The Big Snow

January 11, 2017 at 10:49 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

images (7)This has been the craziest winter for years. I do not remember a time when we had a bad snow storm, followed by sub-zero temperatures,then six more inches of snow. Fall and Winter are usually the two Seasons I love best. this year, the snow needs to let up, the sub-zero temps need to be above my age, (yes, I know,that is Spring temps.)and people need to slow down for road conditions. I think we had 195 collisions and four being fatal just last week.

Folks talk about the Big Snow of 196-. Kids jumped off the roof tops but landed two feet into the snow drift. Some families could not get out the front door because the snow was so heavy. Neighborhoods had snowman and snow fort contests followed by a chilli cook offs. Families pulled kids around the neighborhoods on ATV’s. I did not live in the area yet,but I have witnessed my fair share of snowy winters. My family used to head up to one of the many ski resorts and we would go sledding down the mountain.Afterwards,we headed to Denny’s to warm up. My parents had a motor home at the time,so we piled as many friends into the thing as we could. So much laughter,telling stories of sking mishaps,and a fun afternoon had by all.

I grew up in california where we had to drive to the snow. The family would take off on saturday and head to Bishop or Wrightwood. My twin brother and I wished we could live in a State where we could just walk outside the front door and see snow(silly me). The family moved to Idaho in 1981 after my dad had an accident at work. We needed to move to a drier climate. We already had family who moved here the year before and found us a house; My mom still lives in the same house in a safe neighborhood. The guy across the street makes sure her driveway is kept clear of snow. He is really appreciated. A few years ago when we had a bad winter, the weatherman asked everyone who could help,dig your elderly and disabled neighbors out. It sparked a community effort to keep everyone clear and safe. It sometimes takes the snow plows a couple of days to get to the side streets and blocks.

I know in six weeks we will be letting go of Winter and welcoming Spring. Trading our snow shovels and de-icer for garden supplies( I hear you out there) for  a moment longer, I want to enjoy not sub-zero temps, but at least 40 degrees. When the sun hits the tree- lined trees and mountains, it is breathtaking. Soon, we will make way longer days, warm sunshine,  watering the grass, planting new flowers,  updating the landscape. Soon we will be enjoying the Annual Garden Tours, B&B Tours, and lake fun activities. Hold on to your swim trunks and swim suits for now,we still have to get through the rest of this Season before we can start planting again.

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Believe In Yourself.

November 30, 2016 at 9:57 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, memoirs, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

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I would like to introduce you to my son Levi. I am writing this post thinking about what my son would say to me today. I think he would tell me to realize your full potential in whatever you do mom. You have many talents and gifts from God. You always had a positive attitude when life was tough. We have been through so many hardships,you held us together and we made it through.  You always believed in me when I didn’t, you always encouraged me when I was about to give up, you went through some trials with me no mother should have,but you stood by me. Thank you. You were the best mom I could have ever have asked God for,you supported me and never gave up on me. Both our lives changed in so many ways nine years ago mom; I am glad God asked you to give me gas money one last time and we could spend a few last precious moment in my new car. We laughed and enjoyed our ride not knowing what tomorrow would bring. If you cry tears,make them tears of joy not sorrow for I really am okay. I love you mom and I smile down from Heaven and watch over you everyday.

Peace,

Love Levi Jeb.

Like so many of us, I wondered what topic I could blog about. I let my imagination go wild today and thought if my son could write me a letter , what might he say. For those who might be struggling this Christmas season,just know your loved ones do smile down on you and remember how proud they are of you for carrying on.

 

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The Good Old Days

November 2, 2016 at 8:32 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

 

 

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The other day I went to the store for one item, the item I went there for I had forgotten. I was heading out to the parking lot to drive home and forgot where I parked; I had parked my car in another section of the lot than I usually do. Good thing it was not raining hard that day. I am always putting down my glasses and have to hunt for them. My car keys are usually in the side pocket of my purse,but have been known to fall out and I am left looking for them ten minutes before I leave for work.(some say plan ahead,who plans on loosing car keys?).  The perils of living the middle age life. We stand up and wonder why our knee just cracked, we walk into a room and forget what we went in there for, forget to put gas in the car, we even accuse the dryer of eating our other sock.

I was talking to my friend the other day. We were laughing because she  told me about the time she was locked out of her van because one of her dogs accidentally stepped on the door lock. Of course she was on lunch break and her phone as well as her purse was in the front seat. She had to call her husband to unlock her door. The short walk for the dogs were now out of the question.

This thing we call living with middle age. It is much harder than I imagined. Just the other day I was going to visit a friend I haven’t seen in a while.I thought I was going in the right direction. Somehow, I got turned around in a neighborhood(they all looked alike) and could not find her house. I was surprised to see how much her housing tract has grown in a year. I came across one of the new roundabouts in the road and was really confused which direction to go then. “When did they put this in I thought”. I finally found her house her responce”what took you so long,the coffee is getting cold”.

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The Changing Season

October 20, 2016 at 6:46 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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Today is another rainy day here in the Inland Northwest.

Fall is in the air. Gone are the sunny summer day with days spent at the beach with the kids and grandkids,camping for the weekend, backyard get-together with family and friends. The summer festivals and outdoor shops and car shows. Making home-made ice cream and having family fun night in the backyard. I will not  miss the bugs millions of nats flying around and mosquitos buzzing in your ears. The extra bonus of waking up sporting a new bite. The endless watering of the lawn and plants to keep them alive. It is interesting what we fit into our annual budget. It is said that lawn care is a billion dollar business.

We trade our summer dresses, crop pants and cute t-shirts,and strappy sandals for jegging, light jackets, warm boots and sweaters. Lemon-ade is traded for warm cups of inviting tea and coffee with good creamers. The outdoor fire pit is covered up and making way for the warmth of the fire-place. Football season with chil cook-offs,fruit pies made from your Farmers Market produce, taking scenic drives around the lake seeing the changing color of the leaves. The cooler temperatures bring out the deer, elk, wild turkeys, and quail  included in your fall drive. It is always a treat to see wild life. in a neighborhoods eating grass. Where I live, moose come into the neighborhoods and stay for 3-4 days laying down in the front or back yards.doeWhen you live in an area that has the four seasons,thereare so many activities to participate in.My favorite seasons are Fall and Winter. I tolerate the rest of the year for the decent looking lawn, scenic boat cruises, Parade of Homes, local B&B open houses, shopping in the quaint town of Sandpoint, having lunch with good friends.

My days are now spent finding creative ways to get mom out of her bathrobe and weekly outings other than her Dr. appointments. My life has went from that of a wife and mother to widow, loosing my son and still taking part in the sandwich generation. It is interesting as some of you know caring for two households. I still find time twice a week to post a story plus working in my job as a health care provider. The season is rapidly changing. Soon it will old man winters turn to shoveling, ice melt, more layers to wear,winter activities.

 

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The Merry Mix-Up Day

October 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, memoirs, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

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Yesterday was just one of those days.

It all started last week,when my mom was planning a combined party for herself and a friend of ours. I was to buy the groceries the day before the party and go buy the pizza the next afternoon before guests were to arrive. (mom is getting forgetful). She assumed the party started at five pm Guests arrived at noon. I received a call from mom at 12:30 asking me if I had picked up the pizza yet as guests were waiting to eat. I worked the night before and I was not happy about being rushed out the door. I also told mom I was sick and would not as planned be cooking lunch for everyone. It was interesting when I went to order lunch-The guy making the pizzas was on the same wave length as I because he went at a snail’s pace  making four orders for customers complaining the whole time. I paid for pizza and delivered them to her kitchen counter. I felt bad I could not stay but(feeling sick and pizza do not mix).

When I got home I was a little angry at the mix up in plans. I watched some tv and went to bed early. When I got up this morning, I wanted to write a post about my merry mix up day yesterday. Sometimes plans don’t work out as planned as we all know. I need to take a breath and exhale and then look at a new perspective sometimes. The party guests and the combined birthday honorees had a fabulous time. they baked the pizzas and opened gifts and were blessed. I needed to be excluded from the festivities for the afternoon to refresh my tired body and attitude. I will admit it I had a rotten attitude being tired and feeling rushed by mom: things need done right now in her eyes(not my eyes though). I needed to finish my cup of coffee and wake up  before running out the door. plus I had cold medicine in me and needed time for it to wear off before driiving.  You can let the icident ruin your whole day or put on amber colored glasses. I chose to wear the colored glasses. Nothing is as bad as it seems wearing them;  you have time to realize it was just a 5 hour silly mix-up and let it go.

Today I feel better. I had a good night sleep which my body needed, and I can look back on yesterday and smile. I have to remember mom is getting more forgetful and I have to try and be patient with her. It is hard when I am the one taking care of her plus keeping my own house in order. With the love and support from God, I am doing well.  We are called the sandwich generation I laugh because I feel half of my bread is missing. Being a widow, Jerry should be sharing in the fun). I have learned you have to take a breath and have a day off from all obligationsonce a week: I also need to still feel like a daughter and not moms care giver. Mom doesn’t get out as much as she used to. I fight with her to get dressed everyday,take her shower and get back to the mom I once had a few years ago. Life has a new challenge for us everyday doesn’t it? It is easy to forget sometimes to see the beauty in each new day and rejoice what God has given to us.

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It Can happen To you

October 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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Last night, while watching one of my returning favorite shows, I saw a commercial about the dangers of texting and driving. I remember a few years ago,texting was banned while driving. The local high school students even created a mock drunk driving scenario to show step-by-step what happens after the crash. From the time 911 is called until the first responders arrive at the scene: It has made a big impact on families as well: New drivers were signing a promise to turn off cell phone while driving and not have friends in the car: no blasting the radio,and watch all rail road tract crossings. So many have died also by not hearing the train due to the Favorite Song playing. So much has changed since I learned to drive. We had no cell phones,or advanced technology available to us.

Living in a small community has its advantages and imperfections as well. We have many ATVs cruising around neighborhoods with small children riding along. Some have on helmets while most do not. I understand the idea of taking the ATV hunting; It is easier to haul your dressed animal to the butcher. Motorcycles, ATVs and dune buggies are a fun-filled afternoon of recreation if driven safely. Many accidents have been caused because of distracted driving.

In July 2007, I lost my son to a tragic traffic accident due to another’s inattentive driving. Words cannot describe the amount of grief I felt that day.  After five days and countless prayers, Levi was taken off life support.Our lives had been forever changed in a moment. I am still so grateful to the folks who worked tirelessly to save my son. My life can feel empty some days. I miss my sons laughter,the sparkle in his eyes, and his appetite for life itself. levilaptoppix 020

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My Empty Nest Life

October 7, 2016 at 3:49 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

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I love this illustration of how some parents really feel about the child leaving the nest.

No I did not throw a tantrum , blocking the door when my son Levi moved out. It was more like we were both ready for him to move forward in  his life. My son moved in to help his Grandma when his beloved Grandpa passed away. My fondest memory of this time was Levi’s grandma locked the doors at 10:00 p.m. My mom would get a phone call from one of his friends telling her he is on his way please do not lock the door. She kept my son honest. I think my son had a good learning experience. Paying his bills on time, saving for a first apartment, helping his Grandma with chores. We never dreamed he would die in a tragic car accident at the age of 20.

My life has certainly changed the last several years I have come to terms with the loss of my son Levi. In so many way my life was forever changed in a moment; My son was now gone, I was helping my mom cope with another loss, working full-time and trying to stay out of depressions front door. I wake up every morning knowing my son is cheering me on in Heaven. I work at my dream job,I still live in the house my late husband and I bought together, and most of all I can appreciate life in all its beauty.

Muddling through my middle age life has been an adventure. I am known as the semi-reformed black thumb Gardner. The tree that has done the best in the back yard is the one planted in honor of my son. The tree stands 20 feet tall now. The rest of the yard-basic okay. If it ever stops raining,I can get the last mowing the season done. I have replaced my roof and tomorrow, yeah I have been fit into a schedule to replace my aging furnace.(If you have no heat when it is cold,it is nice to be fit in). I know they say things come in threes. I just hope they are wrong as I am running out of money. I have been told now I can stay here another thirty years. Good thing I like my house. I have no plans to move for one, I could not match my current house payment, I live by the Spokane river, and the neighborhood is great. Families walk the dog, ride their bikes,and take nature hikes the area. I live in an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. So my middle age life is a good one. I do not complain about what I don;t have I cout the many blessing I do have. We all know life can be tough sometimes,but we all hang in there together.

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Extending Ones Birthday

September 28, 2016 at 6:11 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Empty house, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, memoirs, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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Yesterday was my twin brother and my birthday. tell my brother that We have reached the milestone ” big “one. I can now get my senior discounts. Some will say nooooooo….. I embrace this time in my life. What is wrong with an extra 10% off on your meal or a pair of pants? ( I see your smirks). And it depends on how much merchandise you have just bought. You may be able to get a coffee.

I was talking to a dear friend yesterday had a senior moment. My friend and I laughed- She right behind me so we will have a lot to talk about soon. I have come to the time in my life I don’t reflect on my future, I have everything I need now. I live in a comfortable home my late husband and I bought together,even though now I have since lost both my beloved husband and my only son, I am content where God has put me. I have been able to overcome my difficult circumstances with the love and support of family and friends. My blog has been a good outlet and I have been blessed with so may kind and comforting words  thank you for reading and supporting my blog.

I still have two more friends I am celebrating my birthday with. Dinner at a nice restaurant tonight and lunch and dinner tomorrow. talk about feeling like a princess. I was thinking yesterday about a memorable birthday. Ten years ago,my son picked me up at my house(he was living with his grandmother and helping her after his grandpa passed away.) He took my mom and I to Olive Garden for dinner. Mom birthday is October, so we all had dinner there to celebrate her day. I was telling God I missed having dinner with my son. God heard my prayer because Levi’s best friend is having me over to his house tomorrow for dinner. Levi and Mike were instant friends since the second grade. I live my life with Gods touch and guidance.

I never thought I would spend my golden years without the two most important men in my life. nobody does. But I choose to live my life to the fullest and be satisfied with the life I have given. Life is made of adjustments isn’t it? We raise our kids and they go off to college or get married,we move to a bigger house to accommodate our now growing family, we may retire and plan to travel, begin a new job, even move to another state to be closer to the kids. We adjust to our ever changing needs don’t we? Stay happy in your life right now, hug your kids extra tight and let them know how much you love them and how proud you are of them They will fly away soon my friends. ( if you are lucky,they will come have dinner with you).

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A New Season Begins

September 23, 2016 at 1:42 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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 I think an uplifting post is in order.

Things to do in Fall

Take the family on a nature hike and look for bugs.

Camp outside in the backyard in tents-make dinner over the open grill.

Gather around the fire pit and tell ghost stories.

Come on pumpkin everything spice is back.

Bake some yummy blueberry muffins with the kids.

Have a favorite movie marathon day on the weekend.

Time for the fall favorites,sweaters, jackets,scarves,boots.

Taking scenic drives watching the leaves changing their colors.

Fall harvest parties.

Football!

Chili cook-offs.

The annual raking of the leaves and jumping into the pile.

Listening to the rainy nights on a metal roof.

 

 

 

 

 

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Peace Comes From Within

September 16, 2016 at 4:51 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Mothers, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , )

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I went to A Company Of Women Last night. I had a wonderful time of fellowship,worship followed by prayer. Sometimes we all need our sanctuary to keep our sanity even if for a few hours. I have been going to this fun evening out for the last 15 years. I was given so much support when I was raising a difficult teenager. I was given the same support after my son died in a tragic car accident nine years ago. I have learned that peace comes from within us. I had to learn how to live again and keep moving forward in the good things God still has for me.  I could have become bitter and angry at God after Levi’s death but I chose instead to trust Him.

One reason I have started my blog is to help others going through difficult times. Some may know my story: I lost my son in a tragic car accident nine years ago. he was only 20. With the love and support of family and friends, I am healing and moving forward in the good things God still has for me. Even though my life was forever changed in a moment, life is still beautiful. I wake up every morning with my cup of coffee and thank God for the opportunity to spread some of His joy around. My days are not always sunshine and roses but I make the best of the situation. It is easy to let anger and bitterness take control of your life. it is harder to face the pain head on and deal with it. I chose to deal with the pain and remember God brought us through many hardships and difficulties as a single parent.

When life hands us lemons,  let us find creative ways to make better lemonade. Life as we all know can be a bitter pill to swallow. So many have been through so much with natural disasters, flooding, wild fires all over.  I cannot imagine what some families have gone through and survived. Loosing my husband and son has been difficult enough. Sometimes it is hard to find that moment of peace.

Some love to garden ( I am a reformed black thumb gardener). I have a basic back yard with not much maintenance needed. It is still nice,but not flowers to have to apologize to as they die one by one. I have a Levi pine tree in the back yard planted by some dear friends that is now 25 feet tall. Even though I do not own a beautiful back yard retreat, I enjoy sitting in my rocking chair and listening to the birds, crickets at night, and being thankful I was brough through another day safe.

 

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