Thursday, February 18, 2021

If I never see another snowflake...

The inscription: Let it snow some place else!

 My sentiments exactly! I hang this plaque on the front door on New Year's Day when I take the Christmas wreath down. This cute little plaque gets replaced on Valentine's Day with a floral,
heart-shaped wreath that hangs on our door until October. 

This year we have had a mild winter. Then all of a sudden, BAM! Snowmageddon. That is nine inches of powdery snow atop the bird bath. The city was practically shut down. Then for the next two days the wrath of winter continued to pile up. Almost two straight weeks of below freezing and sub zero temperatures and dreary days.

I ran in and out for the first two days trying to keep the birds fed and waterd. The water froze almost instantly. I hope mama nature is finished with her little temper tantrum. We seem to be on the down side, and the meterologist claims on Tuesday we will see 50 degrees. I'm counting the days. But I am also praying for those poor people in Texas and down South. 

Counting down till spring. How about you?

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Shot in the... and who's to blame?

 I am so thankful for my funny honey. We are celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary, but we have been together for 32 wonderful years. And every single day of our life together he as made me laugh.

His big hands have held onto mine, hugged our blended family of four adult kids, assisted, played with, teased, and aggravated all of our little ones who are almost all grown. He has cuddled all of our newborns, and in the past six years, squeezed our three great grandsons, who adore Paw-paw Bill. 

He has held each of our hearts, and each of us  holds so much love in our hearts for him.

Forget all of the fancy-schmancy anniversary cards, the cutesy-wootsey Valentine cards. Nothing will ever compare to this card that Bill bought me on our anniversary/Valentine's Day 2002.



Every year he adds another date, and that simple gesture makes me so happy.

 
On this day a long time ago when I was a new teacher, little red-haired, three-year-old Rachel came up to me and said, "Teacher, who's that guy who comes around at night, naked and gives you love?"

 My heart skipped a beat. I thought for sure I was going to have to call child abuse hotline. 

Then she said, "You know he shoots arrows at you to give you love?"
 
Whew! Cupid.

Sending love and appreciation to all my blog readers.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Treasured Locket

This story is featured in Sasee Magazine this month. Little kids have a way of bringing you to your knees. Enjoy! 


                                                          The Treasured Locket 



I have a decorative jewelry box filled with fine gold chains in many lengths and a drawer filled with several individual, significant, diamond embellished charms that I received for Mother's Days, birthdays or other holidays. If I ever decided to wear them all at one time, I would really make a statement. Strangers would know that I am the BEST, a #1 mom, friend, nana, and very loved wife. I wear the charms and chains individually at different times. When I pass a mirror, I see my aging face, and in my mind's eye I see the reflection of the loved ones who presented me with each piece of jewelry over the years.

There's one piece of costume jewelry that means more to me than silver, gold, or diamonds. I don't even remember where I got the pendant locket which hangs at my heart level on a long, thick chain. I'll never forget why it is so important to me and increases in value as I get older. The faux gold, filigree miniature coin purse has a clasp that allows the tiny purse to open and close. I imagine that years ago, the former owner,  a young lady, must have stashed a dime inside for an emergency phone call, or perhaps a grandmother sprayed a cotton ball with Evening in Paris cologne, and tucked it inside, leaving a lingering scent as she rocked a baby. I sometimes placed a penny or an M&M inside for my grandchildren to discover when they were small.

Madison was three years old when she reached for my locket and attached immeasurable value to that piece of junque jewelry. Maddie was an early talker who went from one word utterance to stringing, not sentences, but entire paragraphs. She was a verbose, smart little girl with strawberry blonde curls that bobbed when she carried on lengthy conversations. Her big blue eyes stole hearts, and she was never at a loss for words.

I had just returned home from a particularly exhausting day in a classroom filled with
three-year-olds. I looked forward to kicking off my shoes and lying on the couch for half an hour. I opened the front door, and our bubbly little girl greeted me with a high pitched, delighted squeal.

"Hi Nana, I've been waiting all day with Paw-paw for you to get home from school. I couldn't wait to see you. Mama dropped me off." So, that is why I didn't know we had company. There was no car in the driveway.

I smiled, but honestly, what I thought was, "Not another three-year-old!"
What I said was, "Hi honey, let me put my school bag down and hug you."

As I sat on the couch, I wished I could have stretched out and laid my head down on my soft, powder blue throw pillow for just a moment to rejuvenate. Madison jumped up on my lap and started fondling my locket. "Open it, Nana. Open it right now. Let me see what's in your little purse necklace. Can I? Please? I know there has to be something good in there. I just know it because I know lots of things that could fit in there. Is it...?" She guessed every tiny thing under the sun.

Overwhelmed, exhausted, and having used up almost all my patience in class, I told her, "Honey, there is nothing inside today. I didn't put anything in here. You just have to believe me."

"Oh yes there is. I know! It could be a..." There she went again as she tugged at it, adding to my irritability.

I reached for the stack of mail and tried to reposition her. She was insistent, and finally I lost my last bit of patience.  A little too harshly, I said, "Honey, there is nothing inside the purse necklace. I already told you."

Life would have been so much easier had I just walked into the kitchen and sneaked an M&M into the locket. But then if I had restocked it, the locket would not be as special to me as it is today.

Madison pushed me further over the edge. Coyly, she cocked her head and fluttered her eyelashes. Then instead of using her insistent voice, her words poured out as sweet as syrup, and she said, "Oh Naaanaaaa, I knooow there is something inside your little purse necklace.  I'm really sure. Want me to show you?"

Before I could protest, she said, "I know you don't have an M&M, or a penny, or... " She went in reverse naming all the things that couldn't be inside.

I snapped. I am ashamed to admit it that I had reached my boiling point. I raised my voice, flipped the latch, and flung the little purse locket wide open. "I told you, honey, there is NOTHING inside. SEE!"

The kid wouldn't quit. Very softly and sweetly, in a little sing-song voice, she said with authority, "Oh yes there is something inside. It's God's love. God's love is everywhere, Nana. I learned that in Sunday School."

Stunned into a shamed silence, I hugged her to me, and agreed 100 % that she was absolutely, positively right. On my way to the kitchen, I bowed my head in shame and silently asked for forgiveness. I returned and presented our girl with an entire bag of M&Ms.

Sometimes it's not the silver, gold, or expensive jewels that hold the most value, but the stories attached to the particular pieces that make them priceless.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Zooming takes on a new meaning

We have been indoors so long. Bored. Lack of stimuli. Same old TV shows. We had the urge to get out and take a drive. The sunshine was deceiving, the weather freezing, but a perfect day to lollygag and take a lesiurely drive.

Didn't happen. There was no slowing down to see sites, as traffic was speeding at excessive rates, drivers changing lanes and breaking all rules of the road. It was like being on the Autobahn.

As we were zipping down the highway I told Bill to look up! He couldn't. I saw what appeared to be a large drone in the sky over downtown. We lost sight of it. Few minutes later this aircraft crossed our path again, flying at high altitude. Its gray wings blended into the sky and all I could see was the black body. 

It wasn't a drone afterall but a fighter jet. The pilot flew the aircraft sideways with one wing up and one down. It was an amazing aerial maneuver. 

That was my excitement for the day. 

Someone told us to check out an app called Flight Tracker to see what is flying in the skies above you. I went on line and browsed. I saw so many images of planes in the air, it looked like mass chaos. Some things are better left unknown.

 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Someone got their wires crossed

 Our next door neighbors have been foster parents for years. We have babysat in emergency situations, such as when the kids arrive home from school a few minutes before the adults do from their doctor's appointments.

When the phone rang as we were driving to the store, we did not recognize the phone number. Bill answered on speaker phone.

"Hello."

"Hey there man, how you doing on this fine day?" The deep, gravelly African-American voice  sounded older than our  neighbor. 

"Doing just fine. What can I do for you?"

"Well that is exactly what I was going to ask you. You called ME, so I hit redial. What can I do for YOU?"

"Well I've been driving. I haven't used this phone. I didn't call you, Jesse. You called ME."

"This is John, not Jesse. Who are you?"

They got to talking. The man lived clear across town, was two years older than Bill, and both had retired the same year. They discussed everything under the sun. When I came out of the store, they were still gabbing about the world situation, the repercussions of telling the wife her cooking was bad. They agreed if they ordered out, the wife would appreciate it ... 

My husband is a joker and has never met a stranger. You'd have thought these guys were best friends.

When I came out of the SECOND store, they were still yucking it up, laughing, and telling life stories.

I shook my head, smiled, and thought, "This is exactly what the world needs, friendly people forced by a pandemic to limit their in person interactions, making the most out of a random phone call." 

In the back of my mind I wondered just how random that accidental dial was. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Are your ears and eyes working?

My jagged ripped-in-half heart aches. My thoughts, your thoughts, our thoughts  all filtered through the same dust mote filled air ...
unsettling. 

This morning I heard audio and saw video of the barricades being removed from our state capitol because they were installed "only" for the governor's inauguration. Yet, there are verified threats of violence predicted for the next week. So what?

And in the nation's capitol, after a domestic terrorist attack, officials are refusing to go through metal detectors?! The Capitol Police are standing by looking helpless as to what to do?! Metal detectors? SO WHAT!

I said this a long time ago when I taught preschool. My room was housed in a middle school. I witnessed inconsistent accounatblity, lack of consequences, and infractions overlooked when students AND teachers broke rules.

Someone passed out handbooks on conduct. The whole attitude was a huge collective shrug. SO WHAT!  

When many federal, state, and local officials neglected to impose a mask mandate, and a few mayors broke rank and did insist, opposers refused. Mandate? So what?!

So covid deaths are rampant. That is what!

Arrogance, apathy, helplessness.  Rules? So what?!  

Until there are consequences to actions and words, and enforcement of rules and laws ... 

I pray for peace.

Thank you for your comments. I am a firm believer and know this is out of my control and God is in charge. I just needed to sound off.

  


Saturday, January 9, 2021

When my head hit the pillow

The world is in such a mess.
Still I have faith and hope that
tomorrow will bring brighter days;
calmer heads will prevail;
compassion and peace
will lead to positive changes. 

I can be an instrument of peace.
I can spread a little sunshine instead
of focusing on the gloom and doom
that seems to envelope us.

I
can offer a helping hand,
speak with a softer voice... use 
inspiring words that offer comfort or
provoke a thought that leads to empathy.  

I can meet eye to eye, offer a smile, incite laughter
because we all need to turn our frown upside down a while.

Wednesday, near midnight, after an entire day of constant TV viewing, observing unbelievable, unspeakable behaviors, gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking real time scenes playing out on the screen as the US Capitol was taken over, I went to bed angry-red and broken-hearted blue from the pandemic statistics.

Sometimes when I have too much screen time, my left eye goes wonky and I see a bright wall of flashing white lights for a few minutes. If I cover my eye, it subsides shortly. I have been examined by two opthalmologists who say it is not a retina tear, just eye strain or ocular migranes. My head does not hurt.

With a heavy heart and sigh, I climbed into bed, thankful for the snorer and the creeper. My honey rumbles like a motor and the purr boy inches his way from the foot of the bed and scrunches himself right NEXT to my legs or any curve he can find.

When my head hit the pillow, my eye started flashing bright white. I laid still and prayed 

for my family whom I miss so much, for peace, a friend's daughter battling cancer, and our back door neighbor who just lost her husband of 50 years. I covered my eyes with my palms. I breathed deeply. I opened my eyes and holy macaroni! I saw bright RED flashing lights.

Well this was a first. I squeezed my eyes shut. Opened wide. Those red lights were spinning back and forth, dancing left and right every where I looked. I played with them a little bit, open, close, flash-flash, gazed up, looked down. They were persistent.

Then I heard a thud, got up, looked out the window

at an ambulance in the next door neighbor's driveway.

Relieved for me and concerned for her, I added another person to my prayer list,
closed my eyes and went to sleep.  

If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at ME.