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]

Hummingbirds = Love

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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.

Day 11 | Jan 11 | Water

Pictures

 

i took a picture earlier today of a glass of water, but then  i remembered this sequence of images i took a few years ago when my nephew was visiting and i took him for his first visit to the beach…  i was torn between warning him about he wave coming in and taking pictures of his reaction.  as you can see, taking pictures won out.

 

Day 9 | Jan 9 | Paper

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Paper, Priceless Paper

These used to be a common sight in a teenage girls backpack and notebook, i think now they are almost completely replaced by IMs and text messages. these are notes to and from my now husband when we were in high school.  each page a reminder of the fact that even 26 years ago we were silly and in love, much like today.

as i sit and read through them i can sometimes remember what was happening when they were written, there is the one that says simply ‘ i love you’, the one with the elaborate ‘font’,  the long drawn out 2 page conversation one night as we sat on his bed each reading a book on either end passing the page back and forth, getting sillier and sillier as we went.  and my personal favorite, the little ones with the times on them, that i sent with him the day he had internal suspension so he could open and read one for each of those long drawn out hours with nothing else to do.

I am glad we have these little reminders of those times, sometimes they seem so long ago, but a simple piece of paper can make them seem like yesterday.

Join the Photo a day challenge at Fat Mum Slim’s blog

Day 6 | Jan 6 | Mine

Camera Uploads

These books are mine.   My copies of a book series i read a million times at my grandparents home.  They could take me away to many distant lands and teach me about different people and cultures.  i bought these on ebay a few years ago because i wanted to be able to see them and read them anytime i wanted, and now they also take me back to my grandparents hammock, or couch depending on the weather outside. there are very few better places to imagine yourself with a book in your hand.

 

Join the Photo a day challenge at Fat Mum Slim’s blog

The outline of a memory

It had to be nearby; she remembered walking this path to picnic in the shade with her grandparents. Now the area seemed so different yet so much the same it was hard to remember, should she have turned into the woods sooner, she remembered there was a tiny arbor at the end.
Suddenly, she felt she was in the right place, but she couldn’t see anything except a sprawling grapevine. As if by magic she realized the sprawling grapevine outlined the shape of a house, and barely held up a crumbling chimney, an outline, a memory of what was.

Come on over to Madison Woods Blog to see more 100 word photo prompt stories, or even add your own

thank goodness for moonlight

Friday Fictioneer

Wrapped like a mummy, nothing visible but a nose. Rustling sounds outside keep us awake.  We know it is nothing dangerous, a chipmunk or squirrel, but the sounds are foreign, just enough to keep us alert. Time passes, a few whispers, a few giggles, a shush from the next tent over.  The cold seeps in the tent flap, we scoot together to stay warm. Oh no! The cold… We have had too much soda as we reveled in the freedom of the first long summer camping trip of the year.  Thank goodness the moon lights our way into the trees.

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/moon-and-sky/ to see more photo prompt fiction!


#photoadayapril 4/25/2012 – Looking Down

not very mind blowing, but nevertheless Looking Down… hmm maybe i should go back and do Stairs too… is that cheating?

anyway… this is a photo looking down the stairs in my house and hanging there on the railing is a quilt, my mom made that for my grandma and when we lost my grandma last year, my aunt sent the quilt back home with me to california.   i knew as i unpacked it that it would be living there on my railing.  i see a slightly modified version of this view from my office as i work each day, and on even the worst day i can look at that quilt and it connects me to so many family members, even though they are all far away in one way or another.  some day if i have a bad enough day, it could even come off that rail to be wrapped around me, but so far just the thought of those hugs are enough.  i don’t really have a lot of bad days 🙂

it is an extra bonus that the quilt is purple and teal.  those are my favorite colors and  the quilt my mom and i made for me as my first foray into quilting is also purple and teal.  and as a parting thought, a picture of my grandma with her quilt, i love that face 🙂

#photoadayapril 4/18/12 – hair

this is not a great picture, it was taken with a cell phone a few years ago… i have been wearing my hair in a mohawk-esque cut for many years now, but i don’t actually ‘mohawk’ it except for halloween or other costume related reasons.  while vacationing in missouri back in 2009 my niece thought it would be entertaining to french braid my hair.  it caused much laughter and is one of my favorite family gathering memories.

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