Category Archives: Things on my mind

A New Day and An Old House

  We celebrated Easter this past weekend.   Resurrection Day for Christians all around the world when we celebrate the resurrection of the living Christ who died on the cross for every single person on earth.  Took all our sins upon Himself so that no one  would perish.  All one needs to do is accept Him as your Savior and you are saved for all eternity.  How wonderful is that? 

I love Easter and all it means.  But I also love all the renewal in nature with the trees budding, the flowers growing and the birds nesting and making new families.  I love to be with family on Easter and have a big dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the kids.   We had seventeen at our table this Easter.  Friends and family and I felt so absolutely blessed.

 

We had a big Easter egg hunt.  We put money signs in some eggs and candy signs in others and the children had to turn their eggs in for money or candy.

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They were all excited about the money.  Yes, money wins over candy, but not by much.

Here they are ready to start the hunt.  We made it a little harder to find the eggs this year as they all found them way too fast last year and they are all getting bigger so we wanted them to be challenged.  One hundred and seventy eggs to find.

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And the race was on for the eggs.  We hid them in the front yard, in the back yard, in the side yard and in the tiny woods next to our house.

 

 

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When the hunt was finished, they all lined up according to age and Grandpa counted their money out and they picked out their candy and I think they were all excited and happy to receive their prizes.  I told David that next year I want to make it bigger than ever.

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And as in past years, we had a contest to see who would get in the pool first.  It was 54 degrees cold.  All the boys(and that big boy)  jumped in the pool.  Immediately they all ran for the hot tub.

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Fifty-four degrees to one hundred and one degrees in five seconds.  I think these two were numb from the cold.

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The biggest boy of all had to get in also.

Yes, it was a blessed and fun Easter.  I am so thankful we can have this time together to make memories.

And in other news.  I love old houses.  Our house is over one hundred years old and I love everything about it.  Yes, it can be drafty and hard to keep dusted and it’s not open concept like so many people want nowadays.  Yes, it’s a lot of work and we have spent a lot of money through the years to make it up to date and liveable, but we would rather have this old house than any new one.

We had a beautiful older house right next door.  It belonged to a doctor who had his office in it.  When we first moved here, his office was a bustling business.  People in and out all day.  He was an OBGYN and everyone I met through the years knew of someone whose baby had been delivered by him.  He and his wife were nice neighbors.  They let us use their yard when we were building our pool for all the equipment needed to build it to come through their yard.  They even gave us flowers for a gift for our pool.   Then he closed his office and retired and they moved to a house not far away, but kept this old house. Every week they would come and mow the yard and clean up around the house.  They would pick up their mail every day. But the house stood empty for years.  One time some kids broke into the house and David went over and caught them and we called the police, but the doctor and his wife let them off.  They were nice people like that.  So through the years the house stood there.  David and I wondered what would become of it.  Would some family buy it and bring it to life again?  Would it become a business?  One time David offered to buy it for our quilt shop, but it was the family home so it wasn’t for sale.

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It was a beautiful old house. Notice I wrote, “was.”

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For the almost thirty-nine years we have lived next door I could look out any of our southern facing windows and see this beautiful old house.  There was something comforting about it.  Knowing it had stood there for years sheltering families and a doctor’s office.

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A grand old home with a big front porch.    But then…….

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This pulled into the side yard the other day.  David and I speculated what was going to happen.  David thought they were going to dig a new sewer system.  I had a premonition that the old house was going to be torn down.  Sadly, I was right. It seems the house was uninsurable and had to be torn down for liability reasons.

So yesterday I woke up and heard a noise next door I wish I would never have heard.  The sound of an old house dying.

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Piece by piece, it was torn apart and the pieces put in a huge dumpster.  It would take eight dumpsters to haul away all the pieces.

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I get tears in my eyes just looking at this picture and realizing this house will be no more.

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How quickly decades of living and memories can be all wiped away.  A house is built and families come and go in it and it holds all the memories.  Where do the memories go when the house is gone?  Who will remember the things that went on in this house?   Who will remember the people?  I know I will remember Doc and his wife for as long as I live.

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Finally the last vestige of the house remains.  But it can’t withstand the machine pushing it down.

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A final push and it’s over.

While watching the house going down, David and I noticed all the things left inside.  It was almost as if Doc just up and left everything in it and locked the door.

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Clothes hanging in a closet upstairs.  Some look like army uniforms.  Probably from the second world war.   Why did no one want them?

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Painted cabinets and beautiful woodwork and wallpaper.  I wish I could have gone through this house before it was demolished.

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A coffee pot and medical records.  David found one that blew out and it was dated 1932.

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A sign on the wall about the first year’s growth of a baby.

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An old wooden cabinet.    Someone could have torn this out and used it.

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I saw this old door and really wished I could have gone in to save it, but in the dumpster it went.

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Beautiful old wallpaper.

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The old house sat in a big yard.  A yard my children and the neighborhood children played in years ago. Doc was nice about letting kids play in his big back yard.  Baseball games, kite flying, walking dogs.  There was even a “secret” gate into the adjoining field that my grandchildren loved to look for and go through.   Yes, many memories surround this house for our family.  My daughter played under a big old mulberry tree with two neighbor girls.  Neighbors met in the field to talk.  Now most of the neighbors are gone and now the house is too.

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I don’t want to remember the house like this.   Just like a person I have loved who has died, I want to remember them in the prime of their life.  That is how I will remember this house.

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Beautiful and stately with redbuds blooming around it.   Good-bye, old house.

Here’s to the hope of Easter and dear old houses.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

Love, Joy and Sorrow

This past weekend was my birthday weekend.  David and I had planned a getaway to northern Ohio to visit my brother and sister-in-law and go antiquing and sight seeing, but life got in the way.

Two weeks ago one of my favorite aunts passed away and she didn’t have a funeral so this past Saturday there was a memorial for her.  Most of her family got together to remember her.  There were pictures that made me cry.  She was my mother’s sister and my mother has been gone for a long time so to see her in pictures with her three sisters was a little sad.  Her two sons and daughter got up and spoke about their mother.  I don’t know how they did it. I would have been a basket case to do something like that, but they did wonderfully and I learned things about my aunt I didn’t know.  It was a day of nostalgia and remembering the good times and visiting with family I haven’t seen in years.  Two of my cousins were born about the same time I was and we always have felt a little close because of that even though we hardly ever see each other.  I met a second cousin who was named after my great-grandmother, Kate Driggs, just like I am.   We spoke for a while and she told me things about Grandma Kate I had never heard before.  I wish people would write their family history down because once people are gone, it’s lost forever.   As I get older I realize there are fewer and fewer people who remember me when I was a child.    I remember going to grandpa’s when the cousins were there and when it rained my cousin, Cathy, and I would put on bathing suits and stand under the rain gutters.  My cousin, Tim, and I would walk all over town talking and getting into trouble(not really) and having fun together.  It was always a special time at Grandpa’s when the cousins were there.

Sunday we were with family once again.  We went to eat at Scotty’s restaurant.  I have never eaten there before so was looking forward to it.  As we got near the door, two little boy bodies came bursting out of the door and enveloped me in hugs and as I tried getting into the door, my other three grandchildren came up and hugged me.  Nothing makes me happier.  It was so nice having them all together.  We had a nice meal and spent two hours talking and it went so fast.  The only thing I had against the place was they had these tall chairs and I had a dickens of a time trying to get up on one with my sore, short legs, but I finally made it with much coaxing from family members!

After a weekend of doing absolutely nothing but visiting and resting, I decided today to try to get some work done. As it was nice outside, I raked the yard and tried cleaning up all the things the dogs had scattered around the yard.  Our back yard looked like a junkyard dog lives there.  And she does!  Molly had brought up a few pieces of wood and chewed them up all over our back deck, so I got that cleaned up.  I transplanted some tomato plants I am growing into larger pots.  I did some ironing and made soup beans.  I fed and watered the chickens and gathered the eggs and cleaned up the garden area where the chickens play.  It felt good to get a few things done after such a lazy weekend.  I don’t do well with lazy usually.  I have to be doing something.

Last night I watched the last episode of Downton Abbey and it was like getting a wonderful gift wrapped in a big bow and sent with love.   I loved every minute of it.  Sure am going to miss it.  How can anyone top Downton Abbey?  I don’t think it’s possible. Just like no one could make another Gone With the Wind.  Things like these only come around once in a great while.

Hope you had a nice weekend.  Bye.

 

Paper Dolls and Valentines

A friend posted on Facebook the other day, “do you remember paper dolls? ” Do I remember them?  I was the paper doll fanatic in my day.  I grew up in the fifties and sixties and during that time I cut out my share of paper dolls.

When I was a little girl, I would go to the grocery store with my mother.  While there, she told me I could pick out a couple of comic books.  Back then the comic books were on a revolving rack and there were so many choices.  While my brothers went for Superman and other Super heroes, I went for the comic books that had paper dolls in them. Veronica and Betty and there was another one who was a model and there were always several fashions to cut out.  My favorite by far was the Katy Keene comic books.  Katy was a model and while I read her stories, what I looked for were the paper doll cutouts of her in its pages.  I have not met anyone who remembers Katy Keene comic books. (Note: I looked up Katy Keene comics for sale and they are bringing up to twenty-seven dollars or more. Comics I use to buy for ten cents or a quarter.) But every week I would look for her comic books. Sometimes there would be extra thick comic books that cost twenty-five cents instead of the usual ten cents.   When those would be on the rack, I would be in heaven.   Through the years I gathered quite a few paper dolls.  They were really one of my most favorite things to play with when I was little.  One time I even designed a paper doll complete in her bra and panties and designed clothes for her and I gave my creations to my best friend at the time in second grade. She was happy to receive them.  I wish I could see that paper doll now.   At the time I thought she was really pretty, but being a second grader, and her artist, she was probably pretty primitive.  My creative juices were flowing even back then, though and continue to this day.

I was cleaning out a drawer the other day looking for Valentines when I came across some paper dolls I had been collecting.  Several years ago there was a magazine called Home Companion created by Mary Engelbreit.  There was always one framing quality picture Mary had drawn and always a page of paper dolls.  These were not simple paper dolls, but bright, detailed, beautiful dolls.  I began to look through them.

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Ann Estelle was one of my favorites.  I think she was Mary’s, too.

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If you have seen pictures of Mary Engelbreit, you will notice Ann Estelle looks a little like her.  I remember the first time I saw Mary Engelbreit in a magazine telling how she was given a closet in her home, when she was a little girl, to go into and create.  How neat was that?  Her creating turned into an empire of paper dolls, calendars, greeting cards, fabric, dishes and much, much more.  But I loved her paper dolls.  Sadly, Home Companion went out of circulation a few years ago.  Wish it would come back.

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As you noticed, I didn’t cut out many of the paper dolls.  I just couldn’t bring myself to, but I did cut out one Ann Estelle and some outfits for her. Here she is in her Halloween costume.

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Dressed for a rainy day in London.

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As far as I know, Ms. Engelbreit only drew one boy paper doll.  Tommy.

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I’m sure she copied him off someone she knew.  He was so cute.  And he got several pages in the Home Companion through the years.

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One year(2003) Mary Engelbreit came out with this paper doll calendar.  Now I am going to expose a deep,  dark secret I have held inside for years.  I bought this calendar to give to my only granddaughter and just couldn’t give it away.  I’m so ashamed!   But, it is still around and it would probably be gone by now if my granddaughter had had it because she would have probably actually played with it.  Now I can look at it and enjoy it once again.

Each month had a different outfit for four different paper dolls that were also included in the calendar.

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Really cute outfits. With accessories.

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Yes, I love Mary Engelbreit paper dolls. They sure brought this “little girl” a lot of pleasure.

Another paper doll I collected when I was a girl came in the McCall’s magazine each month. My mother subscribed to McCalls, but I was the first one to look through it to look for the Betsy McCall paper doll.

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Yes, I saved some of them.  Not many.  In fact, I forgot I even had them.

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Betsy came ready to dress with a story about her adventures.

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There was a game on the page.

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And a crossword puzzle.  So much fun in such a little space.  Some magazine needs to bring back paper dolls in its pages. I believe it would sell them even faster.

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I found these paper dolls in my stash.  I really don’t know where I got them, perhaps at an auction or in an antique store.

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Clothes to color and cut out.

Besides paper dolls, Mary Engelbreit  has designed some really cute Valentine’s Day cards.

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I can’t show them all because some people I love will be getting some for Valentine’s Day.

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Valentine stickers by Ms. Engelbreit   I love them.  I love stickers anyway.  If I can stick a sticker on something, I will.

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These are especially nice.

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I’m still coloring in my adult coloring book I got for Christmas.  I ordered a tin of seventy-two colored pencils.  This is half of them.

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The tin is really nice to keep them in.

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A picture by Mary Engelbreit.  Since this Sunday is Valentine’s Day, I want to wish you all a happy day.  You are loved by someone.  And you are the apple of Jesus’ eye.  Just wanted you to know.  Love you all.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Brand Spanking New Year

What is it about the start of a new year that makes a lot of us want to make resolutions, make plans, get nostalgic, and think of all the possibilities? I don’t know about you, but when I wake up on a new year’s first morning, I feel like anything is possible. I can finish all the projects I’ve started, clean every room in my house, learn a new skill, walk several miles, meet the newest best friend I have ever had in my life, save the world and do things I didn’t do in that old, rusty last year.

My only plan I have made thus far for this year is to knit a pair of socks. Not a big venture for most people, but I have never knitted a sock, so if I can manage to get a pair knitted, I will feel quite accomplished. I also want to learn to crochet. For all you sock knitters and those proficient in crocheting out there, you are thinking, well, that will be easy. But you have not seen me try to knit a sock to the heel and have to rip the entire thing out, or start a baby sock and find a hole in the middle of it and tear it all out or start a sock on my new sock loom I got for Christmas and find I am all thumbs. I am now starting my third sock. So far it is going well and I have high hopes I will get this one completed. You will know if I do. My first sock is now almost a completed scarf. It’s pretty, but it’s not a sock. I’ve ordered some beautiful sock yarn and should be getting it next week. I am an optimist and believe I will make socks from it.

I plan to read more this year. I read quite a lot of books last year. Ever since I got my Kindle White, I feel like I read so much faster. I am reading a book by Liane Moriarty. She is my new favorite author. She wrote The Husband’s Secret and What Alice Forgot. I just finished her book, The Last Anniversary. It was so good with a twist at the end I wasn’t prepared for. Now I am reading Big Little Lies and have The Hypnotist’s Love Story waiting in line on my Kindle. Another book I really loved was Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Now let me preface this by saying I quit reading Stephen King books years ago because they got too gruesome and scary for me. But, my son told me that it was the best book he had ever read and it wasn’t gruesome or gory. It did have its places, but this story is about a man who goes back in time to try to stop President John Kennedy’s assassination. I was fourteen years old the day President Kennedy was killed. I can remember it almost as if it were yesterday. I remember sticking by the television watching all the news and seeing the funeral and John John saluting his father’s casket. So heart wrenching. Well, this book brought back many memories. It starts when the lead character goes back into the fifties. I remember the fifties as I was growing up then. So much that Mr. King wrote was so true to what the period was like. Anyway, this is one Stephen King book I would recommend. It’s long. Almost nine hundred pages, but I read it so fast and it didn’t seem that long at all. If you were alive during that time, it will remind you of all that was going on then.

I bought tomato seeds today and two books on building tiny houses. Ever since David and I bought three acres in Brown County, I have thought about us building a tiny house in the woods where we could go and stay for a day or two. We could have a bed to sleep in and lanterns and a cooler and fluffy pillows and quilts. For cool weather we could have a small heater. If I had a book or two to read, I would be all set. Plus, our grandboys would be within feet of us and would visit and we could walk in the woods. It would be rustic, like camping out, but that is all I really want. There are so many ideas for cute tiny houses, some not much bigger than the chicken coop David built, so I know it would be possible. Who knows, maybe that will happen this year.

We want to go on a vacation this year, but haven’t decided where to go. We have been just about everywhere in the United States. I think Martha’s Vineyard would be a wonderful place to visit. We loved the Outerbanks and being on the ocean. But then, the mountains call to us and we think we would like to go out west again or Alaska and take the ferry up the coast. That was one of the most wonderful trips we have ever taken. Who knows where our wanderlust will take us? I pray we have good health this year so that we can do all these things.

What are your plans for this shiny new year? Are you going to plant a garden. sew a quilt, raise some chickens, take a wonderful vacation or just stay at home and work on the old homestead? No matter what you plan to do, I pray you do it all with gusto and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a very interesting year, I believe. We have a big election here in the states this year. A brand spanking new president. Lots of exciting things happening.

Happy New Year to all my friends around the world. May you be blessed with health and blessings far beyond your wildest imaginations. God bless you all. Bye.

September or Fall’s a Comin’

It’s here, whether we want it or not. Fall.  You know, that glorious season right before the bitter winds of winter?   The season of beautiful foliage on the trees as they make their last hurrah before they loose all their leaves.    The season of trips to the orchards for crispy apples, trudging through pumpkin fields to pick out that perfect pumpkin, taking drives down country roads to see all the beauty of the season.

In the past September was, for me, the time for the start of a new school year.  Going shopping for new shoes and clothes.  It meant the smell of new crayons, getting new yellow tablets, and new  school books.  I have always loved the smell of books.  Somehow you don’t get the same smell from a Kindle.  It was meeting the new teacher, getting your seat assigned, and hoping your best friend was still there for you as you had not seen her all Summer. It was seeing the big yellow school bus coming down the road and wondering if the driver would be nice or grumpy.

September meant that Summer was officially over and it was time to get out jackets and sweaters and knee high socks.  No more shorts and sleeveless tops.  Early evenings and homework before bed.  No more hide and go seek games in the yard.

On the farm September meant harvesting.  The corn was ripe, ready for picking and I would ride in the wagon behind the corn picker as it threw the corn cobs out into the wagon. Oats combined and shoveled into the oats house so the animals would have something to eat during the long winter.  The Spring calves were almost grown and would be the new milk cows.   Time for butchering a hog or a cow for meat for the table.

September meant  my mother gathering in the last of the vegetables from the garden and canning  or freezing all she could for our family to eat.  Winter was coming and we must be ready.

Some people are sad when September comes.  Songs are sung about September.  September is both a beginning and an ending.  But September will come no matter how much you want one last day at the beach, one last ride at the amusement park, one last lazy day to dream.  It will come and stay for only a moment like all the other months as the year rapidly draws to a close.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas come one after the other before you know it. September has the last holiday of the Summer, Labor Day.  This weekend we will have our grandsons staying with us so it won’t exactly be a holiday, but we will plan some fun things for them.  It reminds me how quickly the boys are growing and how we must grab the little snatches of time we have with them.  They have been in school for a couple of weeks already. No child should have to start school before Labor Day in my opinion.

September means a lot of things to me and as I grow older it means different things. I watch as others send their children off to school and feel nostalgic for those days, yet glad I don’t have to take part any longer.  It means time for a new haircut, a new exercise routine, more books to read, less lawn mowing, closing the pool, getting the house ready for winter.   It means more sewing and quilting and antiquing and being able to take a vacation during the school year.  Yes, September is a month of change and I am glad of it.

I saw a bright red Maple leaf on my porch yesterday.  Yes, Fall’s a comin’.   Bye.

 

Being a Witness

Being a born again Christian, I am called to be a witness for Jesus Christ.  Being a witness is testifying that you believe on Him and that He leads your life.  If I have already lost some of you, I understand, but this is who I am and I must be truthful about my beliefs.

I have not always been a good witness, I am ashamed to admit.  I know there have been times people didn’t even know I was a believer because of my actions.  I am sorry for that.  Losing your witness is the worst thing that could happen to a Christian.

Through some tough circumstances and a realization that I cannot make it through this life without Jesus, I have recommitted my life to Him.  I try every single day to live my life as if it were my last day and that I will be coming face to face with Jesus.  How will He judge me?  I know He will be righteous, but if I got what I deserve, I would not be spending eternity in heaven.  Jesus took what I deserve on the cross so that I wouldn’t have to.  I should never, ever forget that and never stop being thankful for that.  To think that our God loved us enough that He sent His only Son to take our sins upon himself so that we might be saved.  The only thing God asks of us is that we accept His son for doing that.  How easy is that?  But people think they have to do all kinds of good things to get into heaven.  Good things are not what God is looking for(not that good things are bad or that God doesn’t want us to be good.)  What God is looking for is repentance of our sins, an acceptance of His son and a life lived for Him.

Every day I ask God to make me a good witness and a blessing to others.  I ask him how I could witness for Him and He always gives me an answer.  One day he grabbed me by the nape of my neck and took me to a Sunday school classroom in our church and said, “See, you are needed in this classroom to teach these little children about me.”  Okay, He didn’t literally do that, but at the time it seemed like it as I was not thinking about being a Sunday school teacher again as I had done it for decades and was taking a break.  There are no breaks with God when you are following Him.   Now I enjoy the little children so much and love each Sunday I am with them and I pray I am teaching them about the love of Jesus through my words and actions.

God sent me a clear sign this past week to be a witness.  I was asked to mentor a high school senior girl who wanted to make quilts for the Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.  I was not even thinking about it, but I had been asking God what I could do to serve Him.  Next think I knew, someone telephoned me and I was teaching a young girl how to sew and make quilts for children in the hospital.  Then I started making quilts  for them, too,  and got all enthused about it.  God amazes me sometimes in how He can get things done if we just ask Him for advice and listen to Him.

God has a plan for all of us if we just ask Him and listen.  You will know if God has called you.  Don’t be fooled into thinking if someone asks you to do something and you don’t feel called to do it, that you should go ahead and do it.  I did that one year. I was asked repeatedly to teach a class.  I didn’t feel called to do it, but begrudgingly agreed.  It was the worst year of my life.  I did not look forward to one Sunday in that class. I know the children were not witnessed to as I should have done.  Someone else who felt called would have been a better teacher than I was that year. I regret that year and learned a lesson very clearly from God.   Man does not decide what your calling is. God does.  You have to ask Him, though, and be open to what He tells you.

Another calling I have had is helping start and keep a women’s Bible study.  David and I felt called to purchase the DVDs for the classes and I have taught a few and other ladies have taught and we formed a bond in our group and learned so much about the Bible.  I am having a Beth Moore Bible conference simulcast in our home in a couple of weeks with several friends from church.  I feel like God is going to bless it and I can’t wait.

If you are a Christian and have not found your calling yet,  seek God’s advice and counsel.  He will gently, or in my case, not so gently lead you into what you should be doing.  Perhaps you are good at writing.  You could write the shut-ins of your church.  Maybe you like to visit people.  There are a lot of lonely people who would love to have you come to see them.  Bring cookies and they will really love to see you!  Maybe some family you know needs a babysitter so that the parents can get a break once in a while.  David and I sit on our porch and wave at people.  I wonder how many of those people get a smile out of it.   Little things can mean a lot.  You never know who you are witnessing to.  A looooong time ago, when I was a teen-ager, I had a Sunday school teacher tell us that someone is always watching us and seeing what we do.  It’s true.  No matter what you do, someone is watching.  If you do something good or nice, they will notice. If you are mean and hateful, they will notice too.  I don’t ever want anyone to ever see me mean and spiteful ever again in my life.

What is your calling?  Is it important to you?  Do you believe you have one?  Everyone does, you know.  Some are just closed minded about it and don’t want to see.

Be a blessing to someone today.  Bye.

The Death of Grandma Moses

I use to play with puppets when I was a girl.  My brothers got marionettes one Christmas.  I was so jealous and I played with them as often as I could.   My hand puppets had rubber heads and cloth bodies and just enough room for a small hand to be put inside.  I would put on my own puppet shows to entertain myself and my little brother.

A year or so ago David and I were in Nashville and I came across these really nice puppets.  I thought they would be good to use as a puppet ministry with my Sunday School class.  I did it a few times, but they have been sitting in a small chair in my girly room and once in a while when the grandkids come over, they get them out and play with them.

There is Scar, the pirate.

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There was Grandma Moses.

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And there is Molly the puppet.

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The grandkids were here the other day.  After they were gone, I noticed Grandma Moses was missing. I just thought she was someplace in the house and I would find her one day.

Then David brought in a little dress that he had found Molly playing with.

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I didn’t recognize it and just assumed Molly had dug up something under the deck.  Then David started finding feet and hair.

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When I saw it all together, I realized what it was.  It was Grandma Moses.  Someone had taken her outside and left her to the mercy of a dog who chews everything.   I was not a bit happy that she had been taken outside because we have told the grandboys several times not to leave anything out in the back yard they don’t want chewed on.  Well……….

One day the grandboys will be over and Scar the Pirate and Molly the puppet will have a talk with the boys about who took Grandma Moses outside.  Scar and Molly miss Grandma Moses and want to know who would have taken her outside and just left her.  She was a poor, little grandma who never did any harm to anyone.

We will have a proper burial for Grandma Moses when they get here.  I hope they bring flowers.

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We lost a good friend this week.  When my heart doesn’t hurt so much, I will write about her.  Bonnie  died yesterday after eleven and a half years of being a part of our family.  I will miss her.  Bye.

Molly’s Birthday and Porch Sitting.

Molly’s birthday was yesterday and I almost forgot it.  I looked on the calendar last night and saw I had almost missed it so I got a big spoonful for peanut butter and took it out to her and said “Happy Birthday, Molly,” and she licked almost all of it off and got it stuck to the roof of her mouth and I started laughing.  She is one year old now.  Almost passed all the puppy stage and all the chewing.  She still brings whole logs from the wood pile up to the back deck and gnaws on them.  I think she is part termite or beaver.

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She has turned into the sweetest dog.  She loves attention and playing with Belle.  As soon as I open the back door, she runs to get something to tease Belle with and the chase begins.  As soon as I go back inside, she drops whatever she has and lays down.  I guess she needs an audience.

Molly has a bark that would scare anyone.  I know I would not go into a yard with a dog that barks like her.  She sounds fierce.   Anyone who comes to our house hears it and wants to know if she will bite. “Only if I tell her to,” I tell them.  I don’t want strangers thinking they are safe to just come into our yard.  She is actually very sweet, but I would not guarantee that she would not bite if she thought I was in danger.  David was hugging me outside the other day and she got very upset and barked.  She also gets anxious when anyone waves their arms and yells.  She gets so excited at seeing anyone her whole back end sways back and forth.

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She loves kids.  She is still a little intimidating to some though because she jumps on them.

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Molly has been a good addition to our family despite all the destruction she did while teething.  David and she are pals.  When he is out in the yard, she ignores me and follows him.  I love her.

I have been sitting on the porch in the evenings.  It’s so relaxing and I can see so many things.  It’s a parade right out in front of our house.  Cars going by, ambulances racing to an emergency, police cars with their sirens blaring going to an accident, people walking, people riding bicycles.  I watch to see how many people are talking on their cell phones while driving.  A lot of them are.  Yesterday I saw a man driving with his left hand holding a phone to his left ear with his right hand while driving.  Now that can’t be safe.  Trains going by.  There doesn’t seem to be as many right now.  One day David counted over a hundred cars on one train.

Everyone who comes to our house to visit finds themselves on the front porch sitting on our swing.  It’s a good gathering place to sit and chat.    Even the children that come love to sit on the swing and  David will swing them real high.

Sometimes I read while I am sitting on the porch.  I use to do that for hours when I was a kid.  There is something about gently rocking back and forth on a swing and reading a book.  The world is shut out as you escape into another one.  I do some of my best thinking on the swing.  Making plans, thinking about family, praying.  Yes, I pray a lot on the porch swing.  I was looking at the clouds yesterday thinking that one day Jesus will return in clouds.  Will I be sitting on the porch swing when He does?   Where will you be?

I think if everyone had a porch swing and sat on it for an hour a day, most of the world’s troubles would pass away.  You can’t be angry while sitting on a porch swing.  I find I feel love for my fellow man as I watch them pass by.  I wonder what their lives are like.  I even pray for them that God is watching over them.  There is so much trouble and sadness in this world.  We all need a little porch sitting to slow us down, calm our nerves and get in touch with the One who created us.  He wants only the best for us.

We have three swings in various parts of our property. I can go anywhere in our yard and find a swing to sit upon, but I love our front porch swing the best because it is my seat onto the world.  Come sit with me and chat a while.  I guarantee you will find it relaxing.  Bye.

 

Forty-Seven Years

For those who are reading this and have not even reached the age of forty yet, you may think forty-seven years is a long time.  When I was young, anyone over twenty seemed old to me.  Then I became twenty and by that time I had been married a year.  I felt pretty grown-up then and was expecting a baby, so I was officially an adult.   Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our forty-seventh wedding anniversary.   Just three years shy of fifty years.  How did we get here?  How did our marriage last when so many marriages fail?

I don’t have any secret formulas.   There were times I could have left my husband because I was immature and was only thinking of myself and how things were affecting me.  I am sure there were times he would have liked to have just shucked it all and given up, but he didn’t and as a man of few words, I never knew if he ever was unhappy. But, we stuck it out.  We stood together through the hard times and now we are reaping some good times and feel it was all worth keeping it all together.

Love has a lot to do with.  I cannot think of a time when I didn’t love my man.  Yes, he can make me exasperated sometimes, but I can be pretty exasperating myself.  We raised three children together and if you have ever raised teen-agers,  you know that can be one of the most stressful times in any marriage.  Teen-agers try their parents and parents need to present a united front, but sometimes it didn’t happen that way and I blame myself for that.   I didn’t like to be the one doling out the discipline, but it usually turned out that way.    We made it through the teen years with a few scars, but our marriage still solidly in tact.  We have watched our children grow into adults, make some pretty poor choices at times and good choices in others, but still making us proud in so many ways and we love them all so much.

Forty-seven years ago I walked down the aisle at a little Methodist church where David and two pastors stood.  We had two pastors because we had just gotten a new pastor and I wanted our old pastor to take part in the ceremony as I had pretty much grown up while he was our pastor.  So both pastors took part in the ceremony.  I was shaking in my white satin shoes and don’t remember a whole lot about it, but suddenly the pastor was saying, “I now pronounce you man and wife.  You may now kiss the bride,” and I knew it was a done deal.

That night we stayed in a little motel on our way to Traverse City, Michigan for our honeymoon.  The next morning the motel owner presented us with a gift of new bed sheets which I thought was so nice.  The honeymoon was spent with David’s relatives and we had the most fun.  Plus I had to keep pinching myself that I was now responsible for myself, I was truly a grownup and free from my parents’ control.  Anything I did after that was going to be on me.  We boated, swam, walked the streets of Traverse City where the Cherry Festival was going on, eating French fries splashed with vinegar.  We went to the city zoo.  I met lots of new relatives.  We ran around all over town in our little Volkswagon bug enjoying the scenery and just being together.  We even got stopped by a policeman because David ran a red light accidently, but he just gave us a warning.

Back to reality and sharing a life together began.  I worked at a Stucky’s saving money to continue college.  David worked at a factory.   We lived in a little apartment in the middle of the small town where I grew up.  There was a pinball room directly below our apartment and we would go down and play pinball.  Then we discovered I was pregnant a month into our marriage and we needed to look for a bigger place to live, so we bought a tiny house outside town in the country and set up housekeeping.  The house had a tiny bedroom, a tiny living room and a tiny kitchen.  I was so proud of it. I enjoyed cleaning it and arranging the furniture as much as it was possible in such a tiny space.  We celebrated our first Christmas there and the next Spring, our first son was born.  Then we had to look for an even bigger house because eight months after the first son was born, we were expecting again!   We found a big house on top of a hill in Richmond and again I set up housekeeping in my bigger house.  We had enough bedrooms for us all.    Then our second son was born and I was busy.  David had begun working for the military by then and was in the military for thirty-seven years.

And so the years passed swiftly.  One year the boys and I went to Grayling, Michigan to camp with David while he attended guard camp for two weeks.   It was there that I had a sneaking suspicion I was pregnant again. I kept telling David I thought I was, but he said I was just imagining things.  Well, he was wrong!  I was, again pregnant and nine months later we had a little girl.  Having a girl was so different from having boys, but I loved it.  Dressing her up in all the cute clothes.   I was so happy on our hill with my three children.  I was also caring for two other children and keeping busy and happy.

Then one day David came home and told me he was being sent someplace else and my world fell apart, or at least I thought it had.  I was going to have to leave friends and family and go some place where I knew no one.  Our children would have to go to a strange school.  I was not happy about the move.   David and I took one weekend to find a new house which is the one where we now live.  I wanted an older fixer upper with some character and some land.  We got it all with this house, but I must say we have been fixing it up for the last thirty-eight years and still have more we want to do.   We made the move and I cried for days.  By and by things got back to normal, I met people and found a church and got the boys in school and they seemed to thrive so all was good.

We have seen so much through the years.  I could write an entire book about our life as a couple and what all we have done together.  We have traveled in almost all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands,Canada and Mexico.  We raised our three children to adulthood and they are productive members of society.  We have seen loved ones and friends pass away and babies born into the family.  As the song says, “Sunrise, sunset, swiftly fly the days.  One season following the other….”   Our seasons have flown by.  Here we are the elders in our family now and we still love life, God and family and look forward to more years together, but if it should all end tomorrow, I can say we have been blest and have had a wonderful life.  Just remember if you are married right now and think you cannot make it to forty-seven or more years, you can if you decide to and learn to love and care for one other person more than yourself.  That is what a wife and husband are to do.  A young man told us the other day that not many marriages make it as far as ours.  I find that sad because all it takes is love, a relationship with Jesus Christ, and a determination that your marriage will not fail. That it is your top priority.   It will all be good if you both do those three things.  Bye.