NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW

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No matter what happens tomorrow

I know I will enjoy today.

Remembering all of the smiles that you have given me,

Remembering all of the encouragement that has come my way,

Thinking of all of the places that we have seen together,

Capturing the flavors and scents of lands that we enjoyed,

Picturing the towering mountains everywhere we journeyed,

The flowing rivers, the waterfalls that seemed to pour forth from the sky,

The sun baked deserts, the mountain trails, the red hot lava at our feet,

The glaciers, so wild and so beautiful it took our breath away,

The eagles soaring overhead, the wildlife putting on a show for us,

All is in our memories, and we will never forget them.

No matter what happens tomorrow

I know I will enjoy today.

Friends and family beckon, memories of the old days abound,

Pictures of our loved ones are always in our mind.

Children grow up and become parents such as us.

Grandchildren and even great grandchildren make their place in our hearts.

We marvel at how the whole world seems to work

As if there really is a pattern as to how we live our lives.

We watch and we love and we know why we are here,

No matter what happens tomorrow,

I know I will be happy today.

 

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MY MOTHERS WASHDAYS

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One of the most prolific things that we adults of a certain age can relate to by searching our memories is the memorable term entitled “Washdays.” Being in that age bracket myself now it is quite easy to go down memory lane and pull up some pretty amazing stories of the days when we actually did our washing of clothes on a certain day of the week, Monday morning. It was a lengthy process, whether you had a houseful of active children, or were just starting married life. You didn’t just push a couple of buttons, you planned your whole day around it. At our house we started nagging at all of the family members pretty early, to throw the dirty clothes down the basement steps where my mother would sort huge piles of all sorts of clothes. Woe be unto you if you didn’t get your duds down there, it was a long time to the next Monday. Then mother filled the washer with a rubber hose, while the steam rose in the air all around us.

First came the whites, then the coloreds, then the darker things. We didn’t even wear jeans at the time. That came a lot later in life. It was a wringer washer so Mother had to be really careful she didn’t catch her arm when running the clothes thru it. We also had two tubs full of water, for rinsing, and she would swing the arm of the wringer around in a circle to complete the process. In the wintertime the clothes got hung on clotheslines strung all thru our basement. The lines were about two feet apart. One of my most vivid memories is rollerskating all around the basement in between the rows, wet shirts hitting me in the face as I raced from one row to another. I loved to skate and looked forward to it whenever I could. The skates were metal clip-ons, and we used a key to tighten them.

My mother also did washing for a local batchelor every two weeks to earn some extra money when I was quite young . She had four children to raise, very limited income altho my father always worked every day. Active in her church, always busy, involved in the local PTA, I look back now and marvel at what a wonderful life she made for all of us. When I was 16 she and I did the Mother and Daughter tributes at our church. I can never remember a time when she wasn’t busy in all of the important things in our lives.

When I was about 8 or 9 years old I developed scarlet fever and was out of school for many weeks. At that time it was believed that anything that came in contact with the fever should be discarded. I was an avid reader, owned many books, and she was told they had to go because they were contaminated. The doctor told her that if she put the opened books in the sun and turned the pages every few hours that they could be saved. So for weeks my mother turned pages, no matter what else she had to do. I remember being so grateful but I don’t ever remember telling her how much I appreciated it at the time. In my world this was what mothers do for their families, go the extra mile, and she always did it for me.

This essay started out to talk about Washdays but it changed into something much more precious, the memories that I have of a mother who would do anything for me, and who did. My siblings can all tell the same feelings altho their stories are somewhat different.

So happy washday to you, and all of your mothers, the unsung heroes of our lives. We are so fortunate to have had them to guide us.

 

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ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT FREEDOM

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It has been quite a soul searching time for me for the past week or so.

First of all, after much thought and realizing that there is always another way of looking at my situation than I might have been doing, I broke down my inhibitions and acquired a very beautiful walker for daily walks.  It has been a source of discussion among myself and family members for some time. I knew they only wanted the very best for me and after I realized that, it became easier to admit that I had to make some changes.

The interesting thing tho is that one of the comments made to me on Facebook, is that the freedom that I had acquired along with the beautiful walker was worth whatever it took to start pushing it. Freedom had not even entered my mind, and so I felt doubly blessed to begin to feel that I could go easily wherever I wanted.

Fast forward to today, Saturday, January 21, 2017, and I am watching a whole different way of looking at freedom. Yesterday I watched the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies along with millions of other people. Many of the people were extremely happy to see the pomp and ceremony of our country, no matter how they felt about the outcome of the election.

Still others were looking at it in their own vision of what they wanted to happen, and the majority of them were peaceful and determined.  Out of the many watchers and marchers there were a few misguided people who showed their displeasure by violence and breaking the law. Fortunately the authorities put a stop to that so that the marches could go on.

But today is another whole day. Women and men have come out and marched for their right to show what is important to them. All over the world women have organized as a group to show that this country is made up of individuals who feel that all people, no matter their color or beliefs, religions, or backgrounds, have a right to be heard, in a peaceful manner. This country is founded upon that very idea, equality, and the name of our country is UNITED. We may not all think the same way, or look the same, we may not pray the same way, but we do all have the right to do it without making a mockery of others. And a lot of people dug deeply into their pocketbooks or wallets to find a way to go to a march, either in a nearby city, or even to Washington, D.C. To them it was important to show that we want to exercise our rights as citizens and show our support for each other.

Freedom is only a good thing if when we want freedom for ourselves, we also want it for all of the other people in our country. Freedom brings responsibilities for all of us in our daily lives. It does us no good to only want freedom for our own families, our own friends, our own churches, our own parties.

We all know that everyone is not always blessed with all of the good things in life. We also know that we can remember the ones that are not so lucky with compassion and generosity. We just have to make the choices.

On this special Women’s March day, I choose to remember. We have freedom here and we also have the choice of what to do about it. It is up to each of us to remember that this is true of all of the citizens in our country.

Have a great New Year, 2017.

 

 

 

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MY HUSBAND THE DIPLOMAT

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It seems like I have been trying to pin my husband down on some subject or another for as long as I have known him. That has added up to 25 years or more now.

No matter what I asked him about something, what was his opinion about it, how did he feel, I could never get a “Yes” or a “No” out of him.

Even a simple question like did he like chicken, or salad, or did he prefer ranch or blue cheese dressing, do you think I could get a plain and simple answer from him? No, it would be “not too bad” or “I’ll eat anything” or “it really doesn’t matter to me.” On more serious questions like, “what do you think?” or “what color car should we buy?”, do you think I could get an unequivocal answer?

No way! Over the years I learned to adjust for it.  If he didn’t say “no”, that he didn’t like something, then I could just go ahead and do what I wanted, I reasoned. Most of the time it worked because I could more or less tell what he was saying by his actions, not his words.

So  basically we have pretty much been doing what I wanted! That ought to be every wife’s dream, right?  After years of trying to pin him down on his likes and dislikes I have finally come to a more reasonable conclusion.

My husband is really a diplomat. He looks at every side of everything and tries to pull them together. I think he has really missed his calling. A true diplomat is very important in our world. He is the one who pulls people and countries together. He keeps them from going to war with each other. Our families and our country are much safer when we have good honest diplomats who can work for the betterment of all.

Having decided to look at all of this in a completely new direction I can now smile to myself and realize anew I have the perfect husband. After all, didn’t I tell you he never says “No” to me?

Bob Rider, everyone’s friend, a great man to enjoy life with, and an excellent diplomat! Who could ask for anything more?
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REASSURANCE

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Today I needed to know that you love me,

I needed to hear your voice.

I needed to feel your loving embrace.

I needed to see the twinkle in your eyes, just for me!

I needed the warm feelings that come to me

whenever I think of you.

I need to know that no matter where you are

or what you are doing

You care about me, no matter what!

 

And so what did I do? I found a favorite place to sit

And I became still and dreamed a dream of you.

I realized that what I needed I already have.

Husbands, wives, parents, beloved friends, sisters, brothers,

our children and grandchildren, I send my warm and

productive thoughts to wherever you are.

Somewhere deep in your hearts, you are feeling

The loving energy that transcends all of the negativity

of the world.

 

The certainty of my love for you has returned all of the

peace and love to me that I was yearning for.

I am reassured by the knowledge that we are all

One together, united in love.

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IF SOMEONE GAVE ME A MILLION DOLLARS

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If someone gave me a million dollars

And I could do whatever I wanted

Would I spend wisely, would I spend foolishly,

Would I spread a little love, or

Would I just put it in the bank,

Look at my account book,

Feel a sense of security,

And know that I am safe from all of the fears that bind me?

If someone gave me a million wishes

Would I spend wisely, would I spend foolishly

Would I share them wherever I went

Or would I just keep them in my mind or heart

Know that I am safe with all of my wishes

And not feel the need to share them?

If someone gave me a million hugs

Would I give them wisely, would I waste them foolishly

Would I share them wherever I went

Would I know that I am blessed with all of the hugs,

Or would I keep all of them hidden from

A weary world who definitely needs them?

I hope I would want to share my gifts.

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01/01/17

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01/01/17! What a weird date that looks like! Doesn’t sound like a date at all. More like something made up by an author looking for a new book title.

Maybe that’s me, looking for something flashy to catch the eye of a Facebook reader on the first day of the first month of the year, 2017!

I woke up this morning after a good nights sleep, no staying up late to see the New Year in at our house.  No one calling at midnight because everyone knew it would only wake us up.  The truth be known, most of our children were probably sleeping also. It’s a whole new world anyway.  The relationships between parents and their children have made a distinct swing.

As a child I can remember the saying “Children should be seen and not heard.” No one explained what was going on in the world to their children on a daily basis.  We were expected to do what our parents told us to, and immediately.  There was no back talk.  If we were brave enough to ask “why?” we were told “Because I said so.” There were rules and we knew exactly what they were. And for the most part we followed them because there were consequences to be had if we didn’t.

This sounds like we lived in a world where our parents, teachers, and ministers ruled over us with a big stick, but for most of us that wasn’t such a bad thing. We lived in a world where there were rules, and the people in charge were the same parents, teachers and ministers. It was their job to teach us responsibility because that was the way they had been brought up themselves.

As we became teenagers we started to rebel, but there were always adults ready to show us the way things were supposed to be.

By the time my children came along and got into their teenage years life had taken another turn. The 60’s and the 70’s were very different than the rule abiding 50’s. Parents and children had to face an ever changing world, and that has continued to evolve ever since.

Now many parents have become the teachers, the explainers, of how the world works in a new and different way. They are much more apt to be “friends” with their children, showing them how and why life is the way it is.

As the children mature they are brought into the decisions of the family as important members.  No more “should be seen and not heard”. Because of the internet young people are more aware of all the activity going on around the world, and they have definite opinions.

Parents have always been very important in their childs life, but the relationships between them is no longer one of “My way or the highway.” It has been an evolving process for all of us.

So when you see a person of mature age being slightly upset over something they see young people doing, just stop and think about how they were brought up in a very different atmosphere. It takes time for all of us to accept a new way of looking at how things progress.

Life goes on, and we become closer and closer to our children. We remember how the world has changed from when we were the young people being told what to do and how to do it. We can see the advantages of knowing how great it is to know our own place in the family and our world. And we can rejoice that we can turn the reins over to a new generation, knowing they will do their very best.

 

 

 

Lake Michigan at its absolute best