Priceless


One by one the pins wobbled at the end of the lane except for two.  Jumping in the air, I hugged my team-mates, surprised that I would even score.  My husband rolled a blue marbled ball down a waxed wooden lane, next to me.  Ten pins fell down.  Strike!  Then my cell phone rang.  It was our son.  “She’s in labor, Mom.” Within an hour, we were picking up our grand-daughter, Gracie, together with our son’s diabetic alert dog, ‘”Nimbus.”

I remember the first morning of a May spring day when a five-week-old British Lab pup changed our lives forever.  A crawling warmness of black droopy ears, wet pink tongue, and four oversized paws was laid into our son’s waiting arms.  Standing next to him was his then, “fiancé,” brimming with love and support.  She smiled her gentleness of future hope for a married life free of blood sugar demons lurking beneath skin ready to snatch their independence away.

Now, four years old, “Nimbus” has grown to 65 pounds or more.  He bows  for ‘high’ blood sugar or raises a paw for ‘low’ blood sugar.  A member of their family, he is a life-saving tool.  Still, when it came time for baby to arrive, it had been decided that Nimbus was best left with Grandma together with his ‘sister,’ Gracie.

The next couple of days, my house turned into a sort of Fairytale Land, where I tried my best to see that Gracie got her rest.   Still, when awake, she was Number One for heaven’s sake!  On hardwood floors throughout the house, we took turns pushing naked baby dolls in pink strollers.  Faster and faster we went, like running an imaginary race with no finish line in place.  In the end, she always won with some silly prize she delighted in.

We played outdoors or walked the dogs.  Along the way we stopped to pick yellow dandelions with a toddler neighbor, blowing fluffy white ones into the wind.  Tiny pieces danced up and away into the breeze like wishes made the night before.  For supper, I cooked gooey mac & cheese.  Holding Gracie on my hip, she poured a cold mixture from a zippered bag, eyes wide with wonder watching yellow melt into white macaroni.  Afterward, we smacked on hot fudge sundaes for dessert, wiping dark brown chocolate from chins while staring at “Frozen” on the big screen TV.  Nimbus tried to sneak a bite.  Little Gracie’s voice stopped him by singing, “Let it go…Let it go.”

The last night before Gracie went home to a new baby brother, we finished with a bubble bath in Grandma’s deep jetted tub of speckled brown, like sand in sparkled sun.  Bubbles billowed while she lifted handfuls to share with me.  Before I knew it, Nimbus leaped up and over the rim.  Four strong legs stirred and splashed waves, everywhere.  A surge spilled over the side.  Froth and foam floated to the  floor.  Big black eyes peeked through soft clouds of pinkish-white.  Gracie patted more on top while squealing loud with delight.  “Oh, Nimby,” she giggled.  “Nimby’s in the tub!”

When darkness fell, Gracie didn’t want to climb into her crib.  “Grandma’s bed,” she said.  Resting her head on a feather pillow, she sucked on a pacifier while stroking her worn pink bunny between thumbs and forefingers.  “Gracie, did you have fun at Grandma’s house?”  She shook her head up and down through sleepiness.  I asked her next, “What was your favorite part of today?”  Abruptly, she sat up, cocking her head to the side with a knitted brow.  Yanking out her pacifier with one hand, it made a loud suction sound like pulling the plug from a drain.

“Oh, Grandma,” she said, dreamily.  “Your baftub.  Nimby in the tub.  Grandma washed my hair…sooo soft.”  She touched damp curls to her cheek and plopped back down to the plump of a pillow.

Then, in the dim light of my rose-colored lamp, I thanked God for that moment.  It stopped my heart with memorable love, leaving me with it until the day I die.

Priceless….

*A memory of two years ago. How fast life changes. Today, my son and daughter-in-law are expecting their third child! Gracie is now age four with her younger brother, the baby above and below over two! And, Nimby…well, he’s slowed down to working only part-time these days. During my son’s working hours at the National Weather Service, Nimbus is on full duty. At home, he takes a break by playing with the kids, chewing on bones, and taking walks in the park. You might say Nimby is spoiled most of the time, like any other pet. Either way, Nimbus has a dog-gone good life!

       

I Am Rich! – by Mary D


Without trying to, Mary has found the reason for the season.

Kindness Blog

I am elderly and my health is not the best.

I am always amazed when I go out with my oxygen tank how many people smile at me warmly, open doors for me, or ask if I need help.

Truly, I believe most people have kind, loving hearts and are willing to share of themselves.

I have an abundant life –

I have a husband who has loved me and been a strong support in my life for 60 years. I have children and grandchildren who have grown into beautiful adults, I have a roof over my head and am warm in the winter weather, I have an excellent medical team who work to make me feel better and I live in an agricultural area and a lot of the food I eat is farm to table.   

Truly I have an abundant life for which I give thanks from…

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My Happy Place


*My Happy Place, visited often and again early this morning.  A post worth repeating filled with life lessons….

There is a familiar spot here in great St. Louis, where people flop inside or outside, leaving their troubles behind for another time.  Actually, this hang-out is located in a toy town called Kirkwood, about ten miles from the chocolate color of my dusty garage door.

When summer begins to wane the weather is perfect, like this time of year.  Today, barely a soul of young or old can be found inside the multiple front doors of the welcoming café.  Instead, eagle eyes scan the outdoor crowd, looking for any sign of movement in case an imaginary “Vacancy” sign pops up.  Deep breaths are taken.  Fresh air is inhaled while lungs expand.  Ahhh, relaxation begins!

It is here that a new discovery is made each and every time I visit.  Who would think that a simple, nondescript patio made of concrete cement would have such an impact on my life?  And, yet it does.  This is my Happy Place.  A corner of wired tables in black with matching chairs on top of grey.  Wait…take a seat, sit down to rest your feet.  Shhh, watch and listen.  This is a haven full of people who are living in the moment.

Do you see what I see?  There are mothers pushing strollers, babes in arms, Daddies giving horsy-rides and coffee cups made of china white.  Children riding scooters, chocolate milk clutched in little hands, bikers, joggers, bunnies in wagons and toasted bagels laden with cream cheese.  Kisses on cheeks, grandparents carrying toddlers, and dogs-of-all-kinds. Pacifiers in pink or blue, books being read and luxury leashes made of leather.  Working laptops, baked banana bread so good, couples on first dates, I-phones, singles and fountains splish-splashing.  Love is in the air, walkers, bottles filled with water, smiles, secrets and even bellies-SO BIG!

My husband clasps my hand to find me the best seat.  He pulls out my chair before inquiring what I’d like to sip and eat.  “A vanilla cappuccino,” he asks, expecting a “Y.E.S.” Next, his words so sweet, “A cinnamon roll warmed for you?”  He is the very best man and I am the luckiest of women.  Soon he comes back with my treats.

While nibbling, I stop to “people watch,” snap a few pictures, and meet new friends.  The sun feels warm to my skin, pinking my cheeks.  Next to me, I meet the cutest Labradoodle who excitedly poses for me.  And then, a “Hallmark” moment begins.

A few feet away, the sweetest girl of young reaches up and over on tippy-toes to kiss her loved one so dear.  She has long and lovely dark hair, wears shorts and seems to surprise the woman who is older than she.  My heart skips a beat.

Seconds go by.  The freshly kissed woman passes our table.  My husband smiles, pointing to our phone.  “Look,” he says, stopping her.  A gentle grin, big and wide slides over pretty, white teeth.  She is touched by what she sees, going on to tell us a bit about her lovely grand-daughter.

Looking across at her table, she notices more seats taken.  Chairs pulled out.  Tennis shoes underneath.  This time by her husband together with a darling, young grand-son wearing metal and leather braces strapped to thin legs.  Briefly, we talk about Chronic Conditions.  “He was born with club feet,” she says, speaking of her other darling one.  “He’s already had several surgeries,” she adds, “with more to come.”  She speaks matter-of-factly, with no hint of ‘woe-is-me‘ in her voice when she glances over at her loved ones.

There is no doubt, no question in my mind that this is where I am supposed to be.   Right now, right here at this moment in time.  A new Life Lesson for me today.  How special it is to have and hold this “Hallmark” tip-toed kiss upon a grandmother’s lips!  From an innocent grand-daughter to her loving grandmother.  A story of life trials chock full of smiles on this very morning.  Lucky for me.

No matter how brief, this will forever be “My Happy Place.”

Prayers for “Doodle” Dog


Upon returning from vacation last Saturday evening, I learned of my beloved “Doodle” dog’s injury. Opening the door to plop overstuffed bags down on my entry tile floor, a familiar howl of excitement greeted me.  There he was!  A fluffy white head cocked to the side as if to say, “Where have you been?  “Why did you leave me?”

Doodles did not jump upon my leg in order to be petted or picked-up as expected …a telltale sign.  Instead, dark eyes stared wide and open, misty even…pleading in puppy-dog communication.  His nose, normally jet black and moist to the touch appeared coca-brown, uneven in color.  Bending down for a kiss, it felt warm and slightly rough upon my lips gentle brush.  A few seconds later, Doodles limped away from me.

It was midnight, what could I do?  Doodles lay upon my bed the whole night through.  A few hours later, the first appointment available was made at the vet for 10:00 pm.  There was nothing to be done except to make him as comfortable as possible and wait.  Sunday near midnight, I learned of the extent of Doodles injury.  In fairness to our pet sitter, she texted me earlier in the week to let me know that he had been running when suddenly he stopped with a short yelp.  Afterwards, he started limping.  It wasn’t her fault and she certainly didn’t know how serious it was.  Accidents happen.

My dog-baby has completely torn most of the ligaments in his left-rear leg and blown his ACL.  I’d like to believe otherwise, but most likely he will need surgery.  An appointment is made to see a specialist and surgeon early next week.  Until then, he’s on medication, sleeping on a fuzzy fleece bed to the side of my half-moon desk.

Normally, I take this kind of news in stride except Doodles has already had two surgeries on a different leg at two different times for the same reason.  Two surgeries, two months of rehab (each), lots of $$$$ with a tremendous risk, a lot of pain, and no guarantees…ever.  I’m used to living with “Chronic Conditions,” but my “Doodle” dog?  Ironic it is and yet….not so much.   So, here I go again, what to do?

Doodles is a member of my family.  He rises with me in the dawn of morn to sit beneath my desk until the dusk of night.  He follows behind me trotting to the coffee pot, not caring if my bathrobe is scraggly or that my hair isn’t combed.  He cherishes a ride in my convertible and loves to feel wind whisper fluffy white fur atop his cotton candy head. Glancing at him in side view mirrors, a smile spreads across my face to see such euphoria.  Each passing car toots a horn at the sight of such pooch delight!

During each and every day, Doodles sits upon my lap to watch fingers tap letters from black keys, cocking his head in wonder as they move up and down.  Sometimes a fresh groomed paw will push them away, stopping the flow.  When it does, I scoop him up.

With a furry body of four long legs together with tender paws, we seek an adventure in the out of doors.  Together, we breathe fresh air deep into our lungs while feeling the warmth of the sun.  He stops to sniff hidden scents under dark green shrubbery along chipped sidewalk paths of poured cement while walking on a leash, frayed and painted in our team of “Cardinal” red.  Happy, he is.

That’s all I want for my “Doodle” dog.  Happiness…and to live and walk again without an ounce of pain.

 

 

Wishes for Grandson


A breath, a cry, a baby yawn, you’ve made your presence known.  Newly bathed and swaddled in gauze, your mother cradles you to her breast where two hearts beat as one.

For my first grandson, I have wishes for you.  More than three, less than a million.  If I was near a fountain of gurgling water splashing into a pool of clear, I’d toss loose coins while wishing silently.  Instead, I will write them here for you to read one day.  A day not so far away when you grow from wee into a little lad.

Before you even arrived, I prayed to God above for all your life ahead.  And, as I slept the first night after, I dreamed of all I wished for you.  As you grow from infant to tadpole to toddler to teen, close your sweet eyes to imagine that wishes and dreams do come true.  I give them all and more to you.

While you are a baby I wish for you to nestle with Mommy, reach for your sister’s face of innocence and Rock-a-Bye with Daddy.  Choose your favorite blanket, roll on your belly, scoot on the floor, learn to crawl, and 1-2-3 please smile for me.

I wish for you to play with wooden blocks, build a tower, knock it down, eat green peas, spit them out, take first steps and pull my hair.  Catch a big red ball, say a word, and play in snow with Daddy who loves you so.

Before we can say magic words, babyhood is gone for good.  A little boy you now will be.  We will miss the small.  Soooo, B-I-G!  How lucky is your family?

I wish for you to hold a puppy’s leash while jumping in puddles of mud when the rain smells good.   Splash, splash, splash.  Now, close your eyes to soak warm sunshine like an ocean sponge.  Do you feel it on your sleepy face?  Toasty, like Mommy’s kitchen after baking cinnamon rolls.  Can you smell them if you sniff, sniff, sniff?

Oh yes, I wish for you to sleep in a tent  or catch a frog while listening to crickets chirping loud in the quiet of the night.  Soon it rains a melody of drops on dark green canvas for you to hear.  Plop…plop…plop.

I hope you’ll see a Mama bird build her nest  and feel a roly-poly bug crawling in your hand right up your wrist.  Not to worry.  It won’t hurt, only tickle.  Lots of itty-bitty legs…can you guess how many?  Grandpa says, “14!”   Soon I laugh at chocolate rings round your mouth from milk found in a cup at Grandma’s house!

I wish for you to win a race, build a back yard fort and watch firefly’s glow yellow in the black of night.  Skip a rope, jump a hoop, swing a bat, and hit a ball.  There it goes…..Look, squint your eyes to see.  Flying like a rocket ship…see?  A home run to be!  Listen closely now, do you hear the cheering crowd?

Please, pick up squiggly worms for me.  Ride a bike, get dusty dirty, fly a kite, and skip a rock.  Swim in lakes, underneath are minnows skimming crystal sand in waters of Windex blue.

Yes, Hudson, I wish for you to bottle up bullies with a cork.  If words should sting, please tell Mommy or Daddy.  You will see that bad words do not help…only hurt.  Rise above them. Remember this, be the best that you can be.

When old enough to fall in love, kiss the girl you will marry one day.  Please love her with all of your heart.  Look to Mommy and Daddy to see how good it can be.  Respect the ‘She’ you love someday.  Any part of your heart you give away will come right back to you….only bigger and better!  Do you feel it growing inside of you?  Be patient and you will see.

The greatest wish is that you live a long life of prayer, good health and forever happiness.  For if this last big wish comes true for you, chances are all others will too!

Above all else, be your father’s pride, your mother’s love and your sister’s shining knight.