Sunday, October 23, 2016

Higher and Higher

It was only a few years ago that this little boy/young man was on the front porch swinging with me, giggling and begging me to go higher and higher.  So many discussions were held in that old swing, but one of the ones that come to mind today is "when am I going to be 10?"  To him at the tender age of 5, 10 was a long, long, long time away while his much wiser grandmother knew it was just a quick breath away.

A breath away..............and it was proven to me a few days ago how time really is but just a breath away when this young boy, now a much wiser 12 year old, told me he was going to take a shower.  Not one time in the last 12 years has he willingly taken a bath at my house.............and now in his deep voice he tells me he is going to take a shower.  I knew at that moment that things had changed.

Yes, things changed and very quickly.  I am not fully prepared for this.  Will he want to come spend fall break with me next year?  Will he want to sit on the swing with me?  Will he beg me to go higher and higher?  Maybe or perhaps not.  I will just have to adjust because time is NOT going to stand still for me.  But in my heart he will forever be that little 5 year old begging me to go higher and higher. 

I love you.  Always.  Higher and higher.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

This Man--His Eyes

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

Just as I posted yesterday, it IS hard to say goodbye and last week we had to say goodbye to one of my favorite relatives.  This man! 
My dad's brother.  My favorite grandma's youngest son.  (If I had a picture of her and my grandpa, I would show you just how much a family resemblance there is; a perfect blend of the two of them.)  And my last uncle.  I could write an entire post on the changing dynamics of my family, but today I want to focus on this man; and his twinkling eyes.

I guess the Dawkins' blood must run true, because this man was a lot like my own daddy.  When he'd call me it would always take me my surprise.  It'd surprise me first of all just for the fact that he'd called.  Second, he would just start talking as if we had already been in conversation for 10 minutes, just like daddy.  I had to catch up quickly and do a lot of mental 'filling in the blanks' to even be on the same page.  And just as quickly as the conversation began, it would be over, and I'd hear the click of the phone, just like daddy.  No need in extra conversation.  He'd said what he needed to say and he was off to do other things.

In recent years we'd see him and my aunt Donna out and about, most often at a restaurant.  As we'd approach them, his eyes would start sparkling, every time, and I could just see that he was going to have a story.  He'd start the conversation as if we had been setting there talking for the last ten minutes and I'd be lying if I didn't say I was often perplexed because it took me a minute to figured out just where he was in thought and words.  The conversation most often started with "one of your relatives...............".  (My mind would be racing to figure out just which relative he was talking about and if I remembered them.)  He was always good for the latest up-to-date story of  a relative and how he kept up with everybody I'll never know.

He pretty much passed away just as he hung up the phone.  I'm glad he didn't have to suffer long, but still I will miss him.  One of the things I will miss most about him are his eyes,  His eyes!  They always reminded me of these lines in "A Visit From St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore.

His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! I am.............writing a little post about a relative (and now uncle, I, too, have a story about a relative).......................a post about my uncle...........a post about his eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry! 

I love you.

This man could have played Santa and I would have believed that he had just come from the North Pole.  
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

This man--his eyes!

By the way, the lovely woman with him is his daughter. No doubt, huh?  Perhaps she could play Mrs. Claus because she has his same twinkly eyes.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's Hard to Let Go

A lot of events this week have led me think about letting go; whether it is the loss of a loved one, a pet, children going out on their own, or simple bouquets. 

Last week I bought a bouquet of flowers and also was given a bouquet from some new found friends.  This week............well, they just aren't fresh looking and some of the individual flowers had to be culled from the overall bouquets.  Needless to say, tomorrow, additional flowers will be removed.  Nonetheless, it is hard for me to "let go".

So here are some pictures of the remaining flowers............and just like my grandma Dawkins would have done, some flower heads had to be preserved just a tad longer.  So in memory of my grandma, the flowers float gently in their own frames.  It's hard to let go.



I love you. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Let's Get This Party Started

It's dark!  Holy cow!  Did you know it is DARK at 6:30?  It has been so long since I was up at 6:30, that I had forgotten what an ungodly hour it is!  Holy cow! 

Indeed I was up this morning at 6:05 and out the door at 6:30.  I had to use my lights, I tell you!  It might as well have been 1:00 a.m.  The last time I was up that early was to go on vacation and I was pumped.  This morning, not so much.  Believe me, there's a big difference in driving for pleasure and driving to a meeting. 

But I'm back home now having my second cup of coffee and ready to start the day..........relatively early compared to yesterday when I was still in the chair at 9:30.  Let's get this party started.

Carpe diem!  that's the coffee talking.

I love you.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Reheat the Coffee

Reheat the coffee.  I've got three sips left.  Isn't it amazing how drinking coffee can be a good excuse to do nothing?  I'm two hours late on getting an early start on my day, but there are three sips of coffee left in my cup. to the microwave to reheat.  Can't drink cold coffee, but remember, I'm just three sips away from starting my day.

Just as cigarette breaks are a plausible excuse for no productivity, so is my morning coffee.  So here I set, writing a silly blog post about nothing more than my excuse for not getting up and conquering the world.

Well that three sips turned into five.  I'm feeling it!  I'm almost ready!  And here I go!  I've got to mow, use the weed eater, water the flowers, sweep, mop, do homework, slop the hogs, etc. 

I love you!  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

These Moments

Well another Saturday has come and gone.  It is just me or does it seem the days just fly by.  Soon my shopping will turn to Christmas, but today it turned to TRADER JOE'S.  In case you think I am going to write about Trader Joe's tonight, you are wrong.  No, a Trader Joe's story requires an entire post all its own.

Tonight I just want to tell you what a great day I have had.  It was a day of shopping with my daughter, but it was more than was moments, happy, sweet moments.  Home Goods was our first stop and we arrived as the store was opening at 9:30 which was a surprise to us.  We'd talked about what we would do for 30 minutes, but instead we walked right in and pretty much has the store to ourselves for 30 minutes.  We were able discuss and visualized every object without having a cart rammed into our heels to move on.

Then on to Trader Joe's, but I'm not going to go into detail yet........another post.......keep posted.

We went back to collect my little 2 1/2 year old granddaughter for a bit of furniture shopping.  Earlier in the day, that sweet girl had asked in her little girl voice if we were "going to take me".  She was so excited that we came back for her which made me excited, too.  Another moment.  So we ended our shopping day on a perfect note............the note of my granddaughter's happiness.

After I dropped my precious girls off, the radio was softly playing an old Eagles song, somehow perfect for my quiet ride home.  A time for me to reflect on the day, to remember how precious my family is, and to enjoy the twilight of a perfect day.  Another moment.

Every day won't be this perfect, but perhaps I can try a little harder to see that life is about these moments and what we make of them.  I am indeed grateful for these moments.

I love you. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So We Have Had a Good Day

Good evening family and friends.

Well, we finally......and I do mean finally, got an estimate on painting our house.  It is much more than I ever thought it would be, but it will be done............we hope...........and in a timely manner.........we hope.  Let's just put it out there........we really haven't had much luck with painters in the last few weeks.  Nobody seems hungry enough to even call us back, let alone give us an estimate.  Today, the guy came only one day after he said he would and he was able to give us an estimate in 5 minutes.  We have seen his work since he painted the house across the street........SO...... with fingers crossed, in a few weeks our house will be painted.............finally.............after 38 years.  Let me explain.  No we have not had our house painted in 38 years BECAUSE it is cedar siding and it was in fashion at the time.  Time for some changes.  So we are finally going to paint the house, probably 30 years since it probably needed it.  We did get our value from the cedar.

So, we have had a good day.  You know a lot of purchases of this cost really cause me anxiety, but for some reason I feel really good about our decision.  So, we have had a good day.  Hope you have as well.

I love you.

By the way, we have almost always done our own home maintenance.  Not only has it saved us tons of money throughout the years, but the contractors we have hired often did not do the job as well as we would/could have done ourselves.  So it isn't without a little angst that we signed the dotted line, but we are at the age when we need to watch instead of hold the brush.  And we do NOT need to be on a ladder 20 feet above the ground.

Monday, September 5, 2016

When in Doubt, Throw It Out

Hello on this fine Labor Day--2016.  Our day has been pretty lazy, but hey, we're retired.  I've got some allergies going on so I might as well blog.

When in doubt, throw it out!  I've been cleaning closets which might have caused all the allergies (dust anyone??).  Nothing is more therapeutic for me than getting rid of stuff which has become junk to me.  Last week I started with the pantry.  You'd be surprised at what all I found...........or maybe not.  So many memories are in these photos. 

If you looked at the first picture, then you know what this is.
A very nice pecan cracker in great condition.  The trouble is I don't crack pecans anymore; nobody does.  I have more income than I did in 1974 and I don't have to watch my pennies as I did then.  As my hubby said, "People don't grab a bowl of pecans and crack them while they listen to the radio programs."  So very true!  Almost sad.  Almost sadly, I am giving this to charity.
Next are two nostalgic items that I am keeping although I don't really know why.
Remember when the Italian restaurants had these wine bottle drip candle holders?  And all those matches from places we've been.............can't throw them out.  They mean nothing to anyone but us, but we enjoy finding them in the closet when we clean.  It gives us meaningful conversation for a few minutes plus it causes us to recall a younger "us", our beginning.

I was rereading this before publishing and I noticed I hadn't written about this.
This.................being my grandma's bread bowl.  I am not sure if this is the bowl in her kitchen or one we found in an outbuilding near their house, but I like to think that it is one in her kitchen which she used all the time.  Years ago I had it hanging on my wall and it dropped and split so we used wood glue to put it back together.  Of course, I am NOT going to give this away.  Wood bowls are in style once again so I might drag it out of the closet and use it in my fall decorating.
Grandma had flour in this bowl.  When she made biscuits, she'd add the ingredients right in the center and mix the biscuits right there.  She'd form them by hand and put on a baking sheet which had melted shortening, turning so that both sides had shortening on them before placing in the oven.

I didn't throw these out either, but I put notes in them to let our children know why I have them.  They were on Mrs. Tucker's what-not shelf.  We think they were Aunt Shirley's toys.

I am sure you are SHOCKED at this photo!!  Yes, Nana is a lush............NOT!  These bottles have been in my cabinet up so high that you'd have get a ladder to reach them.  They are probably 30 years old..............and time to GOYou know what, we opened them and they still smell like they did when I used them in recipes way back when.  NO, WE DID NOT TASTE THEM.  And no we didn't give them to charity.  They were used to clean the plumbing. 

Wow, here we are at the green waffle iron we received for a wedding present in 1972.  It probably should have been thrown out years ago, but hey, we still use it.  Who needs a new waffle iron when this one works perfectly fine.  After all, I only make waffles every five years or so, and when I need a waffle iron, here this beauty is.  And we can have a conversation about how old this iron is and how much longer it will last.....they don't make 'em like they used to.  This was a present from my office and that color was very popular back then.  The plates can be turned over to make a griddle, all Teflon lined.  Perhaps I had a Panini pan before it was called a Panini pan.

I threw these glasses out.  I bought these jelly glasses a few years ago at an antique store because this is what my family used for everyday glasses when I was a kid.  I felt nostalgic for a few days; they served their purpose.  Now they are ready to bring memories to somebody else.
Surprisingly, these glasses are really a sturdy glass for drinking and holds exactly enough and I kind of liked drinking from them again, but alas, you can't live in the past. 

....................So I kept some things, threw out some things, found some outdated food, and had lots of fun reminiscing.  But when in doubt, throw it out!

I love you.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Music

Hi friends, 
I have had a wonderful day despite how it started; shaken awake by a 5.6 earthquake.  Wow, that will put you on your feet in a matter of seconds.  At the onset I thought the hubby was getting up, but I couldn't figure out the abrasive sound of someone wadding up plastic sheeting.  We both jumped up and ran to the window where we saw the outside umbrella really swaying.  At that point we both said "earthquake" and ran to the living room where we confirmed it by the swaying of cords inside the house.  Wasn't long before the local channels were delivering the news of this 5.6 quake.  Not fond of earthquakes and a little afraid............this coming from a girl living in tornado alley. 
So many posts to write about all stemming from my awesome day, but tonight I want to talk about all the old music and musicians.  Yes, you know it, I am watching PBS and their fund drive.  They may not have this on any other time of the year, but they have it tonight and I am reliving my life, my Saturday nights, through this music.  The younger years that is.
It is almost comical that some of the featured rock and roll artists from my day are so aged.  How times flies......  One of these days, this music--my music--will disappear.  Already, it is hard to find on the radio.  KOMA used to be the station, but yesterday when I was in the car, the music was more for my daughter's generation which, despite her denying it, is now 20 years old........
Tonight I thought it would be fun to list some of the musicians that will be disappearing soon, some already gone.  So off the top of my head here are some that I remember.  See if you remember any of these.  Can you name any of their hits?  I will help you out on some.
  • The Bellany Brothers
  • Neil Diamond
  • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Chubby Checker -- Peppermint Twist
  • Perry Como  -- Too many to list, but this time of the year ALWAYS reminds me of him.
  • Buck Owens  --  Not real crazy about him, but he was a headliner in his day.
  • Righteous Brothers --  Do I even have to tell you what song comes to mind?
  • Patsy Cline  --  So many.........  Crazy, huh?
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Billie Joe Royal -- 1966
  • Dolly Parton -- Every Saturday evening.
  • Glen Campbell
  • Jim Reeves
  • Percy Faith
  • Marty Robbins
  • Red Folley
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford -- 16 Tons
  • Patty Page -- Sang one of daddy's favorite songs.
  • Dinah Shore
  • Glen Miller
  • Roger Miller
  • Mitch Miller -- Remember the sing along show?  The Yellow Rose of Texas
  • Dinah Washington
  • The Ink Spots
  • Tommy Dorsey
  • Brenda Lee -- Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
  • Guy Lombardo -- What would New Years Eve be without him?
  • Gogi Grant -- The Wayward Wind
  • Louie Armstrong
  • Burl Ives
  • Doris Day -- Whatever Will Be, Will Be
  • B J Thomas
  • Jimmy Dean
  • Hank Williams
  • Bing Crosby
  • The Lennon Sisters
  • Frankie Lane
  • Tony Bennett
  • Eddy Arnold
  • Dean Martin
  • Roger Williams
  • Bobby Vinton
  • Neil Sedaka
  • The Platters
  • Bobby Darin
  • Roy Orbison
  • Herb Alpert & The Tijuna Brass
  • Marilyn Maye -- The Lamp is Low
  • John Gary
  • Dave Clark Five
  • Simon and Garfunkle
  • Floyd Cramer
  • Chet Atkins
  • Pat Boone
  • Nat King Cole
  • Rosemary Clooney
  • Ed Ames
  • Petula Clark
  • The Carpenters
  • Teresa Brewer
  • Andrew Sisters
  • Liberace
  • The Beach Boys
  • Sony and Cher
  • The Mills Brothers
  •  Elvis -- He's been dead for almost 40 years, but he is iconic.
  • Henry Mancini -- His music was in so many movies of the 60s.
  • Peggy Lee -- Is That All There Is?
  • Beatles
  • John Denver -- One of my favorites
  • Ray Charles
  • The Mamas and Papas
  • Rolling Stone
  • Supremes
  • Paul Anka
  • Everly Brothers
This is by no means all of the music of my life.  I could have gone forever, but I had to stop.  Yep, some are gone, some are much older, some are almost forgotten, but some never will be.  I may forget them myself someday, but for now their music lives on with me and what great music it is.

I love you.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

School Starts Tomorrow

These two!
When did they get to be so big?

Tomorrow, these two little boys will be starting another school year.  4th grader, can that be?  Junior high?  Yesterday, he was 2 weeks old and curled up in my arms as he napped.  Three short years until he starts high school, and his nana is already in mourning.  Just kidding..................I think.

So tomorrow begins another school year, and here I am tonight wondering what the year will bring.  Oh it would be nice if they made straight As and won every award on awards night.  Sure it would.........not going to lie..............but my very favorite award would be one for kindness.  So here's hoping their year will be full of kindness from them as well as to them, full of hope and optimism, full of wisdom to make the best decisions, and most of all, full of joy.  Their smiling faces will be reward enough for me.   

Tonight, my sweet boys, I wish you a pleasant evening and deep sleep full of smiling dreams with ne'er a thought about school.  Tomorrow is your day to shine.

I love you.