A Budding Blog…

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Well, it is with a fair amount of fear and trepidation that I’d like to make an announcement.
Before your mind starts to wander too far, I am not pregnant. That would cause mind-boggling fear and trepidation, and would, in fact, be a miracle.
This is “Not That Big a Deal” which is also the name of my new blog. Yes, friends I have “bitten the bullet, jumped in with both feet, leaped into the breach” and it scares the crumbs out of me. But, I¬†enjoy making people smile and laugh and forget, even if just for a little while, their troubles. I think it’s something we all need now and then. I really do believe that “a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” So, here I go…
My blog link will be posted on facebook and twitter tomorrow and, hopefully, every Friday after that. I hope it does its job. I hope it makes you smile. 

 

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The Necklace…A Story of Faith

I know a lot of people that are going through difficult times right now. All of us have been there in some form or another. Whenever I feel like life is overwhelming, I like to remember what the Lord has done for me already and realize He is capable of so much more…

This is one of those stories, it is an old post. I have not changed it. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it boosts your faith. Thank you for reading my blog…I appreciate every one of you!

Grandma Moon lived with us for all of my growing-up years. In fact, I never remember a time when she didn’t live with us. Gram was the only grandmother, really the only grandparent, I had. I remember her clearly and fondly and often. Gram loved to read and be read to. She loved watching Merv Griffin at night and she always had a stash of Vanilla Wafer cookies hidden in her room that my siblings and I would, occasionally, loot.  She helped me learn how to sew, her mother had been a seamstress. She shared my love for fabric and we’d go on outings to the fabric store that would thrill nobody but us. She taught me how to crochet and tried to teach me how to knit. When I dropped more stitches than I knit, she’s the one who told me plainly, “Roxanne, I love you. You cannot knit.” Grandma and I shared a lot things…

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Pop, Crackle, Snap!

Contrary to the title, this is not a dyslexic commercial for Rice Krispies Cereal. This is the story of cauliflower, a microwave, a couch cushion, and a very patient man. Fun fact, the word “cauliflower” derives its name from the Italian word cavolfiore , which means cabbage flower; it is also listed in Ancestry.com as a last name. Aren’t you grateful that you weren’t born into the Cauliflower family? If you aren’t grateful, maybe you should be because in this story the cauliflower is kind of the bad guy.


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More Photos like this here…

It was a Sunday morning and, like almost every morning, I asked Cliff what we were doing for lunch-supper. I’m very food oriented. We had decided to cook a simple meal of marinated flank steak, roasted potatoes, and cauliflower. Cliff would take care of the meat. He enjoys cooking now and comes up with some pretty tasty recipes. This marinade was one of his best! I would take care of the roasted potatoes and cauliflower, because how much harm can someone do with an air fryer and a microwave. How much indeed.

I tossed the potatoes with a little olive oil and some spices and dumped them in the air fryer. No problem. I placed the frozen cauliflower in a bowl with a little water and placed it in the microwave. No sooner did I turn the machine on than we heard a loud “POP” and then everything went black. Our 13 year old microwave had crossed the magnetron bridge and was no more. The cauliflower had killed it. We don’t know how. Maybe it was the freezer burn or the lack of a plastic wrap cover? Whatever it was, it was a quick death and for that we are grateful. It took me a few minutes to remember how to cook vegetables in a pot, but eventually it all came back to me. We ate our lupper and contemplated our plan of action.

The next morning, we went shopping to Home Depot and Lowes and Home Depot again, because they had the microwave in stock and we had a 10% off coupon. Cliff was confident that he could install the microwave himself. He’d done it before with couch cushions stacked on the stove and felt he could, successfully, do it again. What he forgot was that I didn’t help him last time and that would be our undoing.

We came home and Cliff prepared for the “install”. We cleared out the kitchen, he removed the deceased microwave, and placed it in the garage. He retrieved the sturdy couch seat cushions from our somewhat decrepit, but still usable if covered sleeper sofa stored upstairs in a room nobody sees. He strategically stacked them on top of our stove and he was on his way. At least, that’s what we thought. I asked if he needed my help. He didn’t so I retreated to the adjoining dining room to work on a puzzle. I did periodically check on his progress and ask if he needed my help. At one point, when trying to place the seemingly gargantuan sized new microwave on the itty-bitty clips that were on a metal strip that he’d attached to the wall, he said yes. And so, I did my part. I got my step stool, because well, you know, and I leaned into the cushions to hold up the microwave and tilt it onto the clips. I thought I was doing a great job until I smelled something weird and heard a “CRACKLE” sound. I jumped off my stool and we pulled off the cushions.

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So, evidently, while leaning into the cushions to hold up the microwave I turned on the front burner of the stove and cooked my cushion. It wasn’t on fire yet, so that was good! I put it outside because burning foam does not smell good. Since the somewhat decrepit sturdy couch cushions were no longer useful, we decided it was best to pull out the stove and work from the ground. Knowing we needed someone less vertically challenged and much stronger than myself, we called our son-in-law, Thomas, who lives across the street. He said he’d be right over, I told him to wait about half an hour because the house was still smoky and smelled pretty bad since I almost burned it down.

We had been working on this installation for quite some time now. Thomas showed up as promised and eventually, the microwave was tilted and landed on the itty-bitty clips with a “SNAP”. The screws, which had to access the microwave from inside the top cabinet, were another matter entirely and telling their tale completely, would take a small book. Suffice to say the entire install was not done in a “SNAP”. Suffice to say the entire install took 6 hours.

SIX hours and not once did my husband lose his cool. Not once did he seem frustrated with the install or with me, even when I almost burned the house down. Not once. He just kept plodding along, thinking about what he should do next, finding new ways of measuring impossible holes for obstinate 4″ screws, and developing a renewed appreciation for the handyman who does this kind of thing for a living. It was a hard job, but in light of all eternity, it was really not that big a deal!

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Posted in appliances, Attitude, Challenges, Family, Food, Gratefulness, Home, Home Improvements, Humor, Husbands, Life, Marriage, Short People, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I’m Not Getting Older, I’m Getting Bolder

Remember the old Clairol Loving Care hair color commercial back in 1971? It told women everywhere that if they used hair color they wouldn’t be “getting older” they’d be “getting better.” Obviously women (and men) have to get older, because if we don’t there’s only one alternative and most of us aren’t quite ready for that yet. But personally, I feel like as I’m getting older I’ve gotten bolder and I don’t think it’s because I color my hair.

In fact, I’ve narrowed down my boldness to three adventurous moves for me so far this year…

First and foremost, I retired! Yup.
At 67, Cliff had decided to sell his UPS Store and retire and he wanted me to retire with him so we could do things together. At first, I wasn’t sure I wanted to retire. I really do love teaching, but he asked me to think about it and pray about it and I did. It wasn’t an easy decision, but once I made it I found myself looking forward to not correcting papers and preparing for class every week. The many cherished memories of “my kids” (my students), many which will never be forgotten, are mine to keep, but laying down the responsibility is kind of nice. And so, since April 27th of this year I am a free woman. Could this be the motivation for my increased boldness? It could! Read on, my friends…

Second on my list of brazen moves…I bought a bright orange purse! How about THAT?!!!
Now, I do realize that this may not be high on everyone’s list for breaking the rules of propriety or anything, but there’s a reason this is a bold move for me. All of my life, I’ve been very aware that I have a “bull-in-a-China-shop” type personality. I am loud and sometimes, I think, I’m a little bit hard to take. Not just my opinion, I’ve been told this a few times.

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That being said, I have always been fairly understated in my wardrobe color choices. I figure a loud personality in loud clothing is just way too much. I’m also a pale, freckly, redhead, so my color palette has been kind of limited anyway.

I cannot “wear” bright orange, but I can if it’s a purse! And so, I bought one. It’s actually a little brighter in person and I love it! It’s small, compact and has a place for everything. It’s a small place for everything, but everything has a place.

It’s actually much brighter than this in real life, but I didn’t turn on my flash because I didn’t want to blind you. I’m nice that way. You’re welcome.

On to my third and most daring of bold moves. Brace yourselves…

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Yes. That is my pale, freckly arm. Yes. I got a tattoo!

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I have a thing for words. And, though I’m not overly fond of tattoos, I love tattoos that say something, one’s that have special meaning to the person they belong to. Years ago, I asked Cliff about getting a tattoo. He told me to wait until I retired and that would be something memorable to commemorate my retirement. I didn’t really want to wait, but I also didn’t really know what I would want as a tattoo. I’d thought my favorite scripture verse, but I love so many of them I couldn’t pick one. And then, my daughter gave me this idea.

This is my Dad’s favorite saying. If he isn’t telling one of us that he loves us where we are at, he’s telling us we should love others where they are at. In other words, he loves us unconditionally and we should love others that way, too. He wrote it down for me and I brought the paper with his writing to the tattoo parlor. They put it on my arm so I will remember it always. I feel like it’s a way to have my Dad with me forever.

I think it’s a very big deal…

Posted in Aging, Blessings, Challenges, Change, Christians, Courage, Dads, Fair Skin, Family, Fashion, Freedom, Humor, Husbands, Husbands and Wives, Life, Love, Marriage, Memories, Personalities, Personality Tests, Teachers, Teaching, Tribute, Uncategorized, UPS Store, Words | 7 Comments

Our Genealogy of Dogs…

Our dog journey started when our youngest daughter was 4. Our youngest daughter is now almost 35. I am currently reading through the Bible and have discovered that our list of dogs is almost like a biblical genealogy. It goes like this…

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Posted in Animal Kingdom, Animals, Bible, Children, Compromise, Courage, Death of a dog, Dog Personalities, Dog walking, Dog Walking Tips, Dogs, Embarrassing moments, Grandchildren, Humor, Husbands, Husbands and Wives, Life, Marriage, Old Dogs, Uncategorized, Veterinarians, Yellow Lab and Treeing Walker Coonhound | Leave a comment

The Week That Was…

Hello, my friends ~
It’s been a heck-of-a week, but that’s another post for another time. Suffice to say, I am recycling a blog from days gone by. A blog of another week, that was a heck-of-a week. I hope you like it. I hope it makes you smile. I hope it makes your week, just a little bit better!

You know that kid?  The one who is never quite paying attention to things. The daydreamer in school. The one that’s told to go to the kitchen and get the salt at dinner and they comes back with a glass of water? You know the type. Well, it may or may not surprise you  to know that I was that kid. I am grateful to say, I’m not quite that bad anymore, the Lord made sure I married a practical man; one that I love with all my heart, who truly is my saving grace. But, before he came along there was a week, “the week”.  Continue reading

Posted in Children, Family, Humor, New Jersey, The Human Spirit | 1 Comment

Painting…Old Lady Underwear…Full Coverage Friends

There’s nothing like company coming to get projects done around the house. We have two rooms that desperately needed a fresh coat of paint and a nephew coming to visit in a few weeks. So, we painted. Two rooms. About 6 hours. Done. Since I’m fairly cheap, I chose a color I like (which is actually already in three rooms upstairs) and bought a 5 gallon bucket of it on sale. It’s called Silver Drop by Behr. It’s the prettiest color grey I’ve ever seen, which sounds like an oxymoron even to me, but it is.

I used to like to think that we were decent painters. I don’t think that anymore. We do work well as a team. I cut in. Cliff rolls. I start in one corner. He starts in the opposite corner and serenades me with his favorite painting song, “I’m working my way back to you, Babe” by the Spinners. Of course, that is the only line he knows. So, he sings it over and over until he actually does work his way back to me. I don’t mind. I love the man and his goofy songs.

I also love that he can paint an entire room with nary a spot of paint on him. Unfortunately, he’s not real good on coverage. It’s not the paint, because I always buy the one that is like a good pair of old lady underwear, full coverage. He just somehow misses big spots of wall that have “some” paint on them, but not nearly enough. Evidently, I do that, too and I am very messy. I wear more paint than I paint and I end up having to use a dish scrubby to get it all off of me. I also have an uncanny way of getting paint in odd places. Unmentionable kind of places, if you know what I mean. I have no idea how it gets there. It just does.

Like most people, we have friends. One of our dearest and oldest friends, George, can paint an entire room in his street clothes and go out to eat in the same clothes immediately afterwards without even washing up. No paint on his clothes, no paint on his hands, no paint anywhere but the intended wall, AND, he is a great full coverage roller! There’s an old saying that familiarity breeds contempt. I don’t think that’s true but; I’m fairly certain that familiarity does not breed capability, otherwise we’d be able to paint like George.

About twenty years ago or so, Cliff and I were in the process of painting our entire downstairs, about 1700 square feet total. Cliff was at work and I was finishing up. I was tired and had decided to let the paint dry and then touch up the spots that were less-than-full-coverage with a brush when George walked in.

The walls were Champagne Gold which is a fancy name for pale yellow. George was wearing a red and white striped shirt, like Waldo. You know, the guy who is perpetually lost. He told me he liked the paint color and then, as I was about to take my roller off to clean it, asked what I was doing. When I told him I was done. He just looked at me, took my roller, and began painting. Guessing that he’d seen my less-than-full-coverage touch up spots. I told him I’d just get the spots with a brush later. He didn’t listen. When he was done, in less than an hour with not a spot on him and full coverage on my walls, he cleaned up my paint roller and left.

I’ve never forgotten that day. We all need friends like George, full coverage friends, the kind that step in and step up when we’re tired. The kind that can clean up our messes without getting anything on themselves. Full coverage friends, they’re a very big deal!

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Post Script ~

These are my painting clothes from our most recent endeavor. Now, in my defense, I did not accomplish this in just one painting day. Except for the pants. The pants I did in one day. My top is an accumulation of painting days. Not many but, not just one.

Posted in Caring, Christians, Friends, Gratefulness, Home, Home Improvements, House Guests, Humor, Life, Marriage, Painting, Renovations, Uncategorized, Where's Waldo, Women's Underwear | Leave a comment

An ‘Unmasked’ Theory

In the past, I have made a concerted effort to write my posts with as little controversy as possible. However, I have a bone to pick, an ax to grind, a score to settle, a crow to pluck, call it what you will…I have a theory to ‘unmask’.

I think we can all agree that 2020 was an ‘odd’ year. When, in all of our lives to that point, did we ever think we’d be pondering about how cute a mask was, what mask went best with our outfit, or what mask we should wear for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, or Easter? The answer is easy. Never. We NEVER thought about wearing a mask before except maybe for Halloween.

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Hopefully, the day is soon approaching when we will all be unmasked and what a lovely day that will be! But, in the meantime, here is a thought.

When we enter a store, we wear a mask for as long as we’re walking around in the store. I do this mostly out of consideration for others, not because I think I need it. When I go into any public building, I also wear a mask for the same reason. However, when I go into a restaurant, I only have to wear a mask as I walk the path to my table. Once I am seated, I’m allowed to remove my mask. Now, while I am seated, I am talking, I am laughing, I am sometimes coughing because something went down the wrong pipe. I am spreading a ton of germs when I am seated, but somehow, I am magically not contagious while sitting in a restaurant. So, here is my theory.

Covid is only contagious in the higher atmospheres, when people are walking and at their full height. Therefore, it stands to reason that Covid is, obviously, only contagious the higher you are in the atmosphere. I think restaurants already know this. And so, my feelings are that short people, who when standing are the height of most people that are sitting, should not have to wear a mask. We never touch the higher, germ-filled, atmosphere. We dwell in the lower, germ-free, spaces. Even the people at Disney, who are experts in all things masks and physical distancing, say that while sitting you can remove your mask. Of course, you’re supposed to be eating or drinking, but they have areas where you can be doing neither and still remove your masks. Maybe it’s the act of sitting that renders one free of contagion? Maybe the air is just cleaner down here? The world may never know and though it’s fun to think about, it’s really not that big a deal!

Posted in 2020, America, Americans, Challenges, Disney, Disney World, Encouragement, Face Masks, Fashion, Hope, Humor, Life, Short People, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

“The Only Thing We Have to Fear…”

Remember the boogey-man?

When I was a little girl, the boogeyman was real. Scary movies convinced me that he was lurking under my bed making me even more afraid of the dark than I already was. When I went to sleep, I would make sure that all parts of my body were well covered, including my head and eyes, excluding my nose and mouth. Fortunately, even as a little girl I knew I had to breathe. I had the same recurring nightmare of a huge, black, faceless rabbit with a long tale that would chase me. Thankfully, when I became a Christian at 17, the rabbit went away. So did the boogeyman and most of my fears. Of course, none of my fears were real except to me. But, to me, they were very real. I was reminded of how real fear can seem to some and not to others recently while at the beach.

My sister and I planned a beach day. We do that now and then to reconnect and decompress. Now, normally, one would think there is little to fear at the beach except for maybe sharks, but we don’t go into the ocean; or jellyfish, but I’m told a little bit of pee can help that. Being a ghostly-white redhead, the sun is my very scary factor. I still have memories of blisters on my shoulders and back and my whole body in pain except for the areas covered by my bathing suit, which wasn’t much back then. I would sleep with only three points of burnless contact. The first point of contact were the bottoms of my feet which would be flat on my bed, my knees bent every so slightly so as not to have skin touching skin, thus avoiding it being stuck together in the morning. The second point of contact would be my rear, I am forever grateful that full coverage bottoms were the style back then. Finally, the back of my head would rest on a pillow that was not allowed to touch my back or shoulders and that is how I slept. To this day I can, literally, sleep anywhere and in almost any position. It is a gift. But, as usual, I digress, …

My sister and I planned a beach day…It was a glorious beach day, with bright sunshine, a beautiful breeze, and low humidity! A Mary Poppins beach day, “Practically perfect in every way!” My sister brought a small canopy to ward off the sun’s beautiful, but burning rays, I had a good book, we both had snacks, and the bathroom with real flush toilets was close by…perfect!

On one of our trips to the bathroom, we passed two young guys walking towards the beach, laughing. On our quest for relief, we ignored them and kept walking somewhat oblivious to anything that may have been on the railing. On our return trip we encountered two older women who were plastered against one railing and paralyzed in fear of the other railing. What we hadn’t noticed while walking out was some sort of ‘thing’ perched on the railing. It looked like some kind of giant bug, which is not uncommon in Florida. It was brown, and its four legs were straight, hoisting it to its full height. It was perfectly still, the kind of still that things do right before the leap. The kind of still that scares people.

The ladies stood planted and refused to pass it. They asked us if we thought it was real. My sister and I looked a little closer and, honestly, couldn’t tell. The older woman was going to poke it with her cane, the other was yelling at her not to touch it, and then we saw the two young guys again. I asked them if they knew if the ‘thing’ on the railing was real. One of them confessed that he ran and screamed when he saw it, but it wasn’t real. We had a good laugh and continued back to our beach spot, and left the two older ladies, evidently unconvinced, still deciding if they believed the guys and if the beauty of the beach was really worth the risk. I could have told them it was worth it, but I’m not sure they would have believed me.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once told a nation in the midst of the Great Depression that,”The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt was right.

Fear. It’s what we perceive to be real. What our minds tell us is true, which many times may not be real afterall. And maybe, if we think about it, it’s really not that big a deal.

” I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” ~Psalm 34:4

Posted in America, Attitude, Beach, Boogeyman, Bugs, Challenges, Childhood, Christians, Courage, Fair Skin, Family, Fear, Florida, Gingers, Growing Up, History, Humor, Life, Memories, Red heads, Sisters, Uncategorized, Vacation | 1 Comment

There Are Places We Remember, In Our Lives…

Though some have changed…

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…Some have changed a lot. Fortunately, we still have some men and women from the Greatest Generation to remind us of what was important then. To remind us what is still important now. They are the men and women that give us a definition of what has come to be one of my favorite words, perspective. They are men like Mr. Harland.

My week began on Monday. I know that Sunday is supposed to be the beginning of the week, but somehow, for me, Sunday is always the sweeping grand finale full of church and family and relaxing afternoons and the beginning of the week is Monday. Most Mondays I am distracted with thoughts of school preparations and what I will teach those eager little minds that have been put in my charge. Okay, maybe not so eager, but still my responsibility, and so my thoughts are full of students and classes on Mondays which, at my age, can be pretty distracting.

This particular Monday, was the beginning of a very busy week. Aside from school preparations and classes, we were hosting two luncheons, one birthday party for my 86 year old Dad, and attending a “Faces in History” school presentation in which our grandson, Sawyer, was to be George W. Bush. A busy week, I realized maybe a little too busy when on that Monday morning while thinking of all that would be happening, I put a scoop of my dog’s canned dog food into my breakfast smoothie. It was disgusting. Fortunately, I did not drink it. Not a good beginning, but I knew Mr. Harland was coming to class that Tuesday and that thought made everything better!

Mr. Harland is the grandfather of, D, one of my middle school history students. D introduced me to Mr. Harland through his Genealogy Project paper, a 3 – 4 page paper that he got a little carried away with. D’s “paper” ended up being a small “book” at about 50 pages. When I read it, I understood why. It was the story of of D’s history and that included his grandfather, Mr. Harland. After reading D’s “paper,” I asked if Mr. Harland could come share with our middle school history class. He did. He was so good, I asked him to come to my high school history class. I admit I read them the riot act before he came, but soon realized I didn’t have to.

Mr. Harland is almost 84 and stands as straight as an arrow. He began with perspective. He was born in 1937, that meant that when he was a boy, some Civil War veterans and Orville Wright (of the Wright Brothers) were still alive. My students were intrigued. When he brought out some of the toys from his childhood, he had a captive audience.

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He had a few of his toys from before WWII. A motorcycle that was made of cast iron that landed on my desk with a thud. A sturdy metal car made with rubber wheels that was still perfectly intact despite its age.Then he brought out a toy car made during the war. It was a tinny little car with wheels made of cardboard because all of the rubber and good metal went to the war. He spoke to my pandemic era students of lives being changed by rationing and everybody doing their part for the war effort. He shared about his days of being let loose in a neighborhood where everybody knew and looked out for everybody else. Days when moms were home all day and communicated to their children by blowing a whistle, each mom having her own unique signal and every kid knowing what each mom’s signal was. He shared his special decoder rings that he’d sent away for and the stock from his Red Rider BB gun. He shared his life.

Personally, my favorite part of his story was the story of where he lived. Mr. Harland grew up in a two story home. His aunt and his grandfather lived on the second floor. His parents and their seven children, one of which was Mr. Harland, lived on the first floor. Both floors had one bathroom and two bedrooms. One bathroom, two bedrooms, nine people. And then he asked the obvious question. “Where did we all sleep?” His parents had one bedroom, some siblings had the other, a few of his siblings slept in the attic, and that left Mr. Harland. His “bedroom” was a roll-away cot in the living room that was folded and stored each day in his parents bedroom. And then he shared my favorite part, he went to sleep every night with his Dad sitting six feet away from him, reading the newspaper and listening to the radio. It was nostalgic and my kids, whose minds I am always eager to fill, loved every minute of it. He ended with some of the best advice, enjoy your childhood, do everything with passion, and realize that choices made now will determine how you live later.

I often think about the times and places that I remember. Life, even a life born well after WWII, seems very different compared to life now. And though I sometimes think it, not once did Mr. Harland say that those were the “good old days.” Not once did he give any indication that he thought those days were better, only that they were different. Perspective. It can be a wonderful thing. It is a very big deal!

Posted in Aging, America, Americans, Attitude, Challenges, Change, Childhood, Childhood Home, Children, Christians, Decades, Differences, Family, Fathers and Mothers, Generations, Getting Old, Grandchildren, Grandfathers, Growing Up, History, Home, Humor, Life, Memories, Moms, Remember, Senior Moments, Teachers, Teaching, The Greatest Generation, Uncategorized, Wisdom, World War II | 1 Comment

You Can Go Home Again

Recently, my husband and I went “home” again. Not the home we share “now,” we go there everyday. This is the home we shared “then”…

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After a brief apartment stay, this was the home we first lived in after we were married. The home we bought with Cliff’s sister and brother-in-law, because neither of us could afford one on our own. The home we brought our babies home to and the home we raised them in until they were almost all teenagers. The home our children shared with their 6 cousins, three of them the same age as they were. The home of movie nights, maze tag, Grandpa Howard days, and long hikes up to the top of Tourne Mountain. The home of 13 people, 2 bathrooms, a dog, a cat, some hamsters that could eat their way through glass, and a couple of bedrooms with no closets. The home where all the neighbors knew there were 9 children living in that house and none of them went to school. They had no idea who belonged to who, but welcomed us to their close-knit, mostly-related, neighborhood just the same.

Cliff’s sister, husband and 6 children lived upstairs with a mudroom downstairs and the closed in porch. We lived in the rest of the downstairs. Now, they live in the whole house having bought it from us when we decided to move to Florida. There are only 4 people living in it now. Much of it is different, but much of it is the same. The home is no longer “ours,” but the memories will always belong to us. Precious memories never really go away. They settle in the recesses of our mind until they are recalled by a certain smell, a particular song, or in our case, a visit.

Now, before I become overwhelmingly nostalgic, let me say that going “home” can also lead to other things, like not realizing how much or in what way certain things have changed. Aside from visiting and staying with family, we also made plans to share a dinner with some old friends. I set everything up for them to meet us in Boonton since we had to borrow a car. I’d Googled and found that the old Boonton Train Station, a place we had driven by on numerous occasions had been renovated into a restaurant. It was close to where we were, had a good menu, and looked like a nice place. So, I asked our friends to meet us there that Friday night and they agreed. When we arrived at my sister-in-law’s I, very fortunately, mentioned that we’d be eating out on Friday and then I told her where. She was quiet for a moment, almost contemplative as she told us, “I think that’s a gay bar.”

I guess it’s kind of weird, but I almost thought of not telling our friends and meeting them there anyway. I thought it might be kind of exciting and really funny. After all, I’d never been to a gay bar and my sister-in-law did say, “it may have changed.” But, my conscience got the better of me and so, I turned to Google. Google confirmed that it was indeed a gay bar, in fact, it is the only gay bar outside of Bergen County or New York City! And, of course, I found it. I texted our friends and told them we should probably change our venue. They laughed and agreed. We met at a very nice restaurant; the type that New Jersey is famous for, the quintessential New Jersey Diner. It was a wonderful time of catching up and, for at least two of us, an opportunity to compare hearing aids. You know you’re old when you have a good time comparing hearing aids. Strangely enough, the two of us that wear them, are the two loudest in the group. I’m thinking we probably made ourselves deaf.

The following day we thought we would walk up Tourne Mountain for old times sake, that is until I realized that where we live in Florida is mostly flat and I was fairly certain that my dear husband, though he loves me, would not want to carry me piggy-back up a mountain for a mile. Especially since, as he says, we are in the same wrestling weight class. Not that we wrestle, but that’s what he says. And so, we walked “through” the park without walking “up” the mountain. That night was spent with all of my sister-in-laws family. Five of the six kids, three of those with spouses, and a few children thrown in for good measure. No worry of our location and what we might encounter, as it was their dining room. Good food, good fellowship, great family. The stuff that life is made of, always. Because everything else is just really not that big a deal!

Posted in Aging, America, Blessings, Childhood Home, Children, Christians, Cousins, Family, Florida, Friends, Getting Old, Gratefulness, Hearing Aids, Hiking, Home, Humor, Life, Love, Memories, New Jersey, Uncategorized, Vacation | 2 Comments