Downsizing

June 8, 2017 at 3:40 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, 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. 

 

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A Mother’s Day Gift

May 13, 2017 at 11:40 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Leavinghome, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking) (, , , )

This morning I was feeling a little melancholy; so much has changed in the last few years. I miss my son who died in a tragic car accident in 2007, family and friends have moved away, mom needs extra care now, I was feeling blue. Even though Levi died ten years ago, I still miss seeing him walk through his Grandmas front door for dinner. The last Mother’s day I spent with my son, he hand delivered a bouquet of roses where I worked; What a nice surprise to start my day. We met that evening for dinner at my mom’s house. 

I went over to my mom’s house this afternoon to give her a shower so she could be looking nice for  tomorrow. I have a nice dinner planned for the two of us, and then off to work. My next door neighbors came over to  to help me with her  shower. The kids surprised me with bouquet of daisies, and a box of candy. It wasn’t the fact I was given a nice gift, it was nice to be called mom. The girl next door has been calling me mom since she was little. Levi and Ashley grew up together; Every first snow fall, I knew the kids were outside in front connecting our yards together with a snow tunnel or you could find them sledding down the small hill across the street. They were good kids. Hard to believe the kids are now thirty- something. Ashley and her boyfriend are still a big part of my life. 

I hope tomorrow brings a wonderful day for mom. Maybe not breakfast in bed, or the kids decide to do the dinner dishes,or the garbage mysteriously get taken out without an argument but I wish all the moms a Happy Mother’s day. What I cherish most are the special things said through the years not the gifts. They say some pretty amazing things. This life as that has been transformed by son moving out, new found Independence, taking your time in the grocery store, they have thier own car now, earning a paycheck, but family game night is still special isn’t it?

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Spring Fever

April 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking) (, , , , )

The older I get

 

I can’t believe I am thinking this thought, but I am looking forward to Spring this year. We have had colder and harder winter this year and having one too many sub-zero days has gotten me used to the idea of warmer temperatures. Spring is usually not one of my favorite seasons because well, yard work. I work odd hours, I am usually tired, and I need to update my landscaping in my front yard this year after the harsh winter we had. One day last week,  I took a drive around my favorite up scaled neighborhood to get some ideas to freshen up my tired looking yard(front and back). I  took away some good ideas to turn my small home into a oasis to enjoy for another thirty plus years. 

Gardening has never been my specialty. I wish I could be one of the many who blog about how beautiful the yard is this year. I have trees I have planted in my back yard that has been trying to grow for the last twenty years. I might as well tear out my lavender plants this year, they just won’t grow. A few years ago, a friend of mine helped me with a few focal points to the yard. A well placed bird bath by the pine tree, I have an old brass bed I spray painted cream, and I have my sons old sand box turned planter. I have a good start, just need some color back there. caring for my aging mom now on top of working in health care, I prefer a staying home in my own comfortable B&B inspired home. I have been blessed by the  Lord with some dear friends who have helped me with updating my home after I lost my son suddenly in 2007. Inside and out have been freshly painted, new kitchen flooring, reinvented my closets, and my Victorian furniture I bought a few years ago for next to nothing. 

 So may wish they could downsize into a smaller home, have a little space for the garden, some flowers and a place for family and friends to hang out; Tiny homes are becoming a very popular option in living. Although I do not know how I would live in a 300 square foot home,many are loving the lifestyle. If you just starting out, you really do not need a lot of stuff.  Many families are keeping the older homes and renovating; they cannot afford a new home, so they are adding on or updating the old home; What a good way to have the added space for family and friends to visit. I know the vacation time is near,but many like me cannot get away to an exotic location, outdoor living spaces are a great way to spend a vacation at home. My favorite TV commercial shows and mom and daughter heading out for a relaxing afternoon by the pool(complete with tote bag for daughter full of towel,and girly stuff) later, dad grilling dinner in the outdoor living space, after the kids went to bed, the parents are enjoying the outdoor fire place. What a wonderful commercial showcasing a relaxing stay cation this year. I used to pitch my son Levis tent in the backyard. He and two friends spent the night under the stars laughing and talking all night. Live life comfortably but simply.

 

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My Fondest Easter Memory

April 12, 2017 at 8:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking) (, , , )

 

Easter has always been special for me. My family spent Easter weekend with my grandparents in an upscale trailer park. I always admired my grandmas front yard-it was beautifully landscaped. In my opinion, she had the nicest house on the block. My brother and I played for hours running around the trailer playing tag or hide and seek. My cousins would come the night before Easter and decorate the eggs. After the egg hunt, the family went swimming at the beach. I always thought it was neat to live two blocks from the ocean. I remember how foggy it would be and watching the fog burn off by mid morning. We probably went swimming with the sharks and didn’t even know it. There was a big seal population close by.

I remember how special it was the family taking time to gather even for the afternoon, spending time together. it was a simpler time then one without electronic devices to entertain you. I remember listening to the adults talking about a vacation they were taking this year or my older cousin talking about the Beatles newest song. I do not remember the telephone ringing very often. I was impressed because families spent time together and while the kids played in the front yard, the ladies sat on the porch watching us and laughing at our antics. Many cartwheel contests were won and lost. It didn’t take much to occupy he kids back then. I am glad I grew up in a time before cell phones and I pods and such. For one, my grandparents would have been like the commercial and make you keep your devices in the car or leave them at home. I think I learned so much from my family through the gatherings, how much they loved each other and spending time together.

I can truly say I am thankful for my upbringing. I was taught manners, not just please and thank you, be appreciative that many hands prepared the meal and not be picky about what is served. I was taught how to interact with adults at the table,taught not to be rude and interrupt, and most of all to be grateful to belong to a family. We had a lot of love at the Leigh and walker family gatherings. I am glad I did not grow up before my time,we had time to kids,we played outside, we drank from the hose(yes,we did), and we did not grow up too fast. I still get a kick out of remembering my family had a pay phone in the kitchen. Our friends always brought with them a dime just in case. My dad was one of the fun dads, he let the friends use the dime.

What special memory do you have of a family gathering at Easter? I would love to hear about one of your memories.

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The Better Choice

March 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, Poetry) (, , , )

 

While catching up on one of my favorite shows the other night, I saw an interesting commercial. The famous actress was pitching a cream that enhanced your natural (mine anyway) redness to the face. To think, I have spent countless dollars from a very famous makeup line to cover up my natural redness! It is funny to me how much we rely on someone we either hold in high regard as knowing what is current, or better yet, don’t trust our own judgment of ourselves. I have decided to trust my instincts and put a tinted moisturizer on my face to help keep the suns effects on my skin. I have been told I have young-looking skin and I would like to keep it that way.

The more I think about my background, I find I was just being me. When I was a senior in school, our History teacher told the class it would be nice if the Seniors would dress up once a month. it would show the underclassmen it did not hurt to come to school looking nice. We did,but here’s the thing, I started being asked my the students why I did not dress up everyday. Well, we are still talking to a teenager so my reaction was “Why should I lived on a ranch yes, but I could also feel pretty for the four classes I attended everyday. I wish I could say my life was forever changed with the suggestion I received but that would be a lie. My thought was( my thought was so funny to me now) “but then everyone would expect this of me everyday”.  I wore my hair long then. I remember how mad my classmates got when I had the very thought and actually did cut my hair six inches. What they did not understand was my hair was very thick and heavy. I was tired of one,no hairdresser would dare touch the length, and two my head sweated in the warmer months. I felt like I had the undercoat of a Pomeranian. Oh those teenage years. I am so glad they are behind me now.

Over the years, I have learned how to shop for clothes. I no longer long for Ger animals for teens and adults. I never had more than one friend I would hang around at a time I was more of a loner. I think when I shopped with a friend, I wanted to pretty shirt a shirt that would coordinated with more than one pant. My friend did not see shopping the way I did though. I was at school for my education,not a fashion show. My makeup was basic, plus I could not afford the current trend in 1978. I think my family felt sorry for me because I was getting brand new clothes my middle class cousin would not wear. I could not believe what she did not like. Funny though, all I had to do was buy the tops to match the nice bottoms. Like adding milk to jello right. I think everyone has a story like mine. Growing pains it what it is called.

Years ago, I went shopping with a good girlfriend in Spokane. I noticed the clothing racks had put together outfits that you mix and matched.  I was well on my way to becoming a modern mom. Being a young widow and a busy mom, I still wanted to look nice.  I dressed Levi in nice jeans and shirts, it really makes a difference in your life. My hair was cut in a nice short cut, I was busy running my household and working, so I decided long ago” it was as easy to keep yourself up as it was to let yourself go.” I think my husband would be proud of the woman I am today. I always tried to dress nice for him even when we went to his treatments twice a week.  My positive attitude brought my though a difficult time after my husband passed away.  I do not know why adults sometimes talk about going back to their childhood. You have to follow the rules of the house again, eat what is put on the table, you could not go out in public dressed how most kids dress today. Ahh, I know, your bills do not exist because cell phones, computers, I Pads  and other updated electronics did not exist yet. No rent,clothes bought for you,no outrageous food bill, and chauffeured everywhere. Gosh how the roles have suddenly changed…now I am taking mom everywhere, helping with her showers and meals, getting her mail for her and taking out her trash. Full circle of life. I feel like I am running two households. Life,isn’t it grand.

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Life’s Journey

February 2, 2017 at 12:46 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

images (4)The road up ahead is paved with uncertainty. Yesterday is gone,tomorrow is not promised so we make the most out of everyday. All our hopes and dreams yet unfulfilled, every goal yet to be reached, every sunrise and sunset gives us another chance to realize our full potential. Don’t let go of your dreams,don’t let life get in the way of your goals,don’t let now become tomorrow or believe it is too late.

Life as we all well know,doesn’t always go as we planned. A financial setback, health scare, death, divorce or child moving out can alter our goals. We all dream about one day when the honey and I are all alone, living by the lake, fishing until dusk everyday. We dream about the family and friends visiting us for the day,taking the boat out on the lake,watching the grand kids inner tubing behind the boat, then slowing down and enjoying the beautiful trees and lakeside homes. (sorry, I was day dreaming a minute). I cannot complain about my life; I have suffered a couple personal tragedies, but I really can say I am happy where my life is now. I have a good job,the love and support of family and friends, I still have my mom, and most important, I am learning to enjoy the beauty in each new day.

I lost two dear friends this week. One young man was a client,the other, an old family friend. Neil was the world’s greatest story tellers. He was the life of any party,he and his wife liked to host New years eve Murder Mystery Parties. My parents attended a few,good thing they walked around the block to the party because they couldn’t and shouldn’t have driven home. In between the murder mystery,was a seven course meal complete with wine. Neil took my young teenage son under his wing as a contract painter. He would pay Levi very well plus kept him out of trouble. The day before my sons funeral, Neil came and freshened up the paint on the front of my house. The next morning, Neil and his wife drove me to the Memorial service.One story I love was Neil loved donuts,he would wake his youngest son up at 3 am on Saturday whispering in his sons ear”they are fresh”.Off they would go at dark thirty. eating the first  hot, fresh donut of the morning. Cool dad.

Keep what is important, let go of what is not, look for the beauty in each new day, love a lot, forgive more for we do not know if this is the last time we will see our friends or family, hug your kids extra tight,let them know how much you love them, how proud you are of them, how glad you are they are in your life. Help them achieve their dreams.

 

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The Best Is Yet To Come

January 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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When my husband and I married,we thought we would go old together. On our honeymoon in Canada,we imagined buying our first house, talked about having kids, traveling after we retired,envisioned a life as proud Grandparents someday.My life took a different direction.

We start out with so many plans for our future. My husband had a seizure while in Canada on our honeymoon. After Jerry was released from the hospital,we came home (three days early). He really thought his marriage to me was over. I had ruined my life with him he thought. Funny….. I reminded him about our vows we just said to each other not a week earlier. After I convinced him I was not going anywhere,we started our lives together. We bought a single wide trailer not long after we were married. I remember our first night in our new home in our bed. We were pinch each other to see if it was real or not. Homeowners. We noticed there weren’t any kids playing in the neighborhood. We realised wer lived in an adult park. When were found out we were pregnant,we were told six months after the baby was born,we would have to move. We started looking for a permanent home the next day. When I was six months pregnant with our son,we moved into our first house. The original homeowners of the trailer came back from texas and asked if they could buy back the trailer.(Talk about God looking out for us). We turned them down-no we couldn’t believe how much God was blessing us. My cousins were also moving into a new home and had a Uhaul trailer ready to go back to the store. My mom asked if we could use the trailer for a few hours before it went back. With help from family,we were moved in that night. Again we played the pinching game not believing we just bought our forever house. There was an empty field across the street from our house-in fact we had only four houses on our street. Down the hill rom us is a bay. back then,you could launch your boat. You could hike around the trails in the summer,and sled down the hill in the winter.

My husband son and I lived in our home six years before Jerry passed away from complications from a disease. I still live in the house my husband and I bought together on our second Anniversary. My son always complained he only lived in one house his whole life(tragedy isn’t it) Gosh,to have stable mother,what is the world coming to? Life as a single parent presented many challenges and difficulties-Levi and I survived them all. I am proud of the fine young man he had become.  At the ripe old age of 19 years old, my son and I agreed it was time he left the nest. He moved in with his Grandma to help take care of her after his Grandpa passed away. Levi would ask his grandma for a ride somewhere and she would tell him to look on the calendar to see if she could fit him into her schedule. I thought it was so cute. she was part of the Red Hat Ladies, went on weekend trips with the rambling Rovers, ate lunch at the Senior Center and had Monthly games of Bunco at her house. I remember when Levi got his driver’s license, his grandma didn’t have to drive anywhere. His first vehicle was a Dodge Ram truck. It was fun watching my mom trying to climb inside his truck; She almost needed a boost, but he wasn’t going to do it.

My life was again forever changed when my son passed away in a tragic car accident at the age of 20. I was just getting used to being an empty nester,my son stopping by for a short visit(three minutes,because he forgot something in his room.) I finally let him know I had plans for his old bedroom and if he didn’t want to pay a storage fee on his room, he needed to move out completely. That got him motivated. Halloween night,I can still remember it well Levi was all moved out. I sat in the dark drinking a cup of coffee with his cat enjoying the quiet. I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and putting on pajamas in the evening. His room turned a beautiful shade of beige instead of a sickly green when his friend came over and helped him paint while I was at work(is there any other time?) I have so many memories of putting my son back to bed again and again, I bought Levi a fish tank. He still got into bed with me. I bought a light for the tank, he stayed in bed watching the bubbles and his fish swim around until he fell asleep. We moved into the tween years where I didn’t know if we could survive the bad attitude we came out of it unscathed. Time flies by so fast while raising our kids. If I could talk to a young mother today, my advice to her would be to enjoy every moment God gives you as a parent. Enjoy the good days and learn from the bad ones. Instruction books were not given at the hospital when your new baby was handed to you. (someone would have rewritten it anyway). parenthood even in difficult times is the most important job a parent will ever have.

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A Best Friend Forever

January 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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I have a best friend I have known since kindergarten.I remember sitting beside my friend squirming in my seat trying to listen to my Sunday school teacher; After class, Karen and I found our parents walking hand in hand. We went all through school together,saying hi in the halls. I really liked her fashion sense. Her hair was always cut to fashion,her clothes were on the best dressed list and she has a winning smile. I think her mom cut everyone’s hair in high school except for mine. She was a best kept secrete. In all honesty, I could not get a hair dresser to touch my hair because it was so long, they did not want me to cut it. (Hard when your hair becomes your identity). I did finally get someone to cut my hair(reluctantly). How hard is short hair anyway? The next day at school, I thought I was going to be launched into outer space I thought it was my hair on my head. I muddled through the last two years of school getting good grades and working.

My friend and I lost track of each other for a few years until we met again in of all places Disneyland in 1990 after my husband had died. It was so nice to run into her again. We exchanged phone numbers keeping in touch within our busy schedules. I had since moved to Idaho, she still resided in california; We were both busy moms raising our boys into fine young men. Over the years,both of our lives have taken a different direction than we expected. We shared in conversation the hardships and difficulties we had in parenting. Those tween years can be brutal especially as a single parent. One by one,our sons became young men before our eyes and was ready to enter the great big world. Karens sons entered the Military after Graduation while Levi already had a good job laying Granite counter tops and installing carpet. All of a sudden,we were both Empty Nesters. It takes some getting used to.

With our sons grown and out of the house, it was time to do everything we wanted while we were still young to do them. I worked full-time in the Hotel Industry while Karen worked in nursing; Karen might have gone on a few more vacations than I had but we were pretty busy just living our daily lives. Levi came over for a few minutes to pick up something from his room(gone were the dreams when he came over for dinner and afterwards chat about what was going on now in his life) Karen’s sons were gone in the Military so she did not see them either. (What happened to that perfect dream we had when we were little girls?)It is a different feeling seeing your son driving around town in his new car. You yell hi son from inside the car. My best friend and I have both suffered personal tragedies the past few years. We keep in touch and pray for each other. Meeting Karen was no accident all those years ago. She was destined to be one of my best friends that I really not only admire but appreciate her generosity as well. I thank God for her everyday.

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The Good Old days

January 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking) (, , , )

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Happy New Year everyone. I hope January has been joyous so far. Here in Idaho, we are in the grips of another deep freeze. Falalalalalala. I am assured that Spring will be back soon. I live in a Four Season climate,so I make the best of all the Seasons. Fall and Winter usually are my favorite time of year, but this year, I could let Winter hibernate for a while.

Last week, while catching up with some of my classmates from high school, I saw a poll was being taken by several of my friends. The questions ranged from did we know our spouses in school, did we participate in sports how many children do we have. One question caught my eye. Would you go back to high school? Most answered yes.

I would not go back for a full year,but I would go back for say a week. I could ride my beloved horse again, drive my first car and go have dinner with my best friend at Bob’s Big Boy and then shopping. I could pick out a nice bedspread for my room, finally pick out a poster and tweak a few accessories. For the most part,growing up was good. My twin brother and I grew up on a ranch away from town. All my friends were envious of my brother and I. We sometimes wished we could trade the weekend with one of our classmates and then we could sleep in, have a temporary new set of siblings, enjoy some new dishes, hang out with my temporary sister’s best friends. Life as they say is always greener on the other side of the Astroturf.

Mu Junior year of high school, I was being approached my by classmates and being told I should go out for Home Coming Queen and Miss Moorpark. I was surprised as I did not think I would win; I lost Home Coming Queen by just 12 votes. Miss Moorpark was a another story all together. The experience helped my self-esteem and  helped me realize I needed more confidence in my abilities. Not living in town around more people was difficult sometimes,but other times, it was nice to get on my horse and go for a long ride with our German Shepherd dog Princess. I also had my lambs to care for, chickens, a goat, cow, and countless rabbits. I was often teased because I did not dress up in a dress or skirt or trousers for school. I told one classmate”I have ten minutes to get ready for school after feeding the animals and a mile walk to the bus stop. I am not wearing heels and a dress.”After I passed my driving test and bought my first car, my appearance changed. I still did not wear a dress everyday, but I dressed nicer. I guess friends noticed because I was asked to participate in a Home Coming Queen.

I did not have three or four girlfriends to go shopping with and help me pick out a nice blouse or stripped t-shirt to mix and match the clothes in my closet. I think I figured out early on, that if you look at school one day,you we expected to keep it up. (Too much work involved for this teen). My mom worked at the bank and dad was disabled from an accident at work. Money was tight and my brother and I bought our own clothes and paid rent; We both had jobs so we were expected to help out; This taught us both responsibility, and appreciate what we had. When I bought my first car, I could escape for a few hours,go see my beloved grandmother, get a bite to eat, shop at a few stores and then head back home. I had some good friends, great memories, fun in 4-H club with my brother, life was simpler.

I would not trade my life for anything in the world. I have lived through some difficult circumstances, but I have the love and support of my family and friends. I realized that life goes on after the tragedy, we mourn,we heal, and we look forward to a brighter future. Life is different without my husband and son, but I keep myself busy with a fulfilling job, caring for my aging mother, and writing. I started my writing career in a teenage journal. I did not have the lock and key version, but I wrote down what I thought important at the time. I took a few writing classes in high school, but I was not sure I want journalism as my career. I went into Nursing because I cared for my dad while mom worked in high school. I made the right choice for me. I have a job that is very rewarding. I think back on when all I ever wanted was to be a wife and mother. I am blessed I was given the joy of a wife and motherhood even if for a little while.

Sometimes I set here looking at the computer screen rewrite a sentence forty times in my mind before I finally put it in my post. I have deleted many paragraphs and started over until I just told myself ” I can’t figure out how to write this, time to give up.” Then you get a brilliant idea, and the story comes together. I have been blogging for four years now; I started my blog after I published my first book. (I can’t believe the book has been out six years already.) I started out writing stories that related to my book and write about subjects that interested me. When I started blogging, I did not know if anyone would ever read my posts, even care I had a blog, or I worried my posts were too sad for some to read. Ing have been told I have a sad blog by some readers and they stopped reading. I have met so many more wonderful people all over the world that appreciate my stories, left lovely comments and some know how it feels to lose a son. Life can throw you a curve ball you never seen coming, but life also moves forward as we heal and begin living again.

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm (Memoir, memoirs, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking) (, , , , , )

 

Christmas relax after skiing in cabin in mountains with fireplace

Christmas relax after skiing in cabin in mountains with fireplace

I drove home this morning to snow gently falling. The snow-capped trees and mountains were beautiful. Not too many souls up this time of the morning to ruin a perfect moment. When the first snow hits, the brave ones who just happen to own four-wheel drive Dodge ram trucks zoom past you faster than the Fire Department going to a fire. The freeway is worse. You either get the drivers who are not sure of their driving ability and creep down the freeway and hold up traffic, or the big trucks going by you like a speeding bullet. The Police officers wait in the middle of town getting ready to call for a tow truck to pull the idiots out of the ditch or deal with the fender-benders of motorists driving to fast for conditions. Ahh, life in a small city.

I have lived in North Idaho for the past 35 years; I have watched my tiny town of 3,oo0 people with one blinking light in a four-way stop to 35,00 or so people. Many folks are moving to the rural towns to escape the madhouse crowds. (Those who live in a big City laugh because I talk about crowds) When I first moved to Post falls in 1981, I learned to drive in the snow for the first time.My dad towed the family around the neighborhood in his 1946 Willy’s jeep, folks were like family in the neighborhood. Now,most of the neighbors have moved and we are left with just a few families who more or less keep to themselves.

I went to my annual mandatory meeting at work Thursday afternoon. I thought it was funny to combine a meeting (never know what they are going to discuss) combined with a Christmas party(maybe to soften the blow?). We all had a good time at the party; Moms brought the kids who played elves to Santa Clause and passed out secrete santa gifts. We had plenty of food,fun,laughter and left feeling like part of a family again. I work in the health care field. I care for some amazing young adults in a total dependant care group home.  I am blessed getting to come to work every evening. When I first was married, I worked with adults with special needs on a janitorial crew. By far my favorite job I had ever had. When I went to work for my current employer, I was overjoyed to have some of my clients to work with again.

When my husband and I were first married,we had Christmas in our new trailer we bought for a song. We didn’t have much money, so family and friends gave us furniture and household items that believe it or not went quite well together. My husband and his brother would take off for the afternoon to buy my gift, Jerry had really good taste in my gifts. Living in a cold climate,he bought me the nicest sweat suit outfits. Our last christmas, Jerry didn’t live long enough for me to open my gifts. He told my mom he wanted me to keep warm. He bought me feeted pajamas,a couple of sweat suit outfits and an angel I put on my tv. I made the best of the holiday with my four-year old son Levi. We decorated our new house with the tree,and he was excited I bought him a tree of his own for his bedroom. Today is hard for me,I will soon be on my way to my mom’s house to make her a nice dinner,open gifts, and the off to work I go. I hope all has a wonderful christmas day filled with laughter, good food,awesome stories to tell at the table, and most of all last memories to remember for years to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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