Giving Thanks

I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving ‘back home’ with my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and a random of assortment of other family and friends.

Had a chance to visit with cousins i have not seen since before we moved from Missouri in 1986, and catch up with others i see somewhat more often but not nearly often enough.

It reminds me to revisit an old post as part of this one.  i know i say it a lot, but i don’t think it can be said too often.

I ask you now to take a moment and look around you… literally and figuratively… look at the people who are and have been part of your life. The ones who are still there and the ones who are not. The ones who are there, do you make sure they are aware of their importance in your life. Do you thank them for the things they do and tell them you love and/or appreciate them and their presence in your life? Now the ones who are not there… some we obviously can’t do anything about they are beyond our reach, lost to us and there will always be a piece of our heart missing, but some, SOME, we can still reach out to and try to mend that rift and see if there is a way to bring them back into our lives. We might not even be aware of what caused them to pull away, or we might know exactly what it was, we may need to give or ask for forgiveness.

I understand this may need some thought, and i fully understand not all rifts can be mended. It might not be something that can be decided right now, all I ask is that you look around and think about it. Can you really live without that person for the rest of your life, without that forgiving or forgiveness? Think about the part they have played in your life up to now, and what has been missing since they stopped being part of your life. Now imagine you don’t have a chance to make up for lost time.

 

img_2511 img_2477 img_2415 Thanksgiving

Vacation Bible School

Everywhere i turn lately there is someone talking about vacation bible school.  either their kids or grandkids are going, or they are helping run it at their church.

i am not a religious person. if i had to label myself i would probably go with agnostic (agnostic vs. atheist).  but i do fondly remember those wonderful fun filled weeks of VBS as a kid.  the one i went to most often was at Ohlman Church about 4 miles or so down the road from where i lived (according to Google Maps). the couple that ran our local gas station and store were parishioners there and were more than happy to take me along with them to attend VBS even though i didn’t actually go to church there.  There was an entire process involved.  my family lived down a mile long dirt road so to make it easier for Mr & Mrs Fields, i would hop on my trusty motorcycle and head up to their house so they didn’t have to go out of their way to pick me up.

My Honda

My Honda, a main source of transportation from age 8 – 12, i got a bigger motorcycle at 12 🙂

it was just over a mile to their house, just a little past their little store , which is where my other favorite summer activity occured, the BOOK MOBILE 🙂

fields' store

Fields’ Store

i didn’t have to cross the highway and would get to their house with plenty time to spare to change into my church dress  from the t-shirt and jeans i wore to ride the motorcycle and there was often some tangles to get out of my hair. then we would hop into their big old car and head off to bible school.  usually after we got back to their house, i would just tuck my dress up under me and head home, i just didn’t want it to get dirty before church 🙂

Mr & Mrs Fields' house

Mr & Mrs Fields’ house

I can still remember some of the things i made there, one year i made a thing for my dad to hang on the wall, it was a circle cut from a tree trunk and then we used Mod Podge to put a picture on, for my dad i put a picture of a big tom turkey.  i wonder i they still have that thing.. i will have to ask.

Mr and Mrs Fields are gone now, and it has been a very long time since i went to church, but i drive by their old store

Fields at the store

Mr and Mrs Fields tending the store. remember when someone came out to fill your car for you? he even filled my motorcycle tank, and took all the pennies i had scraped up to pay with.

and that church every time i go home to visit, and oh, the memories…. and let me tell you, thinking about VBS actually makes me ponder going 🙂  but i am pretty sure they wouldn’t let me have near as much fun now that i am a grown up.

I went to VBS (and services)   at my aunt’s church many times as well, but that wasn’t as much as an adventure since they lived right next door and it didn’t involve a motorcycle ride through the woods on a dark dirt road 🙂

So, there i was…

standing in the kitchen looking confused, trying to figure out what to have for lunch.  tomato soup was an option as was some chef Boyardee something in a can. (it doesn’t matter which variety, they all taste pretty much the same).  and then as I peeked into the fridge one more time I realized I had all the fixings for the perfect meal. it doesn’t matter if you are making breakfast, lunch or dinner, all you need is an egg and slice of white bread and maybe some butter (bacon grease is better, but we don’t really have that on hand on a regular basis).. and then the masterpiece is born, just take a circle shaped object and use it to cut out a circle from the center of the bread, melt a little butter and toss the bread in the skillet.  crack your egg and throw it in the little circle and a few minutes later flip it all over and wait a little longer and BOOM you’ve got a TOAD IN THE HOLE, bitches!2013-06-25 12.07.41(i definitely forgot to take a before picture 🙂 )

i can’t begin to imagine the number of these delightful little bits of food perfection i have eaten over the years, but most memorable are the ones my Grandma fixed me as a child, mine never seem to be quite as good, but once again, those memories get me every time i make one, if i close my eyes as i eat it, i am sitting on the swing in the trees, or sitting on a stool at the table, listening to the radio and my grandparents and cousins chattering away.  time has a way of pushing those memories to the side, or even the back of your mind, so it is always a pleasure when i find something that brings those memories rushing to the front.

clearly my posts lately are on a full on nostalgia kick, i hope that if you aren’t one of my cousins or sisters so these posts don’t bring back a shared memory, that they at least bring you back to a place when you knew that fun and happiness were just a quick ride to Grama’s house away.

here is a picture  (and recipe) from Allrecipes.com 34393[1]

Memories are odd things…

So i got this great new game for my laptop, Magic Puzzles, it basically allows me to turn my touch screen into a giant jigsaw puzzle.  from 70 pieces to 630, and you can get multiple puzzle packs, from free to $1.49 (that one had 20 puzzles in it)

So anyway! long story a little bit shorter, I was sitting here on the couch doing a puzzle and suddenly had the strongest memory of sitting at my Grandma’s house and doing puzzles on their big hardwood bar.  it seems there was always a puzzle on the bar in some state of completion, as soon as one was done another would be ready to come out of the box.

evenings doing puzzles with the accompaniment of a bowl of ice cream or popcorn, depending on the season and the whim of my grandfather’s snack requirements for the evening, some koolaid to drink, and as often as not some cousins to chat with as we worked on the puzzle.  i feel like we did a lot of puzzles that were well above our ‘age range’ 1000 piece puzzles for small children you say?  of course we learned quickly to sort the edges, and then the colors and next thing you know we were putting them in the right places, i don’t recall anyone ever eating a puzzle piece, but there were a few times one was set aside so the coveted ‘last piece placement’ could be won by a smaller cousin (or sometimes by the one who hid the last piece 🙂 )

Image

anyway, it struck me as funny how a simple video game could pull me back in time like that.

you never know what little thing will trigger a memory, a sight, a sound, a smell. good memories and bad, they are all stored in your mind just awaiting the chance to pop out when you least expect it.

Hummingbirds = Love

IMG_3132IMG_3192

Hummingbirds were my maternal grandmothers favorite bird. i took these this afternoon and they always bring her to mind, she would have been 94 on feb 11, but she passed away in 2011. I am blessed to have so many hummingbirds at my house year round  and i try to keep the feeder filled with sweet sugar water, because i know when i see them flitting around that she is with me. growing up she and my grandfather were just a few miles away, a trip i took many times on my bicycle or motorcycle growing up. Even as an adult after i moved over a thousand miles away,  i still took time at least once a year to get back ‘home’ and visit with her.

My grandmother on my dad’s side was also a lover of animals and always had a dog around, she even once had a pet wild squirrel she rescued as an orphaned baby.  She would have been 95 next month. although she passed away in 1981 I was lucky enough to live next door to  her and spend time with her nearly every day for all of those 11 years.

Family is precious, you may not love all of yours all the time, but remember we only have each other for a short while and we don’t know how long that will be.  So tell them you love them, and spend as much time with them as you can.

Happy Mothers Day! #photoadaymay

Happy Mothers Day to my mom, over at Oldentimes.wordpress.com. she raised me up, taught me right from wrong, then at some point had to cross her fingers she had done it all right and stand back and let me make my own choices.  hopefully, i have made more good choices than bad, and she is as proud of me as i am to be her daughter.

i took this picture when she was out to visit me in california last spring.  hopefully she can come back soon, cause we have a lot more trouble we can get into 🙂

a memory of a fence, post

I remember this as a gate to be opened and closed if you wanted to go past our barn.  More often than not it was just climbed over, unless we were hauling trash to the dump.  Funny now that taking the trash out means rolling the bins to the street, it is a hated chore. I remember when we fought to load the truck and drive down the road. A passenger had to open the gate; no driver would ever stoop so low. Once there it was fun to throw the bags farthest down the hill into the family dump.

#photoaday 4/13/12 – something you found

this is another from the archives.  circa 1987 or so… my Buddy cat, he literally came in my bedroom window one night soon after we had moved to a new and very unfamiliar place.  i adopted him and he stayed with me for years, finally moving to the country with my parents where he one day wandered off never to return.  he was a great cat, he would play fetch and loved to have his ears scratched.

#photoadayapril 4/7/2012 – shadows (of the past)

the prompt from today’s photo challenge was shadows, i dug through some pictures and even wandered outside a bit trying to find the picture i wanted capture, and then when i was looking through some other non shadow pictures, i stumbled up on this one.  i can remember when this was a functioning gate that had to be opened and closed if you wanted to travel down the road into the woods past our barn.  more often than not it was just climbed over, unless we were on our bikes or motorcycles, or hauling trash to the dump in our old truck.  funny now that taking the trash out means walking around the corner of the house, or rolling the bins to the street it is an avoided chore, but i remember when we clamored and fought and begged to be allowed to take out the trash, it meant loading it all in the truck and being allowed to drive down that road and through that gate, that the passenger had to open, the driver never had to stoop as low as getting out to open the gate*. once arrived at the dump it was fun to throw the bags out and see who could throw the farthest down the hill into the little ravine that served as our family dump, i am sure that there are treasures untold for one brave enough to climb down there and dig, broken toys and bicycles, some appliances and if memory serves probably some automobiles as well.

so i submit for your perusal, a shadow of my past.

*this phrase reminded me of a song i love as i was typing it.. Cowboy Logic by Michael Martin Murphey.