blessings, Blog, grandchildren

Grandma Time — Day One

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Day 310

After the long unexpected drive yesterday, it was good to be back home with our grandchildren. They both slept most of the ride, so it went quickly for them. Last night I found an article about the traffic accident that held us hostage yesterday. It was a really severe accident. One fatality and 8 other injuries, four requiring transport to the hospital. It all started with a semi truck not slowing for a traffic light and plowing into the truck in front of him. His truck veered off the road, clipped a power pole and ended up overturned in a ditch. This is where I stop and count my blessings and pray for those involved in such a horrific accident.

Once home, the kids were slow to get a start. Once acclimated, they were full of energy and constantly hungry. We dined early on a simple spaghetti with meat sauce with freshly grated parmesan. We all ate our fill. We played with LEGO blocks building walls for the small battery operated truck to drive into. Building and tearing down is always fun.

My granddaughter and I walked down to the creek to see if our resident snake was there, but he was not. It was a little late in the day for him to be sunning himself on the rocks.

Once dusk was upon us, we all put our shoes on, each armed with flashlights and went in search of lightening bugs. It is a little late in the season, but we did find a few. All just out of arm’s reach. Tonight we will try a little earlier. It has been a dry few days, so that does not help.

I prepared snacks of Rainier cherries, some promised ice cream and a tangerine for my grandson. They could eat constantly I think.

I always ask where they want to sleep. They always choose the same. On the air mattress on the floor in our bedroom. We have a guest room, but they like being with us. They love the air mattress, too. Once the bed was prepared, teeth brushed and a bandaid replaced, they asked for me to tell them a story. Not read a story, they want a story I make up. Tonight it was about a little girl whose eyes turned to diamonds when her puppy was near.

Throughout the evening, my six year-old grandson kept saying, “Hi, Grandma” or “I love you Grandma” over and over. I never tire of hearing it, because I know someday he will be too grown up for such sentiments.

So, all in all, my day was perfect. It’s all about the little things.

blessings, Blog, friends, gardening

Reflecting on Life, Death and the Gift of Blogging

Day 240

I stayed up too late last night and found myself sleeping in this morning. Days like this make me so thankful to be retired. I walked outside to look at the progress in the garden before it gets too hot. We have so many small tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers that I hope will survive the insects and the summer heat.

I plucked a single ripe strawberry off the vine and bit into it. It was warm and so flavorful. Luscious! Normally birds would be darting in and out of the feeders, but while our family was here last week, a black bear decided to dine at the bird feeders. The result was a completely destroyed pole and three smashed feeders – our very favorite feeders of course.

Such is life here. We normally put the feeders out around 8:00 a.m. and bring them in around 7:00 p.m. before it gets dark. When bears look for food, they do not worry much about time of day so we are constantly on the watch. We still have a few feeders in the back but it will be a while before we sink money into replacing the expensive feeders.

We have seen a few king snakes and rat snakes around. We leave them alone because they eat the mice and some of the venomous snakes. They can be quite startling if you are not fond of snakes.

Last night my dear friend had to have her golden retriever put to sleep. I am heartbroken for her. Her dogs have been her beloved and close companions, loved and cared for as all animals deserve to be.

Being surrounded by the ever present reminders of life and death, I found myself reflecting on blogging. I had private blogs back when I was active on LiveJournal. This was a sacred place closed to all but a few close friends and one of my sisters. We shared a lot there. Now that my sister has passed, I keep my LiveJournal account so I can go back and revisit the things she wrote.

After that journey, I started a WordPress blog back in 2010 on the heels of a dear friend’s death. My first post was entitled ‘In Search of Signs of Life’. Funny how threads resurface in our lives. It was a place where I could process my feelings and thoughts around life and death. I wrote a good bit there as my sisters fought their battles with cancer. I have not written there in a long time although the blog is still up.

I started this blog 240 days ago as part of a goal of blogging every day. I think I have found myself over this course time. I am able to reflect without being absorbed. I can be empathetic without becoming depressed. I see and acknowledge what is not healthy for me and move on. I am constantly seeking to expand my experiences and knowledge and I have found blogging an excellent way to do so.

This morning I was honored when a fellow blogger (dare I say friend?) Pete recommended my blog to his followers. I was honored to think he found something of substance in what I share here. Thank you again, Pete.

I appreciate all who take the time to come by and read my blog. It means a lot. Blogging has certainly enriched my life and I have learned so much about us as people. We are much more alike than we sometimes realize. And as people, we need each other. Bridging cultural differences and discovering commonality is a gift. One that I will treasure for a lifetime.

blessings, Blog, childhood, Family, grandchildren

Short and Sweet

Day 187

I took a quick trip to lend a hand to my son and daughter-in-law. The side benefit of trips like this means a couple of stolen evenings with my grandchildren.

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Life is fleeting as we all now, but when you are truly spending time with children it is magical. You have no choice but to stay in the moment and enjoy every second.

The way the eyelashes hide a certain look or the smile of a child who just lost two teeth. The nose that wrinkles up when they laugh too hard or the sweet way brothers and sisters say goodnight to each other.

Sitting on the floor you realize they want nothing more than to just be with you, fully engaged, laughing, telling stories and dreaming of big magical dreams.

Then to see our children as spouses and parents make you wonder how time passed so quickly. These are the moments that you realize that somewhere, while you were stumbling and making mistakes every day, God thought you worthy of the most precious of gifts — family.

I am truly blessed.

blessings, Blog, children, Family, grandchildren

The Difficult Days

Day 161

Today was laundry and packing day. Tonight is my last evening with my family here in Florida.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

Every time I see my granddaughter I get more and more attached. This time will be the most difficult yet. She knows who I am and looks for me when she gets up. I know she will adjust to me not being here rather quickly, but it will not be so easy for me.

So, tonight my chores are complete and we can just play until bedtime. Then a short time in the morning before she heads off to daycare.

My daughter is taking tomorrow off so we will have breakfast and have a few hours before I must go to the airport.

I am happy to be going home and seeing my husband. He is so happy for me to have these visits. The next time I hope he can come, too. It is so bittersweet to leave my family here and it is never easy to say farewell.

We are a close family. We love fiercely. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

art, blessings, Blog, Journey, memories, music, new years, thankful

Looking Forward to 2019

Day 88

I am not a person who wants to put the year behind me. 2018 had tribulations and sorrows, but it also had so many beautiful gifts and valuable lessons. I will move on into the new year and will bring 2018 along with me.

Dreams and Goals

I am excited about what the new year will bring. I know that goals do not move toward me — I must move toward them. And that takes work and dedication and desire. I am ready to take on these tasks to arrive at the destination I hold in my mind.

2018 saw the achievement of many things, but nothing I had really carved out for myself. That is how I trust 2019 will be different. I am working toward something concrete and that work is bringing me great joy and freedom of expression.

Sacred Space

So as I move forward into 2019, I hold a sacred space for the past — for the joy, the laughter, the accomplishments, and the losses. They are all valuable to me. For you see, when you reach my age, you realize what you look back on is the sum your life. There is no changing it, but there can be acceptance and grace and determination for tomorrow.

If times were tough and you survived and came out on top — wow! If life was full of love and times to cherish — know you are fortunate. If you are still struggling, don’t give up — lean on those who love you — those who want to see you succeed.

My Wish

My wish for all of you dear readers is a more peaceful and tranquil world. A world where each of us has an equal opportunity to achieve our hopes and dreams. I wish for less violence and more love and understanding. I wish for health and well being for each of you. But most of all, I pray you will find love and joy in your life.

Journey on…