Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm Home

I woke up this morning with a feeling of excitement intertwined with loneliness and nostalgia.  I had a dream that I was home; not this home, but my childhood home.  I was walking the streets of my small hometown with my friends Margie and Phyllis like we use to do when I would stay overnight at their house and we would go for walks.  It was winter and we were easily shuffling our feet through the snow as we walked next to the railroad tracks across from Schancer's Coach Tavern talking about silly things that only friends can understand.
The interesting thing is that we were young girls again - Oh my gosh, how fun to see us young and innocent and carefree again!
As we continued on, we suddenly got older and ended up near a house that was put up as a museum sitting among some trees behind the Post Office; a place I had never even been to in reality.  This house was filled with all kinds of nostalgic items: nicknacks, dishes, pictures, books, sheet music; almost like the displays you see when you go to House on The Rock, but on a smaller scale.  I inquired about this place and suddenly my sister Betty was there telling me that  two old houses were bought and moved together to make this museum and she loved going there as it was so fun to see all the collected items of times gone by.

As I walked through this house, up the old wooden stairs and across the creaky hardwood floors, I was filled with such warmth and familiarity. It was like stepping back in time and being a child again surrounded by things that felt comfortable and reassuring to me.
I woke up with a euphoria that is hard to explain and as I let this feeling soak in, trying hard not to lose the dream or that comforting sensation, it sadly starts to fade.
Suddenly it triggers other thoughts and memories and my mind races remembering fragments of other things from my childhood which have long been tucked a way in my brain; days of sledding down the hill on pieces of cardboard boxes, skating down on the river under the Black Bridge, the red cellophane wreath that hung in our window adding a glow of wonder and spirit to the holidays...

At that point I had to get up as my mind was racing and I really needed to capture what little was left of my dream in hopes of preserving it and not losing it once again. The final thought I had as I got out of bed and hurriedly pulled my sweatshirt over my nightgown while shoving my feet into my slippers; is that one never really leaves home.  It is embedded in our psyche and the total package of who we are and are to become!
 I now have a different home; but in reality I truly have two homes. The first, which nurtured, embraced and molded me into who I am today, while the second one fulfills the dreams that were set in motion all of those years ago in a place I still call home.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Foggy In More Ways Than Not

I just got back from taking my grandson Billy (14 1/2) and granddaughter Caitlyn (11 1/2) in to school this morning. It turned in to be just the thing I needed to kick start my day!

Just before we went out the door the weather man was stating the visibility in the area due to fog; that turned out to be the topic of conversation on our drive in to school. All three of us were discussing  the meaning of the word visibility and what .25 visibility meant, when suddenly the van in front of us on a curvy back road braked.

 Caitlyn who was sitting in the back seat asked me why the vehicles in front of us were going so slow, and I explained to her that the car in front of the van turned off on a side road causing the van to suddenly hit it's brakes due to the bad visibility. I went on to explain that I was sure they were now driving slower to be extra careful as it is hard to see what is in front of them.

Here is the conversation that followed this event:

Billy immediately asked her,  "Caitlyn, if you were in the woods right now would you run or  walk?"

Caitlyn replied, "Depends on what noises I hear!"

(I am now smiling as I see where Billy is going with this conversation and it is obvious that Caitlyn doesn't have a clue:)

Billy then takes a deep, calm breath and philosophically says, "OK, if you were in a dark house with no lights on would you run or walk?"

Caitlyn in a very perky voice answers, " Well...sometimes I run in the house :)"
(Still not getting it.. so by now, and even as I write this, I am laughing out loud)

Finally, with voice raised a few decibels Billy exclaims, "Caitlyn! I am trying to make you understand why you have to go slower and be more careful when it is foggy out and you can't see, don't you get it? !!!!"

Caitlyn sweetly replies, "Oh!"

OH MY GOSH, this made my day and I have been smiling ever since!!

It just goes to show what a wealth of fun and "feel goods" a person can get by engaging young people in conversation and discussion. It's my favorite part of being a mom and grandma.

Hope you are all taking time to talk to your kids and enjoying every adventure it leads you on.
 Have a great day!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Two weeks ago I was riding up north with my son Blake and his two sons Tate (10 1/2) and Easton (3 1/2) when we drove past my hometown cemetery.
 I told the boys that this is where my mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, great grandma, great grandpa and my brother were buried.  Easton, being an inquisitive conversationalist at his age, immediately exclaimed,
 "Is there an X there?" 
 Unsure of what he meant at first, I hesitated until Blake chuckled quietly to me that he was talking about pirates and grave yards.  I had to smile, and replied that there weren't any X's there, just headstones with their names on it!
 I explained that some day I would have to take them there to show them where everyone's grave was. Without a moment of hesitation, he asked,
 " Should I bring my shovel?"
At this point neither Blake nor myself could contain ourselves any longer and  we started to laugh out loud while telling him that we wouldn't need any shovels as we didn't want to dig them up as they were happy in heaven right now, and there were only bones left in the grave.
He excitedly asked,
 "Do they have clothes on in heaven?"
 Still smiling at his questions, I assured him that I was sure they did.  Suddenly Tate, who had been soaking all of this in, asked,
"So if their bones are here are they kind of squishy up in heaven?"
Hmmm, way to keep me on my toes...  I told him that I was sure they were all healthy and standing just fine as God makes everything OK again. I had to wonder  to myself how this conversation went from a nostalgic type of tone to one of a spooky graveyard and an alien type of finale!

However that happened, it sure made for a fun ride and a great conversation, one I will never forget. I sure love those guys:)

Friday, October 4, 2013


I love to laugh.
 It takes a way tension and just plain feels good; all the way down to my toes. So that is why it has become very evident to me when I am not laughing as I feel a little lost - like I don't know myself anymore and that concerns me.
 Obviously a person probably isn't laughing when there are sad things happening in ones life or when a person's life becomes stressful and complicated;  I understand that. However, if that continues on for a long period of time and the laughter is gone then a piece of who that person is/was, is also gone. How sad is that?
I would hate for that to happen to me as I have seen it happen to others many times and can not relate to it in a long term sort of way. I guess I have always figured that there would be SOMETHING that would make me laugh again? Maybe that is one of the reasons I love children so can you not laugh at their conversations and actions. They bring nothing but joy and hope to my heart, and for that I am so very grateful.
I was reminded of laughter Monday evening while watching The Voice. It had been a stressful few weeks, and year if I were to be completely honest.  But music somehow soothes my mind and soul and watching the coaches banter back and forth had me laughing out loud in an otherwise empty living room. The good feeling of laughing out loud was somehow enough to take a way any sadness that had been sitting on my mind.
Suddenly it felt so good to be "me" once again!  I had really missed myself for a while, and even if the laughter was to be short lived to 2 hours, it still felt so safe and comfortable for me and I was home again and life was what it had always been for me.
 Life has been good to me and for the times when a wrench gets thrown in I am determined to forge ahead and bring back the laughter that somehow disappears during those moments.

Years ago, I told Gary that I wanted the words on my headstone to read: "Remember The Laughter" and that is truly how I want to be remembered because what is life without the laughter...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Anniversary Message

Yesterday was our 41st wedding anniversary.  I woke up feeling excited and happy but also a bit let down as it was one of those days where there are so many things going on and I knew we would not be able to take the time to actually celebrate the occasion.
 Sometimes we are just overbooked; going in too many directions at once and not sure where to go first!  Then to top it off, there are the phone conversations and email messages from family and friends that add another level of things that are already on ones mind.  Sounds exhausting, doesn't it?

After a long day I was really feeling sorry for myself when I got a phone message from my sister to call her back.  Well, it was even hard to find time to do that without the distractions of events happening around me; but I finally just bit the bullet and called her back hoping for the best, that I wouldn't get disrupted too many times during the conversation.

It turns out that the phone call was one of those "God Moments" as Pastor calls it:)  Here it was our anniversary and my sister was calling concerning her life as a wife in the last weeks of watching her husband slowly leave his time here on earth.  We talked about our children growing up and having lives of their own, rightly so; leaving a person alone with their spouse.
So what happens after that spouse is no longer here?  It must be a lonely life even though you have your children, they can't spend every waking moment with you, nor should they.

It was then that I felt the spirit nudging me to embrace what I could of this time I have with the man I was blessed to be with.  It isn't anything I don't already know, but it is something that I occasionally take for granted in our busy, hectic life.

The God given universe offers us a life full of opportunities and adventures.  We are the only ones who can take advantage of that by being patient and listening to the whispers in our ears, the nudging at our backs and the goosebumps that go up our spine.  These are all messages to us of how we can live the kind of life meant for us.
 If we choose to ignore these signs, we tend to go down the wrong road and make choices that are not in our best interest and hurtful not only to ourselves but to others.

I don't know when I became in-tune to those "signs" or even when I started to recognize them as such.  But I do know that they are with me all the time and when I trust in them they have never done me wrong.
This is one of those times when I was being nudged to take time and give thanks for the experience I have had with the man I was meant to share my life with.
I am thankful and grateful that somewhere along the line I learned to listen, be patient and trusting as it led to being blessed with a wonderful friend and soul mate.
Maybe this anniversary wasn't so bad after all:)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sweet Words

Today I heard my 14 year old grandson tell his little 3 year old brother, " Alec do you know how lucky we are to have Grandma take care of us every day? Otherwise we would be in a day care center!"

It's amazing how things come to light when you get older and can learn to look at things in an appreciative way and one that isn't just taken for granted.
This summer that same grandson asks me often if I'm having a good day, and has even asked me if I like having them here every day?
I reassure him that they are wonderful company and I would be lonely without them!   I tell them that they make me laugh and keep me busy:)
I think it is as important to let them know how they make a difference in my life as much as hearing how much they appreciate me, (and my cookies:)
We all need to hear sweet words like that, don't you think?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Defining Ones Self

It has come to my attention that sometimes a person has to " suck (I hate that word) it up" and just keep your mouth shut. As I stumbled into what I thought was an innocent conversation, I came away feeling put down, viewed as ignorant and for the first time in my life- I felt like I didn't measure up:(

How does this happen? I have NEVER felt this way before, but today it dissolved me to tears...the kind where I had to finally say to myself, "STOP IT! YOU ARE A BETTER PERSON THAN THAT!"

I had to take a look at this conversation and tell myself, " Practice what you what you have always told your kids." That advice being--Don't EVER let other people's words define who you are or make you feel less then who you are; you are a good person and don't ever let words make you feel any different.
I know who I am, where I come from, where I've been, where I am and where I am going. What more do I need? I know that time and example say more than a million words so I will live my life the way it is meant to be lived. I will not let words define who I know myself to be.
Today is another good day:)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Valentine Gift

Last Thursday was Valentine's Day. To us it will now be something even more, if that is possible.  Tyne and Justin got married on that very special day so it will be an anniversary that will be hard to forget!
 As I stood watching them hold hands in the cold of that outdoor ceremony I couldn't help but to lapse back in time to when she was our little girl, our little valentine:) Her name lent us to use it interchangeably during Valentine's Day as we would write on her cards "Valentyne." I used it often over the years even while she was in college as she was still our Valentyne!

Who would have thought that the little play on words with her name would become a subtle little prophecy of our Tyne getting married on Valen"tyne's" Day 28 years later! Life if fun that way; but I believe it to be instead a little God moment.
  I don't believe it was a coincidence that they won a contest to be married on that day, nor a coincidence that Justin got a job around the same time, or a coincidence that this minister quoted scripture during the ceremony and turned out to be a Methodist minister, when we were told it was to be a non-religious ceremony!
 No, I don't believe much in coincidence anyhow, and you don't have to be hit on the head with a falling piano to see that there was a much bigger power working this Valentine's Day.  "When you say it was a coincidence or luck, you deny God the right to give it meaning!"
I believe that he was sending a message that if you believe in him and trust in him he will take care of you and let you know that he is there.  What a wonderful way to start a marriage!

So while we are happy and excited and feel blessed that she is now in union with Justin, nothing can ever take a way the fact that she won our hearts first and will always be our little "Valentyne."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Beauty of His World

It never stops amazing me how beautiful the world is around us!  Each morning as I drive my grand-kids to school I am so aware of the scenery as we drive down snow covered country roads into town.  This morning the golden sun was peering through the dark trees making each branch stand out like someone had painted each limb with a black marker . The snow on the rolling hills literally glistened as if someone had sprinkled silver glitter all over them.  Each branch on the mighty oaks were covered with a fine covering of sparkling frost making each twig or gnarl stand out against the light blue sky whisped with a faint covering of clouds.  Across the horizon I could see three black birds sitting on the very top branches of a large tree silhouetted against the morning sky.
 With each observation I was so moved to say "Thank you Lord, for these miracles of life and for the beauty of the earth you have so entrusted to us." It was then when I turned the corner off the main road that my eyes were drawn upward to see a very faint image of what looked like a rainbow!  It wasn't very big and only blended three colors as it was tucked behind a cloud. I stared in total amazement and it was then that I was overcome with emotion as I knew that God was sending me a message of promise that all my concerns and prayers were being heard. The song In His Time whispered in my head as my heart softened and my eyes filled with tears..."He makes all thing beautiful in His time. Lord, please show me every day, as You're teaching me Your way, that You do just what You say, in Your time... Lord my life to You I bring, may each song I have to sing, be to You a lovely thing, in Your time."
His message was clear and for this I am grateful. May all of you take time to see the beauty of his world. Have a wonderful day:)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Our Parents, Ourselves.

I am sure you have heard kids telling their parents, "I am an adult now, I don't need you/your advice/help/suggestions etc..." And whereas we are all probably guilty of doing or thinking that at some point in our lives it has really been on my mind lately. I have come to the conclusion that in all honesty, we NEVER stop needing our parents.

Here I am 59 years old and more then ever I find myself needing my mom and dad or wanting them close to me. Maybe it comes from the trials and errors we find our children and grandchildren going through as we struggle to find the right words or actions in response to their situations. It would be so nice to have parents to turn to for advice.

Though my parents have been gone for many years, it has not lessened my missing them. I still have moments when I regress and feel like a lost child. But there is something that they have inadvertently instilled in me and will never go away; you see, they are still with me.

 Every time I look at myself in the mirror I see my Dad's blue eyes looking back at me, feel his creative genes interacting in my constantly churning mind, his musicality being sung out of my lips and danced out of my feet, his athleticism in my love of sports and competitiveness. His quick wit and laughter that often just slips off my tongue!
 My mom's knack for teaching seems to ooze out of me so effortlessly that even I wonder sometimes, if that came out of MY mouth? Her appreciation for the beauty of flowers, the sunset and the little things that often go unnoticed are  being seen out of my eyes as I stand amazed at the small miracles in life that God has given us. Her positive outlook, values, morals, and knowing right from wrong which I consciously strive to keep in the forefront of my actions. The greatest gift of all is from both of them- their love of children which I automatically embrace every time I see a child.

How is it that children think they can escape or leave their parents? The very blood that runs through their veins is that of their parents. No wonder there is such a connection even after death. When parents say they understand their child better then you think, it is true; it can't be helped.

I for one, am grateful that this is true as it gives me comfort on the days when I feel like a lonely child.  It is then that I am able to just take a good look at myself to find them. They are still here, in me and always with me. For that I am eternally grateful.