Feb 26, 2009

a (no) snow day...

I'm counting life's little blessings as I wind down for the evening. Three years of babysitting for my granddaughter was pretty much a no-brainer for the most part. But when #2 baby came along and I started watching them both, for some reason I've been a bit intimidated. Not a problem when we are just staying put, mind you. Just when I want to venture out. Like to Thursday morning ladies bible study. That blasted baby carrier is way to heavy for me to lug in one hand. We're talking about a baby that was over 10# at birth! Then there's the challenge of carrying him plus holding the 3 year old's hand, not to mention my purse, the diaper bag, and my bible study materials. Visualize this AND single digit temperatures with wind and snow, as we trudge through the parking lot. How do the young moms do it week after week and still wear smiles on their faces? Oh blessed day, today! No snow! No wind! Temps in the low 50's. I could push the baby seat in the stroller with all the paraphernalia tucked underneath, and the 3 yr. old happy to walk between my arms, "helping " me push. Today was really sweet! It was so easy. After bible study the three of us picked up my mom and we all went out to lunch. I shall lay my head down on my pillow tonight feeling thankful and blessed. Even while I hear the new rain beginning, and the temperatures are again falling. I will take every "no" snow day I can get!

Feb 25, 2009

a typical "between the buns" day...

Left the house at 7:30 am, picked up daughter-in-law and 2 kids. Took "daughter" to work (her car's in the shop). Took #1 child to pre-school. Took #2 baby to Wal-Mart. Spent $200. Back home to unload groceries while baby sleeps in car seat. Just enough time to make coffee. Filled to-go cup. Back in car to pick up #1 child at school. Back home, both kids now hungry. Took care of loudest one (baby). Let the other one paint beads to keep herself occupied. Baby insists on being fussy. Let him fuss while I fixed lunch for his sister. That kept her occupied enough so I could get baby fed and to sleep again. Got #1 into bed for a nap. Whoops, favorite blankey is still out in the car. Retrieved blankey, and for the moment both are settled down. Oh I forgot to mention that in between all that, I put a huge pot on the stove--making chicken soup for a friend whose whole family of four have the flu. That's why I went to Wal Mart in the first place, to buy a chicken. Just a chicken! Just enough time to check email and write this post, but need to sign off because Mom is calling. Hope all she needs is to talk for now! Have a great day, the Lord made it, and it is good!

Feb 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Deacon!

Meet my oldest grandson, Deacon Andrew Stager. Three years old and such a sweetheart. Its really hard to live so far away from him, but I get to see him in less than two weeks. This past Christmas he impressed everyone with his ability to say the alphabet backwards! Obviously, he is a genius! His awesome parents are Andy and Ellie. Hope you all have a great day, heard I-Hop is giving away free pancakes to celebrate Deacon's birthday!

Feb 19, 2009

Every time it snows...

Here's a picture of my dad, taken a couple years ago. He really loved this picture, and so do I. My dad passed away not quite a year ago. I'll always think of him, especially when it snows hard, as it has many times this winter. Last year on March 7th, I received a very special gift. I didn't know it at the time, but I will always cherish the memory of that day. It was the day of the last big storm in the Akron area. I had taken dad to a doctor's appointment on the west side, then mom, dad and I stopped for lunch before going home. Dad wasn't feeling well enough to eat, but he managed to sip some soup. While we were in the restaurant, the snow kept piling up. We headed down Market Street and by the time we were downtown Akron, cars were slip- sliding all over the road. We got onto the "Y" bridge, and right in the middle of it we sat still for two solid hours as cars could not move anywhere. Dad was in the front seat next to me, and so we just spent the time having conversation. He mostly was reminiscing about the downtown Akron he remembered from 60 years earlier. I listened, as my dad was a walking encyclopedia and even at age 84, he was mentally very sharp. How could I have known my dad only had 20 days left on this earth? But God knew, of course, and how gracious was He to give me this special gift of two precious hours of uninterrupted time with my dad. The memory has come back every time it has snowed this year. And I'm so grateful.

A voice from the past

We received a Christmas card this past year with a black Santa on the front. I already knew who it was from by the return address. Someone I hadn't heard from in more than 25 years. When I first met Richard, he was about 9 years old and lived at the Children's Home in Summit County. I became his "big sister" and took him out for a fun time now and then, probably not as often as I could have. That lasted a couple years, time passed, we eventually lost contact. One day I got a call that he was now out on his own, and basically homeless. Children's Services does that to you when you turn 18, ready or not. We picked him up on a street corner with all his worldly possessions in a large trash bag, and he came to live with us for the next three months. Its a bit of a blur, what happened during that time. I do remember my husband sitting down with him every night and trying to explain the benefits of working. And how to go about getting a job. We also hooked him up with the food stamp agency, as well as a "happy" church. (his phrase) We did what we could I think. But Richard had lived most of his life in an environment where all his needs were provided by the Home. When he was forced to leave, he had no clue how the outside world worked. We began to fear this bird would never leave our fluffy little nest if we didn't give him a shove. So we set a deadline. He had to get a job and find a place to live at the end of the three months. Winter was coming. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do to another human being. Richard rose to the occasion and became some kind of apartment manager in an area of town where I'd never stepped foot, until he had us over for dinner. But it provided him a place to live as well as an income. That was his start. I know the church helped him a lot too, and he did something with the music soundboard. That was about the end of our contact with Richard until last Christmas. Fast forward and now he is 46 years old, living out west. We are all anxious to catch up with each other. About all I know right now is apparently he has "kept the faith". Does anything else really matter?

Feb 18, 2009

Mom and me on her 80th birthday 2-08-09

If it's not one thing, it's your mother...

I have recently found this flippant and disrespectful phrase on my mind. My mother turned 80 recently. How can I be happy about a birthday like that? Mothers are always supposed to be there for you, supporting you emotionally and always having your best interests at heart. Being your friend, your advocate, an imparter of wisdom. I don't like the idea that my mom is getting old. I've had a week and a half to think about this now, and I don't like where my thoughts are taking me. The dynamics of our relationship are all changing. I know in my heart this didn't happen overnight, but the birthday is a milestone. A time for me to come to grips with reality. Oh selfish heart, can't you let her be where she is and accept, even laud a well-lived life? This one who bore seven babies, rocked and loved them, cried with them, laughed with them, raised them well and cheered them on their way? Does she not deserve that place of high esteem? That disrespectful phrase is more about me than about mom. Its about how her aging is affecting me. Its about my attitude, my selfishness. And it masks my fear of what lies ahead, that great unknown. Its about me because I'm marching just 20 years behind her.

Feb 16, 2009

my first post

Finding myself with an unexpected "day off" I thought I'd finally explore the idea of setting up a blogspot. I hope someone will talk to me! Since I would like to gather some information about other's experiences with life between the buns, I'm hoping this will help. For a starters, I would like to know what the phrase "sandwich generation" conveys to you?