Summer Memories

May 31, 2017 at 8:52 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , , )

Summer is almost here once again. I have so many precious memories of spending the summers with my Aunt in California. My Aunt and Uncle lived just down the street from my family.We lived in a modest neighborhood,but my Aunt and Uncle transformed the house into a show place. My Aunt as I remember loved growing roses on the fence line in the front yard. I decided to try to ride a skateboard from the driveway to the street. I missed the end of the street and hit head first into the roses cracking my front tooth. I was told by my Aunt after she cleaned me up that I wanted to try it again. In the backyard my Uncle built a gazebo, sh above ground swimming pool, and a green house and a dance floor. One thing I remember was my Aunt was very artistic. She raised and sold Orchids for corsage. She had converted the garage into her workshop for flower arranging she had a gift for arranging silk flowers into incredible works of art. I had a good summer vacation spent with my Aunt and grandma. I felt blessed they lived so close to my family. One Mother’s Day, the family all went to the park to fly our new kites. We have pictures of the day in a photo album. The one thing that sticks in my mind the most was how pretty my grandma looked in a dress and she just complained about her chicken legs. (she had nice legs and I only five.).

I raised my young son as a single mother after my husband died from complications of diabetes. I had the love and support of family and friends to help me through some tough times. My dad was my son Levis buddy. I have a special photograph of when grandma, grandpa and grandson all went camping. My dad was standing behind Levi helping him chop wood for the camp fire. My parents would often let Levi spend the night. they would rise before dawn, pack a lunch of sandwiches and hot coffee and be on the dock for fishing before sun up. Whatever was caught, was put on the grill for dinner that night. (they never ate hot dogs for dinner).Our family and friends had a favorite camping spot for weekend getaways. Campers, trailers and motor homes found a spot around one of the many lakes. As many as ten families all met and found their favorite spot to camp. My dad brought the boat for fishing and pulling the inner tubes, while others brought jet skis. I still remember Levi running to me to show me the fish he caught with the net of course. (smile). He didn’t mind gutting the fish,and getting ready BBQ and share his prized catch at dinner. Good thing everyone pitched in for dinner that night or we would go to bed hungry. 

I am so glad my family decided to move to North Idaho. I met so many wonderful people here. I live in a charming small town,in a neighborhood by the river; There is access to a park with hiking trails, benches to sit and watch the ducks or watch the boats pulling the inner tubes and skis. I live in a walking neighborhood. I love to see families go for bike rides or walking the dogs down to the river for a swim.  One of my favorite drives is on the Highland Golf Course. to see the beautiful mansions, and immaculate yards.I often visit some dear friends who live there and sometimes I am treated to a gold tournament for the evening. Just like my friends who built their forever home on the Highlands, I live in my forever home by the river. I re-painted my home two years ago, and now I have freshened up the landscaping. I joke that the gardening gene must have skipped a generation,but it did not skip my secrete weapon Nigel. he is a garden genius. We removed my over grown shrubs and replaced them with Hydrangea bushes. It will be beautiful for years to come. Have a nice summer.

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Garden MakeOver

May 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

I tease often that I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardener. By mid summer, my grass and plants are threatening to move to a new house, one with some garden savvy to live out the plant days in comfort and colorful bliss. I cannot help it, I water, dead head, prune, fertilize and yes, water. I would love to have a Home and Garden backyard worthy of an Annual Garden Tour, if I had the time to invest in a beautiful backyard. It is sad when I, yes I, can actually kill a harmless geranium. 

This year, I have a secret weapon. His name is Nigel. I am trusting we can get my yard looking nice again. I don’t want a secret garden, just one I can enjoy after a hard days work. Give the birds their own space to come and eat and drink under my pine tree. I see hummingbirds fluttering looking for a spot to drink, butterflies flutter around my yard looking for a perfect spot to land. I have such potential for a critter friendly place to visit often.  I can just hear some awesome gardeners thinking’ I would love to get my hands on her yards. I can work my magic.” Or you can give my some helpful hints to make my yard more inviting. 

When my husband and I bought our home thirty years ago, we lived on a pot holed dirt road, with five homes on the block. This was a fairly new development, with three floor plans. My house was pretty much turn-key. Jerry and I did  not have too much on a wish list, a place for our soon to come son, a bedroom for us and maybe an office. We have a spacious backyard(too spacious) but we never figured out how to fill the yard in with trees. You also know helpful relatives. They couldn’t figure out why we did not plant at least one tree in our backyard why it would be a twenty footer by now. Non of these advice giving folks ever offered to help beautify the sanctuary. I laugh now because my yard is nice,but I know it could look more pulled together.

I have a good friend that lives by the river I tease her about how her  house could be on a Garden Tour. She gets compliments everyday. She laughs because most of the beautiful plants everyone is raving about are weeds that reseed every year.  A funny story about her. She is a Flight Attendant: She left on a trip one morning, four days later when she returned home, her mother(they built the house together and resides together) her mom had the Junipers pulled in front of the grand wrap around porch. She told her daughter” they were too big and this way we have more room to plant nice flowers.” My friend laughs when she tells me the story because what could she do about it. As most of the gardeners know a nice yard takes a lot of work to keep up. I was amazed to find out she works nine hours pulling weeds, clipping, plating new flowers and mowing the yard just to keep it looking nice. It is easy to be envious of someone when they have the energy and the green thumb to have a nice place.

I had to realize I was a single parent who provided a loving home; I did not have the time or  the finances to keep updating my yard. A few plants here and there were fine, but I know people who spends hundreds of dollars every summer. I love the term a work in progress- The home looks like Better Homes just visited and their yard is being featured in next Months issue. But for now, I will take out a crowed shrub,put in a container garden in front(word to those thinking about a metal roof. Good investment, make sure your plans are in containers because the snow will bury them. I found this out this last winter. I think with all the commercials coming out now about making your own retreat is intimidating. You one need to have the cash flow, and two, someone willing to come help you build your grilling area, don’t forget the fire pit, and your relaxing oasis area. Stay cations are getting more  popular now. If you spend this much on a yard, why go to a five-star hotel when you have just created one. Sounds like a plan to me.

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Early Spring Cleaning

January 25, 2017 at 8:59 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, family, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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Last weekend, some dear friends came over to paint inside my home. We laughed because it only took my paint contractor friend five years to have the time. He thanked me for my patience. Now my house looks fresh and brighter for the new year. We have been hammered by snow storms this year, so the light beige paint lightens your mood some. My friends and I were talking about being in a rut lately; We had three weeks of sub-zero temperatures followed by six inches of snow,then more frigid temps,and then more snow. Followed by the January thaw and flooding. I am glad we are only in for a couple more storms and then the gardeners can get outside and plant.

Before my friends came, I started to get rid of old magazines I have held onto since 2000. I cleaned out my entertainment center with old papers, videos, movies to donate and any old receipts. Since I knew my couch would be moved to paint behind, I cleaned underneath. I wondered how many magazines does one own anyway? Then, I moved on to my office, cleaning out and organizing my author file,I then looked through my  book format, the book’s first chapter I have written, and my extra stories I saved in case I want to write another book. I then moved to my son Levi’s old bedroom turned dressing room. I cleaning out under his bed. I found a couple of his school annuals, a pair of pants he will never again wear, a sock, a bowel and spoon(what again was the rule of no eating in your room?)I found his computer games,and his drawings. As I found each item, I thanked God I have a small piece of his world. Levi passed away in 2007 in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. I had already cleaned out his closet when I turned his old room into my dressing room. I put my uniforms in his dresser to make room for clothes and coats.

I needed the motivation to jump-start my new year by decluttering and  donating to a charity. I realized I do not need as much as I have accumulated and it is nice to finally be more organized. I have a problem with paper trails. I need to shred more often and I will now. Sometimes between work, caring for my aging mom and writing, I don’t have much time left for anything else. It is so nice to come home to a bright, and cheerful home. I own a ranch style house full of Victorian charm. I wish my late husband could see all the changes I have made over the years. I think Jerry would have been proud of how well I have kept up the house.(With a lot of help from my friends.) We didn’t have the fixer upper,our home was move in ready. ( I know, took all the fun out of my story. Sorry).

My next door neighbor has been helping me declutter my mom’s home. We cleaned her bedroom last week. When she was 17, her mom talked her into buying a new bedroom set. She bought a beautiful maple four poster bedroom suit. My dad painted her a desert picture which hangs over her bed. A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine and I cleaned out under the crawl space. We took several loads to the dump. I am glad we are getting around to decluttering her home now instead of down the road if she has an onset of dementia. At least her home will be a comfortable environment for her. I worked private nursing care for a couple elderly clients. I understand how dementia affects the family. I am thankful mom is thinking ahead now. She already gave up her driver’s license a few years ago. I would not want her driving anymore anyway. My town scares me to drive some days; People change three lanes of traffic just to stop at the light instead of waiting. I don’t mind taking her to her appointments. We have a late lunch afterwards and it gets he out of the house. It is hard to watch your mom go from having a full calendar to staying in her gown and robe everyday. But she has made the choice and I have to respect it.

This middle age life is hard for some folks. You are still young enough to work, some have  young children at home or may have your grandchildren living with them and are part of the sandwich generation. Life is but an adventure. I am guilty of not inviting friends over more often to share a meal or watch a good movie or even just a night of catching up. I guess I need to host an open house and show off the new updated paint. (some of my friends reading this are saying yeah.) I like it when a good friend gives me 15 minutes before she come over. I have my Victorian table all set when she arrives. We have a yummy desert and pretty cups for tea. My one dear friend owned a B&B in Ireland. I love to hear stories about her experience she had. Sometimes before I go to work,I spend some time with her at her home eating a snack and watching Agatha Christie. It set the mood for me going to work. I always have a good shift at work. I don’t know 2017 is getting off to a good start for me How about you?

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The New Year

January 9, 2017 at 9:12 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , , )



This is a New Year resolution gone terribly wrong! Like so many, we have a game plan on what we would like to achieve in the coming year. Funny thing is, if we take a poll say three weeks from now,we will find most have moved on to Reality. I think we bit off more than we can chew,and give up. Getting into shape,stop eating so much junk food on the run, making more time for family are great goals.

I decided a few years ago not to make New Years resolutions. If you don’t make them,you can’t break them after a few days into the brand new year. I think the only things I wanted in the new year was peace, better parenting tips(because Levi was a strong-willed child), less condemnation when I wasn’t living up to others expectations. Over the years, I have had many wonderful friends who really had my son and my best interests in mind. A dear friend gave me some nice jeans and long sleeve t-shirts, plus a new make-up compact. Being a single mother on a budget, I appreciated her out pouring of love.

My life in an empty nest has its blessings and it’s drawbacks as well. Gone are the two a.m. pizza delivery (Levi told them do Not ring door bell, I think he had the delivery guy tap on his window), no more late charges at the video store,gone is the high water bill when your son discovered girls and they want you to smell nice,long distance phone calls(Levi found out the hard way about phone bill coming to mom’s house and she actually reads them), No more son sneaking in the front door or out the window(always a neighbor up at two a.m., you have more cash in your wallet, on the computer until the crack of dawn and then they think mom will let them stay home from school-silly child. Those parenting years,you invest so much blood,sweat and tears into them and hope they can make the best of getting out on their own. I know so many young adults do not want to spread the wings and fly away. Life can be scary outside the comforts of the family home. So many concerns like paying rent,enough hours at work, utilities ,food, clothes. My generation made it,these young adults will make it also. My son and I realized when Levi turned 19, it was time for him to move out. We were Both ready, maybe more me than him,but just the same. He moved in with his Grandma to help her when his grandpa passed away. His grandma kept him honest. Doors locked at ten p.m. sharp. Many times his friends called while Levi was on his way to home begging his grandma not to lock him out. I am proud of the fine young man Levi had become.

Parenting is the greatest blessing God could have ever entrusted parents with. The first cry after delivery,(I made this tiny person), watching the first: first steps,first words,first foods,first tantrum, first time riding a bike,first time training wheels come off,first hospital visit, first swing set and inviting a friend over to help break it in. Life goes by so fast until you realize, your child is now in Grade School; you wonder how did that happen? I was just changing his or her diapers and now we are hosting the Big ten years old Birthday Party. From Royal Rangers, Cub scouts, Boys and Girls Scouts, soccer,baseball, dance recitals, music performances we as parents leave a lasting memory in our children. They can remember mom and dad watching them play ball, or listening for my turn for a piano performance.

My life in middle age is full of life,blessings,a good jog I love,caring for my aging mom,snow(until one gets stuck at work in the driveway and has to get a ride) but hey, this is part of Winter right? We are getting one storm after another now. I can deal with a few more storms and then Spring will arrive. I some help this year  to become even a better reformed black thumb gardener. At least I have trees that are fifteen feet tall now, I can wait to start planting, pruning, dead heading,and fertilizing my yard. I live in one season at a time; Right now, I am shoveling snow and really appreciate my neighbors who have helped keep my driveway cleared for me. Everyone has their own dreams about what middle age will be:traveling maybe, more free time to go fishing, buying a motor home for weekend getaways, time spent with grandkids, down sizing the home because we don’t need as much room now or buying a bigger house to accommodate your ever-growing family. I am happy where my life has taken me. I have had some personal tragedies along the way,but I would not trade my life for anything. I am only fifty-five, so I am not ready for the Senior center just yet,but I do enjoy nature hikes in the beautiful mountains,watching the deer,elk, quail,and wild turkeys that roam around the neighborhood. I spend time with my aging mom making dinner,showers, getting the mail(I feel like cinderella sometimes). I try to see the beauty in each new day.

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The Last Time We Got Gas

July 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Family stories, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , , )

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Nine years ago today I said goodbye to the most important part of my life. my son Levi died in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. My fondest memory and one I am most thankful to God for was the evening before Levi’s accident, I was at my mom’s house having dinner with her and my son. Levi moved out the previous year to help his Grandmother after his Grandpa passed away. Levi was telling us he again was short on cash for his bills. when I was heading home,I sensed from God’s heart to give my son gas money. I went back to mom’s house and shared my tips with Levi. I also asked if we could go put gas in his car together not knowing this was our last evening I would see him. We had fun driving to the gas station. We laughed and joked in his car. When Levi dropped me off at his Grandmas we said I love and goodbye not knowing these would be the last words we would speak to each other. the next day,both our lives were forever changed.

I also did not know until my son was on life support,he was an organ donor. his eyes went to help a six-year-old girl see. She is now 15 years old  and I bet beautiful. Thank you all of you who are organ donors it changes so many lives. Beauty did come from the ashes. God has touched two families lives that day, mine was forever changed in a moment, but another family was given new hope.

Today, I am having dinner with mom, we celebrate with mexican food(Levi’s favorite) I have so many fond memories of the son I raised as a single parent after my husband died from complications of diabetes. Levi and I survived many hardships and difficulties,with the love and support of family and friends, I am moving forward in a brighter future.

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Summer Bucket Lists

July 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, family, Journal Writing, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

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So many things to do during the summer months, so little time to do them. How many on your bucket list did you fulfill? How many are you carrying over to this year as “This year I will..”  I want to take in some more summer concerts the park, shop at the local farmer’s market, take a lake dinner cruise, spend some time this weekend where my son and his cousin spent hours swimming in the bay. Summer all year has changed for me in recent years.

My life was forever changed by two tragic events: my husband and son’s deaths. I am very blessed to still live in the house my husband and I purchased together on our second anniversary. We lived here for four years before Jerry passed away from complications of diabetes. My son Levi died nine years ago from a tragic car accident.he was only 20. I have so many wonderful memories of a lively house of boys(big and small) riding ATVs(Levi on his battery-powered one) and rides on daddy’s motorcycle. Afternoons spent in the park listening to a concert or seeing the local carnival. I loved the rare time Jerry and I took a fide on the motorcycle and had lunch at a cafe around one of our many area lakes.

Growing up,I had always hoped to be a wife and a mother,I lived through good times and prayed through the tougher times, but I am a stronger person for persevering through the storms. I don’t have any grandchildren to share my life with as my son never married. Sometimes our lives take another direction than we expected but when we trust God, we are satisfied where we are. I know this is a story about a bucket list but I think it is important to cherish who is around you and take the time to share a meal, play backyard volleyball with neighbors, sight see your area, unplug, and take the kids in the forest-so much to see beyond the trees. the streams are teaming with jumping fish,the mountains are beautiful, watching the kids float the river. Even if you live in the City,there is always the beach(though crowded) I am sure you have a new Museum you can visit or the aquarium. Get the sand in your toes,don’t swim with the sharks though,look for sea shells and star fish and have a great summer

What is on your summer time bucket list I would love to hear. God Bless.

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Random Acts Of Kindness?

February 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, family, Journal Writing, Memoir, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )



The littlest thing can bring about big impact in someones lives. A smile can go along way when a person feels discouraged, a simple hug,or listening to a friend. We get so busy sometimes in our daily lives that it is easy to forget to say thank you when a co-worker went the extra mile to make your job easier that day. I hope we don’t loose our appreciation for one another in the hustle and bustle of our controlled chaos. It only takes a minute to build someone up the same amount of time to tear one down as well.

Have a blessed week everyone.

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When I Get Old

February 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Family stories, Heaven, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking) (, , )



I wish I could have pulled this one on my son. He went home July 2007. He was only 20. Take the precious time to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you, they are thought of often and hug your kids extra tight tonight. You never know when you get the opportunity again.

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Lighting A Candle In Memory Of My Son

December 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Family stories, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

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This Holiday season, I light a candle in memory of my awesome son. Levi died in a tragic car accident in 2007 at the age of 20. My life was forever changed in a moment. With the love a support of family and friends, I have found the strength to keep moving forward everyday.

I raised Levi as a single parent after my husband, Levi’s father died from complications of his disease. I always tried to make Christmas special for my young son. I remember the day I saved enough money to buy Levi a Game Boy. He told me years later he was surprised I could buy him a great gift. Christmas isn’t in the gifts, the tensile or hung on a tree. Christmas is found in Christ and being surrounded by those you love and hold dear. I have so many treasured memories of raising son from childhood through the tween years-no easy feat. I am so proud of the fine young man he had become. His father would have been so proud also.

For those lighting a candle in honor of a loved one this year,I pray peace, hope, love, courage and strength to get through the difficult days and the grace to keep making lasting memories.

Merry Christmas to all and God Bless.

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Thankful For The Small Things

November 19, 2015 at 9:59 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, family, Family stories, Memoir, positive thinking) (, , , )

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I survived the big windstorm of 2015!

The road up ahead is indeed paved with uncertainty. With ever corner we never know where disaster will lurk. North Idaho didn’t expect the giant windstorm that hit early Tuesday morning. with gale force winds of up to 115 miles per hour,some unlucky home owners and businesses will be cleaning up for weeks.

I am thankful mostly for the sense of community that we have here. Neighbors were checking on each other and everyone lending a helping hand in the massive clean up effort. I can truly say I live in one of the best cities. I am sure someone will print the popular t-shirt that they have survived the great wind storm of 2015,but I am just thankful that the storm was not worst that it could have been.

with Thanksgiving day right around the corner, recent events give us pause to truly be thankful for tomorrow and something so simple as electricity and running water. We did not get the cold snap predicted for today.

I am thankful for the love of community.

My neighborhood was safe.

Massive clean up efforts.

Warming shelters.

Animal shelters.

The storm is OVER.






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