Changing Season

September 19, 2019 at 7:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

Sometimes, it is easy to find me in a writer’s block. With the changing seasons approaching one could think there are some good ideas for a new post. After writing my first book, a friend told me about a blog. I did not know even how to start. My friend helped get me started and I must say it has been enlightening. Some of my story center around losing my family and how I have found inner peace to keep moving forward. 

I can remember when I started writing my first book. Friends were asking me when I was going to start this project I have put off for years. I had a story to tell that was not going to write itself. At first, I thought the subject matter may be too overwhelming for some readers. I let a couple friends read the first few chapters and they wanted to know when this book will be done. they have several friends who need to read this book. I found comfort in some of the comments I was receiving and within a few months, I was sitting at my first book signing table. 

I have read many empty-nester blogs and can relate to some of the same feelings the writers were going through at the time. The two in the morning pizza delivery(do not ring doorbell) late phone calls, the friend who did not bring your child home as planned pick-up(you could not wait until the kid could drive). No more late charges on the movie rental place, water bill went down all of a sudden. Fun memories, but then you realize they are moved out now and living their own lives now. Some went off to college, some enlisted, some tried to make and had to move back home. 

I can honestly say that I would not change a thing in my life. The good aspects or even the most difficult days of my life. I have the love and support of my family and friends, a strong faith, I know my son is smiling on me from heaven cheering me on. ( Do you know how many stories I could write about this young man in a blog alone?)  Like the fall season coming, my life has been through several changes. I enjoy being semi-retired, an empty- nester, writing, caring for my aging mother, and seeing what the next chapter in my life has to hold.

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My, How Time Has Flown

August 29, 2019 at 8:28 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I cannot believe how fast summer has gone this year. feels like just yesterday that the kids were getting out for summer vacation. Now, it is back-to-school shopping again. I cannot say that I miss back-to-school shopping with my son. By all accounts, he was an easy child to buy for. Couple pair of jeans, nice long-sleeved tee-shirts, basic colored backpack, and a camouflaged binder. Money was tight then as I was raising my son like so many single parents are on a budget.

I went to get a few things for my mom this morning at the local grocery store. As I passed by an aisle, I saw a couple kids interacting with mom. Back when I was buying supplies, you looked up child’s grade and teacher, picked up your packet. It was done for you. This took the hassle of price shopping in several different stores. I was fortunate because my son knew we were on a budget and he never complained that he could not have all the designer items. The one thing I wanted to do is have lunch at his school twice a month, my boss let me take off from work for my break. I can remember all his friends wished their parents would do the same thing for them.

Last week, I went to one of the local stores in the mall just browsing at some of the new trends in fashion this year. I walked by the junior department and remembered the same styles are back as when I was in high school. (were we really this tiny that we fit into these clothes really?) I can say my watch still fits from high school. I am a little thicker around the waist as I once was, I had kids so I have oh yes, hips now, pants just do not fit like they used to on me. They do not fit right in the rise, Or too baggy in the waist because they fit the hips. So I just decided to remember what these cute teenybopper clothes used to look like on me and wear my old clothes. At least they fit.

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Choosing Happiness

March 7, 2019 at 12:20 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I think happiness is a choice each one of us either make or decide to be lemon tasters. Life throws an unexpected health crisis, trouble with our teenagers, financial situations, circumstances beyond our control. When life throws a curve ball, how we respond depends on how we overcome the obstacles in our lives. Life should be waking up in the morning ready to face a new day, coffee cup in hand and heading out the door.

Some of my friends are amazed at my positive attitude. After loosing not only my husband from his disease, but then my son a few years later in a tragic car accident, I could have become bitter and angry but instead I chose to trust God. I have always looked at my glass as half full not half empty. I have known some parents who have lost a son or daughter who has never recovered from the loss. I hear people talking about what happens when bad things happen to good people. Crossing the street, and a car almost hits you, being mugged, a spouse leaves, addiction, and the list goes on.

Last summer when we had all the smoke from fires surrounding our area, it was smokey, hot and one did not want to go outside and set on the deck. I was driving home one morning from running a few errands and I saw clouds mixed in with the smoke. As I was driving home, I saw some thick black clouds overhead and marveled at how beautiful the sky looked. I was almost home and could see through the smoke, the forest up ahead. The clouds were starting to mix with the smoke but still a beautiful effect. I try to see the beauty in an otherwise ugly situation. yes the smoke was thick and hard to breathe, but I also noticed a silver lining for my day.

I have always believed in life is what you make it. It is easy to be a lemon taster, nothing ever will go my way, eat worms personality, while others look forward to a brighter today. As we get older, we realize nothing is promised for tomorrow, so make the most of this day. If it a cold, ugly day, build a fire, make a nice pot of soup and have a friend over to enjoy a cozy afternoon of a good movie over lunch, Have your grand-daughter over and make cookies together, a lasting memory for sure. 

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Silver Lining

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

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

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

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

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

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Expecting the Unexpected

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

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

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

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

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What Christmas Decorations Still Up?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Post Holiday Snowy Afternoon

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

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

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

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

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

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New Year, Same Old Me

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

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

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

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

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

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New Beginnings

December 2, 2018 at 11:03 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Life is full of new beginnings. Sometimes life has a way of throwing us a curve ball we did not see coming. Either financial, health wise or job change. Life is ever-expanding with new challenges, new hopes for our dreams and new ways to keep persevering in the challenges we face.

Sometimes, circumstances in our lives can seem overwhelming, we have to gather the strength to continue caring for our loved ones and take good care of ourselves as well. Notice we put us last most of the time? Moms are good at this. We will get to us later. No, I am afraid we need to take care of ourselves now so we can continue to give. A friend of mine told me ‘look at your emotional bank account. Do you have enough emotional money to withdraw today or are you bankrupt?’ Something to really think about. I have to be careful because I can easily run on empty emotionally fast.

The older I get, I hope I am wiser as well with how I deal with stress in my life. I think we can feel trapped when so many circumstances come into our lives, especially the ones that are unexpected. I admit when I am really stressed, I tend to get grouchy. I do n’t mean to, but it happens. (some really good friends are chuckling now because they know me too well). I try not to become a negative Nelly who just complains, I try to find a solution so I can live with the circumstance. I have to remember nothing is permanent. I still try to find the beauty in each new day even if the day seems like it is going to be a long one or especially challenging.

I still feel like my glass is half full. Life has been sometimes full of challenges and difficulties, but I have overcome many obstacles and hopefully I can help others who has gone through some of the struggles I have. I know I have the love and support of my family and friends who help keep me moving forward in my life. I wake up every morning knowing my son Levi smiles down from heaven on and he is proud of his mom. This one realization keeps me going when it would have been easy to just give up. I try to take time to smell the flowers they are sweet-smelling. At the end of the day, everything works out.

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Early Fall This Year

November 11, 2018 at 10:07 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This year has been different season wise. We had a horrible fire season with the fires surrounding our small area. When the fires were contained and the smoke cleared, we had a beautiful fall. The changing colors are always one of my favorite things about fall we just were able to enjoy them a few weeks longer this year.

Summer has never been one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. For one thing, lawn maintenance. My beautiful pine tree that was planted in my son Levis’ honor, died this summer, little bugs that you can barely see come at you in swarms, all the forest fires that are getting worse each year, I melt in the high heat, basically, I look forward to the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. People get cranky the hotter the day, more impatient than usual.

I know I cannot change the outcome of the seasons, but the older I get, I am trying to enjoy every season. I love to hear the birds singing outside my bedroom window in the mornings, seeing the squirrels chasing each other up and down the pine trees, butterflies trying to find a good place to land and eat from one of the many butterfly shrubs I have, watching the kids ride bikes down to the bay to go fishing.

I have to say, I enjoy decorating my home in the warm fall colors. Planting marigolds in the decorative earns in my flower boxes, planning cold weather meals for my mom and I to enjoy, the deer and moose that are traveling to the neighborhoods and staying around to eat the shrubs and apples off the trees. Because of the recent fires, we have also seen bears, cougars, and a lynx around our area as well.

In a few short weeks, we will be getting out the snow shovels again decorating for the Christmas Season and dressing in many layers up to keep warm on those cool nights. The evenings get even shorter,colder, and time to put up the tree. There is only a few short weeks out of the year that I do not really like. Living in a four season state has its advantages. There are still plenty of changing leaves left on the trees to enjoy, coffee just tastes better on a cold morning, and you never know what animal is coming to say hello on any given morning. Life in North Idaho.

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