Over three decades ago….

31 years ago today, I woke up and decided to have a cook-out.  We had friends coming over to help organize my new house and to help me out.

I got up, fixed some macaroni salad, put some beans in to bake and got hot dogs and hamburgers ready for the grill.

I made cherry kool-aid, as it is the go-to drink for military families and waited for our friends.

The friends came over, their kids played with out oldest and the grown ups organized the family room and unpacked some other boxes.  We fumigated the garage to get rid of the black widow spiders that had moved in along with us for some reason and we ate.

I remember this day clearly because it was the last day of my life without my youngest.  I had no idea the impact she would make on our family.  The joy she brings her older sister, the pride our oldest feels about her.  The jokes they share and the nick names they have.

She completed our family as it was then.  She made our family whole, even though we thought it was already great.

It seems impossible that tomorrow she will be 31(sorry Sweetie, but at least you are anonymous…).  The time seems to have sped by for her to be that age.

Yesterday we skyped together, she, our Little Man and me.  She told me of what her week is like, and what she is thinking and planning.  She was beaming with excitement and anticipation.  She filled my heart with joy that overflows my eyes with tears.  She is a gift to me.  I have told her that throughout her life.  She continues to be that gift.

Happy birthday eve, Sweetie.  May tomorrow be filled with laughter, love and lots of Little Man hugs and kisses.

DAF

Hang On a little longer Larry….

Our driveway is surrounded by pine trees on one side.  Each year at this time the needles start to drop.  The squirrels, in preparation for winter take the pinecones and destroy them.  There are empty cones laying everywhere, on the driveway, in the yard and on the cars.

Each time we go somewhere we have to literally remove the pine debris from the windshield.  Today, I went to the store to pick up last-minute things for the dinner I was making.  I looked at my windshield and ignored it.  The traffic was heavy on the way to the store, so my speed wasn’t over 30 miles per hour.

I was almost to the store when I saw Larry.  At first I was startled, but then I just watched amazed.  There he was, climbing along my wiper blade, a tiny lizard braving the elements of a moving car.  He had been under the pine debris that had blown off the car.

I was fascinated to watch him climb from one side of the windshield to the other.  He would put his little head up and look around and his tiny feet would hold on for dear life.  As I entered the parking lot, I lost track of him.  A part of me was sad.  I hated the thought of him being squished in the parking lot.

I went into the store and felt bad for Larry the Lizard.

While putting my bags into my car I saw my little friend sunning himself on the front of the passenger side window.  I spoke to him and told him to hang on.  I watched him walk around the corner of the window while I went home.   I kept telling him to hang on.

He was lost on the way home.  He jumped off or blew off in a nicely wooded area.  I imagined what he would tell his new companions, I imagined the conversations and how he felt from his adventure.

By time I got home, I just realized my life really isn’t all that exciting.

Thanks for stopping by…  DAF

Coming out from the Cobwebs….

When 2014 started, hubby and I both felt like this was going to be a year of change.  January was the month and it was a new year.  Fresh year.  Things were hard for us, but somehow 2014 dawned with a ray of bright hope.  We were encouraged and determined to see what great changes came this year.

This has been a year of change.  Good change, but change can be difficult.   Change is tiring.  Change can have you clinging to throne of Heaven praying for the year to be over.

Good things have happened this year.  Answers to things I have prayed for for years have come to completion.

And yes, there is a ‘but’  in that last statement.

But…  (see, told you!)  this year has been a year of strain.  Physical and emotional strain.

I came to a point in late July where my brain could not coherently sort it all out.   I could not think about writing.  I could no longer try to be positive in writing about things around me.   I was tired.

Tired from a summer of seeing my childhood flash before my eyes in a constant flash-back scenario.  Dealing with memories that I had forgotten decades ago and was glad to have them put away.

Weariness is an odd thing.  You aren’t depressed.  You aren’t angry.  You aren’t a whole list of things.  You are just weary.  The sky is blue and the clouds are gorgeous, but somehow the blue is a bit duller and the nuances of the clouds do not elicit the joy they usually do.

I had not expected this by-product of a year of change.  I thought I would go forth with vigor and excitement.  I saw myself flitting from one change to the other, gaining energy and endurance with each thing crossed of our list of ‘to do’s’ .

Last week hubby and I talked to one another.  We agreed we have been couch slugs since we returned home in late July.   We have continued to do things, but we have been slugs.  We have had our meals on the couch and had indulged in ice cream cones daily.   We made the decision that this would change.  We were going to rejoin the ranks of living.   We have.  We still have our ice cream cones, but not daily.  We have rediscovered our kitchen table and the fun of actually talking to one another while eating a meal.  I have completed several projects this week.

And, so , now I have come up from the cobwebs and read some of my favorite bloggers.  I have missed the joy I receive when reading these talented people’s writing.  I think, I am finally home from a long summer away.  It feels good.

Now, on to the next change that is coming soon.  A new granddaughter, a little lady to keep little man company.  A cousin for my little man.  She has already given us fits and starts and scares and with life.  She has already made a statement of what her personality will be, determined.  We should be able to meet her maybe next month, but hopefully she will be good and not come until she is supposed to in November.

So, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you haven’t forgotten me….  DAF

Happy 2nd Little Man….

In a couple of hours I will be going to a party.  This is a party I have looked forward to attending.  Little Man is two years old today.

My thoughts have gone back to two years ago often the past couple of days.  When he was carried into our lives and we saw him for the first time.  Time stopped in a way as we all gathered around and noticed each thing about him.  His little perfectly shaped head, his little mouth, his little fingers and toes.  Our hearts stopped  as we welcomed him to our family.  Our hearts stopped as this was a moment in time to notice.  A moment that could never be reproduced.  This was his moment to become ours.

He hasn’t stopped capturing our hearts these past twenty-four months.  Each conversation, each squeal of laughter, each smile grabs us by our hearts and squeezes more joy from us.  His little hand in ours is a reminder of the precious gift this child is.

He is our delight and our joy.  We celebrate him daily, but, today, we will celebrate him with presents and food and most importantly, cake!

Happy Birthday Little Man!  You are loved, Grammy (aka DAF)

Little Man in May

What a great idea…

 

I love the fact that WordPress supplies ways to keep your blog going.  They have challenges in posting photos, and suggestions for writing daily.  I read these each day and I am not always inspired.  Today’s suggestion prompted thoughts immediately.

The suggestion, you ask?

“Seat Guru

You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?”

So, here is my idea.  I love giving dinner parties.  I love being able to do the table decorations and think up wonderful food.  I really have no idea what I would serve these people, but I know the table would have a lovely flower arrangement, something simple and not too large, so it wouldn’t keep everyone from seeing one another.  There would also be some low candles, lit and providing a calm and intimate atmosphere.

Seated at the table, besides myself, (who would stay quiet for the most part, because I would want to listen to everything being said) would be Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie, Dr. Seuss, and Janis Joplin.

Now you know why I had to write this!  I think having these four people in a room together would be fascinating.  The writing styles of the authors would be different and yet, they all have a common sensibility.  They wrote with humor, truth that is dripping with wistfulness, and I think they would begin to bounce ideas off one another.  Could you imagine how Jane Austen would write about Peter Pan?  Could you imagine the rhymes and words Dr. Seuss could  use in describing Mr. Darcy?  What type of villain would J.M. Barrie make of the Grinch?  Add the raw singing of Janis to put it all into song and I think the evening would be one to remember always.

Just my thoughts, thanks for stopping by, DAF

Hands…

First of all, I would like to thank  athingirldotcom for her post yesterday.  She had a phrase in her post that prompted a memory that I wanted to write about hands.  So, thank you Susannah!

I have always looked at hands.  As far as I can remember I notice people’s hands.  I love to see what they look like.  Are they perfectly manicured?  Are they calloused?  Chubby hands or tiny hands?    I am fascinated by hands.  To me, they show the person’s personality.

I know I have always noticed hands.  I became very aware of how much I looked at hands several years ago.  Hubby and I had been invited to a fund-raising dinner for a ministry.  We were in San Diego and the dinner was held at the Hotel Del Coronado.  It was our first experience at the Del.  It’s a beautifully historic hotel and is one of our favorite places to visit and roam around.

Anyhow, the table we were seated  had hubby and I, our friends who invited us and another couple.  This couple was older and very sweet.  There was a prayer before dinner and we were instructed to hold hands to pray for the evening meal.  My right hand was in hubby’s hand.  His hand is large and strong.  My entire hand fits into the palm of his.  I can never hold his hand when we walk, I can only grasp onto his first couple of fingers.

My left hand gently held onto the older woman’s hands.  When the prayer was finished, she leaned over to me and apologized for her hand.  She said it was not soft and manicured as mine was.  I looked at her and placed her hand in both of mine.  With all honesty, I looked at her and said, ‘Mam, these hands are hands that have loved deeply.  They are worn from years of working for those you love.  I am certain these hands have scrubbed floors and walls and children.  I think your hands are lovely.  I hope that someday my hands will look the same.”  I didn’t think anything of this conversation, because I knew I was being honest.  She grabbed my hands and with tears in her eyes she thanked me.

Over the years I have thought about that exchange.  I wonder what happened with that woman.  I am certain she is no longer with us.  But, I have always remembered her.

A few months ago, hubby was sitting beside me and looked down and gently picked up my hand.  He simply said, “your poor little hands.”  He then lifted my hand to his lips and kissed them.

DAF's right hand...

DAF’s right hand…

I asked what was wrong with my hands and he answered that they looked sore.  They were in fact very sore.  They ached, which they tend to do often anymore.  But, I sat and looked at my hands.  They looked familiar to me.  They looked like that woman’s hands did years ago.  They don’t get manicured often anymore.  I just don’t take the time for that.  But, these hands have loved and worked and been there to do what is needed.

I have the answer to that prayer I had long ago.  My hands look old and worn.  But, I am proud of what we have accomplished through the years.

Yes, people notice eyes, or ears or rear ends.  I can talk to someone for hours and never tell you what color their eyes are, but, I can tell you what kind of hands they have.    What do you notice about people?

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

 

On Visiting the Folks…

Today I visited my father.  He didn’t say much, in fact he said nothing.  He is like that, and has been since he passed away several years ago.

I know that opening sentence is a bit callous, but, I can tend to be a bit glib when talking about my folks.

I still miss them and think of them often.  Each time I pass the apartment where my father lived, I look up on the deck to see if he is still there.  I chide myself each time I do that, but, still I do it.

Today, hubby and I were out and about.  I asked if we could stop by and visit my Dad.  He drove up and parked.  We walked up to the grave and I looked down at the stone.  There was his name, his birthdate and date of death.  Underneath was listed  Sgt. AACS WWII.  Beside his stone was a flag.  Hubby straightened the flag and we paid our respects.

I know it changes nothing when I go to visit my folks.  I know they do not know that I am there.  But, a part of me needs to visit.  I need to see  their graves, and take a moment to remember them.  To stop my day and remember.  Most of the time those moments last maybe three minutes in length.

The older I get the more I wonder how I will be remembered.  Will I be remembered for grace and laughter and help?  Or will there be moments that are not my best that will be brought to mind?

I remember good things about my folks.  Times that were nice.  But, honestly, I still remember some not so great times also.  I guess that is life and memories, good and bad and ordinary.

Anyhow, I always pride myself that I can visit my folks and not get into any arguments anymore….

Thanks for stopping by, DAF