11Dec/15

Mom’s Jewelry Box

It really isn’t just a box….

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My daughter gave this to me last week. Mom’s jewelry box. I last saw it when we were cleaning out my parents house to get it ready to sell. At the time I only quickly glanced inside and put it in the box of things to save. When I opened it again last week a wave of memories came flooding back. As a young girl I loved playing in this box and the others Mom had in her bedroom. I tried on the earrings, necklaces and bracelets and as well as her clothes. But it was the jewelry that gave me the most pleasure. Wearing it and parading around the house in it made me feel like a queen.

I got every piece out of “the box” and was immediately taken back to a time and place where Mom had worn the item I now held in my hand. As I gently felt each one I could also feel Mom beside me. It was as if she was right there with me, telling me the stories I was remembering so vividly. She had several jewelry boxes and a ton of jewelry, both “real” and costume in each and every one of them. Mom had diamonds and pearls and every other kind of gemstone that my dad had given her for birthdays and Christmas. She loved all of her jewelry equally but it is the costume pieces that are etched in my mind and when I think of her I picture her wearing them.

I think the earrings are what I remember most of all. She wore the largest earrings of any one I ever knew. Mom never got her ears pierced so she wore clip earrings. She looked great in them. Always matching them to the outfit she chose to wear that day. I can picture this like it was yesterday and so do others evidently. To this day, I have people come up to me and tell me what they remember most about my mom was her large earrings. Whenever I look at pictures of her, in every single one of them she has her “large earrings” on. . She did have a knack of picking just the right ones and she could totally pull off the look! It was her trademark and she wore it well.

The next day I shared the jewelry box with my grand daughter and she just loved looking at all of the pieces of beautiful jewelry. She picked them up with such care and held them while I told her stories that went along with each one. I just knew she would love this as much as me… and she did!  I gave her a piece to remember her great grandma. And I know she will treasure it forever, just as I do.

I miss my Mom so much but I love that just opening a “box” can give you such pleasure and so many wonderful memories. I love these memories of her and I’d be willing to bet she has her earrings on right now!

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If you look closely in the picture above, you can see Mom’s “large earrings”…

 

Did someone you know have a trademark item? Do you?

 

01Dec/15

“Doesn’t Anybody Stay In One Place Any More?”…..

“So Far Away” -`Carole King

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With Thanksgiving just last week and Christmas fast approaching, I started thinking about all of the holiday celebrations of years gone by and people that are no longer here to celebrate. Some of these people have passed away but many have moved to a different part of the country. It made me think about this…Why “don’t” people stay in one place any more?

When I was growing up my whole family lived in the same city. No one ever moved and they stayed in the same house forever. My parents lived in the house they built before I was born and never once moved. I don’t remember any of my aunts and uncles or grandparents moving either. There was one uncle who did and I was very upset when they moved since they lived right down the street from us and moved to another end of the city altogether. It wasn’t that far away really, but it was like they were living across the country to me since I was five at the time they moved and sad I couldn’t see them everyday.

We got together for birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and many other times though out the year and we all celebrated together as a family. Aunts, uncles, great aunts great uncles,  and cousins, everyone would be there. And we went to my grandparents every Sunday night for dinner, most of the family would be there as well. I don’t think I appreciated this as a young girl but looking back on it now, it was wonderful to have those times together. I did look forward to seeing my cousins especially at Christmas. We would all hang out in the kitchen and look out the window for Santa and his sleigh to fly by. The older kids would tell stories of how he flew right over Grandma’s house and how they saw him once, so of course we younger kids were glued to the window looking for this to happen again.

I remember these times and how much fun we all had together. But not just the fun times, it was also the way the family pulled together if there was someone in need or if someone was ill too. Someone would come over to help out, make dinner or just sit and chat. Everyone was there for you as a kid, too. We didn’t have babysitters, my Aunt or older cousin would watch us if my parents went out of town. That didn’t really happen very often because if they went on vacation or out of town, we went with them. The family unit was a strong one and you knew someone was always around and would speak up or help out if you needed them. Because they were nearby and we saw them on a least a weekly basis you felt like you always had someone there to help if you needed it, but God help us if we misbehaved, they were also there to let you know when you did wrong.

Yes, it was a wonderful back in those days. We saw these people all the time. And then something happened. Everything changed, people didn’t get together as much. Each family had their own family and were busy with their lives and jobs. Some of the family moved out of the area. We went from seeing people all the time to maybe once a year and then most of the time it was at a funeral.

When did this all change? When did people start moving away from the close knit family unit? Did it change when more people started going to college and they stayed in or near the city where they went to college? Did jobs dry up and they needed to go to more urban cities with higher paying jobs? I know of many people who moved away due to health issues and needing to be in warmer dryer climates.

I know people my age who say they don’t see their children or grandchildren but maybe once a year if they are lucky. I am blessed that 2 of my children and 2 of my grandchildren live nearby. And the other child and her 3 boys live out of the area, but we all really make an effort to see each other several times a year and talk on the phone and FaceTime weekly. It makes it seem like they are not “so far away.”

Why doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more?

“Long ago I reached for you and there you stood. Holding you again could only do me good. Oh how I wish I could. But you’re so far away.”

 

25Nov/15

What Are You Wearing??

Why don’t people dress up anymore?

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This is my family, my Dad, Mom, my sister Rhonda and me all dressed up visiting my Aunt and Uncle at Christmas. It wasn’t Christmas Eve or Christmas Day but we were still dressed up because that is what we did “back in my day.” People don’t dress for anything anymore, not even church or weddings. It makes me kind of sad to see the way some people dress to go to the mall. I know people who won’t agree with this but I think if people would dress up more there would be less problems in this world. I’m no stupid, I know this is an over simplification. It wouldn’t make the world safer or stop wars or anything, but If kids had to dress like we did in school back in the 1960’s maybe it would make them more respectful. Maybe everyone would respect each other more if they respected themselves and how they looked.

The other day I saw something at the mall that got me to thinking about how we dress and what we wear. An older woman in her late 70’s had on a pair of the ripped, torn jeans, My first thought was, wow, she is too old to be wearing them. Then I stopped and thought about it a little and said to myself…”you go girl.” I have a pair myself, granted mine aren’t as ripped and torn as hers were. She had a cute sweater on and her hair was quite stylish. I had to admit she did look nice. At least she didn’t have on pajama pants like some of the people who were also shopping that day.

We should all wear things that make us feel good and if wearing those jeans made that little 70 something feel good than more power to her. It makes me feel good to dress up and go to meet friends for lunch or dinner. I don’t get the opportunity to dress up as much now since I don’t go to work every day. But when I do get dressed up it makes me feel great. Putting together a fun outfit, with just the right jewelry….Silpada of course (www.mysilpada.com/renee.stambaugh)and maybe a scarf and then top it off by having someone remark on how much they liked it sure makes my day a whole lot better.

All of this made me think why do we only dress up to go somewhere or to do something. And why don’t some people dress up to even do that? I have a lot of clothes…a lot! And the fact is, if I only wear my nice things to go out to lunch, dinner, shopping with friends or the occasional event I go to, most of my clothes will never get worn. So I am doing something out of my norm and changing things up a bit as I have spoke about in a previous post. And I have mentioned this quote before too because it is one of my favorites, but thought it said what I wanted to accomplish here…”Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up and Never Give Up,” – Regina Brett

Most of the time if I don’t have anywhere to go I just have on a tee shirt, fleece jacket and leggings or sweats. Oh and my slippers…That is fine but really there is something to be said for dressing up a bit, a nice sweater, jeans, putting on some light makeup(maybe a little mascara and lipstick),jewelry and shoes, comfy shoes but shoes. You would be amazed, it really can change your whole attitude.

I have been doing this for a few days now. Wearing things that I have had in my closet but that seldom get worn. I am not wearing my best clothing or dressing up like I am going to an event. But I feel better. I sure look better. And if I don’t wear all of these things than who will? Maybe this will be the start of something.. I would love to see people care about the way they dress again and maybe they can also stop wearing yoga pants everywhere. If you do could you please turn around and look at a view of yourself from the back before you go out the door.

What has happened to us? Why don’t we care how we look anymore? I think about my Grandmother and how she wore a dress everyday her entire life until the day she died. We don’t need to go that far but having a little respect for ourselves and the people who have to look at us certainly has to be of some value. It can’t hurt.

Do you dress up? Do you dress up only if you are going somewhere and even then do you really dress up or just get dressed?

My outfit today….

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18Nov/15

“Why Don’t Pizzas Come in Round Boxes?”….

And other things I ponder from time to time….

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I have a tendency to think about things too much. Like the title of this blog..why don’t they put pizza that is round in a round box? I wonder about this type of “why” all the time and drive my family absolutely crazy. But that’s me and it’s just the way I am. Here are some more of the crazy things I wonder about.

1. Why do panda’s eyes not open for 50 days and why when they are born are they so much smaller than almost any other animal? Pandas are rather large so why are there babies so tiny?

2. Why do we have to turn the clocks back? Isn’t it bad enough the days are short, do we have to make them even shorter? What happened before we started doing this? And who thought of it in the first place?

3. Why do we have eyebrows? They really serve no purpose. Was it because people worked outside and it kept the sweat from running into the eyes?

4. Why don’t kids write anymore? No one will be able to sign a check in the future. Of course they more than likely won’t have checks but what about a card? What if they want to send a real card to someone? Will they print their name? And don’t even get me started on why they can’t just subtract 55 from 100 the old fashioned way.

5. Why is it when you drive to another state you see more cars from other states than the one you are in? Why don’t people just stay in their own states? If they don’t like it there, then move…

6. Why does the person at work who never really works and goofs off all the time get rewarded and the person who does their job right and on time doesn’t or even gets let go? (just saw this happen last Saturday, and have seen it happen numerous times)

7.Why do some books have blank pages at the end of the book? Is it so if you don’t like the ending you can rewrite it?

8. Why do we stand and stare into the fridge for hours when we are hungry? We know what’s in there, it’s our fridge. Do we think something is magically going to appear in there that wasn’t there earlier?

9. Why are child resistant caps so hard for us to open but kids can open them just fine? I often have to ask my grandchildren to get mine open.

10. Why do we have to turn the radio down when we are looking for an address we can’t find? (just did this yesterday)

11. Why do I have to have my mouth open to put on mascara?

12. Why when we are on Facebook do we have to copy and paste things if we want to share someone’s post? Does it mean we care more about the person if we copy and paste it rather than just sharing it? We must if we took all the that time to copy it and paste it.

13. Why when passing an electric socket do I suddenly have the strong urge to stick my finger in it? (I have never done this by the way, but I so very much have wanted to)

14. And finally, and I have asked this question my whole life….why do eggs have those stupid white things in them?

Do you have stupid things that you have pondered? I would love to hear some of them.

10Nov/15

“We Are Family”..

What does this mean to me?

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My youngest child was home for a visit this past weekend and it started me thinking about our family. What was the meaning of the word and what it really meant to me? I truly enjoyed having her home and spending time with her. One of the moments I loved the most was having all my kids in one room, eating dinner, being silly, and laughing hysterically together. Just like we did when they were little kids.

It filled my heart as I was watching them, seeing them as adults and two of them with children of their own, truly enjoying each other and their time together. I was thinking, I must have done something right. I must have done a half decent job at parenting when for the most part I was doing it on my own. Thank goodness for my parents and in-laws help and support during those tough years. I don’t know what I would have done without them.

Sure our lives have not been easy and we have had our share of ups and downs, but it always comes back to this…we are family, no matter what someone has done or said, we forgive and move on. Because that is what families do…or should do. It isn’t always easy to do that. I know this.. and I have had my moments and harsh words were spoken and feelings were hurt but we moved past it and were better for it. We need to remember to choose our words wisely when arguing with a family member. Those words can damage a relationship and can never be taken back. But we can move on and prove our love by our words and actions from that point forward. We have to learn that everyone has opinions. We don’t have to agree with them, we just need to love each other enough to look past the things we don’t agree on.

I look back on the years my kids were growing up and I remember how rewarding yet difficult it was. Parenting is hard work. As parents, we give up so much of ourselves and what we want to be there for our children. And most of the time it feels like they don’t even appreciate what we do or have given up for them. We all have had those days when the kids were little where we wished we would be somewhere else. Anywhere else but there in the house with them. And then they are gone, out of the house and on with their lives barely having a moment to spend with us.

Family, as is life, is one continuous big circle, and “What comes around, goes around.” As a child or teen, we just wish to be out of the house and then in the blink of an eye, our parents are gone and we wish we had just one more moment to spend with them again. We wish for one more of those family vacations we totally hated when we were teenagers. But it’s not to be.

And I know family doesn’t always mean blood. A lot of people I know don’t have family or have lost them all. But I feel the same way about my friends, many of them I consider my family. They are always there when I need them. They don’t put restrictions on our relationship and don’t expect anything from me but love and respect. They allow me my opinions and views and accept me as I am. I honestly don’t know where I would be without them. I can only hope they feel the same.

So hang onto each moment with your “family” and make memories while you can. Enjoy them to the fullest because one day all you will have left are the memories. Make them good ones.

I have one last thought….What if we envisioned everyone we met as family? What a wonderful, different world it would be.

What does family mean to you?

03Nov/15

10 Lessons I’ve Learned At This Point In My Life

And why didn’t they teach us these in school…

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I guess the reason for that is we had to learn these life lessons ourselves. No one can teach them to you and we can’t teach them to anyone else. No one would listen anyway…and we didn’t either. But these lessons helped make me into the person I am today, so I guess that is really what it’s all about.

Here are my 10 lessons that I have learned at this point of my life.

1. Love the people you love like there is no tomorrow – Because sometimes there is no tomorrow and the “I should haves” will haunt you forever. Tell people you love them and show them by the way you treat them. You still will feel the loss, you just won’t have so many regrets.

2. Be You – Don’t be someone you aren’t or try to impress other people. Don’t worry so much about what they think of you or what they say about you. The real people in your life will be there. You don’t need to act to win their approval. You just need to be genuine. And be who you really are. And who you are is “enough.”

3. Time Flies – Spend quality time with your children. The dishes don’t need to be washed right away and the house can wait to be cleaned. The kids will be out of the house and in college before you know it and the house will be clean and very quiet. You will never get this time back again. The same goes with the grandchildren. Don’t spend a lot of money on them, spend time with them. I really don’t remember anything my parents or grandparents gave me, but I remember things we did together.

4. Work Smart, Not Hard – How many times have we heard this? But here is my take on work…We can’t work at the expense of everything else in our lives. Our families, our friends and our health. We need to take those vacation days and take time to do things that make us happy and fulfilled. No one is going to reward you for working those extra hours at night on that report or the weekends you spent on the special project. In fact, the company could downsize tomorrow and all that extra work you did and time away from family would be for nothing.

5. You Have to Have the Lows in Life, to Enjoy the Highs – Another one of these quotes we have heard so often. I never believed this when people said it to me when I was young. But as I grew older I do see some truth in this. If we keep going along in life and nothing bad ever happens we get lured into a false sense of security and entitlement. After a few bad years you really learn to truly appreciate those good times and be grateful for them.

6. Laugh – Laughter truly is the best medicine. We need to learn to laugh at ourselves and life and not take everything so seriously. We are too easily offended these days and it causes us to be angry and stressed out. Feeling like this doesn’t do our bodies or minds any good, so laugh….a good laugh can change everything.

7. Live in the Present – Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. The past is just that, the past..it’s over and we can’t do anything to change what has happened. The future is unknown and all the worrying, sleepless nights and stressed out days won’t do one thing towards making it better. We should just have gratitude and give thanks for each day we are alive. And try to find small moments that bring us joy and peace throughout the day. There is always something to be grateful for every single day. Find it!

8. Take a Risk, Take a Chance – Do something that makes you feel alive. Take the road less traveled. Do something out of the ordinary for you, something out of your comfort zone. As I tell people all the time, you don’t want to be sitting on your rocking chair in the home or on your front porch when you are 90 thinking, “I wish I would have done that.”

9. Look for the Good – If we focus on negativity, that is what we see and feel. If we focus on good, we will see and feel more good things. I know this isn’t easy to do. I have been through one of the worst years of my life. But I’m here, I’m alive and have so much to be thankful for. I try to concentrate on what I have and not what I don’t have.

10. Take Care of Your Body – It is the only one we get. We can’t trade it in like we do with our cars. I think when we are young we feel like we are invincible and that we can do anything and our bodies will be fine. Too much sun, too much of the wrong kinds of food, too much of everything takes a toil on us and can shorten our lives. Even if we do manage to live a long life, it can make those years worse with all the damage we have done to ourselves. Eat healthy, exercise and get a good 7 or 8 hours sleep every night. And take care of your “one” body.

I will end with this quote that I love:

“No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up and never give up.”  ~ Regina Brett  (Just be sure to dress in whatever makes you feel good!)

What lessons have you learned about life?

 

24Oct/15

Friends Forever…

What exactly does this mean?

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This is a picture of my first friends..my neighborhood friends. There were a few more that aren’t on this picture like my friend, Jan who lived in the house pictured behind us. Two of the kids in the picture are no longer with us, one is my sister Rhonda on the far left and Judy, on the far right, who has also passed. It makes me happy and sad at the same time looking at this picture.

When I was in Brownies we used to sing a song called “Make New Friends”. I never forgot it. My grand daughter told me they still sing it at her girl scout meetings. For anyone who wasn’t in Brownies or Girl Scouts it goes like this. “Make new friends, but keep thee old…One is silver and the other’s gold.” I believe this to be very true. There are many different kinds of friends. Some of them are Silver and some are pure Gold..

I have made many friends over my time here on earth and I am blessed with some of the most wonderful people that I call my friends. But there have also been people that came into my life at different times and they are no longer in my life. I’ve had quite a collection of awesome friends at many of the jobs I have had in my working career. They seemed to come in to my life when I needed them and we had so many things in common and then when I left the job and moved on so did the friendships. I don’t know why this happens and sometimes we really try to keep those friendships going but life seems to get in the way.

I have recently found a few people from my past. Friends from long ago, granted we were different people then but as soon as we talked, it was like yesterday and no time had passed at all. I also have reconnected with some of my friends from high school and I seriously don’t know what I would do without them. We are all going through the same things at the same time. Losing parents, taking care of parents, grandchildren, health issues and so many other things. Sometimes, after a conversation about health issues we laugh at ourselves and say, “who would have thought we’d be talking about this.”  But we have a bond, a connection and we can talk about many things we can’t talk about to anyone else.  These friendships have sustained me through some very dark times recently.

I have friends that live near by and friends that have moved many miles away. One of my best friends just moved a thousand miles away and it makes me sad not to be able to pick up the phone and say, lets meet for lunch today. But we are still the best of friends and always will be. There is no doubt in my mind of that. A few thousand miles can not take away the friendship we have and another reason is…she knows too much… What is a true friend and how do you know it will pass the test of time? I’ll tell you..When you are puking your guts out after a long happy hour (this isn’t for just a few minutes, more like hours) and they aren’t angry at you, in fact they are holding your hair so it doesn’t get puke on it…then you know you have a lifetime friend.

So people may come and go in your life. Some people may be friends for a short time and some for a lifetime. And some people are just friends on Facebook. It doesn’t make them any less a friend. Our lives are better for having them in it. I know I am blessed to have these people I call friends in my life and hopefully they feel the same.  I love them all and am grateful every single day that they are on this journey with me. They are Gold! I hope they know that.

“There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.” – Unknown

15Oct/15

Ten Reasons Growing Older Rocks!!

“Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative” Maurice Chevalier

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It’s been said “youth is wasted on the young”, but I couldn’t find who really said it. Some sources say George Bernard Shaw and others attribute it to Oscar Wilde and neither of their quotes are the same. Anyway, the meaning of this is, when you are young you don’t really appreciate it. You are young in body and mind and think you will live forever. Not until you reach a certain age do you fully appreciate what you have. And considering “the alternative” as stated so eloquently by Maurice above, here are my top ten reasons growing older rocks.

1. Best thing ever…Senior Discounts…these are awesome….and you don’t even know most of them even exist. Don’t feel bad about asking for them, we’ve earned them…and more.

2. Younger people excuse you(most of the time anyway) when you say or do something stupid. Because of course, we’re old and don’t know any better… Not that I ever say or do something stupid.

3. People think we know everything about everything!  I guess because we are old and have lived though so much, we must have good advice. The flip side to this is, when some people don’t take the advice we give them… I guess we shouldn’t waste our breath, who knows how many of them we have left.

4. We don’t have to worry or stress about the big choices in life anymore. Like what career choices to make or if we should or shouldn’t have kids.  Most of the big choices have been made by us or for us. We are past that point now and can do what we want. We can work if we choose to work and do what we love to do instead of working to make a paycheck. And at least in my case there are no more kids going to be happening any time soon. Maybe a dog or cat…but that’s it.

5. It is a time in our lives when we truly have learned that looks can only get you so far. It’s not on the outside, it’s what’s inside that matters. So this means we can dress for us and for comfort. I do like to be fashionable, just not every day. If I want to lunge around in my sweats all day, I will.  And no more 4 inch heels for me. I killed my poor feet for far too long.

6. Our relationships with friends and family are real. I think we have come to the point where we have lost so many people and know that we only have so many more years left so the relationships we have in our lives now are the ones we want to be there. So we make time for them and cherish each moment we spend with them. When we were younger, our friends were all going through the having kids thing, the moving for careers thing and various other reasons why we didn’t have time or were in different places in our lives. Now we are for the most part at the same place and we have the time. When we are with family members now, there is an awareness that the time we are spending together is special.

7. The most fun thing ever is that we have time to be with our grandkids, to enjoy them, take them places and then send them home to their parents. Having grandkids is a lot like having kids only so much better because we don’t have the responsibilities we had with our kids. It is not on us to make them come out right. So we can just enjoy them.

8. We can do things we want to now, not because we have to. I have started writing at the age of 65. It is something I always wanted to do. Something I dreamed of doing, but just never seemed to have the time. I wrote as a teenager and then again in my late 20’s but then somehow just never started back up again. But I never lost the desire or the dream. It is never too late and we are never too old!

9. Naps! We can take naps and we can sleep in or go to bed early. There is no alarm waking us up for work. Getting up when I want to get up is the best feeling in the world. Getting up at all is even better.

10. I don’t have to be anywhere on anyone’s schedule but mine. If I want to spend the whole day reading, watching tv or on Facebook, I can do that. I sometimes feel guilty and then I stop and think about it, I deserve this, I earned the right to do what I want when I want. So I do!

These are my top ten. I’m sure I can think of more. I will end with this quote from Bernard Baruch, “To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am”. I feel the same way.

Are you enjoying getting older? What are some of the reasons you enjoy it?

01Oct/15

Ten Reasons Growing Older Sucks…

No one told me it would be like this!

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This was me, back in the early 80’s..having fun, dancing with friends. Now some 30 years later I’m old…how did this happen? I don’t like it and why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this?

Here are my top ten reasons why I don’t like it.

1. I have things growing that were not there before and other things that were there falling off or are hardly there.

2. Hair in places where it never was before and where it is supposed to be, there isn’t any(like eyebrows..you thought I meant somewhere else, ha!) And when I say hairs growing where they shouldn’t be I don’t just mean a little hair..I mean, like a foot long hair growing on my chin…and it’s there for days and no one mentioned it. WTH?

3. Losing so many people I care about. I have lost so many people and I am the only one left of my immediate family. This really sucks. I remember my Mom talking about losing so many of her friends and her family and how it affected her, but I didn’t realize what it was like until it happened to me.

4. Dealing with endless long, very long(some have been over an hour, and that isn’t even including the time on hold) phone calls and written info from Medicare, Social Security and health care organizations. Why do I have to pay for something I don’t use? Why isn’t there a better plan for people that aren’t sick and don’t take drugs or medications? I have been dealing with all of this for months and still don’t have answers. It sucks!

5. How time goes by so fast. I remember wanting to be 13, then 16 and 21. I wished so much time away wanting to be older and now it is zooming by faster than the speed of light. Each year goes by faster than the one before.

6. It sucks that I may not get to do all of the things on my bucket list. Not that I can’t, just that time may run out.

7. I hate I can’t remember the name of simple things…like maybe a fork, but I can remember someones daughters name from 40 years ago. And I am hoping and praying that I don’t forget everything and everyone one day in the future.

8. I have more spots on my body than a dalmatian. Also little lumps and bumps appear daily when I look in the mirror and with each new one I think…this is it! This is the one that will do me in…

9. I hate that I may never know the feeling of falling in love again. And that my last love really was my last love. If I would have known that at the time would I have done things differently? Believe me, I am quite happy by myself…it’s just something I think about. Its so final!

10. And last, I hate that my friends and I have turned into our parents. We were sitting at dinner not too long ago and the conversation was about who was on what medication and the tests they just had at the doctors. We talked about what foods bother our stomachs and where we can use our senior discounts. I said, “ok, that’s enough of this…lets talk about fun things”. We laughed ourselves silly when we realized what we sounded like.

It sucks that we are not the hot new thing anymore. To some we aren’t even relevant and they don’t care what we think or have to say or want to listen to our sage advice. But we have a lot to say and a lot to offer those that want to hear it. Lets use our time we have left to enjoy life and show those young whippersnappers what we can do. Our generation changed the world once, let’s do it again.

What do you hate about growing old(er)?

By the way..next week’s blog topic is, Top Ten Things I “love” about growing older…

 

 

21Sep/15

Remembering Grandma

All 3 of them…

peach-pie

I was extremely blessed to have two wonderful Grandmothers. Actually if you count my ex-husbands Nan, I had three. They were all special in different ways and have helped make me the person I am today. I learned a lot from these strong women and I hope I have passed some of it along to my kids and grandkids.

I remember cold winter nights sleeping at my Mom’s mother’s house. Before we could do anything, we had to go into the basement to put coal in the furnace so we wouldn’t freeze. It always amazed me that we had to do this because we just turned our heat on with a thermostat at our house. She would let me shovel the coal but I wasn’t allowed to put it in the furnace and had to stand back while she did it.

I have so many memories of her house and the people who lived there. My Grandfather and my Aunt and Uncle and their son all lived there together. I always thought that was so cool. And now my son, his wife and kids live right behind my house. And that is very cool.

But my best memories of her are the ones where I spent the night with her. After the feeding the furnace… and us, we headed upstairs to her bedroom. She would always stop and let me go in my Grandfathers room. He had passed but his room was still there and all of his books were lined on the many shelves. I loved the smell of that room and I think that is where my love of books started. Then we would go to her room and climb in the big warm bed and cover up with her many quilts. After saying our prayers we would lie awake for what seemed like hours with her telling me stories of her youth and what life was like back then. I can still feel the warmth from the furnace and the smell of her perfume. I loved those nights in my Grandma’s bed.

My Dad’s mother was a strong outspoken woman. She never held back and said exactly what she thought (maybe this is where I got some of my outspokenness). She ruled the family and even though my Grandfather was a very strong man, he would always defer to Grandma.

The best memories of her are the ones we spent as kids in her kitchen. She would make us wonderful treats and “big people” drinks at her kitchen counter. We thought we were so grownup drinking our creme de menthe drinks she made for us. But even better was when she left us make the treats with her. Making peach pie with her was such an experience, she was never satisfied with the crusts. She would stomp and shout and want to throw it out and start over. We would finally talk into using it and it was as usual the best pie ever. It may not have looked good, but it sure tasted good. In later years when my grandparents moved to Florida, they would come home every summer and not one would go by without us making a peach pie together. I can still smell it baking and have yet to have one that tasted as good as those messy pies we made together.

My third Nan was one of the strongest women I knew at that time. Women just didn’t do or say the things she did. She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind and encouraged me to do the same. I was very young when I married her grandson and she took me under her wing and loved me unconditionally. She taught me so many things about life. I think many of the things I say and do with my grandchildren come from her. We spent many hours just talking and I think it helped for me to have someone like her to talk to and say things I couldn’t say to my Mom. She helped me at a time when I needed someone and I miss her every day.

These three women have shaped my life. All of them, each in a different way. I can only hope to be half the woman they were.

Who helped shape your life? What memories of your Grandma do you have? I hope you have good ones…