Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Few Thoughts on the House

This is the house that I moved into when I was eleven years old with my mom and dad and brother a one of my sisters. (The other sister had graduated from high school.) It was painted white, had black and white striped awnings over the windows and had a single car garage with a flat roof and a deck on the roof. The first night we were there in June of 1972, us kids slept in the dining room because it was the only other room in the house besides my mom and dad's that had a window air conditioner. 

This is the house where I grew up. This is the house where I celebrated around forty Christmases, probably ten birthdays, a high school graduation, a marriage (a dinner for out of town family and friends after the church reception) not to mention the celebrations of my other family members. Mom called it the party house. She hosted a LOT of parties there. This is where I learned how to be hospitable. My mom was very good at having friends over and throwing parties. 

This is the house where my son celebrated his second birthday where my daughter learned to use a fork and where she hid her peas in a glass of milk. This is the house where my nieces and nephews and my kids put on their epic Christmas play. (We still watch the video and laugh our heads off.)

In other words, this is the house where I have an abundance of memories. 

After almost 44 years, my parents have packed up the majority of their stuff and moved to North Carolina to live with my sister and brother-in-law. Huge move for them. Big good-bye for me. As the youngest of four, I lived in that house longer than any other of my siblings. 

This past New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, Hubby and I spent several hours walking through the house and going through the things that my parents left behind. I even got my dad on Skype and walked through the house for an hour looking over the things that Dad wanted me to set aside for him. I found several things I wanted to take home. 

I also spent a lot of time just remembering.

In one room hung two pictures that my parents have had on their walls for longer than I've been alive. I wished I could have put them in my suitcase. I contemplated leaving them at my daughter's house to get at some later time. 

This is the Matterhorn in Switzerland.  Hubby and I traveled to Switzerland twenty years ago and this was on my list of places to see because I had seen this picture in my parents house for my whole life. 

This is my room. I had a trundle bed that sometimes got pulled out, but mostly the room was too small and after I got a desk in there there wasn't room for the trundle to be pulled out. I have sooo many memories in this room. So many talks with God, so many dreams, so many books read, so many letters written, so many tears cried. (I was/am a dramatic person and tears come easily to me.) As I stood in that room for the very last time I had a very vivid memory of my last night slept there as a single woman. One of my best girlfriends (Laura) from college slept on the floor and we talked late. I don't remember everything we talked about, I just remember the excitement and anticipation. It's a sweet memory to me.

Can you see the hooks hanging on the fireplace? These were up year-round. They held our Christmas stockings for forty-ish years. The stockings that increased in number from four to six and eventually to twenty-nine. (If I counted right.)

Good-bye number 2531. The memories will always be with me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1.  Speaking of skating...when did you last 'skate on thin ice', 'skate over the details', 'encounter a cheapskate', or just plain skate?
The last time I went skating.....? Somewhere around 1996 or 1997. We went with our kids. I ended up falling and smacking my head on the ice REALLY hard and decided that was enough skating for me. I can still hear the crunch my head made against the ice. Shudder.

2. What would you say is the biggest problem of people your age?
They seem to be too busy with their lives (work, kids, grandkids, friends they've had for thirty years...) to make room for new people.
(Joyce, I am NOT including you in this comment. I have thoroughly enjoyed our lunches...besides I was the one to cancel our last date!)

3. What's your favorite accessory? Is it something you wear every day, often, or only on special occasions?
My sweet hubby bought me this pendant right before we moved away from Singapore almost 15 years ago. It was to remind me of Singapore and that Jesus is the One who carried me through the three years we lived there.
I wear it often. Almost daily. I love it and besides, diamonds go with everything!

4. January 20th is National Cheese Lover's Day. Are you a lover of cheese? What's your favorite dish made with cheese? Last thing you ate that contained some kind of cheese?
Love cheese. The sharper the better. Or Blue Cheese. A couple of days ago I made Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti. Lots of sharp cheddar cheese, lots of yummy.

5. What's something guaranteed to make you roll your eyes?
Lots and lots of things. According to my parents' Christmas letter from the Christmas right before I turned 2, I was rolling my eyes. It's something I do so often that I think I sometimes I do it involuntarily. I do admit to closing my eyes at times so others can't see me roll my eyes.

6. Your favorite book series?
I have a couple: Mitford Series by Jan Karon   and   The Yada Yada series by Neta Jackson. I've read through them both a couple of times and will probably read through them again. Essentially, I like any book by those two authors.

7. Why did you choose your profession?
My degree was in Child Development. I chose that because I love little kids. I did a little substitute teaching when we were first married. Before we had our first baby, we decided for me to be a stay at home mom. I did that until I was fired when our youngest decided to grow up and go to college. Now I am a stay at home wife and don't ever intend to change that.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My granddaughter is a little more than 10 months old and is teaching herself games. Her other grandma posted a video of her playing peek-a-boo with them from behind the coffee table. She squats and pops up with a silly grin on her face and giggles. I watched her do that at Christmas and it is just the funniest! Last night my daughter posted a video of Lydia diving (very controlled) out of a big basket she had crawled into and laughing at herself the whole time. I don't think I can count the number of times I have watched both of those videos. Social media is awesome.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Better Late Than Never Post About Christmas

I thought I should write a couple of blog posts about our Christmas trip back to the Midwest before I forget too much about it. 

Because of my unexpected health issues (see previous post), we shortened our trip from almost two weeks to one week. We flew to Kansas City the Sunday after Christmas. Hubby was a sweetie and made arrangements for me to have wheelchair transportation in the Atlanta airport. Have you been through that airport? It's huge! We try to arrange our flights to have 2-3 hours between flights so we don't have to sprint through. We got off the plane in Atlanta, stopped to see where the next gate was and believe it or not, it was ONLY TWO GATES AWAY! That never happens! We didn't wait for the wheelchair. 

As we were waiting for our son at the Kansas City airport, we dug out our winter coats, gloves, was COLD! It had been a year since I last wore my heavy winter coat! Son dropped us off at the hotel and picked us up the next morning for brunch. 

We waited until Monday afternoon to pick up at rental car in Son's neighborhood because we discovered we could save close to $500 on the rental! I guess the main difference was not getting it at the airport and paying whatever fees and taxes that are added on there. We also stayed at a hotel 20 minutes from their house (as opposed to 10) because we saved about $80 a night. We were thankful for finding those savings since we incurred some penalties from changing our flights. I counted that as God's grace in the midst of some hard weeks.

Tuesday the Iowa family came to Kansas City. Wednesday, the 30th, was our Christmas Day. Like her mommy on her first Christmas Day, our granddaughter napped during the gift opening time and then got all the attention while she opened her gifts by herself. Oh, who am I kidding? She would have been the center of attention no matter when she opened her gifts! 

Also, like her mommy at her first Christmas, the wrapping paper was the BEST part of the present opening experience.

My wonderful family. I adore every single one of them. 

Our next stop on our trip was my hometown in Iowa. My parents have moved to North Carolina and the things in their house are getting organized for a sale. I'll save the details of our visit to the house my parents have lived in since I was 11 years old for it's own post in a few days. 

January 2nd we were able to help our niece celebrate her wedding day! (I don't have a picture of the bride and groom on my phone. Shoot. They are on my camera, and my laptop STILL doesn't want to stay connected to the Internet properly....ugh.) I'll include the few pictures I have on my phone and were able to upload here. (After a lot of my click-until-I-get-it-method.) 

My family at the reception:

Lydia and Pops:

My father-in-law made a bazillion paper snowflakes to decorate the tables. He loves to do that and is so good at it. Look at how unique they all are! (And this is just our table.) Perfect for a January wedding!

Lydia, Pops are talking to my in-laws:

I snuck in some one-on-one time with sweet Lydia. She is 10 months old and so much fun!

It was hard to say good-bye, but we had a really good week with everyone. In the end, I'm glad we shortened the trip.

The flights home went smoothly and the wheelchair transportation in Atlanta was worth it this time! As I was waiting for our luggage at the airport here in Greenville while Hubby was getting the car, I was struck by his love for me and wrote this on Facebook:

"My husband treats me with love and respect and kindness. I am one very blessed wife."


Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Little Update

Here we are a week into 2016. This ole blog fell to the wayside in December. Why? December was a heck of a month for us. Here's a brief summary:

I was pretty sick with a terrible cold most of the first two weeks. The second weekend of December Hubby and I drove to North Carolina to visit my parents in their new home. On the way back home, we got a phone call that Hubby's mother was in the hospital because she had suffered a stroke. Thankfully, she recovered quickly and was home after three days in the hospital.

That same Sunday night found me in the Emergency Room. My heart started racing. I woke Hubby up and told him we needed to go to the hospital. We were in the ER from about 2am to 7am. I was diagnosed with Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. I have since been referred to a cardiologist that specializes in the electrical system of the heart. I may have to have a procedure done to make the cells that made my heart go into SVT not do that anymore.

In the meantime....

The CT Scan I had in the ER showed something on my thyroid. So I had an ultrasound done and that showed a nodule. So now I am waiting for an appointment with an endocrinologist to see what needs to be done about that.

That is the brief summary on why December was a heck of a month.

But, Jesus is still sitting at the right hand of God.

I quite often sing this verse of one of my favorite hymns:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed His own blood for my soul.

I have shed a lot of tears. I have prayed and prayed. I have BEGGED people to pray for me. I don't know what the outcome of these two things will be. I am trying to cling to what Jesus has done for me.

I would appreciate the prayers of whoever reads this.