Yesterday we made an impromptu trip to see our grandchildren. Our grandson has a birthday coming up and we wanted to see him and spend a little time celebrating this momentous occasion.

We decided to go early so we could run by Ikea. Since it is a two hour drive from us, we usually only go there when we go to see family. Yesterday we wanted a few small things (kitchen brushes, kitchen towels, squeegees) but we also wanted to pick up a bathroom vanity. In a very traditional market, it is hard to find more contemporary looking designs in the big box stores.

The prior owners of this contemporary looking house chose French provincial bathroom vanities for the two guest bathrooms. They look oddly out of place and are very impractical for guests. We found what we wanted at Ikea, but hubby failed to take one measurement so we worried about making the purchase and then face repacking and returning if it did not fit. So, the purchase will wait until our next trip to see our family.

Our grandson did not know we were coming and he was very excited. His sister, unfortunately, was in bed, sick from a lingering bug. We had a delightful visit. He was excited for his presents and the pizza and cupcakes planned for his evening meal. He is starting to come out of his shyness as he matures, so it is fun to just talk to him.

We were talking about school over dinner. His dad suggested he talk to his teacher to see if he could bring snacks for his class on Friday in celebration of his birthday. A few minutes later he told me he could not wait to go to school tomorrow. I said, “Why are you excited? Because you get to ask about bringing snacks on Friday?” He looked at me, smiled and replied, “No, because of math!” Not an answer I ever expected! I am so thankful he likes his school.

I spent a little time upstairs with his sister, but it was not the visit we had hoped for. She was sick to her stomach. We left around 7:00 pm to head home. On the drive I was texting my granddaughter and we played interactive games through texting. I felt bad for her. Today I will go and and get her a small get-well-gift to cheer her up.

The whole family is recovering from colds and this morning I am feeling a little ‘off’. I am increasing my orange juice intake in an effort to ward off a cold. It was worth the risk, though. It was a great visit.


Small Blessings

Day 27

Today’s blog will be short. It was a day of plans that did not quite work out the way I envisioned them. I will be fortunate to get a short blog up and continue my 365 days of blogging.


HalloweenAs everyone prepared to celebrate Halloween, we made the drive to see our granddaughter and help her celebrate her birthday. When she was born, this day was transformed to be less about Halloween and more about her. Of course as children, they still celebrate Halloween, but for me, it is about this joyous beam of light that God brought into our lives.

We knew we could not spend a lot of time because they were going trick-or-treating and we had to get home for my husband to go to class. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a relapse and we had to cut our visit short. It was not the kind of day we usually have with them and that was disappointing but it could not be helped.

We have always loved Halloween. We do not decorate any more because we do not have trick-or-treaters where we live. We used to do it up big and had tons of kids come when we lived in more urban areas. I miss it, but not as much as my husband does. It was always his favorite holiday.

Letting Go

So, tonight I had to let go of the expectations I had for the day and just appreciate the blessings I had been given. At least we made the trip, saw our children, got hugs from both our grandchildren and watched our granddaughter open her gifts. It was a day of simply enjoying the bounty of small blessings with our family.

In this world at this time, I cherish these days of small blessings.

Nothing means more than this.

“Count your blessings and enjoy them.
Live, laugh and love.
Be kind and gentle.
This is life.” 

George Pornaris

Blog, genealogy

My Grandmother’s Birthday

Day 11

Today would have been my grandmother’s 120th birthday. I think of her often but today almost slipped by without me acknowledging her. I have written about my grandparents and my parents many times in my other blog A Life Worth Living, but I do not like it when I get so busy I let days slip by.

BerthaRosettaWhat a grand lady she was. Very religious, very conscious of what everyone thought and very fastidious. (You can read more about her in the blog Happy Birthday Mam-Maw which I wrote in 2010.) I think she would have been very distraught living in 2018. Life has changed dramatically since she was born in 1897, but even more so since she passed away in 1969.

One of the memories I have of her was when I was seven or eight. I spent endless hours going through her jewelry box or spending time looking at old photos. One day I found a photo of her and some of her friends smoking a cigarette. Of course, me being me, I asked her about it and laughed because I believed I had ‘caught’ her smoking. The mood became very serious very fast. She explained that she and her friends were ‘pretending’ to smoke in the picture. She was ashamed of it now, some 30-40 years later. She told me she wished she had destroyed the photo so no one would ever see it.

Generational Mores

So many people of that generation felt guilty about so much. It’s a shame really because young people should live a fun life. Whether she ever smoked or not, I didn’t care. I loved her just the same. As a matter of fact it made me more curious about her – she earned an air of mystique in my mind that day.

It reminds me of a great article I read in the Washington Post written by Christine Organ “Parents, Stop Micromanaging Kids’ Relationships with Grandparents“. It’s a great article about the relationship forged between grandparents and their grandchildren. If you are a grandparent – or a parent who now has their parents as grandparents to their children – I highly recommend the article.

My grandmother was not like the grandmother in the article, but I did like there was something about her I just didn’t know. Now that I am older and the pseudo-family genealogist, I am more interested in the small background stories of common every-day people than I am some glowing pedigree.

MamawI found an old black and white negative of my grandmother back when I was first interested in photography. I took it to the lab and printed it. As the image slowly appeared, I saw a woman I had never ever seen before. My grandmother – with her hair cascading around her shoulders and jeans rolled up sitting on a rock. My grandmother as a young woman.

It would be the first photo I would hand-color. I look at it now and see how much detail was lost in the negative. But that’s the photographer and artist in me. The little girl in me sees her grandmother as beautiful as can be without a care in the world. I love that woman as much or more as the woman who helped raise me.

So, Happy Birthday Mam-Maw. I have never forgotten you. I have so many vivid memories of our time together. This little girl still misses her grandmother.

“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grand-child’s ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details.” 
Fredrik Backman