A letter to me, younger and older…

Hello me of 1959, congratulations you’ve just been born and thing are going to be a little rough for the next ten years.  When you have doubts just know you are going to be hanging out with Grandma Alma for a few days, often.  Sometimes for longer for years to come.  Pay attention, you will learn more from this one woman than almost anyone else in the rest of your life.  When things get really bad just read this:

You will have a great life, it doesn’t seem like it right this minute but trust me it all works out somehow.  Mostly.

Hello me of 1969 – It’s been bad but now it’s going to get better.  You’ll be safe, warm and fed.  Someone who actually loves you will be watching over you.  She won’t be able to protect you from everything but she does her best.  Get ready though, you only have seven years then you’re on your own again for a couple of years.

Hello me of 1979.  Bet you didn’t see that coming did you.  A year of being on your own, working and finishing school then the Navy.  You met a great guy.  It will last a LONG time even though he will drive you absolutely nuts on occasion.  When you wonder if it’s all worth the work, yes it is.  Oh, big news, you are a new mom.  Don’t worry about getting it wrong, you will.  And you won’t.  Then you will again.  That’s just the way it works.

Hello me of 1989 – Yeah, yeah.  You think I should have told you more of what was coming.  Wouldn’t have mattered, change one thing – something else gets out of whack.  We’ve learned that already haven’t we?  Try not to worry, you are still married to that great guy in 10 years and you don’t actually do bodily harm to your teenage daughter.

Keep your head down, keep moving forward.  Some days just happen then there are days with coffee and cookies on the porch.  Focus on the coffee days.  Time takes care of most of the rest.

Hello me of 1999 – And you thought 1979 was a surprise?  Just say the following out loud – Wife, mother, grandmother.  Go ahead, read it again if you need to.  Still a wife (same guy), mother (no bodily harm, told you so) and now a grandmother.  Remember the person who would love you from 1969? Be glad you took the time to be there, talk on the phone, share letters.  Not enough time or sharing but you get what you get.  So I bet you are wondering – clear sailing from now on right?

Do you hear me laughing hysterically from 18 years from now?

Hello me of 2009.  Yep still here, going strong.  You and that same guy are still working it out every day.  Thirty years of getting mad, getting hurt feelings…getting on with it.  Notice I didn’t say getting over it, that takes longer sometimes  but getting on with it everyday gets you down the road.

Daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter living their own adventure now.

Yes, you still miss your mom and yes, now you miss your brother too.  Life goes up and down just like it always did.  Hold on to the important things, know you have some really great stuff coming and, yes even some more stuff that just sucks.

Hello me of 2019.  Sixty.  Does it look like you thought it would?  Find that handwritten note and see how the story changed.  The list of people you miss gets a little longer every decade.  That list of people you worry about stays about the same, in number at least.  Someone may jump off the worry list then someone else jumps on, etc., etc., etc.  You retired early and, thankfully, never regretted it once in the first 18 months.  How is that going? Are you still finding ways to stay busy and active?

Keep moving.  Your grandmother told you that when she was in her 90’s, good advise – follow it for the next ten years then check back with us so we can see how it’s going.

Oh yeah, same guy right?  Kids and granddaughter still top on the worry list.  Keep trying to be a good friend and neighbor. Still miss your mom, now you miss your mom-in-law.  You never really get over your brother just accept it for what it is.

In spite of all life has given and taken away it’s still about focusing on the coffee days, laughing as much as you can and not taking yourself too seriously.  We are writing this today as a reminder.  Send a note ahead to us at seventy just in case we need a reminder then would you?

Thanks, Love Me.

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Wed. Wanderings #16

The gap between expectation and reality is disappointment.  What makes some gaps more bearable is the company we keep along the way.

We’ve had a rocky couple of months and one more thing just felt like a pile-on.  Hey, life happens.  Lack of sleep and getting some other projects back on track is why there has been a lapse in posts.  In our case it was one of the dogs, Buddy.  Because of his relatively young age (only 3) we decided to go the extra mile and see what could be done to address his increasingly bad allergies.

How bad?  Meet Buddy, aka Allergy Boy:

IMG_0117

All dressed up and no place to go…

Yes, that is a baby t-shirt with the mitten flaps.  It was the only way we could keep him from scratching and biting himself.  He’d been itching / scratching so much he had sores.  Cute as he is with this wardrobe change this is no way for a dog to live.  So off for allergy testing we go.

About this time you might be wondering what this has to do with disappointment.  Stay with me.

The allergy test results are back and this poor little guys is has more positive hits than pounds.  This being our first run in with allergies this severe we are on a steep learning curve.

Some of the more popular items on the list, like corn and rice won’t be any surprise to other pet parents who have dealt with this issue.   A few were a surprise for us, like eggs.  Who ever heard of a dog allergic to eggs!  Not me for sure.

The most disheartening item on the list?  Chicken.  In food or in the environment.  After a few years of thinking about having chickens, then planning for chickens and even getting ready to build the coop (we literally have lumber ready and the base done) we find out we won’t be able to take that next step.

No chickens in our yard.  Disappointment.

One might think after a few years of dreaming about having chickens of my own I would be a lot more upset about this turn of events.  I refer back to my opening statement.  What makes the ‘gap’ / disappointment much smaller in this instance is the company along the way.  If you knew Buddy (and some of you do), cute as a button and smart as any evil genius, the choice is actually pretty clear.

Remember the old saying about a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush?

Buddy is 11 pounds of mostly fun.  He makes us laugh every single day.  It makes me smile just to see him running along with his ears flapping and bell ringing.  We will keep our ‘bird in the hand’ healthy and happy for all the years of his life we get to share and we hope there are many.

Along with whatever small pang of disappointment there may be I’ll leave those other birds in the land of some day.

 

P.S. My daughter reminded me that goat isn’t on the list of allergies…(Cute Goats YouTube)

 

 

Learning, always learning.

‘Blogging’ has been a learning experience from the very beginning.  Setting up the site was straight forward thanks to the WordPress platform.  The learning curve started with the rest of my questions. What content would be interesting?  Leave content ‘public’ or make private.  If new acquaintances find us how much sharing is too much for me?  What would make it interesting as a kind of fun online journal with the writing geared primarily toward family and friends but new visitors as well?

Even while moving forward from the beginning of the blog two years ago the tracking metrics offered from WordPress were interesting for me.  The first time Home Comes Alive made it all the way around the globe electronically I was both surprised and delighted.  Such a simple thing, a post viewed in the United Kingdom, Greece, then India, and Australia.  Then other posts viewed in Denmark, France, Kenya Turkey, Australia (and if that’s the same visitor from Australia, thank you) – little happy dance for me.  Just a fun thing, zipping all the way around the world.

Being a curious creature by nature it did finally get me wondering how are people finding Home Comes Alive?  Honestly I hope the writing is fun, distractingly light but hardly earth-shaking.  I’ve even recently read about another blogger that is reaching back in her archive for items to update after years of developing her writing and presentation skills. That won’t be happening here any time soon, she had a several year deep archive.

There is still a lot more to learn, like Categories and Tags.  I think I’m learning mine aren’t very good at doing their job.

Summer heat is around the corner, we’ll be spending more afternoon time indoors.  It will soon be time to start learning again so the mystery and the how someone could find something as small and random as Home Comes Alive in the blogosphere doesn’t stay just a total blank.

Wed. Wanderings # 15

Be careful what you wish for.

Even with all the things still going on at our house there those others that have to fit in along the edges.  Summer is coming and there is no stopping it.  The agave and aloe we had wintering over in the resting garden bed have been potted, moved to the front and are doing well along with the new Sweet Broom.

We still haven’t figured out how to stop the woodpecker from banging the corner of the house.  It can be quite startling when he starts.  It’s good the pending coop will have to be painted since the house corner now needs touch-up as well.

Monday we were weeding around some trees and getting our irrigation system ready for the seasonal start-up.  All the plants and fruit trees are in bloom.  We agreed that we need to see more bees soon, those happy little pollinators.

Just before we finished up so I could run a quick errand Honey Darling happened to look up into the tree he had been working around.  This is what he saw:

Bees 2017

Bee Ball

I don’t know how many bees it takes to make a swarm this size (much larger than a rugby ball) but I know it’s more bees than we need.  The swarm was here for at least two days before it moved on.

Again, be careful what you wish for.  Today we will cautiously go back outside to work on weeds during the cooler morning hours.

 

Rites of Passage

We’ve all had them in one form or another and they vary wildly depending on the culture you grow up in.  Rites of passage, the mile posts, some we remember, others not. Learning to walk, going to kindergarten, first job as a teen, graduating from school, getting married, becoming a mother, becoming a grandmother.  Those are some of mine.  What was re-enforced this week, we continue to have them but unless we slow down long enough to take them in the moment might be so fleeting it’s missed.

Last week, for the first time, my granddaughter drove herself to our house for our regular Friday night visit.  When she was learning to drive we made the trip together many times. I’ve even driven there and followed her from home to here for practice.  When she arrived this time it felt different.  Even the dogs acted more like we had ‘company’.  Friday night was still our Friday night.  We still laughed, ate dinner, watched a movie, woke up and enjoyed our coffee in the morning, all the normal things.

Then she got ready to leave.  Alone.  I wasn’t going to have those extra minutes in the car with her all to myself quite as often any more.  I miss them already.

Look fast, that flash in the peripheral vision was another mile marker zipping past.

 

Wednesday Wanderings 14

Remember the old Mother Goose nursery rhyme, “There Was a Crooked Man”?

There was a crooked man, he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
My life in four lines.
This little crooked house sometimes feels as though it’s made of just paper and dreams. Sometimes both me and the man are crooked after a hard day of working around here. There have been several days of running a trimmer taking care of spring weeds while Honey Darling started taking apart some pallets.  Aspirin and a good nights sleep can cure what ails and it’s time for some attention on the bathroom.
We try to be careful when working on the walls in the house.  Some are drywall and others, where there is running water, are vinyl covered wall board.  You can pull a hole in the vinyl wall board just removing an old wall anchor.  Or something that has been pressed to the wall for too long, like a curtain rod bracket.
I found that out today.  The bathroom painting has been delayed an additional 24-hours while the wall repairs cure.
It’s alright.  It’s just the little crooked house and there are still lots of crooked miles waiting to be walked.  I will just pick up the pieces of another project and keep moving.

Seek, Find Something Else, Be Delighted

My husband once joked to a friend you don’t stand still too long at our house, you’d wind up at the Goodwill.  Passing good but unwanted or not needed items to a local charity, church sale, Goodwill, etc., just makes sense to me.  I hate throwing something away sometimes still in nearly new condition or even really good with useful life left in it.

I also like the other side of the equation, even consider thrifting something of a sport.   Some trips are missions, looking for something specific.  Hitting store after store looking for that particular item or items hoping to thrift it before buying full price.  I acquired a Singer 400 slant arm in an original cabinet for $15 this way.   I was shopping for a cabinet for my old Montgomery Ward machine.  The cabinet would have been a deal at $15 but the machine worked too.  Score.

There are trips that are just shopping, a fishing expedition, seeing what we can find. Waste not, want not and I’ve found some really great deals over the years, clothes, jewelry, household items, craft and even project supplies.

I sometimes go alone but particularly like shopping with *L*.  My daughter and granddaughter have been the occasional thrifting partners.

Rarely with Honey Darling (HD). He sometimes drives for mission-oriented trips or where we are looking for larger items and may need the truck but he’s usually in it for the lunch.  HD has a wish list of his own but it’s more along the lines of ‘let you know if you see any of this or that’.  He lacks the necessary level of patience for a whole day of hard, dedicated thrift shopping.  Sometimes he’s even too impatient for the drop-off if there are too many cars in line.  To be fair HD doesn’t particularly like any shopping unless it’s tools or food.  He gets frustrated, then I get frustrated, the whole trip just gets short-circuited and we end up miffed at one another for an afternoon.  Not worth it.

Today while taking care of odd errands there was some waiting time for a tire rotation.  I decided to take my chances and walk down to the Goodwill in the shopping center for a ‘fishing trip’ with Honey Darling in tow.  I have a couple of things on my watch list I’d like to get cheap and we had time to kill.  I didn’t find anything on my list but keeping an open mind and taking my time I did find these two beauties, $4.99 each and I won’t even have to re-frame after some TLC:

It was funny that Honey Darling  found something from his running wish list as well.  Even funnier, he likes the paintings so much he wants to have input about which room these two lovely oils will finally live in.  Was a lesson learned?  Only time will tell.