Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .


Sometimes it’s important to list the memories you make. Every special event or family vacation should be memorialized as soon after as possible, not just in photos but in phrases that capture the moments.

+ The “balloon man” at TGIFridays told the girls he could make them monkeys, butterflies, guinea pigs…. I asked if he could make a snake. Shannon asked for a butterfly. Aislinn asked for a demonic bunny—and got it—red with black angry eyes and a big black mouth full of sharp white teeth. Shannon asked what the most unusual request was he’d ever gotten. You guessed: a demonic bunny.

+ The incredible energy around the Gainesville-Ocala area. So calm and positive!

+ “Mommy, did you pick out this hotel because of the pyramid on top?” No….

+ Analyzing the word turnpike.

+ “Hey, these jeans aren’t tight anymore!”

+ The lake view from the hotel

+ I’d told Aislinn to get Grendel’s dog food and shot records ready before taking him to be boarded. Imagine our surprise when she gave the kennel a huge bag of pre-packaged, pre-measured, perfectly labeled containers for each and every meal. I suppose she remembered me doing the same for her when I used to take her to daycare.

+ The down comforters on our beds.

+ Just driving and riding and talking and talking and talking about anything and everything and discovering Shannon likes Mary Wollstonecraft and giving her the history of Lord Byron and the Shelleys and the true meaning of Frankenstein and hearing some really old Cure on an alternative station near Gainesville and talking about telepathic energy circuits and explaining the Psychedelic Furs and talking and talking and talking.

Flying By Night novel

+ Chicken bastilla!

+ My brand new henna tattoo, very ornate, from the tip of my finger all the way to my elbow.

+ Sleeping late and watching Ground Hog Day…again. What a great movie! I love the way Rita asks Phil what he’s been doing with his eternity (killing himself, moping, feeling hopeless, etc). Then he decides to do something different with his life, something positive, and learns to play piano, among other things. It takes thousands of years of living the same day over and over before he becomes the man of Rita’s dreams but he really ends the movie as a different person—loving, generous, and emotionally healthy.

+ “That duck reminds me of Grendel!” (“Why?” “His butt’s in the air.”)

+ Finding jasmine incense at the Moroccan pavilion, pomegranate and bergamot at the Japanese pavilion, and rose oil at the Chinese pavilion.

+ “Hey, this fanny pack is loose!”

+ The little boy chasing sparks of light on a tile walkway. I love the wonderment of a child discovering the world. We grow up and forget it until we witness it through little eyes.

+ How exit is Latin and the verb is only one letter (i).

+ My new ethnic clothes!

+ Finding a quiet moment at a cafe to write while the girls checked out a couple of high-tech inventions.

+ The purple velvet belly dancers outfit that I’d wear everywhere if I could (but I won’t).

+ Tired and vegging out in the room.

+ “Hey, these jeans fit!”

+ The spears on the ceiling of the restaurant around the lamp.

+ “Disneyworld reminds me of our house, Mommy!”

+ “Your henna tattoo is darker…and so frigging cool.”

+ “Your purple necklace turned baby blue….”

+ The very bumpy safari.

+ “I must have my pic done with Rafiki.”

+ “That hippo is more active than most humans.”

+ Shannon and I had a mutual appreciation for “shirtless men doing back flips.”


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