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Posts Tagged With: memories

80’s Ladies, Harrison Ford and Hurricanes

Last night, I caught the second half of an old favorite, a 1988 movie featuring newcomer Melanie Griffith in “Working Girl.”  I forgot how cute Harrison Ford was!  And I laughed while watching, remembering and relating to her, busy working hard, dressing the part, putting up with double-crossing, double-talking bosses.  “Ya wanna be taken seriously? You gotta wear serious clothes…..!”  Like this:

80’s ladies — remember those manly suits?

There’s a scene in the movie where Melanie’s character, Tess, meets Harrison Ford’s character, Jack, ~ she’s wearing a beautiful, feminine cocktail dress .. his reaction is perfection:

Jack Trainer: You’re the first woman I’ve seen at one of these things that dresses like a woman, not like a woman thinks a man would dress if he was a woman.

Tess McGill: Thank you, I guess.

I remember those suits, the padded shoulders, and the stupid bows that tied at the neck.   I remember how hot those ties were and how we thought big shoulders made our waists look smaller (like they were ever large in the first place, sheesh!)  Now, looking back, I see how we were nearly overtaken by those shoulder pads!

that’s me -(MJ) – at my bridal shower, 1992 — every one of us sporting shoulder pads!  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Today, clothes are more forgiving.  Mix & match, not much that’s matchy-matchy.   Slacks and a sweater, wrap dresses, clothes that fit and flatter.   Less is more.   Thank goodness.

That picture above was taken in Houston, where we lived for 10 years before moving to Hubbs’ home state of Michigan.   We haven’t been back but we keep in touch with friends ~ some were spared, others had heavy damage to their homes.   Having lived there, driven there, and witnessed “normal” flash floods that happen, the damage and impact of this is beyond imagination.

And there’s a reason why sometimes we have to turn off the coverage, bury ourselves in an old movie and swoon over Harrison Ford … who’s still as handsome as ever.

Hello!

        Sincere prayers of safekeeping to all affected by Hurricane Harvey!            

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Categories: Attitude, Beauty, Confidence at any age, Faith, Friendship, Gratitude, Grief, Growth, Life, Love, Men, Opinion, Personal, Romance, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Random 5 – Mom looks, phone calls, traffic, forgetting and Pearls

We’re halfway through May ~ wow!  I’ve been traveling so much that I was halfway through April when I realized my desk calendar said … March.  And wouldn’t you know that, ever since my last post, I’ve been craving Penny Candy?  🙂

I’m not here as much anymore, sorry, but I do read your posts when I can, and I think about writing. I really do.  I just … well … 10 & 12 hour work days + night meetings + copious travel and … yeah, you get it.   Something’s gotta give … and this g-a-v-e.

But a few randoms caught my attention lately and I thought “those would be great for the blog” – so here we go.   Random 5 on a .. gulp .. Wednesday.

(1)  Mother’s Day was great – relaxing – joyful.  The boys came and went, chats were had, hugs and presents were given.  Didn’t need anything fancy – just them.

… and we laughed about the power that IS “the Mom look”

( 2 )  Is it just me or has there been an uptick in anonymous calls?  Home, office and cell phone.  Hey, pal, if you can’t even announce who you are, I’m not answering.  This isn’t 1974 when no calls were ignored …!

( 3 )  My face.  In traffic.  Every day.  Except I’m dressed.

( 4 )  Did this the other day — walked around looking for my glasses which were on my head.  Geez Louise.   Have you gone to the basement and walked around wondering why you were there?  Came back up only to remember?  Gah!

( 5 )   An Auntie shared this photo recently of Dad’s mother, Grandma Pearl.  I get my naturally curly hair from her.  She was a marvelous cook ~ her pan-fried burgers with sautéed onions were to die for ~ and her baking was out of this world.  Sometimes she let me help – such a privilege!  I had the good fortune (and prior planning – wink wink) to be over for a noontime visit she’d invite me to stay for lunch with her and Grandpa and, before lunch even started (translate feast) she’d hand me a plate and ask me to go pick out baking for dessert — in the basement she had a freezer full of baked treats – gingerbread cookies, short breads, “Aunt Mary’s cookies,” home-made donuts, tarts, bars and more.  Any lucky grandchild carrying the plate could simply tip-toe down the gleaming white stairs to the baking freezer, crack open the lid and take our pick from the plethora of homemade goodness that lived there.  Setting the selections aside as we enjoyed lunch together, the treats would quickly defrost.  After lunch, Grandpa would dip spoonfuls of sugar into his coffee/cream, they’d quietly nibble their selections in the midst of  the clatter my stories must have generated.    When I see her face, I’m transported to the summers of my girlhood — pigtails, my pony tucked in the barn or a 10 speed right at the front door.  I feel again what I’d always known to be true.  Something they didn’t speak of, you had to be there to feel it.  Loved.

This picture taken in 1923 ~ 94 years ago ❤️ Pearl was 19. Her only daughter passed away on Mother’s Day ~ hard for us but a gift to her.  An Emjayandthem (C) Photo

 

What’s new in your world?  Did your Mom have “the Mom look” down?  What picture or fragrance transports you back to your Grand parents?  Do tell!

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Love, Opinion, Personal, Relationships, Self Discovery, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Church memories and penny candy

Reminiscing with Hubbs last night we laughed at the similarities of our childhoods:

  • Huge gardens & summer canning projects ~ a kitchen filled with steam
  • Church / Sunday School on Sundays through the school year
  • Vacation Bible school in the summer (plus 4-H camp for me and sports camp for him)
  • Family birthday parties with cake, coffee and a weenie roast
  • Freeze Tag, Kick-the-Can and Hide & Go Seek with cousins afterwards
  • Riding our bikes to the lake
  • And summer chores, saving our money for penny candy

Remembering my Sunday School routine, I told how our little village had a “Confectionery” downtown (1 1/2 blocks from the Church).  Because it was part of the hotel it could be open on Sundays (nothing else was) — Mom would give us  .25 cents  (two bits) with which we could buy:

  • a Pop and a bag of chips or
  • a Pop and a candy bar or
  • a little brown bag FULL of penny candy (always my choice)

Kind of like this

He and I agreed on the need to “make our candy last” – and how we’d negotiate with parents or siblings to get the best deal.    We differed on our choices, with him preferring chocolate to my licorice.

remember red hot dollars?

and licorice pipes?

We both laughed at this one:

Candy cigarettes!

The two of us could still remember the sweet, crunchy taste of a candy cigarette.  The sugar rush from a Pixie Stix.  The mess of “Fun Dip.”  He talked of hiding his Hershey bars from his brother and I did the same with my stash.  We agreed that underwear drawers were favorite hiding spots  ~ no one ventured there!

Funny how a little trip down memory lane can take you to places both sacred and sweet.

*****

*What was your favorite childhood candy?  How much did it cost?  Do you remember candy after Church, too? *

Categories: Faith, Family, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Personal, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Trips, kids and canvas tents

Hubbs and I are back from our warm-weather vacation.   All I can say is … ahh!  Blue skies, warm sun and palm trees everywhere.    Our smiles couldn’t be contained.  It. Was. Wonderful.

Just landed – so many palm trees!

The resort we stayed at was sprawling – over 300 acres – so we rented a golf-cart  –  most evenings found us cruising around the resort, stopping to park at a random beach, to take in a walk or just sit and enjoy the view.

walkway to the beach

Headed back to our villa one evening, we came upon an older couple so Hubbs slowed down to ask if they’d like a ride (we’d rented a 4-person golf cart, the smallest available).

“No thanks,” she said, “We’re just getting our exercise.”

“Damn right I’d take a ride!” he exclaimed and hopped on, cane and all.

Meet Norm and Ginny from Rochester, New York.  Seems he’d had hip surgery and they were indeed out for a walk but he’d had about enough of that.  He asked where we were from and what brought us down this way  ~ when we said it was our 25th anniversary they both cheered us on and Norm said, with a wink, “we’re married 60 years and you know what? It only gets better from here!”  Sweet people and lots of fun, too.

We soon settled into a routine – up early to sip coffee in the screened-in balcony and watch boats slip in and out of the marina.    We’d finish up leftovers from the night before and head down to our pool around 12:30 ~  many families visited and so many  were busy with littlest ones wanting their attention.  “Dad, watch me.” “Mom, watch this!” “Dad!” “Mom!”  ~ when parents would comment on our lack of littles we’d just smile and say “been there, done that.”

Truth is – watching the excitement in their kids took us right back to when our boys were small.  Going to a pool – any pool – was such a big deal — and we’d pack and carry treats, floaties, noodles, paddle boards, diving materials, goggles, etc.  Watching the little kids at this pool – how they all run – everywhere.  Even when a parent shouts “NO RUNNING” there’s that quick walk-run that all kids do, they just can’t help themselves.    The more things change the more they stay the same.

Ahh

Hubbs and I spent our time together talking, laughing and enjoying the get away.  During our conversations, we discovered a shared loved of camping when we were kids – setting up that canvas tent in the backyard and having a friend or cousin over.  The night began early but the shenanigans didn’t start until well after dark – or after parents had gone to bed.  He lived in town so his adventures including hopping fences and swimming in others’ pools ~ mine including saddling up our ponies for a midnight moonlight ride.

We both remembered the excitement of the canvas tent waning around 7:00 a.m. when temperatures inside approached 600F.  Panting and sweating we’d emerge and head to the house, surely waking parents in our quest for food.

So it was comical yesterday, during Easter dinner, when youngest boy brought up how his girlfriend wants him to go camping and he wasn’t so sure. She exclaimed, “I love camping and I think you would, too.”

I caught Hubbs’ smirk when he encouraged them by saying, “You should do it, and make sure it’s a canvas tent!”

Sunrise view from the balcony

It was wonderful to go away. It’s great to be home.   And now, we’re plotting our next adventure and no it does not involve a tent!

And how was your week?

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Home, Humor, Joy, Life, Personal, Relationships, Romance, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Random 5 (Lion) Friday

It’s Friday! It’s time for some Random thoughts ~ here we go!

1 )  March roared in like a Lion and …well she’s still roaring.  Yesterday brought freezing rain and lightning, all the same day. Today .. rain and winds.  The grass is greening and the Robins are fat… hmm.  Maybe April will come in like a lamb?

google.images

2 ) Old favorites ~ I put a tee shirt on the other day and laughed because I remember when it was new. 10 summers ago.  I still like it and still wear it but now just around the house ’cause it’s a little worse for the wear.   It’s like an old friend, comfy, soft and forgiving.  It’s from the summer we took Mom on this trip, and that’s the shirt in the picture below. Sissy and I are going again in June and Mom will be with us in spirit, clapping her hands, grinning widely and taking it all in.

One of my favorite pictures of Mom & me… having a Killian’s in Branson, MO.  Summer 2007.

Of course we saw an “Elvis” show! Tony Roi as Elvis was AMAZING!

3 ) I wrapped up 7 consecutive weeks of heavy work travel and meetings.  Yesterday we were asked to set goals for the year – one of the goals surrounds meetings & outreach.  I smiled realizing I’m halfway to the goal.  Yes!!

4 )  It’s Friday.  I can hear the birds singing and my calendar, for the most part, is wide open today.  I have a few projects to tidy up then I’ll hand the reins to another and my team – and be off on v.a.c.a.t.i.o.n.   It’s 34F here and 75F where we’re headed …and there’s not a schedule in sight. Ahhh.

photo courtesy of the Farmers Almanac.

5 )    Amazing. Yes, that’s it.   Ha!

That or glasses!

How about you? What’s the oldest piece of clothing you still wear?  What are you looking forward to?  Have you set any new goals for the year?  Have you amazed yourself lately? 🙂

Happy Spring, peeps!

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Confidence at any age, Determination, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Joy, Life, Mom, music, Relationships, Thoughts, Travel, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Quiet the mind and the soul will speak

It’s been some time since I’ve written and I’m sorry about that.  I don’t like to write just to have something to post.  I also don’t always want to talk just to talk.  Sometimes … I just need quiet.

My job is so busy right now – and while I am not complaining, it takes effort to carve time out for me.  Work is all encompassing – meetings bleed into evenings, projects spill into weekends, and boundaries shrink as more is piled on and more is expected.   Still – I accept invitations to get out the door and off to someplace new.  I don’t mind travel through poor cell coverage areas (yay quiet!) and I relish hours in the car by myself.

The world seems so loud these days ~ we still have a land line and callers tend to be Telemarketers, Automated surveys, Charities I’ve never heard of .. and older relatives.

I realized the other day that sadly I no longer have the excitement about the phone that I enjoyed as a girl.

See, at our farm, we had a party line hanging in the kitchen and when that phone rang we kids raced to answer it.  Maybe it was Grandma calling to invite us all for cake & coffee on Sunday afternoon.  It could have been Mrs. Prentice calling for an upcoming 4-H meeting I was to attend. Often, it was my cousin giving me a quick call as she saddled up her pony J. Jay and headed my way  – “meet you in the middle!” we’d yell.  Our farms sat about 2 1/2 miles apart – with fields and hills and trees in between.  We’d race up, sweaty and breathless, and ride together back to one farm or the other (or Grandma’s).  Sometimes we’d turn our faces and braids to the north and head to the river valley, talking and dreaming and laughing all the while.  Other times we’d turn south and follow the canal trails down to the lake, jumping our ponies over puddles and logs like the Equestriennes we thought we were.

the best view is from the back of a horse!

the best view is from the back of a horse!

Sometimes a phone call was an older sister’s new beau –against our giggles she’d take the phone as far as the cord would go – and away from prying ears of snoopy siblings.

telephone_yellow

That harvest yellow farm phone was our lifeline: Phones brought wonderful, happy news – “back to bed, the bus won’t start,” “your cousins are coming for two weeks after your birthday!”, “You’ve been accepted to summer camp!” “So and so’s birthday party is at the rink this year and then a sleepover for all you kids!”

Phones also brought somber news – a car accident, a diagnosis, a funeral to attend or cook for or both – and sometimes calls were on behalf yet another dumb teenager stuck at the beach and a request for Dad to come and help.

I can still recite my parents’ number and, even with Mom gone, I’ve called it since.  Her harvest yellow phone is now gone, too.

In the quiet ~ it’s the memories that remain.

****

Does the world seem noisier to you these days?  How do you manage the noise in your life? Do you still have a land line? Who calls you?

quiet-the-mind-soul-will-speak-life-quotes-sayings-pictures

 

 

 

 

Categories: Attitude, Blogging, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, Opinion, Personal, Rants, Technology, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Memories of Masterpiece

Winter has arrived in Michigan – we’re on our 3rd day of heavy snow – yesterday was swirly, twirly snow spinning down and around and to the ground.  Today snow is falling quickly, like rain. It’s cold and beautiful and slippery!

“It’s a good day for a house,” Mom used to say.   Yes indeed.

Hubbs is making omelettes and I’m wrapping presents.  Christmas tunes play on the radio.  We’re cozy, tucked in and content.

Reminiscing last night about the Christmases of our childhood, Hubbs and I laughed at how our parents always bought us board games.  Well 1), because we asked for them but 2) setting up the board and figuring out the rules kept us all occupied for hours.  In my home our dining room table often had a board game set there on a rather permanent basis – Monopoly,  Clue, Masterpiece, just to name a few.

My oldest sister was the keeper of the rules and my youngest brother was the one most likely to bend them.  Oldest brother sometimes played and sometimes he didn’t – by my middle sister and I were fierce competitors.  The real fun started when our cousins and aunts/uncles arrived.  Kids games were quickly  moved to a back bedroom as the adults took over for Cribbage, Rummy, 7 card stud and Whist.

Hubby and I remember smokey clouds above the card table and counter tops covered in nuts, treats and ingredients for various adult beverages – Caesars,  Harvey Wall-bangers and Rum/Rye and Coke.  Nobody over did it, Bing and Dean played on the record player and sometimes they danced.  Ladies wore dresses and pearls, slingback heels and peep toe shoes.  Gentlemen sported dress slacks and buttoned-down shirts, jackets and sometimes a tie or a sweater.   I remember Dad grinning as he took Mom for a twirl around the kitchen before guests arrived – I watched in my Church dress and white tights.  Those moments stay close even though they’re both gone.

Coca-Cola was a hot commodity, too – that was a treat we rarely got.  At Christmas time Dad would buy a few cases of pop to keep in the basement (ever cold) and if we were good – and only IF – we might get to split a glass of pop with a sister or cousin.  Ooh what a treat.

Sipping on a glass of Ginger Ale, stealing Aunt Irene’s famous peanut-butter balls and winning at Masterpiece  — now that’s a Christmas vacation I can only dream about today.

parker_brothers_masterpiece_auction_art_game_board_box_lid

Forgery!! – A favorite from my childhood

**When you think back to Christmases of your childhood – what comes to mind?  Did you play board games or card games in your family?Which ones? What tastes and smells take you back to the Christmases of your dreams?

 

 

 

Categories: Family, Fun, Gratitude, Holidays, Joy, Life, music, Personal, Random, Relationships, Romance, Seasons, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 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

Goofballs & Billy Boy

*originally posted October 29, 2011

Halloween parties meant a costume parade through the entire school! (My grade school ~ An Emjayandthem (C) photo)

When I was a little girl, Halloween was a very exciting time. We had a class  party and costume parade to look forward to, yummy treats to enjoy, games to play and of course …“Trick or Treating.”

Living on a farm eight miles from town, “Trick or Treating” involved 2 absolutes: cold weather and a car.  Mom and Aunt Irene helped us make our costumes and we often recycle pieces of from older costumes into something new. After supper, we’d pile into one of their cars and head out for the night.  This involved a total of five – count ‘em – five farms to visit:  The Lee home (neighbors), Uncle Harley & Aunt Maxine’s, Grandma and Grandpa’s, Aunt Irene & Uncle Jarl’s and ours.   So, depending on who was driving, we’d start at one and end at the others with three stops in between.   It was expected that we’d “sing for our supper” – sing a song, tell a joke or do something entertaining. Our song of choice was always, “Billy Boy” (Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy boy .. Oh where have you been, charming Billy..) because 1) we knew the words, 2) they knew the words and 3) it always seemed to bring the best results.

I still love Halloween! Me & the Hubbs had a lot of fun with this costume.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Bear in mind that very few treats were “boughten” at that time – most offered us a home-made treat.  ((and trust me, this was the good stuff!!))   Norma and Roy Lee always gave us pop – our choice – orange or root beer – and a small bag of home-made cookies or fudge. Yum!  Aunt Irene was known for her caramel apples; Granny Smiths smothered in a thick layer of buttery rich caramel… mmm.  Aunt Maxine was crafty and loved to carve massive jack-o-lanterns to delight us… and her chocolate fudge was delicious as well.   Grandma made each of us our very own candy bag filled to the top with home-made popcorn balls and cookies mixed in with a few store bought treats – black licorice, toffee, and Old Dutch potato chips.  Smiling shyly, Grandpa always slipped in a can of pop and two bits (a quarter) and we felt oh so rich.  Our pillowcases were filled with to the brim with treats and good wishes.  After much admiration of the genius of our costumes and our profound musical talents, off we’d go to the next farm, darting through the biting October wind, wondering at the sky and trying to spot the witches we just knew were flying around.

At the end of the night, we’d get back home and marvel at the abundance of treats .. but it was always those home-made delights we fought over most.

I remember Mom making us “Goofballs” and I think I’ll make some for my grand-kids today :).

GoofBalls

Goofball image courtesy of theartofmakingthings.tumblr.com

1 pkg. Kraft caramels
1 can Eagle brand milk
1/2 lb. butter
1 box Rice Krispies
1 bag large marshmallows

Unwrap the caramels and place into a heavy saucepan.  Add the Eagle brand milk and the butter and stir until the caramels are melted and a sauce is formed. Remove from heat.

Stick 1 toothpick into a large marshmallow and dip it into the sauce carefully.  Immediately roll the caramel covered marshmallow in Rice Krispies. Set on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet to cool (remove toothpick).    These travel great and kids (and adults) gobble them up!

And .. sing something, will ya?

Happy Halloween!!

Categories: Attitude, Family, fear, Food, Fun, halloween, Holidays, Home, Joy, Life, Mom, Personal, Thoughts, Traditions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Flipping back

clock_70s_flipClick-Click-Click.  That’s the sound my 70’s clock radio made, with the numbers that ‘rolled’ down from above. Do you remember?

Starry summer nights, a Canadian farm girl fine-tuning her radio to bring in American radio stations late, late at night.  Straining to hear “those crazy accents” from faraway-to-me places.  KFAB in Omaha, Nebraska, coming in clearly with a voice I’d learned to recognize: Sally-Jesse Raphael, long before she was on TV, hosting an advice/talk show.   Lonely farmers, wives with money problems, young lovers separated by difficult circumstances.  Our house was quiet and I found myself leaning in for their stories – carried through the air and across international borders – and wondering at the faces of the folks calling in.

Driving today, a song came on the radio, and it took me back to that time in my life.

“Hello?  How are you?” right at :27.   Haunting.

Singing along I looked down at all my “new” technology, Smartphone, GPS and MP3 player, and laughed. Then I cranked up the tunes and sang all the way to my meetings, remembering the summers of my youth, and a time when adventures could be as simple as imagining just who was on the other end of the line.

 

Do you remember the click-click-click of a clock radio? Did the numbers roll down or stay lit?  What faraway radio stations were you able to tune in?

 

 

Categories: Fun, Life, music, Personal, Technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Random 5 Sunday – Coyotes, silence and Carpe Diem

It’s Sunday and I’m still in a bit of a fog after being “away” on vacation.  I went home to the family farm in Saskatchewan – to visit Mom, attend a wedding, and catch up with family.  Here are my random 5 thoughts from this past 10 days:

1. Lessons. Other travelers sure were chatty.  On 3 out of 4 flights I had someone older sit next to me and once they learned what I was up to every single one spoke longingly of their departed family members.  Some had a parent or sibling remaining, others had none.  It was not lost on me, as the youngest of 5, that time marches on and there will come a day when I don’t have them anymore.  Coincidences are just His way of remaining anonymous.

2. Time.  I found myself wide awake before 5:00 a.m. most days (that’s 7:00 a.m. in MI) and outside soon there-after. Hitting my 5 mile daily walking goal was a breeze. Most days I walked 6 miles before 9:30!  That time gave me the opportunity to visit with my brother & sister-in-law, chill with the farm dog & kitties, and drink in the intoxicating fragrance of freshly cut hay.  Ahhh.

Stevie the dog and the road to home.  An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Stevie the dog and the road to home. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

3.  Silence.  I hadn’t realized it until I was there but opportunities for meandering conversations with Mom don’t happen as frequently as they used to.  She doesn’t hear as well now and it frustrates her to miss out on things.  And as busy and restless as I tend to be, it was challenging to sit in the stillness with her.  But I’m glad I did because opportunities still came.   Case in point:  The day we left for the wedding city, a 2+ hour drive, I could feel her anxiety and sensed she might pull the pin on our plans.  It took several hours for me to get everything loaded up and once I had her buckled in I asked, “You ready, Thelma?”  Her response? “Let’s do it, Louise!” That – and a fist bump from my 85-year-old Mom – and we were off.   Traversing roads she hadn’t traveled for years I laughed when she chatted and commented the whole way there.  She told me, more than once, that she never could have gone without my help and thanked me time and again for making it so much fun. Priceless!

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride.  An Emjayandthem(C) photo

Me, Mom and my Sissy, Mother of the Bride. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

4.  Milestones.  We had fun at the wedding but, as we suspected might happen, the excitement and schedule left her a bit weary.  Plans to go out for a birthday supper were changed to a gathering at home instead.  She got into her comfy chair, surrounded by kids and grands, and smiled all afternoon. We enjoyed take-out Chinese food and my sister’s delicious home-made chocolate cake with Opal’s Caramel Frosting .    Between the pictures taken and the smiles shared we all felt a pinch wondering how many more times we’d get moments like this. Not one to dwell on such seriousness, she polished off her Caesar (aka Bloody Mary) and asked that we move outside — it was too hot in the house and she wanted to visit where it was cooler.  In the dusk of twilight, we listened to the yips and yelps of nearby coyotes and Mom had her own “Carpe Diem” moment right there.

Mom's 85th 2015

Mom’s comment: “I’m glad there are 2 big candles instead of 85 small ones!!” An Emjayandthem (C) photo.

5. Appreciation.  Being away from Hubbs made me appreciate him even more. How I missed our daily conversations and comments and humor.  How I missed being able to chat with my boys and get regular updates on their lives. I looked around my childhood bedroom and laughed to myself that the same types of things “saved” there are “saved” in my MI home.  I am my mother’s daughter in a very big way! My first morning back in MI youngest boy commented that he’d always known I did a lot (around here) but he didn’t know how much until he had to do it.  “All I did was clean and tidy up and take care of things and water your plants and look after the pool and … wow you do a lot!”  So as much as I love going away, hey, it’s good to be back home again.

 

*I’ve missed all my blogging friends and am way behind on reading your posts. I’ll catch up as soon as I can – in the meantime – how’s your week been?

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Faith, Family, Fun, Growth, Home, Life, Mom, music, Personal, Relationships, Seasons, Self Discovery, Thoughts, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The desire to be whole again

Next week I’m stepping away from all that is my world and returning to my childhood home: the farm I grew up on in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. The farm-house where I lived from birth till 19.  The yard where I played and coulees where all our adventures were carried out.  Mom’s still there, my brother and his wife are just across the way and sissy is up the hill.  Cows, farm dogs, wind, a wide open sky and conversations that meander in and out and go on forever.

an Aerial view of the family farm .. an Emjayandthem(C) photo

an aerial view of the family farm .. House and Homestead top left, barns and corrals lower right. An Emjayandthem(C) photo

A family wedding is the cause for celebration and I’ll be Mom’s date!   She with her Oxygen and a twinkle in her eye.  I teased her that we’ll “Thelma & Louise-it,” without the driving off the cliff part.  She snorted.  But when I told her that if we see Brad Pitt hitch-hiking I’m pulling over, she laughed out loud.  God, I love her.

themaand louise

Up to no good. Google.images.com

To say things there are familiar would be an understatement. The truth is, time has a way of standing still in your childhood home. And it’s comforting to know that some things still remain.

The kitchen radio, on from sun up to sundown, with farm reports and cattle prices, corny jokes and auction announcements.

The bedspread from the Sears catalogue, the same one that’s been on my bed since I was in college.  Cheery and clean, waiting for me.

Mixing bowls nestled where they’ve always been, tin foil in the 2nd drawer, and a toaster you have to jiggle the cord for.  A big can of coffee sits on the floor near the fridge, just under that east window.  Ivory soap in the dish by the sink, the same one where Dad stood as he cleaned up at night.  I swear I can still see him standing there sometimes.

... Dad's

… Dad’s “shop” .. where I still expect to hear him whistling … An Emjayandthem (C) photo

Books in bookshelves, pictures on walls, throw pillows arranged just so.

And at night?

Quiet.  Dark.  No streetlights, no cars rushing by, nothing.  Just quiet.

Big deep skies with stars that go on forever and, if I’m lucky, the Northern lights will visit me, too.

image from canada-maps.org

image from canada-maps.org

In the morning, I’ll be up with the birds and outside as daylight arrives.  I’ll visit the cows and play with the kitties, feel the wind blowing, and the farm dog will tag along with me.  My soul will sing and my smiles will not be contained.

Laddy and Stevie... family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

Laddy and Stevie… family farm; an Emjayandthem photo (C)

I know things have changed, she’s had some setbacks, but her spirit is as strong as ever. She’s loyal as ever to her Riders football team, debates the news, and is a voracious reader. Talking about my visit and our plans, she said with such longing,  “It’s going to go by so fast.”

me & mom MD 2014

Me & Mom, Mothers Day 2014. An Emjayandthem (C) photo

I know.

I know.

That’s why I already feel the pinch because to stop everything and spend eight days together, every day, every meal, every night, and roll in those moments when it’s just the two of us, let me tell you what: I love it.  I love that we get to laugh and talk and tell stories and secrets and be girlfriends for a while.  Yes I’ll get out of her hair and take a walk and stretch my legs and when I come back in there she’ll be .. waiting for me.  Bright eyed. Ready to pick up right where we left off.

And I’ll thank God for the opportunity to love the life I have but still be so very lucky that I can touch wood, kiss her face and feel whole again.

“The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.”  ― Rebecca Solnit

 

Can you go back to your childhood home?  What’s the experience like for you?  Have you ever spent an entire week just hanging out with one of your parents? If not, I recommend it ~ you might be amazed what you’ll learn!

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Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, Friendship, Fun, Gratitude, Growth, Home, Joy, Life, Opinion, Personal, Quotes, Thoughts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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