Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Morning Phone Call From My Dad

(Beautiful Dreamer) Please click to play

I just got off the phone with my dad. He is 96 years old and I think we........I should say "he" talked for about 45 minutes.

First of all, I think it is wonderful that someone 96 years old has that much to tell his 65 year old daughter and say it with energy and good humor.

The first thing on his list of things to tell me was about going to the community center this last Friday (yesterday) to play in the "pool tournament." Now, what this means is you play and if you lose the game you have to pay a dime, and if you scratch you also have to pay a dime.

I had to ask what "scratch" meant. I learned it is what you call it when you hit the white ball into a pocket. That is not a good thing. So, if you do that in the tournament you also have to pay a dime. I asked him, "Did you win?" He said, "No!" So, he is out at least a couple of dimes.

However, on top of all this fun, he said they also served a free lunch. I said, "It really pays to be a senior!" He agreed. And, of course, if you know my dad you will soon be learning what he had for lunch. Here was the menu. "Judy, they had shredded beef sandwiches, those little round tomato slices, chips, coffee or pop to drink and cookies for dessert." This is not enough information for my dad to share though. "Judy, I thought they were going to be like sloppy joes, but they were shredded beef and they gave you a really big thick beef sandwich!" My dad loves his food and for those of us who have ever watched him fix his plate we also love his food! He makes it look so good!

He also told me that he did his housework on Thursday so he could be ready to go to the tournament on Friday. He said, "I swept the floor, shook the rugs and mowed the front lawn. Oh, and I wiped up the floor too." He said, "I wanted to have a head start being ready for getting to the center for the tournament."

Then he talked about my sister, Linda and her husband David, and how they are going to drive him down to see his brother Ernie and wife Lil. They are having some health problems and he really wants to go see them. They live in Wisconsin and it will be about a 6 hour drive. He no longer drives that distance himself so this is really nice of Linda and David to help him get there.

I told him we were going to visit Adam and his family this week too. I told him it had been almost a year since we have seen them. We said, "Time sure goes by fast!" And, it does. He said, "Well, Judy, give them all a great big hug for me, will you?" I said, "I sure will!"

Then he talked about some friends of his that he has known for maybe 60 years and how they are in nursing homes now. I asked him what that is like for him and how that must be a really big change. Not only has my dad been independent and active but he has had a group of friends that have done things together ever since I can remember. We talked about the Lifeline things you can buy to wear and click on if you fall. We talked about how adult kids worry about things happening to their parents. We had never had this conversation before.

It was a new kind of conversation. Life changes for everyone. I don't know what I think right now. Perhaps, I don't want to know what I feel.

He left me with these words, "Well, Judy, can you feel the great big squeeze I am giving you now?"

I said, "I can! Bye, Dad, I love you!" He said, "I love you too, Judy!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

So Proud

This is Davey (Punkin to me) standing at the bus stop his first day of kindergarten.

That was three weeks ago.

Sarah, his mom, called today to say every Friday a note is sent home with the children explaining what they have done during the week.

This last week they had studied words ending in "at" and numbers 1 - 4. For those who know Davey, you know he is far beyond words ending in "at" and numbers 1 - 4.

There was a second note sent to David WW's parents. Due to David's scholar abilities he has been accepted into a program that will encourage his education and abilities or something like that.

I will have to get my facts straight. I just know I am so proud of him and terribly, terribly happy and pleased that he is in a school that recognizes his gifts and knowledge and has a program that will nurture and nourish his learning.

Sarah said he has not once come home from school talking about being bored. It is all about being social for Davey.

I am proud of you Punkin and I love you! Gramma

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funny What Touches You In Life

I had a really great day today. I had a good day at work, met a new person (a didactic student of Tom's who loved the book I have put together and hope to publish someday and also loved and "got" the concept behind the new website I am doing) and I had a great lunch and conversation with a friend, who incidentally bought lunch.

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch?

On top of all that, I watched a show on TV that, to my surprise, brought tears to my eyes. It was the show "The Biggest Loser", a show about weight loss.

This season is featuring families. The winner of the contest tonight would get to make a call home. One family won the contest but gave the prize of the call home to another family who had an autistic child. It still makes me cry.

First of all, it was such a gift to give away the prize. Secondly, when they showed the conversation between the mom and dad and their autistic son it allowed me to be a part of their world with a new understanding of autism and a world that I know so little about.

It was a privilege to be let into their world. It really touched me.

The little boy's name was Rhett, but he thinks of himself as Charlie Brown because his world somehow has to do with colors.

It is a world I don't know anything about and am touched deeply by.

That is all I know right now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dusk And The Setting Sun

I don't think there could be a more beautiful blending of nature than I witnessed last night. Between the time of day being dusk, the setting sun, the water, the flowers, the boats and the gentle path bordered with the split rail fence, I think I may have sensed a little bit of heaven.

Beautiful purple flowers down by the lake

Boats resting for the night

The sun almost touching the weeds

The sun touching the weeds and fence

The sun glorifies just one of the weeds

Saturday, September 20, 2008


(Please click to play Romeo and Juliet)

Today I bought a glider rocker off Craigslist. That isn't the important part about today, but it was a really nice part about today. I have been looking for a glider rocker and this one was a great buy for $20.00. Tom and I took it to the office because that is where I think I will use it. On the way home from the office the sun was setting over the lake. Below are some pictures of the beautiful sunset. I think the beauty of the sunset was the most important part about today. It is always about the sky for me. It is always about the sky!

Sun peeking through the trees over Medicine Lake

Boat reflected in the water at dusk

The sun, water and boat

The sun setting through the weeds

The sun setting under the skywriter

Yes, as nice as the whole day was, this was the beautiful part of the day! How I love the sky!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

For Adam And Sara Beth And Anyone Else....Because I Love You!

Jackson Toby on September 14, 2008....almost 3 months old

I talked to Adam and Sara Beth on the phone tonight. I love them! It has been almost a year since we have seen them and I am reaching the point of no return I miss them so much!

They want to see pictures and videos of Jackson Toby so I am going to do my best to share whatever I have with them. Ask and ye shall receive!!

The videos in this post are in no particular order and they were all taken Sunday, September 14, at our house.

One video will be of Jackson having the hiccups which I think is really quite intimate. I love this little video!

Another will be of Davey saying, "Step away from the fire!", as Josh is lighting Amelia's birthday candles and Sarah says "Hi, Joe!" at the end. Joe is our dear friend and as much a family member as anyone, not to mention he is Jackson Toby's Godfather.

And, the other will be of Davey, my little Punkin, loving his little brother Jackson Toby.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Of Yesterday's Hallmark Moments

This is one of yesterday's precious moments from Amelia's birthday party yesterday.

My dad, who is 96 years old was rocking Jackson Toby and I asked him to talk to Jackson. You can hear the sounds of the family in the other room.

Amelia especially wanted her great grandpa to be here yesterday. She told her mom, Kara, that when great grandpa talks to you it is like being hugged. Isn't that a nice thought!

There is always something special for me about being in this room rocking a baby and hearing the sounds of the family in the background. I got a precious moment yesterday too. Mine is only recorded in my heart!

These are my hallmark moments!

The Birthday House

Our house has been the birthday house the last three weekends.

August 30th was our grandson, Christopher's, birthday and he wanted his family birthday celebration here. The following weekend we had my dad's family birthday party here and yesterday our granddaughter, Amelia, had her family birthday party here.

We have a family tradition that my dad started many years ago of reading birthday, anniversary or "just because" cards out loud. Yep, from the time you can read you get to read your cards out loud while the family looks on. Cards are to be enjoyed and I really love that tradition.

When I said goodbye to Davey yesterday he made me laugh. He asked me, "Why did Amelia invite us to her birthday?" I told him, "Because she wanted all of us to be together for her birthday." Davey then said to Sarah, his mom, "Mom, next year I want to have my birthday party with everyone at gramma's house!"

So, I guess we have a new tradition now. It is nice to be the gramma who has the birthday house!

Below is a video of Amelia reading the card we gave her. Happy Birthday, honey! We love you!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad's birthday was September 1st and today, September 6, 2008 I hosted a birthday party for him. He turned 96 years old! Man, we had food. I had bbq meatballs, my special beans, ham, cheese, buns, carrots, cucumbers, dip for the vegetables, chips, salsa, cheese dip, pop and coffee. Sarah brought her delicious Asian salad. Kara brought cold tuna noodle. Linda and Paula brought fruit and cake. Oh, and I had red jello with cool whip. Nobody, absolutely nobody went hungry and most of the food went.

You have no idea how important all this is! You see, my mother taught me a rule about feeding company. It goes like this. If you have food left over they didn't like it. If you don't have food left over you didn't have enough. Makes me laugh. In spite of all that I light a candle for my mom every single holiday and birthday gathering I have at my house and today was no exception.

It was a great day! The weather was fallish and cool so the children could play outside and the adults could sit on the deck and talk. There were 24 members of our family here today and two neighborhood children who dropped by and stayed for a few hours. It made us all laugh!

Below are some pictures of some of the people who were here today and two videos that I hope will make Adam, Sara Beth, Joseph, Kallsen and Parker feel like they can enjoy the party too from South Carolina. We sure missed you guys and wish you could have been here!

My dad really enjoyed the day and Jackson Toby, who is 10 weeks old now, was broken into the family big time!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

My dad celebrating his 96th birthday at my house today. He is the oldest member of our family. He is holding Jackson Toby who is the youngest member of our family....96 years of family are represented in this picture

I love this cropped version of the above picture. It shows my dad's hands and Jackson Toby's hands

Grandma and Great Grandpa. Jackson toby, who is in Great Grandpa's arms is the focus of my attention

My sister, Linda, with our dad

Dave holding Jackson Toby

Cousin Josh holding Jackson Toby

Cousin Amelia holding Jackson Toby

My sister, Linda, my dad and me at the end of the day

Did I mention we also had peanut M & M's and peanut butter M & M's ?