Sometimes when we are rushing thru our daily lives, immersed in a major problem at work, or trying to catch up or keep up with the people that surround us, it is hard to know that we have chosen the right path to follow. Maybe it is that we have filled up every spare moment with tasks that have to be done whether we like it or not. The people that we take care of, our children, our parents or spouses, all depend upon us to keep things running smoothly. Even our bosses at work expect us to be an example of efficiency no matter what needs to be done.
And at the top of the list is our own inner voice, telling us what we are responsible for – clean houses, clean children, good balanced meals, and the ability to keep it all working properly.
Our inner voice can be our own worst enemy, commenting constantly as we work our way thru the day. And why should that be? After all, we chose this path, didn’t we? We looked at all of the choices available to us, the education or lack of it, the spouse or lack of one, the children that came into our lives, and all of the responsibilities that came with them.
As one of the seniors that is on the later side of life, I can look back in wonder at just how busy our lives were from the age of maturity when we first began to make all of the choices. I have to dig into my memory bank in order to remember just how crazy it all was. When I look at the lives of our grand children I am reminded of just how busy we really were. We didn’t have time to debate whether we were on the right path or not, we were just headed towards the future and did whatever had to be done. But eventually for most people, things begin to change, children grow up and away, and we start to question our busy lives. We look for what is most important, and while we are doing that we may notice that the younger generation is starting to take over, giving us some freedom from the constant push in our lives.
We take pride in their accomplishments as they mature. We see how busy they are and hope that they will find a way to stop and smell the roses along the way. They are on their own path too, following along behind ours. We have just gone on ahead of them to a new phase of our existence.
So as you think about your path and how far you have gone on it, remember that the example of your path may inspire those following you. Encouragement will go a long way towards helping others as they grow steadily in the direction they desire. And you can rest assured that you have advanced on your own path as you make your way thru life.
Sitting here in a warm and very pleasant temperature on a sunny day here in Florida, tapping away at my laptop, I am reminded very vividly of an old song from my teenage years.
“What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours,”. I think that it was Jerry Lester, the early time comedian who sang it. A bit of trivia. Remember Dagmar, the blonde he admired?
Well, if 24 hours makes a difference, how about 24 years, or fifty years, or whatever figure you choose to pull out of your distant past? It is two days before Christmas, no matter where you are, and the chances are that you are scrambling to keep up with all of the things you have to do to get ready for the big day. Shopping for the big items on your list may have finally been done, but there are still all the little extras that you must get in order to make the coming holiday absolutely perfect. There is still that last minute trip to the grocery store, or maybe the meat market or fruit stand. All of the things that have been left to be done at the last minute are staring you right in the face and there is no more time to dilly dally around, you must do them right now.
The tree is looking gorgeous, full of old fashioned balls and lights that remind you of the childrens attempts to make the sparkling tree look like an event out of Fairyland. You remember all of the years they brought their ornaments right home from school and couldn’t wait to hang them on their very own tree. Some of the ornaments may have come from your own childhood of so long ago. It is a tree of memories, and especially for you who have lived thru them all.
If you have children impatiently waiting for the big day you are doubly blessed, because you can see the wonder of Christmas thru the eyes of a child.
As adults we become accustomed to the hustle and bustle and just want to get thru it as best we can. But as a little child is filled with the spirit of the big day there is a glow about them that brings happiness to everyone who is lucky enough to see it.
So why am I thinking about Christmas in a fond but distant manner as I sit here, typing away? It is because time passes and lives change, and days and years go by and nothing really seems to stay the same as we age. Our park is filled with a lot of happy and contented seniors who have chosen to spend a part of their lives in a warm and sunny climate. Sounds wonderful, and it is. Our children are happy for us that we have the opportunity to do this, and there is constant communication with each other thru the miracles of technology. We have plenty of things to enjoy here and no one seems to be complaining about the way our lives have developed.
But when a holiday looms before us, and we remember all of the days and years when we were the ones rushing thru the toy stores, finding just that perfect thing for eager hands to open on Christmas morning, the little thoughts tend to come creeping into our heads of when it was us that did all those things and made things work just right. Our memories will stay with us forever, we hope, and we know just how lucky we were to have made them. We are proud that our children have carried on our sense of making a happy and jolly Christmas for everyone.
Here in the park people will get together for the special day, and they will remember back when. Back when it was us staying up late at night, sewing doll clothes or putting a bike together after midnight, and we will rejoice that life goes on, as friends and family carry forth the Christmas spirit wherever they go.
So here is a Happy and joyous Christmas to all of our Facebook and Twitter friends, our families, and scattered old friends, no matter where you are, as we remember that Life goes on and we still have all of our memories. It is a good time to think back and reminisce about all of the people we have loved over the years.
Early 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.
Ever since I started up on Facebook, a long, long time ago now, I have noticed that there are several different kinds of people who actually write posts, as opposed to the ones who just check in to see their grandchildren and figure out what they are doing lately. Often I run into people who say “Oh, I never use Facebook” in a manner that leaves me with the option of saying “I just do it for the grandkids”, knowing that is really not a true statement but a way of showing I am better than those people who do write all those silly things. But underneath I know that I really do enjoy FB, at least most of the time.
Where else can I find out how the people in my life really feel about anything? We are all so busy. When do we take time to sit down and talk about anything, let alone the more serious side of life. We all seem to be afraid to discuss certain subjects for fear that we will be shown as taking sides, or making someone else angry. So as a general rule in company we talk about the weather or friends, or what picnic we are going on, a safe subject, you know.
But we are smarter than that. As we are reading posts from people we know from all different stages of our lives, we are reminded that at some time in the past we may have felt completely different about certain subjects. And we can tell that we may have moved on to a different thought pattern from old friends of the past. And that is perfectly natural. Lots of us still believe in the same things we were taught as children, at least partially.
But we also have newer friends who have gone on beyond us and we don’t always agree with them either. Reading FB is like taking a sample of what life is like, how others act or react, and there is usually a lesson to be learned. This is a big country with many paths that we can go down, and FB shows us that many new things are available to us.
Take games, for example. When I see the names of friends that play certain types of games, then I am given a small piece of their interest. I know that they at least have enough time in their life to take a few minutes for themselves. If they are retired then it can be a welcome addition to their day. We are told that it keeps our brains a little sharper. Time will tell about that one, tho.
Now that FB posts a lot of well-known magazine or newspaper articles, we can look at a variety of opinions and find out the ones that suit us. I started thinking about writing this after taking some of the many “tests” about what I think and what kind of person I am. If I believed it all I probably would go and sit in a corner like I did sometimes as a child. They can be pretty hard on the ego.
But I guess the best part is still that we keep in constant contact with friends that we haven’t physically seen for many years and we can see how they approach life and the challenges that come up. I love it when I see who “likes” the same things that I do, it gives me a warm feeling to know that I am not alone in this crazy world that we are privileged to reside in. I feel a closeness when I see that someone a whole lot younger than me has come up with the same conclusion about something I care a lot about. And when I disagree I can just keep on going, and know that everybody can’t be the same.
And when I see the birthday messages for one of my siblings or children, I can feel gratified over how many friends they have. Birthday greetings from FB telling me who is having one today are a wonderful idea, since I don’t always remember.
So this has been a post to say “Thank You” to Facebook. You have brought a great deal of happiness to us over the years and many new friends to our lives.
It’s Mothers Day! The day that we share all of the love and affection that we feel for the women in our lives.
“Mothering” is the term that we bestow upon anyone, mostly female, but sometimes male, when we want to show empathy or caring for another person.
There are lots of kinds of mothers, who come in different sizes or shapes or colors. The term “mother” is applied to many different types of women in our life. There are many women who will never legally wear the title, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do the mothering. We all know women who are the mothers to their brothers and sisters, or their patients as a nurse, or students as a teacher, or just about anyone they care about.
Being a mother can be difficult, but it has its own built in rewards. Many poems and odes have been written to glorify mothers, to show how much we care about them. Thinking of our mothers can bring beautiful smiles on our faces just thinking about them or remembering them from long gone days.
But I would like to add two more names to this select group. Mother in laws and step mothers. When I started thinking about this I was amazed at how many of the women in my life are at least two of them, and some of them are all three, as I am. When you become a mother there are all kinds of classes to help you learn how to do the job. You have the experience of your own mother as a backup.
But when you become a stepmother or a mother in law you are in uncharted waters. You want to succeed with all of your heart and soul. But there is a sense of competition when you add the phrases, “step” or “in law” to the mixture. Someone else has already held the position that you now hold, and you are determined to do your best. Always there is a period of adjustment for every one involved, and it usually doesn’t happen as fast as giving birth.
But mothers, no matter what kind, have a way of bringing forth the nurturing ways that are inherit in most humans, and these are the ones we are honoring today.
So today while you are remembering your mothers with love and honor, I know you are also giving a “shout out” for those “other” mothers, the ones who have your best interests at heart, but came into your life at a later date.
Women, the odds are pretty great that someday you will be a mother in law also, and maybe even lucky enough to be a stepmother. We are all in this world to learn from each other, and these are pretty rewarding positions. Love and compassion and understanding are among the qualities we revere in our mothers, no matter in what form they show up.
Happy Mothers Day, everyone. Have a wonderful day, no matter where you are.
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.
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.
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.
Dec. 4th, an auspicious day for me. Today is the day that my #2 son, Randall Wm. Jager, reaches the magnificent age of 60 years. And tomorrow, Dec. 5th, my #3 son, Alan Wayne Jager, becomes 58 years of age.
It doesn’t seem possible, of course, that I could have given birth to men of this age. Not to mention the number #1 son, Stephen Jay Jager became 62 years on Nov. 9th. And trailing behind them in years only, is Martin Earl Jager who reached 55 years on March 27th.
Thinking about all of them and how alike and yet how different they all are, has brought back a lot of memories. They are all good dependable men, have their own place in society, and are sons to be proud of.
Steve is the oldest – he got to go first on everything, to be the boss to his brothers, and the one to set an example. He excelled in school, became an Student Council member, and graduated with honors. He has been a father to both children and stepchildren and a successful workaholic all of his life. He has a great job on an oil rig in Pennsylvania and other states. He is an avid reader and we all know where he gets that from, me. And when you want something worked out you can depend on Steve to figure it out.
Randy also did very well in school. He then enlisted in the US Air Force where he was chosen to be one of the four airmen that lived in underground missile silos where they guarded our country, a great honor. Randy has always been our loner – takes after his mother that way. For years he has been a gold prospector in California, and for a long time I had trouble keeping up with him. But besides that he has become a truck driver all up and down the Western States. He and I have a great relationship via text most of the time.
Alan is #3, and when he was very young he was always the goof off in our family. The one who could make you laugh or drive you crazy. He could fix anything. He evolved into a very hardworking oilman, saved his money, built a house, started a great business that he took over from his father, Preston Jager, and became a staunch business man. He raised a wonderful family that we are all proud of, and he even became a politician. Now he has just taken on a new job as Holton Township supervisor in Michigan.
Finally, here comes Marty, the youngest. As did his brothers he did well in school but his life took on another meaning when he joined the US Navy, where he rose thru the ranks and made us all proud of him. Marty also took on the care of both children and stepchildren and has done a wonderful job of it. Now, after retiring from the Navy, he is employed as a mechanic in Florida. He is a very thoughtful and loving person to all who know him.
When I think of all four men I think of how proud their father, Preston Jager, was of them. He too was a hardworking, intelligent, family man, and that has carried over unto all of them. All four of them have been wonderful to their two stepfathers, Gary Bosley, and Bob Rider. Both fathers made a great contribution to the loving men that my sons have become.
My “boys” are loving, courageous and dependable, and how much more could any mother ask for than to have sons like these? They will always be boys to me. To know that they love me and care about me is the greatest gift of all.
There might be a better gift that a parent can receive that will fill their heart with joy, but I find it is hard to think of one. This morning I received an alert that one of my sons had a birthday on Facebook, and would I like to write to him and wish him well? Of course, I thought, I had already sent an e-card, but I would do it. But I found that some other people had gotten ahead of me already. The outpourings on the page showed me that I wasn’t the only one who had warm feelings for this man.
We have 5 sons, and 2 daughters. Three of the sons don’t show up on FB much, altho their families do, but the other two sons post often. And the daughters? When any of them have a birthday online, it makes us as parents proud that so many others appreciate them, and the lists of well wishers are so long and so loving, that it brings great joy to us. We must have done something right. The diapers, and the crying in the middle of the night, the endless washing of clothes, the PTA meetings, all are long forgotten, and here we are. Our children are all fully grown, they are loved and respected by their families and friends, and we can smile and say Thank You, for all of our many blessings today.
Happy Easter, everyone.