ONLINE WITH FACEBOOK

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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. 495486-R1-15-22A_016

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THE GIFT TO MYSELF

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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.

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A CIRCLE IN TIME

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When I was very young one of the fun things that I liked to do was to play board games with my cousins on a Sunday afternoon. We were very competitive with each other and I can still remember the shrieks of laughter when I won, or the moans of disgust when I lost. I gloried in showing that I could be the fastest or best, and so when I lost, I felt embarrassed and impatient with myself. We played Monopoly for hours on end, or card games like Rummy or Solitaire. It was always fun tho.
But time moved on, and I married, became a mother and was the overseer for many of their boisterous events. They had some pretty noisy games.
Now I am retired in a whole new environment, time to do whatever I want, and what do I do? I play GAMES. I play word games, or solitaire, casino or slot games, number games, you name it, all on my Ipad or computer.
The fun thing is that I am still playing these games with my sisters, many cousins, daughter in laws, brother in laws, all of the same people that I played with, some of them over 50 years ago. We write each other little notes of congratulation over a good win, or make a resolve to do better next time.
Who would have thought that I would be still playing games with the same people, all a lot older, but still having fun together?
Life is really a circle, isn’t it. We just have to hold on tightly and the brass ring will come around again.
And then there are all of the new friends like you, who have come along. Life is good, especially since we can all smile and cheer as we enjoy playing games with each other. Thanks for all of the great competition, it keeps us thinking young.

JUST THINK WHAT 35 YEARS CAN DO

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Every once in a while a new experience comes along that has the effect of making a very different way of looking at our lives.
Bringing forth four sons, living with them thru a tumultuous twenty five years or so, surviving the ups and downs of daily life as they grew and wrestled each other for their place in the family order is something that is not for the faint hearted. I can proudly report that I did survive it.
When the last one to leave rode off into the sunset I didn’t waste too much time or breath missing the constant uproar that had been going on for the past quarter of a century. Wives came along, and then grandchildren, and a whole new style of family living. Everyone ended up with a chance to make their fortune on their own. We knew what each other was doing, roughly speaking, but their lives were their own to make.
Time went by. We often lived in the same towns, like Cortez, CO, Lawton, OK, Holton, MI, even Wyoming and Montana, but we didn’t stay in each others houses overnite. We had our own homes and our own spaces.
Fast forward.
We are wintering in Florida in a retirement community, and guess what. Son #3 and wife are arriving for nine days! We are all excited, hoping for warm weather. I begin to plan things, and then I realize. I haven’t lived in the same house with #3 son in over 35 years! I don’t know what he really is like on a day to day basis! What does he like to eat, what kind of TV does he watch? What are his every day habits?
For twenty years I took care of him, knew him as well as anyone in my life, and now a relative stranger is coming for nine days. How is it going to work out?
Wednesday noon. I hear a car door close, then another, and they are here! Looking as great as they always do, smiling and hugging, and it is like the years have all flown away and we have our children back again.
There are some obvious differences. I notice that now they tend to take care of us, instead of the other way around. As they are showing us new pictures of their life I realize anew that they are grandparents also, and in the prime of their lives. They have their own friends and their own business interests. Their lives are full and I am so proud of them.
I finally realize. They are grown up. They don’t just need us but want us also.
The days fly by and all too soon the alarm rings at 2AM, and off they must go to the airport. And we return to our quieter life, thankful that we have had a great time renewing our friendship with our children. We can rest assured that we did our job and they are part of the living proof of it.

MILLIE

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8fcfd141-9386-4ef8-9e13-6aa8c2cdbce2Everywhere I go I see Millie,

Everywhere.

The click click of little toenails coming down the hall

The deep sighs of our Millie, sound asleep under the bed,

The big brown eyes begging me to go for a walk.

The tug on the leash as she pulls me thru the orchard,

The soft curly hair beneath my stroking hand,

The sharp barking when a stranger comes to the door.

The prancing and galloping when she sees us come thru the door,

So relieved that we’ve come home.

The urgency of the run for the grass every morning,

The pleasure of knowing she loves us, no matter what!

Ah, Millie, thank you for all of the joys

and fun you brought us!

I see you wherever I go,

Our beautiful little shadow,

Gone on, but not forgotten.