Finding Peace In The Chaos

May 5, 2021 at 12:22 am (Uncategorized) ()

I think life changed for everyone last year. Today, we are still struggling as a Nation to begin to start feeling normal again. The Pandemic came out of nowhere and sometimes seems like it isn’t going to end anytime soon. Through the chaos, I have seen communities rally together checking on our elderly and vulnerable, running errands for the shutins, trying not to hoard toilet paper products, started to realize what is really important in our lives. 

Families lives were turned upside down overnight. Parents became teachers, parents, counselor’s, sheltering at home, mask wearing, Face timing family and friends. Birthday parties, holiday travel, social distancing became the new normal. Graduation ceremonies changed and so did the Prom- last year sucked for so many. Many people lost jobs or were temporarily laid off from work, many could work from home, Super Markets started non contact delivery and curbside pick-up on groceries, take-out or curbside only in fast food, big box stores still have curbside pick-up, because of  the pandemic, many chain stores closed dressing room to customers.

We as a Nation, survived so much last year and still here we are. Our lives were forever changed in a way no one saw coming. We adapted to changes in our homes, the way we shop, entertain, talk to family and friends. We have learned how to find peace within the chaos. Mental health awareness is being promoted, being recognized and being treated. Having to shelter-at-home is not ideal for everyone. Neighbors checked in and brought food and comfort to those in need, there is so much not being taken for granted anymore since this pandemic hit. We continue to thrive through this, find new meaning to happiness, carving family time, taking time to smell the roses. 

 

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On The Outside Looking In

April 27, 2021 at 11:12 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , )

 Have you ever wanted to change places with someone? Just for one day- Maybe this person is a well known Author, College  Professor, Football hero. Sometimes it is hard to believe they are just ordinary people who are thrust into the spotlight everyday. I couldn’t imagine feeling like you are living in a fish bowel; Having a bad hair day and you don’t care, the cover of this magazine did, joking around with friends getting loud and the event get misinterpreted as a fight gone wrong. 

I had a chance few years ago to be an extra on a TV show being filmed in my area. My young son tried to encourage me to be an extra. His exact words to me were” Mom, I want to take the job on Tv, I want to watch you Sunday night go to school on Monday and tell me friends my mom is on television what does your mom do?” I don’t think I laughed harder at his comment. But something in me was scared and I never went down with my friends to try out. I enjoyed watching the program when it aired seeing my good friends in a scene at the local park made me smile. Sometimes I feel afraid of failing and I just stand back and miss my opportunity to try a new adventure. Actors make acting  look so easy. 

It is easy to forget the long road it took to get where they are today. It took not only hard work, dedication to the chosen profession, many actors were unknowns for years before the big break. I don’t know how they had the determination to keep going to auditions and getting rejected. Some actors has tattoos when it was unpopular so they were not taken serious for the part. It is amazing the amount of work that goes into making a movie or filming before a live audience. ( It takes a week to film your favorite comedy). Production, post- production, locations for the daily shooting. Let’s not forget the lines need to be remembered. It would also be difficult at the end of the day, being recognized and being asked for a picture or an autograph.

I think I will keep my quiet life in my hometown filled with good friends I can count on to be there for me. Even though the area is constantly growing, I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Looking out my picture window and seeing the mountains, deer grazing in neighborhoods, seeing wild turkey, moose hanging out on the front lawn in the sun, hearing the birds chirping in the early morning. They are simple pleasures that bring a smile to my face. I love living in a four-season climate. I have gotten used to spring and summer, keeping my grass cut and watered, planting flowers, deadheading and cutting back the dead growth on the plants. 

I think everyone fantasizes what the other person life is like and would like to trade places for the day. May you always remember what is important in your life, happiness is not something you should strive for, today isn’t forever, make each day count, find something everyday you are thankful for, even if it isn’t raining today. Tomorrow is not promised so let your loved ones know how much you love them, you are glad they are in your life, and take lot’s of pictures, enjoy making s’mores a little more often kids do grow up fast.

 

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Keep Moving Forward

April 22, 2021 at 7:07 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Uncategorized) (, , )

This past year has really been a hard year for everyone. Sheltering in place, mask mandates, social distancing, no toilet paper, empty grocery shelves. Our normal way of life had been turned upside down it seemed. But, we have made it thus far and we will keep moving forward. A year later, mask mandates are being lifted, we can socially gather again, movie theaters are opening back up, and we can host get togethers again. So much has changed in our way of life, but we as communities are making this happen.

I live in a small home town we didn’t experience as many set backs as the bigger cities. We did have local eateries serve curbside or delivery only for awhile, but now the inside seating is starting to open up again.  The local Library is open again( good news for book lovers ) building is in high gear here, schools are Monday- Friday again, sports are being played after school, life getting back to normal.

I am getting ready to spend time in my backyard again. I have spent a year at home not going anywhere and so many plans cancelled  including church, I am looking forward to seeing friends and catching up over coffee. A friend helped me haul dirt into my backyard and filled the holes from old trees removed, my extended patio is being stained, finishing up the Adirondack chairs being stained and added around the fire pit. My shade trees that were planted three years ago are thriving and look amazing. The place is looking nice. 

I went through a period of time where I didn’t care about anything; getting my bathroom refreshed, adding a new bedspread to the master, finally getting the much needed new computer, taking a class, trying new recipes. Working and caring for my aging mom took it’s toll on me. I cannot explain it but something inside me lit up with excitement and I cannot wait to take the writing class and finish off those forgotten projects. Home is supposed to be your sanctuary and for some, it became a prison. I was still able to go to work each day being an essential worker, helped mom after work then home until the next shift. I was so used to the schedule, it was hard to move forward to a fresh start. 

I am looking forward to what the future holds. I hope we can gather as families over the holidays this year, see our loved ones in nursing homes, hug our grandbabies, people are starting to fly again, soon I bet you can go to a concert again or see a good play. I feel like this is our spring… meaning like a bloom pops up in the spring sunshine, we are also. We are not entirely there yet, but we are making strides towards the goal. I think everyone needs to give a big hand to us for making it this far.

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How time Flies

April 16, 2021 at 8:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

  I remember a few short years ago going to my mom’s house for dinner, then retiring to the living room with our coffee where she would reminisce about her childhood. She told me her parents bought a little one bedroom house where three kids and two adults lived. She told me about the air strikes and you kept the lights off when the planes flew over, How every Sunday grandma didn’t know how many to expect for chicken dinner, family would pick up her grandfather who was a waiter at a fancy restaurant. Mom remembers going outside with her Uncle Burt and plucking the chickens for the dinner. When company stayed over, mom gave up her room for her Aunt ,so my mom and Uncle Burt slept outside by the big oak tree. 

My mom lived on a farm with chickens, horses with a big garden (they were pretty self sufficient). My grandmother never held a job, instead she was a home maker my grandad worked as a baker, when he developed bakers asthma, he started his own tile business where he set the tile for all the celebrities’ in Beverly Hills. It is amazing he accomplished as much as he did with a third grade education. My mom said both of her parents were exceptional pie bakers. What beautiful memories of a time of hardships, fear of the enemy flying overhead, food rationings, and Rosie The Riveter posters to get woman to come to factory work. 

I love to hear about the time mom bough John Wayne’s horse Honey. She used to ride her over to the Iverson ranch Movie Company. She let Honey eat while she watched her hero Hop Along Cassidy film the TV Show. My mom also went to school with Natalie Wood; She would come ride horses with my mom. Because the actress was coming over, mom made my grandad buy a new saddle for her to ride on. I think my mom had many happy childhood memories to look back on through the years. Mom’s family lived next door to the famous Stage Coach Inn. In fact, my mom and grandad were in a scene of a movie standing in the front yard while the movie was being filmed. 

Kids today are missing out on great conversations, old photographs, stories of relatives never met but has a colorful past. Some of the jobs Aunts and Uncles has had, journals not read in years, the good old days gone by, what life was like as a child then. Can you imagine a time when electronics were not even used yet? Kids had chores to do, many never attended school past the fourth grade because they were needed on the farm. Many remember filling green stamp books for merchandise, sugar and salt and gasoline being rationed, Uncle Sam needing you, setting around the radio to hear your favorite program, dirt roads, life was hard, but families leaned on each other and made it through the tough times together.

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Moving Forward

April 7, 2021 at 12:01 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

This week our schools are in-person learning five days a week. Maybe we can keep our kids in class for the rest of the school year. I have many friends who are glad the school is opened back up. Some are wondering if the students will get a graduation this year or the prom. it was a shame last year due to the pandemic so many students missed out on the important social functions of graduation. 

In my home town life seems to be getting back to normal. traffic is a mess again, impatient customers at the grocery store, fast food places, standing in line at the bank or drive thru. With warmer sunny days people drive like maniacs. I feel sorry for the elder drivers, the ones who doesn’t have the fast reflexes (that drive top speed of 20 miles per hour) they will get run over. It seems like everyone is in a hurry these days, everywhere you go is crowded again. This is what happens when you live in a desired location. 

When I am heading to work early, I enjoy taking my time driving, enjoying seeing the wildlife, the beautiful fountains as you leave town, coffee houses just opening up and the first patron coming in,. The town has grown so much with apartment buildings; it is hard to see the haunted house being torn down or old homes being replaced with three story town houses. The old mill has now been torn down and water view condos being  put up. Pretty soon all outline areas will all be connected. Life is changing here, new faces, still a friendly town where your groceries will still be taken to your car for you, friends still meet for coffee in the morning, Saturday morning the falls Restaurant is still serving breakfast to the old timers.

I still love my hometown even though so much has changed over the years. I have made some lasting friendships , I live in a great neighborhood, can see the mountains from my front porch, excited my local Library is open again, my late husband and I bought our forever home and I have made it my own, I have a job in health care that I love, my idea of a nice afternoon is going for a scenic drive around one of the many lakes in the area, running errands with one of my girlfriends, BBQ weather is around the corner, visiting the local Museum, taking a walk around the Post falls damn, we really do live in a fine resort area with so many outdoor activities.

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Another Month Gone

March 31, 2021 at 3:00 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

We are at the end of another Month already. As I Pastor would say “time flies when you are unconscious”. The older I get, the faster seems like it is passing me by. A couple of months ago, I was looking forward to fall and winter. I love taking walks smelling the fall crisp air, taking long drives and seeing the colors of the changing leaves, apple cider time, gathering with friends in the back yard around the fire pit. I love pumpkin spice everything, warm casseroles just out of the oven, and the holidays around the corner. Even with the social distancing, masking up, limit celebrations to your family, the holidays just didn’t feel the same this year.

Most of my family have moved away now so holidays are spent with my mom. I usually work that day, so we have a late lunch together. Sometimes conversations are difficult when she cannot make up her mind. first when we started talking about Easter dinner. She wanted ham, then she wanted ribs, then she thought we were having salmon for dinner. Before I left, she reminded me to buy the ribs for Sunday dinner. You chuckle at the conversation, but realize her mind is slowing down. So I will be buying the hamribsalmon for our dinner with the sides consisting of smashed potato’s and gravy, asparagus, and a blackberry cobbler for our desert.

I remember a time when mom and dad had the holiday parties. Friends and family came over in the afternoon and stayed until the wee hours of the morning. We played games, the young adults went sledding being pulled around with my dad’s Willies jeep. Even after my dad passed away, mom would host the gatherings for birthdays or holidays. it is interesting how just a few short years life can change forever. friends and family move away, you lose your dad and husband and son, you adjust to the new normal in your life. Though the holidays are quiet now, I still try and make them special for mom.

The last year has been forever life changing for everybody. We had to shelter in place, wear a mask, some people couldn’t go to work, family dynamics changed, TV commercials were helpful in finding ways to stay at home with the family, kids baked with the parents, made forts in the attic space for a playroom, camping outside in the backyard, creating a vacation destination in your own home. The new commercial are promoting the next vacation destination being an evening spent in the backyard. Outdoor kitchen, swimming pool, basketball court, setting around the firepit roasting marshmallows. What a great way to make lasting memories.

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Spring/ Winter

March 23, 2021 at 1:48 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

Life in North Idaho this week.

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The Good Old days

March 16, 2021 at 8:37 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

I was talking with a dear friend the other day about my memories of growing up on the ranch. My friend remembered driving past our house and seeing the horses in the coral, the chickens roaming around the yard, our dog Princess playing fetch with my brother. She also remembered when my dad built a shelter for my horse in the coral, he had to take it down(something about not up to code). I just remember how mad he was. My friend and I had a great conversation and how she wished she could have lived in my house instead of in town.

I had a lot of good memories living five miles from town, no neighbors around, plenty of chores to keep us busy after school, buying hay for my horse out of my babysitting money, getting up  early on a school day to feed and water the animals, cleaning out the animal pens, holding the new baby bunnies, out of nowhere, momma hen came out from under the barn with her new baby chicks peeping. Lawn mowing was easy, put the horses out to graze the afternoon. Living here was an experience I will never forget. Chores and caring for the animals taught my brother and I responsibility, hard work ethics(ever helped put hay into the barn?)

My family lived in an old caretakers house on a sharp corner that the speed limit meant what is posted. There were so many accidents on the corner because of the sharp hairpin turn. Across the street was a field that the farmers would graze the cows. Our horse would call to the cows because she went on the roundups. She really wanted to go and round up the herd. My dad lead the rabbit group in 4-H club; in our living room was a huge pool table where my dad taught the kids how to show the rabbits for the fair. Feeding time for the animals was great. The dogs, cats and chickens as well as the occasional deer would all eat soaked up Purina dog chow together.

I had a pretty good childhood growing up. I was given the opportunity to experience life on a ranch, being part of 4-H, every weekend having relatives over for dinner and riding the horses. Opening day of hunting sometimes mom had 50 people in her driveway for the day(dinner consisted of BBQ beef sandwiches and coleslaw.) I am glad my girlfriend commented on what was left of our house for the longest time. the Fire Department used our house as a trainning exercise and burned it to the ground. well, the all rock fireplace stood standing. Now the property is a Rite Aide store and a daycare center.

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Off To A Good start

March 12, 2021 at 6:53 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

This morning started out like most mornings; Made myself some coffee, checking my e-mails, getting ready to head to work this afternoon. Morning was off to a good start….

My mom called panicking that reminding me she has an appointment Tuesday morning. I told her I am handling her ride for her since she needs a special needs bus. I headed over to my neighbors house to see if she could help me with an Uber ride for her with no luck. I tried another number to find they are booked on this day. feeling defeated, I went home only to find I had locked myself out of my house. I went back to the neighbor and asked for some assistance. Laughing, my neighbor brought his ladder over and I climbed in my bathroom window.

After calming down some, I can see the humor in this morning. I still need to find my mom a ride, but I was able to get into my house without having the expense of calling the local locksmith for help. I guess I can still look at my glass as being half-full because even though it is a chilly morning, it is sunny outside, with beautiful blue skies. As I am writing this post, I am getting a couple more options to try before I give up.

I call today a growth experience. We all face circumstances we would rather not have to deal with, but we power through them and in the end, we are glad we had the opportunity to get our trial behind us. This is a new reality for me that my mom is declining in her health and I have to make other arrangements to make sure she can get to her appointments on time. I tend to be one who stresses out when things aren’t going according to plan. I feel like there is a crunch time to get things done. I have faith that circumstances will work out after all and the banking will get done on way or another.

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Don’t look Too Close

March 8, 2021 at 12:55 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I am setting here figuring out a fun topic to write about on this very dreary, rainy Sunday afternoon. I start to chuckle because of something I read a long time ago that still applies to today. I found a cartoon that depicts a family scrambling to “hide” everything in sight because company is on the way.

I can relate to this cartoon. I have had clutter in my office, behind chairs in the guest bedroom/ dressing room, behind my fan chair in my room. Clutter that I did not really care about until—– a dear friend is coming over to see my new updated bathroom. it is amazing how fast you can clean out an office of unsightly paperwork, a new computer box to throw away, hanging your clothes up in the closet, shoes go where they belong, and you even find time to dust and vacuum before the guest arrives.

I am like many who have been told that people don’t come to see the house, they come to see you. I am guilty of keeping my uniforms on the bed neatly folded to wear that week, and maybe a couple outfits setting on the bed maybe to wear tomorrow. ( on the floor of my office, I have three pairs of shoes neatly displayed). Sometimes, I just do not feel like picking up my messes. due to the pandemic, I have run the few errands for the day and came home. I also am busy caring for my mom who is disabled now.  I try to blog twice a week and now is the start of spring cleaning.

I try and find something to be thankful for everyday. Even if the sky is blue today when the weather called for snow. I walk out my front door and see the forest, I live two blocks from the bay where there are walking trails, you can see ducks in the cove. My hometown has been a great place to raise my family with memories of the family gatherings, being pulled around the snow behind my dad’s old jeep, birthdays, holiday get togethers. I cannot imagine my life not living here.

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