Believing in Magic


The magical innocence of children…it’s the wonder of it that draws me in like a vacuum hose to sawdust.

Recently, my husband and I spent some time in Disney World with my oldest son, daughter-in-law and three of our young grandchildren. Their eldest daughter, at just five years old was up for anything. Riding rollercoasters of tall and fast, lumbering in a log toward splashing white rapids and marveling at roaming wild animals during a jungle safari. She loved the beauty of colored gardens and especially, getting autographs from her favorite Disney characters.

My only grandson who is just about to turn three gripped his grandpa’s hand while eyeing Captain Hook during a boat ride through storyland. Soon he fell down Splash Mountain, opening his mouth wide in joyous laughter. And later, he was thrilled to discover the Wild Animal Park hopping up and down on windy dirt roads in a bumpy jeep. One of his favorite things to do was climb the ropes around Dinosaur Land, and later, dig for “prehistoric” bones hidden in the cool dry sand under a billowy canopy.

The youngest of my grandchildren was carried by her mother in a knapsack of sorts that fitted across her waist and chest. There, Mama’s infant was serene and sublime most of the time. Hardly a peep was ever heard from this little one on any given day. She was exactly where she wanted to be: nestled against Mama.

One of the biggest hits of Disney World was having breakfast while meeting some of my grandchildren’s favorite Disney characters: Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickie & Minnie Mouse. To see their faces light from deep within, feel their emotions, and hear the bell of their giggles was truly priceless. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them happier in the whole of their lives. It’s a morning I shall never forget for as long as I live.

As we left, my grand-daughter posed a serious question. “Grandma, are the characters REAL or are they people just wearing costumes? “Hmmm,” I thought. “How shall I answer this precious child?” I certainly didn’t want to take the allure out any of the joy we had just witnessed. “Well, sweetie, we are at Disney World where everything is magic. So, yes, here the characters are real.”

*Think like a child again. Put a little magic in your life today!

 

New Life-New Year


Around the world people are counting down ‘till the hands of a clock strike twelve. Corks will pop atop bottles of bubbly, kisses and hugs will be shared while resolutions are repeated. Young and old will wish for a wonderful New Year through hopes and dreams and tears and laughter.

Recently, my heart spilled with joy while empty rooms of my home were filled shortly before Christmas. Father flew in from Phoenix, while my youngest son and his family drove from Nashville. Tired grand-babies tumbled from the car before falling into my squeezing arms.

During the silent night of Christmas Eve, a cell phone jingled its bells, waking my husband. He darted from under the covers before speeding to our eldest son’s to await sleeping children soon to discover Santa. My daughter-in-law was about to deliver my sixth grandchild.

Shortly after brunch on Christmas day, while stockings were emptied and presents were opened, my fifth grand-daughter was born in the quiet of a nearby hospital. Felicity Noelle, meaning “Happy Christmas,” weighed in at just over seven pounds, wearing a cap of silky hair the color of coal.

Surely, the gift of new life brings promises of a Happy New Year to all. Many blessings to you during 2017 with wishes of good health, success, and happiness.

Halloween Innocence


Trick-or-Treat for Halloween

Costumed monsters or movie queens

Door to door to ring a bell

Heart is beating thumping well

Treats of sweet sinking bag

Stuffed inside so full of swag

Chocolate pretzels plus kids to tag

Distant sounds and spiderwebs

Pumpkin smiles and waxy teeth 

Peek inside then run and hide

Witch’s hat atop hair of red

Have no fear she is a dear

Biggest treat I’ve ever had

Jokes and smiles to send me off

Treasures emptied upon my floor

Sit and count them to the door

One or two gobbled whole

Brush my teeth and scrub my face

Pajama time another race

Tuck me in with story time

Lashes long now falling fine

Friendly ghosts are in my mind

Magic wishes and floating dreams

Oh what a Happy Halloween

Some photos courtesy of Google Chrome

Tugging at Heartstrings


In deciding what books to keep or donate before my move, I came across a small volume of poetry I hadn’t seen or touched in quite some time. A small hardcover, it cheerfully greeted me with a child’s colored hearts in red, pink and yellow on a cover of white. The title is, Journey Through Heartsongs, by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, published in 2001.

For those of you who don’t know, Mattie Stepanek, (July 17, 1990-June 22, 2004) wanted to be remembered as “a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.” He was an amazing child who published seven best-selling books of poetry during his short thirteen years of life. Mattie had an innate sense of being, an intuition far beyond imagination which he brought not only to his poetry but to everyone he met. I urge all of you to read about his life at the following link. Quite simply, he was a remarkable being. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mattie_Stepanek

Mattie lived with the Chronic Condition of Muscular Dystrophy and left us all with gifts unimaginable. My own heartstrings sing a melody of lyrics thanks to his writing. It’s no accident that I rediscovered the jacket of this dusty book.  I stopped to read it from cover to cover this morning, carefully placing it in a box next to some of my very favorites, marked, “Library.”

Crystal Celebration

Sometimes, 

Sunrise is like a heavenly crystal ball.

Everyday,

In the little bit of time between night and day,

The angels look at the earth

To see how things are going and

To see how things will be.

The sky changes from dark

Into Angel-whites and Angel-golds.

The blackness of trees starts to glow with

Pinks and purples and oranges from their hearts.

And during each dawn,

All the Angels gather up and have

A celebration in God’s honor!

And sometimes,

You can even watch

And join them in the celebrating.

Just look out into the sunrise,

Then jump into your own heart,

Float into the air like in a dream,

And pray with love and thank-yous

For your life, for your spirit, for your sunrise…

And for being a part of this heavenly crystal ball!

                           Mattie-Age 6

Angels Sunset

*painting courtesy of Google Chrome

As Long As You Both Shall Live….


“As long as you both shall live.”

*Those are the last words I remember hearing thirty years ago today, May 19, 1984. A few seconds later, I smiled beaming with the words, “I do. Although only a step or two away from me, the minister’s gravelly voice seemed to echo from far, far away. Off in the distance….perhaps bouncing off trees in a lush forest land.

At the time, I had eyes and ears only for the husband to be. There he stood, facing me. His green eyes pierced the blue of my own while he gripped my hands, squeezing them. It was his signal before God that we would always be together. My soon-to-be husband would take care of me, protect me, love me, and be loyal and true. Thirty years later he has proven this together with much more good than I ever imagined.

On our beautiful, warm wedding day in May, the two of us had no idea where the road of life would lead. A fantasy land we did not expect. Nor, the reality we ended up living. Still, neither of us would change a thing. In the end, we have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

When families raise a chronically ill child, there is a 75% or greater chance the marriage will end in divorce. My husband and I raised two children living with chronic conditions. Both were diagnosed at very young ages within six months of each other. Our odds of divorcing might have increased a bit at that point…

My husband traveled a minimum of 120 nights a year over a 20 year period as a district manager for an eye care company. He loved his job while I loved it for him. Still, it took a toll on the two of us. When the days and nights were added up, seven years of our marriage were spent apart from one another. I often resented him for being away, while he often resented me for being able to stay. Eventually, we both had breaking points.

When needed, my husband was there for me, taking a short leave of  absence from work. He jumped right in, took care of our boys, washed clothes and even learned to cook! In return, I did the same for him when the time came. Isn’t that what couples do for one another? We sought outside help to work on our marriage…more than once. No, it wasn’t always easy. I guess that’s why it’s called work. But, early on, we decided our marriage was worth it….we were worth it. For our children, for our family, for the whole of us.

There are lessons learned that I’ll pass on to others now that I have the opportunity. Take time…any time for couplehood. A walk in the park, a cup of coffee or a simple hour to hold hands and talk. No, not about the kids! Do not lay blame…ever! It’s okay to cry, go ahead and ask God, why? Find a church, ask for help, don’t be proud, seek support, tell a friend, and take a break for heaven’s sake!

Today as I celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary, I am thankful for the best husband one could ever wish for in life. I thank God for every hardship we ever endured, every lesson ever learned. How wonderful to have lived through ALL of the good times and the bad, the happy and the sad. We have such an enormous history together. Rich, full of memories and moments with more to come, God willing.

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband, with love, forever and always….

*Two years ago when I wrote this post originally, my husband and I were not able to officially celebrate our milestone anniversary. This year, we’re away for a few days, soaking up the sun and sand while celebrating 30 years + two! Blessings to all of you.

 

We Are Family


Feeling a bit like I’ve been shot through a wind tunnel or perhaps lived through an episode of the old Twilight Zone series, I am here in my office today. Hoping to catch up, but knowing better. My mind is spent. The last few days have been a rollercoaster ride.

Last Friday, I flew from my St. Louis home to attend my father’s wedding celebration in Phoenix. He was married on March 11, discovering 16 days later in a sterile Emergency Room that his bride’s body was riddled with cancer. Only a few hours earlier that day, I had called them both to wish them, “Happy Easter.”

My father and his wife, Eileen planned a wedding celebration before her diagnosis of cancer. Close family and friends had been invited. The room was reserved. Their favorite one-man-band was all set to play and sing, and the food was carefully chosen and ordered. Together, they decided the party was going to take place, regardless. It gave them hope, something to look forward to.  A goal in the future. Eileen had started treatment and was feeling pretty good. Things seemed optimistic going into the weekend of the party.

My father’s only living sibling flew in from Michigan to surprise him. My husband and I picked her up from the airport and arranged for her to stay with us at the same hotel. Upon landing in Phoenix there was a voicemail telling me that my father was on his way to ER with Eileen. And so, the rollercoaster ride began. Emotions ran high for everyone.

The next day, we were able to see my father and Eileen’s new little house for the very first time. She was resting in a chair near the patio. A card table and two chairs were placed near the open screen door. Sun was shining, cactuses were blooming and grasses were green in between desert coral sands. Their dog, a miniature collie never left Eileen side.

In the end, Eileen was too weak to attend her much-anticipated wedding celebration. My father came for a few minutes, just long enough to make a brief speech, thanking everyone for coming. He spoke for a minute or two before breaking down. This father of mine, the strongest man I’ve ever known.

And, so under the twinkling stars of an Arizona desert sky, a one-man-band played like an orchestra last Saturday night. Chicken and vegetables were served with pink, prime rib of beef. A beautiful rolling dessert cart passed, overflowing with white wedding cake, Bride and Groom decorated cake pops, together with pastel powdered sugar cookies placed in fluted paper tin cups.

For several hours, drinks colored of the desert filled fancy glasses and flowed freely while people danced under a golden moon before the last song of the evening was sung. Suddenly, every paver cemented on the patio dance floor was filled. People put their hands together high in the dark blue sky, clapping them in unison to, “We Are Family.”

*The next day, Eileen did feel rested enough to join everyone for a BBQ hosted by her daughter. Truly, a nice family gathering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anticipation


I’ve covered my eyes

Just like you said

We’re counting together

One, two, three,

So excited to see

What is waiting for me…

It’s a B.I.G. surprise!

Now, deep inside my belly so small

Are butterflies that tingle 

With a dragonfly here

And, a bumblebee there

Goosebumps prickle my arm

Do you see little bumps popping up?

No, I can’t stand still

I’m wiggling ’round

Dancing, dancing….

Gritting my teeth, and holding my breath

Time’s running out, I’m growing up

I’ve got to know

Oh, please let me see

What is waiting for me?

FullSizeRender (53)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Easter Egg Hunt – Bloggers who are ‘Jolly good eggs’


So happy to be hidden among the Easter grass with these ‘Jolly Good Eggs!’ Happy Easter, Everyone.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

It is Easter and no doubt there will be chocolate!  Oh yes!.  I am not fully present here on the blog at the moment as I am busy filling boxes with items I cannot part with and charity bags with things I hope will bring others pleasure.

However, there are somethings I cannot part with and with the power of the Internet, I can thankfully take with me wherever I go. This bunch of ‘Jolly Good Eggs’ as they used to say back in the flapper days of the 20s…. are coming with me and if you are not already following their blogs or on social media then there is no time like the present.

There are so many supportive and talented bloggers that are part of the community and I simply could not find an egg to fit everyone in so this is a very small selection.

Just click…

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Gracie-Girl


I tossed and turned all night, the leftovers of a fever and a cold. For whatever reason my mind was writing in the dark, no keyboard present, no notepad to scribble upon. I have this blog of course and a book I’m knitting, but sometimes the best words tumble out at the worst times it seems.  2, 3, 5 and then finally 6 am. Safe to venture into the quiet of the morning where I sip a cup of decaf within the cocoon of library shelves.

It might have been anticipation that steered my mind away from slumber. It’s true that I’ll be at my desk for most of the drizzly day, but when the clock strikes four all sunshine and fairy-land will begin. “Ding-Dong” the bell shall ring. I will have to contain myself, for behind the leaded glass a smudged face of lilliputian size with blue eyes as big as saucers will be waiting there. “POOF,” there she is, a miniature magic princess is upon my front portico.

Until her parents leave she plays the timid mouse. It’s a dress rehearsal of sorts for she soon marches into independence becoming the boss of the house which delights me so. She reaches for my hand, “Grandma, come,” marching me into her playroom where the “routine” begins. Imaginary tea-parties dance along a make-shift table, where “Winnie-the-Pooh” and “Raggedy-Ann,” pull up miss-matched, antique wooden painted chairs. Carefully, she decides the perfect animal cookies for her guests, while rocking her favorite baby gently in the crook of her left arm. Not yet two years old, she is already the best of future Mamas-to-be!

Next, she chooses story books for me to read aloud long kept from years ago. We snuggle like two bugs under an old crystal covered floor lamp.  Much like I did when I read to my own children at her age, silly voices ‘high’ and ‘low’ are heard within the soft hush of the room. She squirms and twists upon my lap, reaching for my mouth with eyes all a wide. Soon she’s figured it out, “Yes, it’s Grandma!” Falling down into balls of giggles, quickly she jumps back up upon her feet. “Again!” she says before the cycle begins anew.

Gracie’s Poem

She’s a beauty

with skin soft and smooth

and eyes the color of “Bahama Blue.”

A genius like her parents,

full of spirit like them too.

I’d steal Cinderella’s castle for her or slay a moose if I must,

Instead, I’m gifted time and tea-parties…

Thank you, God, no  better way to spend upon this earth, I trust.

 

My Gracie-Girl has a birthday today, becoming a bigger girl at the age of four. I discovered this post together with a nostalgic tear in my eye. Happy Birthday, Sweet One.