The beauty of enough

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.

No, reality hit one day in the third floor library of the junior high building in my hometown.  Probably my eighth grade year, during study hall. Continue reading “The beauty of enough”

One Word. Two Words. Three Words.

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!!

Continue reading “One Word. Two Words. Three Words.”

Hmmmm. Did not expect this.

A couple months into this new experience.  Hearing aids.

hearing aids

My goal was better hearing.  Being able to be more “present” in conversations instead of constantly thinking to myself “what did they say?”.

Mission accomplished.  I love them.

There has been, however, one result that I didn’t expect.  I can hear myself better.  Continue reading “Hmmmm. Did not expect this.”

Lullaby voice. Just see what happens.

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.  

We met him, we held him, we watched him react with his new mommy and daddy.  And we fell in love.  My grandma heart was fully activated.   Continue reading “Lullaby voice. Just see what happens.”

The Man.

Every now and then I’ll be doing something and a long-forgotten memory floods my mind.  You, too?  Often, it’s something I’d just as well leave forgotten.  You, too?

But sometimes, a memory takes me back to an experience that was fun and so worth remembering.  A memory that wraps around me like a warm hug.  Such a good feeling. Continue reading “The Man.”

For Real

“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”

Where seldom is heard… an encouraging word

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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.

Continue reading “Where seldom is heard… an encouraging word”

The fluff of stuff. And the power of a photograph.

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.

So, I took it home.  Continue reading “The fluff of stuff. And the power of a photograph.”

The worst everything.

Thanksgiving.  Time to make the list.  The “what I’m thankful for” list.

You know the drill.  Most lists have the same items on them year after year no matter who is writing the list.  “My family.  My friends.  Food.  Shelter…”

Gratitude is a good habit to practice.  One time several years ago I sat down and quickly wrote 100 things I was thankful for.  All the wonderful good things in my life I could think of.  It was good medicine for my attitude and kept me happy for, oh, maybe 10-20 hours.  Continue reading “The worst everything.”

Subliminal learning. The beauty of failure.

For the first twelve years of my education I attended the same school system.  Tiny little town, tiny little school, tiny little class sizes.  There wasn’t much mobility in family life back then, so for the most part the class members in Kindergarten went through all 12 years together and graduated high school together.  Continue reading “Subliminal learning. The beauty of failure.”

All we know.

Don’t you love looking at a baby’s face for the first time?  Looking into eyes that stare back at you like “What in the world is that thing? Put me back, please”

Prior to this newborn moment, baby was a well thought-out design of God.  Being formed in His image as God picked out hair color, eye color, size and shape…. fearfully and wonderfully thought out and created with love as the main ingredient.  And those months in the warm womb were a blissful time of just baby and God.  And mommy, of course.  But I believe God knows baby long before Mommy does.  Continue reading “All we know.”

Young. And Old. And Future.

Sixty three years ago on this day, my 15 year old sister loaded up my pregnant mom and my two other sisters in our old car and drove to the hospital 25 miles from home.  My sister’s skills included driving a tractor and she could drive a car, too.    Dad was working, driving a road maintainer for the county. Probably far out in the country on a dirt road and there weren’t cell phones in that day.  He was probably clueless that the whole hospital thing was happening.  I don’t think I was quite due to be born yet. The first and last time I was early for anything.  Continue reading “Young. And Old. And Future.”

Remedies and Remedy

Did your mom have her list of go-to remedies for every malady you might experience?  I’m thinking your answer is probably “yes”.  My mom sure did.  

Milk of Magnesia would cure everything.  Tummy ache?  Take some milk of magnesia.  Tired and worn out?  Take some milk of magnesia.  Ingrown toenail?  Same remedy….. well yeah that might be an exaggeration.   Continue reading “Remedies and Remedy”

Little White Church

Little white church.  Every small rural town has one.  Ours was on 3rd and Argyle.  Nondescript.  Simple.  Easily overlooked.  Just a little white church.

Last year our little white church was demolished after having been unused for a few years.  I watched the Facebook live video of the demolition from my home 100 miles away, with tears running down my cheeks.  We were married in that church.  Our two baby girls were dedicated in that church.  We worshiped in that church for 25 years or so.  Our hearts were deeply embedded in the four walls of that little building.  It hurt so bad to watch it being dozed, even though it was obvious the building condition had deteriorated to the point it was necessary.  Continue reading “Little White Church”

Unfinished business. Call NOW.

If you live in our part of Kansas and you’ve ever watched anything on TV there is 100% chance that when you hear the phrase “call NOW” you think of one person.  Jerry O’Neal.  Continental Siding company.  You may not remember his company name but you cannot forget, no matter how hard you try, the sound of his voice saying “call NOW“.  Continue reading “Unfinished business. Call NOW.”

Uncommon sanctuaries

Some children grow up spending most of their leisure time with siblings or cousins or next door neighbor kids.  
 
I did not.  No siblings even close to my age made me a bit of an only child.  Ditto cousins.  I had a couple very good friends, but play time wasn’t all that frequent. 
 
My dad was my fishing buddy and my favorite person to spend leisure time with.  But of course time with him was limited because he had that pesky 40+ hour/week job thing going on.  
 
My mom also had that pesky full time employment scene happening from the time I was eight years old.  
 

Continue reading “Uncommon sanctuaries”