Driving in the snow. . .

I started with the title Going in the Snow but realized that that had a whole different connotation. The things we alter to be clearly understood.
Being born in February in Minnesota means that I also got my license at age 16  by taking a driving test in February in Minnesota. Get the picture? Seeing as I moved away from there at age 17, you would think I didn’t get much experience with snow driving, but au contraire!
The Christmas before I got my license, my then boyfriend from here in Virginia flew north to visit my family, and when it came time to see him off at the airport in Minneapolis, there was a blizzard. Nothing stop planes from flying out of there – a blizzard is just routine winter. Somehow, my dad got us to the airport and, after seeing him off, we started home.
The snow was still falling and when we finally found our covered little aqua blue ’61 Corvair, (my car at that time) Dad said, “You drive.” Member Photos
Panic ensued as I began my vain arguments – complete with tears – that I COULDN’T do it! And his response was to give me directions of what roads to take and then promptly leaned back in his seat, pulled his hat over his eyes and fell asleep, snoring!
Bear in mind that the ’61 Corvair, a.k.a. the Ralph Nader car, had a rear engine and rear wheel drive so it ‘went’ in the snow without issue, but we’re talking roads covered so deep that they were fields of white with sign posts that occasionally popped up along the sides as navigational beacons.
I cried and drove and drove and cried, and dad slept. When we finally got home, he woke up and said, “Good job!” and got out of the car.
I never knew my dad to get stuck in the snow, nor my mom for that matter. I can remember them saying ‘use gravity as your friend’. A heavy vehicle wants to go where the weight is pulling it – if you can use that to benefit you, do it.
Yesterday, as I was leaving work, an elderly couple sat spinning on the ice in the parking lot of the post office. I drove around them, stopped and said, “I’m from Minnesota. Would you trust me to drive your car out of here for you?”
He said, “Yes!”
And I got in and drove it just as sweet as you please into the parking lot next door so he could get traction to get up the slight incline onto the road. He thanked me profusely, and drove out of there. Had I not wanted to get home to my beloved so very badly, (he called me and told me he had made a pot of home made split pea with ham soup), I would have coaxed him on how to do it himself, but the call of food after a long cold day is strong with this one . . .

Places we can’t stay. . .

That’s a funny title, I know, but let me explain.
We have all experienced moments in our lives which we refer to as “Picture Perfect”.
We got that term from our last century or two when photography came into being, followed by movies that started to create moments that, in truth, rarely existed in real life.
Christmas time is pretty high on the list of those moments. Remember ‘White Christmas’ when the whole platoon of soldiers give up their own Christmases to come to the Inn in New Hampshire to let the General know he’s never been forgotten?
“We’ll follow the old man where ever he wants to go –
‘long as he wants to go, opposite to the foe
We’ll stay with the old man as long as he wants to stay
‘long as he stays away from the battle fray.
Because we love him – we love him
especially when he keeps us on the ball!
And we’ll tell the kiddies we answered duty’s call
with the grandest son of a soldier of them all!”
The feelings that rise within you when you experience that on the screen and imagine what that meant to the (fictional) General – it’s an amazing moment that makes you tear up every time.
I read this morning in the paper about an unforgettable Christmas memory for one guy who took his elderly parents to the Homestead here in Virginia back in the day when they were offering sleigh rides. After getting some help up into the sleigh, they sat back, covered with blankets against the cold, taking off with the jingle of bells on the horse and the smart outfit of the driver, only to have it begin to snow as though it was carefully orchestrated by some unseen force. He said it was akin to a Currier & Ives moment, (which most under 60 will have to look up . . . ask you phone what it is!)
I remember a painfully poignant moment when Dane and I took all 3 sons to DC and visited the museums. We were walking down the sidewalk, all 3 boys towering over us in height and mass . . .well maybe not mass, when I felt such a surge of emotion over the blessing of having such wonderful sons, kind and polite and handsome as all get out, (a southern term). I wanted to freeze that moment in time and bask in it – fall on my face on the sidewalk and thank God for his goodness to me. But I couldn’t stay in that moment, and I choked back the tears and kept walking. I realized that that type of moment was probably experienced by my mom with her 3 sons, and by my sister with her 3 sons . . .
There are certain parts of music that have brought me to those moments of such excruciating beauty that I want to weep for joy while wrapped in the sound. Tchaikovsky can do that to me, especially his “Pathetique” which is some of the most moving music you’ll ever hear. I’m not talking about pretty or pleasant moments here, I’m talking about painfully beautiful. Moments that reach down inside you and pull emotions out of you by force – emotions that you don’t want to reveal but you have no control over them and cannot stop them. Like a faucet opened up that you cannot shut off. I’m not talking about anger here, I’m talking about beauty and wonderfulness that are indescribable! Places you would long to stay at if you could, elevated plateaus of feelings from which you don’t wish to come down. If you think heaven might be boring – think about these moments happening endlessly, for that is what heaven will be like and more and these earthly moments are a small, meager taste of where you’re headed if you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior!!
And these places we can’t stay while here on earth? Will be our resting place in eternity. Wow and WOW! God is good!!!

Delivery of the perfect gift

I’ve seen a few Christmases in my time – not as many as my 94 year old mother, mind you, but . . . a few. But there has never been a perfect one. Great, yes. Good, sure. Terrible, kinda’ sorta’ – but never perfect.
Being in the delivery business myself, I’ve seen a lot of boxes destined to make someone’s Christmas special. I looked into the eyes of small children waiting at their mailboxes who take the box from me and ask, “What is it?” as though I had given it to them, personally, from me. (No, I don’t take credit for them! I say, “I don’t know! It has your name on it so I thought I should bring it here to you!)
Moreover, I see the debris left at the end of driveways afterwards which tells me they got that new TV, the new laptop, the new Big Wheel, the Barbie Dreamhouse . . .
And I wonder if any of them had a ‘perfect’ Christmas.
I think they had great, good, and not so good ones, because there is no such thing as perfect. Having loved ones around you who give you thoughtful gifts, pretty decorations, and warm friendship over a meal is as close as we may come to a perfect Christmas.
Yesterday was called ‘Panic Saturday’ in the news. Kids are on Christmas vacation as of Friday, (and you may notice I used the politically incorrect version of that school break), so all these days ahead are filled with the rushing sound of dings and receipt tapes, bells ringing outside every store, carols in the air and traffic. Oh, the traffic!!
Our oldest van has ‘issues’, so we needed to get it to my son’s shop for fixing. It won’t shift out of second gear. Do we pay someone to tow it past downtown Roanoke? Or do we drive it ourselves, on a Friday night, during Christmas traffic?? You guessed it!
I volunteered to drive it and have Dane follow me, because, well, I love the old van! Dane likes to beat on the dashboard when all the gauges quit and the left blinker won’t work. I ask it nicely and stroke the dashboard. It doesn’t work, but I want the van to know I have no malice and am willing to drive without gauges and a left blinker.
Why? Because perfect doesn’t exist, except once it did. . .
In a manger full of hay, on a cold winter’s night, with a 15 year old mother, and a Godly father to watch over them both. The creator of the universe taking on human flesh to experience life on our level, to live without sin, and then be sacrificed on a cross – His blood pouring out of His body for you and me.
This was the delivery of the Perfect Gift, and our gift-giving at Christmas is a symbol of God’s gift giving to us.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:
May your Christmas be full of God’s love – the perfect gift lavished on us now and forever.

 

The Last Holiday (that hasn’t been overly commercialized . . . yet)

I found a beautiful header for this post, but I have to write fast because it has to be taken down and changed to a Christmas theme in 3 days. Thanksgiving is like the starter pistol at the beginning of a race . . . ready – set – GO!! Fill you belly with turkey and pie and hit the road running for Christmas!
I envy those who manage to buy their gifts during the year and have them presented, beautifully wrapped, sparkling with glitter and ribbons and under the tree.
Oh, I buy gifts during the year – and then skillfully hide them – from myself until I come across them years later in the closet. “Oh, here’s the set of  _____ I bought for _____ back in ’97!”
I am gifted when it comes to hiding – not so good at finding.
Whoever invented gift cards? I have a lot of praise for them. I would like to have the time to make personal gifts for everyone, but that time is often used in other ways, like sleeping and resting up for the next day’s work.
Our Christmases are and have always been on Christmas Eve. It’s a Scandinavian thing. Why we need to get the jump on everyone else is beyond me, but I have never seen a reason to complain about getting to open my presents the night before and just sleeping in the next day. Works for me! This will not get me any winning Christmas morning videos on AFV, but I can live with that.
It also works well for family get-togethers. With 3 sons, we celebrate the night before with my family and the next day, they get to go to their in-laws – perfect! Having married a fellow Swede, there are no issues to deal with during the season. The grandchildren get 2 Christmases, and I haven’t heard them complain, either!
My issue is lists. I have lists running in my head for each group of people: work, church, family time at my sister’s, family here at our house, relatives, neighbors, etc. . . and this year, do I put up a tree? I have a cat that I inherited from our summer boarders and I’m not sure if she’s a tree attacker or not. Oh, well, we’ll find out. (I’ll keep her scratching pad full of catnip and she won’t care if we have a tree or not.)
All in all, the season is here and I am THANKFUL (had to get that word in here for the Thanksgiving post) for all that comes with it. Getting to see all the kids together, which doesn’t happen often these days, and the joy of smiling with family surrounding you.
My Mom will be 95 in 4 months and every Christmas is her ‘last’ Christmas. We go one year at a time until this will all be a memory, and a good one, I hope, for the kids and grandchildren, because passing on the love and joy that happens this time of year is essential. And it’s all because of God coming to earth to give the greatest gift of all to us, His Son – our Savior. Jesus Christ.
Everyone has a story. Everyone is going through something. Everyone has suffered loss – this may be their first Christmas without a loved one. That’s a pain that cannot be described or shared, it can only be experienced. Having a thankful heart for everything/everyone you have is the best gift you can give. Whistle in the grocery store, smile at people you meet, share the joy. Make a difference in your world by making the world see the difference in you.

The many uses for butter.

A week ago, I had a dinner party – outside, under a 20′ X 16′ canopy with sheets as curtains. The table sat 10. The menu had baked marinated chicken, pork BBQ ribs that fell off the bone, and sides that disappeared quickly – corn pudding hit the spot that chilly night.  Fresh, home made bread and butter, and a refreshing orange – cranberry jello. A  tray of fresh fruit. On the corner table there was chilled wine next to the hot mulled cider. The cider warmed you quicker.
I don’t know what the appeal is to me, but wanting to have an outdoor dinner with the table decorated ‘just so’ and an outdoor room that feels like an indoor room is just this great longing that hits every fall. I tried it 2 years ago, but even though the week was beautiful, it poured rain on that evening. Everyone had a good time, they say, but my spirits were dampened by dreams of what should have been. . .
But this year would be different! The weather was beautiful and we figured out how to make the canopy bigger and we were ready to go! I had put in (and was approved) for 3 days off work. Thursday, the prep day, Friday the actual dinner day, and Saturday, the clean-up and recovery day. I was excited that this time, my dream would come true!
Thursday saw the final purchases, marinating and the setting up of the canopy. My youngest came and mowed the yard, making it look perfect for company. Everything was going according to plan . . and then I got the text, “You have to work tomorrow” – I was stunned! I won’t go into all that went through my mind, anger was in there somewhere – but stress overtook it all.
Needless to say, the strawberries didn’t get dipped in milk chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate, but the food got cooked and the house got cleaned, all because my wonderful husband took the day off and did everything he knew needed doing. What a man.
And now, to the butter. I love butter and I have the chins to prove it. Sometimes I have bread under my butter. I make the ribs with melted butter. I use butter whenever possible because – say it with me – “Butter makes everything better”.
When my baked chicken came out of the oven for the above dinner, it looked dull. I knew it was moist and delicious, but it  just didn’t look it. I started to sprinkle my herbs on it and then, I had an epiphany! I got a stick of butter out of the fridge and rubbed one end over the hot chicken, giving it a glazed, moist look. Wonderful! I finished sprinkling it with herbs and voila! Beautiful, moist, glazed chicken.
I put the butter back in the fridge, but the end I had used had the herbs stuck to it – it looked like I had rolled it in the dirt outside, or scrubbed a toad’s back and removed all it’s warts. I forgot all about it in the following days until last night.
I was sitting at the computer, expanding my knowledge in the world of politics , (shudder), when Dane called out from the kitchen, “What happened to the butter?”
Not the kind of thing you hear every day, but, that was nothing compared to the answer he got.
“I rubbed it on my chicken”
Mind you, he’s hard of hearing and wasn’t certain that he’d heard what I said.
He walked into the room where I was and asked, “What?”
“I rubbed it on my chicken!” I replied, handing him one of the best straight lines ever!
So we now have a ‘go to’ answer for everything.
Don’t like what we’re having for dinner? “Ah, go rub it on your chicken!”
“Why don’t you rub that on your chicken?”
Something looks funky – “Looks like you rubbed it with your chicken”
It’s getting out of hand around here. It seems like there’s nothing safe from being rubbed on my chicken. Do I even have a chicken? Well, hello!

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I fell for Fall

I fell for Fall so long ago, my age – I can’t remember
but I knew that true love had arrived one golden, crisp September.
Before the snow, the bracing whisper snatched the leaves and breezes
that brushed my face with gentle kiss – a kiss that fully pleases
I knew this was the time for life, though death fell from the trees
but it held me close and told me stories no one ever sees.
Blank paper sits before me, and emotions swell within
giving me the sense that I can see the world from start to end.
This impulse prods my brain and causes words to stammer out
and rhymes pour off my finger tips like water from a spout.
If stifled, words spin endlessly around my head all night
and I write and rewrite anecdotes until the morning light.
“What a blessing” you might say, well, yeah, but ’tis a curse
unless it’s placed upon a page, I think and talk in verse.
I must expel these bursts of rhyme for my own sanity,
but, hey! That’s why I bought a blog to pass them onto thee . . .

The providence of God

I have always believed that God cares about the little things in life, and that there are no coincidences. I can name many things that others would call lucky, in which I see the hand of God, with a smile on His face.
Many years ago, I had a paper route and used this solitary, mindless driving around in the night to listen to Swindoll and other preachers on cassett, I listened to talk radio, and I sometimes listened to God.
I say sometimes because I may have heard Him nudge me many times, but didn’t act on it. But sometimes I did!
I remember one night in particular where I couldn’t escape His nagging me to go back to the place where I picked up my papers, which in this case was a 24 hour Hop-In store. Even though I had left and was far away from it, I finally gave in to the nagging and stopped delivery to drive back to the store. I expected to, at least, foil a robbery or save a life, but nothing was amiss. I went in (feeling foolish) and bought a cup of coffee that I didn’t want.
On my way out to my car with my unwanted coffee, I saw a couple pull up and get out of their car. I recognized him and we exchanged greetings, I got in my car, backed up and headed for the 4 lane highway at the exit. I didn’t want the coffee, so I stopped while I waited on any traffic and opened my door and tried to discreetly pour the coffee onto the ground. Hoping the girl behind the counter didn’t see me, I immediately looked in my side view mirror as I slammed the door, only to see the couples’ car s-l-o-w-l-y rolling back out of it’s parking spot. Quick deductions put it in the path of an on-coming tractor trailer if it should reach the highway, so I pulled my handbrake, jumped out of my car and jumped into their car and slammed the brakes, stopping it next to mine and putting the brake on. At that moment, they came out of the store to see their car missing and looked down the parking lot to see me getting out of it! He was quite shocked and didn’t know what to say except, “I can’t believe I didn’t set the brake!”
I got in my car and went back to my route, marveling at the timing – knowing God knew exactly how long (and how much nagging) it would take to get me to go back there, buy the coffee and avoid an accident. That’s . not . luck.
It’s the little things. I baked 4-5 cakes for the 4th of July picnic we have at our house every year. While mixing one of the cakes, I thought I saw a little piece of egg shell fall in the batter. I looked and looked for it, but couldn’t find it, so I thought I had just imagined it and gave up the search – but just in case – I made a mental note of which pan it was and decided to leave that one until last, and if we didn’t need it, the family would eat it later. As it turned out, removing it from the bundt pan became an issue, and it took a chunk out of a part of the top. I put it back on and figured – if I use it – it would be covered with frosting, anyway, so no one would notice. I set it toward the back of the pile of cakes and labeled it ‘use last’.
We didn’t need it, and 2 days later, I saw everyone was eating it up, so I took that little chunk that I had patched back on and ate it and heard ‘crunch’. I got the little piece of egg shell in mine! Made me smile!
I told you a couple blogs ago about the kids moving in with us for 2 months. I rented a storage unit to help out – $130 a month for a 10 x 20 unit. Turns out, the rent was due the day before they were going to empty it. The contract was explicit – rent is due, no freebies.
I asked the Lord to help me make a compelling case for not having to pay a whole month for one days use, but if I had to pay, I would do it cheerfully.
When I got there, the girl was one the phone and motioned for me to ‘hold on just a second’ while she finished the call. I returned with the ‘sure, go ahead’ gesture. Then, I heard her say, “No – I’m sorry – the 10 x 20 units are all taken, our next size down is a 10 x 15, will that work?”
At that point I said, quietly, “I have a 10 x 20 that will be empty tomorrow – would he like to have it?”
She offered and he accepted, and she said I didn’t have to pay the months rent since it was already spoken for! Answered prayer.
God cares about the little things, too, and it pleases Him to be asked for small as well as large!

Areas of dense fog

I sometimes feel like the morning forecast matches my mental state, although I am a morning person vs. a night person. Re-booting my brain with sleep is vital to normal function the next day.
When Dane and I were first married, I discovered that Hamrens had the gift of sleep and I would be the one to stay awake and monitor the spinning of the world – a world which would certainly fall off its axis if I did not have one eye open at all times.
This was no job for lightweights. It meant hours of sitting by windows because you thought you heard voices, you know, people who drive down a dead end road where there are no other residences within sight, sneak up to your house and then have loud conversations under your window?
Or a branch snapped.
Or buck snort. Oh, yes! A buck snorting sounds just like an impact wrench taking the lug nuts off your car. It took me many window watches followed by mornings of no missing lug nuts to figure out what that noise was, but I recognize it now!
All the hours wasted listening by the windows has yielded me the ability to define noises. When I hear a noise in the night, I MUST know what it is in order to go back to sleep!
One of my favorite sounds to identify is: “Thud! Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-” which is Dane stubbing his toe on the way up the stairs. (It’s usually followed by the remark ‘I hear you laughing!!!’)
We used to have some friends that stayed with us from time to time and one afternoon, she was sitting in the living room tearing coupons from the Sunday paper. I was upstairs lying down  for my Sunday nap. With each rip-rip-ripping sound, my acute hearing yielded something 10 times worse than nails on a chalkboard. And, it was sporatic, I mean, she was carefully looking through the paper after all.  Then,  just when I would drift off to semi-consciousness, she’d rip another one – literally, not figuratively, (although she was capable of that, too.) It was getting unbearable, but she was a guest in my home – what could I do? Were there no end to these coupons???
Finally, in desperation, I grabbed a scissors and ran down the stairs and handed them to her with a “Here, use these.” and then ran back up the stairs. She was in a state of shock when I got up from my nap and described the experience, or should I say exaggerated the experience as follows:
“I was enjoying a quiet Sunday afternoon, perusing the coupons with my mind in Lysol and toothpaste mode when, in a flash, this banshee with blood red eyes, hair standing on end, came flying down the stairs, threw a scissors at me and disappeared up the stairs all within a 3 second span. When I realized what had happened, I thought I had dozed off and dreamt it, but there was the scissors in my hand as proof. Most frightening thing I’ve ever experienced. To this day, I can’t tear a coupon without fear and trembling.”

This ability, according to my calculations, has cost me 3.76 years of sleep.
If it isn’t the bear playing in the garbage cans, it’s the fan next to my bed beginning its ‘I think I need lubricant’ faze. Like it’s just finding its asking voice, it starts with partial sentences and then stays quiet for awhile (waiting for me to drift off again) only to clear its throat and begin again. If I had $10 for every fan that I’ve gone through . . . I’d buy some new fans.
Good hearing is a blessing – and a curse.
When the kids were little, I was so paranoid that they would slip quietly up to my face in the middle of the night and say my name, taking 5 years off my life (and having to explain to the doctor where they got their black eye . . .) that I would put newspaper down at the foot of the bed to prevent it. It didn’t take them long to learn that they could just whisper ‘mom’ in the doorway and I would answer instantly as if I had been sitting up waiting for them. I was a light sleeper, boy howdy!
Now, I still sleep light, but not like those days. Now it’s more like Sleep Lite, good, quality sleep without the calories. And I enjoy sleeping more. I savor it. It’s a brief respite from the hustle each day and I get so much done in my sleep! The other night, I drew/designed my 2017 calendar in my sleep. I don’t remember exactly what it was, but it was very exciting and I hope I get to see it again one of these nights very soon!
To sleep, perchance to dream. It’s an amazing thing, this created body and brain which renews itself during rest.
I’m heading upstairs to get me some renewal time and start fresh tomorrow. The Lord’s mercies are new every morning and I can’t wait to see what He has in store.

Let them eat cake!

I have no French ancestry that I know of – but I haven’t gone to that site where you send in your DNA sample to find out where you come from. I’m tempted to do that sometimes, but I’m pretty sure they’ll just send me back a note that says, “You’re kidding, right?”
The Swede in me loves freezing weather, long walks to the fridge, and gazing into the eyes of a potato before I bake it (and add lots of sour cream and butter).  I like my humor dry and subtle, with just a hint of sarcasm. I don’t ask too much from life other than a heavy load to lift and plenty of space to complain when things don’t go my way. . . or at least that’s how it seems these days.
What is it that makes me feed cake to the grandchildren when I know they should be eating healthy stuff? Is there something lurking in my childhood memories? Watching that chocolate frosting go onto that cake and knowing it was for ‘later’ and shouldn’t be touched? Denial is such an ugly thing.
We lived far away from everything, growing up. We were 7 miles from town in one direction, and 3 miles from what could be called a town, in the other direction – which is nothing in this day and age.  But when you only went to town once a week for groceries, it seemed so-o-o-o very far away the rest of the time.
Town was shiny and new, it smelled different, it made you feel alive and adventurous. Bus fumes, barber poles, strings of multi-colored flags above the new cars for sale at Anderson Ford. The round, red vinyl seats at the drugstore that spun around on their shiny chrome pedestals. Made you feel like you were in the movies. A real soda fountain with malts, sundaes, and draft Coca-cola. Grab a magazine or comic book from the rack and sit and sip on a cherry Coke. Ahhhhhh.
I actually worked at the drug store – it was my first job. I think I made 38 cents an hour and pulled in the big money – which I promptly spent at same drugstore. I drove a ’61 Corvair, aqua blue – a color which is now in vogue, thanks to HGTV. Come to think of it, my exterior doors are that color . . .
Anyway, back to denial and the child in me that wants to see the grandchildren get cake and ice cream for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’m guessing that the memory has to do with the celebratory side of cake and ice cream. It was only consumed on special occasions like birthdays and well, birthdays. I was the youngest of 5 kids and our family birthdays (including adults) were January 16th, February 4th, March 28, April 9th, May 1st, June 28th, July 18th. There wasn’t enough icing in the world that could hold me until January rolled around again – and my mom made a chocolate icing that would pour onto the cake surface and set up like fudge when it cooled. It was dyn-o-mite! Butter, cocoa and cream mixed just right, and to lick the pan was heaven!
Perhaps I want the kids to think that every day at Grandma and Grandpa’s is a celebration? I want them to write stories in their blogs about cake and laughter and forget about me taking away the permanent markers, and the crayon melting machine (that serves no purpose as far as I can tell but to run up the electric bill and leave blobs of melted wax everywhere).
It’s been many years since I’ve had to hide my snacks from kids. I’m not very practiced and I haven’t been successful. They have sharp eyes and instincts and my efforts have been thwarted. But, like any double edged sword, I’ve lost about 7 pounds since they moved in. Partially from them eating my snacks, and because, well, I can’t remember where I’ve hid them. Lord, I hope I didn’t put any chocolate in the closet in this heat. . .

The big squeeze-o-rama

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We’ve always been a family of 5 in this house. 2 parents and 3 sons. Then the sons started to leave home in their 20’s and when we had only 1 of them left at home, my in-laws moved in so we could help take care of my mother-in-love who had Alzheimers. That lasted nearly 4 years, just the 5 of us. Parents, parents and one son.
Then the parents’ parents left us – Dad first with a stroke, and Mom to a nursing home when her Alz got worse and worse.
The youngest son married 6 years ago and we’ve settled into all that goes with ‘Empty Nesters’. We develop habits and rituals that go with our work schedules – he does this and she does that, you know . . . patterns emerge and work out so well that we don’t have to even say much out loud. We talk in looks and raised eyebrows and expressions – a language that only people who have been married 41 years can understand. And we laugh a lot. Most everything is anticipated with a joyful smile. In short – we have reached the stage where whatever comes out of his mouth is gonna’ make me laugh. Life is good!
Enter the need for middle son, wife, and grandkids to move in while waiting for their new house rental to be available come mid-August. Yes, life is still good – didn’t I say grandchildren were involved?? I mean, there’s nothing like having a little brown eyed blonde 2 year old single step down the stairs in the morning, hair askew and sleep in her eyes asking, “Where’s Mama?” (Mama’s in the basement, but I see no need to tell her that without extracting payment in the form of a snuggle!)
Today, Svea rode on the lawn mower with me while I finished the mowing. I took her, Bjorn and Derek up in the woods in the Mule and rode the trail several times.
I give them ice cream . . .
We are making memories. I told Dane I want them to say, “Remember how much fun we had when we lived with grandma & grandpa that summer?
But adding 6 more people to the settled patterns has been an adventure, and this house is going to feel huge when August comes around!
I had to get rid of furniture, (still need to get rid of furniture, actually). You can’t move without stepping on a Transformer or a crayon, or kicking a balloon. The TV is lit up with big-eyed cartoon characters who have magic wands and little voices. And the internet is always buzzing with activity. All the toys that were in the basement have migrated up here and you can’t reach for the remote without having to move a machine gun or a naked Barbie doll.
I never thought I was very neat, but I am re-evaluating that . . . I believe there is hope for me. There will be a new, organized me come mid-August. Yes, today holds promise – and it cuddles like a brown eyed blonde with rosy cheeks.