A Nice Day Trip

June 7, 2018 at 9:19 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine and I decided to plan a day trip. We were going to spend the day in a quaint little town overlooking the lake. First my friend needed to pick up a Memorial wrath as her mothers headstone had been delivered. Her parents had a plot bought several years earlier so they could be buried together and not burden the children. When my friend and I had gotten into town, we headed for the cemetery to place the wreath on the grave. Let me tell you, there is nothing like getting lost near a cemetery and cannot find the right road to take. After driving around for a half hour, we finally found the road. When we arrived, the grounds keeper was cutting the grass. It took us several minutes walking up and down the rows of graves to find her mom and dad. We took a few pictures and then headed back into town. I am glad I had the day off from work that I could go and help her celebrate her parents. They were like parents to me as well. 

The morning was sunny and breezy, the drive is a picturesque drive with good 1970’s music, beautiful scenery, and great conversation. I never get tired of driving through the forest, or passing a pretty lake. We are always on the lookout for deer on the way. Sharon and I were reminiscing about the first time we had met. She was my son Levi’s Kindergarten teacher; we had become fast and lasting friends over the years. On Friday nights, we would take the kids for an hour drive to our favorite church the out for ice cream after. I needed some good friends, it was a difficult time for me after my husband passed away. Their kids were a couple of years older than my son, so we would talk child rearing. it was nice to have someone I could talk to. 

 I find even if the plans you have are not what you expected, you can still make an enjoyable day out of it. I would like to think I am getting older and more creative with my days off. summer has never been one season I liked. The heat, the humidity, the bugs, the allergies, the water bill (that took the place of the furnace bills in the winter), keeping your flowers alive long enough to enjoy them. This year, I have decided enjoy the summer by being ‘a tourist in my town and maybe a quaint small town or two.’ Enjoying a walk around the boardwalk, having a snack at an outside cafe, have a coffee at a new coffee-house, check out a new art gallery, it has changed how I live my days.  I only have to water my lawn and flowers for three months, the only project this year is fill the holes in my backyard from the trees I had removed and maybe extend my patio. I live in a great neighborhood with awesome neighbors, have a nice little house that really feels like a vacation year round. 

I do not have the money to build an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a swimming pool, or an outdoor fireplace. I will leave that to my home where I go to celebrate my can’t take care of this anymore years. I know it is a growing trend to have an outdoor retreat for the family. I am glad families are investing into the future with grand kids someday, but for now, they can enjoy a yard where it is a home away from home stay-cation spot. I have seen some beautiful homes nestled in the forest or by a lake. Why would you want to go anywhere else?  Some backyards are landscaped in multi levels. a great place to pitch a couple tents and a fire pit. Mom and daughter afternoon pool day. Pack your towel and sunscreen in a tote bag and carry it to the pool party. Simple ways to create lasting memories that is passed on. 

 

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Perspectives

April 3, 2018 at 12:20 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I was having one of those weeks. It was long, tiring and I just wanted to start my weekend. Some weeks seem to just zip by, while others drag on forever it seems like. Work is going well,but some days, you just wish you could call in sick and stay home.  I notice when I get tired, I get sensitive. In truth, some people you do not really know if they are being serious or not. Being middle age is not always easy.

Easter was different for me. Like many, it is just my mom and I who celebrate holidays anymore. It is tough when she just wants a baloney sandwich and call it good. Most of our friends and family has moved away. It was tough when mom didn’t want to get dressed  she prefers her bathrobe. I had a difficult time accepting this new reality. I finally decided to buy her some nice night gown and house dresses so she can look pretty while being comfortable. Besides, arguing just leads to hard feelings. It really helped when I found her a shower aide. The ladies have fun talking and mom feels better.

I remember a few years ago, running into my mom getting her groceries.Her social calendar was full, and she was full of life. Mom was a member of the Red Hat Flappers; She was the duchess of finances. My son used to ask her for a ride, she would tell him to check the calendar to see if she was available. Her group of friends would take a senior travel tour. I was glad she was getting out and enjoying life again. My son moved in with his grandma to help her after his grandpa passed away. My mom was in baking for twenty-five years so she was putting Levi on a budget. She taught him how to pay his bills on time, and save for a rainy day. ( He was at the age where his mom knew nothing, but went over the same material with him).

Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in a rut and can’t seem to climb out of it. I understand the gardeners who can’t wait to start digging in the dirt and plant flowers and trees and things. I am becoming a reforming black thumb gardener. My yard looks pretty nice last year. I like a simple yard with cottage charm. I love to watch the butterflies fluttering looking for the pretty butterfly bushes I have planted, birds landing in the trees chirping away, the deer eating in the yards. So much to look forward to. I think you can look at your life as the glass half full or half empty. Some families have been through devastating circumstances and are having a tough time recovering. Losing my husband and my son has been difficult-but I had to realize you will never “get over it”, yes, life will go on, and I will always remember Jerry and Levi. I think I can say, I accept where I am in my life today. 

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Forever Changed Lives

September 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , , )

 

 

Lives have been turned upside down, side ways, tumbled, and families are waiting for relief.  From the storms that rage on from Irma and now Jose,the fires raging in the Northwest,to continuing hot,dry conditions.  My home is surrounded by the heavy, nasty smoke in the northwest. I gave up watering my yard,but decided to have mercy on my Hydrangea and cut them back.  We have not had any measurable rainfall since June.

The fires raging out of control in Oregon was deliberately set. I still cannot believe someone can set a fire in a beautiful forest enjoyed by so many FOR FUN. I heard on the news campers are still not following the no camp fire bans and some have resorted to setting around a propane camp fire. Campers are brave souls because when animals get scared, they are more dangerous. I don’t know about you,but  hearing a moose cry outside my camper would be an eerie sound, a bear trying to come inside where it is maybe safer,( he expects a hearty breakfast in the morning). Next Month is the start of hunting season, the game may figure it better to migrate this year to a safer location. (Forget the natural GPS,) It has been a crazy whether this summer soon becoming Fall.

Maybe this is the reason so many homeowners are deciding to stay home and turn the home into a family resort. Backyard grilling station, a nice pool, fire pit, covered patio. I think it a wonderful idea you don’t have to fight the kids to pack, no packing the car, if you forget something, just head back inside-you can now afford the better cuts of meat for your camp out. Oh, burgers and dogs are fine,but sometimes you want to resort live. My favorite summertime commercial showed a mom and daughter in their swim suits, getting ready to sit by backyard pool; later, dad grill dinner, after kids have gone to bed, parents enjoying a glass of wine by the outside fireplace. Anyone can add a vacation feel to your home. After roasting hot dogs over the BBQ, pitch the kids tent in the backyard, (let them listen to the cricket’s chirp over the freeway noise) In the morning,make a pancake station and let everyone add the toppings. Sure to be a big hit.

Families will soon get back to the new normal. Many live in areas that flood every year, tornadoes are common, fires rage on, and choose to rebuild. Many have said they can’t imagine living anywhere else. I pray for hope, peace, getting the fires under control, and Irma and her devastating aftermath. Sometimes you wonder how you can go through so much and keep going strong. Some have lost everything…again…. there is a spirit in these individuals that keep going and fighting. As a Great Nation we still are, e come together, letting go of the fighting, riots, and hate instead showing what we are really made of. We are a melting pot of many ethnic backgrounds,  family values,  traditions, started families, live in small communities, provide for their families,looking forward to the next generation. We live in very uncertain times,we do not know what is around the next corner. Hug your kids extra tight tonight,tell them how much you love them,how proud you are of them and you are glad they are in your live. Nobody is promised tomorrow, make the most out of today.

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A Sweet Note

May 10, 2017 at 3:38 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , )

 

I am sitting here thinking about a poem my son had written several years ago. My son moved out to help care for his Grandma after his Grandpa passed away. He left all his worldly possessions in his(my) bedroom thinking I was supposed to just store all his stuff(and he had stuff) for free. They trust us with all this valuable treasures to hold  for them scattered in the basement, the garage, still in limbo in the bedroom. I have to give Levi credit though, at least half of the bedroom was packed up in big boxes(left in the middle of the room). I guess he never thought I would actually want to have a guest bedroom; I love that he thought he could still just walk in the front door scaring me half to death because I was not expecting company, go to (my) room now, pick something up and leave after just three minutes. One day I mentioned to him I wanted to make his room my guest room and either he can move out completely or pay rent on his stuff  he left. The look he gave was priceless. He promised to have all his prized possessions out of the house by the weekend. Levi died in a tragic car accident the next afternoon. He was only 20. 

A couple of Months later, I was going through his desk,  I found a small piece of paper with something scribbled on it. When I opened up the note, I found some sound advice. I would like to share with you the mot important words I will ever read except for God’s word. ” Life can change in a moment, live everyday like you mean it, and don’t look back with any regrets.” My son left a lasting legacy of  the fine young man he had become. I miss he mischievous smile, his infectious laugh, his generous heart, and most of all, his appetite for life. A few years ago, Levi and his boss laid new carpeting in my house. It was a treat to get new carpet, and an honor to have my son help lay it. 

Take the time everyday to tell your loved ones how much you love them, you are proud of them, they can live their dreams, make time to get together often. Our lives have become too busy,slow down. The kids really are only young once. So many families cannot get away for vacations,  the new trend is outdoor living spaces. After a hard days work, come home put on the grill, go for a swim, and end the evening in front of the outdoor fire-place( I am jealous). Life is about slowing down and making lasting memories. A lot of private homes are looking nicer than a luxury Hotel. Who needs to go to the movies when you have a home theater? You don’t have to be wealthy to make a few changes the whole family can enjoy for years to come. Watching some of the Home Renovation Shows give you some good ideas on how to improve the home without adding square footage. 

 

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Stay True To Who You Are

October 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , , )

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When I started my blog over four years ago, It was never to get fame or fortune. I started writing stories from my first book . I hoped my friends would read my posts and maybe like them. I had no idea how many people my stories would touch. I have met so many wonderful readers who have  moving stories forward bout thier loss. Some readers have told me my stories are painful to read and have stopped reading my posts. At first my feelings were hurt,but then I realized it was not a reflection off of me. I have read some blogs on grief and so many are so broken after many years; There is no time period on healing.

Life has thrown me many curve balls; I could have become bitter and angry but then I realized friends and family would avoid me and my pity party. We were never promised a rose garden life. years ago, I wrote my first book a couple of years after my only son Levi’s car accident. I would be asked ” how many copies have I sold so far?” I would tell people” if my book brought some peace to a grieving family, I could not ask for more.” I found out my book is in the waiting area of my local hospital and it was in the waiting room of the Critical care Unit;  River City Hospice recommends the book to hurting families. My book has gone farther than I could have hoped for.

Coming up with weekly blog topics are sometimes difficult for me.I try and blog twice a week. I sit and sometimes stare at the computer screen, but the stories unfortunately do not write themselves. When in doubt, I use a story from my book . Life is wonderful,exciting, I look at the beauty at each new day and really thank God for it. My glass is not half empty. It is brimming over with life, I don’t feel sorry for myself because I will not be a grandmother . I do sometimes wonder where Levi would be today at age thirty. Wow, I am feeling old. Yep,sometimes life throws you a curve ball. it depends on what you do with it.

I have lived in the same town for thirty-five years,in the same house for thirty. I truly feel blessed,I am glad I have my mom,a good jog I love, good co-workers, I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room I love to get dressed in there in the morning and pj’s on at night. I am grateful to God who has walked me through some of the darkest days of my life and we still have coffee everyday. I am a blessed woman indeed!

 

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We Will Never Forget

September 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , , )

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 -- FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center. Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 — FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center.
Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

 

My day started out like any other. I was getting ready to open my daycare on this life changing day. I thought it odd that one by one, the parents called to keep the children home this morning. With the day off, I thought I could run some errands and make the most of it. I drove by my church to and I saw many cars in the parking lot. I wondered what could be going on. I parked my car and went inside the coffee shop and watched with others that day the horror unfolding before our eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

My Pastor is a former police officer in Las Vegas , he was called upon to help with the recover efforts at The World trade center. He helped with the bodies being brought in to the make shift morgue. I can remember when he came back he told the congregation that even if a finger came through the door,the finger was saluted because that is how much respect was given tot he heroes who died that tragic day.

It has taken awhile to feel safe again for many Americans. You did not know could happen next. The World trade Center has rebuilt telling the world America is a great nation that will not fold over a coward act. Continue to pray for this next election and continued grace given by God over this nation we love so much.

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Thank You For Your Service

September 5, 2016 at 9:40 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , )

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Hoopfest 2016

June 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , )

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Hoopfest is the largest 3-on 3 basketball tourney in the Country.

For two days,400 teams come together for one goal: to be the Hoopfest champions.

Hoopfest started out as a fun basketball game in Spokane Washington over ten years ago. Now,teams all over the world come here to compete. Families come to cheer on their favorite teams or stars that come for the two-day event.

When Hoopfest started, downtown Spokane blocked off three blocks for the competitors. Now over 400 teams participate. There are food courts, shopping,not to mention basketball.

So many lives are changed by this event. last year a group calling themselves Blessing under the bridge came to participate. One was living in the Union Gospel Mission, another in his car and one with his parents and pregnant girlfriend. After the game and the story heard the community came together to change lives. Today all the young men have good jobs a nice place to live and feel blessed.

Get out there and have a fun summer. Unplug and and spend time with the family. Some families have been devastated by tragedy. I miss my son very much. I always say hug the kids extra tight today, tell them how much you love them are how proud you are of them. Life can really change in a moment.

 

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Living Life With No Regrets

June 10, 2016 at 6:01 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Sons, Survivor) (, , , , )

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A One sunny sunday afternoon my son Levi Levi went with some friends to float the river, by that evening, he was fighting for his life. After 5 days and countless prayers later, God stood with me when the machines were turned off. He was only 20. Words cannot express the grief I felt that day. Both our lives were forever changed in a moment. A few months later, I was sorting through my sons things. I found a note in his desk. The note said things can chnge in a moment, live everyday like you mean it, don’t look back with any regrets.

How do we handle the curve ball thrown at us? I could have lived my life is depression or I could trust God and move forward in my life. Some live sucking lemons, others make lemonade. There is no formula to healing. One day at a time. Some days I think about Levi and cry most of the day. Not for what I missed out on,but what a fine young man he turned out to become. As a single parent, we had our hardships and difficulties,but we survived them all.

The other day, while in my garden, I found a rusty bottle cap, It made my day. After Levi passed away, I started to find bottle caps in my garden. Like he was telling me he was still around looking out for his mom. Whenever I try to look back to different times in my life, I am reminded of how far I have come in healing, given much needed grace to give to others, peace of mind. I think about Levi’s note I found- we cannot control our past or future, but we can be happier in the present.

Create a place for healing. It can be in your garden area, in the park,on the couch. I try and find one thing to be thankful for every morning. The birds stat singing at weeeee hours now, I love to lay in bed listening to them chirp like old friends making plans. I am thankful i have good firends like the birds to get together with. I have a good church family and the love and support of family and friends. I have solid foundations to keep me focused and grounded in what it is important.

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Thank You All Who Have Served.

May 30, 2016 at 8:37 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , , , )

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Today, we honor our fallen heroes,we say thank you for your service to keep our Country free. My twin brother was a Marine, I am blessed he came home safe. So many have lost their lives in combat.

The best photo I have ever seen was of an old gentleman at a parade. He was standing in his uniform saluting as the floats went by him. He understood the value of these fine young men and women having been their himself.

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