On A Snowy Day….

February 20, 2019 at 10:20 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

It is a snowy afternoon and all through the house needs a good cleaning. I looked down onto my office floor and wondered how what looks like wood chips happened into the room. Christmas bags still needs put away, a stack of papers needs gone through, a good vacuuming and dusting is in order, so why have I sat down at my computer desk and post a story you ask? Well  I am not really ready to clean yet. 

Last night was supposed to be a stormy night. I woke up to barely an inch of the fluffy white stuff. After spending the morning with my mom, I came home ready to do some house work and the sun came out. Yep right on cue, it came out and the sun looked so nice and inviting that I decided my house could go another day dirty.( My friends reading this is laughing because they would tell you my house looks like something straight out of a magazine). I have always like the Victorian Style of decorating. Since I am an empty nester, I worked hard to make my house a home. Over the years, I have friends come over and help me paint and I have turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room after he moved out a few years ago. 

 My husband and I bought our home over thirty years ago. It was a running joke that Jerry did not let me decorate very much because he did not want company. A true story. Guests could visit for the afternoon, but they had to go home later. My house was decorated warmly(love that word) but not how I would have liked to have it. I think if Jerry could take a tour now, he would be pleasantly surprised. Every room in the house is freshly painted and decorated. He even has a nice home office. The only thing Jerry had in his office was a Blow Flex machine. I always teased him “keep it simple dear”. 

A few years ago, my good friend came over and refreshed my master bedroom into a B&B inspired room. It had been 17 years since I made changes. She created a simple, yet elegant room on a nice budget. When I go on vacation, I opt for a stay-cation instead. Visitors come from all over the world to visit north Idaho. Sometimes you feel like a tourist in your own town. My home town is ever-growing and changing. New businesses are coming in and with it more people who do not know how to drive in the white stuff. Ice is hard to drive on and it does not matter how slow you go, you are still going to slip and slide. I get a kick out of the 4-wheel drive vehicles they gun the motor and do donuts in the street.

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Winter, All At Once

February 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

We have had a very mild winter thus far. I am glad I was able to move here in 1981 with my parents and watch this small town grow into Many were enjoying the benefits of not having to shovel snow ,getting stuck in the slushy mess, and the cold temperatures and slick, icy road conditions. Everyone thought this was going to be a great winter until…..

Yes folks, it has finally happened. Usually this time of the year we get all rain,the last week, we have gotten several inches of snowy (bliss) to the skiers, the rest of us are in survival mode mainly because this small town has grown the past few years and there are those who really need to take a winter driving course before driving. Scared is when you do not know if it is safe to really go through your green light because the other guy just may want to play I know I can make it through the light. As a rule, we give you a full thirty seconds before we start to turn.

When talking to folks in the grocery store, we laugh remembering how it used to be. We didn’t have as many stop signals, drivers were not in a big hurry to pass you and then have to stop for the light(heehee) not as many Police cars, traffic is horrible, I realize it is the price you pay when you live in a beautiful area, but….Everywhere you look, new apartment building and 55 and over neighborhoods are being built. I could not believe when I heard my favorite neighborhood is going to have concerts in the park this summer. Just yesterday it felt like the tract homes were just being started. I think I will have to take a tour around my town this Spring like a tourist sightseeing.

My family moved here in 1981 because my dad was ill and needed a dry climate to live in. my Aunt already lived here , so we decided to move and be near family. I remember there was not much to this town this. I still laugh that we had a blinking light as our only stop light at the end of town. A couple of restaurants, a few stores, a couple of gas stations, a truck stop, many beautiful lakes and streams to fish in, boating, waterskiing, walking trails, and the mountains. I still marvel that you can look and see mountains all around you. I have watched this small town growing more into a small city more and more people moving in but I still love the small town feel you get here. I have banked, shopped, pumped my gas at the same locations for thirty two years; it is nice to called by your first name.

All in all, I think I have found my perfect piece of paradise even though we are growing. When I think of how many visitors we get each year coming to enjoy our lakes, hiking, camping, and rafting I think we have a gem here. We have something for everyone even if it is enjoying an ice cream cone in Historic Wallace. I try to live like a tourist in my town by checking out the new coffee-house,or seeing the final phase of a neighborhood. I love going to open houses and seeing what is trending for 2019 it is a nice way to spend an afternoon. Some of the established neighborhoods have the most beautiful gardens to enjoy. I am not one who shops till she drops, I go to the local mall and shop for a couple of hours including lunch and then I am done. I am still part of the sandwich generation and isn’t it funny that Now you have to get back to help mom with this or that, not so long ago, you have to get back and pick up the kids.

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Silver Lining

February 7, 2019 at 9:58 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

For the past few Months, my life has been topsy-turvy. I have been working my full-time job with another full-time job of caring for my mother. She suffered a fall last year and has been having trouble with the day-to-day living skills. Today, I bought her a new wheel chair to help her get around her house better and to be more independent living.

I can really look back and laugh when I was a child growing up on the ranch and mom reminding me in a not so gentle tone this time) to get my chores done, do my homework so I can get to bed on time. Some kids would be envious that I owned a horse and sheep, pigs, cows, chickens and would have loved to live on the ranch. Some weekends I would have traded them places. Up at 6 to feed the animals, running the lambs around our circular  driveway for a mile getting ready for the fair. Life is always greener on the other side of the Astroturf I have heard it said.

I can look back on raising my young son as a single parent after the sudden death of my husband. I was now mom, dad and sole provider of this now family of two. I learned to be creative with my limited finances to make ends meet. I raised Levi from childhood through his tweens, no easy feat. I think the best compliment any parent could hear from a child is”if I ever become a daddy, I hope I am half the dad my mom was to me”. All the hard work paid off. I can look back of instances that make me laugh now wondering how I have gotten through them. All the door slamming, late night pizza deliveries when he though you were fast asleep, sneaking in through the bedroom window (you were in the bed) oh the screams I heard.

Being part of the sandwich generation is sometimes difficult. You can now relate to what your parents went though raising us and now they need our extra help in day-to-day living. The one thing I will never tire of is hearing all the stories of when mom lived next to the Iverson Ranch Movie Studio in California and watching her hero Hop Along Cassidy film while her horse Honey grazed. She used to play in the Stage Coach Inn; The inn was left with all the furnishings still inside after making the last movie there. Talk about an honest person she never was tempted to take even a brush that was left. This was in the late 1940’s and I can just imagine the beautiful brass beds, linens, and furniture that was just left there. These stories to me are priceless and I am glad mom can tell them to me even if it is over and over. 

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Another Month Is Gone.

February 2, 2019 at 1:15 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

January seems like it just flew by and here we are in February already. I think I just took down my christmas decorations and now on to is it Halloween again?  it seems like the older I get, time just passes me by. I was talking to a co-worker the other day and she remarked time is going faster than a speeding bullet. You soon start to feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you need to anymore.

We have not had much snow so far this year. some are happy and some just like the four seasons. Two weeks ago, we had a good storm hit us. When I shoveled out my driveway into my street so I could get out to run some errands, I saw the nicest gesture from two young men. I was coming home from the grocery store, an elderly gentleman sat in his warm car where he ran into a snow bank. Tow young men were on their stomaches shoveling this poor man out. It restores my belief in human kind that some will stop and help someone in need without giving it a thought.

My co-worker and I were talking the other evening at work about work ethics. Some co-workers show up on time ready to work while others are always late,do less than expected and are looking at their phones. I think the cell phone is going to be the death of society. I could not imagine having to go one day without looking at the thing if it suddenly have been misplaced. I am blown away by how many people cannot live without a gadget in their hands.  I saw a commercial one day that your new refrigerator can be programmed into your phone to give you a grocery list, it is sad to know that cell phone addiction now treated by your work insurance as a disease.

What ever happened to the good old pay phone, you had to look up someones phone number in the book?, when the street lamps went on you knew it was time to go home, getting dirty never killed me, neither did drinking out of the water hose, chores never hurt anyone, setting the table, clearing the table and doing the dishes were just something you knew you did every night and you did n’t argue about it, seeing the Grandparents was special. I have so many fond memories of growing up. Today’s youth is out of touch with manners, following the rules, respecting their elders, being on the phone and not looking where they are going, then act like it is your fault for almost bumping into them.

I just do not understand where we are as a society anymore. Manners are out the window, kids are rebellious, the elderly and mentally challenged seem to the ones who need the caregivers. It seems like no one wants to work anymore or put less effort into the job. I know the turn around rate in these jobs are sad. Health Care is one of the most in demand career opportunity. The baby boomers aren’t getting younger, autism is on the rise, latch key kids are on the rise due to high day care costs. Life used to be much simpler, slower paced, everyone waved to one another, smiled and said hello, helped each other shovel out the neighborhood on the big storms. I would like to think there is a hope to get back to being communities again where folks took care of one another.

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Expecting the Unexpected

January 24, 2019 at 1:31 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last night, it started to snow. I love it when the weatherman says possibly 1 inch accumulation. We had six inches by morning. then an amazing event occured-it started raining. One would think the snow will melt in theory it is correct but then you get the slushy, icy,wet and heavy snow to try to shovel. And of course, all of your reliable help is either at work or out playing in the stuff. I usually shovel into my street as well as the driveway because, I usually get stuck in the middle of the street if I do not and another car would like to pass.

This is our fist real snowy day of the season so we are way behind. It usually starts before Christmas until mid March and then the beautiful flowers start to come out. I have always loved our seasons living here in Idaho.  The snow is beautiful and quiet falling on the ground, the kids get pulled around in the sleds by dad or the family dog, parents teaching the kids how to ice skate on the local pond, the snowboarding, in Spring, all the heavy winter clothes are put away for light weight jackets, crop pants and tees, a trip to the local improvement store, riding lawn mowers, Summer is full of fun activities: water skiing, boating, making home-made ice cream, sleeping under the stars,camping, hiking, swimming, outdoor concerts in the park. fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love to watch the changing leaves, the shorter days and cooler nights, living in layers again.

The older I get, I am appreciating all my hometown has to offer. I have written before about being a tourist in my own town. I love the idea of seeing the new business being opened, shopping at my favorite shops, eating at the Greek Restaurant you haven ‘t had time to go to in awhile. As fast as Post falls is expanding, pretty soon I may feel like a tourist anyway. I joke that I will need a bus tour to find my way around. Time change, new people settle in, I think as long as we still our small town feel, friendly folks who always say hi, we will survive the growth.

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What Christmas Decorations Still Up?

January 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I started laughing this morning, here it is the middle of January already and I have not taken down my decorations yet. I would like to think it is because I love the holidays so much that I cannot bear to see them end, or I have to look at a simple living room again. But the one pleasure I have, I can play around with fresh throw pillows and furniture arrangement. ( My friends will want to come see what I have done new).

When my husband and I bought our house thirty some years ago, he didn’t want to make the house look too nice because he didn’t want visitors. Well, then he should not have married me then. I still laugh, all he wanted on our dining room wall was one tiny wall clock-NOTHING else mind you. This was my first home and I wanted it to be homey and cozy. I was looking through pictures one day and ran across our kitchen. The lone wall clock on the wall…. I would love to hear how he would defend himself about his design idea today. You see, I laugh at the memory of our fist home. Jerry passed away from complications from diabetes six short years after we married.

I had a second thought, I could only imagine what he would say today if he and my son could see what I have done with the house now. they would be surprised. I have color on my walls, my sons old bedroom, I have turned into my dressing room. I love to get dressed there in the morning and put on my pajamas at night. I outside had been recently painted, new metal roof, new furnace, oh yeah and Victorian themed. I have a dear friend who helped me put together a cozy place I can enjoy. she also used to own a B&B in Ireland. I also found out last year that the seaplane tour passes over my house, so I need to get the backyard in shape pronto. Well as soon as the snow leaves and Spring shows her beautiful colors again.

We never know where today or tomorrow is going to lead us. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball we did not see coming. It depends on how you deal with your grief whether your glass is half-full or half-empty. Even though life has thrown me a couple hard ships, I could never see my glass as half-empty. I have so many things to be thankful for. I wrote my first book not long after my son had passed away in a tragic car accident, I have been blessed to still be living in the home my husband and I had bought together, I have a special place to get dressed, a good job that I love going to everyday, good friends who care about me and always ready to lend a helping hand, my mom, a couple of trips planned for this year.

I would like to thank each one of your for your continued support and kind comments. I did not know six years ago if this blog thing would be something people would read or even like. I am glad so many people take the time to read my posts and maybe you can relate to some of what I have gone through it brightens your day a little. 

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Post Holiday Snowy Afternoon

January 9, 2019 at 1:55 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

I remember last year at Christmas, we had eight inches of snow over night for a tricky commute the next morning. This year, it snowed the day after Christmas; It was a blessing in disguise for some I suppose as we like it if you have experience driving and most importantly, stopping at the stop lights and signs. I just love to watch the snow falling and watching the dads pull the kids around the neighborhood in their sleds-or have the dog pull them for you.

Some of my fondest memories are of my friends and family being pulled around the neighborhood on my sled behind my dads old 1946 Willie’s Jeep. I do not know who had more fun, dad or us. When we could not feel our fingers or toes anymore, we would go inside the house where my mom had hot cocoa and home-made chocolate chip cookies waiting. The teens in the neighborhood always had a contest of who could shovel the driveway faster,so the parents never had to bother with the chore(who trained who well here now that I think of it.). I remember the small town sense of community then. We only had three thousand residents living here at the time.

My how times have changed.  The small town is growing rapidly these days. Every time I take a drive around m small town, I realize we have three more apartment buildings going up. We still have a small town charm and neighbors are always willing to lend a helping hand. My next door neighbor came over while I am sitting here writing this post and shoveled my driveway for me. How nice of him to think of me. It is nice to live in a smaller town, you have your favorite coffee-house you frequent, your grocery store, same bank and the friendly tellers there, so it doesn’t matter how much we grow, you still can have a small town feel.

Sometimes life get busier than we would like,I have some dear friends I keep meaning to catch up with over dinner or a movie. Not so long ago, two of my dear friends and I had the same schedule and we went out to lunch or for a nice drive together. My one friend and I laughed when I suggest taking a winter drive all we are missing is the snow. Soon Spring will be here and we will trade our coats,boots,layers for tees and shorts. But for a few moments more, I would like to savor the last of winter. I still love to bundle up near the fireplace and drink my coffee, see deer or moose in the front yard eating off one of the trees, quail eating among the pine trees where they think they are hidden, the neighbors still walking the dogs around the neighborhood by the river. I could not think of another place I would rather live. 

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New Year, Same Old Me

January 3, 2019 at 1:24 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I have never been one to make the new years resolutions. Not because I thought I would cheat after the first week, but I try to live a healthy lifestyle anyway; I daily deal with my grief, I keep my stress in check and I make time for me. I found out how important You are. My favorite place to go is the local bookstore. Not because they carry my book mind you, but I can find a new cozy and sit on the couch and escape for a while. I get together with friends often for dinner and a movie.

I have heard it said that I am part of the sandwich generation. So many families are either caring for the aging parents or even raising their grandchildren. The adult children have a different role now. We take care of our households and often take care of our parents as well. I have been caring for my aging mom for ten years now. I remember one day, I came over for dinner one evening and mom asked what was I making for her dinner tonight. That was my clue in. For the most part we get along pretty well.

I was surprised this year-hardly any snow….. What????? I love winter, driving in the snow, seeing the deer along the highway, the cold mornings, the layers, boots, and leggings, my warm sweaters. I am almost sad in two months, I have to put them away again and get ready for Spring. For now, I love looking out my picture window and seeing the forest, hearing the birds singing in the cool mornings, North Idaho is a wonderful place to live.

Someone once asked me if I could change one thing about my life, what would it be? I really would not change anything. I have a great marriage to a wonderful man,unfortunately, he died just six short years after we were married from his disease, we had a beautiful son named Levi, he was the joy in our life and became my world after Jerry passes away. My life was forever changed again when he died in a car accident in 2007. He was only 20. I have learned how to make great lemonade out of the lemons handed to me in my life. I learned life is what you make it, you can live with the glass half full or empty. I have always looked for the beauty in each new day. 

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Happy Birthday Son

December 27, 2018 at 3:14 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Sons, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Thirty-two years ago, the best gift God could have ever given to my husband and I was born. I love to tell the story about we had a ten percent chance to become pregnant because of my husbands disease; God had other plans for our lives. Today, you turn thirty-two in heaven where you celebrate with the angels and your dad. 

I think of you often wondering where you would be today. Just know I am so proud of the fine young man you had become. I love you so much and miss you dearly. Happy Birthday son, today you are thirty-two how did that happen?

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Stress Busters

December 18, 2018 at 11:58 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I went shopping the other day needing a Secrete Santa gift for my work Christmas party. I love the hints people put down as the wanted gift. Last week, the shopping wasn’t to bad yet, at least the shoppers in my small town don’t push and shove you out-of-the-way. I found a nice candle for my co-worker and decided to finish getting some last-minute gifts for some deserving children.

I went looking for some gift bagged popcorn or even the decorated tins of popcorn. Usually I have seen big displays as you entered the store.When I asked someone if they knew where they would be, she looked at me like I lived on another planet. As I walked away I wondered how many people she has helped today. I looked around for someone else to help me find my gift and I guess they all went on break or something. I finally decided on some nice gift boxes filled with a different assortment of candy. Thankfully I do not have many gifts to purchase like so many families. My holidays are spent with my mom and I.

I used to get out the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving. Now, it seems like the first week of December comes and goes before I start getting lights, wreaths and the tree out of storage. It was easier when my husband and son were still here. The family used to meet at my brother-in-laws home and have chili and cornbread, then go out in the forest and cut down out trees. It was a fun time spent fighting over the size of the tree and who was cutting it down. My husband always listened to Freedom Rock music not Christmas music; I still laugh at the thought.

Christmas eve was spent at my parents house being pulled around on sleds by my dad and his old jeep. Mom had hot chocolate and chocolate chips cookies on hands when we all came in to thaw out. My parents knew how to throw the best parties. We spent hours playing games, eating snacks and when it was time to go home, friends and family stayed longer. I still love the first snow fall of the season, I think about my son sledding down the small hill in front our house sharing his sled with the neighbor so she could play. I think the holidays are what you make of them. You can be a lemon taster and be angry over a circumstance in your life you had no control over, or you can just enjoy what the holiday has to offer. 

 

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