Hazy Days Of Summer

August 10, 2017 at 2:20 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , )

I am having a hard time wanting to venture outside this evening to water my poor flowers. My usual sunny blue sky has been replaced with thick brown smoke. We have four wild fires burning around the Inland Northwest. The smoke is so bad, you can hardly breathe. It is a chore to run your errands or grocery shop. I have not taken my evening walk in almost two weeks. I can understand the fog that envelopes your neighborhood in October, but it is a little much to be surrounded by thick blanket of brown haze. 

When I first moved to my forever small town, I was struck by how beautiful the area was. With so many lakes around to fish, go camping in the forest, plenty of hiking, boating, picking huckleberries, and seeing wild life a few feet away. My parents had a cabin, the family would camp for the weekend having caught your dinner and cleaned it,we would put the fish over the open fire. Someone always made a cobbler for desert, then we would play cards until early morning. In the summer, the farmers burned the fields for next years crop. I remember the thick brown smoke, the temperature would rise ten degrees, you could hardly breathe. A couple of years ago, the city band burning the fields due to air quality. 

It is disheartening to earn all the fires around us were not dry lightning. Several were deliberately set by teens. I remember last year driving into town with the hot, dry conditions seeing an idiot throwing a cigarette out the window. One careless mistake can have devastating consequences; Two teenagers learned the lesson the hard way last year. They thought it funny to set a fire in a nice neighborhood. They did not laugh when they were charged with the crime and the parents had to pay for the damage because the teens were minors. It is sad to see the after effects of a fire. Acres of black replaced the beautiful mountains teeming with wildlife. The fires will soon be under control, the smokey air will clear and we can enjoy another season coming upon us.

Permalink 2 Comments

The Uncooperative Yard

August 3, 2017 at 12:05 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

A friend of mine and I were talking the other evening about what we still want to accomplish before the ed of summer. first on my list would be to get a friend to help me put some finishing touches on my back yard. I would like to have company,but my yard looks like a bomb went off in it. No matter how much I water, weed and feed (the weeds, not the lawn) it is still bone dry. My next door neighbor owns a lawn care service; We look at each other in passing and just hope the heat will decrease to 85 degrees instead of 95 degrees plus. So, I keep my hydrangea well watered and water the brown lawn three times per week.

While in my back yard this afternoon, I was sitting on my rocking chair thinking about my could be a beautiful yard. I had vision and hope: In the corner of the yard are two pine trees that have seen better days. I have my bird bath sitting there with no birds bathing. I was thinking about cutting down the pine trees and putting down a layer of rock. The bird bath would look better placed in the middle with pots all around it. in the other empty corner, I was thinking about putting a bench in the rock and put a shepherds hook beside it for a humming-bird feeder. On the fence, I want to put up planters for colorful flowers. At least when I go sit on my patio, I can look at something pretty and invite friends over for a party.

I can truly say, I am not a fan of summer sizzle. When my family first moved to my small town, the summer temperature was ony 85 degrees in august, now we get into the triple digits. The older I get, I melt. I  could go to the beach and fight the crowds, hope to get a shady spot, I am too old to run through my sprinkler except for when I forget to look where the lawn is being watered and get soaked. (usually right when you are running out the door to an appointment, and  you look like a drowned rat). I do enjoy when the sun is setting,the air cools down and you can hear the crickets chirping, the last of the kids have gone inside, and you are left with your cold coffee to enjoy in peace.

I took my first ride on a Harley Davidson motorcycle a few weeks ago. My son Levi had a best friend who has really been there for me after my son died ten years ago. We had breakfast at the Snake Pit, then Mike showed me where his family goes camping and floats down the lazy river. It is a beautiful area, in the middle of the national forest. My best friend and I took  a drive to one of our favorite small towns. It is nestled along side the lake with small unique shops and old car shows every weekend. I still need to make time to see a couple of plays or a concert in the park. I still enjoy what is happening at my local Library and visiting my friend the cat lady. She lives in a beautiful Victorian home on a tree- lined street. My yard would be incredible like hers, except I do not share her green thumb. I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardner with help from my friends.

Permalink 1 Comment

A Tourist In My Town

July 26, 2017 at 2:32 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

 

I started my stay cation Sunday.  My sons best friend (Mike) picked me up after work and took me on my first ride on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. It was an interesting adventure. You feel like the wind is either going to snap your head off or crazy glue in place forever. I survived the first leg of the trip.  What  a beautiful ride through the national forest, seeing the Lake beside you,watching the water skiers, and the paddle boats enjoying the beautiful summer morning. We had breakfast the world-famous Snake Pit restaurant famous because it’s humble beginnings were as a bordello. Tours are given if you dare. After breakfast, Mike and I continued out tour of the area. The mountains are breath-taking, as you follow the river along the road. It was fun to see the people floating down the river enjoying the warm sunny day. I was afraid the camp ground would be so crowded, but a few campers had a spot on the lake. It is the best kept secrete of North Idaho.

Yesterday a good friend and I decided to be a tourist in Sandpoint. What a quaint small town surrounded by a huge lake. In the 1940’s the Military used to test submarines. No one really knows how deep the lake is. It was fun to be a tourist; We had a nice lunch,followed by shopping in the beautiful down town. Every restaurant has outside dining looking out over the picturesque Lake. I always thought of moving to sandpoint on I retired, I love the charm of the small town.  I thought it over and decided I like livingin my hometown,in my house friends and family helped me to refresh with a good coat of paint, new roof, nice landscapping. and the lake one block away. Everyone knows each other and looks out for one another. I have great neighbors I can count on,  I am near concerts in the park, farmer’s markets, every small town has to have a great Library, boat cruises, or just enjoying a cup of cold coffee in my own backyard.

It is nice to have a few days off where you can just relax, stay in your night gown a little longer, can move at a slower pace, meet a friend at Starbuck’s for a coffee and a good conversation. Soon the Summer will make way for cooler mornings, shorter nights, layers, changing leaves, apple cider. I have a few more weeks of heat(I wilt if the temerature reaches over 75 degrees.) I can always swim in the neighbors pool or go down to the local beach and cool off. I look forward to the local Garden Tour. I am amazed at some of the unique gardens with truckbeds filled with flowers rusting sitting beside the tree. one Actor showed his home overlooking the lake and his secret garden. A cuple years ago, my friend and I toured a older  home where the Alpacas were part of the tour. I kook forward to visiting the mnay wonderful Historic homes as well as the small quaint ones in the middle of town. I get some great ideas I can try in my own yard( I would not call my yard a garden, I need a serious yard doctor to help). Even though I do not have a green thumb, I enjoy hearing the crickets at night, the bids setting in the trees chirping, and the quiet neighborhood after he kids have gone to bed.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Remebering Levi

July 19, 2017 at 4:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I will never forget the day my son bought his truck; He took his grandma for a ride, then came back to take his mom for a ride( Grandma was chauffeured around for a couple of months).  Levi was tickled pink that he could afford such a nice vehicle. My son laid carpet and installed granite counter tops so his boss was just as thrilled now there were two trucks to haul daily materials. Levi tired of his truck and bought him his dream car-a Mitsubishi Eclipse. He was proud of his nice new car. He laughed that the color was dark green, his favorite color. His boss frowned because he lost his second truck for materials.

One sunny Sunday morning, Levi and his friends set out to float the river. I remember this particular day was the hottest day of the summer. At eight p.m. I received the call no parent wants-my son was involved in a tragic car accident. I went numb, I could not think of my life without the most important part of my life. My son was placed on life support. After five days and countless prayers later,our lives were forever changed. I often end my posts with the “hug your kids extra tight, tell them how much you love them, and how proud you are of them.” We are not promised tomorrow, only today. Make the most of your day, take the time to have your back yard cook-out,plan your day trip with family and friends.enjoy the beauty of each new day.

Each new day I am given, I am blessed by the love and support of family and friends. I have the best neighbors, live in a great small town where everyone knows each other, when my house needed refreshed, a good friend came over and painted,  another friend helped me turn my house into a beautiful home with Victorian charm. I had to realize even though my life was forever changed with loosing my husband and son, I need to keep moving forward. I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and put on my pajamas at night. I have so many fond memories of the fine young man Levi had become.

Every year, I write a story about my son’s life for hope for other parents going through a similar circumstance. Our lives changed in a way we could not see coming. Every morning you wake up,listen to the birds singing a new song, enjoy the sunshine on your face and  keep moving forward. i am healing more everyday, and I writing helps keep my sons memory alive. thank you all for your support and kind comments. This really helps keep me motivated to keep writing.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Black Bay

July 12, 2017 at 9:46 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

 

Last night, after the heat cooled off, I set out for my  walk.  I love the fact Black bay is down the hill from my house with walking trails, kids go fishing and swinging from the rope swing into the Bay, canoes paddling slowly along the shore taking in the scenery,  a few boats went by with kids being pulled in inner tubes or skiers. I saw a group having a late dinner with family just over the quaint small bride. As I continued on my walk, I spotted a duck family. They were quacking near a couple of ladies lounging in chairs enjoying the evening talking, watching the boaters go by. I have never seen ducks be so friendly coming up for food, usually they stay in the water  near the side of the cove. The small ducklings were so cute quacking, looking for mosquitos . Walking around the corner, I heard birds singing in the trees,butterflies fluttering around, squirrels were chasing each other. The Bay is surrounded by hills and trails. You have a small taste of nature one block away. 

I have lived in my neighborhood for thirty years now. I love my neighborhood with young families sprinkled in with some empty nesters. It is nice to hear kids playing outside again. It was not that long ago that my son was making jump ramps for his bike at the end of the street or pitch a tent in the backyard and camp with a few friends. We made BBQ hot dogs and cold drinks for roughing it. It was fun laying in bed listening to the boys and hearing the cricket’s chirp louder than the laughing campers. Rainy day fun was a fort in the living room for watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Summer fun was also fishing with Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone would rise early, make coffee and sandwiches and be out of Fernand Lake by five a.m. The catch of the day was cleaned and put on the grill for dinner. We have so many lakes around to choose from. My parents and their friends would get together for a morning boating,then go to the resort for lunch. It was fun to watch expressions on visitors faces when we walked in with our wind-blown hair and casual attire. (locals you know). 

I am glad my son grew up before technology really took over. My son bought and paid for his first phone. I did not want him to have on until he was old enough to be responsible with it. My son was busy building forts.bike jumps, playing one on one basketball,  paintballing, (there is an expensive hobby). Levi had a game Boy but he was not obessed with the game like kids and adults are today. A family friend spent one summer helping my son build a fort in his Grand Parents back yard. My dad even installed electricity so he could have a tv and radio in his fort. He had many fun nights camping in style. When Levi moved out, I was surprised he did not turn the fort into a studio apartment. He was a sweet kid; He moved in with his grandma after his grandpa passed away to help her. I remember when Levi bought his first truck, he took his grandma on all her errands because he said “this little city of ours is getting crazy to drive in grandma”. I am proud of the fine young man Levi had become.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Lasting Friendships

July 5, 2017 at 7:32 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

A couple of nights ago, I was catching up with one of my girlfriends. We were chatting about our busy lives, promising to get together soon. With our busy lives, we sometimes have to pencil each other into our daily planners. As I hung up the phone, I thought about how long we had known each other and how many difficult circumstances we had been through together.  Before w both had full-time jobs, we would run errands together. Most of the errands were taking back paint supplies or wrong sized shoes. I enjoyed Sharon’s company and her upbeat personality. We were both young parents who sometimes struggled either in finances or parenting.

I remember when we first met-I enrolled Levi in pre-school to enhance his social skills, sharing skills, respect skills, and an added plus, he found out little girls were not yucky. Levi really liked going to pre-school everyday and he liked his teacher. After picking Levi up,we would share his day in school and what he learned. I loved hearing him sing his new songs he learned that morning.  You know you have found the right school when class becomes more than just learning colors, numbers and your ABC’s.

The Patterson family and the  De Gon family became lasting friends. Some families live in a forever home, some families move every couple of years. It was always a fun adventure find the new Patterson home and have a nice meal together and maybe watch a movie together. Chris is a paint contractor, I loved to see how he transformed a dated kitchen or bedroom into a beautiful space. Chris is very creative and always added a homey touch to some neglected rentals. Chris and Sharon came over and helped me refresh my home a couple of times. I remember I had basic white walls. Chris painted them a winter sky (light blue). I have always loved the Victorian Style of decorating so the wall color matched my furniture perfect. I remember Chris ragged rolled my kitchen/dinning room and bathroom. Friends asked me “how did I put this up n the walls?” I chuckled. 

 I love living in my small town  with many good friends I can count on when I need comfort or just want to hang out for the evening. A fw years ago, a good friend who just happened to own a B&B in Ireland at the time, came over and  freshened up my bedroom for me. I often wondered why our bedrooms are th last room we decorate. The rest of the house is beautiful,then we enter our room. My friend was shocked I had not messed with it since my husband died. Not because I couldn’t, because I did not know where to start. Looking back, my bedroom needed a make-over and I knew just the person. I laughed because she sent me to Church and when I returned home later, my room looked like a B&B inspired room. She created for me a refuge from the storms in life. My problem is … I have not changed the room in ten years now I do not mess with perfection and Victorian. 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Summer Days

June 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

Growing up, my brother and I had the best babysitter, my Aunt. My Aunt and Uncle lived down the street from my family; my Aunt turned her ordinary ranch style home into the beauty on the block I had never seen wrought iron used to separate the living room and dining room. My uncle built her a beautiful gazebo, a huge green house for her orchid business, and a dance floor. My Aunt also loved the beach. She would sometimes take my brother and I with her for a couple of days. Not many people have made such an impression on me growing up as my Aunt; I remember how much she loved crafts, especially flower arranging. Every season, she was busy making a center piece fora party. I often  wished I could create beautiful flowers and crafts after watching her.

While surfing the internet, I came across a list of activities for kids to beat the summer boredom. I had to chuckle to myself because growing up, my generation found things to keep occupied. If I ever said I was bored growing up, my mom could think of a million things for me to do. I think sometimes the best summer days are spent biking riding with a friend, going to the Library for story time or checking out your favorite book, going to the park, having a water balloon fight with your friends.  Help dad build a fort with blankets, then invite your friends over for a sleep over. I think technology has taken over so much that kids don’t know how to keep occupied unless they are playing the latest game. I understand parents working longer hours and wanting to check on the kids, getting permission to go to the park with friends, or asking if friends can sleep over, but phones has just taken over as a form of activity. 

I guess I remember growing up with respect: when someone is talking to you, you look them in the eyes, not answer while texting , dinner time was spent at the dinner table eating a good meal and talking about your day, game night, swimming parties, flying a kite in the park(it was a family event). Times have changed in the last 20 years: You can hear the kids screaming outside using colorful language, youngsters sassing parents in the grocery store, kids screaming bloody murder because they could not have a candy bar, does anybody know what a side-walk is used for? Kids do not watch where they are going,  they are too busy to look both ways before darting in front of a moving car,they are too busy on their phones. Summer camp costs too much if you have more than one child, Day Care centers will not take a child after a certain age, it is humorous for me to think  a child can only go to the beach so many times in the summer. I am glad I grew up before technology took over. 

Permalink 2 Comments

The Camping Trip

June 22, 2017 at 2:14 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

I remember taking my son over to his grandpa and grandmas house to spend the night and rise early the next morning to go camping. My dad would wait until his grandson came over to help put the wood in for the nightly campfire, make sure they had plenty of  sleeping bags for the beds, and  the fishing poles and let’s not forget the worms. Dad had a favorite spot reserved right on the lake. Family and friends would also reserve a spot in our campground bringing their boat,or inner tubes for a day of fun. A roaring campfire finished off the great evening after dinner.

One of my best memories was when my parents took my son with them for the weekend to The hot springs in Montana for the a few days. A quick stop at the ten thousand-dollar bar was a must on the way.  After setting up camp and after a meal made over an open fire, my dad was getting ready to chop some fire wood and called my son over to help him. My son thought he was going to help stack wood beside the fire pit and surprised to learn his Grandpa was letting him help chop some wood for his Grandmas fire, he was grinning from ear to ear. He was a lucky kid to go camping often and fishing early in the morning. 

 My dad took ill before my son reached his teens. I remember a time when my dad was not feeling good and felt bad because he promised my son he would take him camping. My son told his grandpa’s is okay grandpa.we will took dinner over the BBQ grill, make our beds out in the motor-home and listen to crickets chirping outside our window. We don’t have to go anywhere, we are still camping”. I thought my dad was going to cry. Levi told me the next day he had just as much fun camping in the driveway as much as if they went to the lake. I am glad my son had the opportunity to go camping, fishing,hiking, and chopping wood as a boy. It was fun to get together with other families and roast marshmallows over an open camp fire, play in the lake, playing cards , stay up half the night enjoying the good conversations. 

I always enjoyed vacations when I was growing up. My family took a week off to travel to Colorado or Utah to visit family. My family had a truck/camper, it was exciting to leave what felt like the middle of the night and watch to cars whiz by until you fell asleep. Of course my favorite memory was when my dad stopped for gas, I thought it was a good time to go to the bathroom, so I got out of the camper and headed over. I neglected to tell my dad and he took off without me. A motorist was trying get my dad’s attention for a few miles until they hit a stop light in the next town. The guy told my dad” you might want to go back and get your daughter”. I remember my dad telling me”we have a bathroom in the camper you know.”  The next time we took a trip in our car, I was in the back of our station wagon. Mom and dad didn’t hear me for a while so dad yelled my name to make sure I was still with them. I told them I was. Camp on my friends.

Permalink 1 Comment

A Shared Room

June 13, 2017 at 8:45 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

Growing up, my family lived on the outskirts of town on a ranch. My twin brother and I were in 4-H. We raised sheep, ducks,horses,rabbits and were visited often by the snakes who loved to snack on baby rabbits. I look back on my youth with a new appreciation. I used to dream of switching homes for the weekend with one of my friends. I laughed to myself every time I heard how lucky I am to get to ride my horse anytime I wanted. You also paid for the hay to feed your horse, cleaned the big smelly coral, had to brush the horse everyday. , You get up at six every morning to feed and water the sheep and the rabbits. Then rush to get dressed and eat breakfast before heading the mile walk to the bus stop. I lived a mile away from the nearest housing tract. ( some friends were still jealous). 

 I sometimes envied my friends because they had a few more girls to go into town with and play with. I only had my brother and the animals to talk to. Having a twin brother was fine until one of you wore out his or her welcome and then you fought. Life is always greener on the other side of the AstroTurf. I can really say I had to realize not everyone was lucky enough to have a horse at eight years old with a huge orchard behind my house yo ride. My parent kept a couple of horses for family because we had such a big coral. On weekends we usually had a crowd for dinner and then horse back riding. My dad was the proud owner of a 1946 Willies Jeep,so we had fun driving around the many trails and mountains behind our house. 

I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have only my twin brother until I started to sleep over at a friend’s house. My brother and I had always had our own bedroom. We both shared a bathroom,but we had our own space. I used to watch a few sitcoms in the 1970’s and wondered how  sisters and brothers could  share the same room and bathroom without taking a number. I did not realize closet space was at a premium, shared dressers,you had to all agree on a room color and pictures, no privacy, wanting to borrow your older sisters clothes. Some of my friends had two sisters and a brother.

When my brother and I were teens, we decorated our rooms in our taste. When we moved into the house,my dad painted the room the color of our choice,as we got older, we put up posters.  I had a crush on Randolph Mantooth,you could not see an inch of my walls through the posters of Johnny and Roy. I grew out of the phase and decided I wanted to skip over my teenage years and just have a young adult bedroom instead. I opted for roses everywhere. We are so funny in out teens aren’t we? i cherish the many wonderful memories of teaching a friend how to ride my horse and trying to talk her into getting back on my horse after he bucked her off. She wouldn’t budge and my horse just stood there waiting for her to get back on. I had to do the noble deed. You could almost see my horse snickering at her. I realize I had a good childhood living  life on the ranch not sharing my bedroom with anyone except my occasional guest. 

Permalink Leave a Comment

Downsizing

June 8, 2017 at 3:40 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

The older I get, the more I am realizing I can learn to live with less stuff. I am organizing my summer this year to include editing of stuff I do not need. This fantastic idea did not happen over night mind you, but having lunch yesterday with a dear friend helped me to get started.

My friend and I met yesterday early afternoon for a nice Chinese lunch. We made plans to head into the next town to shop for curtains for our living rooms. As we shopped, we talked about our rooms of horror. My friend having company this weekend was busy trying to get her home ready for company, I found out a high school friend recently moved here after she retired; We made plans to meet at my house and then go hiking. The day we planned on meeting, it was thunder and lightning for the next three days. I spent the time wisely cleaning out my closets,under beds, inside my laundry room. My office is next on my list to do. Someone once asked me if “I felt better now that I have purged in a few rooms?” I told her “no, I had to do it someday anyway.” I am not one who goes out and accumulates more stuff once the old stuff has been given to Goodwill. 

I don’t know what is  when we are having someone stop by our house, but I get in a Merry Maid mode or something. I figure this is as good a time as any to edit my no longer used items. It is amazing how much stuff we are holding onto when we start to clean out say under the bed(we thought the kids rooms were bad). Okay, I do not have dirty dishes from say 1990 under the bed, but my childhood suitcase can go to another little girl. I do not remember buying and storing so many candles under my bed!. Some are hardly burned. I know I used to use them for seasonal display. I am making a plan to have only one bed spread for the year. I would switch out bedding in Spring and fall to have a nice new bedroom to look forward to. I never realized how much you store in bedding,decorative pillows, pictures, etc. you keep in bins. I already cleaned out my garage last year. My friend installed insulation to the walls, and since he had his pickup at my house, we just loaded up the tree branches, lattice, a pile of wood none came to get, and while we were at it, we built a new back fence. 

I am thankful thirty years ago my late husband and I bought our forever home together. The house was turn-key when we bought it. We used to host parties and enjoyed lively conversations and watching the kids play outside. I am still hosting smaller gatherings these days. With everyone having a busy schedule, i like to have a good friend over in the evening for desert and maybe a movie. I enjoy the occasional lunch catching up with my dear friends or meeting at a coffee-house. I am enjoying my life in my middle age. Even though my life was forever changed with the deaths of both my husband and son, I ma moving forward in the good things God has for me. I enjoy sitting outside on my patio listening to the birds chirping and the crickets. sweet music being made for my enjoyment. 

 

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »

Reinventing Middle Age

One couple's guide to dealing with trials, tribulations, and cosmic crap

Elena Xtina

Poetry & Memoirs

It's All About The Shot

Getting to know your Quadcopter Drone

Blog of a Mad Black Woman

Life Experiences, Quotes & Randoms

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Adventures in Aging.....

Olufunke Kolapo

Healing • Inspiring • Awakening • Fulfilling •

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture." ColorStorm

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

englishplus966

There is more than meets the eye to being an English teacher, writer, editor, or language connoisseur, especially abroad. This blog is for language teachers, learners, and users alike.

Elyk Photography

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

Gin Getz

Sharing an untamed view.

laragonphoto.wordpress.com/

Calgary, Alberta | © 2014 - 2016 Leo Aragon

kenssimpleview

A fine WordPress.com site

Brecon Cottages' Blog

Hundreds of beautiful cottages in the Brecon Beacons