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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A Mother’s Day Gift

May 13, 2017 at 11:40 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, 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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A Fresh Cut

April 28, 2017 at 9:15 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

Last October, I went into my favorite Salon to get my Fall do. I usually cut my hair the same way all year round,this time I decided to let my hair grow out. I did not realize the difference in the way I was treated with longer hair. I guess I looked really young to people. A couple of weeks ago, I went to a play at the College. I almost thought the play was cancelled because it was fifteen minutes before the first act, and nobody was in line yet. I was about to enter and find my seat, when the usher showed me the sign on the door that read (serious) ‘ For Mature Audiences). I almost asked her how old she thought I was, but chuckled and found a seat. I have been told it is a compliment to thought of as younger than ones age. I am fifty five and not having a single problem with my age. 

I laugh at the memory now, but back in High school, if you had long hair like Marcia Brady, you were expected to keep it long. (I think so the others could watch you walk down the hallway and admire it). My problem was one, I hated my long hair. I could not get a regular job because I looked too young, and my hair was really thick and hot in the summer. I was a brave soul once and actually cut my long beautiful hair three inches.(gasps) I though I committed a cardinal sin or something. People who never talked to me before wondered why I would cut MY hair. I cut my hair when I was out of school and moved to another State; I cut my hair in the popular Lady Diana cut nobody liked the cut, I had a headache for three days afterwards and wanted my hair back even if I had to glue it back together. I have lived with the same cut for over thirty years now. I have a nice color and will not let my hair grow out again (until fall, when it turns cold).

Being middle age, I look at things different now. If my socks do not match, it will not kill me or the one who noticed and had to point it out to you(true story), My sunglasses are almost always in my car console, Keys always(yeah right) go in my purse the second I get out of the car, I will never forget my grocery list and find the items by memory. My body hurts when I wake up in the morning, I have not even gotten out of bed yet, I will probably almost always go into a room and wonder what I was in there for, where did I park my car?, I had it in my hand a minute ago. 

I am learning people are too busy, slow down, just remember, have fun, does it have to be perfect?, are you living your dreams or did life happen?, Some of us are in the best years of our lives. Those who have grand kids look forward to the next visit, some folks are pet grandparents and look for the next visit as well. I wake up each morning and listen to the birds chirping, I hear many birds in the trees all happily talking to each other. The squirrel running up and down the trees in the back yard and the dog serenade.  I open my window in the cool morning and sip my first cup of coffee. After my son became a young man, my time was freed up because he could make his own appointments and drive there himself. (although I would like to take him one last time). Life is what you make of it. everyone has had disappointments along life’s highway. Some become angry and bitter, while others make a pitcher of lemonade. I want to squeeze out every ounce of life I have left and I am thankful for the love and support of family and friends. Life is good indeed!

 

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Stay-Cation

March 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm (Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest.  I don’t have to travel miles and miles to visit the national forest, I live within driving distance of three ski resorts, families are gearing up for fishing, hiking, bike trails galore. With so many outdoor activities to choose from, I can enjoy so much right here. I am still caring for my aging mother, so I can’t leave for a week to go gallivanting the country side. I found there are a few rules when planning your days off.

Make sure (if single) clean your house before you start enjoying your time off. No one wants to vacuum, dust, clean fridge so you can stuff more food in,etc.etc. The idea of staying home for me is relax(what exactly is this foreign word anyway?) I am fortunate to live by the river; Many humans and dogs walk the trails everyday.(I know because they pass my house on their way). It is a nice nature walk among the rocks and pine trees, you might see a badger, ducks swimming in the cove, a deer walking the trail eating.The older I get, I appreciate the fact I do not have to far to enjoy the beautiful landscape. We have at least 20 lakes in our area to enjoy. I used to like fishing when my late husband,son and I would get up early, pack a sack lunch and fish until early afternoon. maybe I should get my dads fishing gear back out of the garage. My son caught his big fish using his grandpa’s pole.

I love to check out the local Library: Twice a Month, I get together with other moms and retired ladies for a morning of coffee and color therapy. it is a fun morning spent talking about middle age life for many and listening to stories(we can relate to) of young moms struggles in child raising. I have talked to people who can’t believe the Library has something more to offer other than books. The kids and teens have a corner all their own to explore,complete with a reading corner,computer games and the web, story time, arts and crafts. Gardening for beginners,building container gardens, planting basics, computer 101,so many book clubs from romance,to murder mysteries. It is fun to discuss a book with others, you get four different view points. And to think, I used to take my young son to the Library so he could play computer games and check out a book. I guess one of the hazards of being a writer and Author, you are addicted to your local Library.

Being a tourist in my town: I do not get the chance very often to head into town. The main street is quaint tree-lined street full of shops, I could spend a day just browsing each shops, and enjoying our local Art Galleries. The streets re lined with unique metal art creations. One sculpture is of boys kicking a football,one is a huge moose, another is a scaly fish. The other day, I spied a mom picking her son up to let him ride the huge moose. All of the towns electrical boxes were hand painted by the College Art Class. instead of looking at silver or boring green boxes,we now see beautiful colorful scenes like a Moose eating,birds flying,or some pretty flowers. I love to people watch. Find a bench and watch the nice cars drive by or watch the kids eyes with all the Bronze Sculptures. In a few Months the shops will be renting paddle boats, offering Sea Plane rides, see the sail boats gliding along the lake, small boats for fishing, a new activity of paddle boarding. The local resort boasts the longest boardwalk. We also have the only floating green in the country. You can have a taste of feeling wealthy by eating looking out over the floating green and beautiful Lake Coeurd ‘Alene. If you choose, a boat will pick you up at the resort and ferry you out to lunch, a then take you back to your car. Deer is often seen on the green as well as quail, geese, and eagles.

Host a movie marathon day: I love to get together with a couple girlfriends and have a movie day. Each one picks her favorite movie, and enjoy a pot luck of great food and drinks. On an especially rainy day, how fun is it to get together with dear friends and curl up on the couch with blankets and watching one of your favorite shows. Sometimes, it is hard to coordinate schedules,but I like to get together and just have girl time. My friends know me so well. They just call me up and we are on the road again sight-seeing one of our many favorite locations. I have lived here for 36 years, I have found out about so many locations I never knew existed. I guess I need to get out more! Well, I am off again to care for mom. it is grocery shopping day, then her dinner time, and I can once again head to church and call it another great day.

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Stop And Smell The Roses

March 3, 2017 at 8:57 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

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This is the starting of March memoir Madness. I would like to include of fond memory of meeting and making lasting friends

Everyday is a wonderful day to make lasting memories. I remember while still in college, my new neighbor and I became fast and lasting friends. We had a few things in common, we both moved to Idaho from California with our families in our late teens. We still laugh today about how both of us decided on Thanksgiving day to give our moms a break and prepare the whole dinner ourselves. Both our dads laughed and snickered”they will be asking for our help half way through the preparations” we sure fooled them. We not only cooked the turkey to perfection, all the sides and desert was to everyone’s delight. The good old days. Both our families had many parties and holidays at my parents house. In the winter, serious sledding was on the agenda for the afternoon. My dad would pull us around the neighborhood in his 1946 willies Jeep. When we could not feel our fingers and toes anymore, mom had hot cocoa and chocolate chips cookies hot out of the oven waiting for us. Christmas was spent at our home( the neighbors lived right across the street). Before my dad became too ill, he took many video camera memories of  sledding parties, great lively conversations, home-made wine, and opening of gifts.

My parents took more pictures and videos in the new house than all the years combined growing up on the ranch. I am glad someone grabbed the camera or video because mom and I like to look back on the fun times our families shared boating, camping, visiting my parents cabin, and memories when *Sally and I were married. My dear sweet friend sent me a card with Magnum PI on the front. The card loving said inside “single, but not for long”. This is the girl friend that we found fun just going to the dump for her dad. Her mom often remarked”it doesn’t take much to make you two happy”. We both eventually moved away from each other, I stayed in my hometown while she and her family lives in Seattle. We keep in touch as often as our schedules will allow. I visited my friend a few years ago when my friends from The Village People singing group was performing at a venue. *Sally was thrilled to meet my friend Glenn Hughes(the biker) and Alex Briley (the GI). Glenn invited my son and I to see his concert. Glenn surprised my son, *Sally, her daughter and I to go to lunch with him after we met him at his Hotel.  It was a fun day had by all. Later that night, my son fell asleep, so *Sally ad I went to the concert and met the group back stage. what a fun night. We took pictures for a lasting memory.

Sometimes our busy lives keeps us,overwhelmed, grouchy, with no end in sight. Take the time to smell the flowers in your life and know how blessed you are. It may be difficult at this moment with family troubles, illness, aging parents, but let your family know how much you love them because we are not promised tomorrow.

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Procrastination, Just A Matter Of Time

February 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

Two days ago I was getting ready to blog,when my mom called to ask me if I was going to ever(love that word) pick her up for her Doctor Appointment. I called the office to confirm only to find out she didn’t have one that morning. I called her back told her of my findings and set back to work with my blog post. By now, I was out of the mood for writing. So, I decided instead to run some errands thinking I would come back to writing later in the day. No dice. By now, I could not remember the awesome(over done) story I had in mind earlier in the day.

I write a story in my mind sometimes twenty times trying to get just the right wording,story line and the perfect post. One, I had to realize there is no perfect post. I write about what interests me, my middle age life without my husband and son, and moving forward though the pain. I think sometimes I have a hard time because I do not want to write a post that makes someone feel uncomfortable about my personal challenges,but I feel my story can benefit many families who have gone through similar circumstances. I remember a comment I read in my blog I hope did not shape how I do write. I was told my stories are too sad to read. I have read some other blogs about grief and healing, I understand the difficulty in moving forward. I write stories of muddling through my middle age. I am thriving not just surviving.

So I think procrastinating is part of writing. We want the perfect yet unrealistic story to post that we hope everyone who reads it will love. When I write, I remember events in my life that were long since forgotten.  I love it when I run into one of my son Levis friends today and we share a story I did not know about. I write often about hug your kids extra tight tonight,tell them you are proud of them and they can reach their goals if they try. We are not promised tomorrow. I am a blessed woman having experienced being a wife and mother even if for a little while. I live in a great neighborhood with good friends who share being empty nesters with me. I do live the good life.

My life is different from many others who are still happily(hopefully) married. I get together often with friends and take a scenic drive with a good girlfriend or being active in my church. I have been working on some home improvements the last couple years. I feel bad I do not have a horror story to share about home improvements gone wrong. Our house was move in ready; three bedrooms, freshly painted, new landscaping, my house is the only one with a porch. If you met the previous owner,you would understand he wanted his house to be different.Works for me. As I confess, I am on my way to becoming a reformed black thumb gardener.I have kept my trees alive in my back yard for twenty years. I tried dead heading my flowers, pruning them back in the Fall, I Do water. All the neighbors agree, our housing tract was probably built on a river bed. How else do you explain the Big rocks we keep finding when we mow every summer. I am almost temped to remove the grass in my back yard,let the rocks come up to the surface and the plant drought tolerant plants. I mean the way the rocks keep showing themselves,I not only will have all the free rocks I need for the project, no more watering or lawn care provider. Works for me.

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A Best Friend Forever

January 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, 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 New Year

January 9, 2017 at 9:12 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , , )

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This is a New Year resolution gone terribly wrong! Like so many, we have a game plan on what we would like to achieve in the coming year. Funny thing is, if we take a poll say three weeks from now,we will find most have moved on to Reality. I think we bit off more than we can chew,and give up. Getting into shape,stop eating so much junk food on the run, making more time for family are great goals.

I decided a few years ago not to make New Years resolutions. If you don’t make them,you can’t break them after a few days into the brand new year. I think the only things I wanted in the new year was peace, better parenting tips(because Levi was a strong-willed child), less condemnation when I wasn’t living up to others expectations. Over the years, I have had many wonderful friends who really had my son and my best interests in mind. A dear friend gave me some nice jeans and long sleeve t-shirts, plus a new make-up compact. Being a single mother on a budget, I appreciated her out pouring of love.

My life in an empty nest has its blessings and it’s drawbacks as well. Gone are the two a.m. pizza delivery (Levi told them do Not ring door bell, I think he had the delivery guy tap on his window), no more late charges at the video store,gone is the high water bill when your son discovered girls and they want you to smell nice,long distance phone calls(Levi found out the hard way about phone bill coming to mom’s house and she actually reads them), No more son sneaking in the front door or out the window(always a neighbor up at two a.m., you have more cash in your wallet, on the computer until the crack of dawn and then they think mom will let them stay home from school-silly child. Those parenting years,you invest so much blood,sweat and tears into them and hope they can make the best of getting out on their own. I know so many young adults do not want to spread the wings and fly away. Life can be scary outside the comforts of the family home. So many concerns like paying rent,enough hours at work, utilities ,food, clothes. My generation made it,these young adults will make it also. My son and I realized when Levi turned 19, it was time for him to move out. We were Both ready, maybe more me than him,but just the same. He moved in with his Grandma to help her when his grandpa passed away. His grandma kept him honest. Doors locked at ten p.m. sharp. Many times his friends called while Levi was on his way to home begging his grandma not to lock him out. I am proud of the fine young man Levi had become.

Parenting is the greatest blessing God could have ever entrusted parents with. The first cry after delivery,(I made this tiny person), watching the first: first steps,first words,first foods,first tantrum, first time riding a bike,first time training wheels come off,first hospital visit, first swing set and inviting a friend over to help break it in. Life goes by so fast until you realize, your child is now in Grade School; you wonder how did that happen? I was just changing his or her diapers and now we are hosting the Big ten years old Birthday Party. From Royal Rangers, Cub scouts, Boys and Girls Scouts, soccer,baseball, dance recitals, music performances we as parents leave a lasting memory in our children. They can remember mom and dad watching them play ball, or listening for my turn for a piano performance.

My life in middle age is full of life,blessings,a good jog I love,caring for my aging mom,snow(until one gets stuck at work in the driveway and has to get a ride) but hey, this is part of Winter right? We are getting one storm after another now. I can deal with a few more storms and then Spring will arrive. I some help this year  to become even a better reformed black thumb gardener. At least I have trees that are fifteen feet tall now, I can wait to start planting, pruning, dead heading,and fertilizing my yard. I live in one season at a time; Right now, I am shoveling snow and really appreciate my neighbors who have helped keep my driveway cleared for me. Everyone has their own dreams about what middle age will be:traveling maybe, more free time to go fishing, buying a motor home for weekend getaways, time spent with grandkids, down sizing the home because we don’t need as much room now or buying a bigger house to accommodate your ever-growing family. I am happy where my life has taken me. I have had some personal tragedies along the way,but I would not trade my life for anything. I am only fifty-five, so I am not ready for the Senior center just yet,but I do enjoy nature hikes in the beautiful mountains,watching the deer,elk, quail,and wild turkeys that roam around the neighborhood. I spend time with my aging mom making dinner,showers, getting the mail(I feel like cinderella sometimes). I try to see the beauty in each new day.

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The Good Old days

January 4, 2017 at 9:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, 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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