dearanonymousfriend

Ramblings from a would be writer

Sweet Overload…

I have spent many hours this week on that addicting site called Pinterest.  I have looked and pinned several things I am dreaming of for our hopeful home.  I have had a wonderful time looking, pinning and dreaming.  It is a great filler before I start to pack and clean and all that fun moving stuff… but, I digress.

Today I went on Pinterest to look for comfort food recipes.  It is a brisk, damp, rainy day here and I wanted to make something different for supper.

I found a recipe for a soup that I had had this summer and enjoyed thoroughly.  Decided that was our entrée, and I had crusty rolls in the fridge, so that was taken care of.  I knew I would head to the store and made a list of what I needed to get.  Then, in those wonderful  pictures that cover Pinterest, I saw our dessert.  I started to drool.  I knew I had to make it.  I added those ingredients to my shopping list and off I went.

The soup was wonderful.  Hearty, thick and hot.  We are looking forward to round two of it tomorrow afternoon, knowing it will taste even better the second day.

Our dessert?  Butterfinger hot chocolate.  It is made in the crock pot and takes over two hours to make.  Hubby and I have each had one cup.  We would love to have a second cup, but know we would go into a sugar coma and either fall asleep immediately or (and most likely, me)  start bouncing off the walls while talking at the speed of light.

I usually do not fall prey to pretty pictures of desserts.  By that, I mean, I usually drool, but don’t make.  I must have been very weak today.  I went to the store, bought the ingredients and then caved and bought two boxes of girl scout cookies on the way out.

Today, I need to be locked up.  Or, as one of my dearest friends would remind me, a prayer I once prayed in her presence, “Lord, please bless this sugar!”

Amen, I mean, thanks for stopping by, I have a wall or two that I need to bounce off.  DAF

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On Moving… Maybe…

Almost 32 years ago we moved into our first home that was our own.  It was a terrifying and wonderful experience.

I bought the house.  I say I, well, because, I was the only person who was in town to do the work.  We bought our first home with the help of my in-laws.  They needed a tax deduction at the time and we needed the financial help.  It was a win-win situation for all of us.

They gave me a power of attorney and I had the legal right to sign their names and make the decisions.  I also had a power of attorney from hubby, who left a couple of months before we moved into our home.

We opened escrow in late June/early July time frame.  We moved all of our worldly possessions into the garage of the home we were buying.  We drove to New Mexico and visited my sister and brother-in-law.  We were there for about a week and came home and stayed with some friends.

Now, the one detail I have left out is that I was seven months pregnant with our youngest daughter and our oldest was four and half years old.

Hubby left on July 15th for a six month deployment that turned into an 8 and half month deployment.  When he left, he thought we would be moving into our home at the end of July.

The escrow was extended several times and we did not move in until September 2, 1983, nine days before our daughter was born.

That time was very stressful for me.  I had to sign everyone’s name on several documents all followed by this phrase, by power of attorney, and then sign my name.  Everything was sent snail mail.  No over night mailings, no faxes, nothing like that.

I remember that time so clearly.  It stands out in my mind.  The heat of the summer, which was an incredibly hot summer with triple digits for the months of July, August and September.   A car that was temperamental to say the least.  It broke down weekly and repairs were always the same as the national debt.  A four-year old who loved her daddy so much and reminded me daily of how miserable she was without him.  A husband serving his country and being in the places that the news men were opening their shows with.   It was a stressful time.

In the years since, I have thought that those months were a fond memory.  A time that now serves as a good story.  I haven’t thought much about any of this until a week ago when we put in an offer for a new home.

Then, it all came flooding back to me.  Hubby is doing the bulk of this escrow.  I appreciate that.  But, I marvel at the changes that have come in this area.  Documents are now emailed.  Electronic signatures happen.  You hit a button, and you are signed.  When hard copies with real ink signatures are needed, then you overnight them.

There is a part of me that is resentful.  But, it is only a small part.  I am too excited, too hopeful that this may be my forever home.  There are still inspections to be done, and those inspections will let us know if this will happen or not.  So, I hold my breath, and I pray that in a few months I will be done with the unpacking.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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House Hunting…

I was going to title this post, “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”, but figured ugly doesn’t describe it and bad is just too nice.

Hubby and I are house hunting.  Today we spent two hours poking around a house and a property that we are trying hard not to fall in love with.  Since that is not working, we will take some time, pray hard and hope we hear what our next steps should be.

I can tell you what our next step won’t be.  It won’t be the second house we looked at today.  We have found this listing online.  It had the usual set of pictures and we could tell the outside was a little rough around the edges.  But, with our budget, we are expecting a little roughness.  We looked and decided to see the inside.  We thought that if the inside was great, we could work with the outside.

We opened the door.  The entryway was an odd color, but, paint isn’t expensive.  We wandered inside, that is when I could swear I was hearing eerie organ music in the background.  The front door kept swinging shut and reopening.  Yes, it was a windy day, but for where the door was positioned, that should not have happened.

I went into the master bedroom.  I was two steps inside it and turned to hubby and told him I would go no further.  We quickly left that room, walked out to our realtor and said, we are done.  We don’t need to see anything else.

Right here is what started to remind me of several ‘B’ rated horror movies.  Key the creepy organ music.  Key the axe murderer lurking behind the doors.  Hubby out the of blue suggests that we take a look at the basement.   I know….  isn’t that when the girl starts to scream and you see blood gushing all over?  Then, our realtor, for some unknown reason says, “Sure, we’re here, why not check it out.”

I looked at them.  I hear the front door slam.  At this point I know the house has just now taken us captive and the axe murderer is waiting for us at the bottom of the basement stairs.  But, being the big chicken I am, I go down with the men.

Downstairs there was an air hockey game, a pool table, and a ping-pong table, which all conveyed.  There was a brightness down there and actually, the room that should have been the most terrifying was the most welcoming.

Our realtor told us a joke while giving us a visual with the pool table.  We all laughed and then high-tailed it out of the creepy house.

Yes, house hunting is an adventure, and after the last place, I am just hoping I don’t have nightmares tonight.

We should have looked at it yesterday, Friday the 13th…  No, that would have been too creepy.     ~DAF

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Sisters…

I am a middle child.  I have stated that before, so it is nothing new.

Yesterday I turned 60.  A milestone for me, and my sisters celebrated me in a great way.  We don’t live near each other.  I am in South Carolina, my older sister is in Illinois, and my younger sister in Maryland.  We don’t see one another enough, and it makes us sad at times.

In the past two weeks I have gotten three boxes of presents from my sisters.  Not a box that holds a single gift, but three boxes that were filled to the brim with gifts.  60 of them, in fact.

When I received my first box, I opened it and read the card on the top.  I texted my sisters to thank them and tell them how blessed I was and how crazy they were to send me a box of presents.  The card was actually signed by both of them.  Their handwriting and seeing that, I cried that they could arrange something like this.  Shortly after texting both of my sisters, my older sister called and told me I was not allowed to open one gift until the 11th.  I told her I would obey, and we continued to talk for several minutes.

She told me not to think that these gifts were going to be earth shattering.  I was just amazed that they had sent me a box of gifts.  It was during that conversation that I found out that there would be two more boxes arriving.  I was overwhelmed.

More presents arrived and I spent a few hours yesterday unwrapping the gifts my sisters sent me.  Some were silly, some were things that made me smile.  I was amazed at how well my sisters knew me.  I laughed and even cried a bit.  I called my older sister while opening some because I knew she would be home, having retired recently.  I waited until after school to call my other sister, since she is a teacher.

The gifts blessed me in many ways.  But, as I have looked them over today several times, I realized that it wasn’t the gifts that blessed me, but the love and the care my sisters gave me.

I am fortunate to have two sisters who care.  They are fun to be with, and yes, we can drive one another crazy, but they are my fiercest defenders and will be there at a moment’s notice if need be.

I smile as I look at a frame that has our names etched into it.  In the center of the frame is a photo taken when my youngest sister was a baby.  She is propped between my older sister and myself.  It occurred to me today that that picture was taken so long ago that it could be considered an antique…. I guess that is what happens when you turn 60, right?

So, thank you my dear sisters, I am so lucky to be between you.  Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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A Walk on the Beach…

This afternoon, hubby and I headed out to do some errands and after finishing them up, we headed to the beach.  No, not to sit and sun, but to walk, and blow the stink off.

We walk on the beach often, it is a place that relaxes hubby and he unwinds.  This leads to great conversations that somehow don’t happen other places.

The sky was overcast when we arrived and the tide was out, which is our favorite time to walk there.  The huge expanse of sand that is firmer is easier to walk along.  We walked for about a mile.  The wind was brisk and I found myself wishing I had brought some gloves with me.

As we walked along, we saw some cute dogs with their owners.  They would bound over and we would love on them.  In the distance we saw a couple walking a puppy.  As we got a bit closer we realized it was a Shiba Inu, which is what we have.  The puppy was off leash and started to run towards us.  Of course, we encouraged him to keep running to us.  He arrived in a flurry of excitement, tail wagging, tongue lapping and jumping and nipping.  He was precious.  The couple rushed over, apologizing as they came.  Then they realized that we were loving our time with the puppy.  We looked up and told them what a beautiful shiba they had.  Immediately, we were friends.  They asked us so many questions about the breed and we talked for several minutes.  I should clarify, they talked with my hubby, me?  Well, I was too busy playing with the puppy.  I had forgotten how playful Shibas are when they are puppies.  I forgot how furry and soft and fun they are.  Our poor old pup is past the playful stage.  He sleeps most of the day and sometimes it is a chore to walk to the door to go on his walk.

On the way home I kept thinking of the puppy.  I also started thinking of how we are when we age. We don’t feel any different, but, we do start to move just a bit slower.  We don’t play as much as we used to.

We arrived home.  Came in, dropped the mail on the table and our dog came trotting out to meet us.  I looked down just as he dropped into his playful pose.  Nah, he isn’t as old as I think he is…

As I think about it now, there’s still some puppy in both of us.

Thanks for stopping by.  DAF

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The Women of Winter Harbor…

This week I have thought of the people we have met in our married life.  Being military, we have met so many folks and have had such a full life of being with people we never would have known if we hadn’t had being in the military in common.

The one group that stands out the most is the women from our tour of duty in Winter Harbor, Me.  We lived in military housing there, which was a blessing to everyone.  Winter Harbor is part of the Acadia National Park area and it is a beautiful spot to live.  The view of the Atlantic is one that etches itself to your heart.  You are never the same after seeing it.

The military housing was divided into four different sections.  There was a group of apartments on the base proper.  These were incredible apartments being made into apartments from a mansion.  They were ornate and lovely.  I was in one once.  They were reserved for the officers in charge.

Another section was known as Capehart.  This was a group of  Cape Cod style homes.  These homes were for the chief petty officers and the officer families.

The other two sections were simply called “New Fund” and “Old Fund”.  Pretty self-explanatory.  New Fund housed the junior enlisted families, Old Fund was the senior enlisted.  We lived in Old Fund.  A duplex with a tiny front yard and a back yard overlooking the Cape homes.  Hubby and I used to joke that we were ‘above’ those people.

Each place could stay separate except for another part that was a binding tie.  The base chapel.  We were active in the chapel along with a dear group of families.  The families were from all the housing parts (except the apartments).

This group of people in the chapel became our family.  We did things together, we shared our lives.  The women became dear friends.  A bond was formed that has withstood the test of time, distance, joys, sorrows.   Little did we know that sitting in same kitchens in base housing, sipping tea and eating whatever kind of sweet available, we were joined together in heart and spirit.

We were the only family ready to avail to one another.  Our birth families were miles away and without the convenience of laptops or cell phones, we only communicated via letters or the occasional phone call.  The people in housing became our emergency support system.  We watched kids while there was a run to the emergency room with another child.  We tucked kids into bed for one another, we became the surrogate aunts and uncles.

The women of Winter Harbor are still close.  We know what is going on in each other’s lives.  We share memories of the times together.  We still laugh and cry together.   They are precious and dear to me.  I just said good-bye to one of these dear women a few minutes ago.  She and her husband stopped by on their way home from a vacation.  We stayed up late talking and catching up.  We laughed and shed a tear or two.  We clasped hands and just remembered.  We talked of the other women and smiled and remembered with fondness the times together.  The time sped by and they are on their way home, and we are filled with the joy that comes from this relationship.

These women are a gift to my life.  We have always said we were more than friends, we were family.  Little Man’s Nana is one of these Winter Harbor women.  We are truly family now and it seems this bond is complete now.  I tucked my son-in-law into bed while his folks were out one night, I watched him grow for a season of his life.

It is a wonderful gift and bond and for this part, I am so thankful for the time that we lived there.  That is where I met the rest of my family.

~ DAF

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A Blustery Day…

I love winter.  I really do.  I love the cold, the wind and whatever is thrown at us in precipitation.  Snow, rain, ice, it’s all wonderful.

Today is a blustery day.  Yes, I know, I live in the south.  It can’t be that blustery.  But, yes, it is a blustery day today.

I just came in from walking our dog.  The moon is bright in the clear sky.  The flags on the porches are all blowing straight out, like they have been starched stiff.  The wind is whipping around the cul-de-sac and down the hill (well, as much of a hill that can be found here in the Lowcountry).

As I walked up the hill, I thought how blustery it is.  I chuckled because I know there were times in my life that I would consider this weather a hot spell.  So, as I walked our little Shugo, I thought of the different places I have lived and the blustery days I have experienced.

Being born and raised in Northwestern Pennsylvania, I know what cold is.  I know what snow is.  I have fallen on ice walking to and from school, uphill, downhill, two miles along.

From there I went to Norfolk, VA.  We lived in a small cheap beach apartment the winter before we were transferred to Japan.  We would turn on the wall heating unit before heading to bed and wake up in the morning to see a mound of sand gathered on the floor around the heating unit, which was stone cold….  Youth and young love made me think this was wonderful!

In Japan we lived on a converted WWII Japanese airstrip.  We lived in occupation era Navy houses.  The view was incredible, Mt. Fuji and Sagami Wan (bay), but our house was one all by itself at the end of the runway and we had nothing in front of our house except open field.  The wind would whip up and buffet that little house and it would almost knock me over every time we left the house in the winter.  Of course, now it most likely wouldn’t move me at all, since I was young and skinny back then.

From Japan, we went to Maine.  Need I say more about knowing what cold is like?  When the temperature rose to  O degrees we thought it was spring!  I loved the winter in Maine and the other two seasons, July and August.  It is heaven on earth and I would move back there in a minute.  Snow, ice, wind chill and all.  It is truly God’s country.

From Maine we thawed out in San Diego.  I know you are thinking, no bluster there.  You are right for the most part, but, living there as long as I did, I saw some frost, and even a hint of snow.   And, we went for a 40 minute ride to the mountains to experience our wind and cold.  The last Valentine’s Day in California, hubby and I actually took a ride in the mountains and got snowed in up there.  It was cold and windy and very snowy outside the beautifully warm bed and breakfast we landed in.

So, I have decided blustery days happen everywhere.  Those days that chill you to the bone.  Where you come inside and think of warm drinks and warm jammies.  Tonight is like that and I am very content and happy that my hands got cold as did my cheeks while I walked our dog.   Who knows, I may decide he needs to go back out again, just so I can enjoy this winter feeling.

~ DAF

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On Aging…

Growing older does not bother me.  It really doesn’t.  At least, I don’t think it does…

When I was little, I could not wait until I turned 11.  I would be 11 on the 11th.  I was so excited for that day, that I actually peeked at my presents.  We were not a wealthy family and presents for birthdays were not that exciting, mostly what was needed.  But, that year, there were presents and I knew where they were hidden and wrapped.  I peeked and discovered a white ivy league shirt.  Exactly what I wanted.  Ivy league shirts were the button down shirts and I knew it would look so cool with my blue and gray plaid uniform skirt.  That was the year I also discovered it isn’t fun to peek, it takes the joy out of birthday surprises.

My next age I thought would be exciting was 17.  I was dating hubby and I was excited to see what he would buy me.  A cultured pearl necklace.  Of course, his Mom had picked it out, but, I loved it.

After that, I could not wait until my 35th birthday.  That was the age I knew I would be all that I was meant to be.  It would be the ultimate of ultimate birthdays.  I can’t remember a thing about that day.  I know that year I had my hysterectomy and I always say it was the best year of my life, but aside from the surgery and feeling better, it was not a wonderful time of my life.

Hubby’s birthday is in November.  Mine is in February.  We are the same age.  But… each year I remind him that he is a certain age and I won’t be that old until next year.  It’s a running joke, and I am certain he tires of hearing it.  Me?  I never tire of reminding him.

Last year, Hubby turned 60.  It wasn’t a stellar day, as we were driving home from the birth of Little Miss. We drove from El Paso, TX to Abilene, TX that day.  It was a long day, I was sneezing with a cold and the hotel was not exactly what it appeared to be from the online site I booked it.  But, we did have a saving grace for his 60th birthday dinner.  We went to a steakhouse and had a delicious dinner.  A dinner that will be remembered for the rest of our lives.

So, now the 11th is approaching.  I am going to turn 60.  I am amazed that I am that old.  I don’t feel that old.  60 is for old, old people.  At least that is what I have always believed.  Guess I was wrong.  I would love to do something really fun next week.  If we still lived in CA, I know I would head to Disneyland since we are the same age.  For the past couple of decades I have tried to make it to Disneyland so we could celebrate together.   But, alas, there will be no trek to Anaheim for me this year.  So, I am up for suggestions.  What would be a fun way to celebrate this many years?  Within reason of course….   I look forward to hearing from you!  DAF

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Accepting a challenge…

When I started blogging I found a blog that I loved to read.  The blogger and I chatted back and forth often and hers was the first blog I would read each day.

About a year ago her blog didn’t seem in my reader.  At first I thought she was taking a day or two off.  Soon, I realized other blogs were taking that first place position.  Any posts of hers were absent.

Six months ago, I realized how much I missed her words.  She has a way to write humor and life.  Reading her work  to me, is like sitting in her living room watching her life unfold.  She is easy and comfortable and real.

A couple of weeks ago, on my reader was a post from her.  I was thrilled.  I commented and she commented back.  We talked about how it is sometimes hard to be consistent in writing.  I suggested we challenge one another to write at least twice a week.  Easy, right?

Well, for her,it is.  She was faithful and consistent and up to the task.  I have written once since I dropped the challenge.  Two days ago while checking my email, I thought of the challenge and chided myself for not writing.  As I was going through my inbox I spotted a name that I was not familiar with.  I looked at the subject line and started to laugh.  The subject?  “Come On, DAF!”   I replied and confessed that I was at least thinking of writing.

This week, as usual, has flown by.  Tonight while checking my email, there was a reminder for me.  A gentle nudge.  Something to refresh my memory that tomorrow is Friday and I have yet to write, while, she has written twice.

So, now my dear blogging friend, here is a post to you.  You have encouraged me many times, you have made me smile, laugh, cry and sigh.  When your words have an effect on someone like this, you have done well.  I appreciate your support and now, after issuing this challenge, I will to the best of my writing ability accept this challenge.

Welcome back to blogging after such a long break, you have been missed.  For those who would like to read some refreshing work, stop by Coming East, you will be glad you did.

Thanks for stopping by, DAF

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Searching for Happily Ever After…

Hubby and I are on a quest of sorts…  We are in the process of finding our forever after home.  Being a military couple, we have had our share of moving.  Granted, we were at one place for almost 28 years, but, we did have one move during that time. This is hopefully the last time we utter that four letter word.  It is a painful word and one we dread.  MOVE, is a mighty word.  It makes me tired just looking at it.  But, move, we will be doing this year.  Where?  That is our question also. This week, in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary, we have set out to start our quest for this home. Today, we drove around the upstate part of South Carolina.  As we drove around I thought of what I was seeing out the window.  (Now, mind you, I gave in and actually had two glasses of a forbidden substance for me… I caved and had sweet tea)  Some of my readers, well, one in particular (you know who you are!  wink, wink…) know the effects of sweet tea, me and a closed in-car.  I begin to bounce off the seat, and I start to talk, fast.  I start to laugh at anything, and I make off-hand remarks.  Hubby threatened to put me in the back with the dog and have him be his navigator, but he didn’t follow through on his threats. What we did see was beautiful countryside.  Rolling hills, fields, small towns, and many interesting homes.  We saw some lovely large churches, and some cute little churches that looked welcoming.  There were cemetaries everywhere.  We commented that either there were many cemetaries in the area, or we kept going around a very large area of tombstones and we were seeing it from different angles. Several places were burned.  They looked like chimney fires.  One that struck me was a burnt pile of debris.  There was a man sitting by the ruins.  He was looking out over the site.  My heart was touched as I thought (and obviously am still thinking) about him. The day was filled for me in silent prayer.  Prayer for that man.  Prayer for the area.  Most of all, prayer that we will, Lord willing find the place He wants us to land.  A place to put down roots that need a place to grow.  A place that is not a temporary fix, but a place to grow old in.  A place to see not only the landscape mature, but see us, as a couple, a family mature and age. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate your visit.   DAF

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