Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bestemor

I had a grandmother.

Actually, I had two, as does everyone else I guess.

My maternal grandmother lived on in a large house on a small estate in Larchmont.

My paternal grandmother lived in a second floor apartment in Mount Vernon, the whole time I knew her.

They have both moved on to heaven.

I always thought I would be a mother.

And I am, to four absolutely fantastic, handsome, creative, children.

But I stood still once and turned around.......and now I am a grandmother.

I never thought about being a grandmother.  It seems that I'm way too young for the role.  Although most grandmothers I know are younger than I.  Sigh

But a couple of months ago my beautiful granddaughter turned one.

One whole year of her life already experienced in her amazing life.

She is really quite brilliant, as most grandmothers know about their grandchildren.

 She can point to her nose when asked where it is!!!  And if requested to clap her hands, she does so with a big smile.

Her mom puts her hair into the cutest waterfall pony tails.  And dresses her in pink!

And her Papa and I love her to pieces.

Proverbs 17:6  "Children's children are a crown to the aged."

Psalm 103:17  "But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children."

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Harper's Secret Garden

Someone once wrote "Heaven Is A Garden".

 I think that's probably true.

And yet we create magnificent gardens right down here on earth.

Formal gardens,

 Cottage gardens, Vegetable gardens, Kitchen gardens, Front yard gardens,

Rooftop gardens, Woodland gardens, Rock gardens, Wildflower gardens

English gardens.

A garden is a vision, a plan, a creation.

Art.

It's a path, leading to somewhere, or nowhere.

Anticipation.

A garden is hard work,

Reward,

Sometimes disappointment.

A garden is color,

Green, or white, yellow, or red, blue, orange or purple.

It's flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, boulders, fountains, worms, bees and birds.

But growth and quiet activity.

And this is my little granddaughter's garden.

Underneath the 80 year old maple tree,

 Three hollowed out tree stumps lay,

Filled with pink, and a small chair, and a basket of books.

I think, perhaps, when she Comes From Away,

We will be in the garden together.

Reading.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Mother's Day

It was Mother's Day almost two months ago, and I've been meaning to "find time" to write this blog. To express my gratitude to both my mother and my mother-in-law. They both taught me so many things over the years. Things about being a mom, a mother-in-law, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a neighbor, and a grandmother. About the importance of time, grace, relationships, beauty, hard work, and gratitude. What I learned? We all only get a certain amount of time. Spend it with families! Rob and I lived in the same community as our folks for four years, but then we lived at least 6 hours apart from them. And both mothers were at my house frequently, when my children were born and after. They washed the bathrooms, cooked for the family, read books to the children, taught them Jesus. They were there at birthday's, Thanksgiving's, Christmas's, at the beach, grandparent's day, and dedications. Have family reunions frequently- especially now that everyone lives so far apart and weekly Sunday dinners are not in anyone's future. Go to Norway, if your family is having a world-wide reunion!! Keep the stories going! Ethan, stand out on the camp deck and tell the family stories from your perspective....you're a very good storyteller! Unless we hear our family history, our children and grandchildren will not learn about their family lore. About grace and elegance. My mother had a nature elegance, even when she was hanging clothes on the line. She was from the era of house dresses. And she and my father danced. I never saw her in pants until we were older. After cleaning and cooking during the day I remember her changing into another dress and putting on lipstick for when my dad got home from the bank. Later I remember her in beautiful ball gowns going to bank functions in NYC. She made glamour look easy. I know now it isn't. My mother-in-law, Alma, was tall. She always looked beautiful in whatever she wore, even if it came from a bargain department store! She was always proud of her legs, even though being tall in her generation was not a thing to be envied. About hard work and patience. Both of our mother's worked hard at home and in the community. They both taught Sunday School for 30 years. Developing relationships with 4 and 5 year old's, that lasted a life time. For years I remember Alma's dining room table filled with bags for the girls in the prison near to where they lived. She would shop for items one would appreciate if spending Christmas in prison. For years my mom, with other community women would exercise a young boys limbs who was born with a spastic condition. They didn't see being a stay at home mom as not fulfilling. My mother made a budget, stuck to it, maintained the family checkbook for years, until my father retired. Alma grew magnificent flowers in her garden, bringing a florist worthy vase each week for the front of the pulpit. Alma taught me not to "camp out" in a pity party, her words. But they stuck. And I could see through her life that she never hung out there either! Both women went forward. And they were content. In the joys and tragedies that all families face. They showed me what I heard Daisy Obsborne, missionary to India, say years ago. "Surround yourself with beauty. God does!" It doesn't need to be expensive but beauty enhances life....our homes, places of work, outside and in. They made their homes beautiful with simplicity, design and a few nice inherited pieces of furniture. And they were so grateful for what they had; our visits, vacations, faithful friends, grandchildren, food, homes, our country. I hope I told them these things over the years, while they were still alive. Because they both showed me, with their lives, how to do think thing called womanhood in family, neighborhood, community, and church.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5000

Well, actually it was 5388!

Back all the way to February 7, 2003!

Sigh!!!
I know how to create folders and also delete!......But how could my inbox have gotten away from me like that?

However, it was like a trip back memory lane for me.

The good...no, the great times, and the not so great!  No, the really awful, painful, tragic times too.

There were pictures from reunions, weddings, camp, gardens, Dubai, Jon doing a c-section, 50th high school reunion, my neighborhood birthday group, Korea, Norway, Turkey Bowl, chickens, dogs and cats!

 And a lot of Dominic files!  Apartment renovations, home and camp improvements and Inn creation.

And Dessert Night preparations and Sunday School lessons, and Save Historic Canton meetings!

The lunch and dinner invites and thank you's.  I hadn't realized how much entertaining we really engaged in.  I think we must have had Ann over every night for dinner from all her thank you's.  And I would actually like to remember the recipe I used for a luncheon that Liz Daniel attended.  The turkey wraps I made and tied with a ribbon sounded really good....so if I ever did send the recipe, Liz, send it back because maybe I'll try that again!

And through it all I could sense God's presence and faithfulness.

I did shed quit a few tears last night as I reread all the notes from people around the country that November day.  Darlene and Rick's flight itinerary.  Ethan's organization from his NYC office.  Cancellation of Christmas Family skiing vacation.  My friend, Barb contacting all our Birthday Lunch group and had them over for tea and a time to pray for Liz and our family.  And friends from the community sending words of sorrow for someone they really didn't know, except they loved our family and could imagine our pain.

And my Hope Lodge experience.  We became great friends, the people who had rooms together and shared the kitchen, on the fourth floor.  We lived life together for seven weeks down on 34th Street.    Radiation and chemo experiences, encouragement and love.  And I realized I was the only one who did not die that first year.  I could see I had stayed in better contact with the spouses and plan to try to reconnect.  And here at home, my church family was sending cards and Sarah Tulloch was organizing meals based around a soft diet.

And now we have met people from all over the world at the B&B.  Who would have guessed that a family from Bangledesh would visit for a week, or a family from Holland, France, England, Mexico and Spain would come to little Canton.  And a production company, a governor, a mayor, an assistant vice admiral of the navy and a NHL hockey player!  Quite a diverse group and all fun!

And best of all, the addition to our small family of spouses and our beloved number #1 granddaughter, Harper Pearl.  Her smiling little face on our email screen brightens even the gloomist north country day!

So now there are 2757 left to delete or file.....hmmmm.  I think I'll leave that to another day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cleaning Out Closets

The thing about cleaning out one's closet only occasionally is that you find stuff you've forgotten about!

Cool stuff-like jewelry from your mother and mother-in-law that you stuffed in the closet thinking you would get it out your for granddaughter to play dress up with, long before you even had a granddaughter!

But now suddenly, the jewelry seems to be cool again and maybe you should wear it yourself!  Big beads are back and costume jewelry is "in"!

And you find your high school ring and put it on.  But you never wear rings because you have hands are like your Dad's.  Big! And rings don't look good on your hands.  But your childhood piano teacher thought your hands were great.....you could stretch over an octave!!  Sigh

You discover some silver jewelry designed and made by your youngest sister when she was in high school.  A bit rustic, but now she has her own business.   Designing and creating her own line of custom silver jewelry.  And you have found a few of her original pieces!

In the middle of a tangled mess of fine gold chains, you discover your daughters locket with her initial engraved on the oval and you put it in a box and send it to Atlanta.

Then you come across a basket and realize that in the middle of your child bearing years, you were very crafty.  You crocheted afghans, knitted, did needlepoint and cross stitched and sewed quilts and costumes.

You discover that you have at least a MILLION buttons, and you consolidate them in one huge glass jar and keep the white ones in their separate container.  Now what kind of craft could you do that would be both creative and useful?  Or will they sit on the shelf another 10 years?

And just because you were raised during the depression....(which you were not, but kids believe you when you say that because some people don't know that the depression was over in 1948), you still have towels that your mom saved!  "You can always use an old towel to wipe down the car that you wash every Saturday!"  A Saturday morning routine that we have never engaged in but, oh well!!!  Can I throw old thin towels out and not be wasteful?  Maybe I can move them to a different location to be more accessible when we do get to wash our vehicles! 

Do I dare confess about the stacks of sheets that live in the hall closet.  And 6  different size bedspreads!   Rejects from the Inn but just perfectly fine for the family.  But wait!!!  Why do you have a fitted king sheet?  You've never had a king size bed in all the 45 years of marriage.  Sigh

So now that everything is out and visualized and accounted for and sitting in a spare room, you have to figure out how to get it all back.  Plus the assorted medical supplies and the vacuum!

Strange as it may seem-it's a small closet.