Finding the music.

When I was a little girl, our family was in a musical theater group. We performed Gilbert and Sullivan productions every year. The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe, Patience, were a few. My mother, father, twin brother and I were part of this theater for my entire childhood. I very much loved to sing. I loved to perform. I loved peeking out behind the curtain to see the audience and feeling excited that all of the seats were filled. When we weren’t waterskiing, we were practicing for our next musical production. Singing and music was very freeing to me. We had a full orchestra at our performances. We lived in a tiny town and the theatrical productions were some big entertainment! Unless you wanted to drive 45 minutes to see the theater groups in the big town. We always had a full house. We always got standing ovations. I felt famous in my fairy costume taking a bow. 

I loved the costumes. I loved the make up. Being a little girl on stage felt so…special. I always felt like I was somebody when I was on the stage. When I stepped off I felt like I was just little me. There was a man in the productions who always wore a hat. To every rehearsal and practice, he wore his hat. He seemed very sophisticated to me with his hat. He seemed magical, this man. He would just appear out of nowhere and always brought a calm when he was there. He always tipped his hat when he saw me and said hello to me like I was an adult. Do you ever wonder where the people go from your memories? What happened to my man with the hat? Does he remember me as fondly as I remember him? 

My parents had cassette tapes of the productions and we would listen to them in the car and at home. I memorized every song for every part, even the major roles. I konw every word to every song we sang in those productions to this day. I sing a Japanese song from the Mikado anytime I want to rile up my daughter because she finds it odd that I can remember a song in Japanese that I sang when I was probably only 5. I loved to sing. I loved that our family did this together. 

I lost my desire to sing after I was abused. I have no idea why. I just noticed one day that I didn’t sing anymore. I didn’t sing to the radio. We didn’t do productions at the theater anymore. Music just didn’t feel the same to me. A few times in my early 20’s I tried to sing again but it never felt the way it used to, free and unencumbered. 

I did still love to perform though. My waterskiing job at Seaworld was a lot like our theater. We were performing for big groups of people and I felt…special. The crowd would clap when I came on stage after my ski tricks and I would bow and feel…famous. Then I would step off the stage and go back to…little me. 

It wasn’t until my daughter was born that music found it’s way back into my heart. I sang her lullabies. Every night I sang her many many lullabies. My husband often snuck in to hear me sing to her. Singing made me feel special again with my audience only being my husband and my baby. My role as a mother and wife was real. It wasn’t just a production or a performance with a costume. I pretended to be special then. I actually felt special singing songs to my daughter.  It didn’t have to be me pretending to be someone else in a production to feel important. I knew I was important to my little girl and my husband. Being a mom feels like a real superstar. Having an audience watch you perform will never compare to having your little girl look up at you as you sing her to sleep. So, I sang and I sang and I sang to her. And sure enough, 20 years later, she is a singer herself. She has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. And, she LOVES musicals. 

Tonight we watched Beauty and the Beast.  The costumes were brilliant and they reminded me of the costumes I used to wear and love. There was a man with the same hat as MY man with the hat. I watched the whole movie remembering my family and the music and how much I loved to sing. I’m glad that my daughter brought back my voice to me. Losing the music in your heart and the song from your lips is like watching a bird in a cage and wishing someone would let him be free. Abuse can take away that joy. Singing again put that one little piece of joy back that was taken. Abuse cannot take everything, and for the things it does take, you can add them back one at a time. Some things. Singing a lullaby to my child put back a piece that was taken. Music finally found its way back to me.

Those little memories

The bread was stale so I went to toss it in the trash and heard, “Keep that and you can feed it to the ducks later.” It is absolutely amazing the little movements, sounds, smells, and actions that can trigger a memory. 

I loved feeding the fish and the ducks in the evenings. I would go to the end of the dock and lay on the edge. I made tiny balls out of the bread and hung my hand over the side of the dock and dropped a ball in. I would watch the slight ripple in the water when it landed and then how it swearved around under the water. It never made it to the bottom. A fish always got it. The side of my face would have dock marks on it by the time I sat up. It was very calming watching the fish eat the bread. The stale crusts got tossed to the ducks. We had mallard ducks on our lake. There were always two. 

One summer a duck had her ducklings. She would bring her babies with her while she ate the bread. Very rarely I could touch just a tip of a baby’s tail. Baby ducklings have the softest feathers you could ever imagine. One afternoon I watched as one of the baby ducklings went under water and never came back up again. I was horrified. My mother was horrified. The bass in the lake had mouths far bigger than those ducklings. I was told the bass were eating them. Later I wondered if it was an alligator. I”m still not sure why they went under and didn’t come back up, but my mother and father rounded all of those ducklings up and put them in our fort that my dad built us, until they were big enough to go back on the lake. Then we had to protect them from the snakes on the ground. Most of the babies survived and I still remember releasing them back onto the lake. Every night I still fed the ducks but I took up fishing soon after that. I didn’t care much about feeding the fish anymore. 

My grandfather taught me how to fish. He had his tackle box and all of his fishing lures. I was fascinated by the lures. I was fascinated at the idea of tricking a fish with this lure. He was very proud of my first fish. I still remember holding it up in he and Nana’s kitchen, still on the line while someone took my picture. But as I got older I felt bad for the fish. I thought they were suffering and couldn’t stand to watch them gasping for air as their big eyes looked around. I stopped fishing. I went back to feeding the ducks. I didn’t know that ducks don’t live 30 years until I was probably 40 and realized that it wasn’t the same duck that was there every year. But growing up, year after year, I just assumed the same two ducks came back for me to feed them. 

Those little ducklings though, swimming with their mother was a sight to see. 

Throwing some stale bread out, reminded me. I love those memories.

Smell 2 #SoCS

Once I did the stream of consciousness Saturday….it did not stop. I had one more to go. I hope that doesn’t break the rules. Once my mind turned the switch it just had more to say with the word….smell.

Poetry: smell
Heal her 

And take me.

This isn’t bargaining.

This isn’t a plea.

This is an offering.

You’ve accepted offerings 

2000 years ago!

Heal her

I’ll gladly go.

Is that an insult?

I don’t even know.

Hopefully you’ll see through

To my heart though.

You made a blind man see!

I know you CAN

Heal her

And take me.

She is different, special,

There is a life she wants to lead.

Ok I changed my mind

I’m down on my knees.

I will plead.

She rested her head

On my shoulder

Her hair 


Of just a tiny bird.


Take me

And heal her. 

Smell #SoCS

I was sure that my favorite gardenia was dead. She only had a few leaves. So my husband bought me two new gardenias and planted them for me for my birthday. 

I kept watering the other gardenia though, even though it was mostly just sticks. 

Then I saw the bud. Then the bloom. I couldn’t be more excited that something I was sure was going to die could produce a bud and then bloom I have been sitting out in the dark inhaling the incredible aroma of this gardenia. Years ago when I first got it I stuck a little believe sign in it. She is a great representation of what believing can be. Near death to full bloom. I just need to apply this plant to the rest of my life and I will be in good shape. There are reminders everywhere, you just have to see them…or smell them. I JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE! I JUST NEED TO BELIEVE! COME ON BETHANY. BE LIKE THE GARDENIA. BE LIKE THE GARDENIA. 


Stream of consciousnes saturday

A conversation with two owls

I had a very long conversation with two owls. They were trying to get back into their nest and were very frustrated they didn’t fit. They took some time to preen themselves and then tried to fit in the nest again. After all that failed, the three of us had a very meaningful conversation. It is remarkable what good listeners they are!


My owl

Sometimes I cry when we have our chats…I don’t know why…maybe because I feel she can hear me when humans cannot…maybe I feel she is sent to me when I am at my saddest moment and I feel heard by God…Who am I kidding, I don’t sometimes cry, I always cry when I talk to my owl…

I like…

I like… 

The pink fluff flowers coming on the mimosa tree. I like standing under it and looking up.

I like that the morning glory vine is shaped liked hearts. 

I like the feel of whatever this green moss is on the ground.

I like the feel of whatever THIS moss is.

I like that there is a red leaf among the green ones on this vine.

I like that when I walked down to look at these rocks, I could hear my daughter singing on the porch.

I like that after my husband trimmed back this flowering tree, it shot out new green branches.

I love that after I thought this gardenia on the deck was dead, sure enough it put out a bloom!

Living in the moment is a challenge for me some days. Today I just wandered around, and in the moment, noticed the things that I liked. “I like that red leaf. I like the sound of that bird. I like the feel of the wind today. I like listening to the sound of my daughter’s voice.” Because at any point the unlikes will make their way back. So for now. I’m just sitting in the moment.