Sunny Sunday

Well, the newlyweds are official now. It’s not often a Dad gives the same daughter away twice in one year. The quarantine ruined wedding plans for this couple, and they rescheduled a renewal of their vows and reception for this weekend. It was very nice. They finally had their day. Congratulations, Katelynne and Mark!

The Babe is headed to Sioux Falls in the next few days to attend his aunt’s funeral. Aunt Irene has been a widow for a number of years. She was a very tiny woman, but what a big heart she had. She made it to every social event she could which had to do with family. She didn’t care until recent years if it was out of town, she and her daughter Marcia would load up and head out. Recent years found her too fragile to move around much, and she recently suffered a stroke. One thing I will always remember about her and her husband was every day they would sing the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” to each other. Every single day they were married. Could you imagine what kind of mood you would be in after that? Every day would be a good day. You’d forgive little hurts, disagreements, and look forward to the new day. I thought that is the sweetest thing I’ve ever heard. Try it, you might like it!

And so life goes on. Weddings, funerals, we’ve seen it all this week and last. And more opportunities for all of us to be good to each other. Look for those opportunities, and they will find you.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today’s header photo is an actual pic of our yard, and it’s the path Goldie takes hundreds of time a day to retrieve whatever toy is choice of the day, after the Babe or I throw it. She is pretty incredible to watch, and dedicated to doing her job often and well. This morning, she got pretty tired but won’t quit. That yielded this hilarious pose:

What A GOOF!

I’m starting to write my character stories of origin. Each and every trait the characters has is written and analyzed. If I say someone is Catty, I need to show my readers how that looks; how that behaves; how that thinks; and, if necessary, how that is overcome. The challenge is narrowing down the main characters and the minor characters.

How do all of these personalities factor into the story between a young woman and her husband? People will come and go in life, how do you account for that in a novel? I’m about to learn by doing. It is one thing to have the idea, it’s another to succinctly put it on paper. Working on that every day.

We have quite a long “Honey, Let’s Do” list. I don’t do “Honey Do” Lists. I was alone for a lot of years, owned a house, and managed my own honey do list. When I got married, I didn’t feel it right for me to not help as I could. So now, it’s a joint list and duties are shared. It works for us. Today should include some dusting, cleaning windows, and the like. Oh, and letting the Babe’s suit pants out. (oops!)

Words to Live By!

Thank you for reading today. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday and holiday Monday. Try to remember what Labor Day means. It is a day to celebrate labor in America. Yes, the unions, and the trades people, who are the ones who really keep out nation going. The economy depends on them. Stop and be thankful we have them. I salute you, workers of the world. I have always admired people who can craft things, build building, pour concrete, lay bricks and block. Hard work never hurt anyone. Remember that. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be courteous. We need each other and we need each other to help. See you tomorrow! Be safe.

Thoughtful Thursday 9/3/2020

Today is a bittersweet day. My cousins and I will gather to lay one of our own to rest this afternoon. Mom is not coming, I’m sure, due to her limited vision and hearing. It’s a very windy day today, and the Omaha National Cemetery will have even more wind. It just seems wrong to be grieving one of our own so soon. Sure, some of us are in our late sixties, but we’re hanging on. Truth be told, it’s amazing we are still all alive. When you think of accidents, illnesses, we have been fortunate. It is a whole different feeling to bid farewell to someone without our older generations present.

We have become the older generation, right now. How did that come to pass? It seems like I was babysitting younger cousins not too long ago. I suppose fifty years has gone by quickly for them, too. Looking back, it didn’t take long at all. We are parents, grandparents, partners, workers, who were all raised with a good work ethic, a sense of law and order, and concern for our fellow humans. I can only hope the children we all have will make the world a better place for all of our grandchildren. It’s quite poignant when you think of it. Our grandparents felt much the same sixty years ago.

Before the service, cousins and I talked about how old all the little kids were, and how dare they all grow up. We truly are the next group in the rotation. Those little kids have kids, and they’re not so little anymore. That’s what families do – they sometimes grow apart, they lose touch, and reacquaint during days like these.

Somber. Sad. Sober. But paying tribute to a man who, as a very young man, made a promise to his country, and kept that promise beyond anything else in his life at that time. I’m grateful to have been a part of his life as a kid, and I marvel at the beautiful carpentry work he could do as a grown man. He was a dad, a grandpa, a brother to his sister and brother, a son to his parents. The three of them will reunite in heaven.

His family has the loss, the empty chair to deal with at holiday dinners, the extra Christmas stocking to hang or not hang, the pictures to divide up. Cherish your people. Take photos. Apologize. Even if they were wrong, apologize. Reconcile while you still are able. Don’t let it be too late.

Clinging to a mistake, just because it took a long time to make it, is just not a good thing to do. Sure, it’s uncomfortably comfortable, you know what to expect, you don’t risk anything. Well, except your life, your future, your happiness. Breaking out of a bad place to stay is courageous. It’s to be admired. It’s unnerving to witness if you think your life is comfortable. When you leave the comfort of your life for the unknown, it is scary. Scary good and bad at the same time. Persistence and tenacity is what wins out. Over thirty years ago, I made an unpopular decision and divorced my first husband. We were married eleven and a half years. The last year and a half, I was very unhappy, unfulfilled, and felt unloved, more like the help than the wife.

I found out I wasn’t wrong. I made a mistake in marrying so young, and for picking the person I did. I believe that is the kindest way to put it. I outgrew him. He was contented at 31, to be who he was then, for the rest of his life. I felt stuck in a story I didn’t write, living a life that I didn’t really choose. I needed to grow and learn more than I knew. It was the best thing I ever did. Yes, I made mistakes. My kids and I were happy. We worked hard. We laughed a lot. I worried a lot about money and all of that, but it worked out. And we’re still standing.

I was very fortunate to find someone who is a fine man. He is smart, experienced in life, and has a loving presence that reveals how much caring he does for those around him. He is very motivated to do a good job at whatever he tries. We fit very well together. Timing was everything in our lives, to meet when we did. And God was good to both of us to put us together.

We are in the last third of our lives. Maybe less than that, maybe the last fourth. It matters a lot these days how we spend those we have left, for however long we have them. Enjoyment and happiness trump drudgery and misery any time. Break out. Find some help, it’s out there. Don’t stay just because you’re afraid. That’s exactly why you shouldn’t. No one should have to be afraid. Ever.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, Begin! Start towards a different path. Go a different way, learn something new. This is a perfect time to start. And keep going. I’m with you. Many will be right behind you. Just go for it.

Thank you for taking time to read today. I appreciate it so much. I will blog much earlier tomorrow, as we all begin a long weekend, the last holiday of summer. I’m ready for jeans and hoodies. How about you? Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Courteous, Be Civil.

And, Richard John Wheeler, Sr., RIP, Semper Fi!

Wednesday Already?

My cousins and I are mourning the loss of our cousin Rich. Rich died from cancer and he’s the first of our immediate family of our generation to die. We’re so sorry for all of his kids, and hope they find comfort in their memories of him. He served in the USMC in the mid-seventies, and was an excellent carpenter. He must have inherited that from his biological father, who was a carpenter. He was adopted by his step dad, along with his brother Mark, and sister Joleen. Hugs to Mark and Joleen. What a time to lose someone, when you cannot even hold a funeral. Tough times in those situations.

Following a lot of folks on the Facebook, I’m glad I’m not the only one who loses track of what day it is. It’s the bane of retired folks, but with so many people home all day, I think it has finally struck the general population. I think it’s perfectly normal, and we’ll get adjusted how humans have adjusted for centuries, and then it will be time to go back to whatever normal will be. Retired folks will still have the problem, but it’s an ok problem to have. Really. Trust me!

Music of the Day. Love to have Jimmy serenade me while driving to and from Mom’s. Relaxing!

My listening stuck at Jimmy Weber today while driving to Mom’s for her last PT appointment. It’s been a very long three months (for me) and it has helped her a great deal. She’s still not super steady on her feet, balance is affected by her loss of hearing and sight. At least she’s stronger. Her right leg remains much weaker, which is from the strokes a couple years ago. She is looking forward to working in her gardens this year. Mostly all flowers. I always joked, “It keeps you out of pool halls.” And it does!

We are truly living in strange times. Just driving into Omaha and back, the number of cars is fewer than before. It seems like a lot more semis are using the roads, and a big thanks goes to the truck drivers. You and the railroads are moving much needed goods in America right now. I’m just going to need to by some toilet paper by the weekend, I do believe. We have three bathrooms, so each is stocked, but with sharing back and forth the supply is dwindling right now. I think a lot of people that aren’t in their 60’s are going in at old people hour and stripping the shelves earlier. We, as a country, need to share with others better. C’mon, let’s be good humans. Leave some for the rest of us. Please. Thank you!

I typed over 1,000 words for my book yesterday. One of the characters really started to take form. I’m telling about each person separate from the story. It’s a hard choice to make, backstory, as they call it, ruins the flow of the telling of the story. I’m trying it out to see if the juicy tidbits about this crazy family can be told alongside the story to fill in what may be missing. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have more research to do. How do you introduce characters who are close to seventy years old and reveal how they got the way they are? Any suggestions? Ideas? Leave me a comment at the end here, we’ll learn how to do that together.

It’s too late today to really dig in and get much done but I’ll be able to do that tomorrow. It’ll free up a lot of my time now that Mom’s finished with therapy. Another new normal. And pray she doesn’t fall and get hurt! She’s been so fortunate thus far. Hope it continues.

I also want to take a walk around the yard and see if there are any flowers trying to push their way skyward. I didn’t get tulips planted in the ground, but did in a pot. Might be time to start watering that and hope for the best. They can go in the ground anytime after they bloom. Crossing fingers, hoping the dogs didn’t dig everything out. Goldie will have to be taught not to eat the stems, leaves, and blooms. They all go through the billy goat stage, I just hope hers doesn’t last long.

I think the reality of our nation’s situation is business will not be back by April 12. Not if we want to live. I see more info regarding quarantining for at least another six to eight weeks. That sounds much more reasonable to me. I think the President is trying to say what everyone wants to hear. I think some folks dislike him so much, whatever he says will be criticized. No, he’s no wordsmith, I’ll agree with that. I would bet there is so much more to everything right now he must be switching gears quicker than anyone can. He gets stuck going back and forth, hence the hesitation. Let’s just be civil. And safe. And stay home. Wash. Be positive. We all need it!

Thank you for reading today. I appreciate your time. Please be safe. Be positive, and we’ll meet again tomorrow. I’ll be here.

Thoughtful Thursday

Yesterday, when I was driving to pick up Mom for therapy, I drove past our Church, St. Bridget’s. The street was filled with cars in the parking. Many, many cars. Then I remembered it was Mr. Kaluza’s funeral. Mr. Kaluza was the Omaha Police Officer who lived with his family up the alley from us. We all knew him, and he knew all of us in the neighborhood. He worked very hard along with his wife to raise their six kids. I was friends with Peggy and Karen, Johnny was my brother Tom’s friend, and Kenny, Terry, and Colleen somehow fit with my brothers Steve and Tim.

Those six kids are so fortunate to have had both of their parents all this time – their dad was in his early 90s as is their mom. They still lived on their acreage in Springfield. I was moved to tears, though, as I passed the Church and noticed the row of motorcycles across from the hearse. Civilian motorcycles, and the two motorcycles for the escorts to ride. The escorts were also retired police officers. Mr. Kaluza rode past our house every day, in full OPD uniform, on his majestic Police Motorcycle. He always revved it a little to impress my little brothers. They have ridden since they were old enough. Lifelong passions for motorcycles were inspired by the officers such as Mr. Kaluza. How lucky we were to have him in our neighborhood. He was such a nice man. He loved kids. I found out later the civilian motorcycles were grandson’s who ride. What a neat thing, to help lead the procession.

Mom really teared up when we went back past the Church. She told me then another current neighbor died as well. Mr. Biggs lived down the street. Mom is the last one of many groups. She outlived all the old neighbors, except for Mrs. Kaluza. Mom’s the last one living in the old neighborhood. She’s about the last one of all the other people who moved into the neighborhood after the 1970’s. She’s the last of her sisters. And today, she looked very, very tired and worn. Insomnia is not her friend but it visited her again last night. Being overtired makes her vision worse. Yesterday started out very foggy, and that didn’t help. Again today, in this helpless situation, all I can do is pray for her and my brothers. And my kids and myself.

It is finally a nice sunny day here in Gretna. The day will be filled with errands. Grocery shopping. It is supposed to “snow” over the weekend, don’t know if it’s going to be a dusting or a blizzard. We’ll see when it’s over. Addison thinks it should just jump to summer. The minds of our kids. She is happy Spring Break is next week. It’s amazing kids go on trips for spring break. Little kids. Even twenty years ago, when my kids were in high school, they had friends who went on Ski Trips or Beach Vacations to resorts just like college kids do. It amazes me how people can afford such luxuries.

I must say, I’m so glad Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years. He deserves to pay for being a predator. The system tried him, proved him a predator, and has justly sentenced him. If he lives out his sentence, I’ll be surprised. It’s in God’s hands now. If each and every man accused of being a predator was a convicted predator and sentenced, I would be happy they were. It needs to be said. Even Trump, especially Bill Clinton, and anyone else in politics. That said, I was devastated when Bill Cosby was tried and found guilty. The one person who we thought we could trust with our children. A great responsibility was on his shoulders, being the first black man who broke the color barrier on American television. Great things are expected of a groundbreaker. And one of those things should be they are trustworthy.

And in my disappointment I will continue to remember. There are many, many more very good and moral men who touch our lives. Men like Mr. Kaluza. Men like my dad. Men like all my uncles. Men like many of my cousins. And that is where we get our momentum to continue on in spite of disappointments with life. It’s the every day heroes who make the difference. Rest in peace, Mr. Kaluza. The eyes of the neighborhood kids were on you. And you were a great role model. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you who read today. I appreciate it. I’ll see you tomorrow, hope you stop by.