BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

Time to Re-Consider December 28, 2010

I say yes to friends.

Yes to fun.

Yes to family.

Pink Hair….

Yes to travel, adventure, creativity,
dogs, cats, snow…..

Johnny & Zoe show me Montana's best!

Sisters with red hair.

New profit centers.

Getting rid of the clutter.

Good books, new ideas,

New recipes,

Colorful restaurants,

Dinners with friends.

Peace.

Brothers……


And so, sooo much more.

Time to create new stories.

New stories.

BB Webb

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Bob Banta births BB….Awwww Dad! November 22, 2010

I hadn’t put it together until just this evening, but my father, Bob Banta, (who dubbed me Barbara Suzanne Banta) was a BB as well.

Happy Birthday to my father, Bob Banta. He died some time ago and honestly, I feel a greater bond with him since his death than perhaps when he was of flesh.

Odd thing to say perhaps, but I ‘get’ him a bit more since his passing.

BB and Bob, November 2005

He was not a warm, fuzzy guy, prone instead to temper tantrums and outburst of ‘crazies’. Though part of me now understands him a bit. Actually, MORE than a bit. And I love him dearly. Totally and dearly!

We are all part adult, part child. The child parts show up in the most profound (interesting)? ways….and I’ve found for myself, often embarrassing ways. We all want to FEEL we are so entirely ADULT, but what indeed is that.

But none of us is ‘complete’, I feel on this planet….we are all unfinished specs of humanity doing our best to make our way. Some of us have a savvier intellect, or are more affable, some negotiate good business, others terrific family relations….but we all have ‘work to do’….and to me, that’s what makes life interesting, if not frustrating in moments.

We all have our world view, my Dad clearly had his. We grow up with our ‘rights and wrongs’ our ‘preferences’ so to speak. My Dad was a most rigid sort. He had a box in which he lived and anything outside that was deemed wrong. Imagine me, budding artist, creative soul living in his household!

My Dad found me a bit too LARGE for life, too animated, lively, loud, BIG and certainly dramatic. And, I am. That doesn’t make me wrong, merely ME. Me. Not him. Me. I clearly judged him, his box, his disapproval mostly, sadly. I know better now. You do NOT fight fire with fire. I prefer to ‘fight’ with boundaries and love!

And so as I’ve mellowed in SOME regard, (others not so and perhaps never will or care to), I realize that there are things we must just accept within ourselves, others we can maybe tweak but again, I am reminded of Popeye and his ever popular, ‘I yam what I yam’ declaration.

And so should you be. And if I find I am not fitting into the current choices in my life, I’d best find other digs. My brothers moved to Montana when they found the surrounds and growth within our once rural Pennsylvania, not fitting. They needed a new place to thrive and get what they needed. Certainly traffic in Bozeman is far less hectic than in an ever growing outskirt of the Philadelphia surrounds. I admire their decision making.

I too am outgrowing things in my life and it’s almost comical to watch me ‘burst at the seams’ as I do. My father perhaps never found his groove until later in life. Business was a huge stressor to him and I think the role to which he was thrust at that time in the world and in how he grew up, a mother more concerned with cleanliness that teaching ‘Bobbie’ how to love.

A funny memory is my Grandmother telling us not to sleep out in the backyard as kids as ‘bugs will get into your ears’!

Bob's 2005 BD, our last together with my brothers.

Though far from warm and fuzzy or generous with his compliments, he was a master at the back handed compliment, i.e when reading an article written about me in the local newspaper when I’d brought my play, ‘Through Ruby’s Eyes’ to my hometown….I shared the ups and downs of being a traveling artist. He said to me,

‘in other words, if you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get outta of the kitchen!

Bingo Bob! And that was his way of saying, ‘atta girl. You’ve got the right attitude.’ But he was unskilled in using words in that way…in the same way that some people are not effective speaking their truths in person, they need instead to write what they feel, my Dad had his own style for communicating his feelings. Though I’d hardly say he was ever much IN TOUCH with them.

I recently received a mail package of things my brothers procured from my father’s estate. In my bundle was every letter I’d ever written him, (and, effusive I am) along with trinkets I’d made for him as a child. I was moved beyond tears to guffaws of joy AND sadness. I wish we’d known one another better. I wish he’d been open to my brand of communicating and ‘being me’. I wish I’d known how to reach him better to let him know how deeply, deeply loved he was by me and how badly I wanted him to see me and tell me I was his own special girl.

But I know that now….not just because of the found trinkets and letters kept, but I feel his presence in uncanny ways. We speak to one another and honestly, he’s so damn proud of me and I feel that. He edges me along in my business, challenging me to think bigger, to create, to work my magic which he knows I have. His sense of the Universe is so much grander from where he sits now and I am the beneficiary of his vision.

He was a good man with a broken heart and a fractured soul. We’ll meet again no doubt and he’ll feel me and know on NO uncertain terms that he is valued, loved, found capable, smart, loving and special for just being who he is.

I love Bob Banta. With every inch of my fiber and more. Thank you for the gifts I’ve received through having you as my Dad, warts and all that we both have….I may be a similar pain in the ass to others that you were, but I’ve now both scienter and a heart filled with both forgiveness and love and I dare you, dare you dear Dad, to beat that.

Happy Birthday…you’d have been 89 years old today.

Love your DDD. Barbie Sue.

 

Love Among the Memories April 29, 2010

Love Among the Memories

I found myself this past weekend in the lush surrounds of Lancaster, PA, Lititz to be exact, home of Wilbur Chocolate and Linden Hall, now the oldest girl’s school in America, founded in 1747, also my former high school. I arrived on no more beautiful day than I can ever remember. Spring was in full bloom, dogwoods with their pink and white blossoms coloring the landscape, rich green grass sprouting fully from the fertile dark soil of this farmland. Everywhere color and abundance, cool air, the perfectness of Pennsylvania in the spring.

I hiccupped in on a small plane from Atlanta this past Friday, eager for a visit with my dear Aunt Sue and Uncle Jack. For 43 years I’ve visited them on a beautiful ‘farm’ which was had been in our family for generations. At one time it boarded many horses and when I was young, a llama named Pepito, one of the Uncle’s strange and wonderful gifts to his wife Sue. Pepito entertained us all for years and the horses as well with his comical antics and random spitting if he was displeased.

We enjoyed many a party on Buch Avenue, the adjoining servants carriage house from the 1800s turned into guest quarters. My family knows how to party and have never been known to hold back. With all varieties of food and the libations flowing for sure, my family works hard and plays hard, each and every member! We’re a family of entrepreneurs, this gene running strongly through our blood from generations before.

Though a large and sprawling house, the dining room was not large enough to house our growing family of new husbands and wives and the many children who came along the way. My Uncle Jack and Sue fashioned one year their three car garage into ‘party quarters’, transforming long workbenches into buffets areas, tables long enough to seat 25 or more. Such events often ended in dancing or games and one year, the boys lining up, raising the garage doors and ‘mooning’ the neighbors for fun. (I can see Sue shaking her head, as the mother of three riotous boys can only do)!

Having joined several family members in marriage on the estate, one year I remember the most glorious weather, June I think. My aunt, a true Martha Stewart type woman, (before the jail incident)….tenacious and exacting, had every detail of the wedding in tact. The ceremony was to be held around a gazebo surrounded by every summer flower you might imagine and rainbow of color. The sky was clear with narry a cloud and we all entered around the gazebo while chamber music played.

My Aunt Sue entered proudly, dressed in her flowing taffeta, the proud Mother of the Groom. She sat down just in front of me. Everything was in order. I remember someone readying a poem, a song being sung and then the ceremony began, vows were being spoken.

And then, as though God were issuing a reminder, one lone grey cloud toodled its small self across the sky and stopped directly above the ceremonial gazebo. The rest of the sky continued its blue display but Mr. Grey Cloud instantly began a downpour as the ‘I dos’ were issued forth.

My most vivid memory is my soon-to-be new cousin, Lesley, laughing with joy in her eyes and then my Aunt Sue’s head falling to her chest, me almost hearing what she was no doubt thinking….’ooooh, for God’s sake’…..and indeed it was, reminding us that life is perfect in all ways, the ups, downs and turn arounds, it is all in divine order.

We all ran for cover under a large tent where the buffet was to be served. Our playful cloud had dissipated, having performed its task for the day, for us all to learn this important lesson should we choose.

With matted hair and extra wrinkled linen, there was no more perfect day or memorable wedding, and I’ve attended quite a few!

Joi de vivre! Live for the day.

BB Webb

 

And again, I remind myself… March 28, 2010

simply to breathe…

breathe,

breathe,

and trust…

trust that somewhere,

somehow,

I am, (we are), supremely loved,

taken care of and….

that equanimity is mine…ours…

yours.

And so it is. It just is.

BB Webb

 

Finding Home. January 24, 2010

I’ve felt a bit alien in my own skin and frankly in the world in which I live of late, astonished by what I perceive as the barren-ness of some, (I’ll call them), ‘belief systems’ I’ve encountered recently, evidenced by the people who demonstrate those belief systems by their actions. I’m not judging them, though would rather surround myself with more positive influences and energy. So, I’ve been hunting…not unlike a lioness, as I’m hungry to find my ‘tribe’.

I was at a networking last week and met a delightful woman, both an attorney, wife, mother and President of a local arts organization in her town. We are the same age and had lots to talk about even though the roles we play are rather different. There was an immediate connection and I relished it, certainly after presently feeling so dis-connected in other areas of my life.

She shared having recently read a book which talked about finding our ‘tribe’, our family outside our biological families. The people with whom we resonate, who inspire us, challenge us in supportive ways, who have our best interests in mind who as I’ve referred to in earlier blog posts, might be part of that ‘rocking chair family’ who we travel with maybe til we are ready to set into our own sunsets.

I recently came upon a quote which caught my attention:

“Our life is not a problem to be solved. There are callings to be answered and mysteries to be lived.”

Richard Leider, Author of ‘Something to Live For’

I feel those callings indeed and am circling around my domain, watching, asking questions, curious as to the plethora of feelings prompted by the many mysteries making my search for something which makes more sense to me, for living my life, and creating the world I prefer to inhabit.

With a dear friend’s visit to my home this weekend, a fellow ‘tribe member’, we have shared all manner of conversations both meaningful and fullfilling and certainly supportive of one another and encouraging to our next steps and our expanding as spiritual beings having these curious human experiences. In my search for a ‘family’ of sorts to share more like minded conversations, interests and pursuits, she introduced me to something new, a resource online to help connect folks to groups of people who have interests much like my own, or yours, close to where we live. It is called http://www.meetup.com

Here you can plug in whatever interests you might have be it sports, tapestry making, religion, business interests, investing, athletic interests, metaphysics, you name it and there are people in your community who probably would enjoy meeting you.

So, I have signed up to expand my circle of connections in person, not just online, but face to face throughout the Atlanta area.

It only takes one person to impact your life in a positive way, one new spark of thinking or way of being to shift your path in a terrific way. Our resources are many. And certainly our satisfaction and joy is linked only to our ability to perceive what it is we want to create and to allow all good things in, while certainly, releasing what no longer works.

So, have at it. And good luck on your journey, may you find the people who will help you move more into who you intend to be, or rather, who you are meant to be. Allow your soul to flourish as it’s certainly meant to! The possibilities are manyfold.

And only because it’s so true and such a lovely piece of music and words….I’ll share again, (below), The Weepies song, ‘All Good Things’. Perhaps we might, with love, say good-bye to the folks who no longer fit and hello in eager anticipation of the new forces, transformations within those we love or new people, and deep and loving connections coming our way. Because, they ARE if you believe they are, and I do, despite my darkest times and biggest disappointments. I choose to focus ONLY on the love, for ultimately….ultimately, that’s all there is, if you choose it. Truly. Sleep on that one. Truly.

Or as my mother said just before dying, ‘remember the good things honey!’ And so I will and add to it, ‘and INTEND those to come.’ And so it is!

With love,

BB Webb

 

The Children Storm October 20, 2009

A little over 10 years ago I found myself in the new role of wife and step mom. Both proved to be challenging roles for me though I certainly gave it my ALL. The lessons learned were worth their weight in marbles, heavy, gold gilded marbles. I am grateful for ALL my life experiences. I’m especially grateful to be where I am now…traveling forward to who knows exactly what….though it will be forever beautifully seasoned by the tastes, pleasures, bumps and colorful roads traveled in my past.

And for one season, I experienced a beautiful ‘Children Storm’.

The Children Storm

As a new step-mom and first time wife, I’ve grown accustomed to the anticipation filled calm before the “children storm.” My eyes dart out the window for signs of Sam’s Bronco turning into the drive whose entrance is 800 feet away, headlights a harbinger to the chaos I’m not sure I can embrace. I almost hear circus music as I see his lights. Visions of toys, games, papers, being thrown from bookshelves, as if from some poltergeist, fill my mind, food jettisoning from the fridge, peanut better oozing at abnormal speed down cupboards with a life of its own, fingerprints a Rand McNally of childlike enthusiasm, tantrums and abandon.

My need to control tightens. My stomach freezes and my face belongs in the wax museum. Immobile, I wait. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The dogs sign the next warning, my scouts, signaling my impending danger. They begin to howl knowing as I do that our peaceful haven will soon be transformed. They begin running in circles on the porch, nip at each other with the eager anticipation of their playmates.

“Rumble, rumble, rumble,” on the stone drive, “creak” of Sam’s old Bronco doors, aching from the force of being opened one more time and all at once, a cacophony of birds chattering, magpies arguing, the sound of symbols as the doors crash closed and Sam hollering, “Leo, shut the door.” Leo, in his customary 3’4”, four-year-old retort, “It was Jason.” Bonnie escapes the Bronco first, her curly red hair a pogo stick of color. She bounces out the car door leaving bookbag, pencils and papers flying like crows scared by an oncoming tractor.

Jason tumbles out the side closest to our house and passes Bonnie with a swift dodge to the left, then the right, making her teeter off balance. The unforgettable whine sings our like a lighthouse beacon, “Jaaasssooooon mooovvve. Daddddy!!!!” Her book bag, puffy with key chains and stuffed toys bounces on her shoulder as she leans left to regain her balance. Jason clips past her to the left, around our newly planted dogwood, his same height; it competition bends and springs back, a lucky survivor. Gazelle-like, he moves up the 3 porch stairs with one jump, into the front door with hinges flung wide as though they might spin like the revolving kind at Macys, through our walls and back again another turn. April 2004 028

Bonnie is a moment behind, her 10-year-old body somersaulting through the front door just behind her. She high-jumps a chair to the kitchen pulling down chips, cookies, tops are opened, contents spilling. Jason with dark hair tossed to the side, flips on the TV with Olympic speed while simultaneously landing in the blue chair, sneakers flung to one side. A “BOOM!” of high pitched vibrations, background crashing, the sound hitting each wall of our home like a WW2 bomber with an ability to penetrate through accuracy and speed, deadening all senses.

Leo trails behind and is curtailed as he falls over his forever dragging shoelace, “BAM,” onto the gravel with an instantaneous bellow heard round the world. “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” The deer in our forest take cover; the birds levitate in unison. “I’m bleeeeeding. I’m dyyying.” Sam unfettered by this ritual pulls Leo up by the arm to inspect the damage. No blood in sight just a feather of skin torn.

Willing to forget his near death fall, Leo shouts with eyes bulging, forehead crimson for Jason to give him his chair, which he claimed yesterday was HIS! Sam loosens his hold as Leo wiggles to freedom and scurries through the front door, a ferret out to kill. With Mighty Mouse speed, he pounces through the door to the now settled Jason who has both hands full of Oreo’s, the creamy white filling already being scraped from the dark cookie. With the swift twitch of his elbow, a practiced move, Jason flicks Leo to the floor with no more effort than he would swat an annoying fly. Skillfully he does so without disturbing one scrap of the cookie.April 2004 021

A louder, “Waaaaaa, Daaaddddyy, make Jason give me the chair, it’s not fair. It’s miiiiiiiiine!!!” Sam already headed out to the Bronco to collect the strewn pieces of wreckage shouts back as he ambles without turning his head, “Leo, stop arguing. Jason, let him sit with you.” He is as calm as a monk in meditation.

My head spins. I grasp the door frame to keep my balance. My home is invaded; my sense of self lost in the din, the movement, this merry-go-round set at warp speed. Who are these people? Even the dust is scattering to take cover. The dogs are in from the back porch now adding to the mix of circus, rodeo, amusement park backdrop. The pictures on the wall hang askew or is it my brain jumbled in the wake? The instant transforming of my peaceful space. An atom bomb would be more gracious.

Peering the wreckage from the safety of our bedroom, I make a fast getaway to our bathroom so as not to be discovered. Into this 4 by 10-foot windowless tomb, my sanctuary, I breathe, I pray, not sure what for, but I pray. My heart is pumping overtime and my temples are pounding, hot to the touch. I feel like a deer found out by an overzealous first of the season hunter.

I hear Sam entering the house quickly calming the havoc, organizing the mayhem and my stomach, not yet accustomed to this ritual, loosens a small notch till Leo bursts through the bathroom door like a clown at a surprise party. “Hi BB.” I fall against the back wall and hear a “clunk.” Is it my head or has my heart stopped? Having already forgotten his recent tumble on the gravel and his adamant need for the blue chair, he smiles and with all the pride of a newly pinned commander reports, “I have to drop a few friends off at the pool.”

IM001959My eyebrows move high on my forehead. I can’t move. I make a play at normalcy, attempt to slip on my loving adult face and demeanor, while the child that is me silently screams, shakes, bellows, “SPACE; I WANT MY SPACE!!!!!!” Leo in his meltingly sweet and infectious manner bursts, “Will you help me wipe?” My breath sinks like an elevator to the lowest floor as I sigh audibly, breath again as he waits for my response. His little fine red haired head is upturned and at an angle.

There is no choice here. I feel the mother in me emerge as a grin begins to cover my face. The heat has left my temples and has fallen to my chest. My heart is a hot ember. “Of course Leo, of course my baby,…call me when you’re done.” As I begin to turn I can feel the air reentering my lungs. I start to leave, then turn as Leo heads to sit on the john. “I’m so proud of you honey.” His little pants down to his ankles, a grin from ear to ear, our eyes lock and I wonder, how on earth did I get here, helping raise another woman’s children?

Blessings to the people who’ve traveled with me thus far (and most especially the three children who let me into their hearts…along with their mother, who to this day remains my beloved ‘wife-in-law’)…. AND anticipatory ‘cheers’ to the brave and fearless ones who’ll join me moving forward.

BB Webb

 

It’s your birthday, yes it’s your birthday! October 1, 2009

Filed under: Reflection — BB Webb @ 12:47 am
Tags: , , ,

I created a small children’s theatre troupe with some pals in Vermont during my college days, wonderful and talented rapscillions were they. Sweet, wry, musical Tom sadly died of AIDS over a decade or more ago, David I saw 12 years ago and is in New York, creating festive Ukrainian Gypsy Shows off Broadway, Paul I lost touch with though I think is still in New England playing music, and Leslie, (affectionately named ‘Bean’), is still a dear friend who took up with a horseman and moved to the windy plains of Illinois. Lovely folks all.

birthday_cake_animatedMy favorite song that we all wrote and which I remember each time I have a birthday, was called, ‘It’s Your Birthday,’ (not to be confused with another favorite birthday song penned by the Beatles). This song went as follows, (the parts I remember),

It’s your birthday, yes it’s your birthday,
It’s your birthday who caaaaaaaares………
if the rain does fall upon us,
we will sing until next Auuuuuuuugust.’

Okay, despite our no doubt sophmoric song writing abilities… (we did have a ball)….the part I always loved was, ‘it’s your birthday, whooooo cares.’

I have a birthday this time of year and ironically or not, some of my closest friends do too. I’m not sure why I still get a little excited about my birthday. It could be the memory of that very early morning call from my mom who til the year she died would HAVE to be the first to call and siiiiiing; I could feel her smile and though she wasn’t a particularly good singer, it didn’t matter one bit. She would exude how grateful she was I was born and ask about my day ahead and tease me that a gift was on the way to me, as I had moved away from home just after high school.

It could be the memory of gifts as a kid or the special cake and candles. My mom would wake me with our dog Piper on the bed, (a little Westie)….always a sneaky treat as ‘Piper on the bed’ was a definite, ‘Dad no-no’. (He was off to work). My mom would always have a gift for me to open first thing in the morning, (in bed)! with more to come later in the day or at night. She made things special. Even having apples on a plate was called ‘an apple party’!

Maybe it’s the memory of something special planned from a dear friend or boyfriend or the messages from pals around the world who remember and honor you with a call, expressing in a sense, ‘hey, glad you were born’. And some years birthdays sort of pass like a little cloud, not particularly noticed in the sky. That’s okay! I like to consider the passing years and wonder about the years to come. Birthdays maybe are milestones??

Though, more often than not, I don’t think people really care so much about other people’s birthdays, except maybe the person having one.

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In my thirties I started sending flowers to my mom on my birthday. I figured…she did all the hard work. She appreciated the sentiment.

Maybe I miss my mom more than anything on my birthday. She knew how to make me (people in general), feel special, to feel loved. She was a walking smile of positivity and sunshine. I loved having that example in my life. I loved having HER in my life. To this day I feel lifted up when people who knew her say I remind them of her. What a complement as she had qualities that clearly outshine mine.

She was a lady, always gracious, she never judged a soul, would be the first one to drop to the floor and play with animals or children and she was so damn funny. We’d stay up for hours playing gin rummy just laughing at silly things….life, people, ourselves. She had some tough blows in her life and somehow maintained her humor and her resolve, at least til close before she died.

So as I consider the years which have passed, and the ones to come, thank you Kitty Vogel, BB Webb’s mom, for waiting all those years for me to arrive, through all those tragedies and of course those two brothers you had to birth before me; thank you for doing such a good job of helping me onto the planet and for nurturing me, loving me SO WELL for all the years you were in physical form in my life…40 years of my life.

k0059794 We had some swell memories.

Love from your favorite (and only), daughter.

Barbie Sue aka BB Webb