A New Tradition

December 6, 2017 at 1:14 am (Memoir, Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, blogging, grief) (, , , , , )

When I was first married, my husband and I started a tradition having ‘our own’ Christmas tree, buying our decorations to trim the real live tree we cut down, and making our home inviting for friends and family. Jerry and I started cutting down our tree at his parents home. Several couples including my mom and dad enjoyed walking through the snowy tree farm (sometimes we came prepared, other times our feet were soaked) But we all had a good time scouting the property looking for the best tree. My mom was easy to please, a Charlie Brown tree suit her just fine. After we all had finished bringing our prized trees to the house, we went inside to warm up nest to the crackling fire and had a yummy chili feed.

I remember my parents who throwing the best parties. On snowy afternoons, my dad always brought out his prized 1946 Willies Jeep and pulled company around the neighborhood on sleds. I think he was the biggest kid of all. Afterwards, we came into the warm house and sat by the fireplace and either played games or had great lively discussions about some trending topic of the day. Mom and dad had a become good friends with a few of the neighbors. Thanksgiving or Christmas was at my parents, new years Eve, A Murder Mystery Night was hosted by another neighbor. Costumes were a must. A four course meal was served in between the mystery being played out. I am glad my parents had so many wonderful friends to plan activities with. ( I forget they were in thier forties after all).

Kids grow up and move away, friends and family moved to a warmer climate, and suddenly, the holidays had changed. My young son helped his grandpa put out lights and decorate the house, the neighbors had a light fight contest to see who could have the best dressed house. Across the street always won because his Santa decoration hit the pine tree head first. We were excited to see my brother and his best friend pull into the driveway to spend Christmas with us. One year, my dad took us all to Mount Spokane for the afternoon. We got out our inner tubes, and stayed on a less traveled bunny hill to sled on. My son had fun with his uncle until a rock jumped in the way of the sled and Levi went flying and landed in a snow drift(funny thing, the same thing happened to me when I was his age with my favorite Aunt).  After a fun day, we went to Kid Zone and had dinner and played games. My dad was the biggest kid there. he had a blast trying to stay on the virtual motorcycle game. My brother kept telling dad to lean into the corner. he did almost falling off the game.  Everyone slept good that night including the birthday boy.

Most of my family has moved or passed away. Mom and I have ourselves a quiet little Christmas. I decorate her home modestly. We have a nice dinner and open our gifts. Mom is cute as she does not even get dressed anymore. I make sure she has a pretty gown to put on and a warm bathrobe. A lot has changed over the years and meeting someone where they are makes a merry holiday for both of us. Mom reminiscences a lot now. She grew up in Chats worth, next to a movie studio where Hop Along Cassidy was being filmed. We sit and chat over a cup of coffee after dinner. When she is gone, gone forever are the stories. I had to come to terms with a few realities about my mom.  Some are hard to accept.

This evening, I am heading over to a dear friends house for a light meal and a Agatha Christie movie. My friend helped me refresh several rooms in my home. ten years ago, I asked her to help me with my bedroom. She was so cute she asked me when was the last time my bedroom had been touched. I told her seventeen years ago. My husband had died. It was time. What she created for me was a B&B retreat! She is still amazed to this day my room is still the same. A funny story about my husband. he did not want anyone staying with us so he did not want the grand beautiful house. Well, I asked my friend to help just make the house feel cozy . My kitchen had no artwork, nothing on the walls. Just a little of her magic…. she was afraid of making my husband mad at me. I tried telling her I pay half the bills. We still laugh about it today.

I found girlfriend time is important. We don’t get together as often as we would like, but we stay in touch. In my busy life, I had to learn to slow down and make time for myself. An evening out looking at lights, and listening to instrumental music while seeing all the beautifully decorated mansions. Sometimes I have to remember what I used to find fun and rekindle the memories so they don’t stay a memory. I am taking a couple of cookie baking classes with a friend. I think I am not one who likes to stay at home all the time, I like to get together with families for a game night or making cookies together.  You do not have to feel alone, just remember you are loved , cherished, and probably great company. getting together with friends is good for the soul.

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The Right Words

November 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I often read blog posts from different walks of life. It is fun to read about a young couple struggles with parenting(I have been there). I love to read about a couple who have just retired traveling, a friend who has just got back from her Hawaii vacation (lucky ducks).  I enjoy  reading about a country cottage set in Ireland and the beautiful photos of the flowers and vegetable gardens. I love seeing the countryside, the winding roads, the sheep dotting the landscape. I follow a food critic and her thoughts about up scaled restaurants food and service.

I ran across one post that was interesting to me. She told about blogging and not always knowing what to write about. She was telling of her experience of a writer block and how to deal with it. She raises chickens; sometimes, she just has to go gather the eggs, feed and water them, then walk back from the barn to her office and then she can write. I agree. I do not always know what to post. It is easy to just not post that day,but then we are not challenged are we. I do not have a million ideas dancing in my head waiting for me to pick one.

I like to get together with a dear friend over dessert and a movie before work.  I feel like a queen when I go to her home. She always has a special dessert or even cheeses and crackers to snack on while watching one of our favorite movies. Last night, it was Benny and Joon. We laughed so hard, and as an added bonus, one of our dearest friends played in the movie. I had forgotten he had a small part. I go for an afternoon walk by the lake. With no boats with water skiers, the water is as smooth as glass; I walk in an up scaled neighborhood  and get ideas about landscaping my home. It is nice to see how the other half-lives, although I do not have to clean a large house.

Sometimes, I need to clear the sawdust out of my head, or let the stresses of the day go, to take a moment for me to gather my thoughts again and then I can come and post a story. We are over committed, caring for our aging parents, long work days, it is a discipline to set and post twice or three times a week. It is nice to know your story is being read and maybe a comment or two.

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Cancer- Zero

November 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

Four years ago, we received the news mom had breast cancer;  She was set up with a treatment plan of a partial mastectomy, radiation therapy, good nutrition, and most important, family support. After two months, she finished her treatments. Today, she is doing well. I was impressed with the level of care, patience, empathy, and professional ethics my mom was given during her difficult time in her life. Mom was scared, so it helped I could take her to her appointments. I had to step outside of my emotions and  take into consideration, just knowing  a loved one was in the waiting area can make the a big difference in healing.

Sometimes it takes a health scare to prioritize our lives. We can be so busy, we never stop to see the beautiful blue sky or look at the neighbor and her working in her beautiful flower beds. We have become over committed, ( need three of me) to accomplish everything in a day. I always tell my friends to manage your stress, take time out of the day for yourself,even if it just a quick dip in the pool, make a nice sandwich for yourself and sit on the front porch and listen to the birds chirping, if you like gardening,pull a few weeds, or pick a bouquet of roses for the dinner table tonight. Take the kids on a nature walk or a bike ride to the park. I learned what I thought was important wasn’t so important anymore.

Another success story I would love to boast about is when I worked at an Assistant Living facility a few years ago. The complex was divided into four homes ranging from assisted living,memory care, dementia care, and altimeters care.each home was decorated in a different theme. Timber House (decorated like a log cabin),was independent living, Tudor House,(Tudor style), memory care, Cottage House( decorated like a cottage)for dementia care, and last the house was the craftsman(decorated like a craftsman house) was for our altimeters residence. I was in dietary, so I watched and interacted with lovely ladies and gentlemen. The men dressed for meals, the ladies wore a pretty dress, because in their minds, they were going out to a restaurant. Every morning, I would take lunch and dinner orders. It was fun listening to the conversations.

I became fast friends with one of my co-workers. She was a pretty, funny, helpful care giver. One day she told me she had cancer. I didn’t know what to say to her, I felt horrible for her. She told me she starting treatment and planned to keep working. you would never know evenings, she was nauseous, low energy, because she was such a good care provider to the residence. I enjoyed evening meals talking to her. I left the job before she finished up her treatments. I knew she lived in my home town, so I would see her in the grocery store. One day while on Face Book, I saw Amber-1, Cancer-0. I was so happy, I cried. The story does not end here, no sirree. One day, I ran into my friend and noticed she had gained weight-well, she was pregnant with her son. I told her then “first you beat cancer, then you meet and marry a great guy,now you are pregnant.” Her was is beautiful, healthy,a rough and tumble little man. Well, I ran into her again last year and she is the proud mamma of a beautiful daughter! Double blessed I told her.

Life can change in an instant. Live everyday as it were your last,take the time to smell the flowers and even pick a few along the way. Tomorrow may not come. My life was forever changed with the deaths of both my husband and my son. Life is so fragile, so precious, so meaningful. Everyday is a gift,it depends on what you choose to do with it.

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A Fresh Outlook

October 18, 2017 at 6:04 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

 

I have been going through a funk period. You are unhappy about something,but can’t quite put your finger on it. I am there. Some days, I feel like I am walking through a thick fog. Some friends will tell me it is because of the change in weather. The warm sunny days have been replaced with shorter, cooler evenings. I know I enjoy fall. I love the changing leaves,the cool mornings, the first cup of coffee tastes better, fall creamers,layers.

As I was sitting in my living room this morning, a thought came to mind. Sometimes I have to realize I need a change in my daily routine. I need to dead head my hydrangea, trim back my Lavender bushes, trees,and the final mowing of the season. Yes, it will be a routine change. I still need to clean and organize mt closet from summer to fall. Two of my best girlfriends both have full-time jobs, so we do not see each other as often. it is so easy to let our minds get side tract from what is important in our day. We still have the fall clean-up getting ready for winter, clothes need to be changed out so we do not freeze in 20 degree mornings, lunch dates are also important to stay connected with those we value. My thoughts this morning went deeper.

I have kept a morning journal for over thirty years now. I write down my thoughts, dreams that may or may not have come true, concerns I have in my life, my aging mom, finances, my job. As I get older, I see a different perspective than I did while raising my young son as a single mother. My priorities have changed; One income does not go as far as it used to. Home ownership is expensive when replacing a furnace or a roof. Property taxes and car insurance are due the same month. Life can be over whelming sometimes, and we cannot just go to an exotic destination to escape. Instead of focusing on negatives thoughts in my life, I have decided to focus instead of some positives.

I am grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. They have helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life. They are always just a phone call and a cup of coffee away. Loosing my son was devastating, I do not live in a new normal, I learned how to move forward in my life and enjoy life again.

I am grateful I still have my mom and brother. Mom turns 80 years old this weekend. My brother is able to be here to help celebrate. Even if it will be a quiet party with a few friends. She wanted sub sandwiches and carrot cake, so this is what she shall have. This will also give me a chance to see my brother again. (he does not know this yet,but I am enlisting his help with some of my fall clean-up). Lavender can be tricky to shape and cut back. We both enjoy seeing new homes and get ideas.

I am grateful for the changing season ahead.  love the crisp cool mornings like this morning. I even enjoy a foggy day. (It reminds me of when I was a girl visiting my grandparents in Santa Barbara. watching the fog clear up into a sunny day.) The red and golden colors on the tree-lined streets, Pumpkin Mania, school harvest carnivals, a crackling fire in the fireplace on a chilly night. Friends over for home-made chili and corn bread, a good Agatha Christie Movie.

Walks around nice lake front neighborhoods. I live in so many well-kept, gracious homes, I often go on a dream tour and come back to my home feeling blessed. I live in a smaller home than some, but I live a block from the river. We have paved walking paths, nature, the river, deer, birds singing, ducks with their babies swimming in the cove, paddle boards enjoying the mountains and beautiful home along the river. I must say, I do have so much to grateful for. Sometimes we feel over whelmed with commitments, saying no, home repairs, car repairs, we wonder if our paycheck is going to stretch enough.

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Be Real

October 14, 2017 at 8:05 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , )

 

I was reading an article in a popular magazine a few years ago, the story has stayed with me.  TV commercials depicts a family run by the kids. Most children if you ask them, do not really have a concept of how much lunch costs. If the child is raised with respect, they will eat what is being served. I do understand a parent would not make a dish that the child clearly will not eat.

When I was growing up, the family all ate together. Period. We did not grow up with all the electronic devices kids today have as their source of communication.  It saddens me to see a commercial on TV where the mother texts the kids at the dinning room table to tell them time to do the dishes. My brother either washed or dried the dishes every night.  Our parents worked hard everyday to provide for the family, and the kids had chores to help out. Boundaries and hard work around the ranch helped make me the person I am today.

I also see on the news a child took a gun to school and shot a classmate who was harassing them. After dinner,if the family sees each other for a family meal,kids go to their rooms and play X Box, mom and dad are in living room on the phone,easy for junior to go grab a gun or other weapon to conceal in his backpack. Parents are over committed to work, after school games, Church functions and the kids know it. I believe it makes it harder for a child to tell mom or dad they are being bullies. The kids hear parents talking about the rough day they had. If you let a teacher or the principal  know what’s going on, more bullying. This is going to continue to be a growing problem. With budget cuts, the good after school programs are being eliminated. Kids have no where to go.

My brother and I were raised around guns; We knew we did not get into the gun case unless an adult was there the gun was properly checked. We were not given the combination to the gun safe, we did not try to get into the gun case when our parents were not at home and a friend came over. My brother and I respected the privacy of our parents personal space. We did not go snooping around to see what was in the bedroom closet. No, we were not perfect kids,we still managed to get into harmless trouble, like the snake that got into one of the rabbit pens. Dad told my brother and I to take the snake far out into the nearby field and release it. Jeff and I took the snake to the edge of the property and let it go. next day,snake had baby rabbits for lunch. Jeff and I disappeared in the orchard on our horses for the afternoon.

I am glad I do not have grandchildren who has to attend school. The online public school is rapidly growing. Parents want the kids to get a good education without all the drama of Kindergarten.i have seen and heard some boys and girls that need more than re-direction. It does not help that adult sit on both sides of the fence with discipline. When my son was three,my husband told him to stop his screaming, a lady told my husband she was calling the cops because he was being mean to the boy. Jerry told the lady”go ahead, my son is not going to scream in a public place.” Who is right and who is wrong anymore?

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Another Perspective

October 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Twins, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

My twin brother and I celebrated our birthday last week. We are now living in our golden years. I have grown not only a year older, but also wiser especially this last week.

Sometimes when I have a conflict in my life, I try to figure out a quick solution; this doesn’t always work out the way you thought it would. I realized that life is full of heartbreak, poor decisions, and not giving up. I always figured if I gave up, how could I know how God worked in my behalf. I struggled with the sudden loss of my husband and my son. I put my life back together piece by piece with the love and support of family and friends. I had to realize the their deaths did not mean the death of me as well. I keep moving forward each day with expectancy.

Conflict is like laundry day. it would be just as easy to shut the washer lid, but you did not work through the problem. I come to realize problems do not have a thirty minute solution like on the Brady Bunch. I finally found a solution that I can have peace with. You job, home life, caring for your aging parents have good aspects and challenging ones. I had a funny thought that helped me you are standing in a big hole filling up with water. Scary thought huh. I imagined my best friend standing in the hole with me encouraging me not to give up-and to climb out of the big watering hole as well. But I can choose not to stay in misery.

I think I get a little melancholy sometimes because my two best friends are busy with their jobs. We used to have the same days off , so we would go for a fall drive and get a coffee from a java hut on the way. I had more fun with my one friend whose husband is a paint contractor. She spent one day doing returns and asked me along to keep her company.  We always had fun(she didn’t know why I could have fun tagging along with her). I was able to get out of the house for the afternoon and spend the day with someone I treasure. My other good friend  and I loved taking out fall drives around our small town. I looked forward to our salad bar lunches and coffee to go. Sometimes I ride with her to see new properties she will be managing in the future. Some nice neighborhoods out there.

 

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A Personal Perspective

September 20, 2017 at 9:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I was reading through my Face Book news feed the other day and ran across this quote. I do not necessarily agree with what is says. In today’s world, life is fast paced, road rage, people are impatient, rude, do you really want to know what someone is having for dinner?

I am thinking your boss appreciates the employee who is on time everyday, meets deadlines, has a positive attitude. After a long hard day at the office, I think a wife appreciates her husband coming home instead of stopping elsewhere first, starting the grill and  having a nice outside dinner. Afterwards maybe swimming in the pool or taking he family dog on a walk around your neighborhood.

Feeling appreciated is a personal matter. Few bosses will give you verbal encouragement. Some Companies give a gift card, movie tickets for appreciation. Sometimes when a boss asks more of you, maybe they have confidence in knowing you were the best person for this task; When you have a good working relationship with your manager, vacation, sick time, personal time are put into more consideration. Let’s face it, a good employee is hard to come by.  My Company has new hires not even showing up for the first day. ( I have always found this interesting the new hire sees what is expected of him/her, then they are a no-show).

I am happy with my life, I have a good secure job,get along the people I work with, have a nice home one block from the river, have the love and support of family and friends. I have a blog that people read and leave positive comments, and help care for my aging mom. I have survived a few personal tragedies,by I am stronger for it, and I can encourage and empower others to keep moving forward toward happiness.

 

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Changing Season

August 23, 2017 at 4:39 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

 

My High School had the annual all-class reunion earlier this week. I could not go due to family commitments and work. I am in contact with many of my classmates who still live in my home town in sunny California. Our school was small and so was my graduating class. I think 80 people in all. I could not attend this years gathering of the cool people due to family and work obligations. I wish when photos were posted,everyone could write the names of the unfamiliar faces. It is fun to see how much some have changed while others,well, you want in on the secretes.

I was thumbing through my old year book the other day and saw a picture of my best friend, she was a year ahead of me and was a great source of encouragement to me when I needed it. I lived on the outskirts of town on a ranch, so my brother and I were involved in 4-H Club along with several other classmates. I loved living in the country where I had plenty of places to ride my horse everyday, but I did not make friends to come hang out after school because I live so far out-of-town. My freshman year was awkward beginning a new school, and then my mom always made me wear my hair in a pony tail at school. along with I could not afford the hip clothes everyone was wearing. I was teased a lot in school. I met my friend Tracey in Dance class. We became fast friends, she helped me become more confident. It was funny, I wanted her short hair, she envied my long hair. I remember going shopping for sun glasses, looking at the new styles or just listening to the songs of the super 1970’s at her house. My friend was very pretty, she as even a beauty queen- what I appreciate today about her is she wore jeans a sweat shirt and a leather ball cap shopping. She did not get into the fashion, makeup and perfect hair just to go to the mall.

I was sitting here thinking about my dear friend and wanted to share a story about one day we took off to go to the mall and enjoy the sunny day. We decided to go to Taco Bell and get a burrito supreme. The burritos was a new menu item( always thinking in the back of my mind, dad was grilling steak for dinner) Of course it is more fun to hang out with my friend, I can come with an excuse later when dinner time came. I was dropped off at the house,dad had dinner on ready to go. Well, dad had plenty of dinner for everyone and invited Tracey to stay as well. We both turned green from being stuffed at lunch. wee ate the dinner but afterwards, my friend headed home feeling very,very full. I think I had dinner at her house the next time. A sandwich I believe. Seeing recent pictures of her, my friend has not changed, she is still just as pretty today as she was in school. I never could get her on one of the horses for a ride though.  I think Tracey taught me what it means to be yourself and do not conform to anyone’s standards. What kids did not know was, I often times had ten minutes to get dressed and out the door after feeding my animals. I liked wearing my jeans but also wore a dress and skirt. I learned to like my long hair and curled it -secretly I wanted nothing more than to cut it off and have a style instead of the Marcia Brady look. I looked young in long hair.

I cut my hair short several years ago. I was ready for a change and friends were surprised when I went red. I have some red in my hair, but it was time for a total change. I am glad retro styles are back. I am enjoying wearing the peasant shirts with my carpi pants. It is fun to look in the stores at what I deemed as unfit to wear in my teens. I guess with my getting on in years, I can appreciate how cute the styles were back then. I laughed when I found a dress to be worn two different ways. Oh no, you wore the dress on the shoulder. I had my senior photo taken off the shoulder, I still remember being asked why….. teen girls are funny. I like looking at fashions and I have bought a few flash back pieces of clothing. It is funny how sunglasses from the 70’s are baaaack.

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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. 

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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. 

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