Sunday, March 30, 2008

Growing Boys

This afternoon we went to watch our almost 13-year-old grandson play lacrosse. We were a little late and spent the first several minutes just trying to pick him out on the field. Last year it was easy to find him because he was the biggest boy on the team. I finally realized the problem. I was watching the wrong game. He was on the field with the bigger boys. He is a year older and has moved up to the older team. This year he is one of the youngest and smaller players. It was amazing to me how much better these older kids played. They are much rougher and play with greater skill. This was no little kid game. This gramma has a problem watching the kids grow up so fast.
Last night we went to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner. We had a phenomenal waiter. This tall, dark handsome young man was friendly and helpful and even volunteered to come do some yard work for me next week. The more than generous tip we left him was entirely due to our excellent service and had nothing to do with the fact that the waiter was our grandson. Our little boys are almost grown. The time does fly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


My husband just bought himself a new toy. It is a little copier that scans slides into our computer. We have several thousand 35 millimeter slides stored in boxes in our closet. He figures it will take a few years to get them all done, but it is his now his new project. It is fun to look at the old pictures and have all those old memories stirred up. He began at the beginning with our wedding in 1961 and has just finished that year.
The picture is one taken of me on our honeymoon to the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, just north of San Diego. I was twenty years old. My husband was twenty-three. It was a beautiful, quiet little resort. When we went to dinner that first evening we were sent back to our room so Dennis could get a tie. Gentlemen were required to wear ties in the dining room. On the day we checked out the resort management gave us a paperweight to keep as a souvenir of our honeymoon. I remember being totally embarrassed that they knew we were on our honeymoon. We hadn’t told anyone that it was our honeymoon. How could they have guessed?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Today I drove my fifteen-year-old grandson back home after a couple days of spring break visit at gramma’s. As we got in the car he put on his earphones so he could listen to his music during the drive and I put my new Motown CD in to enjoy. As we drove down the road DQ took off his earphones and looked at me incredulously. “Do you really like this music, Gramma?” When I said yes he was delighted because he loves Motown. So we sang together the entire way home. “Oo, Sugar pie, Honey bunch you know that I love you.” “Oh, I heard it through the grapevine, Oo, I’m just about to lose my mind.” We sang loud and with feeling. It was wonderful. When he got out of the car he told me I was cool. What greater praise could I possibly want?

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Sound of Easter

I spent Saturday morning at bell practice. We needed a little more rehearsal before playing on Easter morning. The music was hard with complex rhythms and lots of accidental notes. Bell ringers count constantly. “One-and-two-and- dah- three-and-four and.” Counting is the only way to not get lost. . Getting lost causes some of us to finish the piece a couple of measures before the director quits directing. It is a bit embarrassing. “Uh-oh, I didn’t see the key change and forgot to change bells. That sounded really bad.” Fortunately we have a wonderful, patient director and friendly, forgiving ringers so practice is a happy time. We do it again and again. At the end of practice we are tired. Ringing the sounds of Easter can be hard work.
Easter morning comes and we are all in place. Bells up. One-and two-and-three-and-four-and. The joyous sounds of Easter ring out and fill the sanctuary. The music is glorious. Hallelujah!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3: 16

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I am having a racial problem. I came of age during the 50’s listening to Perry Como, Tennessee Ernie Ford and my beautiful, wonderful Pat Boone. I loved Pat Boone with his sweet melodic voice and his white buck shoes. I had his autographed picture on the wall. His music lived in my heart. Today I am a member of the Bowie Senior Chorale. This is a group of mostly white senior citizens who came of age listening to the same music I loved. We are good at singing songs like “Moon River” and “Shenandoah.” Our young and talented director has decided that it is time for us to learn some new music, so now we are preparing to sing Motown for our concert in May. This is not our music. We can’t make our Pat Boone souls sound like Ray Charles and the Rayettes or the Supremes or Stevie Wonder. We are trying and having a good time in stretching our souls into Motown. Can a girl who grew up with Pat Boone learn to sing, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours?”

Monday, March 17, 2008

Weekend Report

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all my Irish friends. Today it seems that everyone is Irish.
Today is my baby’s birthday. He is thirty-nine. Happy birthday Paul.
We had a lovely weekend. Friday evening we went to dinner at church. During Lent they have a supper and time to visit with friends every Friday night. It was a peasant evening. Saturday afternoon we celebrated Paul’s birthday by taking him to the theater in downtown Washington. We saw, “Major Barbara.” By George Bernard Shaw. It is a story that tries to understand the difference between right and wrong. I enjoyed it a lot, even if the birthday boy did doze of for a bit. His sister AM and I kept nudging him so he wouldn’t snore. Afterward we went to a lovely restaurant downtown, Cafe Atlantico . I had duck confit for dinner. It was delicious. I always enjoy sharing dinner with my kids.
Sunday was Palm Sunday. Church was very good. Sometimes I just go to church, but yesterday I came away after a wonderful experience of worship that brought me to the feet of Jesus. I am still feeling the glow of real worship.
Happy Monday everyone.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gramma Mullins

This is a picture of my great-grandparents, JR and Mattie Mullins. They lived in Texas. I never met them. They died long before I was born. All I know about them is that mother loved them and enjoyed going to visit them. My mom had two grandmothers. One grandmother scared my mother. She was very stern and did not allow for childish play. That grandmother owned an organ that my mother longed to play. Mom was never allowed to touch that organ. It was not fun to visit that house. Then there was Gramma Mullins. Gramma Mullins was a sweet lady who laughed often and made my mother feel loved. Gramma would take leftover biscuits from breakfast and fill them with honey for her grandchildren. My mother remembers sitting in the sunshine on the back steps with her gramma and savoring the sweet, sticky biscuit. My mom always savored memories of her sweet grandmother.

One day, when my grandchildren tell their children stories about their grandmother, I hope they remember me as the sweet grandmother.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My blog friend Simon from London tagged me with this mime. Another blog friend, Greeny, had tagged him.

Here are the rules.

1. Write your own six-word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post.
4. Tag five more blogs with links.
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

This is hard. Should I talk about being a wife, mother, grandmother and friend? Or should I talk about being a nurse and a caregiver? Maybe I should talk about what being a “church lady” means to me. Could I talk about my love of reading and music? I am much too complex to reduce my life to just six words. After much thought, I have come up with this description of me.

Blessed believer.
Looking forward with joy.

That’s me. Now I tag these people:

AM, my daughter who inspired me to start my own blog

Rosemary, who has an attic full of wonderful memories

John, the trucker who was a great friend to my girls in their camp Wamava days

Sling, my blog friend who always make me smile

Sandy, who leaves wonderful comments for me to enjoy

I look forward to your replies.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Yesterday I went out to clean some of winter’s debris from my back yard. I had not been out back for quite a while and did not realize that spring had poked her lovely head up along the back of my house. A bed of dazzling yellow daffodils is dancing along the wall announcing that spring is coming. How wonderful.

I thought of my father as I admired these flowers and remembered this poem that he loved.


I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,

They stretch'd in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

Sunday, March 09, 2008


When I was little I remember begging my mom for a baby sister. My pleas went unheard and I had to learn to make do only with brothers. I always knew I missed out on a very important relationship by never having a sister.

God eventually granted my heart’s desire by giving me two beautiful little girls to be my daughters. One of my life’s greatest joys has been watching the bond between these two girls of mine. LK was only fourteen months old when her sister AM joined our family. They have always had a connection that was something beyond best friends. They are part of each other. I don’t remember them ever fighting. As they grew they became very different people. LK was the Home Ec student of the year. She earned the most Girl Scout Badges. AM played the piano and told the most elaborate and entertaining stories. When they were in Junior High they could sing and dance to every song from Grease. In high school they kept each other’s secrets. These sisters, my daughters, are now grown with families of their own. They love and care for each other’s children.

This weekend two different people thanked me for being such a wonderful mother. They knew I must be a good mother because they knew my daughters. These two sisters bring me great joy.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Church Ladies

In honor of women’s history month I thought I would honor some of the women who were important in my own personal history. My mom was the single most important woman in my life, but there were many women who helped me to become me. There was a group of women who I call my church ladies. They were my mother’s friends, my Sunday school teachers and my second mothers. These ladies demonstrated by their daily life what it meant to be a woman.

Peggy was one of my favorite people. She made the best blueberry pie in town. I always knew that if anything ever happened to my family I could count on Peggy. She loved me and I knew it. Iva was my best friend’s mother. She helped me learn to cook. Sister Williams lived on a farm. She taught me to shuck corn. Vonda taught me to love music and the joy of singing in church. Inez had a fancy house and I learned to sit still and act like a lady when we visited her. When I was little I would go to ladies bible class with mom and listen to these women study scripture, pray for one another and talk about their families. On Sundays I saw them dressed in their fine dresses and fancy hats. On Saturday mornings they would show up in their pajamas and make my mom and me join them for a “Come As You Are” breakfast party. They laughed and giggled and ate huge amounts of high fat, high carb foods. Frequently I joined them when they visited the “poor farm.” They taught me the joy of serving those who were not as blessed as we were. I felt loved and wanted by this wonderful group of women. They blessed me richly.

Did you have a group of church ladies who helped you along life’s journey?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Women's History Month

Did you know that March was women’s history month?

Monday night my club discussed Cokie Roberts’ book, “Founding Mothers” to celebrate women in our country’s history. We had a lively discussion about the importance of many women whose names are missing from most history books. We talked about Eliza Pinckney, Kitty Greene, Mercy Warren, Abigail Adams and Martha Washington. I don’t believe the American Revolution would have succeeded without the wok of these women, and yet we know very little about them. It was good to learn about them. In this book Roberts proves beyond a doubt that like every generation of American women that has followed, the founding mothers used the unique gifts of their gender -- courage, pluck, sadness, joy, energy, grace, sensitivity, and humor -- to do what women do best, put one foot in front of the other in remarkable circumstances and carry on.

Our group then talked about the woman who is making history in our country today. They all wanted to see Hillary succeed in her bid to become president because it would be good to have a strong, capable woman lead this nation. For many of them Hillary represents a long wanted dream for equality for women.

Do you think Hillary will really win the presidency?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


This picture was taken on the way to my graduation ceremony from nursing school in 1961. Don’t I look professional? The handsome young man is my astronomer. We met on a blind date set up by our mothers a week before I began school at Pasadena City College where I would be living in the nursing residence at Huntington Memorial Hospital. He was a student at Cal Tech and needed a ride to school from Whittier where we both had grown up. Nursing school was a time of hard study and falling in love.

We were married the day after I graduated.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Muskrat Love

There was an article on the front page of yesterday’s Washington Post that caught my eye. Last week there was a beauty pageant just sixty miles from our nation’s capital, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Beautiful girls in lovely gowns competed for their beauty and for their talent. Two of the girls demonstrated the fine art of muskrat skinning as their talent. One of them won the contest and was crowned Miss Outdoors. According to the article she still had muskrat blood under her fingernails when the crown was placed on her lovely head.

Somehow this contest makes me believe that the world will be ok.