Friday, September 11, 2015


Friday - is the day when the gracious Kate Motaung gives us a one-word prompt and we respond. In five minutes. However and with whatever we can -- wherever our thoughts and key-tapping fingers take us. Then we stop.  The prompt today is Same.


Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

"You look exactly the same."

It was my cousin's daughter, my first cousin, once removed (I had to look it up - the removed means one generation away - still family - all family...). I remember her with her sister, sitting on what was then my Aunt's front porch steps, their long hair falling all the way down their backs until it curled in ringlets on the peeling-paint, worn wood where we had plunked our summer-tan selves down, to catch a breather from Indiana-farm-swelter. I wondered what it was like to have that wealth of hair, to have the big eyes and the turned-up noses, the straight, wide, white smiles. I was the city cousin, come to visit - my life just as romantic and intriguing to them, as theirs was to me.

"Same smile, same dimples, same eyes - You haven't aged at all..."

How does one argue with that? In these days of feeling not-good-enough, not-pretty-enough, not-young-enough. In these days of resumes, and interviews, and being told that in this state, one doesn't even qualify for that certificate - the very one attained through a framed Master's degree hanging on the wall.

Smile and nod.

Laugh it off with a "thank you." With a sincere thank you.

Tell her how envious you were as a child. How much you wished for that hair, that smile - that all-american cute... Tell her that you can still see the girl on the porch - even though the years have passed. Tell her same-same. And smile.

And then listen well. Because we are together as family and it's been too long. Because catching up goes beyond our looks, and beyond our childhood memories. Beyond our outsides. Because we have gathered and in the gathering are stories. Stories of how we've changed, how we've grown, how we've overcome. Stories of blessings and difficulties, hope and disappointment, and faith. Stories that define us.

So we talked. And we listened. And we laughed. We did all those things that Indiana-family does - played cards, made music with guitars and singing, prepared and ate good food, cleaned up together - we enjoyed. All those things I remembered as a child, visiting, only this time, we were the adults.

Same but not. Better.


  1. Janet, what a nice post. I don't get to see my cousins nearly enough. But so blessed by their friendships. Glad you had a nice visit! Parked over in the #9 spot this week!

    1. It's funny where these FMF prompts take us. We don't get to see our cousins nearly enough either - I think it'd been close to 30 years for these... It really was nice -- like those friendships that just pick right up where they left off (even knowing how much of life has changed and molded us from what we were...). I'm glad you could stop by; I'll be hopping over to visit you soon. Have a great weekend.

  2. "Same but not. Better."

    I like that. Really like that.

    1. I did too - Just goes to show how important family is, no matter how far the distance and how long the time. Thanks!

  3. I enjoyed reading your interesting conversation Jane.
    I appreciate your sincerity. I wonder how life can be so funny. You admire something in someone just as they admire something beautiful about you too!
    God Bless Jane

    1. It IS funny how that works...kind of like the curly hair/straight hair thing... My hair is curly, I wish it was straight. My friend's hair is straight, she wishes it was curly. Even though we KNOW the grass isn't really greener - our perception is that it is. you've got my wheels turning. Thanks for the visit!

  4. Nice story. I suppose it's not a bad thing to be the same as we get older! Same, but better. I like that. I have been afraid to do this five minute Friday thing because I'm a recovering perfectionist who cannot post that first draft with no revisions. How do you do all that in five minutes?

    1. I'm afraid I don't even qualify as a recovering perfectionist, just a bonafide perfectionist - so - I definitely do some revisions. I can't help myself. I'm working on getting the thing down to five minutes - the hardest thing for me is to press publish when I don't feel like I've really said anything significant or worthwhile. The cool thing is that sometimes, my opinion of what is worthwhile is blown away by what others get out of reading it - God at work, right? So the hardest thing for me is to not judge what comes out from the prompt... Five minutes? I think I've made it once or twice...welcome to this forgiving community - I hope you enjoy!


I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.