Saturday, June 18, 2011
And of course, the family. :) Having eight children, all grown, with two grandsons & a granddaughter on the way, it is ever-expanding! Never a dull moment around here, nor is one expected to hit anytime soon. So, I continue to be a very interested spectator of the show that is forever being played out before my very eyes. Keeping up with all of this has certainly taught me alot about life, most interestingly, about my own...and it will always be like this, I'm afraid. But I would not have it any other way, as I think back to my own childhood, all those long years ago, never having dreamed of what lay in store for me!! And now that I can see from the other side, so to speak, I understand more fully than I would have thought possible why God planned my early years the way that He did...it did so much to prepare me for what I have come to understand as my life's journey...and I am forever grateful for the preparation, lol.
Every mother who has ever gone through a miscarriage can attest to the fact that, having lost a baby, there is a part of you that is never the same after that...and I am no exception. I myself have lost two, one of which would have been my second-born & the other, the ninth. Sometimes I think of these two little ones, knowing that my family would have been so-o very different had they been allowed a chance to live, and yet I can't help but be curious about how that would have been, too...I know that they are both in Heaven, watching over us ~ probably sharing a good laugh at it all ~ and waiting patiently for the day when we will all be together. But I wonder about what they would have looked like, what they would have liked to do with their time, and how they would have gotten along with their brothers & sisters... I had an Aunt who was the mother of eleven children & she used to tell me that she was waiting for me to "catch up with her," lol...and I used to tell her that I was only one behind. :) These two babies were never named by us, as we gave that privilege to our Most Holy Mother Mary in Heaven...telling Her that we would be happy to learn of the names that She chose when we get there. And I have never forgotten this. I miss these two & I cannot wait to meet them.
Other than that, my life has been very complete & happy...I continue to do what I love to do ~ that is, be here spending my days & nights with the people whom I love the most, enjoying the never-ending parade of antics that they are so kind as to put on for my amusement. And I hope & pray that this never ends ~ during my own lifetime, at least! :) xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Well, I am not so conceited to think that there is anyone out there who gives a flying fig about what I think or how my life is going, day to day, other than my husband *God love his heart*, my children *ditto that* or hopefully, my grandson ~ someday.
Well, for anyone "out there" who cares, my life is going just fine ~ and thank-you so much for asking, for caring, for giving a flying fig. The birds are still in the sky, freezing their tail feathers off probably. But do they seem bothered by it? Of course not! God created them to enjoy the vast big blue that is their home. And, believe me, they do! Every inch of it.
And as for the ground creatures ~ too much to keep track of, so I will simply dwell on one, for an example.
There is a gray squirrel who lives in the blue spruce in our front yard who scampers about the place like he owns it. He is perennially digging, burying, digging up what he buried yesterday...and his cycle goes on, day to day, just like mine does. Just like yesterday. And does he worry about the birds flying over his head? Of course not. He, like them, is doing what he was created to do. And there are a million other squirrels *of all colors* in the neighborhood doing exactly the same thing he is doing.
Every day. I say, good for them.
They don't care that I have things to do, places to go, people to see. We let each other live our respective lives, just as God intended. But when I sit and think, "What would my life be like without them in it? How would I like it if God had never created my fellow creatures?" I know it seems silly to be wondering about things like this, but things just come to me & I cannot stop it from happening...so I don't try.
I am told all the time *by those in the know* that I am not like most other people. And I am happy about that. I am what God made me. I try to live each day, each and every moment, as I would hope He would have me live. I don't care if others do as I do, think as I think or say as I say. It is enough for me that I do, think, say.
And for any of you "out there" who may give a flying fig, thank-you. But you needn't worry about it, if you have your own life to live. I won't try to stop you from it, I promise. Just once in a while, give a thought to me, to our fellow creatures, and thank God for all that He has done.
And try to give a flying fig.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
But I do have this video of Dr. Laura S., whom I greatly admire & to whom I listen as regularly as I possibly can. In this particular tape, taken from her account @ YouTube.com, she counsels a young wife & mother who, sadly, is not happy with her "nearly perfect" situation, and wants to know: should she try to get a nanny to help with her children? She would just enjoy them so much more, she is absolutely positive!!!
Oh, puh-leeze!!! give me a break!!! Here is Dr. Laura's "take" on the situation which is very much to the point & "motherly": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJVW0Vlnbss .
I have a signed copy of this book, A Salute to Stay-at-Home Moms, which I read from cover to cover & I must say that I couldn't agree with her more! Dr. Laura is, herself, a stay-at-home Mom to a now-grown young man, stationed overseas in the military...and she waxes eloquent every chance she gets about the trials, joys & blessings of her vocation ~ not as a doctor of Psychology, not as a radio talk-show host, but as a MOM.
And I couldn't agree with her more.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
So, as we all gathered before the Wall of St. John the Evangelist and Apostle, we talked, laughed and prayed with our memories, stories and feelings.
My sister Anne brought a bottle of water holding two peonies to place into the vase on the front of the vault. Linda and Sue brought other items to place inside...and I was surprised at this, since it never occurred to me that I could have brought anything for them!
So, while the others were putting things into the vault, reminders of things that our parents had shared and collected in their 60+ years together, I was left standing there on the sidelines, wondering what I could have brought with me.
And it suddenly occurred to me that there was nothing I would have wanted to place inside.
Their lives are over and done. The memories they left behind will be enough to sustain my heart and make me smile, whenever I remember the little things that they did for me...or the things we did together as a family. Thinking of these things, these are thoughts and feelings that the three of us shared, just us alone.
I have had Masses said for the two of them, as they make their way to Heaven, if indeed they are not there already. I have no idea ~ God alone knows that! But if they are still in Purgatory, these will be helping them more than words can ever say...until they reach Home for all eternity.
Anne went on to tell me & Mike that the peony bush which had yielded the two flowers for the vase had been the same one that had grown in our maternal Grandparents' back yard, having been planted over a hundred years ago. That bush had been uprooted and transplanted into our parents own yard after Grandma broke up her housekeeping. Then, when Mom & Dad's house was torn down ~ after we had all gotten married and moved out ~ that same bush was moved to Anne's yard. When she & her Dave moved their family out of state, it was finally moved to her friend's house, where it blooms to this day.
There were several things that were put away into that small space on the wall, I don't even know all of it...but suffice it to say, thinking for myself, that my heart left a piece of itself there, too.
As I stood there trying to come up with something, I decided to do what was left to me, the very least, and yet, the very best thing I could ~ I kissed the tip of my fingers and pressed that kiss into the floor of the vault, with a prayer asking that they be allowed to share that kiss forever.
As I sit here now, at this moment, thinking of that moment, I don't think there was anything better I could have offered to my parents than to wish them togetherness for eternity.
Yes, the memory of my own small gift will undoubtedly be a part of my final touch to the two people in all the world who gave me my life.
Remembering my years growing up under their watchful eyes, planting "a kiss and a hug" on each of them, every single night of my life, until the day I moved out, with "wishes for pleasant dreams and a safe awakening"...
And I would only hope and pray that someday I will be able to give them each a kiss in Heaven.
Sometimes a thought will come to you that you wonder if it was by chance or if it was truly meant to be, only yours, only one time, but that one time in all of Time...
Yes, I did what I was always meant to do. Leaving them nothing material ~ they can't take any of that with them, anyway. No, what I would want for them would be eternal bliss in our Father's House. A bliss meant for a married couple who were meant for each other from the very beginning of Time, left by a daughter who loved them very much.
A wish for "a pleasant dream and a safe awakening," together, in Heaven...and a kiss for sharing...until we meet again.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Well, I am here to report that I am finally an official "Twit" and I will be logging in there as often as possible to let anyone who cares to know my daily thoughts. This Blog will continue to be home to my longer musings, as it was always meant to be...but it will be fun to catch others' quick doings as they happen! The link can be found on my sidebar to the right...
I love this little blue bird; he looks so happy to be here, doesn't he? :)
I am by no means abandoning my Blog ~ no NEVER that!! It's just that I find that many times I want to write an entry & lack the time to do so...so this will keep my "fans" updated, lol.
And it will keep my hand in the proverbial Internet "pot," so to speak.
So, onward and upward, as they say, eh? And let the fun begin!
Friday, May 1, 2009
It all started one day, late Spring, as beautiful a day outside as anyone could wish for. A day when the children want to be "out there" from dawn to dusk...and so, as any self-respecting mother of eight, I should be happy to report that my own would prove that they were no different than any others.
That's all fine and good, right?
If I had my 'druthers, I would have skipped this day entirely, Fuzzy Bear notwithstanding. If I have the youngest two in the house with me, safe and sound, and the other six are "out there" making their own small marks upon the world, as near and as far as their own neighborhood, why would anyone suspect that this day would be any different?
But even tho' it started out typically enough, never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted that one of my own nearest and dearest would end up spending the afternoon in the hospital Emergency Room, carrying on about a small scrape on her small finger, of all things ~ and that I would be grateful that she was!
Let me start at the beginning:
Mike was at work, had been since early morning. I was home, as usual, taking care of the house and children. It was a school day. And it is what happened after school that day is so entrenched upon my mind and heart that I will never forget it as long as I live.
It was after school hours, and the kiddos were all outside playing. Theresa, Laura & Clare had gone across the street to play at a friend's house. Sometime during that time, Theresa had decided that she wanted to come home to get something. Carrie B., the mom of their friends, stood in her front yard, watching T cross, making sure the way was safe. I had received a call that she was on her way home, so I was at our door, watching and holding onto Julia so that she couldn't escape into the yard, as I could not leave the house with Stephen crawling around.
Well, as T was half-way across the street, our young Clare decided that she wanted to accompany her sister, so she ran out into the road without warning, leaving Carrie grabbing after her, and myself pushing J back into the living room, screaming to T to grab C's hand, but too late!!
As she was turning to go back for her younger sister, C was in the middle of running out to her, not giving a look to either side to check for oncoming traffic or anything.
Well, as you can imagine, "enter from stage right" here a neighbor's newly licensed daughter, driving at about 5 mph, coming around the bend, blissfully ignorant of what was about to take place. Thankfully, as this teen confided in me later, she was doing only a crawling speed; she was always absolutely paranoid of children in the street, and so she never went above 5-10 mph. If it had been anyone else, who knows what would have happened?!?
The next thing we knew, Clare was lying on the street, crying her eyes out ~ but happily, safe!
Of course, the police were called immediately, the ambulance soon followed, and the driver was soon giving her side of the story to an officer who told us that he came as fast as he could, thinking of his own grandchildren and how he would feel if it was one of them...he didn't give the girl a ticket as it turned out; she was crying worse than Clare was!
We got C into the ambulance, taking her to the hospital to be on the safe side; by the end of her little adventure, the worst injury she had suffered was a scrape here and a bruise there...the most painful of all being the sidewalk burn to her little finger. (This was the thing that caused her worst anxiety all the while she was in the ER ~ and the nurses told me that this was a good thing, let her worry about such a small thing! It will keep her mind off of anything worse...)...but this was the worst, thank God!!!
Poor Michael, having received an emergency call at work from our older son Paul, was literally flying home along the freeway from 30 miles away, imagining the worst had befallen one of his little girls! It wasn't until he arrived home that he was able to reach me at the hospital and relieve his mind that all was well.
And now, on to the entrance of Fuzzy Bear into our lives.
Our neighbor down the street, Kathy G., heard all about Clare's misadventure and was, as usual, all helpfulness and sympathy. It was she who gifted this small bed friend to my injured daughter, and it is she who is remembered as being the "neighbor who was always there for us."
Fuzzy Bear went on to become a favored playmate to Clare (who was only four at this time) ~ and to this day, he ranks with Clown as a bed friend extraordinaire...
Many bed friends have come and gone in my children's lives, but there are a few, special ones that remain close to our hearts. And for the adventure of Clare on that day, in gratitude for all of her non-injuries, I can only say that Fuzzy will hold a special place in my own heart, as well.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Or maybe once in a while to cuddle...
Little did she know, Clown would one day go on to be the favorite playmate of a small boy, newly born, already creeping to the head of his crib, to be found with the foot of this bedfriend in his mouth, that very first time up from his very first nap in his new home.
My son Paul has been on the move since the day he was born. From the very beginning, he was able to creep around in his crib, never one to stay still under his covers.
Since his Aunt Linda had kept a nearly-identical clown for her own unborn son, due four months later than Paul, placing it on the shelf in his room ~ and most likely never letting him play with it, let alone, sleep every night with it by his pillow, holding the handy foot (bet you can't guess which one), mostly chewing it to bits, shredding its outfit, loving it to near-death.
Not so with my Paul. My son had an understanding with his own highly-favored Clown, from the very first moment of acquaintance. And that friendship lasted (and grew daily) for years, until the day he moved out to his own house, preparing to marry his Kristy. For many years, of course, it sat on a special shelf in his room after he had long outgrown that small boy stage, but always under his watchful eye, nonetheless.
Clown, as of the day he left, has been lovingly put away by me, his sentimental mother...safely tucked away until they move into their permanent abode, in a couple of years, so he can finally be put in a safe resting place, never to be moved again.
You see, when Paul was little, he carried Clown all over the place ~ mostly keeping it in the house, thank goodness ~ but a couple of times actually braving it out in the big world.
Which really made me nervous...
Since I had spent many hours searching garbage pails, basement laundry baskets, car back seats, you-name-its...so my little boy could sleep at night, I had no way to relax unless Clown was in the crib, or at least in his room.
Now, there he sits, in his hiding place, known only to yours truly, until he is once again reunited with his Paul, bringing to a happy conclusion that joyful and lifelong friendship that only a small boy and his Clown can share.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Yep, I got me a BlackBerry! ha! to all those who said I would never do it, to all those who said I was just copying others who had "fancy-schmancy" phones with doodads 'n' gadgets ~ flip-out key pads for texting, a hundred ringtones from which to choose, multiple functions ~ who needs all that, eh?
Well, as it turns out...I do!
I carry in my purse at least four items of some weight that could easily be converted into one small piece of no small consequence at all...which is the reason I decided to go with the BlackBerry that I chose.
Two days ago, Mike & I went to our local Sprint store & I finally gave up the ghost: my 5-year-old flip-top cell, the one with that adorable little polar bear screensaver. You know, that cute little guy who comes out wearing the Jack-O-Lantern headmask, turning somersaults, reading his book, sitting & playing games, strolling while whistling, eating a hamburger, etc. I never knew what he was going to do next.
And now he's gone. For good, probably, since the old phone has been disabled. May he rest in peace...after all that time he spent entertaining me with his antics ~ he was so-o cute! O well...
Time for me to finally go high tech, hit the big time, take it a step further & do what I have been destined to do for a while now.
And now, I'm at a total loss.
My new phone/palm pilot/computer/mp3 player/TV-radio ~ yes, all this and more ~ I don't have the foggiest notion what to do with it!
This wonder of wonders comes with all kinds of attachments as well. Some things are pretty basic, like a home charger, a car charger, a set of earphones for listening to music or watching the TV...
Wait just a minute, there! Did I just say, "watching the TV"?? Why, yes, I believe I did! Will wonders never cease!?! My iPod has this feature, but only for purhcased movies & videos, not an actual TV that receives signals from the outside world.
Amazing!! I like that!
It also has the usual set-ups for connecting to my laptop, an extra leather case ~ and of course, I just had to have the two extra cases, didn't I? The black & the clear...
Not to mention the bluetooth earset ~ buy it now with the other gadgets & you get this amazing deal ~ if you wait til next week, buying it separately will cost you alot more! How could I say no?
But like Mike says, once you buy it, you have it...so I did! :) And if I have to talk while driving, which I hate, then at least I can do it without holding it to my ear, keeping my hands free to control the car! I believe that was the whole point?
But the absolute BEST part of it is ~ are you ready for this? It has no less than 3 how-to booklets ~ yes, 3! ~ one of which has 80 pages! I can't wait to sink my brain into that baby!! And a CD!!! Wow...life doesn't get any better than this! I am over the moon with rapture, with ecstasy, with pure unadulterated joy!
The only thing that would make me happier than I am at this very moment is if someone were to be scratching my back as I write this, lol.
But enough of this complaining...
I registered it with the company to enable my email account to be accessible right on the screen, without having to go through the web browser every time, and now, every time I get an email (which goes on all day long, for Pete's sake) it rings, buzzes or chimes. So, I am constantly picking it up to answer a phantom phone call, which turns out to be a sales email from Amazon, or my book club, or a friendly "hello" email from a friend. But phone calls? On a telephone? You're kidding, right?!?
So, this morning, since dear daughter Clare had a repair issue with her cell, I went into the store with her to have it checked out, maybe disable the email function, since I can go through the browser to check if I so choose ~ without all the bells & whistles ~ and I got the sales tech to show me a feature or two of how to use the Internet on this darned thing. But he didn't disable the email function! Maybe later, eh?
O yeah...and then there were the messages to the kids' phones, telling them that Mom got her new toy & she is still learning the ropes, so if anyone gets a mixed-up message, a missed call or anything meant for someone else ~ or if they simply want to call me & I can't seem to answer correctly ~ then they will know what is going on!
It took me forever just to figure out how to answer it without losing the call completely & even at that, I was dialing other people by mistake, whom I never even meant to call! My brother-in-law Tony is probably still laughing at me...he actually thanked me for the warning, saying he needed a good chuckle at the time. "Happy to oblige," was my response.
Meanwhile, my son-in-law Nick, who happens to be a whiz @ this sort of thing, has graciously volunteered to give me a crash course on BlackBerry handling, since he has had one for some time now. I trust him with anything technical; his advice has always been spot-on & he will be the one to get this all wrapped up nice & neat in my head.
Then, maybe if I'm lucky, I can leave at home my iPod, my Palm Pilot, my old cell phone...get a lighter wallet even ~ and not cripple my shoulder every time I have to pick up my purse to leave the house!
At least, not until they come out with something newer, better or shinier that catches my eye & my imagination!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
One of the best bed friends that any of them possessed, in my humble opinion, was the "favorite animal." You know, as in Theresa and her elephants or Paul and his dragons.
Yeah, those bed friends...the ones that completely took over each and every bed in the house ~ except the one where Mike and I sleep. And that, I am sure, was just mere coincidence...if we had let them they would have taken over our space, as well.
Every year at Christmastime I would scour the toy stores and catalogs looking for the perfect additions to each collection, and sometimes it seemed to take months before each new member of the various menageries was found. I even had my sister Linda in on the act, for a few years, as she was totally into gathering Beanie Babies for her own daughter Amy. She would find extras for me and I would pay her back for her trouble ~ more than once driving over to her house, just to pick up that perfect turtle (Clare) or pig (Julia).
And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Beanie Babies, fortunately, were relatively small, as bed friends go...there were many many that took up completely the corners of the beds to which they were assigned.
One year, when they were really young, I spent many late nights in a row, sitting up til all hours, stitching together two Care Bears (for Paul and Mary), because when money started getting tight, and the chosen characters were nearly impossible to find in the stores, I bought a pattern that showed all ten of the then-known "tummies" and went to work. Let me just say that "Birthday" and "Cheer" Bears never looked better than they did on that Christmas morning all those many years ago...
If I had a chance, I would love to go back in time and see just how many bed friends (and how much money, lol) I had spread about the house. I would be willing to wager that it would be at least a couple of hundred of them ~ when you multiply eight children and add up all the years they spent collecting them ~ yep, that's alot of animals!
Yesterday, Mike & I were walking through the grocery store & I paused when we came to a display of short, fat little animals ~ and wouldn't you know it, right up front, there were elephants & penguins...perfect for Theresa & Laura. Mike said, "Aren't you going to get some?" to which I replied, "They cleaned out their 'stash' a while ago, but if they were still collecting, I would absolutely do it!"
Now, as I move about, occasionally I will notice something that will bring these critters back to the forefront of my mind...as in the bunnies that live in our backyard, scurrying across the lawn, reminding me of Stephen's penchant for rabbits as a young boy. He has long since stopped getting worked up over every mammal sighted in the yard, but I still remember his reaction ~ and I always will.
When Mary was a baby, her Grandpa Andy bought her her first lamb ~ because as we all know, every Mary has a little lamb, right? And to this day, that lamb (even tho' she has acquired dozens of them since) holds a place of honor in her own home. This is the one that had fallen out of her crib one morning (as I recall @ about 7:00 *yawn*) and she climbed out of her "confinement", toddled into our bedroom, where I lay there fast asleep, and woke me up, angrily demanding why I had let "Lambie-Poo" sleep on her floor all night! Why wasn't I up already, putting it back into her crib?!? What was wrong with me!? So, of course, I dutifully crawled out of bed, went to her room, replaced the errant critter & then put my daughter back to bed, where she promptly fell back to sleep & I, her drowsy parent, was left wide awake, back under my own covers, staring at the ceiling ~ wondering why, if she had been able to crawl out of bed, was I forced to retrieve it? I guess a two-year-old has no sense of the obvious...
And then, we can't forget all the picnics & parties in the living room, now, can we? ...blankets spread everywhere, monkeys (Andrea), polar bears (Laura), you-name-its & every animal under the bright yellow sun, all there in that one space, dozens upon dozens of them...having a real jolly time...and of course, the kids enjoying it even more, lol.
There are so many memories of our little "zoo" here that I cannot put them all to words in this one simple post...but if I could, I would happily recall each and every moment as I sit here. I guess it only remains for the kids to take up their own individual favorites and keep their own recollections in their own hearts...and far be it from me to spoil the fun. ;)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I just want to thank one and all who have posted comments to me over the past month or two, when this first seems to have started. I don't know how it is, as I am shown on my Account pages as moderating all comments! It is not that I don't trust you all to leave kindly remarks ~ or at least polite ones, lol ~ but please bear with me if I don't answer in the first day or two.
Sometimes I come to my Blogs only a couple of times in a week, as I get busy with other things, or I might not be feeling especially inspired to write.
I do love each and every one of your observations, and I love to reply.
As soon as I can get this fixed, I intend to, believe me! I like to know when comments are being left for me, as I find it rude not to answer someone when they post a remark or question!!
Thanks for your patience... :)...and I send my Greetings to your Angels.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Here, he is pictured about 1.5 months ago, @ Andrea's house, right after cake & ice cream.
It's been so much fun being a grandparent, watching everything he does (or tries to do) and loving him to pieces...without the work of a parent, which I have had now for nearly 30 years.
He had the flu the other day, poor thing, but is now back to himself...so at least that's over! He was supposed to come over for the day, but wouldn't you know it, just when we get a chance to babysit, he gets sick! Of course, Paul had the same bug, so it must have been going through their house; Kristy had it just two days earlier.
But it did get me thinking: what about the other things in life, aside from the occasional flu bug or head cold, the things that loom and threaten in a more powerful way?!?
Remember when you were a small child & the whole world was a good place? ...where nobody was "the bad guy", ...where every day was a new adventure, a chance to play, discover, learn? ...where everybody was a friend to be made?
Remember when the worst things to worry about were getting home after dark, but there were no child molesters out there, no rapists or muggers? I can recall my Mom telling me that she felt entirely safe letting us play half a mile down the street, as long as "we stayed together"...but just "be home before the street lights go on!" The purity of the neighborhoods back then will probably never come back. The way one could trust a neighbor to look out for each other's property or children playing out on the front lawn, even ~ the simplest of times for the simplest of folks.
Of course, I worry about Andrew in the day-to-day goings-on of his life, but even more so do I worry about the grand scheme of things in his future. I worry about his education, his safety, his happiness ~ and any future goals he might have. Will he go to college? Will he find a "nice girl"? Will he stay true to the Church? Will he live to a ripe old age, enjoying his own children and grandchildren?
The simplest of beliefs "back in the day" was for parents, and then their children, all about getting a good job and "getting ahead"...but now, there is so much more, even than that!
Even tho' Andrew is my grandson, not my son, I still think about all these things. I hope and pray that he becomes exactly what God intends for him to become, keeping His will first in his life...and staying close to Him always.
Even besides all that, I hope for him also, on a more down-to-earth level, that he will do all the things that he sets for himself to do. Get a good job, find a nice girl, raise a family, enjoy his grandchildren someday, after I am gone...
The simplest of beliefs, to my way of thinking, still hold true even today. Altho' the world has changed in some ways, we still want the same things for our families that our parents wanted for us back then...happiness, health, love of God and others, a good life.
For Andrew, I wish nothing less...xo...
Thursday, January 15, 2009
She will be missed by everyone who knew her; sadly, we cannot hold those we love in this life...they all must move on to that eternal destiny, which is called Heaven.
My Dad, who died on 8 November, 2001, was also greatly mourned by friends and family alike ~ and, I daresay, he still is. He & my Mom were married for just over 61 years. They had 6 children, of whom I was the 4th ~ 1 older son, 2 older daughters, 1 younger daughter & finally, 1 younger son.
We all grew up a close-knit family, with extended cousins and family friends to fill up any picnic area at any neighborhood park...Our family reunions took up any and all available space; favorite places included parks, beaches and even a couple of family summer homes.
My husband likes to tease me that whenever the family gets together, it takes up to an hour or more just to say "good-bye" at the end of any gathering...and I always respond with "Of course! That's just an extended part of the party! First, we say 'hello' for at least half an hour, followed by the party itself, and then, finally, the 'good-byes' start and can last up to any extended length of time ~ there is no limit to the gift of gab that has been bestowed upon my family, starting with my parents and their generation..." It has just always been a part of who we are!
There was no end to the good times enjoyed by my parents and their close friends...and I have no doubt that the fun continues in Heaven even now, as we who are left behind on Earth, grieve in our hearts for the ones lost to us. Of course, my parents brought us all up in the Faith of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, keeping us in parochial schools all the while, and showing a good example @ home of a life grounded in morals and sacrifice for others, but that always included a good word, a good deed and a good time ~ all was a blessed gift from God above! And they took full advantage of it, believe me...
I know we will all meet again one day, God willing, and our joy will be unbounded. There will be no end ever again for any of us, as we rejoice in lives well-lived and family well-loved.
God keep us all...
Sunday, January 4, 2009
So, on the first Sunday of Advent, Nick & Andrea came over before dinner and helped to bring all the tree parts, the boxes and the wreaths up from the basement ~ and by the time I arrived home after some running around, the tree was completely erected, adorned with white lights and garland. All we needed to do was add the fun stuff...and for a few days afterward we were busy adding all of the ornaments and jewels.
Today being the Feast of the Epiphany, or Little Christmas, I expect that soon we will be taking down this lovely creation and storing it away for the next Christmas Season. Oh, how I hate that! I do love my Tree and the way it lights up the entire corner of the house...
This year we even kept it simple and only put up the Tree, the Wreath that adorns the side wall over one of the sofas(pictured in my previous post below), and the Manger in the kitchen. This one is extra, having come to us from Mike's parents after they had passed away, so it is of great sentimental value; our main Manger scene ~ the one we bought for our own first Christmas ~ is on the shelf to the side of the living room, and every year there is a race to see who gets to lay the Babe in His crib @ midnight on Christmas Eve. Keeping it simple is fine, but I do regret that, for the first time in recent memory, nobody thought to add the frost to the mirror over the mantel...so that will have to go up as a reflection of the Winter outside the window, having nothing to do with the Season of Christmas itself.
And now, before we are beset with the onslaught of Spring showers, I do have to say that I am anticipating a good ice storm, just for the chance to prolong my love for the Winter sparkle and take my camera over to the park for some unforgettable Kodak moments.
To every Season, there is a reason for loving it...
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
He did many things in his lifetime, not the least of which was play several musical instruments (mostly the piano), and work the farm with his brother. But his true love was the snow ~ from his earliest childhood days, all he really cared about was being out in the open air, collecting flakes on his photo-micrograph plate and taking pictures of his collection, as quickly as it would land, before it had a chance to melt.
I would love to post more about Bentley here, but for now, suffice it to say that he was a man after my own heart.
I can certainly empathize with someone who loves so dearly to be out, surrounded by Nature and all her magnificence ~ even to the point of tying a grasshopper to a flower overnight just so he could photograph it in the morning, covered in the dew!
Who else would have thought of such a thing?!?
By the time he died, Bentley was world-famous, but he never got rich from all of his work...not from his raindrops studies, not from his rock collecting and research, not from his musical ability...and most of all, not from the love of his life, snowflakes and all the finery of Winter.
He once said that he had spent more thousands of dollars on his passion than what he made (something over $4,000) but his true joy was sharing the beauty of Nature with as many people as he could possibly reach.
This he did, and he continues to do so even to this day.
As time goes on, I'm sure I will be posting about this man, all of his findings and most of all, his truly quirky character...he was surely one-of-a-kind. But for now, I am content to revel in the glories of my own personal Winter wonderland ~ and all the joy that goes with it!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Ok, so the winner is...tada! me? huh?!? According to the powers that be @ http://www.typealyzer.com , I am a "performer"...but maybe I'm not.
The analysis indicates that the author of http://jenn39.blogspot.com/ is of the type:
ESFP - The Performers
They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.
That means that you are not ABSOLUTELY stuck in a box (blink-blink)! How we write are affected by how we are feeling at the moment and how we see ourselves. We might think it is important to sound “serious” or “personal” - we might be under a lot of stress or feeling relaxed. This text analysis gives a snapshot by looking at the communication style of the text. Looking on the results over a period of time will give more confident results about how a blogger “normally” prefer to communicate.
Funny how every one of my Blogs says something different about me; at least two of them do ~ the third agrees with the second!
For example, I don't know how entertaining I am, but I do consider myself friendly, albeit still somewhat shy even from my childhood. I do plan ahead, but thinking about my plans can sometimes give me an over-stressed-out headache! Just ask my husband Mike...recently we switched our cable/Internet/phone service from Comcast to AT&T, and the entire "plan" kept me up for two nights, worrying about "all that hassle, is this the right thing for us to do, yadda-yadda..." but after it was all done, it was the easiest transition I have ever seen! The Internet is fine, the phone is fine, the cable TV, altho' new channel numbers are never fun to get used to, is fine!
But in light of this recent experience, I guess you could say that, to a point at least, I do NOT like to plan things ahead. Change makes me nervous, even sometimes depressed. Switching carriers is not exactly a cause to be depressed, but still...after nearly fifteen years?!? Definitely nerve-wracking...
I do have to admit that I enjoy being helpful; being a Christian I am a firm believer in the virtue of Charity ~ and I hope I practice it often!
As far as confrontation is concerned, I leave that to the more erudite among us...I hate an argument! With my asthma, I am fond of saying that life is too short and I refuse to waste my limited breath on fighting! Let the next guy take this one! Nope, not for me...I am much better at words on paper, or talking calmly to solve a disagreement ~ that is more my style.
So, all in all, even tho' this site tells me that I am "not stuck in a box, nor am I the same every day, with every Blog I write," I have to say that it is still me, nevertheless...so maybe this is me, and yet, maybe it is not!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Then there is that other way that, although I am a firm in His Design, I cannot but wonder if my life is taking a curious turn here and there ~ all along the way to the ending, wherever and whenever that may be.
I have been noticing of late that, even though it is the end of Summer/beginning of Autumn, the butterflies are more profusely in my line of sight than they have been all season...and I can't help but wonder "why?" Of course they are busy about the flowers, gathering strength for their migratory flights, but even more than that, never have I seen so many, all different varieties, crossing my path as I travel along the road. We have not noticed any more butterflies in the gardens than usual ~ as a matter of fact, they seem to be following the paths and roadways even more than the flowers these days! Perhaps they are busily mapping out travel routes? Let's see...which way South, hmm-mm-m...?
For the past three weeks, every single day, I have been confronted with at least one, sometimes two, even occasionally three butterflies ~ at various intervals ~ flitting into view, crossing the road right in front of us as we drive along, usually on our way out to our daily breakfast.
I said to my husband Mike that there is something going on here; perhaps a sign from my Muse? lol...I don't really know why, but for whatever reason, I am seeing this all over the place!
Our daughter Theresa agrees with me. She tells me that she herself was confronted by a small yellow fluttering fellow, as she was walking along on her way home from Mass this past Sunday. It kept her company for the distance of three houses ~ and these houses are not close to one another, either!
"This is a sign," she told me. "My favorite color? Following me, only me..."
I'm beginning to think she might just have a point there!
Yesterday, as we sat in our booth at one of our favorite breakfast "haunts" I remarked to Mike that I had just realized, while sitting there, that I had not noticed any butterflies crossing our path that morning and I was actually disappointed, bordering on worried...
But then, as I gazed out the window, I spotted one, fluttering across the parking lot, on his way to whatever engagement he was pressed to attend.
"There he is!" I exclaimed.
"Who?" Mike queried.
"My daily dose of flutterby!" I replied, exasperated that he did not catch on immediately. "I was wondering if I was going to spot one today; I always see one in front of the car as we move along ~ you know that! I find myself looking forward to it..."
"Well, I am very satisfied for you, Jenn," he smiled as he sipped his coffee. "I know how much the butterflies mean to you. Are you happy now?"
I snuggled down into my seat, held my coffee with both hands and blew into the warmth of it all.
"Yes," I answered. "I am. Very much so."
And I lived contentedly to blog another day...