Throwback Thursday #6 – Gift Giving & Receiving

Lauren leads the charge this week on Throwback Thursday Memory BlogHop as we reflect on giving and receiving gifts. Click on the link to read the rules and join in the fun.

Today’s subject: Gift Giving & Receiving

I could go on and on about this topic but I decided to write a short piece on three categories of gifts: gifts given, gifts received, and gifts from my childhood.

Gifts Given: I am what I would consider an amateur or hobbyist metalsmith. I do love working with metal and turning raw materials into something beautiful. In the early days I did not have a workshop of my own, so everything I made had to be done in a classroom setting. When my daughter and soon to be daughter-in-law asked me to make their engagement rings I agreed but not without trepidation. It would be the first time I worked with gold and really precious stones. They purchased the materials which amped up the stress! I put it off as long as possible until my daughter eventually put a deadline on me. Working under the watchful eye of my instructor and a fellow student who had worked as a jeweler for years, I finally finished. Thankfully they looked beautiful and the engagement went off without a hitch!

A gift given from the heart

Gifts Received: after hubby and I were married, we bought our first house together. The first Christmas, we had 17 people there for Christmas. The following holidays were smaller, but joyous just the same. The second or third Christmas, we had some of our children there on Christmas morning as we opened gifts. Hubby surprised me with two Broadway tickets to see Phantom of the Opera. I had never been to New York to see a show on Broadway and as a huge Andrew Lloyd Webber fan, this was the best gift! I cried like a baby. We took the trip in Februrary and it was cold! I was sick as a dog on the trip, but I loved every minute of the show. We had great seats and the production was so beautiful. When the intro piece featuring the organ started, I got chills all over my body.

Gifts from Childhood: My family did not give big or outrageous gifts for birthdays or holidays. Money was scarce, so we were thrilled with whatever we received. I tried hard to remember any birthday celebrations or gifts and I could not think of any. Of course, birthdays in my generation consisted of a ‘greased’ or ‘blackened’ nose and a homemade cake with candles. If we received presents, I simply do not remember them. But I do remember gifts received for Christmas as a child.

  • My Chatty Cathy doll (I can still recite all her phrases with her exact voice inflections) with Auburn – not red – hair. (Click here to see a pic of the doll I had. Chatty Cathy)
  • My Artley flute which took my parents several years to save for.
  • My pink child-sized table with the removable top. I could finally store all my art supplies neat and tidy, tucked away inside my table.

I have another category of gifts – those that carry negative memories. I decided not to write about those today. Maybe that will be a future post outside of this challenge.

Lauren, thank you for another trip down memory lane!



One Liner Wednesday – It’s One of Those Mornings


“You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.”

George Burns


One liner Wednesday is brought to us each week by the lovely Linda Hill. Please visit Linda’s blog to read the rules, read other one liners, and possibly join in the fun!


Observation Monday – Characters

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

It is time to sharpen up some skills in advance of NaNoWriMo. The writing I do every day is very different from 30 days of the intense heads-down writing required by NaNo.

So, the observation skill for today has to do with character development. I will be going to the grocery store today and tomorrow so I will put on my observation cap and watch people in the grocery store. I will observe their habits, the speed in which they move through the store, how they treat the staff, how they make choices, what they wear, and see if I can get a feel for them as a character.

Of course, observing is not enough. Afterwards, the real challenge is to write a short piece featuring your character. Can you bring them alive so readers can visualize what you saw? And just how do you go about choosing a name for this character? Does the name matter?

Feel free to jump in and join me. You can observe anywhere. I just happen to be going to the grocery store. Leave a comment or write your own post. You are welcome to link back here if you want to share what you wrote.

This should be fun.


Song Lyric Sunday – A Collin Raye Duo

The prompt from Jim:

This week it is Fandango Sunday and our theme is Other, That, This.

When I saw the prompt for today, I knew immediately I would choose a Collin Raye song, but which one? In the end, I decided to feature two of his songs, each satisfying a different word from the prompt.

I am a sucker for a love song, but the lyrics must say something that moves me. If you have ever experienced the love of your life, I think the lyrics to “In This Life” will speak to you.

The song “In This Life” was written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin and recorded by Collin Raye. The song was released as a single from the album “In This Life” in July 1992. After debuting in the #58 position on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, it would become Collin Raye’s second #1 song two months later.

“In This Life”
Lyrics from

For all I’ve been blessed with in this life
There was an emptiness in me
I was imprisoned by the power of gold
With one honest touch, you set me free

Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love’s not worth going through
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true;
In this life, I was loved by you

For every mountain I have climbed
Every raging river crossed
You were the treasure that I longed to find
Without your love I would be lost

Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love’s not worth going through
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true;
In this life I was loved by you

In this life, I was loved by you

Sometimes we need reassurance in a relationship, especially if the prior relationship was strong. Doubt is dangerous but trust is powerful. “That Was a River” is a song of reassurance sometimes needed to settle a worried heart. A worried heart is different, I think, than a jealous heart.

“That was a River” was written by Susan Longacre and Rick Giles. This song would be the fourth single released from Collin Raye’s “In This Life” album, peaking at #4 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.

“That Was a River”
Lyrics from

I’ve seen that look before
Here comes that doubt again
You think that girl we saw
Was more than just a friend
Yes, there was a time
I thought she had it all
She meant the world to me
Back when the world was small

That was a river
This is the ocean
That never carried this much emotion
Nothing compares to
This deep devotion
That was a river
This is the ocean

The love we had before
Can never change this one
We’re not imprisoned by
The past we’ve brought along
It’s just you and me
One ship in the night
There are no boundaries
There is no end in sight

Song Lyric Sunday is hosted every Sunday by Jim Adams. If you would like to join in the fun, check out his blog for the rules and to take in all the other music posted by other blogger


SoCS – Near/Far – Dreams Vs. Reality

Continued thanks to Linda Hill who sponsors this lovely stream of consciousness every week. This week she tempts us with bonus points so let’s see if I am up to the challenge.

Check out Linda’s blog if you want to join in – check out the rules and the contribution of other bloggers. This week, the prompt is:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “near/far.” Use “near,” use “far,” use them both if you’d like. In fact, if you start your post with one and end with the other, you get bonus points! Enjoy!

Near my maternal grandparents’ home was a lot where mobile homes were sold. They were spread out in a grid, each one unlocked with temporary metal steps to lure you inside.

When I visited my grandparents, I often took an afternoon to walk down the busy commercial highway to wander aimlessly through these fully furnished slices of paradise on wheels. Yes, I was enamoured by them. To me, they were the height of luxury. Wrought iron railing, wallpaper murals, two bathrooms, beautiful upholstered couches and two or three bedrooms. What more could anyone ever ask for?

I made this trek many times. The salesmen never said a cross word to me as I walked in and out of each one, making mental notes about what my far away future home would look like. On the way back to my grandmother’s, I would cross the highway to the gas station and buy a coke from the coke machine. I can still hear the sound as I opened the glass door and pulled my selection free.

Back home, I sat outside on a straight back chair and enjoyed the ice cold cola while dreaming of someday having a home of my own.

There would come a time in my life when I would live in a mobile home. Somehow that dream held by a young ten year old girl did not match the reality of living in such a structure during several Alaskan winters. I can remember my clothes freezing to the wall of the mobile home.  Definitely different than I imagined.

That’s the funny thing about life. Even though the dream did not match the reality, I still hold those adventures close to my heart. My dreams have stayed with me as fond companions. They always make me smile. At least they have so far.