Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
- You don't suffer from the feeling of isolation that the moms of the earlier decades endured. Baby talk for 8 hours a day, most days of the week led us to the sensation of being dumber than a stick when we actually got around other grown-ups for any conversation longer than, "Did you get the diaper bag by the door?" "No, thought you did!".
- Our only advice source was our own Mom or the Doctor's Office. Both of those can be entirely not-helpful at times.
- You can display hundreds of adorable photos of your kids without seeing the dreaded look of boredom that can appear on your co-workers face or the other moms in the Doctors Office, since that is the only social outing for the month!
- Having hundreds of Blog friends to inspire you and help you know you are not going crazy is a huge and gigantic perk to being a young mom today! I am jealous.....but I do not want to go back and do it again.
- Going Braless - I no longer have to wear a bra at home because my sons are gone. Now that is a PERK, in more ways than one!
- Candy - I do not need to hide my candy stash in the back of my underwear drawer or the vegetable bin.
- Fewer Dirty dishes - We run the dishwasher once a week instead of every night!!
- Less Cooking - Related to the previous perk. I don't do big meals any more, other than holidays when they come home.
- Less Milk - When my boys were here I could not keep enough milk in the fridge. Now we buy the smallest carton and even that gets old before we use it up!
- Eating Out - Since it is just the two of us we eat out all the time! Love it!
- Ears Are Safe- Turning on the CD player or the TV no longer breaks my eardrums, and scares me to death!
- Noise - I no longer hear strange cooking noises in my kitchen in the middle of the night.
- Smells - Also no more weird aromas from Rocker Son's midnight cooking experiments and the extra bathroom always smells wonderful!
- Laundry - No more small loads of laundry being done for two shirts by sons late at night.
- House Clean - When I get home the house looks exactly like I left it in the morning.
- When they do come to visit, we actually sit and look each other in the eye while we talk! Love it!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Still adjusting to big changes in my life and realize that it is best not to make big decisions
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
(Brace yourselves, it's a long one which is unusual for me. I am working on my writing skills, indulge me? Thanx)
It began with a leisurely glance through my Mom’s photo albums. My husband and I were spending a few days with my parents in Washington several months ago. I can’t remember exactly why I was looking at fifty-year-old pictures of my childhood, I had seen them thousands of times and pretty much knew them by heart. There I was, five years old with long brown ringlets and a red headband, standing in a row with four other cousins all dressed alike. Four girls and a boy. The three girls and I are in crisp blue plaid dresses with a thin red rickrack trim. The lone boy has a shirt to match (I can’t tell if his has rick-rack, I hope not!).
We were the only members of a privileged group in our family. All five cousins, being born in 1955, we were dubbed “The 55’ers”. Our five families had organized an end of summer gathering to celebrate the fact that the five of us were all getting ready to enter Kindergarten! The moms had sewn our matching outfits and taken many photos of us that weekend at our first family camp-out. We even had a special cake and gifts, which probably made up for the super scratchy petticoats we had to wear with those dresses to make them “stand-out”!
I wonder who first thought of and suggested the idea of making the gathering an annual event? It was not a terribly complicated plan. (At least from a child’s point of view!) One of our Uncles owned some property behind his house that had a creek running all the way around it in the winter months, so we called it “The Island”. By the end of summer, one side of the creek was dry enough to drive through and that is exactly what our cars did the last weekend of every summer for many years.
I can still remember the crunch of our car tires, summer after summer, rolling over the dry rocky creek bed as we finally made it to our island campout! The loaded car would rise up out of the deep creek bed and onto the clearing that held large and small canvas tents circling a cement fire pit. (In later years the tents became trailers, all parked in a circle like an old fashioned wagon train.) There would already be several folding camp chairs around the fire pit and a collection of straightened wire hangers ready for roasting marshmallows after dark.
The very best thing about our island was the freezing cold creek that was full and deep on the opposite side of the island due to a damn somewhere along the way. Keep in mind that this property was smaller than a city block, so every bit of it could be seen at one glance. When we were old enough we could not wait to go to the dock. The dock over the creek had a wonderful rope swing that was our goal as soon after breakfast as we could talk our parents into it.
That day at my parents house, as I looked at the “Fifty-Fivers Go to Kindergarten” snapshot I suddenly realized that this year in 2010 we would be turning fifty-five years old! This just seemed so momentous and important….born in 1955 and about to turn fifty-five! I wondered what they were all doing in their lives at this point.
Sadly, we lost one cousin in our twelfth year to an accident, and I only had sporadic contact with one other cousin and even that contact was just what our mother’s told us about each other. You know; an email from my mom may include the news that my cousin had her first grandbaby or was in the hospital. The four of us that remain have not spoken much over the years, other than weddings and funerals which all ended up with us saying we really ought to keep in contact more!
I put the thoughts aside as easily as I put mom’s photo album aside that day. But later, while on the long ten-hour drive home I began to wonder about the 55’er Club turning fifty-five! We had acquired or made up the special “55’er Club” status when we were old enough to sleep in our very own tent, except for our poor boy cousin. Yes, you would be correct to assume we had the expected signs taped on the outside of our tent, stating “NO BOYS ALLOWED!” and “55’er Club ONLY!”.
You may be wondering where Facebook comes into this story. When I got home from the visit to my parents, I wrote a comment to the one cousin that I knew was on Facebook. I asked her what her favorite memories were from our camp-out days. I was shocked at the quick and enthusiastic response I got from her! I then posted some photos, including the one that had sparked the memories in me.
She immediately wrote that we must have a 55’er Club Reunion in 2010 to celebrate turning fifty-five years. My first response was that all I wanted was some FB connecting, not an awkward gathering of people we don’t even know anymore! We were basically strangers now with completely different and separate lives, why get together in some neutral place and do small talk for a few hours?
She did not write me back that day, but she obviously did some good detective work because the next day when I opened my Facebook, there was a new “Friend Request” from one of the “missing” cousins. We became “Friends” and she left several comments on the old pictures I had posted. The three of us had a great time, sharing pictures and memories. Each photo would bring up more memories and more questions……..
“Remember the time we scared ourselves to death with spooky stories in the tent?”
“What was that girl’s name who came to camp-out with you that one time?”
“Remember the great treasure hunts we used to make up for the littler ones?”
“My favorite thing was the inner tube ‘skiing’ we used to do while hanging onto the rope swing!”
‘My favorite was your mom’s cinnamon roles and Uncle Joe’s pancakes!”
Then cousin number four was talked into getting on Facebook by his daughter who had seen the 55’ers chatting it up and having a fun time getting to know one another again. I always think of him as “Poor BoyCousin”, because being the only boy in our club he was understandably tormented by us girls. But I don’t think he really minded the dozens of group photos he had to endure with us, as we got older though! Boys are boys, cousins or not!
So, now all four of us awere FB “Friends” and we were sharing pictures back and forth as quickly as we could over the next few weeks. I was reminded of my fear of going under the dock where the crawdads live, and the time we did some kind of paper-mach’e project and made a horrible mess all over one of the tents. I asked my cousins if there really was a loose bull out by the outhouse or was that my imagination. We all agreed that it is sad that as we entered our teen years and did not appreciate the gathering, it began to fall apart and was dis-continued.
It’s not as if we were the only kids there each year. We had older and younger siblings that probably resented our importance. But I don’t remember thinking that we were the main reason this wonderful family gathering happened every summer. It just did. Didn’t all families have a camp-out on their own island the weekend before starting school?
What a rich and deep family tradition this was! I have stories that can only be truly understood and enjoyed by these other three cousins of mine. And now that we have been comparing notes, memories and photos on Facebook, we are no longer awkward strangers. I know what their children and grandbabies look like. I know who has been sick, who still adores animals and who is still so busy she makes me dizzy! I know how many marriages and businesses have happened, whose grey hairs are being covered or allowed to shine.
We are revealing to one another what we coveted about each other in those painful growing up years together..........
“You always had the best hair.”
“I was so jealous of your doll!”
“Your curves made me mad.”
“Which family brought a trailer instead of a tent the first time?”
“I wanted a little brother like yours.”
I feel as if we have already had our Fifty-Fiver Reunion right on Facebook. We have continued to share our day’s activities and fun photos with one another. We have sent funny stories and comics to each other. We have congratulated each other on our wonderful and amazing children and grandchildren.
My only regret is that my kids have not enjoyed the same tradition of my childhood. There is just something special about gathering in the same place with the same people at the same time each year. Traditions are formed that may not even be intentional or planned…like the sound of Uncle Joe banging pots around in the early mornings out there on the “island” as he prepared the special camp-out pancakes. What was it he yelled when they were ready? Come on Cousins, remind me OK?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Yesterday evening, around 6 or 7, Hubs and I got on the motorcycle for a quick ride in the cool of the evening after a hot day. It’s always fun to get out there after being inside for hours.
First we travel slowly through town and neighborhoods heading out to the countryside. I love watching how different people react to a motorcycle passing by. The little boys ALWAYS stop what they are doing and just stand and stare as we glide by. Old men in garages often raise an arm in greeting. I have wondered why? What are they saying? “Right on, go for it!” Or “Wish I was out there!”? It is probably a combination of both.
Then as we leave the town and concrete behind we enter the surrounding orchards. The air is immediately cooler and moist. During the blossoming season the aroma is intoxicating! I always feel comforted by the orderly rows of almond trees accompanied by the sound of the constant sprinklers.
Ahead of us we see acres and acres of flatlands; fields of tomatoes, strawberries, corn and the surprise of sunflowers as far as the eye can see! It is so amazing how quickly these fields change and rotate what they are producing each season. The only thing I dislike about this part of the ride are the beehives set up along side many of the roads. Bees are really the only thing scary to me on a motorcycle anymore!
Yesterday in the middle of one of these flat fields we saw an unusual sight. A snowy white awning with scalloped edges was set up right in the middle of someone’s crop! Our first hint about its purpose was the crop..…Lavender! Then a little sign that read, “Wedding”. A beautiful spot for a wedding; the center of a huge lavender field! There were no people around so we assumed it was for another day or earlier that morning.
After a few more turns on our bike, we came upon the party! Down the very center of a tree-lined driveway was an extra long table draped in white with about 100 people seated enjoying a dinner catered by the Buckhorn. (The Buckhorn Catering van was in the background) It was about 6:30pm and the evening light was soft as the sun was going down, so pretty!
On our weekend rides we often see fun stuff. We’ve seen peacocks, turkeys, llamas, always deer and bunnies. You never know what you will find. Yesterday we found a beautiful and romantic wedding!
On a Saturday in June
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Well, it's been over a month & I have an extra $120 in my account. At this rate it would actually work out to about .......NOT $20 an hour!! I did not work out the fact that coming up with unending ideas about a single subject is not so easy. I have written twelve good articles for the site & the owner is happy with them but I really need to write more. ( Just now Hubs asked if I was writing an article or blogging. I told him I was blogging about writing articles. His answer? "Too bad you can't get paid for that!" )
I have seen that there are other sites that want writers & to get contracts with them at least I would have other subjects that need my strung together words. But none offer that much for each article.
Tomorrow I will make up stuff about baby gifts, themes for baby showers, ideas for wedding gifts etc. It really is so satisfying to hit the SEND button when I have worked on one of these assignments. I also totally enjoy the process itself, once I sit down to do it anyway! I love making a lovely sentence or rearranging an entire paragraph to flow more smoothly. It is fun & fulfilling.
But I am slow to do it. I open my sweet Mac & check my blog, then check my three Facebook accounts. (One is mine, two others are work related.) By then I have wasted time & creative energy on all the wrong stuff & it's time to close the Mac.
I have no idea what my point is Dear Readers, just venting I guess, I hope you don't mind. Tomorrow is a new day & hopefully I will write up a storm, while at the same time, clean my house & do the laundry that is sitting in a pile not doing itself!
Thanks for listening!
Added next Day: Woohoo! It is Noon O'clock and I have swept my entirely hardwood floored home, folded a bit of laundry, done some stretching exercises AND...... sent in two newly written articles!! Yay Me!!