THE DREAM

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img_0055Early this morning I had a dream. Not just an ordinary dream, destined to enter my sleep, erupt my thought patterns and leave just as swiftly as it had come.
No, this was a full-fledged dream, and as I awoke, I remembered the warmth and the glorious feeling of it all surrounding me in my warm bed. You see, in my dream I had a brand new baby, she was mine, and I held her and felt the incredible miracle of how a brand new baby feels, the cuddling and the softness of her skin, and the delight of being a mother. I marveled at how big she was and remembered that all of my babies, all boys, had been so big. But this was a girl and I was overcome with joy! I realized that we must give her a name and at first I thought of Elizabeth, my favorite name as a teenager. But then I thought of my mother, and the name became Leona, in my mind. My mothers middle name had been Leone. That was it. I hugged her and said “my sweet Leona”, and knew the joy of being a parent again as I held her and caressed her. I felt the certainty of it all and never realized I was dreaming.
But then I began to wake up. Remembering how vivid this experience had been to me, I began to wonder. Was it a dream or was it an experience? As I sit right here writing I can still know that something amazing happened to me, and in my mind I can still feel and see it. Who is to say what really happened? I know that dreams usually fade away, but I also know that writing this down will keep it fresh in my memory. In this strange and mysterious world of ours how are we to know what is real and what is imaginary? Years from now the scientists may tell us for sure that dreams fortell our experiences, either past or future. Maybe I was remembering an event of long ago in another lifetime.
What triggers a dream? Could it be all of the pictures of babies I see every day on Facebook, being held by granddaughters or grandsons or nieces? I don’t know.
All I know is, it felt so vivid and so real that now I know I must keep watch wherever I go in my daily life. Maybe this warm and beautiful little girl exists somewhere watching over us and I was lucky enough to hold her in my arms for a little while. But I will be sure to remember my sweet Leona, wherever she may be.

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THE REMINDER

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Just got home from our weekly trip to the grocery store here in Florida, and I am beat! I didn’t think about the fact that the first week of the month the store is loaded with social security and food stamp recipients until I was already there. We had gone early hoping to find a half empty store – NO such luck.
Thankful for a cart to hang unto, and Bob to fill the moving counter with our many items, I stood in line behind an older woman who was doing it all alone because she had a husband with her who was riding a cart and couldn’t help. I was glad that Bob was so helpful and made it easier for me. But as I watched the woman doing it alone I was reminded of my mother. Almost twenty years ago when I was in my early sixties I had abruptly come to the realization that my own mother needed help going to the grocery store. My stepfather was unable to help anymore. Realizing that mother needed help and was too proud to ask for it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I just hadn’t noticed what was happening, and I felt such sadness that I hadn’t realized she needed me in a new way. From then on it seems like we grew a lot closer, as women learning to understand each other better.
So time has moved on, and I am so fortunate that I have a companion who helps with just about everything. But I am writing this to the people who are in their 50’s and 60’s, and who have friends and family who may be way too proud to ever ask for a helping hand. We all are going to get older and somewhat slower as time goes on, but sometimes it is hard to admit to others that the time has come when we need some help. We owe so much to our elders, who have helped to make us the people we are today. And a smile and a friendly arm can bring so much pleasure to both the giver and the receiver. Maybe even a shopping trip or some yard work would be helpful.
A friendly reminder from me now can keep you from ever being as unaware as I was with my own dear mother some 20 years ago. And the good feeling that you give yourself will last for a long time! Remember, our karma, our spirit, will follow us and smooth our own path throughout our eventful lives.

OCTOBER 23

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My life shall touch a dozen lives
Before this day is done
Leave countless marks for good or ill
Ere sets the evening sun
This is the wish I always wish
The prayer I ever pray:
Lord, may my life help other lives
It touches by the way.

Unknown. Included in my mother’s Methodist affirmations

AH THE SWEET SMELL OF GRAPES!

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If only there were a way of putting the fragrance of a freshly cooked jar of grape jam on Facebook I would most surely do it.
Our house is filled with the aroma of grape jam made with the Concord grapes that you see in this picture. They are the sweetest ones that we have ever raised here and there is a reason for that. The taste is magnificent.
Bob has tended to them all year, carrying them numerous pails of water almost every day. They were trimmed many times whenever he discovered a branch they didn’t need. For the past ten days or so he has been bringing bowlfuls to be devoured.
And I have been making jam, tasting jam, skimming jam, and enjoying all of the wonderful odors that go with it. Ever heard of Juice in a Jar? Nothing but Concord grapes, water, and half a cup of sugar all sitting in a sterilized jar on the counter, working its magic of making juice over the next few months.
I don’t can as much as I used to, but this is fun.
So wiggle your nose! Could it be possible that the lovely aroma has just penetrated Facebook? One never knows when magic will appear!

REMEMBERING

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 A A bell is not a bell until you ring it,

A song is not a song until you sing it,

Love is not put into my heart to stay,

Love is not love until you give it away! 
I am blessed to have a daily turnover page of quotations that my mother and others did for the Wood Ave Methodist Church in Muskegon, Michigan, probably forty or more years ago.  No matter where I have lived I have looked at it every day, written birthdays and anniversaries on it, and been reminded that there really is a better way to live. The quotations come from many different views of authors and different religions. It is interesting to note that although these were chosen by Methodist women, they include spiritual ideas of many different countries. I have decided that I shall add some of them to my blog to show how I have been influenced by many good and thoughtful women. So relax and enjoy.   I will add specific authors when I have them. And thank you Mother, for choosing them for us. 

 

THOUGHTS ON A BRAND NEW BIRTHDAY!

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First of all, I made it! Another year chalked up and I am still here. Despite all of the ups and downs that have been a major part of my life, here I am, still rising up each morning, being thankful that I made it safely thru another night, and the world is still my oyster. Looking out the window I can still see that the sun is shining, our yard looks absolutely beautiful, the hollyhocks are holding on to their last blossoms, and there are roses in bloom. And the concord grapes are almost ripe.

September is probably my favorite month, and it’s not just because it’s my birthday month. When I was a child I was eager to go back to school, where books and friends abounded. I always did love the learning process and the competition that school provided. Now that the main word around here is “retirement” nothing has stopped as far as books and reading and learning has concerned. The blessing of having enough time and choices to do whatever appeals to me most is high on my priority list. It is easier for the average person to continue their own education at their own pace than it ever has been before. Computers, tablets, smartphones, they are all at our fingertips.

So on a day when I am sending prayers and wellbeing for the friends and family we have in Florida, I am still thankful for all of the blessings we have received. Life is an up and down procedure, but at least we are proceeding in a forward direction. I have a heart filled with immeasurable love for all of the friends that get up every morning and go about their lives even tho they don’t always know what is in store for them. I try to remember that everyone doesn’t have the same priorities as I do. Maybe theirs are more important than mine are right now. It is good for me to remember that the viewpoints of the other people are at different stages in their lives. They will find, just as my generation has, that everything and everyone changes, and so will theirs, in time.

So this is enough reminiscing for another year. Hope that next year we are not thinking of another hurricane, but who knows. Thanks for the fabulous wishes!20141025_181549000_iOS

TREE RIPENED FRUIT

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Have you ever bitten into a tree ripened bright orange apricot? The kind that melts in your mouth?

Have you tasted the juiciness of fruit so fresh and so ripe that you felt just like heaven on earth? Have you waited every year for the sweetness and ripeness of a plum, purple, red or yellow, that you knew had just come from a farmers orchard near you?

This week Bob and I stopped at a local farm market just three miles from our house, hoping that the softer fruits were coming on line for us to enjoy. For as long as we’ve been married (25 years) we had always eaten all of the wonderful fruit that we grew ourselves.

After the farm was sold some seven years ago it just wasn’t the same. Finding another farm where they let the fruit hang on the tree until actually ripe proved to be difficult. The farmers that sell for the main markets are encouraged to pick it early to avoid spoilage. Consequently the sugar never develops and the fruit never has quite the same quality.

So this week I got the urge for apricots until I couldn’t stand it anymore. One of my main jobs at the Muskegon Farmers Market where we had several stalls was sorting and boxing the small fruits, so I became very nostalgic about it. Off we went and there in Hart was a local market selling plums, peaches, and apricots. They had samples for people to try. It didn’t take me long to find an ultra ripe apricot! We loaded up on small boxes and headed for home, and have been enjoying them ever since.

But just this morning it hit me! I had grown accustomed to not going to market to work 3 times a week. I missed the people and I sure missed my fellow workers, but until I bit into that apricot I had forgotten that we really had it all. The Farmers Market was practically our whole life, selling fruit and pleasing people, and I really am thankful that we could do it for so long. It developed in me an appreciation for the lives of the farmers who give their all every day so that everyone else can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

When our customers raved about the sweetness of our fruit we smiled and we were happy they liked it.

But until I bit into the apricot this week I had put some of the memories off into the back of my mind. Now they are out in full force and cannot be denied.

We really did have it all, and for everyone that played a huge or even a small part in the life of our fruit we do thank you. We hope that you will look upon it as fondly as we do. Everyone that drove a tractor, or picked the fruit or stood at the counter we do thank you. and everyone that bought the sweetness of Michigan fruit from us, we do thank you. And we miss you.

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