Eighteen Months

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Eighteen months, is that a short amount of time for you or an endless period of time? Eighteen months is a lifetime for one person who entered the world and my heart eighteen months ago.

Living 1,600 miles away from family does not allow for frequent visits. So when an opportunity to babysit this summer for an extended period of time presented itself, I jumped on it.

I’ve spent the last two weeks marveling the knowledge gained in only eighteen months.

She knows:

  • sparkly beads are essential
  • climbing is an adventure
  • arms will catch and hold you
  • laughter is contagious
  • naps revive
  • water is fun
  • food nourishes
  • conversations include hand gestures (even when no one understands your language)
  • songs are to be sung at the highest volume of your voice
  • no fear in trying new things
  • Grandpa and Grandma will cater to your every whim

I can’t wait to find out more about this little one in the years to come!

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Granddaughters

Four days after returning from our river cruise, we hopped into the car to drive to California. Family time called us west.

Clara’s grin . . .IMG_2171

wrinkles her nose,

                  puts sparkles in her eyes,

                                               exposes niblet baby teeth.

The world is to be explored and conquered.

She has a zest for discovery.

Maddy is . . .

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the best big sister,

an accomplished rider and jumper,

growing up too fast!

Horses are her world!

Before we knew it, it was time to get back in the car to begin the journey home. These memories and photos will have to suffice until we can return. Sigh!

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

 

 

Something to Celebrate

celebrate new

Monday my mom calls, “Can you take me to the doctor this week?”

“I’m working Wednesday and Thursday,” I replied. “What’s the matter?” She had not complained of any ailments the last time I talked to her, so I am puzzled about needing to go to the doctor.

“I fell at church. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t trip or slip. I just went down. Jackie (a neighbor) thinks maybe it has to do with an inner ear thing,” she responds.

She calls the doctor and gets an appointment for Tuesday. We go to the appointment. She brings a cane for extra support. The doctor listens. I listen and learn this fall did not happen on Sunday, but on the previous Thursday. What?! Why didn’t you tell me before today? The doctor instructs her to perform a variety of actions. He is not concerned, she has passed the neural systems test. Perhaps she has a bit of  vertigo. Perhaps it could be some fluid in her inner ear. We will monitor her and see if there is improvement within ten days.

This photo was taken on her 85th birthday in February.

This photo was taken on her 85th birthday in February.

I celebrate how quickly she was able to get into her doctor. I celebrate that the doctor is not very concerned. I celebrate that I was able to take my mom to the doctor. I celebrate that I still have my mom and she is only twelve minutes away.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Phone Calls

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit the award winning Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Phone call 1:

Saturday evening, sitting on the couch, reading bits of this and that on the iPad when my cell phone rings. It’s my brother-in-law. I sigh, a deep sigh, I don’t want to answer it. I know he’s going to tell me he won’t be able to come here for Christmas.

Earlier in the week he’d hinted he might be coming. I sent several text messages with food photos to tempt him if only he’d come. The last time we’d spoken he didn’t sound too hopeful.

“Is the Springfield Spa still accepting reservations for Christmas?” were the words I heard when I answered the ring. Immediately my face lit into a huge smile. “Of course,” was my response. He had two conditions that were non-negotiable: 1) we must go out for dinner one night, 2) he will be allowed to fix dinner another night. I didn’t even have to think twice as I accepted his terms.

Christmas holidays just got a little brighter.

Phone call 2:

Monday evening, sitting on the couch chatting with my husband about the girlfriends’ Christmas dinner I’d just returned from when my phone played the ringtone of my son. Eagerly I answered this call since we hadn’t talked the day before. This time he was bursting with good news.

Earlier this fall he’d traveled to Sacramento to take an exam related to his job. This exam is part of extending his certification in his geophysics field. He studied all summer for it. He did not have a good feeling about it after taking the exam. It was hard! However, all the worry was for naught! He had just opened the letter that announced he PASSED! Plus he told us he’d been given a small promotion with his company. The joy in his voice made my heart sing. We are so proud of what he has accomplished!

Two phone calls days apart put JOY into our Christmas holiday. I hope there is joy your Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

What a Week!

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

How do I pluck a slice of life from the past seven days? It just can’t be done. Busy every moment, people in and out of the house, food prepared, eaten, cleaned up only to repeat again and again. So instead I will share several photo collages of the time spent with those who are nearest and dearest to my heart.

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IMG_1631IMG_1630As you can see, the cute factor ran high this past week. But my favorite moments were below.IMG_1609These photo memories will have to hold us until we are able to be together again. Sigh!

Counting Down

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Last Saturday began the count down

7 days until they arrive: shopping for diapers, wipes, formula, food

6 days until they arrive: finish notes for work in December, so I can enjoy my next week

5 days until they arrive: organize office so it can be a bedroom

4 days until they arrive: survey the house to remove hazards for a crawling 10 month child

3 days until they arrive: clean house

2 days until they arrive: finishing touches on house and yard

1 day until they arrive: final grocery shopping, fix food, what have I forgotten?

The day they arrive: pick up the rental minivan, hug and hug, repeat

My son, his wife, and two daughters will arrive on Saturday to spend the week with us. We truly are thankful to share this holiday together.

Saturday I will get to put my arms around these two. I have not seen them since May. Can't wait!

Saturday I will get to put my arms around these two. I have not seen them since May. Can’t wait!

 

 

Memory

Can you ever go back to a previous time of your life and savor the experience? This photo sends me spiraling back in time to almost fifty-two years.

I am the fifth person on the front row. I think I was eight.

I am the fifth person on the front row. I think I was eight.

My family lived in a suburb of Chicago, but every summer we would travel from Chicago to Baldwin, Wisconsin. It was a grueling trip, five kids, two adults, no air conditioning. This trip took us all day, but in the end we landed at grandma and grandpa’s house.

Fun times were ready to begin. There were aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. Kids were shipped off to spend time with the cousins. Kids and parents met up once again at church on Sunday. After the service everyone headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house where a feast was set up on picnic tables in the side yard.

At some point the cousins all had to gather in one place for the group photo on the side yard of grandma and grandpa’s house. Those where the best of times that live on in my memory.

Last fall I returned to Baldwin for the funeral of an aunt. I had my husband drive past my grandparent’s house. Decades ago they left this house (before they died), but it always remained firmly visualized in my mind. The house my eyes viewed, was not the house of my memory. This house was beaten down, there was no life spilling out onto the lawn. Weeds sprouted, screens were torn. It had not been loved in many years.

I think I will hold onto the memory of the home where twenty-nine grandchildren lined up to preserve a moment in time.