Favorite Beach Memories

img067 SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960s A few days ago on Facebook, an item came up about my favorite beach memory from childhood.  I thought on this rainy and windy day, it might a fun thing to write about.

I have so many memories of the beach.  I was fortunate to be able to go to the beach and family beach house many times.  It was so nice that my grandparents owned a house that we could stay in — both at the beach and inland as well.

One of my fondest and silliest memories is when I was a pre-teen.  My cousin Pam, her sister Xandra, and my sister Cindy were playing on the beach.  We made cars out of sand, sat in them, and had huge pieces of seaweed on both the sand cars and on us.  We had a blast! The top photo is of me with Pam years later when we were at the beach again.

I don’t remember the photo of me with my parents on the beach house’s front porch, but do love the photo.  I love that it shows how long we have been there.  This place is so very important to our family and multiple generations have enjoyed being at the beach together.

Cindy.Patti.seawallThe girls in red dresses photos are of my sister Cindy and me posing and trying to behave.  I love how cute we look in our matching dresses!  We had a few of the same outfits through the years and these were some of my favorites.

The boy on the lifeguard tower is Ian.  He has been going to the beach for much of his young life as well.  I love his expression in this photo and how totally excited he is.  Many pictures have been taken both when I was little, as I grew up, and now with Ian and his generation through the years.  He and his cousins love the beach and the house as much as my siblings, my cousins and I do.

One of my recent favorite memories was when I was on the beach with my son, my father, and my grandmother.  Four generations together was incredibly special to me.   One evening Grams wanted to get her toes in the sand and the rest of us went with her.   I was so happy and honored to share that last beach visit with her.  I tear up just thinking about it.  Sadly no good photos turned out since it was just after sunset.  But the memory and my feelings live on.

Some of my favorite memories are:

  • Spending the night with cousins in the front room both at the beach house and inland house
  • Grandma and Grandpa’s camper in the parking space across from the beach house
  • Meals and fellowship on the front porch
  • Listening to Grandpa’s stories with a roomful of family
  • Praying and holding hands before a meal
  • Cards and games after dark
  • Watching hundreds of sunsets with loved ones
  • Then walking back to the house to visit and enjoy desert
  • Toes in the sand
  • Long walks to the pier and back
  • The smell of the ocean and salt
  • The wind whipping through my hair
  • The feel of the cold water on my toes and feet
  • Seeing dolphins ride the waves
  • Watching our surfing friends and family
  • Fish tacos and drinks
  • Bonfires, s’mores, and songs at the fire pit
  • Watching the grunion run
  • Staying up at a bonfire with friends
  • Collecting shells
  • The smell of aloe vera after a sunny day
  • The magic of the ice cream truck
  • Time with my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles
  • Fighting over parking spaces
  • Long bike rides and long walks
  • The place that is my Brigadoon

I wonder when I will be back at this favorite beach?  I hope it is soon and with many friends and family.  What are your favorite beach memories?



I Am Stunned

writingHi and Happy Thursday.  I decided to write today about two people in the national media who have truly stunned me.  I am not going to use their names since I don’t want to spotlight them.  But by my description, you will know who I am talking about.  Please allow me a few minutes on my soapbox.

These two grown men are not good role models.  They are both crass, condescending, rude to women, and think they are entitled to whatever they want.  One is running for president and the other is a music mogul and part of a famous family.  Both say anything they want, act any way that they want, and continue to get away with it.

This presidential candidate keeps threatening to sue one of his competitors, doesn’t answer questions in debates, repeatedly talks about how great he is but then doesn’t demonstrate it, and calls people liars. And, he complains repeatedly about how he is treated.  To me, that is laughable since he has been offensive to almost everyone.

To this person, I say it is time to start practicing the golden rule and be respectful of all people, including your competition.  Also, it is time to grow up and realize that politics is tough and can be nasty.  I wish that it wasn’t and am sick of it, but sadly that is the way of today’s world.  As President, you have to do what you feel is right for the country, despite all of the people who disagree with you, who hate what you stand for, and who try to stop you at every turn.

Debates are supposed to be about the issues and telling the American people what the candidate can do to make his/her life better.  For me, my life isn’t nearly as bad as the candidates keep saying it is.  And America has always been great and will continue to be so.  So, I continue to wait to hear from all of them what they can truly do for our country.  That could be started by people on both sides of the aisle figuring out a way to compromise.

The other man who I am truly stunned by is one who has been asking for money and lots of it on social media.  Actually he has asked for $53 million for personal debt.  How do you accrue that much debt?  I cannot even begin to imagine.  What has that money been spent on?  Or is it a ploy for something?

The other thing that stunned me is that he had the nerve to question why a billionaire would give money to a hospital in a poor country and not to him.  Let’s think about that for a minute.  Did I hear that right?  Hospitals, food banks, drinkable water, sewer, shelter, and schools are needed throughout the world.  That is a real problem and many people are helping to improve those conditions.

To this man, I say first and foremost, stop spending money you don’t have.  That is basic for those of us in the middle class.  We can only spend so much and have to save to buy more.  We have to plan for large purchases, get qualified for loans, and then make those payments.  Secondly, I would say, get a job and work like the rest of us have to.  In order to earn money, we have to have jobs and do actual and real work.  And finally, pay attention to those around you and see what you can do to help others.  We could all do a better job of that, couldn’t we?

Another thing that this person said was that he wants to sleep with someone who is not his wife and that he made this artist famous.  Again, appalling behavior.  Is that an okay thing for an “artist” to say?  I think not.  To me, marriage is sacred and we are to honor and respect our mates.  This is not doing that, not even close.  As far as this other artist, she had some comments when she won her Grammy Award a few nights ago that were so eloquent and made her point.  She made it clear that it wasn’t this person who helped her get where she is, but instead, her hard work, her sticking to it, and her loved ones who were supportive and with her along the way.

Okay, so I have vented.   Now I am going to pray for both of them.  And, I am going to pray that we have compassion for others, that we again learn to respect and revere those who work hard in our society, those who help others, those who are kind and loving, those who teach our children, those who protect us, those who fight crime and fires to keep us safe, and those who have our backs.

We are all part of a neighborhood, a community, a city, a state, a country, a continent, and the world.  We are in this together.  May we remember to always be kind to one another, even those we don’t agree with or like.  And may we keep our egos in check.

Love One Another

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“Love is all you need.”  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” “I will always love you.” “Love one another as I have loved you.” 

Love comes in many shapes and sizes.  There are many types of love and many things that define love.  As you know, we just celebrated the big love day of the year, Valentines’ Day. Well, it is a day that stores and restaurants try to make the big day.  We are encouraged to spend a marked up amount on flowers, eat out, and spend a lot on cards.

That is fine but why not enjoy a home cooked meal with our mate and children?  Why not enjoy our own tradition of handwriting a special card?  Why not have both of you sign the same card as Kirk and I did this year? And, why not remember to love and show our love each and every day?

Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the fun of Valentine’s Day, the fancy dinners out, and the dozen red roses. There is nothing like that in the early stages of a relationship. But, more importantly, I like when Kirk gives me flowers just because, or has asked if I’d like to eat out after a tiring day at work, or wants to have a date night in the middle of the week.

I also like to do special things for him just because. And I like that we tell each other I love you every day.  And, we tell our son that as well. We also regularly demonstrate love to one other by the things we help with around the house, the projects, and the teamwork.

Before meeting Kirk, I had many years without a special someone. it could be tough at times but I did my best to enjoy time with my friends and family. I also learned to love myself and figure out what I wanted in a relationship. That was a blessing and helped me appreciate my relationship even more.

At the top of the blog, I listed a few quotes about love.  Here are my thoughts on them.

  • Love is all you need.  This is from a great Beatles song that I really like.  To me, we need more than love to have relationships work.  We also need trust, honesty, forgiveness, and patience.  Clearly love needs to be part of it since without it, it is very hard to have the rest.
  • Love means never having to say you’re sorry.  This was made famous in The Love Story movie.  I totally disagree with this sentiment.  To me, love means saying sorry often and as needed. Not so much that it means nothing, but enough to show we realize when we made mistakes.
  • I will always love you. This is from one of my favorite Celine Dion songs and is lovely. I agree that you can always love someone. However, you may not always like them and can get frustrated with them. True love means sticking with them through it all and always being there for each other. And loving unconditionally.
  • Love one another as I have loved you.  Christ told us to do this and I think we are lacking with this at times.  We seem to be a society of mistrust, gossip, and a lot of negativity.  I hope and pray that we can get back to truly loving others and wanting the best for each other.  People often try to take credit for another’s accomplishments or blame people when something doesn’t work out.  None of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. My hope is that we can find a way to be more loving and kind.

Love is an amazing gift and something that is rare and precious.  It is to be treasured and respected.  It is to be given freely and without expecting anything in return.  And, it is to be given without condition.

The loves in my life are:

  • My husband who I cherish
  • Our son who is a gift from the Lord and a blessing each day
  • My parents who taught me what love means
  • My siblings and their spouses who I adore
  • My nieces and nephews who I am fascinated by
  • My cousins who I have shared so much with
  • My aunts and uncles who love me like their own
  • My grandparents who I miss each day and loved talking with
  • My in-laws who welcomed me into their family
  • My lifetime friends who I have laughed and cried with
  • My newer friends who I am enjoying getting to know
  • My friends from work, school, and church who are so special
  • My loved ones who have passed and are still missed

I wonder if I will truly remember to love as Christ loved me.  I am going to do my best to do just that.  My prayer is that we all have love and can truly love others.

Throwback Thursday — Childhood Fun

TT.2-11-2016Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today I have a great picture for Throwback Thursday.  My sister Cindy and I are on the swing set in our backyard.  I am the one upside down.

My sister, my brother, and I loved to play in this back yard.  I don’t remember how I happened to be upside down, but I love that I was.  We had so much fun and made so many memories.  We were able to walk to school since we were so close.

I love how this picture sums up childhood, when life was simple, we had no worries except for when dinner time was, and getting our homework done.  My family also had chores to do around the house and we always had to listen and eat what was served.

Still, it was so carefree.  I only wish my younger self had known to savor each and every moment of being a kid.  Now I look back fondly and wish that I had, but it’s hard to see at the time.  Since life was pretty good, I could have taken things for granted. Our parents helped us to not do that.

I was quite shy as a child, almost painfully so.  Needless to say, I was a late bloomer and took things at my own pace.  Things worked out at the right time for me, but it did take time and I thank my parents for helping me along and helping me to find myself.

I had a real and fun childhood and am so thankful to my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who were a part of that.  I also appreciate our pastors, teachers, Camp Fire leaders, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teachers, and all other adults who helped me to become who I am today.

Now that I am a parent, my husband and I are trying to give Ian the best childhood we can.  That doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that he asks for or giving him all that he wants.  Instead, it means having plenty of time to play, complete his homework, help around the house, enjoy the library, Cub Scouts, having plenty of food, and so much more.

I am aware that some families don’t have that.  We are teaching that to Ian as well and to have him be cognizant of others and be helpful.  We had a food drive last week at school and Ian helped me choose the food and deliver it to school.  And, at Christmas, he chose gifts for a boy on our Angel Tree at church.  He is already learning and I am so grateful.

There are a few things that I think children need to know they are loved and safe:

  • Unconditional love
  • Discipline given in love not anger or hate
  • Routine and consistency
  • Regular and healthy meals
  • Running water that is safe to shower in and drink
  • Parents and other adults who want the best for them
  • Time to play
  • Learning to read
  • Being told I Love You
  • Being read to
  • Being listened to
  • Having family traditions
  • A quality education
  • A safe living environment
  • Knowing they can count on their parents

May we be able to provide this for our children.  If we can’t on our own, may we seek help from others.  And, may we always love them and take care of them.

I will close with a few quotes about childhood.  May we as parents enjoy it with our children.

  • “There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
  • “Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” ~ John Betjeman
  • “Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” ~ Robert Brault
  • “It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Tom Robbins

February 4 – Texture

POD_2.4.TextureHi and Happy Thursday!  Today’s photo challenge is Texture.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided on this photo of Ian from years ago.

He was studying a rock and was quite interested in the feel and the weight of it.  He has always been curious and has wanted to learn more.  For that we are truly thankful.

Texture is defined in several ways: (1) the way that something feels when you touch it; (2) the way that a food or drink feels in your mouth; and (3) the various parts of a song, poem, movie, etc., and the way they fit together.

The first definition is the most common one regarding texture.  We touch things to learn more about them.  A lot can be discovered from the feel of something.  A few touches and textures that come to mind are:

  • The feel of sand in my fingers or toes
  • Holding hands during a prayer
  • Drinking ice-cold water on a hot day
  • Savoring an ice cream cone
  • Making a snow ball
  • The touch, feel, and taste of popcorn
  • Holding Ian’s hand as we cross the street
  • The feel of a warm mug of hot cocoa on a cold day
  • The taste of that cocoa
  • Hugs and kisses with my hubby
  • Messy dirt as flowers are planted
  • A stone that Ian found for me at the beach
  • The crunch of a yummy salad
  • The pairing of warm hot fudge and cold vanilla ice cream

There are so many items of texture that we can feel and taste and have in our lives.  I have the texture of a variety of friends and family.  They enrich my life in so many ways.  For that I am truly thankful and blessed.  As far as the texture of songs and movies, I will write about that in a separate blog.

One quote by actor Ralph Fiennes that I found about texture states, “Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”  That is so true.  Life is made up of small and little moments that can be special and are not to be missed.  Each day I savor those little moments and know that they will change as life goes on.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Cuddles and chatting before school
  • Breakfast with my hubby
  • Hearing I love you from my guys
  • Saying I love you in return
  • Enjoying dinner with my parents
  • Laughter and fun with friends
  • Sunshine for an afternoon walk
  • Super Bowl party with my family
  • The upcoming weekend
  • Reading books
  • Reading a story that Ian has written
  • Having the ability to feel textures

I wonder if I will pay attention to textures throughout the day?  I plan to do just that.  I will also continue to appreciate the little moments in my life.

Live Life To The Fullest


We love to laugh and open our mouths as wide as possible.  LOL!

Hi and Happy Tuesday.  This morning I have several loved ones on my mind.  They are suffering and going through treatments — several for cancer and one for a brain tumor.  I pray for them and try to encourage them, but they are the strong and amazing ones.

So in honor of these loved ones, I decided to share a photo that I saw a few days ago on Facebook.   It is of quotes about living life to the fullest.  I like all of these items and will try to do them more.

From 102.3 in Australia that posted this, here is a wonderful a way to live life to the fullest.

  • Eat the damn chocolate cake.
  • Walk in the rain and splash in the puddles.
  • Ride with the windows down.
  • Dance.
  • Sing.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Hug someone.
  • Go barefoot.
  • Take naps.
  • Make lots of love.
  • Try new things.
  • Spend time with kids.
  • Laugh every chance you get.
  • Help others.
  • Life life to the fullest.  No regrets.  Life is way too short.

Isn’t that a great list?  I sure think so.

I would add the following:

  • Put your toes in the sand.
  • Jump in the ocean waves.
  • Build a sand castle.
  • Savor time with family.
  • Plan time with life-long friends.
  • Take long walks.
  • Spend time on your hobbies.
  • Say I love you.
  • Make time for date nights.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • Enjoy old photographs.
  • Play board games all day.
  • Help your child discover something new.

There are so many more that I could add.  These are just a few of my list of living life to the fullest.  What is on your list?

May we live our lives to the fullest and make the most of each and every day that we are given.