Throwback Thursday – A Special Gift

TT.Gifts_3-3-2016Hi and Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday photo, I decided to post one of a gift that I received when I was a kid.  It was a white AM radio.  It had a rotary dial and I think I am looking at the back of it.

I am the one in the middle.  I am between my brother and sister.  You can see how excited I was.  And how excited my brother was.  I love the shapes of our mouths  Too funny!  We were always making faces and silly expressions and still enjoying making them when we get together.

Don’t you just love the 70s clothing and hair?  And furniture?  This photo was taken in our living room.  I remember this couch very well and liked all of the flowers, which were in style then.  Also, the coffee table was lovely and a nice dark brown.

I don’t remember those pants but think the patches are fun.  And it seems to be a turtleneck that I am wearing.  I wasn’t wearing any accessories.  I wear them all of the time now — earrings, rings, bracelets, a watch, and hats and scarves on occasion.

Cindy, Richmond, and I had a great time growing up.  Our parents were generous to us and always made big deals for our birthdays.  This appears to be one of my birthdays, although I don’t remember which one.  The nicely wrapped packages are fun and gift bags weren’t used much back then.

They also disciplined us, taught us to respect our elders, and taught us about the importance of family and life-long friends.  We also learned to have fun on family vacations and enjoyed many after school activities, including our community theater.  I am so thankful to them and my siblings for an amazing childhood.   Not that it was perfect, but my good memories far outweigh the bad ones.

I was blessed with many amazing gifts during both my childhood and since.  My parents started my Snow Village collection, gave me souvenir spoons from various trips, helped pay for chorus trips, camping trips, and many excursions to the beach.  They were and remain extremely generous.  I have albums full of photos of gifts, trips, and amazing memories.  I will always treasure them.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My family
  • Silly faces of my sister, my brother, and me
  • Inside jokes with my siblings
  • Our children’s silly faces
  • My parents who I adore
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Delicious birthday meals and cakes
  • Reversing the numbers
  • Camping trip memories
  • Singing with the family
  • Gifts given from the heart
  • The generous spirit of my loved ones
  • Photo gifts
  • Shared moments and memories
  • Old family memories
  • My hubby and son
  • Ian’s wonderful school
  • My many circles of friends
  • PTO moms and dads
  • Teachers and an amazing staff
  • A hug before bed
  • Chili in the crockpot for dinner
  • An amazing life so far

I wonder what new gifts we will give to each other?  I cannot wait to find out.  I love that we are creative without having to spend a fortune. And I love my friends and family.

Throwback Thursday – October 15

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  I cannot believe it has been so long since I have last posted.  We have been super busy with fall break and many activities.  I hope to be able to write again more regularly.

For today, I decided to include a photo of Ian in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.  This was during story time at our library.  The fire department came out and allowed the kids to explore the truck.

Clearly you can see how small Ian was.  His legs barely went over the end of the seat and he loved sitting there.  He was fascinated with the huge steering wheel and all of the gears.

Since then, Ian has grown so much and his legs are very long now.  At least compared to those in the photo.  He is still shorter than I am, but I imagine that will change in a few years.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a sweet toddler
  • Photos showing Ian’s changes
  • Chai Latte tea
  • Brisk mornings
  • Lovely blue skies
  • Extra long hugs
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite book
  • Camping fun with my parents, husband, and son
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Time with friends and family
  • Hearing “I love you” from Kirk and Ian
  • A new book
  • Bright oranges and reds on the trees
  • Warm socks
  • The colors, smells, and feel of fall

I wonder what amazing things we will be doing on this lovely fall day?  I cannot wait to find out!  Take care and have a great day!

February 2 — Mail

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is Mail.  These envelopes are from letters that I sent to my grandparents while I was a child.  When I was younger, we regularly sent cards to them. After they passed away, they were sent to me.  It is amazing that they kept these cards for all of these years. I think my brother and sister got their letters back as well, as well as my cousins.

My grandparents liked their stuff and didn’t want to throw away special things from their children or grandchildren.  They kept lots of things and had 8 storage sheds on their property.  I remember cleaning those out and what an adventure that was.

My grandparents lived through the depression and that might be why they kept so much.  Or they just couldn’t part with things.  I am not quite sure. I just loved the chance to go through their treasures while they were still alive and see what mattered to them.

Now that they are gone, it has been nice to re-read these cards and letters that I sent to them decades ago. I have enjoyed reading all of these letters that I wrote in the 1970s.  It is hilarious to look back at what I was into and my writing abilities.  It is a treasure.  And the cost of stamps is something else too.  Only 8 cents in 1972.  Wow – much has changed, hasn’t it?!

Today I am thankful for:

  • My amazing grandparents
  • Grandma and Grandpa teaching me about love and family
  • Reading a note from my 10-year-old self
  • Family treasures
  • Our fascinating family history
  • Grandpa’s stories on tape and in writing
  • Memories with Grandma and Grandpa at their house
  • Family sing-alongs in their living room
  • Fun with my aunts, uncles, siblings, parents, grandparents, and cousins

I wonder if I will keep special letters as long as Grandma and Grandpa did?  I may keep a few but will have to be careful.  After all, I don’t have 8 storage sheds.

Photography 101 – Treasure

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s Photography 101 word is Treasure.  Normally we think of treasure as gold and valuables, but treasure also is who and what we truly value and love. My treasure is my family, friends, and the memories we make and share.

The house that I have chosen for today is one of the places where four generations of my family have had fun and have enjoyed being together. This is the family beach house and it is a wonderful place to gather.  It is a definite treasure.

I love the turquoise color, love the front porch where hundreds of meals have been served, and love the doors and windows, which are opened and let the ocean breeze in.  I also love the table and benches that a friend built for us, the ramp down the side of the house which leads to the outdoor shower and patio, and the gate which Ian clung to as he was first learning to walk.

I also love the family sing-alongs around the piano, love when we pack people in to spend the night, love taking turns making meals, love playing games and talking late into the night on the porch, love eating fish tacos from a restaurant that we can walk to, love the back patio crowded with all of the bikes, love the towels and sunscreen all over the front and back porches, and love to watch all of the beach and boardwalk activity.

It may seem like an odd choice for treasure.  But, this place is very special to me.  It doesn’t look like much, but every square inch is filled with memories and fun with my dear friends and family.  I am so blessed to have had this place to come to throughout my life.  And, from the porch, if you look to the left, you can see the lovely pacific ocean and sand.  To the right is the bay on the other side of a major street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Ian just finishing his puzzle a few years ago on the porch table.  He was also having fun with his cars. We traveled with him to this house for the first five years of his life.  Each year he enjoyed something new and had blast, just as I did. That is an amazing treasure and a wonderful blessing.

SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960sHere is a photo of when I was a child on this same porch. I am sitting with my parents.  The wooden table hadn’t been built yet when this was taken.  As you can see the color of the gate is different, cars on the street are different, but the fun of the place is still there.

That fun has simply grown as my husband and I, and my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have grown and have wanted to bring new family members to enjoy the fun.

This tiny house is treasure to me and is a place I love to visit.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A place where family and friends can gather each year
  • A tiny house which feels big because of all of the amazing memories
  • My grandparents who purchased this house
  • A boy feeling better after a lazy weekend trying to get over a cold
  • Early morning hugs
  • Having fun at a Cub Scout meeting
  • Handing out popcorn to our friends and family nice enough to buy from Ian
  • Mom’s roast, potatoes, and veggies
  • Date nights with Kirk
  • Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast
  • Making meals for the Thanksgiving feast
  • A shortened week of school
  • Decorating for the holidays
  • Having wonderful friends and family
  • Memories with my loved ones

I wonder when I will next get to visit my treasured place? I hope that it will be very soon!

My Gal Friends Rock!

girls 2Yes, I’ll say again, my gal friends or girl friends rock!

They are so very precious to me, yet I don’t get to see most of them very often.

For a while now, we have been splitting our time in two places — one of which includes me with a house full of guys.  It is fun to travel and see another place, but I must admit that after a while, I really miss talking to other women.

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with these guys — including my hubby and son — but there is nothing like talking over something with a girl friend.  Gals, you know what I mean, right?!

Here I am pictured with (from left) my cousin Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie.  I am at far left.  We had such a fun visit that summer!!

This week and next are the birthdays of two of my girl friends who I have known the longest.  Jennifer I have known since high school and Dawn since our freshman year in college.  I have written about both of them in other blogs, such as https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/happy-birthday-dawn-jennifer/.

I love that we are still close and can pick up where we left off with one another!  We can look at each other and laugh about some inside secret or read a posting and instantly have a connection or a shared memory.

A few gals who I have known longer than these two are my dear friends Tammy, a friend since elementary school, and my cousin Pam who I have been close to for as long as I remember, and my sister Cindy who I have known since she was born.

Again, I wish I could be with them more but they all understand and lead their own busy lives.  I just love that we can pick up where we have left off when we talk or see one another.

And, a few dear friends that I worked with through the years are also very special — Karen, Gaye, Michele, DiAnn, Linda, Phyllis, Deborah, Brenda, Angela, and a few others as well.  I have fond memories of each of them.  The cool thing is that I am friends with all of them on Facebook so I can keep up with them!

I am fortunate to also be close to two of my sisters-in-law, Beckie and Diane, and getting to better know another three others — Linda Hope, Linda, and Anne.  They have been fabulous additions to my life and I so enjoy time with this as well.

My wonderful cousins also rock (Val, Chris, Sue, Jen, Marit, Sarah, Robbi, Trish, Tanya and Dawn).  And, I am blessed to have friends from high school who I have planned reunions with and friends from college who I keep in touch with.  All of these great women are so important to me.  I won’t name everyone since I am afraid that I will leave someone out and I don’t want to do that.  In fact, I may already have.  I am sorry!

Just last year I met a few amazing women at a writer’s conference.  Among them, I immediately hit it off with Ann and Vicki.  I saw them this spring again and we had a great visit.  They both have self-published books and inspire me.

There is nothing like spending time at having tea, shopping, going to a movie, dessert, or a restaurant with my girl friends!  Talking and laughing or commiserating and crying are what we can do together.  Each of these moments is truly special.

When thinking about girl friends, I thought of television shows and movies which highlight female friendship.  My two favorites are Golden Girls and Designing Women.  Both of these had four amazing women who were strong, funny, and tightly knit.   And, they cracked me up.

A few more recent favorites are Hot In Cleveland and Sex In the City.  Again four close-knit women — isn’t that interesting?  These shows also make me laugh and I enjoy watching the dynamic of these friends.

Some other shows and movies that I thought of are:

  • Girlfriends
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Army Wives
  • Cagney and Lacey
  • Friends
  • The Facts of Life
  • Gilmore Girls
  • I Love Lucy
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Rhoda
  • Steel Magnolias
  • Thelma and Louise

What can you think of?  Are there other shows that I didn’t include?  Please let me and our readers know!!!

What do you like to do with your girl friends?  I also would love to hear from you on this.

May your life be blessed and rich with friendship and dear friends!

I wonder what fun and new things I will be able to do with my girl friends?  Can’t wait to discover!   I also wonder how soon I will see them.  Very soon I hope!