1963. If you were alive and above the age of 4 or so in 1963 you undoubtedly recall the day in November.
In February of last year we visited the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas. Dallas is huge, 7 million people live in the metro area. There are many buildings with six floors. But only one building houses the location where a gunman shot and killed President John Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor.
While walking through the museum and listening to the audio headphones tell the story I was taken back to that day in November. My 3rd grade classroom in Minneapolis Grade School. We listened to the news over the loudspeaker while our teacher, Mrs. Warren, wept. The only sound was the voice on the speaker and the weeping of our teacher. While a room full of eight year olds tried to process what was happening.
We’re retired. It’s been two years now. Since we love to travel and have a fifth wheel, we looked into ways we could incorporate both of those into our life plan. Doors opened for us to volunteer at faith based camps while living part-time in our fifth wheel and in the fall of 2019 we had our first stint in eastern Oklahoma. After the first month we loved it so much that we quickly signed up for another month.
About eleven years ago, I bought my first ever Lego set for the boy who made me a grandma.
About eleven years and one minute ago, I became just a little obsessed with the delightfulness of Legos. So did said grandboy. We spent many hours building one thing after another, as the coins rapidly left our bank account.
Percival and Augusta**. Long ago they lived across the street from my family in a small super-modest old home with peeling paint and many many many cats. And one little dog. There was a front porch. There was a back porch. There’s no trace left of where Percival and Augusta spent their sad life. But my mind will never lose the image of that home and the couple who lived there. Continue reading “The rest of the story….”→
My breath was taken away and tears came to my eyes. Not gonna lie, they even rolled down my cheeks.
A friend of mine shared a photo with me. She’d found it in an old yearbook of her mom’s.
Me. Age fifteen. The one school picture that never made it to a frame on the top of the piano with the other pictures of me and my sisters. I had totally forgotten about this particular photograph. I doubt there are prints of it anywhere, except of course the old yearbook.
If you’re my age, and if you’re a girl (well, OLD girl), you probably once loved listening to the smooth voice of Karen Carpenter. The Carpenters. One of their most popular songs was Rainy Days and Mondays. “Talking to myself and feeling old” “Sometimes I’d like to quit, nothing ever seems to fit”. Such upbeat lyrics. NOT. Sadly, the line about “nothing ever seems to fit, like to quit” ? Karen died from anorexia at a young age.
I talk to myself and you probably do, too. Please tell me you do. 🙂
“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” That’s one line from an old song written in 1970. And like a lot of songs, it’s the only line I remember. This one line brings one person in particular to my mind. My mother.
Recently I read a story that pulled the curtains back from a window into the life of a mom and her difficulties with her young son. His behavior is so poor that kids avoid him. Classmates say their parents forbid them from playing with him anymore. He comes home from school and says he was told he is “bad.” He has been removed from that kindergarten now. His mom and dad are struggling to help him.
His name was Charlie and his wife was Myrna. Charlie worked with my dad for the county road maintenance department.
Charlie and Myrna were deaf. Myrna was profoundly deaf and couldn’t verbalize much more than grunting type noises. Charlie was equally deaf but not totally mute. Plus he read lips fairly well. He gave serious attempts to communicate verbally and sometimes he was successful. If he became irritated enough the words “chicken shit” left his lips quite clearly. And without fail if you asked “How are you?”, he would say loudly “Old man 95” and start walking all bent over to fully answer the question.
Our first….home?…. I use that term loosely, was a tiny apartment that was part of a four-plex of red brick apartments. The location was in the armpit of Wichita. Not far from the hospital where I went to school. And the most deciding factor for living there? It was cheap. We were poor. Continue reading “Where do you dwell?”→
How well I recall the day I learned my family was poor. The news didn’t come from my parents. I often heard them having lively conversations about finances early in the morning while they were eating breakfast. While I was exercising my sloth-like tendency to sleep late. I heard them, but it was never serious enough to fully awaken me.
One of my favorite Christmas gifts ever was from my sister Lois. I was eight or nine years old, she was 16 years older than me and, in my little girl eyes, quite wealthy. She was a Medical Technologist and worked in a hospital laboratory in a big old hospital. 😜💲💲💲 What was this magnificent gift, you ask? A Scrabble board game. I was ecstatic. Seriously!!
The year was 2006, the month was March. I’d been longing to be a grandma for oh so long. Prayers were prayed, decisions were made to adopt, and we traveled to Guatemala with our daughter and son-in-love and Grandma Cindy to meet the baby who would be our very first grandchild.
“Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.” Words from an old Beatles song. I’m old enough to have listened to it when it first came out many, many, many years ago. About the same time I started wearing makeup. About the same time teenage acne made its unwelcome appearance on my young face. About the same time my confidence and self image plummeted. The face in the jar by the door became my routine, my shield against insecurity. I really never used very much makeup, honestly just enough to feel comfortable with the girl in the mirror. Not always a successful endeavor. Continue reading “For Real”→
The dentist office has historically been a very unlikely place for me to receive words of encouragement. My oral cavity has been the location of a lot of drilling and bridgework and excavation…. seriously there should be tiny little orange cones in my mouth most any day of the week. Always a work zone of some sort.
A few months ago I was in my mom-in-law’s house with her. My eye caught sight of a vase I’d not seen before and I said, “Wow, that is gorgeous. I love it!”. To which she immediately and without hesitation emphatically said, “Take it. It’s yours. I do not need all this stuff.” And she waved her hands around the room.