A Special day Indeed!

December 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Yesterday, I went on a drive with one of my son Levi’s best friends. It all started on Christmas day when Mike called to wish me A Merry christmas. As we were talking, I asked him if he had plans for the following Wednesday.  We were planning to go out looking at the eagles. This is a record year for them. They gathered in the same location for years.

Wednesday morning, I was feeling really blue because it was Levi’s birthday. He turned 31. Hey, I realize he was having a blow out time celebrating his special day with the angels and his dad; I on the other hand needed some encouragement to get into the shower. I decided to freshen up the color on my hair maybe this would boost my mood. it did for five minutes until I realized just how long overdue I was for a smirk trim(not). So, I went down to the beauty shop where magic is worked and came out looking respectable again.

Mike took me the back roads to somewhere unknown. Along the way,we spotted a herd of elk lying down in the field. When Mike took pictures, it was funny to see thirty ears perked and thirty or more sets of eyes just staring at you. We laughed and continued along our day trip. We ended up in a quaint small town in the mountains. Snow began falling softly as we made our way to a favorite Irish Pub for lunch. We had the best chicken sandwich with criss-cross cut fries topped with Gorgonzola cheese. We celebrated my son with great stories,a good lunch, a beautiful drive in the snowy mountains,and we both commented Levi is smiling down from heaven on enjoying our day with us. He would be glad we both were remembering him in a special way.

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I Light A candle In Memory

December 21, 2017 at 7:31 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

 

 

I light this candle in honor of all of those who have lost  loved on this season. I know how hard this time of year can be. With last-minute shopping to do, getting ready for the big holiday meal, finding the time to clean your house for guests, hoping you didn’t forget someone was coming after all, it can be a stressful time.

A few years ago, I went to a candle light memorial service in honor of my son Levi who had died in a tragic car accident in 2007. He was only 20. I was scared to go for the first time because I didn’t want to sit alone, fearful the pain would overflow in me during the service. I put on my brave face and warm coat and scarf as it was snowing that evening. I went inside the building and found the most warm reception. I went in to sit down and saw two familiar faces I didn’t know their mother had passed away. I was invited to sit with them. I was glad I had went not only to honor my son, but I had friends to share my time of sorrow with. We were each given a beautiful cream-colored bird ornament to take home.

I will always remember the message the Chaplin had given that evening. I realized you don’t have to celebrate every tradition. If you do not want the big tree this year, choose a smaller one, you don’t have to deck every inch of your home this year, you can be an absentee participant in your many committees, take time for yourself this holiday season it is easy to become overwhelmed and remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. the holidays are a great time to reconnect with good friends to help out.  Instead of preparing all the meal this year, have a more casual dinner or ask other guests to bring a dish to share. Tensions may be high because of your loss, people do not know what to say to you. Encourage them to share a fond story about your loved one after dinner; If they had a favorite dessert, this is a nice way to celebrate the awesome person you are remembering.

For many this is a hard time of year indeed.  I know it is easy to hibernate and wish christmas to be over. I know I have so many wonderful friends who really love me and care about me.  I went looking at holiday light displays in an upscale neighborhoods beautiful. They community decorates with red-lit trees in the front yard. I even sneaked in a christmas party in one beautiful mansion on the hill. I started buying for the tree of sharing after my son died. This way I could buy a teenager gifts he could enjoy. My mom and I celebrate a quiet christmas. Most of our family moved to florida a few years ago. Mom has a couple of people who visit her several times a week and I have dinner with her so she is not lonely. I think that is the key, don’t isolate yourself because you feel sad. Have a girlfriend over for dinner and your favorite movie. have a family game night where one person chooses the game for that week; keep active and connected. This is a truly a wonderful time of year. Wheather you live in the City or a small town, there are so much to see and do. Many communities hold a Winter festival. I love seeing the ice carvings and seeing old friends bundled up to keep warm on these chilly evenings.

Merry christmas and have an awesome New years.

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A Special Evening

December 16, 2017 at 4:33 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

Last night, I went to a Christmas party hosted by two of the most gracious people I know. They live in an exclusive neighborhood in my home town. I love to hear Rosie tell her love story. We all laughed because she lived across the golf course from her soon to be groom. He was building his new home and met her at a Christmas party at the Country Club.Within four months, he proposed to her and the rest is beautiful history.

I have been attending a womans group for twenty plus years now. My husband died from complications from diabetes when our son as three years old. Our lives were changed forever over night. I had my church family who were a great comfort to my son and I first met Rosie at her book store while shopping one day. I remember how warm and friendly she was and has a beautiful smile. She invited me to her home that evening. I started going to her home once a month for a womans time of fellowship. Being a single parent, I sometimes felt over whelmed with my pre teen son.  I knew if I had trouble, second moms were always there to listen or give a hug if needed. I felt safe in the company of woman. I really appreciated the fact we all had something to give to each other in our little group of friends. When my son became a tween, we could laugh and share our war stories of parenting.

Back to the Christmas party. The home was decorated so beautifully with white lights and red ornaments. The host is a gourmet cook so we had delicious assortment of baked goods and snacks. Rosie is always the gracious hostess someone new comes. She is an Author, recorded the Psalms to music, wrote three cook books. She gives them away to bless others.  Everyone leaves with more than just a hug from her. I love the block they live on has red lighted trees displayed on the lawns.  While driving to their home, I put on my favorite holiday music and drove around looking at all the big homes lit up. I was surprised by the dim street lamps. I was going to late to my party got turned around by a few streets. All hope was not lost as I found the house at last. I was the scond one there. Worried for nothing.

I  needed to love of some dear friends last night. everyone at work is sick or getting over being sick. No one has any energy or wants to celebrate the holiday. If a sweet co worker had not put up the tree for us and decorated it, we probably would not have one this year. Our party is this Sunday…. I still need to get my supplies bought and put together for the festive day. I look forward to seeing everyone together with the kids. I like the group of people I work with. They are fun to be with, we help each other at the end of our shift, we do our paper work together and have great conversations and coffee together. If everyone can stay healthy long enough that is.

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Beautifully Decorated

December 8, 2017 at 9:48 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas yet without snow. I know, so many are cheering to the snowy gods that we do not have any this year. For others, it is hard to get into the season. I put on my music, decorated my house in simple Victorian elegance plan for my annual Christmas get together with my dear friend. She is the inspiration for my home looking so festive the past few years. K can take what you already have and working her magic, turns your everyday house into something  fabulous. ( Every year I have her come over and “play” for the afternoon. She loves putting together my Victorian Village). This year, I decided to put the village together myself. I did not realize there are a million ways to set up your display.I probably used every one of them. I did figured out a way not to compete with my K. After about an hour of (playing) with my village, I decide to accept the way it looks and not look at the display too often.

A couple of nights ago, I decided to look at the most beautifully decorated mansions in my area. I bought my annual gingerbread Starbuck’s Latte and drove up to The Highlands. I love touring this exclusive community any time of the year. It looks like a miniature Beverly Hills. My dear friend helps install red christmas lighted trees on the neighborhood lawns. With so many styles of homes on the hill, the trees fit into most of the decorations. Some homes are decorated with a winter wonderland theme. I was listening to trans Siberian orchestra, enjoying my evening. towards another favorite neighborhood. The streets look like a Thomas Kincaid painting year round. My friend has an eye for making her home shine for the holidays. She owns a beautiful Victorian home with Mr. and Mrs. Claus greeting you on the front porch. Other homes are over looking the river and look like a Chalet in Aspen.

As a child, my dad always liked looking at lights after exchanging gifts at my Uncles home. Reseda was a nice area and I remeber most homes held a contest on who had the best one. Back then, people did not go overboard like now. Even a strand of multi-colored old fashioned bulbs around the outside looked pretty. Plastic snowmen were in style, Santa and his reindeer were flying off the roof, huge wooden gingerbread men were popular. Some of the old fashioned decorations are making a comeback. I am impressed at how creative some people are in building a santas village in the yard. I am trying to get my mom out to look at some of the nice homes with me. I think she would really enjoy some of the nice neighborhoods around her. I told her she has a red bathrobe to wear, she is festive. I tried bribing her with desert at Denny’s afterward, I think she told me she will get back to me with this. Some traditions change,parents get older and can’t get around as well anymore. I am glad I have precious memories I can look back on of a time when she enjoyed the nice homes as much as the rest of the family. have a Holiday filled with lasting memories you can look back on for years to come God Bless you all.

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A New Tradition

December 6, 2017 at 1:14 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , , , )

When I was first married, my husband and I started a tradition having ‘our own’ Christmas tree, buying our decorations to trim the real live tree we cut down, and making our home inviting for friends and family. Jerry and I started cutting down our tree at his parents home. Several couples including my mom and dad enjoyed walking through the snowy tree farm (sometimes we came prepared, other times our feet were soaked) But we all had a good time scouting the property looking for the best tree. My mom was easy to please, a Charlie Brown tree suit her just fine. After we all had finished bringing our prized trees to the house, we went inside to warm up nest to the crackling fire and had a yummy chili feed.

I remember my parents who throwing the best parties. On snowy afternoons, my dad always brought out his prized 1946 Willies Jeep and pulled company around the neighborhood on sleds. I think he was the biggest kid of all. Afterwards, we came into the warm house and sat by the fireplace and either played games or had great lively discussions about some trending topic of the day. Mom and dad had a become good friends with a few of the neighbors. Thanksgiving or Christmas was at my parents, new years Eve, A Murder Mystery Night was hosted by another neighbor. Costumes were a must. A four course meal was served in between the mystery being played out. I am glad my parents had so many wonderful friends to plan activities with. ( I forget they were in thier forties after all).

Kids grow up and move away, friends and family moved to a warmer climate, and suddenly, the holidays had changed. My young son helped his grandpa put out lights and decorate the house, the neighbors had a light fight contest to see who could have the best dressed house. Across the street always won because his Santa decoration hit the pine tree head first. We were excited to see my brother and his best friend pull into the driveway to spend Christmas with us. One year, my dad took us all to Mount Spokane for the afternoon. We got out our inner tubes, and stayed on a less traveled bunny hill to sled on. My son had fun with his uncle until a rock jumped in the way of the sled and Levi went flying and landed in a snow drift(funny thing, the same thing happened to me when I was his age with my favorite Aunt).  After a fun day, we went to Kid Zone and had dinner and played games. My dad was the biggest kid there. he had a blast trying to stay on the virtual motorcycle game. My brother kept telling dad to lean into the corner. he did almost falling off the game.  Everyone slept good that night including the birthday boy.

Most of my family has moved or passed away. Mom and I have ourselves a quiet little Christmas. I decorate her home modestly. We have a nice dinner and open our gifts. Mom is cute as she does not even get dressed anymore. I make sure she has a pretty gown to put on and a warm bathrobe. A lot has changed over the years and meeting someone where they are makes a merry holiday for both of us. Mom reminiscences a lot now. She grew up in Chats worth, next to a movie studio where Hop Along Cassidy was being filmed. We sit and chat over a cup of coffee after dinner. When she is gone, gone forever are the stories. I had to come to terms with a few realities about my mom.  Some are hard to accept.

This evening, I am heading over to a dear friends house for a light meal and a Agatha Christie movie. My friend helped me refresh several rooms in my home. ten years ago, I asked her to help me with my bedroom. She was so cute she asked me when was the last time my bedroom had been touched. I told her seventeen years ago. My husband had died. It was time. What she created for me was a B&B retreat! She is still amazed to this day my room is still the same. A funny story about my husband. he did not want anyone staying with us so he did not want the grand beautiful house. Well, I asked my friend to help just make the house feel cozy . My kitchen had no artwork, nothing on the walls. Just a little of her magic…. she was afraid of making my husband mad at me. I tried telling her I pay half the bills. We still laugh about it today.

I found girlfriend time is important. We don’t get together as often as we would like, but we stay in touch. In my busy life, I had to learn to slow down and make time for myself. An evening out looking at lights, and listening to instrumental music while seeing all the beautifully decorated mansions. Sometimes I have to remember what I used to find fun and rekindle the memories so they don’t stay a memory. I am taking a couple of cookie baking classes with a friend. I think I am not one who likes to stay at home all the time, I like to get together with families for a game night or making cookies together.  You do not have to feel alone, just remember you are loved , cherished, and probably great company. getting together with friends is good for the soul.

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