Throwback Thursday – Sisters

DSC00400Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today I have included a photo of my sisters taken in 2009 while on vacation.  From left are Beckie (my sis-in-law), me, and my sister Cindy.  We were at Mission Beach in CA and enjoying a lovely sunset with oceans views and breezes.

Cindy, Beckie, and I have fun together.  We enjoy time with just us as well as our spouses, children, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and in-laws.  At the beach, we hang out and have extra time to chat and make so many great memories.  The sister time is always special.

I have other sisters-in-law on my hubby’s side of the family.  He is one of six kids.  I also have cousins who are like sisters.  They were some of my first real friends after my siblings.  I love all of them so very much.

And, I also love my sister friends.  I am blessed to have so many great and amazing women in my life.  I have friends from school, newer friends from Ian’s school, friends from church, from the places I have worked, and others who I have met in a variety of places.  For me, I love having these gals to chat with, cry with, laugh with, and hang out with.

I regularly get together with a group of friends from high school for a girls night out.  We have several gals who almost always come and some who come as they can.  Each time we pick right back up with one another, talk for hours, laugh, commiserate, and have great food and drinks.  I so look forward to those times.  I value these friendships and our time together.

Being in a household of men, I hear about guy stuff a lot.  Between Kirk and Ian, it isn’t too bad, but I do need to chat with other women sometimes.  Nothing like just talking and laughing with girlfriends.  I also want to include my mother, mother-in-law, aunts, cousins, and nieces in these women who are so special to me.  And my grandmothers were also very special.

A few quotes about sisters:

  • “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” ~Marion C. Garretty
  • “Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” ~Louisa May Alcott
  • “A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories — for she knows where the decoration has been added.” ~Chris Montaigne
  • “How do people make it through life without a sister?” ~Sara Corpening
  • “Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.” ~Author Unknown
  • “In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” ~Isadora James

There is nothing like an inside joke with a sister, or the laughter about a shared experience, or the tears and hugs as you help with one another’s pain.  Sisters and sister friends are so important and special.

I wonder when I will next see my sisters?  I think it will be soon and I cannot wait!

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To Dancing In The Rain

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.  I came across a great photo this morning on Facebook.  It had a quote that said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

This really spoke to me today.  Isn’t that so true?  Life sometimes is really hard.  It is painful and sad, and it can be hard to get out of bed in the morning.  But most of the time, we still have to figure out a way to get out of bed and start our day.

Sometimes at least for me, it is good to have some time to have a good cry, grieve and be sad.  It helps to feel what I need to feel for a little while, and I can then try to see the good that is there along with the bad.

I am not saying it is easy and often the hurt and pain don’t just fade away.  It takes time and often lots of it.  Each day, I hope and pray to wake up and find things easier to deal with.  Some days are good and some are bad.

Over the weekend, my parents went to funerals or receiving friends for two men who we all have known for years.  One was a co-worker of my dad and also of mine.  He was 68 years old.  The other was a friend from church.  He lived to be 90 years old and had an amazing and long life.

Both of these men meant a lot to their friends and families and had great lives.  They will be missed.  My prayer is that their families and friends can remember all of the wonderful times that they enjoyed and celebrate their lives.

Losing people is always hard but celebrating them and remembering all that they meant to us can help with that hurt.  The saying of one day at a time truly applies in the case of losing our loved ones.

Struggles in life can also wear us down.  We watched the 10 year anniversary show on Hurricane Katrina last night.  It was amazing to see all of the devastation again and the pain and suffering that so many people in numerous states dealt with.

Yet, after time and effort, communities have been rebuilt, homes have been rebuilt, and families have rebuilt.  These stories were inspirational and uplifting.  Despite all of the heartache, people helped one another and got back on their feet again.  That is something to celebrate!

May we always remember to be kind to one another and helpful.  May we bear one another’s burdens.  May we remember to let our loved ones know how much we do love them.  May we remember to dance in the rain.  And may we remember to always have hope.

A closing prayer: “Dear Lord as we deal with struggles, please help us to remember that you are always there for comfort and strength.  May we also lean on our loved ones and help each other through the challenges of life.  And, may we remember that better days are ahead.  Amen.”

August 19 – Hat

DSC00725Hi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is Hat.  This photo is one that a friend took several years ago of Ian and me sitting on the porch of the beach house.

It is one of my favorite pictures, even though you can’t see very much of our faces.  It was a special moment when we were sitting together and looking at toys and other items on the porch.

Ian has always loved to learn and I think this was one of those fun yet teachable moments.  I just can’t remember what we were looking at.  It was something interesting though, I am sure.

I love to wear hats and wish they would come back in style.  I wear them regularly and often get compliments when I do.  That is always nice to hear.  Do you enjoy wearing hats?  I would love to hear from you!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Times when Ian still sits on my lap
  • Reading a favorite book each night with Ian
  • Wearing a hat that I picked at the beach
  • My family and friends
  • Friends at Ian’s school
  • The start of a great school year
  • A trip to the library after school
  • Lunch out with my hubby

I wonder what other hats we will find to wear?  I can’t wait to look and will enjoy them.

Five Minute Friday – Learn

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  I haven’t written one of these in ages.  I liked today’s word so I thought I’d write for five minutes on Learn.

Starting now…

With today being the end of Ian’s second week of school, it means so much to have a child who loves to learn.  He was ready to start school and enjoys going each day.

I will appreciate and cherish that as long as possible since I know that feeling may not last.  A mom can be hopeful though. Right?

He likes his teachers, his classmates, and especially his school.  He has a T-shirt that he wears regularly with the school name and mascot on it.

This morning, Ian asked me, “Is tomorrow a school day?”  “No Ian,” I told him.  “It is Saturday.”  He wasn’t thrilled but realized that we have a Cub Scout activity in the morning.  That should be fun.

I too enjoy learning and think it is important to do throughout your life.  I was blessed with a good education and am thankful each and every day for that.

We can learn in a classroom certainly, but also in everyday life and on the weekends.  Learning is always possible and we try to talk with Ian about that.

Stop writing.  The time is up.  Wow, that was fast.

Since I haven’t done this in a while, I am not sure where to post these in the Five Minute Friday community.  I will try to find that out for next week.

I did want to add a few quotes about learning that I found after my time was up:

  • “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.” ~ Clay P. Bedford
  • “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” ~ Henry L. Doherty
  • “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” ~ Eartha Kitt
  • “You learn something every day if you pay attention.” ~ Ray LeBlond
  • “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” ~ Chinese Proverb
  • “All the world is a laboratory to the inquiring mind.” ~ Martin H. Fischer

I want to thank all of Ian’s teachers, the school staff and administration, our school district and school board for such an awesome school and great curriculum.  We look forward to a great year of 2nd grade.

Thanks also to my teachers.  They taught me so much and I can never thank them enough.  Many of them I remember fondly and am grateful for their love of learning.  I will have to write about a few of them sometime.

I have many family and friends who were and are amazing teachers.  Thanks also to them for helping students and adults to learn.  You and your passion for learning and teaching are so vital and appreciated.

I hope that Ian will always love learning.  I look forward to each day with him on his journey.   His dad and I are in awe of all that he knows and continues to learn.

Life is Short and So Precious

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I found out that a high school classmate had passed away.  She had been sick with melanoma.  It came as a complete shock to many of us.  We knew she had been sick but not how serious it was.  J was loved by so many and will be missed.

I wasn’t very close to her but remember her fondly.  She was kind to everyone, always had a smile on her face, and had some dear friends who she has kept in regular contact with since elementary school.   One of my best friends was close to her and part of that special circle.

My thoughts and prayers are with J’s family.  She is survived by her husband, children, mother, sister, and many friends.  Some who have known her since elementary school and others from more recent years.  J is now a lovely soul in Heaven who will be missed.

As my friend so eloquently said regarding J’s death, when you have someone on your mind and in your heart, they are there for a reason, take the time right at that moment to reach out to them and let them know you are thinking of them. You just simply do not know when the time will come that you are not able to do that anymore.  I totally agree.

Life truly is precious and so very short.  We don’t know how long we have or how long we have to let someone know we love them.  Twenty-five years ago, my paramedic friend Gordon D. advised me to never be a grave hugger, meaning always tell someone you love them when you can and have no regrets.

I have tried to live my life this way but do sometimes forget to do so.  And, then surprising news like this brings back the importance of it.  I am going to work to make this a priority again.

Cheers to you J!  It was an honor to know you.  You are loved and missed.  Rest in Peace.

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August 10 – In My Hand

POD_8-10_In.My.HandHi and Happy Monday.  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is “In My Hand.”  That’s me in the middle.  I was holding hands at the beach with my mother on the left and my grandmother on the right.

This photo makes me smile since there are so many amazing memories of this beach and being with them throughout my life.  I don’t remember this particular day since I was so young, but I love having this photo.  It is a real treasure.

I am blessed to have quite a few precious photos from my childhood.  I cherish each and every one of them and am so happy for all of those who have come before me in my family.  I have learned so much and hope to carry on the traditions.

Several generations of my family have held hands during prayer time.  We do this before meals and other special occasions.  We normally stand in a circle and join hands.  It is wonderful and full of such love.

There are many things I like to have in my hand.  These include:

  • Holding hands with loved ones during a prayer
  • Holding hands with Ian as we cross the street on the way to school
  • Holding hands with my parents before our meals together
  • Holding hands on a date with my hubby
  • Kirk and I holding Ian’s hands as we walk and then pick him up and swing him
  • The feel of sand at the beach
  • A fish taco and beer — what a yummy meal
  • An ice cream cone on a hot day
  • A pencil before writing a note
  • A pen for my word finds
  • A book that I am enjoying
  • A newspaper that I read to find out the latest community news
  • A large glass of iced water to quench my thirst
  • A hymnal to sing glorious songs at church
  • A camera to capture a special moment
  • A hot cup of tea or coffee on a cold morning
  • A Lego creation by Ian that he wants to show me
  • A magazine for time to relax
  • Chopsticks for a yummy meal
  • Food of various kinds to prepare a special meal
  • Dice that are thrown during a Monopoly Game
  • Cards for Go Fish
  • Dirt in the yard for planting flowers
  • The steering wheel of our car on a Sunday drive
  • My Bible and other study material
  • A crayon to color with Ian
  • A gift of jewelry from my family
  • A photo album of priceless photos

There are many more items than this that I enjoy having “In My Hand.”  What do you like to hold in your hand?

Wayback Wednesday – Grandpa and Me

img116 Yesterday, August 4, was my grandpa’s birthday.  He was born in 1908 and died in 1996.  This Wayback Wednesday photo was taken in 1990 of the two of us.  He was 82 years old and I was a recent college graduate.

We were from different generations, liked different music, had different ideas about life, and were far apart in our ages. Yet we got along very well and had some amazing conversations.  For that, I am really and truly thankful.

I still miss him and wish he could have met my husband and my son.  I think he would have liked both of them and would have been great to talk to.  Ian was born the year he would have been 99 years old, had he lived that long.

I loved his stories and talking with him.  I also love how much he loved my grandmother.  He also loved his children, their spouses, and all of his grandchildren.  He taught me a lot about the importance of family, the love of writing, and the amazing gift and talent of storytelling.

POD_March.6_Chair-Our family has grown a lot since his passing and that of my grandmother as well.  So many new and wonderful people have been born and have been growing up ever since.

I know he would loved each and every one of them.  I only wish he could have known them.  Thankfully this summer, our family was able to be together and continue his legacy.

Here is another picture of the two of us when we were both much younger.  This was a special outfit that I was wearing.  I have loved wearing hats for years and this may have been when that love began.

As you know, Grandpa and his stories are the inspiration for this blog and for much of my writing.  As I continue to write, I find many of my writings are similar to what he used to do.  That makes me smile.

He was an amazing writer and educator.  He did a lot for people.  And, he and my grandmother bought the beach house that we all still enjoy today.  I am glad to have known him as long as I did.

Some of my favorite memories of Grandpa are:

  • Sitting on his lap for storytime
  • Being taken on a ride with Willie The Elf and his adventures
  • His regular breakfast of a soft-boiled egg, toast, and prunes
  • Discussions in his front room while doing laundry
  • His advice and counsel on a variety of topics
  • His teeth in a jar at night
  • Schatzi, the precious Miniature Schnauzer with floppy ears
  • His many characters
  • “Madam, you may draw your own conclusions.”
  • “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”
  • Candy canes on a cabin
  • His sunbathing spot behind the house
  • Watching him write at his typewriter
  • His seat in the living room, which was right next to Grandma’s seat
  • Stories of the cabin and making pancakes there
  • Holding hands each evening with his wife, my grandmother
  • His voice and inflections as he told a favorite story
  • His cane and white shoes
  • The blue front room
  • His love of opera and reading
  • The pool and the large front yard

In Grandpa’s honor, I want to close with “I still wonder where rainbows come from.”  This phrase and his many stories taught me well to always be on a quest for knowledge, to rely on your loved ones, and to find a way to make the best of your life.

SRP.28_Patti.Dick.and.Artha.1986

Day 1 of 2nd Grade

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday, Ian started 2nd grade.  I cannot believe it was his first day of a new school year.  He was excited and ready to go.  Of that I am very thankful.

He has a man for his home room / primary teacher this year.  I too had a male teacher in 2nd grade.  He was one of my all-time favorites!  I have a feeling that Ian will like his teacher as much as I liked mine.

Here is my sweet boy from this morning.  He is looking so grown up now and is ready for school to begin.

Thankfully, a few of his friends are in his class again.  In fact, he and two other kids have been in the same classes for all three years.  Also, there are several new kids who he will also get to know.

I think it will be a great year for us and we are excited.  I am serving again as our PTO secretary.  We have several new people who I look forward to working with.  We hope to have a great and busy year with that as well.

This morning we walked together to school and discussed the day.  Then after school, we walked back home.  This afternoon was quite a bit warmer but not too bad.  We had time to chat about his day.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A wonderful school that Ian loves
  • A short first day
  • Great teachers
  • A wonderful Principal, Vice Principal, and office staff
  • Being able to walk to and from school
  • A boy who loves to learn
  • Friends who we got to see again
  • A quick but fabulous summer
  • Treats after school
  • Listening to a boy explain today’s science fun

I wonder how the rest of our first week will be?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one.  Hope your first day is good as well.