watched with my dad… Jonathan Brandis as Lucas Wolenczak on SeaQuest. I was 10. He was in other movies (Lady Bugs and Never Ending Story 2) but Lucas was my favorite character he played. I was so sad when I heard he’d died.
And finally, Ryan Reynolds… I haven’t seen most of his movies, it’s a different style of humor than I enjoy. I liked him first on the 90’s tv series called ‘Fifteen’ on Nickelodeon. And he was great in “The Proposal”. But I really liked Green Lantern. (I don’t care what critics in the DC fandom say.) He’s just so pretty.
No School (Or work. I love my job, but the break is wonderful!)
Pool Time ( My family had an in-ground pool at two of our houses, for a total of 7 years, when I was a kid/teen. I spent almost every day swimming when I could. We currently have a blow-up kid pool, but grown-ups totally fit too… there isn’t really swimming, but plenty of splashing.)
Popsicles (Especially homemade ones. Especially guava juice, homemade ones.)
Rose Gardening (I have a tea rose garden in my front yard… I love taking care of them and watching them bloom all summer.)
Dusk & Sunsets (This time of day, especially in summer, is beautiful. The light is soft, the heat of the day has faded to warm… and it’s after 8pm.)
In-Season Fruit (Give me ALL THE BERRIES…. and watermelon.)
4th of July & Fireworks (Looooooove fireworks! As a young kid, I used to cry when the show was over.)
BBQs (Grilling out is my favorite smell of summer.)
Fire Pits/ Campfires (After dark… with s’mores.)
Key Lime Pie (Truth: I can have a slice of key lime pie ANY time of the year (so good!)… but it feels more ‘right’ in the summer.)
Gladiolas (They are SO pretty, and I can only find them in July/August.)
Immediately, the first thing that pops into my mind is being a military dependent. There are so many things I miss about the places/things I had access to during my formative years. I miss my dependent ID card. I miss having the rank sticker on my car saluted as I drive through the base gate. I miss shopping at the Commissary and BX and eating in the food court in front of the BX. (All of those places had a smell specific to them… the way Kmart used to smell different than Walmart… and (to me) it was the same smell, no matter the time zone or zip code.) I miss going to the doctor/hospital/clinic on base. I miss brunches at the O-Club. I miss standing for the National Anthem before a movie… and experiencing an entire base stopping/saluting (pedestrians AND vehicles) as it plays through the base speakers at 5:30pm.
You don’t realize how special these routine and mundane things are, until you suddenly don’t have them. (Not that it’s ‘suddenly’ anymore. It’s been 16 years. But that means, even at 38 years old, I’ve still spent more than half of my life as a dependent (22 years).
You know that old adage “You can never go home again,” by Thomas Wolfe? It means… you can’t go back to the way things were. Cities change, people change/move, etc., etc. The way it was, won’t be how it is… ever again. And if you are a current civilian who was once a dependent… and you no longer have access to the bases you used to live on… this is literal.
Post your favorite movies or tv shows that you never get tired of watching.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (tv)
As soon as I finish this series… I restart it. Sometimes I go through each episode and pay attention, but usually I let it play in the background while I’m cleaning/organizing/etc. There is a very specific ambiance that the sounds from this show create for me. Especially the low hum that plays under most scenes. Very soothing.
The Office (U.S.) (tv)
This is a show my husband and I started watching together after we got married. Sometimes when we want to watch something, but not something new, we’ll put this on. I’ve lost count on how many times we’ve seen the entire series.
Most of the traditional Christmas movies, and even a few non-traditional ones.
I love the old classics like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, ‘Christmas in Connecticut’… newer classics like ‘Elf’ and the ENTIRE Santa Claus trilogy (even #3)… and of course the animated movies like the newest Grinch movie, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, and the old claymation movies like Rudolph. These are just a few examples. My entire collection, which we go through every Christmas season- as many times as we can, (starting the-day-after-Thanksgiving-and-not-a-second-before, through December 31) has many, many more! There are only two of the ‘traditional’ movies I refuse to own and won’t watch… because I just can’t stand them. ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’. I know some people love them. But I don’t. This is something I don’t think will ever change.
This show is hilarious and I will never get tired of watching it. I laugh at the jokes like they are brand new, every time.
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies (movie)
I have to be ready for the time commitment involved. But they are SO GOOD and the music is just as epic as the story.
Back to the Future trilogy (movie)
This was the first movie trilogy I bought myself when it was released on DVD. (Way back in 2002.) I still remember watching the DVDs on my old purple iMac.
The Goonies (movie)
I first saw an edited version of this on the Disney Channel in the very early 90’s. (Back when you would occasionally get a free trial week… when your parents didn’t pay for it.) Still one of my favorite kid adventure films.
I mean, the relevant gifs alone make this show timeless.
The Pirates of the Caribbean- all of them (movie)
Another epic series of films! The humor, the action, the romance… and oh-my-goodness, the music!
This movie still holds the record for the most times I’ve seen a film in the movie theater. (4) And was the first movie I ever pre-ordered (at Blockbuster, on VHS… and yes, I still have it). And my mom bought me the movie poster in high school, and it is the only non-Star Trek one we have. I definitely have to be in the right mood to watch it… but… it is such an epic and tragic story… and again, the music!!! It’s just gorgeous.
Any of the Marvel or Star Wars movies…
These have yet to stand the test of time, since my husband and I are still going through the Marvel series in chronological order, and my Bestie and I JUST finished the Star Wars films in May. But I think both will prove re-watch worthy.
Murder She Wrote (tv)
I’ve been through the series at least 4 times. It never gets old. (It’s currently what I’m listening to as I type this.) I even have a “Jessica Fletcher” mug… perfect for a ‘dark and stormy night’. 🙂
There are many more that I could write about… and more that I’m sure will come to mind once I hit ‘publish’…
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” John A. Shedd
I found this quote about a 11 years ago, during a time where I was feeling stuck and frozen. I wanted to do something about those feelings, but that was scary.
I ended up going on my first solo road trip that summer. I visited extended family with my sister (the first time without my parents), and also trekked through parts of the country I had never driven through before. I went through all 4 time zones and put my foot in all 3 large bodies of water that touch the US (Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific), within a month.
It was exhilarating, beautiful, and a tad bit scary.
The quote reminds me that, yes, staying home or staying in the familiar is safe. But I’m also capable of doing hard and scary things.
20 years ago I graduated from high school. My second high school.
I haven’t been back to my first high school (in Texas) in 20 years. The last time I visited the campus was summer after graduation, when my mom, sister, and I went on a massive road trip around the country. We visited as many of our old houses/schools/friends/family as we could, and even a few new places too.
I was able to go to my second high school’s 10 year reunion… but haven’t made it back to my first high school for anything official. (It was such a small school, ‘they’ usually just say “all classes are welcome” during homecoming weekend. Someone in the class of 2000 tried to get something organized for last fall… but Covid.)
All of that to say, I’m excited for a trip my sister and I are planning for this fall!! Our Texas high school may or may not do an official reunion… but we aren’t waiting for someone to coordinate that. So, in October, we are going to visit our old high school to see a non-homecoming football game, eat some Frito pie, watch the marching band perform at halftime, and maybe get lucky enough to walk around the grounds of the totally transformed campus. (They tore the old high school building down in 2016/2017.) Not only will it be wonderful to visit the school, wear the old school colors, and maybe even dig out the old class ring… it will be really wonderful to do those things with my sister, who I haven’t seen in far too long! #thankscovid
It’s exciting to be planning travel adventures again!
My family. The one I was born into, the one I married into, and the one I’ve created with my husband. I’ve got a wonderful group of God-loving humans around me.
Health. Every day I wake up to a world where my husband, kids, and I don’t have to deal with a debilitating chronic illness… I am grateful. And if the day comes where we do battle an ongoing illness, I pray we will face it with as much gratitude and grace as I’ve witnessed in others.
Jobs. Over the last year… I’ve been extra aware and grateful… that my husband had the job he had when the world shut down. I know there were many people who weren’t able to work from home… or had to face challenges of their business closing down permanently. I am also glad I had the work experience and a close friend with connections, so that I could re-enter the field of education. There were still obstacles to overcome… but NOT having jobs and worrying about finances, was not one of them.
Friends. I am fortunate to have wonderful friends, from all kinds of backgrounds, all over the world. I am grateful for the friends who chose to include my family in Christmas card mailings, who send random text messages to say hi, or send birthday party invites… etc. I’m grateful for Facebook making it SO MUCH EASIER to stay in touch, even if not actively. I’m grateful for the bestest Bestie in the world who loves me and my family in SO many ways!
Our home. I am so grateful for the home we bought over 13 years ago… that it was big enough for us to grow into. I’m glad for the protection against all of the different kinds of weather… that our neighborhood is safe… that we get along with our neighbors… that we have a good sized yard to play in, with green grass and mature trees… and that we have an air conditioner.
What is something you sometimes wonder “What if…” about?
I know I talk about it often, but being an Air Force kid was (and still is) a large part of my identity. It shaped a lot of who I am, how I handle new environments and people, and (I’m sure) a fair share of my idiosyncrasies. The thing I often wonder is… what if my family had continued living in (insert one of the places we used to live) instead of moving? What would my life look like now? What kind of person would I be? Of course, that is impossible to know. Each move had its own profound impact on who I turned into as a person as well as this present life I’m currently living.
My parents thought they’d bought the home my dad would retire in… in New Mexico ( when I was in 2nd grade-5th grade). But a few years and a move later, I couldn’t imagine leaving my middle school friends I made in Virginia (6th-8th)… until I did. By the time we made it to San Antonio (9th- first half of 11th), I was beginning to understand how each move meant meeting new people… that I couldn’t imagine my life without. (My mom gave me great wisdom about that.) That made it a bit easier (but not less painful) to move to Colorado (second half of 11th-12th).
And yes… most of what I wonder is friend related, (but not all). How would my friendships have changed over a longer period of time? Would I have been in the same or completely different groups in high school? Would I have loved marching band as much without my ‘Friday Night Lights’ experience in Texas with my band director Mr. Wilson? Would I still like the Denver Broncos if I’d never lived in Colorado? (Honestly, probably not… I’m not a fair weather fan, but wearing orange was an ‘acquired taste’ I had to learn to love.)
If I go back, everything is a domino effect. There’s not one thing I would change about my now… so there isn’t a thing I could change about then. I’m very happy with where I’ve ended up. I don’t ever ‘wonder’ these things too seriously… but when I think about them, I consider myself blessed for the life I’ve had so far… how all the twists and turns landed me here… and I’m grateful.