Saturday, December 29, 2007


Several blogs I read have done this as a recap of the year. It seemed like a good way to remember 2007. So, here are a few lines from each month of my blog entries for the year.


In order to follow through with my resolutions, today I joined the local health club.


We have snow, ice, and no electricity. The house is too cold and too dark for habitation, so we have come to camp out with other friends and relatives at daughter #2's house. She is one of the few in town with power.


Today I officially became a disabled person. My knee has become increasingly painful and walking any distance is difficult. The doctor says it is arthritis and there really isn’t much that can be done


We have just returned from three days in Ocean City, MD, with our fourteen-year-old grandson, DQ.


Today is my 66th birthday. I enjoyed a lovely day spending time with people I love.


I do not own an IPod. I do not have a play list. When I listen to my kids and grandkids talk about music I frequently feel old and completely out of touch. I think I’m a 331/3 in an IPod world.


For me the best part of our trip to California was time we were able to spend with my brothers and their families.


We have had a lovely four days in Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is the oldest seashore resort in the nation, and it is just adorable.


“Mom.” My daughter’s voice on the phone tells me something is wrong before she says anything else. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “ I’m in the hospital. I broke my leg. It hurts a lot,” is her answer.


When I arrived at AM’s house this morning she was dressed and eager for the day. She was bouncing and said it felt like Christmas was almost here. This was finally the day. After forty-five days the cast was coming off.


Today I was part of a program at the senior citizen’s center to honor our veterans. It was a very moving and touching event. The people being honored are mostly in their seventies and eighties. They fought in World War II and in the Korean War.


I love Christmas music. Fortunately I have many opportunities to enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Christmas to Remember

It is the day after Christmas. We enjoyed our Christmas Eve service and the celebration of the birth of Jesus, but for me the main focus of Christmas has always been the joy of a wonderful family. Yesterday all my children and grandchildren were here. The house rang with laughter and good conversations..

Today my house is full of the detritus of yesterday’s celebration. This morning I woke to sound of my son the bachelor snoring in the next room. It was good to have him home. The floor is covered with scraps of wrapping paper, a testimony left to remind me of the pile of presents we exchanged. The table is covered with crumbs left from a feast of far too much food. There are pieces of toys and games left behind after the gifts were packed up to go home. I look at it all and smile. Cleaning up after such a happy day is an easy chore. This has been a Christmas to remember.

Monday, December 24, 2007

God bless us, everyone.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Five Christmas Concerts

Here is a sample of five Christmas concerts. The elementary school, starring my beautiful ten year old granddaughter, sang about about a partridge in a pear tree. The middle school and my handsome young tenor sang a mix of carols and gospel songs. The beautiful alto in the high school choir was impressive. My favorite daughter-in-law on the French horn and my granddaughter on the violin played beautifully in the orchestra of a church concert. I had fun singing in the senior chorale. It is beginning to sound a lot like Christmas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tis the Season

Forgive me readers, for I have not posted Real life has interfered with my time in blogland. Since my last post I have:

1. Attended three Christmas concerts starring some of my grandchildren.

2. Addressed and mailed all my Christmas cards.

3. Drove an older friend to the doctor and listened to her fears.

4. Baked a gumdrop cake. It would not be Christmas at our house without a gumdrop cake.

5. Baked Christmas cookies with one grandson.

6. Took same grandson shopping to pick out gifts for his mom and dad.

7. Sorted food for delivery to needy families.

8. Wrapped toys to be given to children of the needy families receiving food.

9. Gone to the pool for my water aerobics class twice.

10. Went out to lunch with my daughter and granddaughter who is home from college for the holidays.

11. Prepared and hosted a holiday lunch for fourteen of my older friends. Most of my guests are in their eighties. I like hanging out with them because they make me feel so young.

12. Went to the movies with my beloved and my grandson. We saw I Am Legend. Good but very scary. I spent much of the show jumping into the lap of whoever was sitting next to me.

13. Paid the bills. Did the laundry. Vacuumed the house. Cooked. Washed dishes.

14. Listened to all of my Christmas music while doing all of the above.

I am so glad I am retired and can enjoy these days of rest and relaxation.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yellow Roses

Yesterday I returned home to find that the florist had delivered a bouquet containing two perfect yellow roses. When I saw it I knew immediately that my first-born had sent them. I smiled at her sweetness and began crying because of all the memories they represented. Seventeen years ago this week my father died. Eighteen years ago this week my father-in-law died. This is the anniversary of the week my children lost both of their grandfathers. My kids were lucky to have two such wonderful men to be their Grampas. My dad loved yellow roses and yellow roses will always be the flower that reminds us these good men.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. Fortunately I have many opportunities to enjoy it. Tonight I am attending the high school holiday concert. Tomorrow I will attend the middle school holiday concert. Next week I plan to enjoy the elementary school holiday concert. All this music is one of the blessings of having grandchildren living near by. In addition to the children’s programs I am singing in two performances with the senior chorale and playing in the hand bell choir for two performances at church. My holidays will be filled with music.

My new Christmas favorite song is this one performed by the Celtic Woman.

What are you’re your favorite Christmas songs?

Monday, December 10, 2007


Yesterday we put up all our Christmas decorations. There is my new Advent wreath, our nativity set that is about ten years old, and our tree topped by our angel, Harold, who has watched over us for the past forty-six Christmases. I was filled with nostalgia and a little melancholy as I hung the ornaments. Our children and friends made them long ago. I remembered the years when our children were young and filled the house with noise and excitement. Putting up the tree with children is a very different event than putting up a tree with two sentimental old folks. I am blessed. My memories are sweet. I love the people my children have become, but I do miss the days when they were little.

The picture was made for our Christmas card in 1975.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Yesterday I went to my water aerobics class and then sat in the hot tub for a while afterwards. The water was warm, steamy and relaxing. Outside I could see big, puffy snowflakes falling. The trees in the woods were all wearing soft, snowy blankets. The world looked clean and beautiful. It was such a lovely, relaxing moment.

When was the last time you just soaked up a moment of pure loveliness and felt totally at peace with the world?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas 1954

All of my memories of Christmas as a child are happy memories. One of the major tasks of the season was the choosing of a Christmas tree. Dad took this job very seriously. All of us would join him in his search for the perfect tree. We usually drove to at least six different lots to inspect all of the trees. It was fortunate that I grew up in southern California so cold weather did not cause a problem in our quest. Our tree had to be perfect. Dad would pick one out and we would all walk around it to check for bare spots or dry needles. It was so hard to find one that we would all agree was the perfect tree for us. Frequently we would go back to the first lot after we had checked them all and buy one of first trees we had seen. It was always an exciting day. In this picture we are gathered around our perfect tree in 1954. My brothers were in high school. I was in junior high. The dress is one I made in home ec class. I was quite proud of it.

This year we will climb into the attic and bring down our genuine artificial pine tree. There are no bare spots and needles don’t fall off. Putting it’s artificial branches together just doesn’t seem as exciting as my childhood quest for the perfect tree.

How about you? Real tree or artificial tree?

Saturday, December 01, 2007


My granddaughter was wicked this weekend. She was very, very wicked. She frightened small children and caused much terror. She finally paid for her wickedness when Dorothy threw a bucket of water on her and she melted. She played the role of the Wicked Witch of the West in a children’s theater production of The Wizard of Oz. Wickedness is such a fun role.

My younger granddaughter was a dancing munchkin. Her role was adorable and sweet.

It was a fun play for all the young actors and for all their adoring fans.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Advent begins this Sunday. I love Advent and message of hope, peace and love that it represents. I love the symbolism of lighting of the Advent candles during church. This year I decided I wanted to have an Advent wreath and candles of my very own. Yesterday I bought a pretty brass candle holder for the purple and pink candles. I set it up on my dining room table happy with how pretty it looked. In the evening my friend J came over and admired it. I told her that I was planning to get some greenery tomorrow and make a wreath for the candles. She looked excited and ran out to her car and came back with a lovely green wreath, which fitted around the base of my candles perfectly. It looked lovely. She gave me a hug and said the wreath was my Christmas gift. I was thrilled to have just what I wanted.

How many of you have a friend who carries extra wreaths around in the car just in case someone might need one? J is a special friend. Everyone should have a friend like her.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Tattoos are unusual in the women of my generation, so I have been intrigued by the tattoo on the arm of a seventy-six year old lady who is one of my water-aerobics classmates. Today I asked her when she got the tattoo and why. She smiled and said it was a long story. This is her story.

Five years ago her daughter was diagnosed with cancer. The news was devastating to the entire family. Her daughter would have to undergo a regime of very difficult treatments to fight the disease. She was afraid. My classmate, her sick daughter, her other daughter and her two granddaughters decided to do something that would show the world that this family was in this fight together. They would stand united and wage war against the cancer. The symbol they chose was a beautiful little hummingbird, which they each had tattooed on their arm. It was a powerful moment for the family that made them all fell a little braver.

Her daughter died two years ago. The tattoo is a symbol of love, family, and her very brave daughter.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. The time was full of family, friends, fun and food. We enjoyed a walk after dinner through AM’s neighborhood. I was thankful to see her walking so well. In the evening the entire clan went to see the move Enchanted. It was a great family movie that made us all laugh. Our son and daughter-in-law spent the night and we had time for lots of talking. Saturday our eighteen-year-old grandson went skydiving. The jump was a graduation gift from his aunt. I was pretty nervous about it, but he had a marvelous time and would like to do it again. Today was the last Sunday of ordinary time before Advent. I always love church and today was better than usual. I looked across the building from my place in the bell choir and saw my children and grandchildren filling an entire pew. There is something wonderful about worshiping together with my family. I feel blessed. I hope all of you found reasons to be thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving #4

Today is a big cooking day. I got up early to bake a cake and make red jello. Red jello is made with strawberries, bananas and pineapple and is a tradition at any family dinner in our house. My daughter is busy making pies and getting the table set for a big dinner tomorrow. My other daughter is entertaining her in-laws so we will not have her cheese ball or mango salsa.

I am thankful for food to eat. Tomorrow will be a feast with more food than we can possibly consume. I am thankful for that bounty, but mostly I am thankful for my daily bread. I have never really been hungry. I have always had enough food to feed my children. This is not true for everyone. We see the news with those poignant pictures of hungry children. I have helped in our local food pantry and know that there are people in my own neighborhood who are hungry. Food to eat is not a something everyone can take for granted.

Have you ever been hungry?

How can we help to feed those who are hungry?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving #3

I am thankful for the telephone. It has enabled me to reach out and share some of life’s great moments when I couldn’t be there in person. I remember many calls that were important in my life story.

“Mom.” It is 5 am and my first-born is calling from Tennessee. She is about to give birth to her first-born. “My water just broke and we’re getting ready to go to the hospital.” I sit up, wide awake, and ask her if she is OK. “Oh, Mom, I’m so scared.” We both start crying. I feel a thousand miles away. I am a thousand miles away. Later that day there is another call. My son-in-law says, “Something is wrong. Start praying. We’re going to do a C- section”. I pray. An hour later the call comes again. “It’s a girl. Everyone is fine. Oh, Sue, she is beautiful.”

The phone rings at 3am and I hear my brother’s voice, “It’s over, Sue. Mom died about ten minutes ago.” She was 97 and had been sick for years. She was my mom and she was my brothers’ mom. We need to hear each other’s voices.

“Gramma!” I hear my granddaughter on the phone. “I got accepted. I’m going to college. Isn’t that wonderful!” I laugh and share her moment of joy. It is so good that she could call and I could hear her excitement.

There have been so many calls. We share joy. We share sorrow. We talk about hard decisions and listen to each other’s ideas. We share life.

The telephone has been a lifeline for which I am very grateful.

What phone calls have been important in your life?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving #2

Among my greatest treasures are many books. I love books. They take me to other worlds and show me new ideas that make me think thoughts that I might have missed. Books contain stories that make me laugh out loud, cause to sob, enrage me and fill me with anger, or comfort me like my mother’s lap used to do.

As a child I read all of the Nancy Drew books and all of the Oz books. I loved The Secret Garden. As I became a teenager I started reading biographies and sweeping historical novels. Stories about real people intrigued me. One of the books I loved was called. “David the King,” by Gladys Schmitt. It was a novel about Israel’s King David. I absolutely fell in love with David. It was because of this book that I named my first-born son David. Today I am reading, “World Without End,” by Ken Follett. It is a sequel to Pillars of the Earth.

I am thankful that I am able to read and I am thankful for the many books that have entertained me and educated me over the years.

Here is a very incomplete list of some of my all-time favorite books.

1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum and all the other books in the Oz series. These books were magical

2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This was such a sweet story of childhood and triumph.

3. Lust for Life by Irving Stone. This was a great story about the troubled life of Vincent Van Gogh.

4. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. One of the sweetest love stories I’ve ever read.

5. Traveling Mercies by Ann Lamott. This book helped me understand what faith is all about.

6. The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg. This book has been valuable on my journey of faith.

7. The entire Mitford series of books by Jan Karon. These books are a sweet escape into the life and faith of a small town in North Carolina.

8. The DiVinci Code by Dan Brown. A great thriller. I stayed up all night to finish it.

9. The entire Stephanie Plum mystery series by Janet Evanovich. Just lots of fun.

10. The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. What a poignant and moving story this is.

What books are on your all time favorite list?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Little Houses

This is the song Maureen commented on in my last post

Thursday, November 15, 2007


One week from today is Thanksgiving Day. I am way too blessed to be able to write about all the things for which I am grateful on one day, so I will start my thanksgiving list today.

I am thankful for my house. It is cold and rainy today, but I am warm and dry inside this house. The warmth is more than the fact that the roof isn’t leaking and the new windows provide good insulation, the warmth is the glow of memories that fill every room and every corner.

We moved here in 1964. Since then this old house has rung with laughter and has been filled with tears. We raised four children here. The office in which I now sit was our girls’ room. Over the years it has been painted yellow, pink, purple and green. The walls have been covered with crayons and markers, then posters of teen idols. Later it was home to our foster son and housed his weight bench and his karate belts and hid his Playboy magazines and chewing tobacco. Our clean, quiet guest room was the boys’ room. It was crowded with bunk beds, books, toys and various sports equipment. The kids grew up and grandchildren came to play. This little house felt like it would burst when we all got together.

The memories are everywhere I look. I love this house.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Changing Directions

Changing directions is hard.

I thought about this in my deep-water aerobics class. We all paddle along in a circle. As we move together we create a small current that helps us go faster. Then the teacher says we need to change directions. Suddenly the small current is going against us and forward movement is harder. It takes several strokes of trying not to go backward to get the forward momentum going again. This observation started me thinking about the times in my life when I needed to change directions.

Friday my beloved took the day off work and we were going to run away for a short holiday. Our bags were packed and we were in a holiday mood as we started to back out of the driveway. Then came a phone call from AM. The doctor had just called saying that blood test on her ten year had just come back. The sugar was extremely high and it looked like she was diabetic. If the repeat test was still high she would have to go to the hospital that evening. The holiday mood went away and we had to change the direction of how we felt and what we would do. After a day of apprehensive waiting the test came back completely normal. No hospital. She would be checked again next week, but all was well now. Our mood changed directions again. We were grateful. As we started to breathe again we found it impossible to regain the holiday mood and had to again change the directions of how we felt and what we would do.

When have you suddenly had to change directions in your life? Was it a permanent change or just a temporary turn around?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Today I was part of a program at the senior citizen’s center to honor our veterans. It was a very moving and touching event. The people being honored are mostly in their seventies and eighties. They fought in World War II and in the Korean War. While waiting for our chorale to sing I sat a table of old men who were reminiscing about times that had changed their lives. Some were career military and some were draftees who had served for a few years. I heard stories from a medic about the devastating injuries he saw and the horrid decisions he had to make about who he would try to save and who he would leave to die. He still remembers the faces of those injured young soldiers. Another man had taught young men how to handle ammunition and how to load the big guns on a ship. He remembered a young man who froze with fright and was unable to move. The young man was holding a live shell that could kill them all if it dropped. The instructor got down on his knees and looked the frightened young sailor in the eye and talked softly to him and very gently removed the shell from his hands. All of the others stood quietly and just waited as the young man was led away to sickbay. There were lots of stories, all told with pride, some told with tears. Later we sang a medley of songs to honor each branch of the service. The veterans each stood tall and proud as we sang to honor them. I was filled with a sense of thanksgiving for all that these men and women had given to all us. I felt proud to part of a country that was made of people like these good and brave people.

I pray for the day when there will be peace on earth. I pray for a future where old men no longer remember the painful stories of war.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I was awake all night. I was tired and wanted to sleep, but I just couldn’t get comfortable and go off to dream land. I read for a while and got sleepy, but when I put down the book and turned off the light I started tossing and turning. I was plagued by random thoughts that just wouldn’t turn off, like patterns to make with my pen to create different textures for my pen and ink class or what to get my grandson for his birthday in three weeks. I finally got up and read blogs and sipped on a glass of wine until I got sleepy. I then lay in bed tossing and turning another hour wishing for sleep, unable to doze off. I got up and sat in my big recliner and waited for the dawn. I finally fell asleep about 6AM.

I do this fairly often and it is an annoyance.

What do you do when you find it hard to sleep?

Saturday, November 03, 2007


There were three obituaries in this week’s Washington Post that I found interesting. I never met any of these men and did not even recognize their names. After reading about their accomplishments though, I wanted to take time to honor them. They did not know each other and led very different lives. Their different accomplishments each changed this world and the way we think. Their names are Paul Tibbets Jr., Owen Davis, and John Woodruff. They were all ninety-two years old when they died.

Paul Tibbets Jr. was a pilot during World War II. He flew a plane that he named after his mother, Enola Gay. It was Tibbets who on August 6, 1945 piloted the plane that dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima, destroying the entire city. Tibbets believed that he saved far more lives than he destroyed and that his action was the key factor in ending the war. He told reporters that it would have been morally wrong to possess that weapon and not use it and let a million more people die. He did what he thought needed to be done to end a terrible war. Whatever you think about the decision to use the atomic bomb, it was definitely a decision that changed the way people look at war.

Owen Davis was a policeman in the District of Columbia. He was the first black deputy chief in the District. In 1951 Owen took a promotional exam and broke the color barrier. His personality and ability helped him to rise through the ranks to become an officer honored and respected by everyone who knew him. “Naturally, I made a contribution,” Davis said in 1976, “My career was a demonstration to other blacks that this can be done, a demonstration to whites that this is no cause for fear.” I am grateful for the change this man brought to my town.

John Woodruff was an Olympic athlete. Many have heard of his better-known teammate, Jesse Owens, but it was John Woodruff who, with a dramatic come from behind victory in the 800-meter race, was the first black athlete to ascend the podium in Germany’s 1936 Olympic games. Woodruff was the first to refute Adolf Hitler’s theories of Aryan racial supremacy. Overcoming racism in any way is a significant thing.

These men left a legacy for all of us of by their deeds. What kind of legacy are we leaving for those who come after us?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

This year I am going to be a screaming Brillo Pad for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

At Last

When I arrived at AM’s house this morning she was dressed and eager for the day. She was bouncing and said it felt like Christmas was almost here. This was finally the day. After forty-five days the cast was coming off. In just a few moments the cast cutter did its job and the leg was finally free. It does look a bit disgusting with its dry, flaky skin, withered muscles and still swollen ankle, but the doctor was pleased and said it looked great. A few weeks of physical therapy and she will be ready to take on the world again. After soaking the leg in a tub of warm water and getting rid of most of the dry skin and moisturizing it with lotion I thought it looked pretty good. Her kids thought it looked disgusting but were very happy to see their mom with shoes on both feet.

Today was a good day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Life has just been too busy lately. I stay tired.

Friday my granddaughter went to the homecoming dance, her first high school dance. She went with a bunch of girlfriends. It was great fun to share in her getting ready excitement and take pictures of her and her girlfriends all prettied up for the dance. She had a great time.

Saturday I worked all day in the church kitchen helping to prepare lunch for about 150 people to share after the memorial service. I feel good about this work. Sharing such moments is sacred time. Still, It was a long day.

Saturday evening I went to an Octoberfest with a bunch of church friends. We enjoyed homemade German food and lots of beer and German drinking songs. The laughter was wonderful.

I love Sunday and going to church. I love worshipping in the community of family and friends. I teach Sunday school and always come out smiling at the wonderful innocence and joy of little children. Today they were very excited about the big Halloween party that was held this evening. The youth group had decorated a haunted house. We had lots of games for the little ones. The children loved being in their costumes. Some of the adults were pretty funny too. My broken legged daughter wore a George W. mask (very scary!) She was a lame duck.

The highlight of the party was Trunk or Treating through the church parking lot. The church member had decorated the trunks of their cars and filled them with goodies. The kids were adorable as they went from car to car trunk or treating.

It has been a full weekend. I am tired

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I have given a lot of thought recently to mortality and the fact that life here of earth is a fleeting thing. Death is inevitable for each of us. We all know that, but we don’t often stop to think about it. I am going to die. I know without doubt that there is a heaven where God has made all things new and there is no more death. I’m not sure about the details of what eternity with God means, but I do know that heaven is real and that heaven is good.

Tuesday afternoon I spent time with my neighbor of over forty years. His wife died this week. We talked about a lifetime of shared memories. Our children played together in one another’s homes. Our lives are connected by many stories. Now she is gone and he is left with memories and uncertainties about what life alone will be like. He looks forward to heaven.

Yesterday I took a friend to visit her husband. He is in a hospice house in downtown Washington. She is too frail to be able to drive herself to see him. She sat by his bed and watched as he labored for each breath. He would call out for her and she would reply, “I’m here. I’m right here.” He held her hand and said that everything was foggy. He said he was ready to go home. We understood that he did not mean the house they had shared for so many years. He was ready for heaven.

Last night a good friend came over with a stack of pictures of her father. He died this week and the memorial service will be Saturday. The pictures were images to capture the highlights of a long and happy life. My husband will put them into a power point show to be viewed at the service on Saturday. How can fifty pictures tell the story of a man’s life? My friend knows she will see her father again in heaven.

What do you think it will be like in heaven? Does the thought of heaven bring you comfort?

Monday, October 22, 2007


October 22, 1963, was a day that changed my life forever. I became a mother and my world turned upside down. I have learned that a topsy-turvy world is normal for parents.

I thought I was well prepared for motherhood. I had babysat and been around children all my life. I wanted to be mother. I was a labor & delivery room nurse. I knew what to expect. I was experienced with newborn babies. None of that prepared me for what being a mother really means. I was unprepared for the emotions. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this fierce, protective overwhelming love that has guided my every thought and decision since that day. I never knew what fatigue really was before I had children who were so very present. They never stopped needing me. I was unprepared for the anger a usually adorable two-year- old in the midst of a “terrible twos” episode generated in me. There was this enormous feeling of uncertainty. I always thought my parents just knew what to do because they were parents. The truth was that there were so many times that I had no idea what was the right thing to do. Then my children turned into teenagers. They were good kids, but I lived in a perpetual state of fear. They were so confident and felt so sure of themselves. They took risks that made me tremble. They made friends that made me uncomfortable. Then they did something that I was totally unprepared for. They grew up. It just surprised me. One day they were babies, who needed me for everything, and then I turned around and they had all become adults. I am stilled a bit stunned that these wonderful people who are my best friends are in fact my babies. Letting them go and become the good people they have become was the hardest and the best part of being their mom. I am intensely proud of each of them. I still love them with a fierce, protective, overwhelming love. They amaze me.

Happy birthday, Laurel! Thank you for being you. Thank you for putting up with being our practice child. I love you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


AM’s older kids went camping with friends this past weekend. On the way home they made the required stop at the Apple House bringing home a big bag of apples and two dozen fresh apple donuts. A fresh donut from the Apple House is like a taste of heaven. It just melts in your mouth and makes you feel better all over. The taste is a spiritual feast. So yummy.

Last night Grampa and our 12-year-old grandson were home alone for a while. The boy decided to try to improve on the basic apple donut and created a new dessert. The ingredients were apple donut, marshmallow fluff, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate syrup and whipped cream. They both said it was delicious and there was none left, but I’m not sure my stomach could handle much of that creation.

Tonight’s event was the making of apple pies. Grampa and young friend Emmy got AM’s apple corer, peeler, slicer gadget out and prepared the apples, Gramma Ev mixed the apples with the sugar and spices, AM used her crutch to point to where things were in her kitchen and I put the pies in the oven. In the midst of the slicing and stirring, Emmy laughed and said, “This is applemania!” There was a lot of laughter baked into those pies. They tasted wonderful.

Got any good apple recipes?

Friday, October 12, 2007


There are moments when you realize that time is just flying by at a speed you can’t comprehend. There are other moments when time just drags and you can’t believe that life is taking so long.

AM is counting the days until her cast comes off and she will be free again. The moments drag. She can’t wait until that moment comes. It is taking soooo long. The older kids are going camping with friends this weekend. They can’t wait until tonight. It seems like the moment will never come. I’ve been doing some work on the computer this morning. It is so slow today. It feels like forever before the screen I want finally appears. The time drags.

Last week I took my fourteen-year-old granddaughter to buy a dress to wear to the homecoming dance. She found a dress that makes her look absolutely beautiful. She loves it. I hate the dress because it makes her look so grown up. Where did the time go? How did she grow up so fast?

I looked in the mirror this morning and some old lady was looking back at me. When did I get this old? How did the time go so fast?

Is time dragging or flying by for you today?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ordinary Time

We changed churches a few years ago and learned about the liturgical year. This was a new thing for us and we found it an interesting learning tool that we liked it. When you ask most folks what part of the church year they like best they will say either Christmas or Easter. Personally my favorite is that long period knows as Ordinary Time. Holidays are fun, but we spend most of our life doing the daily ordinary things. Long ago one of my children asked me what my hobby was and I told him it was doing laundry. “Oh,” he said, “is that why you do it all the time?” I find joy in doing the daily things in life and remembering to be thankful for the ability to do that chore. The other night we pulled out a deck of Zen Tarot cards that my daughter owns and we each pulled a card that was supposed to give us insight into our situation and use it as a meditation for the day. It seemed appropriate that the card I pulled was Ordinariness. The explanation for the card said, “Beauty can found in the simple, ordinary things of life…Cleaning the house, cooking the meals take on a sacred quality when performed with love…. Take things simply, one step at a time.” The card did seem right for this time when I have taken over the ordinary chores of running the house for my daughter.

Here are some of my favorite ordinary things:

1. The smell of freshly laundered clothes as I fold them and put them into my grandchildren’s rooms. I am glad they have good clothes to wear.

2. The sounds of birds coming in the window as I read.

3. Sharing my first cup of morning coffee with my daughter.

4. Delicious dinners prepared by people who love us.

5. Sleeping in my own bed.

6. Sitting by my grandchildren in church and hearing them sing.

7. A big hug from a friend who understands why am I so tired.

8. Walking

9. Singing

10. My sweet husband who loves me in good times and in bad.

What are some of the ordinary things in your life that bring you joy?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Life Goes On

AM is feeling better. She now is the proud owner of a wheelchair with a leg support. With her new wheels she can get around the ground floor of her house and we were even able to get her to church on Sunday. She is only taking the good drugs at bedtime now. Ibuprofen gets her through the day so she is not feeling so groggy. She has a post-op visit this afternoon to remove the stitches and hopefully get a lighter weight, more comfortable cast.

I have finally looked around beyond my busyness and noticed the world has just continued right on. Babies have been born, other people are sick, or have far bigger problems than ours. The summer trees have started to turn yellow and red with colorful leaves swirling in the air. Life just continues on with or without my participation.

Yesterday was AM’s youngest child’s tenth birthday. My how the time has flown! She celebrated the day by eating Cold Stone ice cream for breakfast. On your birthday you get to break a few rules.

I find that almost everyone has a broken bone story. Whenever I tell about my daughter's broken leg I hear about someone else who had a worse break. What’s your broken bone story? What happened? What was it like when it you were recovering?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Acts of Kindness

Life is beginning to settle into a better routine in this house of recovery. AM is feeling much better, needing less pain medicine and feeling more alert. I have sort of figured out how to get the kids to their multiple activities and keep this busy household running. I am only able to do this because of all the help and love that has been showered upon us. The refrigerator is filled with food prepared by friends and family, the mailbox overflows with get well wishes, people drop by to check on us and offer whatever help than can give. One day I mentioned that I had forgotten to buy ketchup (my grandson's vegetable of choice) and a few minutes later a neighbor stopped by with a giant size bottle of ketchup. AM complained of the toes on her broken foot being cold and another friend is knitting a special sock to fit over her cast. We feel blessed and are full of gratitude for the love and kindness we are experiencing daily.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


I am home. It feels good to relax in my own space for a little while. A good friend is staying with my daughter tonight.

Daughter is doing better. The new mix of pain meds is helping and she is going five hours between pills now and has been able to get some sleep the last two nights. That makes all of us feel better. She has had some weird, drug-induced dreams. I don’t think you can seek too much meaning from dreams that involve narcotics. One of her meds lists as a side effect “May cause trouble with thinking clearly.” We can attest that this is true. She can think clearly later. For now we are just grateful for pain relief.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pain & Blessings

The picture posted yesterday is the post-op x-ray of my daughter’s foot. She really was screwed. It took two metal plates and ten screws in her ankle to get the bones stabilized enough to heal properly. She came home from the hospital a few hours after surgery yesterday. Last night was a very long night. Her pain medicine just wasn’t doing the job and she wass in terrible pain most of the night. We talked to the doctor this morning and he added a few new meds to increase her pain relief. Hopefully she will be able to sleep tonight.

There are blessings in this ordeal. We are very aware of the love and prayers of many friends. We have had lots of offers of help. We know we are not alone and there is a host of folks ready to do whatever they can to help.

Another great blessing is special time with my grandchildren. They are so concerned about their mom and have been so sweet and helpful. Since mom has been drifting in and out of her drug-induced haze the past few days, I get to hear the daily reports of their adventures at school. That has been fun. Last night as I tucked the almost ten year old in she wanted me to hear her prayers. She prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. “Thank you, God, that my grandma can be here to support us in our time of need while my mommy is sick.” I could only say Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I am staying at my daughter’s house for the next several weeks. She needs a bit of help running her busy household while her broken leg heals. She will have surgery tomorrow to put in screws and metal plates to stabilize the bones while they heal. Until the bones mend she will not be unable to put any weight on her right leg. She can’t drive. She cannot go up or down the stairs. She has three children who are in an assortment of activities. Fortunately she has many people who love her and are willing to help. She will recover and be able to do it all again, but not now

We sometimes forget how fragile this life can be. All is well, and then suddenly something happens and the world turns upside down. Her plans for the next three months have changed, but she will recover. We are grateful that it is just a broken leg.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


“Mom.” My daughter’s voice on the phone tells me something is wrong before she says anything else. “What’s wrong?” I ask. “ I’m in the hospital. I broke my leg. It hurts a lot,” is her answer.

It was a beautiful morning and she had been out on the Chesapeake Bay in a small powerboat taking pictures of a sailing race. She was having a wonderful time when all of a sudden she stepped wrong just as the boat hit a wave. She slipped and fell. There was this overwhelming pain and when she looked at her foot it was pointed in a direction that feet are not meant to point. The little boat sped back to the marina where an ambulance was waiting with pain medicine. It is a bad break, two breaks in the fibula and one in the tibia. After x-rays the leg was realigned which reduced the pain some, but she is still very uncomfortable. She will require surgery next week to put screws and plates in to stabilize the bones until they heal. Until then she can’t put any weight on the leg. She is staying with me tonight. We will think about how to get her home tomorrow. Tonight she needed her mom and her Percocet.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I rode into Washington D.C. today to enjoy an exhibit at one of the art galleries. Several large signs along the highway said, “Report any suspicious activity. “Call 800 ***-****.”

What should I be looking for? Just what might I see along the road that would something I should call in?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Fourteen years ago today a baby girl was born and immediately took up residence in my heart. This little girl, our fourth grandchild, has grown into a beautiful, talented and loving young woman. It is hard to believe that she is in high school this year. The time has gone so very quickly. She has been bitten by the theater bug and loves acting and all things surrounding theater. She has just landed the role of the wicked witch of the west in a community theater production of The Wizard of Oz. That will be such a fun role to play. She dreams one day of becoming a make-up artist for Hollywood stars. I believe she can achieve whatever dream she set her heart on.

Happy birthday beautiful girl. I love you!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This morning my husband stopped in the grocery store on his way to work when the store’s speaker came on, “It is now 8:46 AM. It was at this moment six years ago that the first tower fell. Remember.”

The announcement caught him off guard. It was a very emotional moment as he did remember. This date will always be remembered. We were all changed.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hello Fall, Good By summer

Suddenly my schedule is getting very full. The lazy days of summer play and travel have been replaced with a calendar full of meetings, classes and volunteering. The busy schedule is of my own choosing and the activities are things I think are important and fun, but I guess it’s time to refocus my thinking from the beauty of Yellowstone to the activities of today.

Here is one last set of pictures from our trip. The animals that fill the park are always fun to see. We saw hundreds of bison, lots of varieties of birds, a wolf, some coyotes, an elk, some otter and some cute little wooly bears. These are just a sample of the many creatures that fill that great park.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

For Sarah

My young friend Sarah left for China while we were on our Yellowstone vacation. She will be there for the next year teaching English to Chinese college students. While we were visiting shortly before she was to leave on her big journey she asked that we do one thing just for. “I want to see a picture of the Grand Tetons like the Ansel Adams poster I’ve had on my wall for years. Take a picture for me and put it on your blog so I can see if it is as pretty as I think it is.” Well, Sarah, here is your picture. The Tetons are awesome. Words are inadequate to describe these magnificent mountains. They rise up from the sagebrush prairie like giants. Early French Canadian trappers named the Tetons. The word teton means breast or tit. The trappers thought these mountains looked like three giant breasts rising high into the sky.

Sarah is a wonderful person and a great writer. Read about her adventures in China on her blog.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Waterfalls and rivers are a big part of the scenery in Yellowstone. The two biggest are the Upper Falls and the Lower Falls that flow into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This canyon is very deep and very narrow. I am told a river flows along the bottom of this deep canyon, but I did not see it. Seeing it would have required that I go to the very edge of the overlook and look straight down the steep wall of the canyon. I just couldn’t get closer than ten feet from the edge. I was pretty sure I would fall to my doom if I got any closer, so I just enjoyed the view from a few feet away. The walls of the canyon are a beautiful yellow stone, hence the name Yellowstone.

As we drove or walked through the park we came upon many beautiful rivers and falls. The pictures are of Lower Falls, Upper Falls, Lewis Falls, Kepler Cascade, Gibbon Falls and Tower Falls.

Why are waterfalls such a glorious and mesmerizing sight?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


The symbol of Yellowstone is Old Faithful, the geyser that goes off faithfully every ninety-two minutes, give of take fifteen minutes. Old Faithful is located next to three hotels and is surrounded by bleachers. As soon as one eruption has finished a prediction is posted for when it is expected to blow again. About fifteen minutes before the predicted time the bleachers fill with people waiting to watch it go. People filling the bleachers are just as predictable as the geyser’s eruption. When it erupts a great gush of water shoots about a hundred feet into the air for about two minutes. As soon as it quiets down the bleachers empty again. We watched old Faithful several times from different vantage points. It is an awesome sight, but actually it is not as awesome as some of the other geysers. It is just more predictable. We were lucky enough to be there when Castle Geyser erupted. Castle erupts every thirteen to eighteen hours, give or take four hours. When it blows water shoots into the air for about thirty minutes, followed by steam that pours out with the noise of a jet engine for another thirty minutes. Water cascades down its sides like a waterfall and rainbows glisten in its mist. I loved Castle Geyser. The fact is there are thousands of thermal features all over Yellowstone. There are colorful pools of boiling water, bubbling pots of mud, steam vents and geysers scattered everywhere. Looking down the Firehole River Valley you see geysers steaming everywhere. They are evidence of the fact that the entire park is sitting atop and old volcano that is still working not far below the surface causing geysers to erupt and release the pressure built up below. The old enormous volcano erupts every six hundred thousand years or so. It has been six hundred-fifty thousand years since its last eruption.

The pictures are of Old Faithful, Castle Geyser and the view looking down the Firehole River Valley.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lake Yellowstone

We spent last week at the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone. It was a wonderful place to relax and to enjoy the beauty that is Yellowstone. The hotel was built in 1890 and has recently been renovated to its 1920’s grandeur. That means that the small rooms were clean and recently decorated. It also meant no TV, no Internet, not even cell phone service. We were disconnected from everything except the world of nature that surrounded us. Each morning I would look out our window and see the lake. Every time I looked it was different as the light played with the color of the water and the wind changed the patterns in the waves. Sometimes it shone like a mirror, other times it was rough with waves blowing across its surface. During the day we explored the trails around the lake. We saw multitudes of birds including white pelicans, woodpeckers, osprey and an eagle. Otters swam in the water. There were deer grazing nearby and a herd of bison passed in front of the hotel. One evening we sat by the shore and looked up at the stars. I have never seen the sky so clear. The Milky Way stretched from horizon to horizon. It felt like I could reach up and touch the stars. In the evening after dinner we sat in the grand lobby. There was a piano playing old, familiar songs. Some people sat near the piano and sang along, others danced. People sat around tables and played games or visited as they sipped their drinks. I read my book or enjoyed the company of people sitting nearby. It felt like time had gone backward to another more gentle time.

The pictures above show the view we saw from our dinner table and a view of the hotel itself.

Tomorrow I’ll post more pictures and more memories.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Interruptions

“Sue, I’m in labor and I have to go to the hospital. Can we bring Barak over?” It is one A.M. We have just been home three hours from our big trip to Yellowstone and I need to sleep. “Of course, yes, bring him. I’ll be waiting,” I reply. I meant to get a good night’s sleep, then unpack, do the laundry, go to the grocery store, catch up on my blogs, and post about our wonderful trip. Instead I curled up in my big chair with eighteen month old Barak and rocked him until he finally fell back to sleep. He wasn’t sure why he had been awakened in the middle of the night and brought to my house, but since he was awake he wanted to play. He finally fell asleep again. Rocking a sweet baby boy is not a bad substitute for sleep. He is so warm and cuddly. At four-thirty A.M. another call comes to say they are going to do a Caesarian. Pray for us. I pray. Barak wakes about seven and curls into my lap for his morning bottle. After a little cuddling he is ready to play. Dad calls about eight to tell us they have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Mom and baby are all OK. I spent the rest of the day trying to keep up with a happy toddler who gets into everything. It is hard to do anything else with this little guy to need all of my attention. I told him he has a new baby sister. Poor little guy. He has no idea how much his world has just changed. Dad finally came to pick him up and take him to the hospital to meet his new sister. His gramma is driving in from out of town and will be there for the next few nights.

Tonight I will sleep.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the grandeur of Yellowstone.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


We have just returned from a week in Yellowstone National Park. What a beautiful pace! I have many wonderful memories which will be the fodder for future posts, but right now I am too tired. after a long travel day.
I did read your all the comments on my last post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on senior sex.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Last week The Washington Post had a front-page article that said, “Elderly Staying Sexually Active.” Well, duh, maybe next week they can publish a study that says the elderly still enjoy eating. Elderly is defined in the article as anyone over the age of fifty-seven. Why would anyone assume people quit enjoying sex just because they have gotten older? I just don’t understand why this article seems to report surprise at the behavior of us old folks. Now, I haven’t done any scientific research, but I can share a lot of anecdotal evidence that indicates this report is correct.

I remember talking with my mom during a visit to celebrate Mom and Dad’s fiftieth anniversary. She smiled sweetly and said to me, “Honey, when you’re eighty, it takes longer, but we have more time.” I blushed and she grinned and said that she just wanted to give me hope for the future. Since we are now nearing seventy, I find that a happy thought.

Several years ago a young co-worker of mine learned my husband and I were celebrating our fortieth anniversary. She asked if it would be OK to ask me a personal question and I said sure. She wanted to know “How do you kiss the same man for forty years?” She blushed when I replied, “All kinds of ways, Sweetie, All kinds of ways.”

An older co-worker, a seventy year old widow, once told me, “You know I sure would love to have the chance once more to have a night of wild sex. I miss sex.”

I remember a sweet little old man who came into our doctor’s office every month to get his testosterone shot. He always came on a Friday so he would be ready for the weekend. One day he came in for his appointment and I asked if he were there for his usual shot. He looked down and said, “No Ma’am, I think I got me the clap.”

How about you? Have you got any good anecdotes to support the conclusion of this article?

For another point of view on this article check out my daughter’s blog.