Category Archives: Childhood
I remember looking out my window and wishing on the Evening Star every night as a little girl. Did those wishes ever come true? Yes…some of them! What were they? The dreams of a little who thought she needed more than she had…nope! They were dreams and wishes of love and travel…of better grades and friends to hang out with. They were normal wishes upon a star! What If Wishes Came True?
If my most elaborate wishes came true my life would definitely be different…I would have a maid and not have to clean all the time. I would have a cook…wait I like to cook! I would be a well loved and admired recording artist…well two out of three is good! I could eat anything and not have to diet! “What a girl can dream!” How about a Nanny to take care of the children so I could do all the traveling, around the world, that is required when you are a big recording artist? Speaking of elaborate wishes…Where is that Cabana Boy with my Coffee?
To fall in love and get married…Came True and we will celebrate our 26th Anniversary this month. People said it would not last…people said we did not know each other long enough…”Well, we were engaged after three weeks and married after almost 12 weeks.” I guess I can see their concern now…Out of 12 weeks my then fiancé’ was serving in the military and was in the field training for a little over 6 weeks of the 12 weeks we were together. “What? I wrote letters…he still has them!” There have been times when I did not like this man I married…but I have always loved him!
To have a loving family…Came True even though there are times of strife and discord among the children when they can’t find that certain shirt or their favorite socks…and they disagree on the set bedtime! What family doesn’t have some bickering? Just because I would not take them everywhere they wanted to go and buy them whatever they wanted when they wanted it…Typical tantrums! “I am a good mother and it is unfortunate that I could not buy them a “DeathStar” or a real “Light Saber” much less let them become a “Power Ranger”! But…They would protect each other of needed and that’s what counts!
To travel…Came True even though no Passport was involved…I have traveled! I have not been able to travel to Paris and see my beloved Eiffel Tower but I did see the one in Las Vegas…does that count? I have been to Hawaii and on three cruises…one of which gave me the opportunity to see extreme weather at sea. “We were in-between two hurricanes!”. It was exciting and I loved every minute of the rocking from one side to the other as the ship was tossed on the rough seas. The feeling of the wind through my hair as I dodged oncoming deck furniture is a memory not easily forgotten!
To have friends…Came True although I had to wait till my last year of High School. I just never found a circle of friends who understood my unique situation…”Okay…I was not rich…and my dad was either a teacher or principal at the school I attended…not to mention a Baptist Minister.” My group of friends grew when I moved across the country and I was in heaven. Now! Well I have written about my incredible group of friends and how they are like family. I could not have gotten this far without my friends or had as much fun drinking coffee at Starbucks without them!
Do I still wish upon that Evening Star…sometimes when I am standing on the front porch waiting for my precious princess to do her nightly duty…Yes! A childlike innocence sweeps over me as I gaze into the dark, moonlit, sky. I still have wishes and dreams…for good fortune and happiness and for the boys to experience the good things in life. I wish for my boys to be able to know what I know! Dreams and wishes come true…just not the way we think they will. I want them to realize how wonderful they are and like who they are…not prideful…but with an appreciation of self. It took me a long time to realize that! I want them to find love and have a family…”I want to spoil some grandchildren and then give them back wired and full of energy!” But not anytime soon…I am to young! Maybe in about 5-7 years they could start to get serious and consider marriage…HeHe!
I know these wishes may seem average and without vision. Trust me…wants are nice to wish for but they are not what we need. I just wanted the basics..to be loved and part of something!
I guess my grandfather was right…I am a level headed young lady!
Do You wish upon a star? What do you wish for? What If Wishes Came True? Would you be any happier with them than you are right now? I can honestly say Yes! Sorry…I was thinking about a trip to Paris…money to do whatever I wanted to do…living in paradise… “It would be wonderful until I missed home or the money ran out…or I got sunburned.” Have a great day!
’twas the Day Before Easter and all through this house…not a creature was stirring…”Well that’s not true!” 3 of us are up…not functioning well…but up! There is a lot to do today so I can enjoy my time with family tomorrow. Where shall I begin?
Haircuts….check…did that yesterday!
Easter candy…check…did that yesterday!
Now I have the eggs ready for the egg coloring and Easter Egg Hunt at a friend’s house later this morning. I will put some in the fridge for later…Deviled Eggs…”Yummy!”
The Spiral Ham is in the fridge already…just waiting for a re-heat.
Potatoes diced and boiled…check
I cheated a bit…OreIda Red Potatoes in the freezer section…just zap and cool…add the mayonnaise mixture for the Potato Salad.
The rest of the dinner is easy and already bought…check
Bake the Carrot Cake…I will do that later today!
Yeah! That won’t be to much for the day…”Will it?”
I have the Easter Egg Hunt about 10 and the trick will be balancing the time with shopping for two more Easter Shirts… I also need to pick up a Birthday Card for my third son…he turns 19 tomorrow!
There may be a Praise Team and band practice this afternoon but I have to wait to hear from our director.
I can remember, as a child, the seeking of the lost eggs. I don’t think I really enjoyed this activity but, would participate because of the younger siblings. I did love the Easter Basket! My mother changed the type of Easter Basket as we go older. One year I got a cute trash can with items for my room…I was 14 years old. I will not have any baskets to prepare this year…our youngest told us this past week that he knew there was no Easter Bunny. “Big Mistake!” Sooo…I will have a large bowl filled with grass…”The Easter Nest”…which will be filled with an assortment of family favorites along with a Chocolate Easter Bunny for all family members.
Having four boys I have been fortunate not to have to deal with fancy dresses and hairstyles much less the ribbons and bows to coordinate. I remember the Easter my mother curled my hair and my little sister’s hair…in true matching style! I don’t think she ever did it again! Pink Velvet Ribbons, from the ribbon on the matching dresses she made, were placed in our hair among the large curls.
We were quite the picture of perfection…until my little sister ran outside to check for eggs. The curls fell out in the humidity!
There was never an Easter without our celebration at church. My father would often go to the Sunrise Service and we stayed home with mama…joining daddy at church for the Sunday School hour and the major Easter Service. Easter is my favorite time of the year not for the chocolate but for our beliefs.
It will be a lovely day, with family and friends, filled with celebration at church and at home. The only bad thing about tomorrow is not living real close to my parents and other family members…Oh! and the lack of sugar free chocolate available. I grabbed what I could…
How will you spend your Easter? What activities will fill your day? Whatever your traditions I wish you a wonderful Easter…Have a great day!
The silliness of the Dr. Seuss “Swiss” Knife faded after first glance. Reality of the multi-purpose extensions and their uses popped into view as a delightful explanation began to almost explode in my my brain. The humor of the tools, brought to mind in the whimsical picture, brought a smile to my face as I began to see myself as the Swiss Knife and my arms as the extensions.
There are days when everything goes right,
You go to bed and sleep at night.
But there are days when nothing is right,
Chaos galore…it’s such a sight!
On the days both good and bad,
Many things happen of this I am aware.
I hold my head up…try not to get mad,
My confidence building..Always Be Prepared!
A Plunger in one hand,
A Spatula in the other.
Life in our family band,
Someone is always calling “Mother”.
Loose screws, bolts and lugs,
I am ready for what may come.
Overflowing toilets and flying bugs.
With creative solutions…amazing for some!
Refereeing and keeping the peace,
When tempers start to balloon.
I simply pull out my special piece,
The one in the drawer..they call it a spoon!
Added features for wiping the tears,
Hold it together with tape for the duct.
A helping hand and listening ears,
Together we will maneuver the muck!
The young ones are now older
And help others…I’m glad.
They’ve become great extensions
Of mom and of dad!
The tricks to get through
The toughest of days,
They can now move
Through life’s chaotic maze.
There are days when everything goes right,
You go to bed and sleep at night.
But there are days when nothing is right,
Chaos galore…it’s such a sight!
On the days both good and bad,
Many things happen…your heart may tear
Just hold your head up…try not to get mad
Your confidence building..Always Be Prepared!
This was inspired when I saw the picture above. The arms of a mother are often varied in reach and in job. We are wiping noses and giving medicine while doing homework with and cooking dinner with another. You may think so this concept as silly…but it is true. Mothers multitask without knowing it…it is second nature! We find solutions to life’s interruptions while trying to maintain a calm existence. When we adopted our youngest the older boys were well on their way to helping others. He did not understand how they could help much less why! If it is broken he thought it was thrown away. We have been trying to teach him some things can be fixed. Storms would down trees and cause damage…the boys were there helping make repairs. Carpentry..tiling…most home installations have been performed by my husband and the boys if not just the boys. “I hope they leave me their number when they move out…I need a cheap repairman!”
If things don’t work right…I am always there with suggestions and how-to advice. This knowledge comes from growing up doing household renovations with my dad. I started off holding the directions for my dad…then learned to read them so he could focus on the task. We installed windows along the back of the house as a family…”It was interesting at first but then we got the hang of it.” We have to be flexible…in time, need and importance. The teaching or passing down of this knowledge is essential and becoming a lost art. The skills I learned from my parents I have been passing down to my sons. My husband has taught them to work on cars…so brakes and alternator repairs are easy repairs for them. They know how to shop wisely and often look for the best deal for the money. The years ahead will be filled with trials and financial difficulties. As parents we must prepare our children so that they can function and succeed in the years ahead of them.
The boys saw their list of chores as punishments and ridiculous waste of time when they were younger. They have started seeing how the simple concepts have prepared them to function as adults. “I was beginning to worry!” The independent spirit of “Do-It-Yourself” has grabbed hold of my the three oldest. One is a Watch Repairman and works full time…another is a Landscaper and Handyman which keeps him relatively busy. My oldest…he is learning to stand on his own…remembering all we taught him and finally using this knowledge. They each have special abilities and strengths that will be needed.
Consider for a moment the historical concept of community. You had certain people you went to for a particular need. Blacksmiths for shoeing a horse…seamstress for the making of clothes…butcher for meat…etc… The ability to lay tile and flooring, take down a wall or build a wall, design a yard and maintain a yard, take apart and repair a watch, build and rebuild computers…these are just a few of the abilities my sons have learned and boy…has it come in handy! The Swiss Army Knife has many different uses in one handy package. It is ready to help and assist at the drop of the hat. Simply pull out the extension and proceed with your job. The boys usually had their knives with them…”Close your mouth…they are slightly redneck southern boys!” If something needed cut or resized…”Here Mom..I got it!” they became one of my extensions in my Swiss Army Knife.
We all have strengths and weaknesses…you just need to know who to call for their strength when you are weak. Be Prepared in the little things and the larger, out of control situations will be controllable. Basic skills are the foundation! The ability to do more than one thing at a time gives you eyes to see a bigger and brighter picture. We must learn to Always Be Prepared!
I apologize for any bragging or self-absorbed speeches. I just found myself caught up in the swirl surrounding the concept of the Swiss Army Knife and felt like every device was being pulled out to use at the same time. “Kinda reminds me of the hectic pace in our family!”
I hope you read this and find something you can take away with you…even if it is just a smile or two!
Have a great day!
A vivid group of memories, from my childhood, came rushing to the forefront of my first moments of conscience this morning. It was a sound that triggered the initial flash…a dog was barking…”No! It’s to early!…What is that sound?” I stopped and turned my ear towards the window closing out the sound of my pounding heart. There is it…FLASH!
“Do you see it up on that branch?” I was standing next to my grandfather in the backyard of his little house outside Birmingham. I was looking up at a large bird with round yellowish eyes…it was the biggest owl I had ever see. The forlorn sound coming from this magnificent bird was unlike any I had ever heard. My grandfather just smiled…”He is saying “Mornin’ Glory!“…”Really?”…”He likes the color of your eyes too!” My grandfather said my eyes were as blue as the Morning Glories in his yard. I was about 6 years old!
This flood of aged memories continued as I reached for my mug to fill it up with my first taste of coffee of the day. My grandfather had a green recliner with a striped pattern down the center. A small table sat next to it with a lamp behind it. He loved his morning coffee too and sipped on it as the scent of breakfast floated through the house…the clanking of the skillet on old gas stove, as my grandmother cooked, was soon met with the voices of my parents looking for me. “She’s with me!” my grandfather said…”We were up early today!” I chuckle to myself this morning as I remember that statement. Was it the fact that I got up to early and my grandparents heard me and got up…or were they already up?
I can remember the items next to his chair…he had a pipe stand with two pipes and a container with his pipe tobacco in it. There was a book…a first reader from his childhood that I learn to read while sitting in his lap…and a doll…a troll doll with yellow hair. The many hours of reading and playing with that fuzzy headed doll were filled with so much love.
I keep these memories in a very special place in my heart. The book is in my office next to my desk. The troll doll got lost during a move. I still have blue eyes…and still love Morning Glories…but no one has greeted me by saying “Mornin’ Glory!” since my grandfather passed away. I was 11 years old!
Thank you Mister Owl for giving me these wonderful memories this morning! It was if my grandfather was wishing me a good day and whispering “Mornin’ Glory!”
I think I will try to find some Morning Glories to plant in my yard. Have a great day!
Less time on the road!
Most people have left town and there is no traffic!
Shopping is easier and quicker!
Most people have left town and there are no long lines
Can get gas at the gas station!
Most people have left town and no waiting to get gas…just have to have lots of $$$!
Who am I kidding…hubby still going to work!
Laid back schedule!
No practices at church…but practices will be at a friends house…one one doctor’s appointment, family haircuts before Easter…shopping for Easter clothes…I need shoes!
Alright..so maybe it is not the ideal stay at home vacation! I will be able to spend time outside today…pulling weeds! What a nice way to have quality family time…no son that is not a weed! I will start my vegetable garden this week and maybe buy a few more flowers for color. Reminder…make nail appointment for later in the week! “I do love playing in the dirt…without gloves!” I will have help from two sons as I clean out the old dead plants and replace the soil…I can taste the fresh tomato sandwiches already!
I have several friends who stayed in town…and we will be getting together this week. Time with friends and family is what a vacation is all about…we are just not near a beach…so…
Sorry..I just had to have something beachy to look at! I will be content to enjoy my quiet unscheduled days at home. No son! Stop running in the house! Calm down! Leave your brother alone! Quiet, relaxing days at home! “What is that?” It’s Spring Break!
I will be able to get a lot accomplished and enjoy my week! “Sounds like a mantra.”
How will you spend your time off? Will you spend it with friends and family? Mine will be good…with friends and family you can’t go wrong! Have a great day!
Some of the dearest memories, I have from school, are the shelves of books that lined the wall of the classroom under the windows. There were collections of biographies and a large collection of the Classics. You know the ones… Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth…the list could go on! Now days the typical classroom does not have this large reading treasure trove instead they have Diary of a Wimpy Kid and every book written about a mouse and his motorcycle. What About the Classics?
This has been a burning question recently. My youngest continues to ask me if I have read certain books. I love to read and he knows this…but the titles are books that have been written in the past 10-12 years and well…I don’t read baby books! I have tried to explain to him the fact that these books were not written when I was little. When I was his age I was reading The Classics! I start telling him about the wonderful and exciting adventures I had while reading them and the dreams that came from these great books. I told him…Journey to the Center of the Earth is one of my favorites and the dreams I had…”Oh, I saw that movie! You got to watch DVDs in school?”.
After he got over the shock that we did not have DVDs when I was in school I told him these books were written before there was television. Then he tore into a discussion about no television.
My question is: If these children are not encouraged to read these great masterpieces then how will they find their adventurous spirit? How will they find the passion to question the extraordinary and use their imaginations? What About the Classics?
The relationships formed and alliances made between characters as they were forced to make life and death decisions gave us hope. Hope that if they could find a way in a tough situation we could find a way. The times I escaped to Oz with all it colorful creatures and fantastic scenery…the unique plant life in the middle Earth that stood high above the characters…wonderful memories that filled my childhood.
How big can your imagination grow in a book with 50 pages…where the only dilemma is limited to one day at school! Our children have lost the desire to explore and fight giant octopi or build a raft and sail the Mississippi, or find the buried treasure while fighting pirates? Do they realize the joys they have missed not learning to fly with Peter Pan?
Before I could read these fantastic works of art my mother introduced a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson to me when I had the chicken pox. It was called “The Land of Counterpane“
When I was sick and lay a-bed
I had two pillows at my head
And all my toys beside me lay
To keep me happy all the day.
And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;
And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.
I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of Counterpane.
What child could not dream with a poem like this as a foundation. I read it to my older boys and the battles the army men would have with the Teenage Mutant Turtles was truly Epic! The reading assignments given to our children today are not using these treasures. Very few of the assignments call for biographical reading. How do we learn about the great men and women who shaped our world? There is no way to understand where we came from if they don’t read about these great people and their lives.
I will just keep trying to introduce my youngest to this world from home…I can’t wait for him to have an adventure while reading one of these Classics!
As for me…I will step off my Soap Box…sip on my coffee and fall back into Victorian England. Time for some Jane Austen! What? Don’t you like to dream? Have a great day…and enjoy that lovely cup of coffee!
It had been a very long morning of practices that ended after 1:00. I had gotten home to find my check had come and rushed off to the bank. My youngest and I spent the rest of the day getting the espresso beans ground, a stop at the Nail Salon, then off to the grocery store. We were finishing up at the store when he saw the Muppet Movie was on display for sale. I have to confess, I LOVE the Muppets. We paid for the groceries and darted over to the RedBox. I found the movie and pulled up a promo code off my phone and got the movie. We headed home and put the groceries away and the two us prepared for the movie After a Very Long Day.
What a delight! There were old favorites I could sing along with mixed in with the new songs. The story was very cute. Just as the movie reached the end, in true romantic fashion, there it was. My song filled the screen and the room. “Mahna Mahna”! My 18 year old had watched a little of the movie and said he would bet me I would cry during the movie….and I did! I love this song and sang along through the smiling tears. I called a friend of mine and told her she had to get the movie…just for this song… “I know what she will be doing this week!”
After dinner…bedtime for the youngest…the Blind Side came on. Another of my favorites! I sat back and watched while I waited for my husband to come downstairs. The other boys were not home sooo the TV remote was mine! When my husband finally came down he said “Oh…I have seen this before!” He does not like to watch things more than once…”If that is the case…why does his watch the news channels…all day?” (insert a chuckle)
The next thing I knew he was involved in the movie…we watched the entire movie with interruptions and paused TiVo. I did not nap as usual and when the movie ended it was 11:40. Well worth it!
It was a good day with some not so good things thrown in…but that will be for another day. I headed for bed After a Very Long Day!
Have a wonderful day!
This week has been a blur of movement and activity. Things have been accomplished and others have been added to the growing stack for this next week. Oh the joys of motherhood! For the first time, in my life as a mother, I find that my schedule does not revolve around the boys! WOW! When did this happen? They come and go as they respond to my well wishes for the day. I smile and proceed with my day…the ever present chores…conversations with friends…planning of dinner.
The head count for dinner seems to float between 3-5 instead of the original 6 mouths to feed. Thinking and reacting on my feet with a “shoot from the hip” mentality! Solitary Reflections!
I have been gone several nights, myself, this week. Of course this is due to our Easter Musical practices. Today is the last practice…what will I do next week? “Trio practices!” One of the trios that I am on has been asked to sing at a type of civic meeting. They meet throughout the month and would like to have music as a part of their meetings. This means the learning of new music and practices to organize. But that is next week and I don’t need to worry about that right now. My life is a consistent symphony, of sorts, with dramatic emotional transitions. I find contentment in my small corner of the world.
My grandmother celebrated another birthday yesterday and some members of the family will gather with her today. I wish I could have been able to attend…I did not know about it in time to try and make arrangements. But I do have practice today! I will miss spending this special day with my grandmother. She is in her mid-nineties and may not even know I am not there. I still miss her! She is one of my greatest inspirations and examples in my life. Her grace and wisdom overflowed into my life and for this I will be eternally thankful. I find myself thinking of her as statements and movements surface through me. The simple pleasures in life…beauty in the garden…love of the beach…walking…picnics… We are really alike in so many ways! I miss our talks and time together!
This next week begins a flurry of review for my youngest. They are getting ready for the series of standardized tests. I put him in a Saturday program to assist in this preparation. The school promptly cancelled one session because of two county-wide required furlough days for teachers. They got Thursday and Friday off and did not want to come back for a 3 hour session on Saturday. Can you really blame them? My son will not be able to attend today’s session because I cannot guarantee the availability of a ride home at the needed time. Sooo…he goes with me!
I was used to taking the boys with me to my extra practices. It was our way of life. It was the way I was raised and what I was used to! I guess I am thankful for the extra practices for the main fact that it gets me out of the house. I find myself a home-body of sorts. Not by choice but by necessity. I have accepted this flaw in my life and even embrace it from time to time. I have been invited to participate in group functions and had to turn them down for several reasons. No one to watch our youngest, economic deficiencies, and the wishes of my husband. I guess I am a unique and complicated person! Everyone else finds a way and seems to do whatever they want to do! They gather at peoples houses and share meals or go out together. I am never invited to those activities. “I resolve to do for my family and be there even when not needed.” Now that is a mouth full!
I have been able to see the change in seasons in dramatic ways this week. If you have watched the news our state reached record high levels in pollen counts this week. With pollen comes new growth…blooms of color and explosions of green fill the landscape. We had some rain which washed some of the yellow haze away…but another burst of spring followed the rain. The fluffy white blossoms have blown away in the breezes, creating a flurry of petals. Green leaves appeared as the trees begin to take on their full refreshed appearance.
It has been a good week all in all. I count myself blessed and look forward to what this next week will bring. You know…grocery shopping, loading and unloading of the groceries, normal daily activities with an assortment of daily challenges to overcome. I am ready! “Are you?”
I look forward to sharing the funny and humorous parts of my life this next week. For now I will close and start getting ready for practice. I will drink in the morning…what I have left of it…as I finish my coffee. I should text a friend of mine to pick up a coffee for me as he goes thought he drive thru at Starbucks. “He owes me!” I will get to see my dearest of friends and spend the good part of the morning with them and most of the day tomorrow. What a way to spend the weekend!
What are your plans for the weekend? Did you have a fulfilling week? Take a moment and consider your Solitary Reflections!