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Posts Tagged With: family

Random 5 – Sisters, Books and Summer’s arrival

It’s Sunday! Back to work tomorrow ~Cooking, Laundry and random 5 today. Here goes!

1 )  My sister and I vacationed together last week ~ she lives in Canada, where we grew up, I live in the USA so – instead of traveling to each other’s homes – we met in the middle – something new for both of us.  No cooking. No cleaning. No bed-making.  No organizing. No wrangling. No Scheduling.  We loosely followed the “no plan-plan.”   Meeting in Minneapolis then flying to Kansas City together we laughed and we cried and we laughed again.  Navigating the rental car through the city and down to the interstate to Branson, MO, we sang along and talked and talked.  We had purchased a few show tickets ahead of time but left the week open to the possibilities.  Lying by the pool. Shopping in cute little boutiques, artisan markets and outlet malls.  Dining out, being waited on and, in some cases, sung to (the Singing Diner was so fun!)  Our trip was glorious!  Sister time – talking in the morning, talking at night, talking by the pool, talking in the dark.   On our last night together, out of the dark a small voice whispered,”I’m sure going to miss you, you know.”  “I know,” I said, “as will I miss you.”    A knowing look – finishing each others sentences – laughing at our stupid jokes.  For as much as we talked – sisters don’t need words.  

Sisters! An Emjayandthem(C) photo

2 ) Heat – arriving back home I was surprised to find the weather much hotter here (northern) than where we’d been (southern).  How did that happen?  80s up to 90s with little rain. It’s hot and dry.  Birds flitter happily through the sprinkler.

3 )  Taking a (leave-your-house) vacation is an excellent reminder that all of the stuff stressing me out is just that … stuff.    I work hard and do my best to stay on top of everything but every once in a while I need to step away from it and breathe.  Live.  Laugh.  And re-connect.

and there it is

4)  Books — Read one and bought another — one of my favorite things to do on a plane is to dive into a new story.  This one was well worth the dive:

… great read .. right to the last page!

And I bought this on the recommendation of a fellow passenger – next up on my summer reading list.

5 ) Summer’s here and another favorite just arrived — the Farm Market is open again!  I have to pace myself and remember that, for the most part, I’m the only one eating all these yummies.   Ooh … deliciousness abounds!!

What’s on your summer reading list?  Have you had any adventures lately?   What are you grateful for?  Are you a fan of toasted ‘mater sammiches, too?  *(GF for me!)

Toasted Tomato Sandwich ~ ahh, Summer!

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Food, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, Personal, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – Vacation, Naps, Plans and Cheer

It’s time for Random 5 Sunday on the first Sunday in December:

  • Thanksgiving week vacation:  I’ve never taken the whole week of Thanksgiving off. I’ve taken a day here and a day there. But never the whole week. And now, ladies & gents, I do believe I have a new tradition ~  whoop!

good-for-your-soul

  • Hallmark Channel Holiday movies.  While on vacation, I watched at least 5 Hallmark Holiday movies – sometimes I only caught the tail end or the beginning.  You have to admit, the plot is easy to predict most of the time – a beautiful young lass soured on love by a jerky boyfriend moves back to her home town only to bump into the world’s hottest handy-man while shopping for her daughter who it turns out only made 1 friend at school – the (widowed) hottie’s son … and in just a matter of weeks she finds the love of her life, saves a small town business, rescues kittens and puppies and all they live happily ever after, over hot chocolate in perfectly coordinated tartan jackets ~ sigh

hallmark-christmas-movies

  • Naps – glorious, wonderful, and life-redeeming.  Because we stayed on our “normal” schedule during our time off,  just 1 nap was enough. Somehow I kept up on my rest.   Went back to work wide-awake and refreshed.  And good thing, because I clocked 800+ miles last week alone!

kitten asleep

  • Travel plans ~  Sissy and I are planning a “sister’s” getaway – we’ll likely revisit Branson, MO for a week of visiting, shopping, visiting, shows and fun.  We’ve visited there once before, 10 years ago, when we took Mom for her 77th birthday.  What a great time we had – and such a relaxed and friendly place to be.   After our 3rd night Mom happily chirped, “You know, I’ve never stayed in a hotel this many nights and I’ve never gone out for every single meal!”  We were girlfriends on this trip you see, more than mother and daughters.  She loved the adventure and spoke of it many times with fondness.  I know she’d love that we’re planning to go back.
me, mom & my sister in Branson, MO, 2007

me, mom & my sister in Branson, MO, 2007

  • Christmas Spirit:  I wasn’t really feeling any Christmas spirit heading into our Family Christmas party last night.  The hustle and bustle and holiday ho-ho-hos didn’t do it.  Lots of yummy foods, hugs and merriment didn’t do it.  No – it was capturing this picture – of wee cousins (with our grands in the mix) at the exact moment they all cheered “SANTA CLAUS” – that’s what did it.
xmas-party-2016-kiddos

Santa Claus!! An Emjayandthem (C) photo

“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.”  ― Roy L. Smith

What randoms would you like to share?  Are you feeling the Christmas spirit yet?

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Patriotic, Random, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

What stands between

Moving – it’s both exciting and an anxiety driver!

We don’t have a close date for our new house and haven’t yet listed this one but we’ve started the arduous process of sorting and packing  ~ because you have to start somewhere.  And in a 4 level 4 Br house with plenty of closet space guess what happens in 15 years?  You fill those closets and drawers.  And when you start to pack you find things that make you question why you saved what you did.

clutter Peter Walsh

Like our ideal rooms, Hubbs and my ideas of what stays and what goes can differ.  He casually commented on my many books – “not negotiable” is what he heard in reply.  He smiled in understanding and because he knows when not to push further.

There are things we can toss — he still had manuals to cars we no longer own. 5-year-old receipts.  Small appliances or other items  that don’t work.  Shoes that don’t fit. Clothing purchased by price point. All gone.

We found other items we can’t part with – handmade artwork featuring toothless little grins.  Baby clothes. Home videos. Pictures.

Then there are the gifts we’ve been given that were never used, supplies to gatherings we no longer host – serving trays and margarita glasses and party favors -all  in the Goodwill pile.  In fact, that pile is growing – and all of those useful items can bless someone else – silk plants, end tables, decorative vases, wall art, quilts, blankets, old printers, costume jewelry, throw pillows, Christmas stuff, clothes, shoes, purses and toys.  And more.

You see when you buy a new-to-you house part of the magic that transpires is picturing yourself living there.   You can dream out loud about colors and fabrics and textures and wish lists.  I want color – lots and lots of it – a lovely purpley-blue for my bedroom, a deep carmelly brown for the living room, bookshelves and reading chairs, and splashes of my favorite color – cobalt – peppered throughout. He likes clean lines and less stuff, the high ceilings and open spaces.  We agree on new appliances and cabinet pulls.  Because the test we’ve been applying is this one:

does it bring you joy

Packing is tiring and hard work. It’s emotional and exhausting.  But… it’s also liberating. Case in point: yesterday, down on my hands & knees with my face in books and CDs, I laughed at my “postponed decisions” (clutter) – and decided to gift someone else with my extensive Christmas music collection.  Why?  I have all the songs I love converted to Mp3s on my computer.  And if that crashes I’ll download more.  Whatever. Moving on.

We’ve got a long ways to go and a short time to get there … but we’ll tackle this as we always do: together. Laughing at what we find along the way and feeling good about what we let go.

~~ How about you? Got any moving tips?  What’s the one item you’ve taken from home to home?   What does your dream bedroom look like? ~~

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Growth, Home, Life, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Random 5 ~ NYE

It’s Friday Thursday and New Year’s Eve.  Here are 5 randoms from my world:

1 Remember when New Year’s Eve was a big deal?  Getting dressed up, wiggling into pantyhose and new shoes and a sparkly little something to go out with a bunch of people, dance, and kiss under the 5-4-3-2-1 Happy New Year countdown?  It’s been years since I’ve felt like that.  Yes we’re going out with a group tonight – to dance, sing and such -but there’s no pantyhose in sight :).  I have a sparkly sweater in mind and we’ll probably be home by 10:30 to watch the ball drop in the basement ~ the only one I’m smooching is Hubbs.  🙂

What sparks your creativity? google.images.com

2 I’ve been on vacation this week but didn’t feel like it until yesterday.  You see I’ve been on conference calls and had people pinging me left, right and center.  Yesterday I slept in, pushed away that nagging feeling saying I “should” accomplish something and instead embraced the massage chair that accompanied a pedicure.  I sipped a Caramel Iced coffee and read Hollywood magazines, catching up on the lives of people I don’t know.  When I was done I drove my relaxed self home and warmed up leftovers for supper.    A better day was not to be had.  ❤

giant coffee

3   “A year of ending and beginning, a year of loss and finding…and all of you were with me through the storm. I drink to your health, your wealth, your fortune for long years to come, and I hope for many more days in which we can gather like this.”
― C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Eagles

Mom me and sissy - wedding 2015

Me, Mom and my sister – August 2015.

4 Another year is upon us.  I stopped making resolutions a few years ago and instead continue to do what works for me — clearing away the clutter and making room for the good.  Getting rid of those who drain me and resisting the urge to let just anyone in. There’s a reason the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is wide.  😀

chapter

5 I’ve always loved this song.  And so I ask you this, “What are you doing New Year’s Eve?”

 

Happy New Year, friends!  ~MJ

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Grief, Holidays, Home, Life, Love, News, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random 5 Friday ~ 2 weeks!

It’s Friday (finally!) – here are 5 random happenings in my world this week:

1 Stopped last night to buy Christmas crackers for our family gathering in 2 – count ’em – 2 weeks.  As a Canadian, this is a British tradition we enjoyed  loved as kids — one person held each end of the cracker and pulled them apart – a *POP* sound soon followed, and everyone ended up with a tissue paper hat to wear, a small toy and a joke or riddle to share.    Our boys and grands have grown up with these at the table and it wouldn’t be Christmas without them!

Too much fun!

Too much fun!

2  Tuesday at the State Capitol (which is wide open to everyone, by the way) my team and I were busy  setting up Legislative interviews when a young man wandered into the studio. At first I felt a bit annoyed, because you see I didn’t really have time to shoo him out of there. But as he stood and looked around – with wonder in his eyes – my eyes softened and we ended up talking for about 20 minutes. He’s my youngest boy’s age and he told me how he’s going to Community College, working part-time, and lives with his Grandmother. He told me more about himself in those 20 min than maybe I needed to know – but in that moment he let me know he needed to be heard. It was yet another lesson to STOP – SLOW DOWN- and LISTEN. Everyone has a story to tell and sometimes you just have to stop moving to hear it.

“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible someone ever reads.”

MI Capitol in fog

The Michigan State Capitol .. and State Christmas tree, blanketed in fog in December. An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

3  Still no snow.  Driving to meetings and running errands is easy-peasy; it was 59F yesterday.  People are out without coats. Shocking – in December.  I didn’t feel any Christmas spirit until youngest boy and I decorated the tree last night.    Leveraging his height, we laughed as he straightened the angel and tweaked the lights “just so.”  Standing back to admire his handiwork, we both agreed that their home-made ornaments are our favorites.  He put it best, “They tell our story, Mom.”

a shot of youngest boy in grade school ...

a shot of youngest boy in grade school … An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4. I’m glad today is Friday and that the weekend is not yet another runaway train. At least not yet.  Hubbs is prepping for a business trip next week and he’s stressed about that, I have a full schedule, too, yet there’s so much to accomplish here at home.  I think a vacation day is in order – the house to myself?  Ooh ahh …. 🙂

and there it is

and there it is

5  Talking with friends about how hectic our days are – jobs – kids – grand kids – aging parents – and BAM here come the Holidays.  More and more we’re all talking about simplifying things.  This simple message resonates with me:

Google.Images.com

And you?    What Holiday tradition from your childhood have you carried with you?   How are your  preparations coming along?  Are you taking any time outs just for you?

 

Categories: Beauty, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons, Thoughts, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – 5 years

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday (yay!) so here are 5 randoms from my little corner of the universe.

1  Cooked yesterday and doubled everything. Why? I’m dropping off half to oldest boy and the grands later today.   The work/school/homework schedule is just nicer when you have “extras” around.  Homemade soup, sloppy Joe’s, Game day brownies  and more.   To quote Mom, “Love is Groceries.

food ina garten

2 It was Mom who taught me the significance of caring for others.  On Mothering is just one of many posts I’ve written about her. She taught me so many things but, most importantly, she taught me how to mother.  And, like her, I’m fierce — no apologies.  Because of that, I can’t wrap my head around that our grand children’s mother left them like she did.   But it was my wee Mom who reminded me He gave our boy big shoulders for a reason and sometimes Mom & Dad are the same person.

smell the color 9

3  Stopped the other day to take this picture – October will end soon and all of this will pass.  Don’t miss it.

Country Club trees

4  I write as means to formalize my thoughts, connect-the-dots and express myself.  Through this experience I’ve connected with many of you, and one I’ve even met in person (lucky me).   When I write what I know – posts about life, relationships, personal growth, faith and home – you chime in and I love that so much.

m151be-yourself-unknown-posters

5 Going back to Mom, she was moved to Nursing Home placement this week and, when asked how things were going, her response made me laugh.  “I’m doing the best I can and managing to stay out of trouble… so far!”  This center is small, 17 beds, and in a rural setting, which is much more her style.  Both my sisters are certain she’ll get more personalized care and that’s of comfort to us all.  Thinking of her it hit me that 5 years ago today I published my very first blog and, not surprisingly, I wrote about  another life lesson learned from Mom.      5 years, 824 posts,179,273 visitors, still writing.    Thank you for reading along.

yes i can

Happy Sunday to you!  When you look back over your blogging lifetime, what do you see?

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Food, Growth, Home, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Seasons, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Two for Tuesday

Care to play along?  On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

Care to play along? On Tuesdays, pick a topic and segue into it!

It’s Tuesday – 2 days in to a 4 day week – whoop!

1. Today’s the last day of March and I’m glad.  Why?  We’ve had 4 seasons in 2 days.  Mild Saturday. Snow Sunday. 50 and breezy yesterday. Today? Who knows?  Maybe April won’t be quite so finicky!

4 seasons of weather

2.  Stopped last night to get a few “treats” for the wee ones this weekend.  We have an Easter gathering planned  – an early brunch on Saturday. You see, when oldest boy & his wife divorced, Easter Sunday became yet another battleground with the other side.  I – for one – was not going to be territorial about it and there was no backing down from them, the uber-Christians.  I know, ironic, isn’t it?   I get it – to a point – the kids should have that time with their cousins, we’re all about that.  But there’s never been any g-i-v-e this way.  So,  about three years ago I announced we’d have our celebration on Easter Saturday.  Period.  I’m fine with it – it’s relaxed and fun and beats a “drive-by” visit any day of the week.  Grandpa will join us and we’ll have four generations in my kitchen enjoying some of  my “company French toast”, eggs to-order, bacon, ham, sausage, home-made hash browns, fruit, coffee, juice, etc.   Oh, and a “magic” pumpkin spice cake for Gramps, his favorite. Yes, there’ll be way too much. Yes, he’ll take 2/3 of the cake home (shh, that’s the point) and yes, the littles will probably overdose on candy.  They won’t be far behind us :).

Already there! Google.images.com

Already there! Google.images.com

Are you planning an Easter gathering?  In what ways have your traditions had to adapt over time?

Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.  ~Charles M. Crowe

Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Holidays, Home, Humor, Life, Personal, Recipes, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Summer Snapshots

If you captured your summer in snapshots what would it look like?

Here are a few from my summer:

1. My “Hey Now!” Salsa …by the trough.

photo from healt-fitness.au  (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

photo from healt-fitness.au (This has never lasted long enough for me to capture it on camera)

2.  Rainy day naps.

google.images.com

google.images.com

3.  Date nights on patios.

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google images.com

Kitten heels and swirly skirts. google images.com

4. Time out with wee ones.

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Heading to the Zoo with my MJ. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

5. Road trips with stops in new-to-me places.

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI ... ahh

Deck view from Crosswinds restaurant in Whitehall, MI … ahh

6.  Fresh sweet cherries by the handful.

photo courtesy of Robinette's Apple Haus

photo courtesy of Robinette’s Apple Haus

7.  And laughter.

ha ha!  Google.images.com

ha ha! Google.images.com

What snapshots represent your summer?  

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Random, Seasons | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Random Five Friday – June

It’s Friday! (whoo hoo) It’s Random!  Let’s go!

friday cat

1.  Tuesday I waited around all day for an appointment that got pushed back four times. By the time the two young men arrived to work on the pool, I had conceded the day.  They were overbooked, stressed yet polite, apologizing over and over and  I just didn’t have it in me to pile a layer of anger onto their day.   Hanging around, being at home yet attentive to work, made me feel a bit like this turtle.

google.images.com

google.images.com

2. Later that night I attended our grandson’s baseball game.  I’ve been sick and so this was the first game we were able to get to — chatting with some of the moms, I could sense they were trying to figure out who I belonged to. I pointed to the tall fellow in the bullpen and said, “Well that’s my boy.”  I saw the confusion when they realized none of the wee ones on the team were mine but I was claiming the man.  Then I explained that #2 at bat was our Grandson  — ahh — funny — and a reminder that even though he’s grown, oldest one remains a boy in a Mother’s heart.

Oldest boy herding the cats at baseball

What the Father did, the son does:  oldest boy herding the cats at baseball.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

3. Weather.   A cool front came through Monday and we’ve had the most luscious weather possible — mild, sunny, and low humidity.  Days like these feel like a reward for the endurance test of this past winter.

Amen! google images

Amen! google images

4. The Belmont Stakes race is tomorrow and a group of us are planning to watch it together.  Reading the Racing Form takes me back to my childhood, being at the track with my parents, and feeling the excitement and the grandeur of it all.  Hoping California Chrome can pull a Triple Crown win — but even if he doesn’t — what a story!

Hello ladies! Aren't I something?  Source: www.dailyrepublic.com

Hello ladies! Aren’t I something?
Source: http://www.dailyrepublic.com

5.  In a world of e-invites and virtual everything, I really love getting a hand-written thank you card.  First of all, it’s polite and second, it’s timeless.  When someone acknowledges a gesture of mine, it makes me want to repeat the gesture all over again! And I always say a silent prayer of thanks to the Mom who taught the importance of doing so.

What’s your random 5 for today?  Are you watching horse racing tomorrow?

 

 

Categories: Animals, Faith, Forgiveness, Growth, Home, Opinion, Personal, Random observations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Thoughts on a Thursday

1. Today’s my Friday!    In a week Sissy will greet me at the Saskatoon airport and, between a mix of tears and smiles, we’ll make our way to Mom’s where I’ll remain for 7 days.  Getting ready for a trip like that means I need a bit of time at home first.   I’ll tidy up tomorrow, cook a few meals to pop in the freezer, and spend some time with my guys and grands.  Ahh .. Heaven.

Appreciate the little things in life, one day you’ll look back and realize those were the big things.Anonymous

2. Speaking of Mom, she and I talked last night and she had questions about “this Mother’s Day brunch” I’m organizing.  She’s one capable lady and wanted the details.  Who’s coming? What time?  What should we make, etc.  But it was her quiet mention of inviting a distant grandchild that touched my heart. My oldest brother’s daughter, the one she doesn’t see as much as the others.  The one with her own family and Mother to Mom’s 3 great-grandsons.  My response, “Mom, if you’d like to include them then by all means do so.”   I could hear her smiles over the phone.  It’s just food and I can make more. 🙂

A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review.  ~Robert Brault

3.  The company I work for announced some big news this week and I know that means reorganizations and realignment in our future.  People are already jockeying and posturing and aligning.   I am in a good place and probably have as much security as could be had, given the situation.   Having said that, it’s not the news that rattles me, it’s the behavior.  Geez Louise, people, do your work, stay the course, and let it sort itself out.

“Whatever follows ‘I am’ is going to come looking for you.” – Joel Osteen

4. Speaking of family, I called my sister last night. No, not Sissy, the other one, the one I haven’t been as close to.  Yes it was awkward, but over a bit of time, she warmed up and the conversation was a bit easier.   Of course, we stayed in a safe swim lane of topics – Mom, the weather, and my sister’s life. There was no inquiry of me and mine, but that’s not new,  it’s just more.   I know the effort was probably for naught, but when I listened to Mom speak longingly of her sisters, she helped me remember  that I still have two.

It doesn’t take a whole long life to realize that what we deserve to have, we rarely get.” ― Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper

5. Totally off topic, I saw this recently and cracked up. I bet you do, too:

yep!

yep!

Happy Thursday, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Life Lessons, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Random, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Random Five … Sunday

1. The sun was out yesterday – all day long.  It. Was. Glorious.   More than once, I found myself near the window, soaking up the warmth like a lizard on a lounge chair.   Ahh.

2. Today I’m off to meet our great-nephew and deliver some yummy foods to the weary parents.  TLC Chicken Spaghetti, Home-made soup, cheesy biscuits and Game Day (Heath Bar) Brownies.   This isn’t my first rodeo, and I know exactly what new parents need:  creamy, yummy, easy to warm up and a pop of chocolate at 3 a.m.  The neat thing? I’m bringing Hubbs’ Auntie with me so we will have 4 generations together and the little guy will meet his great auntie and his great-great auntie in the same day.

When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.

3.  Hubbs is headed to the golf show today with one of his best buds.  You would think they won the lotto as they are that excited.  Recently, he was awarded some extra $$ for his efforts at work and I suggested that since he did the work he should spend it on something he wants .. like golf.  Well,  it didn’t take long for golf show plans to come together.  The twinkle in his eye can be spotted from across the room. 🙂

4.  After the food delivery and the golf show delights, he & his buddy and me & buddy’s wife are meeting up for eats and greets today. NO cooking this Sunday, and that’s just fine with me.

5.  I don’t know if it’s getting older or just having a lot on my mind, but more often than not, I get the “here-afters.”  (I come into a room and wonder what I’m here after!)  Then I saw this cartoon and laughed out loud.  Yep, I can relate.  You?

a little bit too true sometimes!

a little bit too true sometimes!

Happy Sunday, peeps.

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Men, Personal, Random observations, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Left-handed oven mitts

Growing up, nonsensical comments were not encouraged. My parents were patient to a fault and it wasn’t them who critiqued and threw out the put-downs: it was older siblings and elder cousins who did that.  Opinions, if offered, better be well thought out, researched and intelligent. Or else.

Yes, I learned, early on, that open ended questions, ponderings and musings were best kept to myself.  Especially if they were on the silly or under-developed side.

Sharing thoughts openly was a sure way to get myself teased by the more worldly cousins and siblings.  Teased and labeled and branded as one thing:  s-t-u-p-i-d.

So it was with delight that I relate the exchange that took place in our kitchen  Monday night.

Back story: Youngest boy is taking college classes and working part-time at a local deli. He’s had his ups and he’s had his downs but, for the most part, he’s getting into the job and the classes and handling it all of it quite well.

So, in the midst of our crazy Saturday, came a phone call.  From him. When he should be at work.  Instantly, I went into my calm & focused Mother mode.

“Hi there. What’s that?  Why do you need that information? What do you mean you’ve had an accident?” said me.

In the smallest non-calm voice possible.

I could feel the color leave my face me as he told his Readers-Digest version.  Customers in a hurry.  Many orders. Working the slicer.  Thumb.  A lot of blood. Emergency room.

Oh geez, I thought. Visions of the worst overcame me.

But, he bounded in later that evening, with his Looney-tunes sized thumb, wrapped in layers of gauze and bandages, carrying his pain meds … and a sandwich.  Hey, the kid’s gotta eat;  we just had to smile.

As much as he tried to put us at ease, I’m not kidding when I say that thing  looks like a Halloween prop.  And changing the bandages has been daunting. Not because of the gore, but because of the pain.  His pain. That old parental adage rings true, “when they hurt, we hurt.”

Still, he’s managing and handling things in his matter-of-fact way and, somewhere in there, we have learned to let him.   Yes there’s a lot of discomfort, no there was nothing to stitch, yes there’s gonna be a doozy of a scar and no, he can’t work anytime soon.

So it is with a smile that I tell you this story and it goes as follows:

“Hey Mom, do we have any left-handed oven mitts?”

“Um .. no, flip it over.” 

“Huh, wouldja look at that!”

       *Laughter*

And with that laughter came something even better:  Relief.

Relief that he’s gonna be OK.

Relief because it could have been sooo much worse.

Relief that the only family he knows is one where it’s perfectly normal to ask about left-handed oven mitts.

The kid at 3; he's always been silly. Turns 20 next month

The kid at 3;  turns 20 next month.  Still silly.

How about you?  Can you relate?  Did your family encourage or squelch self-expression?

Categories: Attitude, Family, fear, Gratitude, Growth, Life, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 23 Comments

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