Ramblings from a would be writer

Some days just stand out…

Today is September 27th.  September is almost over, October and the rush of the holidays will soon be upon us.

But, today is a day that stands out.  49 years ago today, my Mom died.  I was 11.  It was a rainy fall morning when the alarm went off.  The kind of morning you wish you could just stay in bed and sleep.  My alarm was turned off that morning, by my older sister, whose life had permanently changed just a few hours before.  Turning off the alarm in my younger sisters and my room was just her first act of taking care of us.  She was 15.  Her childhood ended a few hours before, never to be reclaimed.

For years my sisters and I would call or make certain there was a card or letter in the mail on this day.  We remember in detail the day and the things that surrounded this day.  For years, I think we almost dreaded this day, for once the pain and searing hurt had diminished and we were busy with our families, we knew, on this day, we had to remember.  We had to pick open a wound that almost healed.

A few years ago, my older sister once more acted for our good.  She said it was time for us to stop our mourning of this day.  We agreed with her and since, I know we each remember, but, we do not call one another or email and drag up the memories of that day so long ago.

Most of the time now, I think towards the end of the day, what the day is.  My mind will fleetingly go through the events and I sigh, remembering it all.

Today is a day very similar to what the weather was like 49 years ago.  It is a darker, rainy day, one that is perfect to stay cuddled up inside.  My mind noticed the date and I knew I had to write something.

What I now think about is how much my Mom truly did miss celebrating with her girls.  Cancer robbed us of sharing our tears of joy and sorrow with her.  Her daughters all married, had children and two of them have grandchildren.  Her daughters have all outlived her.

Yes, this is a day to remember sadness in my life, but, I am choosing today to think of the abundant blessings I have had.  I am now 60.  I have hugged my daughters during their times of joy.  I have laughed with them.  I have dried their tears.  I have held their newborn children.  I am a woman who is blessed.

Thanks for stopping by today.    DAF


Faithful Friends…

When I was in the fourth grade we were separated into groups for a science project.  I think the groups were only groups of two, and we were given an assignment and a time allotment to do the task.  The name of our project was “The effects of different environments on snails.”   A real thrilling assignment, right?

I was put into a group with a girl who had been in our class since first grade.  We knew each other, naturally since we had been in class together.  But, being thrown into a group project always gives you a better feel for the other person.

I knew where to get the snails since the family I babysat had an aquarium and they had snails galore.  They gladly said I could use their snails for the experiment.  (At the time, I did not realize how quickly snails multiplied.)  My partner had a fish bowl, which we needed.  Perfect combination, right?

Well, she was a better student than I was, and she wrote the bulk of the essay and I think I may have drawn the pictures and collected the data.  We really did do horrible things to those poor snails and suffice it to say that PETA most likely would have come and carried me off if I were to do this project today.  We did learn that snails really cannot survive many ways.  (C’mon, you give two fourth graders license to experiment on a mollusk that repopulate quickly, what do you expect?).

Anyhow, that experiment started a beautiful friendship.  We stayed friends from the fourth grade until this day.  She left this morning to drive back to her home in Pittsburgh.  We had a wonderful week together.  We shopped, we ate, we talked until we were hoarse and we ate some more.  We laughed so much this week and got caught up on each others’ families and lives.  It was a beautiful week.

Since hubby is still visiting our oldest, we were able to have a week of girl time.  We missed him (a little), but this visit was one of the very best.  Years were erased and we recalled all the adventures we have had.  We also planned some adventures to come, including what we would sneak to each other if we ever end up in a nursing home.

I love the fact that into our lives come people who bless us through many seasons of our lives.  I have been blessed with many wonderful friends.  My life is enriched by them all.  They each play an important part of who I am and how I function in this world.  Today I am grateful that snails can also cement a friendship 51 years ago.

Thanks for stopping by today.  DAF

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A Time Honored Tradition….

It is almost daylight here.  I sit here wide awake, thoughts flooding my mind.

Hubby, who is in San Diego, texted me about an hour ago asking me to pray for Little Miss’ daddy.  I immediately began to pray.  It was nothing serious, but it was a request given out of love for his future son-in-law and I understood.

I understood because thirty-one years ago tonight I prayed the same prayers for my hubby.

Thirty one years ago tomorrow I was part of a ceremony that hubby and my daughter will take part in tomorrow.

Little Miss’ daddy has been promoted in the Navy.  This is a special promotion, for he will become a Navy Chief.  Technically, it is just another enlisted grade in all the other services, but, in the Navy, it has special meaning.

A Navy Chief is an awesome achievement.  In hubby’s day there was hazing.  A lot of it.  But, it was what made you a chief.  These days the initiation process is different, but, the result is the same.  It is a tiring process, a long process and it wears you down physically, mentally, emotionally.  But, when it is all said and done that is what happens when you are a chief.  You wear many hats and a normal response to most sailors with questions is, “Go ask the Chief”.

Hubby was asked to pin one of the collar devices on his uniform tomorrow.  Our daughter will pin the other device on.  Hubby was honored when he was asked, and, of course he wanted to be there.

Hubby spent the day today with all the new chief selectees.  He stayed there for the entire process, and I know this has forged a bond between hubby and LIttle Miss’ daddy.

So, after praying for him, my mind became overwhelmed with memories and thoughts.  We have almost been out of the Navy longer than we were in now.  Hubby retired at 21 years in service.  That time sped by and was just one chapter of our lives.  But, that chapter was filled with traditions that have always been a part of the U.S. Navy.   I am proud of the time we were part of the Navy.

I have had several texts in the past hour.  The last came from LIttle Miss’ daddy thanking me and telling me to get some sleep.  When I finish this cup of tea and this post I will try to get some sleep.  I will think to myself  something that I taught my girls when they were little and heading to bed.

I see the moon and the moon sees me.  God bless the sailors on the sea.”   Yes, there are still parts of this great country that continues time-honored traditions, and I am proud to have been a part of that.

The third verse of Anchors Aweigh says,

Blue of the mighty deep:
Gold of God’s great sun.
Let these our colors be
Till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On seven seas we learn
Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true,
With honor, over honor, over all.”

So, I close this post with hearty congratulations to our LIttle Miss’ daddy, you done good kid, thank you for your service.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF


A Time to Look Back…

Today felt like fall.  There was a crispness in the air that made it seem like fall arrived.  It was wonderful.  The sun shone through the trees and it looked different than it did even yesterday.  Fall is making it’s appearance and I am excited.

This afternoon and into this evening, as I sat watching the sun makes it’s journey through the trees, I sat and watched old videos of Little Man.  He starts back to preschool tomorrow, an old pro now, going into the “big” kids class for the three-year olds.

I watched videos of him playing with his play-dough.  Looking at the shapes and telling me the numbers and letters he picked up.  There were videos of him eating, covered with berry juice, and one of him signing and asking for more “bluey’s”… his name for blueberries for a short while.

Earlier, I talked with hubby who is visiting Little Miss this week.  He held her while she was crying, trying not to go down for a nap.  Putting me on speaker, we both talked with her to extend her ‘awake’ time.

All of this made me realize how quickly time passes.  The seasons of the year fly by.  Soon, the leaves will be off the trees.  The sky will be gray.  Snow may fall.

Just as quickly, Little Man and Little Miss will grow even more.  Already Little Man talks to me about the presidents, their first ladies, and tells me about the countries that are on his map of the world.  His world expands daily.

Little Miss grins a toothy smile now.  She pulls herself up and will be walking within weeks.  Soon she will be like Little Man and telling me things she is learning.

A part of me wants time to slow down.  I want to cherish each moment.  But, I can’t slow things down, and honestly, I don’t want it to slow down.  Each season is an adventure, whether it is the changing weather outdoors, or the seasons of a toddler’s life.

I am grateful today.  Today I have spent the day in memories and thoughts of what is to come.  This I have thought all day, I am blessed.  God has been and continues to be good to me.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF


Reality check….

The first week of July was a hard time for me.  Yes, we had just moved and getting settled was (and is) taking longer than I expected, but, there were other things happening that got to me.

The first Sunday of the month, we went to church, and came home, and as is normal, I went online and checked Facebook to see what was going on.  An acquaintance of mine, that I have actually known since kindergarten had several comments on her page.  None of them were normal.  There were no snide remarks or no humor.  There were condolences.  My husband’s cousin, who is also a mutual friend wrote to ask what was going on.  Together, we wrote back and forth until we discovered what was happening.  This acquaintance had lost her husband very suddenly to a heart attack.  I knew of him, but did not know him personally.  I read his obituary and realized he was two weeks younger than me.  This hit me hard.  Like hit me in the gut and have me double over hard.  It still bothers me and my heart goes out to this woman who is grieving, rightly so.

The following day I wrote a message to another friend on Facebook.  We also have known each other since kindergarten.  We were neighbors and played with one another.  We caught bees in jars and played on her swing set.  We played when she got the mumps, so that I would catch them and get it over.  (I never caught them)  We drifted apart through high school and reconnected about 20 years ago at our husband’s class reunion.  We have chatted online often since then.  Anyhow, this friend had been on my mind and so I wrote to see how she was.  She wrote back.  She is undergoing chemotherapy for a bout with cancer.

For the second day in a row, I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.

Since then I have thought about life.  I have thought about relationships.  Both are fragile and both can be gone in an instant.  I confess it took several weeks for me to get out of the funk that I went to after hearing the news of those two days.  But, what has surfaced from those two stomach wrenching days is a renewed appreciation for today.  Taking each day as the gift it is.  We are not promised tomorrow.

I have yet another friend on Facebook and each morning she posts, “I am glad to be on my feet today.”  That is how I am feeling lately.  I am glad to be on my feet.  I am glad to have this beautiful unsettled home.  I am glad for my hubby.  Glad that he makes me smile and makes me roll my eyes by some of the things he says and does.  I am thankful for another day with my puppy.  We didn’t think we would have him past the day we took him to the hospital, and he is still here, giving me doggy smiles and nose hugs.

Yes, life is good and sometimes we need to be reminded just how good it is.    Speaking of good…  I am planning on having a guest blogger soon….  I am excited about this.   More to come later.  Thanks for stopping by… DAF


Litte Man Lessons

It’s been a while since I wrote about a lesson I have learned from Little Man.  Little Man is truly a little man now, at three years old, he is no longer baby or toddler, but a boy.  A boy Pinocchio would have been envious of.

The other day I went on Facebook to see a post my daughter had written.  It said, ” Little Man, upon waking from a very early nap, to me: Mama, you’re like a sweet present filled with sugar.”  My heart melted.  So did several other hearts from the response the post created.  Hubby and I chuckled and remarked how precious Little Man is.

A few comments and several hours later, my daughter commented once more on her post.  “In keeping it real, 20 minutes later, he told me I should go stand in the trash.”   After reading that, I howled with laughter!

The following day, as hubby and I were making our daily trip to Home Depot (they loved that we moved into the area), we talked about the comments Little Man made.

We laughed and talked about his cuteness (we are grandparents after all)  but, we also talked about his innocence.  He can say things that are in his mind and they come out without anger and bitterness.  He does not say things with a purpose to hurt or destroy.  He hasn’t learned that part of the world yet.

Hubby and I went on to say that this is something we need to remember.  To be able to speak things with truth but not harm.  Unfortunately, there is too much of the harsh side of the world that clings to us and sometimes our words are not kind.

I Corinthians 14:20 says, “ Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.”

We talked more about this, but, this was the gist of the conversation.

Later on in a Skype with my daughter and Little Man, my daughter said that Little Man was actually standing by the trash can holding the lid open when he told her to go stand in the trash…  She confessed that he must not have agreed with what she wanted him to do.    Gotta love a three-year old’s logic, don’t you?

Thanks for stopping by today… DAF

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Did you ever have one of those days?  Those ugly, awful days?  I am not talking about things going wrong around you, I am talking being so ugly yourself that you don’t even want to be you?

Yesterday I was meaner than cat dirt…  There is no other way to describe it.  I wanted to argue and fuss and fight with anyone and anything that was in front of me.  It (and by it, I mean me) was not pretty.

Poor hubby, he tried valiantly to get out-of-the-way, but, he was a moving target.  Bang! Boom! Blam!  Poor man.  Good thing he is a good man for today he woke up and there were no light leaks in him.  If he wasn’t so kind he should have locked me in a closet.

In spite of my bad mood, we did yard work.  The projects I helped him on (he did most of the work) look beautiful.  They add some grace and curb appeal to our driveway.

While helping him, I decided our mailbox needed brightening up.  We went to get more mulch and while at the store, I picked up some annuals.  I planted them and was grumpy the entire time I worked.  I fussed and fumed and snapped.  The wasps and yellow jackets had nothing over me, my sting was worse than theirs!

So, the ugly day ended and this morning, having awoken on the right side of the bed, I took my cup of coffee and went out to look at yesterday’s work.  Hubby’s still looked wonderful.  I walked to the mailbox and looked down.  The flowers and plants look like they are enjoying their new place, but, I noticed that I did not get all the weeds up from part of the area.

Yes, yesterday I was ugly, and my eyes were bothering me and felt cloudy.  Today, as I looked at what I had done, I felt like I was learning a needed lesson.  Dwelling on my frustration and anger can cloud the presence of weeds that are in my life.  I can live and thrive, but my beauty and surroundings are more spectacular when I get rid of the weeds.

I guess sometimes we have days like yesterday so we can learn in days like today.   Thanks for stopping by… DAF


Perspective in a donut and chocolate milk

I have written a couple of blogs about my niece and the hero she is to me and to those who know her.  She wrote a blog piece yesterday that  really spoke to me.  I want to share it with my readers, because, well, I think you will like it also.  Take a visit on her blog, you won’t be disappointed.  She is an incredible woman and as you can tell, I am very proud of her.

Perspective in a donut and chocolate milk.

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The Middle of August, almost…

Each year about this time, I want it to be fall.  I want to pull out my leaf garland and my pumpkins and have it be fall.  I know that it is still summer.  It is still hot and humid out, but, there is always just a hint of fall in the air around this time.

Moving to a new place, I am really aware of that certain something in the air.  Some of our leaves are turning yellow.  This may be normal for the bushes,  I really don’t know.  I have to say, though, those yellow leaves are only adding to my anticipation of fall.

It’s fun to be in a new home this year.  Seeing the differences each day that either I hadn’t noticed, or that something has changed.    The pool is still beckoning me to jump in and swim, but, something in my thought process has changed.  I can’t wait to see the leaves change colors, to see them fall, and even have it cool enough to rake them.

But, for now, I will sit and wait,listening to the cicadas and knowing the season will soon be here and before I know it, I will be putting Christmas decorations away and looking forward to spring flowers.  There is a big kid inside me.  The kid that is always looking forward to the next thing.  That kid needs to have a time out to stop and notice the beauty and the things in front of her now.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF


The White Windswept Home…

We live in a rural area in the upstate part of South Carolina.  We love it here.  We drive into town and pass pastoral scenes most people only see in pictures.

Heading into town there is the small neighborhood store that boasts of having the best hot dogs, hamburgers and bar-b-que around…. well, that’s because they are the ONLY hot dogs, burgers and bar-b-que around!  But, the store does a booming business and has a gas station there to boot.

The next thing I notice driving towards town is the home that hung two flags proudly around the fourth of July.  An American flag and right below it, bold and new is a Confederate flag.  For some reason, when I saw this, I started laughing aloud.  With all the controversy about the latter flag, I thought how wonderful it is that I live in a country that people can have a freedom to do this.  I thanked the Lord for such freedoms.

There are houses, some grand, some very humble.  There are farms with large fields of hay in bales.  There are cows, black ones, brown ones and spotted ones.  Calves play in and around the cows.  There are a few horse farms on the way into town also.  The horses have stood in shaded areas munching on the grasses in the fields.  Another farm pasture is tended to by goats.  Not just a couple of goats, but dozens of them.  They jump and play and busily munch the grass.

The closer you get to town the more familiar things you see, grocery stores, coffee shops, business offices, shopping centers and of course the Wal-Mart and Starbucks.  No town in complete without at least a dozen of these two places.

What gets to hubby and I most of the time is the white windswept house that sits in the middle of a field.  It looks old to me, new to hubby.  He thinks it was started to be built and just left.  I think it may have been an older home, left idle when a family moved on.

We ponder the story of the house each time we drive to and from town.  It sits there, in the middle of large open space.  It keeps its history and story to itself and we think of new story-lines for it.  Someday, maybe, I will find out from a local how old the house is.  I am certain sometime I will find out the story behind it.  That will answer questions for certain, but, for now, we like the mystery that surrounds it for us.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF….



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