Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Passing of Years

Through the tunnel of time my thought process has changed.  A lot. There are things I have learned while worming my way through that tunnel...  things that have changed my perspective.  I think differently than I did as a child.  Heck, I don't even think the same today as I did yesterday.  We learn as we go along.  Every day can teach you something to grow you as a person.  And if you examine yourself daily, you can learn from your own mistakes which can grow you even more!

Probably the hardest life lesson for me was the disappointment in people who blatantly, repeatedly, selfishly and coldly hurt others.  The world is filled with good and evil.  You will know them by their fruits (not their fake actions.  just sayin'  ... yes, I have become largely skeptical when it comes to people).  

But I was one of the lucky ones as a child and I experienced the love of both of my parents, many siblings, and a dirt poor day to day existence as Mom and Dad worked feverishly to make ends meet and to provide for all seven of us kids.  They were both hard workers and kind-hearted people.  I miss them terribly!  

Memorial Day, 2017 was a perfect day for me.  Eckhart Cemetery is just above the house where I grew up.   Memorial Day pasts haunt me (in a good way) each time I attend the services at that cemetery above our old house.  I reminisce of those warm spring days of old when cars lined the road above our home and a brood of gangly kids stood outside our door watching the goings on.

Memorial Day for me then was more of a celebration of the start of summer vacation.  I did not think beyond that, for my mind was that of a child.

I now look down from the cemetery's hill upon the other smaller cemetery beside our house, and I see things as they are.

Still though, when I visit the flourishing trees and green hillsides of my youth, I recollect an innocent little girl with stringy brown hair and crooked bangs, bubbling with excitement for summer's start, and I'm glad that memory is still with me.

For in that memory is an innocence.  A time of trust that I will never know again.

The sixty-two year old me has obligation and duty.  My skeptical self does not trust easily but the dreamer in me is not ready yet to give up on memories past.  

But I know that Memorial Day is a day to remember the country's people who died while serving in the armed forces.   And I am so very grateful.

God bless the USA

Miss you, Dad

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I have the most wonderful #1 son with the most awesome taste in flowers.  Maybe he doesn't even realize how he picks just the right gift for me when it comes to birthdays, holidays etc.  But he does!  My Mother's day flowers have flourished and just keep getting more and more beautiful.  

And speaking of children...  Mama Robin picked just the right place to house her nest of babies this year.  Safe and secure under our deck they waited ...  as mama returned over and over again with worms and such to feed their cute little beaks.

Gracie was quite curious about the goings on under there and tried feverishly to unveil the mystery beneath the deck.  When I caught her standing on her hind legs and sniffing out the nest I thought it best to put a stop to her shenanigans and G and I put up barriers to keep her out from under there.  Oh the torment it must have been to be sniffing through that lattice and know the forbidden was just sniffs away.

Not funny.

The babies grew quickly.  Soon mama had them out and about, teaching them to fly on their own.

I couldn't help but wonder, will Mama worry for her babies much like us humans tend to do, now that they are on their own?

Spring is blossoming into vibrant color, finally.  Our hydrangeas are budding and showing hope for a flourishing summer of beautiful flowers.  Daisy's are plentiful and I can't help but think of my sister when I behold their beauty.  Daisy's were her favorite.  Oh how I miss her!

Our seasonal camp site is coming along.  Not quite ready for overnight just yet... but soon.

Our neighbors look to be real characters.

They seem very nice, though.  Really.

A visit to the country store at camp and I was able to purchase my very first comfort food for the freezer.  You never know when you might need a scoop or two of butter pecan, right?

Yesterday was Memorial Day and so after an awesome service at the cemetery we took the girls to camp to check it out.

They were impressed.  Mostly with the playground.

No snakes.  Only one spider.  A minor bug bite.  It was a good day!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mom's Day Post - bEtteR LatE thAn NeVEr

My Mother's Day could not have been any more wonderful.  It started out with my angel, Summer.  Having slept over the night before, she emerged from her room in the back, fully dressed for church complete in her little 'heels' and the biggest most beautiful smile on her face.  

"I'm ready for Church," she said. 

She was so excited to spend the night with us.  She had her suitcase packed days in advance.  Summer is a sensitive, beautiful girl and I am so thankful that God blessed us with such a gem.  She was a perfect overnight guest!

We had fun.  Playing with play doh (her favorite thing), drawing pictures, playing Barbies etc.  I made her pancakes for breakfast (another of her favorites).

Later my #2 son stopped by just for a minute to give me a card.  He was on his way to work.  We have a raincheck for dinner next week.

And what better way to wrap it all up than with flowers and a nice dinner together with the kiddo's.  Love, Love, Love my family!!!

Ummm...  did you do it on purpose or did you forget about acknowledging your dog.  who is a kid too.  and who should have been in above photo.  Next year I'm getting you the same thing I got you as this year only in a different color.  (nothing) BOL!!!!  Serve's you right MOM.  Or should I call you Ms. Phillip.  since it's obvious that you do not include me as one of the kids.  ...  Poor me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Two-Snake Kind of Day

Let's go to camp, they said.  It'll be fun, they said.  You'll love all the new smells, they said.
So off we went in the Buick to a place they call camp.  

I wasn't sure.  Would this be my new home?  Would they leave me here all alone?  But.  I couldn't think about such things as that.  I had to focus on the smells.  Was that a bunny-friend I smelled? Did I stumble upon some aged burnt hotdog?

Dad said, Relax Gracie.  Enjoy the peace and quiet.  

I tried.  But still, I was a little worried.  

Would they leave me here?  Alone?  Was this my punishment for stalking the robin's nest underneath of the deck at home?  

This place called camp was different than anything I'd experienced before.  I feared though, that I would now be living in the wild... complements of my animal-like behavior.  

My shaky legs trembled as I gave it all I had and did the jump from outside to the inside of what they call a camper.  

 Where were my toys and why is it that Mom an Dad kept running into one another?  
Mom's arms reached around me to lift me onto the bed.  It was relaxing but...  I still had to be weary of their intentions.  What did all this mean for me?

"What if Gracie needs to potty in the middle of the night?" I heard her ask dad.  "What if there's a bear outside?" she said.  "I would be afraid," she added.  Humph.  She did plan on keeping me here.  But.  Maybe she'd be staying too.  I could live with that.

Permission granted...  to potty on the floor if a bear was stalking the place.  Geeeeeesss...  this is getting beyond weird.  My people are losing it, I'm telling' ya.  Camp?  Relax?  Peace and quiet?  Bears?
Back into the Buick then, and home.  Home sweet home.  Where there are no bears and peace and quiet does not happen.  Next time I'm thinkin' I won't be so afraid of camp.  Next time I'll be brave.

And so.  Our lives they are a changing.  We are now almost-campers.  I guess after the first real night we spend there we will be official.  We are not quite ready yet... more to be done so we are not sure when that will be.  But soon.   Gary needs to move rocks away from our 'deck' to relocate the fire pit to a more safe place.

A couple of days after taking Gracie there, we went alone.  There was work to be done and having her there is kind of like having a small child along.  It was hot anyway, so she was happy to stay in the cool of her safe place called home.

So we got the curtains back up after having removed them to give them a good washing.  I made the bed and added some patriotic pillows for effect.  I mean...  aren't campers supposed to boast their patriotism?

On the way out I was able to snap a few sweet pictures.  Well.  One sweet.  One unique.  And the last one....creepy since I don't like snakes.  Watch the short video too...  of that ol' snake giving us a show as we pass over the bridge leaving camp.  Eeeek!

Meanwhile, back in town we stopped by US Cellular to change our data plan.  Unlimited data will be nice for time spent at camp where there is no Internet.

But wait!

Well, well, well....  How fitting that the boys at US Cellular had a friend visiting.  A friend I chose to stay far, far away from.

Picture, compliments of my very brave husband....

Two snakes in one day.  How lucky can one person get!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Random Memories of a Perfect, imperfect Mother

* Being a child ~ The comfort and safety I feel sleeping in between Mom and Dad when I wake up sick or afraid in the night.
* Wash day, the old wringer washer ~ swish, swish, swish and the suds bubbling up on the waters surface as I watch those clothes jerk back and forth down inside that round, metal tub.  Mom close by, wearing a cotton dress beneath her flowered apron and pulling clothes through the wringer atop the tub.  After she fills a basket with wet clothes she takes them outside to hang them on the clothesline just outside the front door.  I watch her, loving the peace that those warm summer days offer.  Clothespins.  Dandilions. Warm breezes. The smell of lilacs.  Mom.  

* She smiles

* Brown lunch bags.  Tuna sandwiches, minced ham or chopped ham sandwiches,  spam sandwiches on soft white bread wrapped in waxed paper or miniature hoagies wrapped in Saran Wrap.  Homemade cupcakes with thick, sweet icing.  Nestles Quick inside of a baggie to add to my white milk at school.  Thank you, Mom.

* Christmas to remember.  Magic.  Lights.  Knee socks filled with hard tack candy and chocolate covered cremes.  Believing in Santa.  Laughter and happiness.  Warmth.  Love.  

* Picnics with potato salad and cheese curls.  Lunchmeat and fresh bread.  Family.

* Coming home from working in the sewing factory tired.  Lying across her bed, resting.

* Super shoes at the beginning of the school year.  The smell of new shoes.  Mom, there.

* Hugging and kissing my dad.  The love.

* Nagging my dad when he drinks too much beer.  "Bob, when are you coming to bed?" she says.

*Smiling and watching as I graduate high school.

* Her tears when Dad dies.  Her emptiness.  The emptiness that surrounds us.

* The birth of my daughter.  She's my first visitor.  She brings me flowers and a new dress for the baby.  I can see pride in her face as she looks down at her new granddaughter.

* Always up for a picnic or holiday celebration at our place.  Loving family.  Loving dogs.  Loving life.

* Her illness.  Losing hope.  Her angel.  Her new lease on life.

* Her last several years.  The love.  The laughter. The savoring of each moment spent with her.

* Saying goodbye.

Till we meet again, Mom.  You were not the perfect mother.  None of us are.  But you were the one God gave to me, and I could not have loved you more.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grandparent Day 2017

This morning was Grandparents Day fun at school.  A day Jake and I are both excited for.  

Even though we stink at BINGO...   boo!!! 

We still had fun.  There were crafts and snacks and pictures and meeting Jake's friends.  

All that in one hour!  

Fast paced, but good quality time with my #1 grandson.

When I think of Jake, I think of a boy who is caring and self-less.  He is always thinking of others.  Though I know he was sad because PopPop was sick today and couldn't make it, he kept saying, "Tell PopPop it's okay.  Tell him I hope he feels better and that I love him."

And what do you think is the first thing he did this morning when Grandparent's Day was starting?

He scanned the room until he found someone whose grandparent couldn't make it.  Then he invited his friend Nick to be a part of our family for the morning.

That's our Jake.

Always thinking of others.  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Life Changing Stuff here....

Desiring some peace and quiet these days....  

Me too.  Could you give me some space please....

  And soooooo....   

We've made a major 'life changing' decision to buy a used camper from my X-husband.  It's in really good condition and he's even going to move it for us.

I hope there's room in there for the dog!

Where to put it.... where to put it...    That was the question.

How 'bout parking it up there by the dog park.  Easy access to good times that's what I'm talkin' about!

And so, we began our mission to find just the right spot.

And....  We found it!

It's not quite an hour away from our home so driving there won't be a big deal.  We are excited!!  Gracie doesn't know it, but soon she too, will be embarking on an adventure that she will love, I just know it.

Barking maybe.  Yea.  Barking for sure.  I'm not sure about the embark thing.  Sounds like work.

Umm...  are there bears in them there woods?

Now Gracie, come on into this new tent we got for the kiddies to have a sleepover/night swim/camping experience and let's get camp-ready!

Yea, well... okay...   as long as this is not a trick.  It's not, right?