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Summer Days & Sully’s book

We’re nearing the end of our July vacation ~  and it always amazes me how quickly vacation flies by!

Ahh the lazy days of summer.  It’s hot, sticky and sunny.  Even with my 70SPF I have a warm tan with tan lines where my flip flops go and tank tops end.  As when I look back at all we’ve accomplished and had going these past 2 weeks it’s no wonder we’re both moving a little slow this weekend.

  • I arrived home on a Friday after attending a 3 day corporate conference
  • Had new window treatments installed (involved moving furniture/etc out of the way and back again)
  • Played in a couples golf scramble
    • all in the same day 😀
      • what was I thinking?
      • Say yes and you’ll figure it out later
  • Picked my sister up from the plane and, for a week, stayed up late and got up early, still talking
  • Visited the big lake (Lake Michigan) 2 x  + Won and lost money at the Casino
  • Cried watching “Toy Story 4” and “The Mustang”
  • laughed at all the same places in “Bridesmaids”
  • Reveled in the ability to sit across the table from each other, laughing until we choked while finishing each others sentences
  • Skipped breakfast & enjoyed watermelon and cherries for lunch
  • Savored pots of coffee & tea out on the patio with sister, Sully and Hubbs … plus a cold beer or two, too

Mornings with Sully, an Emjayandthem (C) Photo

  • Up and outside early and to bed when tired with no alarm clocks – WHEE!
  • Celebrated the 4th with amazing fireworks, dancing fireflies and neighbors
  • Decorated the hall for the kid’s wedding and hosted the rehearsal dinner, ordered the limo, catering, bar, DJ and more plus managed the details!
  • Helped him get ready on his big day
    • Cried with Hubbs and my sister at ^^ above
      • Smiled at his smile when he saw her
      • Cried again
  • Witnessed their vows, celebrated by dancing with our boys, my sister, hubbs and friends.
  • Polka’d till I lost my breath and then went out and did  it again 🙂
  • Cleaned up the hall and tumbled into bed
  • Got up early  & hosted a gift opening
  • Languished in the hot tub
  • Cared for, slept with and supervised grand-dog Sully ~ who is adorable and hilarious but a bit like having a 70lb toddler

Today I cooked up brunch, did some catalogue perusing and online shopping but still haven’t started on my books, there’s been no time.   …. but I think I’ll take a page out of Sully’s book and go enjoy a nap in the a/c.

Sully nap, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

 

What are you up to today? Take any naps lately?  

 

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Categories: Animals, Attitude, Faith, Family, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, Opinion, Patriotic, Personal, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sunday Random 5 – Golf, Joe Friday, Wedding Bells & Good Tired

Here we are nearing the end of June ~ it’s time for 5 Random Thoughts from my world.  Ready?   Let’s do this.

1 ) Golf – who knew I would have this much fun golfing? Even the lessons are fun!  I tell him this all the time so I’ll tell you, too: Hubbs was right.  You cannot golf and work.  Beyond being together and being outside,  disconnecting from my job is something I’m  enjoying so much.  I like what I do, but no one needs to do it a-l-l the time!  🙂

2 )  Good tired. We both worked around the house & yard yesterday and I went to bed early ~ It was a “good tired,” the tired that comes with aching muscles and sore feet but the knowledge you accomplished something.  Then, to no surprise, I found myself awake at 4, then 5, at by 6:10 I threw the covers back with a “oh just get up already.”    Laundry’s done, coffee’s hot and Salsa Chicken simmers in the crock pot ~ I’m enjoying padding around a quiet house on a sunny summer Sunday.

3 ) Joe Friday  – Heading to another corporate conference this week ~  there have been even more organizational shifts with senior people leaving and new folks coming in.  The bench is deep and the talent is impressive.  And, as we’ve done before, we were asked to complete the Myers-Briggs personality test.   I’ve taken this test many times  over the course of my corporate life and I always get the same result – I’m an ISTJ  —

  • ISTJ – The Inspector (Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)  ~ Quiet, serious, earn success by thoroughness and dependability. Practical, matter-of-fact, realistic, and responsible. Highly capable and decides logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless of distractions. Take pleasure in making everything orderly and organized – their work, their home, their life. Value traditions and loyalty.

I’m Joe Friday! Google.images.com

However, the test is only as accurate as your answers are honest.   And like we’ve all seen, there are some who “play it” up for the big cheese(s), sit in the front row, hang on the leaders’ every answer, and kiss the ring.  These are the same people whose profiles never match up to who they actually are.   I’m fine with my results because I know exactly who I am – the good, bad, and the ugly.   And that’s exactly why such trips are so taxing!

4)  Wedding bells – Our youngest son is getting married in just a few weeks!  10 minutes ago he was this little.  But he’s not so little anymore.  He still has the same laugh & love for life ~ and now he has a beautiful partner by his side, someone to call his very own.  The love between them is palpable and we couldn’t be happier!

Corporate Family picnic, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

5 )  Summer Vacation  – After this week’s conference ends comes 15 – count ’em – 15 days off!  I’m leaning in for time with Hubbs, time with my sister, trips to the beach and Casino, visits with our boys & their girls, a happy wedding to enjoy and dance to,  grilling out,  grand-kids, grand-dogs,  Golf, sunshine,  sunscreen,  watermelon, flip flops, tank tops, down time , new books and more good tired. 

 

  • So, what’s new in your world? 
  • Do you enjoy the feeling of “good tired?”  
  • Ever taken a personality test?
Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Faith, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Thoughts, Travel, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ Mothers Day, Coincidences and GPS

It’s Friday and time for a few randoms from my corner of the universe.  Ready?  Set?  Go:

1 ) Mother’s Day as a child meant 3 things:  a) Church/Sunday School, b) a family get-together and c) Homemade cards/gifts for Mom.    Like they’ve done before, my boys asked to take me out for “a nice lunch.”     They know this is the one thing I want more than anything from the store – time with them.  We met up – they gave me their gifts and cards with notes of love and appreciation and I  savored the moment.  We laughed till we cried and I beamed with the love I feel for them.   In my view, the greatest gift a Mom can ever get is children who grow up to be people you want to be with!  We ate, we laughed, we leaned in.  I felt the love then and still do.  ❤

2 ) Whenever I have  a “big” meeting or presentation to do I “bring” Mom with me – by wearing a piece of her jewelry as her reminder to “go get ’em, kid” – She’s met the Governor, Congressmen/women, Leaders of state, Senators, House Reps, congressional pages, Mayors & more ~ she’s with me every step of the way.    And if I encounter any “nonsense” I’m not afraid to use my firmest  “Mom voice” which of course I learned from her!

Just a couple of Mom’s rings – Peridot & Padparadshca Citrine ~ she loved her “right hand rings” from the shopping channel.

3 )  In meetings earlier this week I had one of those moments we’ve all had where you know the answer to a  question not yet asked.   Tingling and trying not to jump ahead I listened closely;  when I shared my thoughts later the speaker pulled back, her eyebrow went up and a smile filled her face.  “How did you know that?” she asked.   “Because sometimes I just know.”  We talked about coincidences and serendipity and how sometimes we find ourselves right where we’re meant to be; it’s up to us to recognize it when it happens.   The more I acknowledge it when it occurs, the more it occurs for me.

Fate’s like that, I find.

4 )  Saw this and laughed out loud because  1) it is so true and 2 ) I admit that I often still revert to “old school GPS” – read on ~

5 ) I’ve been traveling weekly these past few months;  one day easily rolls into the next, weekends have been full and a Tuesday morning can feel like it should be Saturday already.    Memorial Day is next week and – gasp – it’s been 3 months since I woke up to this:

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

 

So, what’s new in your world?   Experience any coincidences lately?  Do you remember “70’s GPS?”

Happy Friday!  😀

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, Opinion, Relationships, Seasons, Travel, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

When the soul weeps

I still miss her.

Mom.

This July will be 3 years.

She would not want this, she’d chide me, give me sh*t and push me to “get on with it, for Heavens sake.”

She’d even snort once or twice.

She in her cat-eye glasses and pedal pushers.

She.

All 100 lbs of her.

I miss her.

I long for our conversations.

I suppose I always will.

The depth. The breadth. The range.

The absurd, the large, the small, the swing of it all.

I see her face in little old ladies faces at the grocery story, except they don’t carry a red purse or possess the spunk she did.

You know what I miss most?  Our friendship.

How lucky was I?

I know I should just “deal” and be grateful, and I am.

But her name was Gay, and she epitomized the word fierce.

Mom on Buck, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

And I miss her.

 

“The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.”
Katie McGarry, Pushing the Limits

 

Who are you missing tonight?

Categories: Beauty, Determination, Family, Grief, Home, Love, Mom, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Books are a home

We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter.  Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages.  Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow.  Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.

ice on the back steps .. so treacherous!

We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners.   We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons.   And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe.  Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?”  Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.

This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about.  You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling.  People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.

Winter 2019 – an Emjayandthem(C) photo

The reason for our gathering was two-fold:  1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together!   It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball.   His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her.  Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home.    We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.

Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year.  Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.

“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

 

How about you? 

  • Any (winter) damage at your house?
  • Read any good books this winter?
  • Spring is just 31 days away 🙂

 

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Random 5 Snow Day(s) ~ town buddies, pant checks and heroes

Like much of the country, we’ve been smack in the middle of a winter storm for nearly a week and today, temperatures plummeted ~ Meteorologists are breathlessly reporting, “Polar Vortex, Arctic Chill and Extreme cold warnings!!” as the furnace hums steadily. I was up long before I needed to be but enjoyed puttering around the house in winter’s quiet.

Seeing the scroll of school, church and business closings last night I couldn’t help but remember my farm childhood and hearing two deliciously wonderful words at morning’s cusp, “SNOW DAY!”  And my snowy memories inspired me to post these Random Snow Day Thoughts ~ here we go:

1 )  Growing up in the country farm kids like me had a “town” buddy in case severe weather came quickly.  My town buddy was a classmate named Melanie Wright – her house was in the middle of the village.  I’d estimate a walk there took less than 10 minutes but it sure felt longer to me.  I recall spending the night once or twice, being fed and warm but also terribly homesick.  I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8.   I think that’s Melanie in the sailor dress next to me (in the bow tie), front row.

  • This picture represents 2 grades; my grade was one of the largest with 11 kids.
    • We often had 3 grades sharing one room in our little brick schoolhouse ~ God Bless our teachers!

Class picture, an Emjayandthem (C) photo

2 )  Bitter blizzards and freezing winds take me right back to Mom’s kitchen where she, the 100lb dynamo, would stand at the door and make my siblings & I pull up our pant legs to give evidence of tights or long johns underneath. No negotiating,  no exceptions, “don’teventryit.”    She showed her love and care for us in a multitude of ways but the love I felt via a pants inspection lingers with me still.  Man I miss her.

Mom & Sport, winter 1952-53. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )  Being home since last Thursday I’ve leaned into my stack of books. Read 3, ordered 4 more, and plan on starting another tonight.   Couldn’t. Be. Cozier.

“The world was hers for the reading.” – Betty Smith

Bucket List Goals: Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland

4 ) Our local news has been sharing heartwarming stories of folks stepping up to help others out of a snowy ditch, clearing sidewalks, checking on elderly neighbors and even rescuing dogs out in the (dangerous) cold.   I have my own story to share:   a  situation arose late Monday that necessitated me making a quick trip to the office to pick up several (specialty) items ~ these were to be shipped to a colleague in another state.  The request came Monday evening, in the midst of white-out conditions with winter warnings” all around.   Pondering my next move, Hubbs made it easy, “I’ll take you.”    Yes I could have driven myself but that wasn’t the point.   Accompanied by his calm demeanor, fuzzy pants and snow boots, we set out the next day ~ roads were awful, snow-covered and icy.  Visibility was maybe 12 feet.  It was in that moment I was reminded of something Mom had always said:  Romance is not always flowers and chocolates … it’s someone willing to lay down a brick for you, over and over and over again.   And, as usual, she was right.

5 )  With 480+ area schools on an extended winter break, Schwartz Creek School Administrators in Clayton Township, Michigan got their “Snow Day” announcement just right  ~  Hallelujah, indeed! 🙂

 

  • Is the 2019 Polar Vortex affecting you / your area?
  • Did you have a “storm buddy” as a child?
  • Any “hero” stories to share?
  • Ever had a “pants” inspection?

 

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Mom, News, Personal, Quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Showing up for life

At the cusp of a new year  I like reflecting on the past one.  I find it cathartic to look back at professional and personal accomplishments, lessons learned, and think about what’s working and what’s not.

I ask myself these 3 questions:

  1. What do you want more of?
  2. What do you want to get rid of?
  3. What’s holding you back from either one?

And then I read this and smiled.  Because, more than anything else this year, I showed up.  Growth happened, some with growing pains.  Manifestations abound; intuition sharpened.

C’mon 2019, I’m ready. 

Your turn:

  1. What do you want more of?
  2. What do you want to get rid of?
  3. What’s holding you back from either one?

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, News, Personal, Quotes, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Random 5 December Friday ~ Days off, kid time, new years and music

It’s the last Friday of December, how did that happen?  That means it’s time for 5 randoms from my world.

1 )  Been on holidays for 7 days and have 5 more to enjoy before I head back to work.  Today is that day:

I’ve gone to bed when tired and gotten up when I’m not.  I’ve relaxed, stretched, played and laughed.  I’ve watched movies, read (2) books and started a 3rd.    Ahh … leaning in.  

2 ) Over the summer I took care of our grand-daughter different times while her older brother was at camp, we dubbed those days “Camp Nana” because it was all fun and games. During this Christmas break I spent the day with both grand kids while their parents were at work.   Dad had left them a “to-do” list and I helped them tackle it+ added more~ that visit soon became “Nana Boot Camp” – ha ha! But they did great: they worked hard to tidy up –  they picked up, vacuumed, folded, dusted, put away, emptied the dishwasher and completed about 4 trash runs. They didn’t complain because I was right there working beside them – we spent the rest of the day cooking, playing games and playing outside.  (Our snow is long gone!)  It wasn’t lost on me that it was “Boxing Day,”  the same day Mom used to round us kids up to help her tidy the house.   The grands were proud of their efforts and joyful at the many rounds of dice, Jenga, and Uno we played.    Time marches on but kids are still just kids and, from my experience, kids spell love T-I-M-E.

Grandson learning how to make Nana’s “Sloppy Joe’s”;  coincidentally this was the first recipe I ever made in 4-H. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3 )    In many ways this has been a trying year and  I won’t be sad to see it go.   This picture sums it up:

4  )  As grueling and demanding and relentless as my job can be I was delighted to be awarded $$ for notable project work recently completed.   Smiling, I knew straight away where that $$ was going == AMAZON.  Funds are in my account, and I’ve already made one purchase ~ something perfect for our gloomy west Michigan winters.  Arriving tomorrow, I plan to use it daily ~ whee!

Google Image:  The Verilux HappyLight Compact makes your indoors brighter.

  • Product notes:  For millions of people, light therapy can make a not-so-great day much better – and brighter. The bottom line is, almost none of us get outside as much as we should to get as much natural full spectrum sunlight that we, as humans, need. Our bodies have evolved to actually require sunlight, and when we don’t have enough we can be groggy, irritable, unfocused and more. To make it worse, as days get shorter in the fall and winter, many people are affected by winter blues. This full spectrum light therapy lamp can help make you happier year-round.  Amazon $40

5 ) Saw this video last night and have watched it (and sang along) about 5 times already.    Trees will be bending, indeed.  SANG it, kids!   And props to the Choir Director ~ how I’d love to be part of a choir like this one!   🙂

So, what’s going on in your world?  Care to share?  And, ready or not, here’s to 2019!

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, Opinion, Personal, Recipes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Come and get your love

As of today, Sunday, I’m officially at the 5 & 11 mark:

  • 5 scheduled work days left followed by 11 days off.

Eleven. Gloriously wonderful Conference-call-free days off!

Yes I’ll monitor emails and yes I’ll likely need to chime in here and there but … my intention is to step away.   I’ve set my intentions for that preciously guarded time off and they read something like this:

  • Coffee, books, blogging and brunch
  • Daily walks / rebounding, with some yoga thrown in, too
  • Time with Hubbs, the boys, their girls and our grands
  • Yummy appetizers, dice games, laughs and movies
  • More books, coffee and brunch
  • Snuggling into bed when I’m tired and rising when I’m rested
    • Enjoying the peace, quiet and comfort of a contented Christmas

Come and get your love, Indeed.    💖

 

“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
Richie Norton

  • What are you intentional about?
  • Do you set intentions ahead of time off?

 

Categories: Faith, Family, Food, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Life Lessons, Love, music, Personal, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Really living this Thanksgiving

It’s the night before Thanksgiving … and all through the House, Not a spatula was stirring …

WHAT?

  • NO taking the day before off work to clean, cook, prep and repeat?
  • NO fridge stuffed with Cheese Balls, Salads, Cheesecake and Pie?
  • NO 10,000+ steps inside the house?
  • NO setting the alarm to shove the bird, ham and other delights into the oven?

2017 Thanksgiving eve’s Fridge – Cherry cheesecake, Mom’s Pineapple carrot salad, homemade cheese balls and more. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

Nope.  Nada. None.

Today I went to the office, had time to stop for a coffee (gasp!) and worked a “normal” day.

  • No cutting out early to set tables, stock up on booze, clean the garage,  wash crystal or defrost something.
  • Nope. Nada. None.

Why?

Oldest boy and his beautiful bride bought their first home earlier this year and, while walking through their gorgeous open concept kitchen/living room, I may have happily proclaimed, “WOW this is gonna be great for the Holidays!”

There might have been a skip in my step, not sure.

See, I’ve loved cooking and entertaining and fussing and decorating and providing for everyone all these years (32+ but who’s counting?) but do you know what I love even more?

  • That my big strapping handsome son loves it, too.
    • And so does his wife!
  • I love that he has some semblance of understanding what’s he’s in for and that they want to host Thanksgiving this year.
    • As the chief cook, cleaner and bottle washer, I couldn’t be PROUDER!
      • And neither could these two, although they’d never believe it was a MAN was stepping in to cook!

Grandma and Mom in the kitchen together; and Emjayandthem (C) photo

BREAKING NEWS:  Are you sitting down?

This is the first family Holiday I haven’t hosted, cooked, cleaned for or done.

For at least 35 years.

Thirty. Five. Years.

Flash forward to tonight:

  • Hubbs and I are to bring a couple of side dishes, show up, mingle and BE GUESTS!
    • We may have done the dance of joy more than once tonight (he in his fuzzy pants and me in mine, prepping my 2 side dishes {done and in the fridge already!})
      • Her parents, Grandparents and brother are coming, too.
      • So is youngest boy and his fiance.
    • Their dog will be in the mix, too, and he and I are likely to be shooed out of the kitchen.
      • Can’t wait.

 

  • Hubbs and I toyed with the idea of (not really) being BAD guests, you know the ones .. they don’t bring what they said they would OR they show up late OR they bring other guests you don’t know OR all of the above!
    • But we won’t do that.
      • But we laughed hard at the thought of it.

 

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” ~ Gail Sheehy

 

Your turn:

  • What traditions have you changed up lately?
  • What would you like to change-up?
    • Happy Thanksgiving!

 

P.S.

  • Made Hubbs some fudge just because.
    • He very nicely offered that “some” could go with us tomorrow ~

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts, Wisdom, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Random 5 Sunday ~ Spring, Weddings and Anniversaries

Good morning and Happy Sunday to you!   Time for 5 Randoms from my world.  Ready?  Let’s go.

1 )   Spring.  I’d been away from the office for several weeks, returning last week to a stacks of mail and Spring  outside my window.   After (what felt like) a 10 month winter, Spring seems even brighter this year. And overdue.  Yes, it rained all weekend, but the rain washed away the pollen and, for the first time in a week, my eyes no longer feel gummy.    Farmer’s daughters have a hard time wishing away rain anyways.

**Hello Spring! **

2 )  Travel ~ as fun and adventurous as it was to be away ~ including staying an extra night because of flight delays (in a hotel, not the airport, yay), it’s wonderful to come home again.  With 3 days in the office last week and 1 more tomorrow, I’m nearly caught up.  On Tuesday I’m off again for a couple of nights and back home in time to slide into the long weekend.   This is the kind of travel I love~ by car, with stops along the way, the schedule is (mostly) all mine, structured enough to accomplish my objectives but with enough free time to take in the sights.  I’ll be winding my way north along the shores of Lake Michigan and back again.   And I won’t miss my desk one bit.

**Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.**

3 ) Companions– While visiting city officials and town halls I’ll have Dad with me.   See Dad, in addition to being a full-time farmer,  served his local Rural Municipality (R.M.) as a Councilor for 30+ years and this girl went with him much of the time.  I’d straighten the paperwork and make sure the coffee pot was full, watch how he listened, interacted, and worked the issues.  I learned from him how to relax and stand confident in what I know.   Although my present day role is much different from his, there’s much of what he did that comes with me.  And I still  experience a child-like wonder as I walk into a century-old City Hall, seeing the grooves in the floor from so many before me, smelling furniture polish and the must that exists in those cavernous old rooms.     I can easily spot the radiators still hugging the walls and, before long, enjoy a relaxed camaraderie with present day staff.

**A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.**

4 )  Anniversary –  This week marks 10 years as a U.S. Citizen.    10 years! Yes, 10 years ago I raised my right hand and, with 78 others (from 34 countries) took the oath of allegiance to the United States of America and stepped forward as a new American. It signified the end of one journey and the beginning of another.   It was one of the proudest and most emotional  moments of my life.  (more about my journey here.)

You see, someday I will be a citizen for 15 or 20 or 35 years and I’ll still choose to tell folks that I’m a “new” citizen. Why?  Because I don’t know how else to communicate the significance of it.    The choice of it.

We’re not perfect, this country, we’ve got our flaws.  Like most families, there’s bickering and divisions and  always someone willing to point out what’s wrong with us … but still … there’s a heart and soul about America that continues to inspire people to imagine a life here.

That’s me, holding the flag, during my swearing in ceremony; An Emjayandthem (C) photo

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.”

 

3) The Royal Wedding – Unlike past events, I didn’t set my alarm, instead I set the DVR.  Snoozing till 8:00 I hopped up out of bed, poured a large cup of coffee, and turned on the TV.   For whatever reason, I just didn’t have the same interest in this wedding as I did for Diana and Charles in 1981 or William and Kate in 2011.   Maybe I was still trying to learn about the gal who’d bedazzled a Prince and, let’s be honest, some of the attraction was the hot mess certain members of her family had been, too.    The day was dazzling, the sky glorious, the hats large and the dress fancy.   Having the DVR recording allowed me to fast-forward through the speculative coverage by “new” Royal experts and get to the good stuff.  Yes, I cried when I saw the two brothers walking so confidently together.   I giggled at the cuteness of the little page boys and flower girls.   I teared up watching Prince Charles join her on her lone walk in, when the two of them said their vows, shared a kiss, and hopped into the Carriage to be swept off to their future.   I’ve cried at this and every wedding I’ve ever witnessed.  This was no different: in the end, it’s all about love.  I wish them well.

image from Delish.com

**All you need is love … ** -Paul McCartney

So, how was your week?

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Politics, Relationships, Thoughts, Traditions, Travel, Women, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“The Look”

Truth:

“The Look” from the 4′ 10 1/2″ dynamo known as our Mother had the power to:

  • Settle us down in Church,
  • Silence us at 4-H, piano lessons or team practice.
  • Threaten show tickets or a trip to the fair being revoked.

“The Look” had the ability to:

  • Break up a fight in the back of the Olds as she cruised down the highway.
  • Chide us silently,
  • Remind us where manners lived,
  • Tell us to “shut it” without saying a word and
  • Get us to sit up straight without so much as a touch.

Add Pink Curlers !

If you were lucky enough to have a Mother who wielded “the Look,” you were lucky indeed.

Happy Mother’s Day in Heaven to the world’s greatest Mom, mine.

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Holidays, Home, Love, Mom, Thoughts, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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