Sunny Sunday!

Greetings from the Home Office Studio in Gretna, Nebraska! It is a scrumptious day out there, a bit chilly, but the sun is shining. That makes all the difference in the world. As you know, with all this social distancing going on we are not able to go out to movies, shopping, stop off and have a beverage, and go see our favorite musical entertainment. I shared yesterday about our friend, Jimmy Weber, who did a gig last night from his home. It was so good to hear him sing live again! The seating was great, no lines at the ladies room, and they stocked our favorite beverages! There were a couple technical issues, but that stuff is even happening to Netflix these days. (Buffering is still alive and annoying while watching your favorite series’ new season!). That aside, he sang a lot of his new songs that will be recorded later this year in Nashville. Hope they’re ready for you, Jimmy! Stay well.

Today, our friend Rick Tiger and a friend are on FB Live from 4 to 6 p.m. Tune in, you’ll know you’ve heard Rick’s songs before. He’s written a treasure trove of them. He’s a good guy, and you’ll feel you’ve known him forever. Thanks in advance for supporting our friends!

While high school athletes and seniors mourn the loss of their time in the sun, there are couples all over the world who are having to postpone the most important day of their lives together – their weddings. I truly feel sorry for them as weddings are something they look forward to for months and even years. How disappointing to have quarantines in place, where no more than ten people can gather together. Some can’t even include their entire families!

Which brings me to the point of this story. My cousins Mike and Mary have four grown kids, three girls and a boy. The son is in college, so they’re all grown for the most part. Their oldest had a wedding scheduled for yesterday, April 4. After much discussion, they went forward with the ceremony, in the groom’s parents yard. They were so blessed to have such a pretty day. From the photos, it was a beautiful wedding. They adjusted. They got through it. They didn’t like having to change their plans, but they did. They were grateful and everything went well. That’s what being married is about. Things don’t always go the way you want, but a compromise is found, and you go on, being grateful for the gift of each other. It’s a testament to their parents and to Marc and Katelynn too, for picking out the important part and going with it. You kids are off to a great start.

In addition to adjusting, you also need to keep your sense of humor in marriage. The Babe and I have found it to be our most important and most used tool in the arsenal. While going through the photos online, we were blessed with this one. It was the groom’s idea, and it truly speaks to their sense of humor and grace, and will be a story to tell their grandkids about. I absolutely love this!!

What a great way to start a (COVID-19) marriage.
With laughter!

Do me a favor? If you get down in the dumps over all this staying at home, come back to this blog post, and have a good laugh on Katelynne and Marc! Congratulations to them!

It ought to be interesting, my cousins Mike and Mary have another daughter getting married in August, 2020. I wish them the best of luck in keeping their schedule amidst this looming crisis. This is a family who believes in their faith, the goodness of God, and the kindness of people. They will all be ok. I hope the same for all of us.

Better days are coming again.
Be aware and receive them fully.

At the present moment, I have to say, this isn’t the worst bad time I’ve had – yet. Sometimes, as a single mom, I thought we might go bankrupt, but that worst never happened. Sometimes, as a single mom, I prayed my kids would have enough of a teacher in me that they would break the stereotype of “bad kids come from broken homes,” and they grew up good, responsible citizens. (I still hate the term “broken homes”to this day). Sometimes, as a breast cancer patient, I was afraid the cancer would have a mind of it’s own, destroying my life and taking me from this earth, but it didn’t. The list goes on and on of the things that would qualify as my worst hard/bad time. Yes, many could have happened, but by the grace of God, they did not. I am praying for all of us, that this global pandemic, is not any of our worst hard times.

Thank you for reading today. I hope it made your heart a bit lighter. I appreciate you very much, and hope to see you again tomorrow. Who knows what fun we’ll have then? I’ll be here.

Hump Daaaaay!

A pessimist would say, “Why bother? Hump Day? Every day is the same as another when you’re stuck at home.” An optimist would say, “Wednesday is just a great as any other day! You woke up today, the sun is shining AGAIN!” And aren’t we lucky we have some place, whatever it is, to self-distance/quarantine ourselves? Yes, we are. When you look at countries like China, India, the Middle East, Africa, they don’t even have basic sanitation and clean water to drink. How on earth would we survive that? We need to count our blessings and be grateful.

Even if you are diagnosed with Corona Virus (COVID-19) chances are, you will survive with little damage to your lungs. People like myself, who have asthma or any other underlying health issue, will have a harder time if they have the lung damage associated with the virus. This IS different than the flu. The mucous is extra thick once it settles into your lungs. It causes permanent damage to the lungs where it sets up house, so to speak. I’d hate like hell to have my lungs compromised because some person decided they were bored and gathered with a crowd, playing a game of soccer, went shopping to Target to get their Starbuck’s and just browse the racks, or sent their kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa because they needed a break from home-schooling. Please, don’t do it!

Even though we need to be vigilant, we can still keep occupied and not go stir crazy. If you are a person who is still working, maybe enjoy how your home (apartment or house) looks all day long. You’re usually at work and don’t often get to enjoy it during the day. It makes you have a different perspective of your abode. You may (safely) have a little talk over the fence with the neighbor. The Babe is out doing that all the time. He knows everyone by first name. I love that about him. Everyone loves him. I’m lucky. And so is he!

A cousin’s daughter scheduled her wedding for April 4, 2020. They have had to cancel the reception. They will still have the ceremony, reduced to 7 people, them, the officiant, and have rescheduled the reception for later this year. Her younger sister is set to marry in August, along with another cousin’s son, also in August. Hoping these young people get started on their lives together and all brides and grooms get to have their time. I can imagine how devastated they all feel, and at the same time, they’re all very responsible people who know they must follow these new rules for living. They’re temporary restrictions, not permanent ones. God Bless all of you!

As a fund-raiser for their tip wage staff, Union Pizzaria and Sports Bar in Omaha, NE, printed some t-shirts with their various businesses on it and is donating all the proceeds to a fund for their impacted workers. What a great employer in the food and beverage business! My son works at Union, along with his room-mate. When they lost everything in an apartment fire last fall, these guys were right there, making sure they were getting what they needed, time off, whatever needed to be done. So grateful my son is associated with people like this. God Bless you guys! Go to their Facebook post for more info!

A great way to feel better? Help someone else. There are many, many restaurants who have gone to pick-up food to keep their doors open. Try ordering out! I don’t know about you, I’m a bit tired of cooking, but I do like it’s healthier than what we eat out. I just need to get back to salads and the like. It just all takes time. I’ve probably had quite enough comfort food for awhile. I truthfully don’t even like french fries that aren’t done to a certain degree of crispness. Nothing soggy, thank you very much.

Thank you for reading, I appreciate it. Union’s tip wage staff would appreciate it greatly if you’d stop by 156 & Maple for a t-shirt or two. Order their daily special before you go and you can solve the dinner problem. They appreciate it greatly. I’ll be here tomorrow, and hope you come back. Have a happy, safe day.

The Day After

Yesterday, my adrenaline must have been excessively high. Today, I’m wiped out, but very happy inside. The family wedding was beautiful. In the words of my late Aunt Carol, ” It’s just so fun to see a young couple so in love with each other, who have plans for their life together.”

Yes, it is. I had a blast sitting with my brother, eating cake and drinking ice water, watching the crowd of friends and relatives. Dan wasn’t feeling up to attending, so he stayed home.

The girls and young women who appeared single were belting out magical, love charged songs. You could tell they were wanting what they were singing about.

There were very few young men actively dancing. One young black fellow could really move with the groove of the music. The others were standing about talking, some were in line at the bar. My brother is going to take dancing lessons when he feels ready to meet some ladies again.

I have to say, he is a catch. Good job, devoted, reliable, gentleman (like our dad), and an all around good man. He lost his wife to oral cancer. We could feel her presence last night. He misses her terribly, and I do too. He finished raising her youngest two sons after her death, and had always been so good with all four of them.

Yes, I’m a bragging big sister. More than that though, he is a very good friend. I used to help our mom with him when he was a toddler. Yes, he was the pesty brother I wanted to make vanish when I was in high school, but no matter what, we would always be friends. And it’s such a gift.

Sitting with him at midnight at his wife’s bedside, we had some very deep discussions. I was honored he shared his thoughts with me. As I reached for his hand, I remember thinking, “when did he get into our dad’s hands??”.

The shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. Since that night, I’ve many times felt him reaching out to care for me. Life has taken us both to the place where I may need his help some day. We share a strange sense of humor, and many folks may not understand, but we are family. I tease him and tell him, “You’re the sister I never had!” Well, at least I had my own room!

Tim, left, Don, right.
My brother and nephew.

As unhappy as I was when he was born, I’m so very happy to have this great guy for my baby brother.

Hope you all had a good Saturday! Leave a comment, like my post and follow my page. I’ll enter you in my giveaway. $50 Visa Card Giveaway. Drawing held Dec 1, 2019.

A Wedding Kind of Friday

Looking forward to going to a wedding later today. My nephew Don Kraft is marrying Carrie Grinnell. I would be correct in saying she is the love of his life. They have known each other since high school.

When Don’s mother died of oral cancer, it was a few days before Don’s birthday. She didn’t make it to his high school graduation because she had a terrible bout of being very ill that day. Don never complained, or acted out because of that. He just made his life plans, and set about completing them. And boy, did he have plans. And perfect execution. He deserves all the great things that come to him.

After starting at UNO, Don entered the USAF shortly thereafter. Talk about a man with a plan! He has always been a fabulous student, every teacher’s dream I would think. He planned to commit to the Air Force and planned to have them pay for his schooling later on. And after leaving the service of our country, he went to nursing school. He excelled at all of it. He had a very good reason and inspiration to go into nursing. His mother, Laura. His mom fought hard against a cancer that plagued her family. There is no better profession for a man like Don. He is very caring, attentive, and acts purposely. He gathers information, assesses, and makes a plan of action.

Don (right), what a great experience for him.

And so today, after waiting for each other since high school, after each becoming successful people in their own areas of expertise, after getting a house, planning their future, and working together, he is going to marry Carrie. After all, he proposed in Italy last year, where they went on holiday. You can bet he had it all planned out.

Carrie and Don. Congratulations!

Don and Carrie, Dan and I wish you every wonderful thing in life that you can imagine, and plan for. You will weather the bad things, you already have. The whole family is happy for you, and know you will be best friends forever, and an example for young or old people. Seriously. Keep loving each other more every day. The rest will come in it’s due time.

Much love,

Aunt Kathy

Eye of the Beholder

Dan and I have loved this little old couple since before we got married in 1998. We were still relatively young, 46 and 48. And poof! Here we are now, 67 and 69.

We have lumpy, bumpy bodies that ache where we never knew existed, one of us doesn’t hear too well (ahem!), neither of us see that great (but cataract surgery helped greatly), sometimes young drivers get impatient following us (they have a lot to learn), and we don’t have to hurry to get anywhere.

Nothing is too urgent anymore except health issues, we have learned the fine art of spending time together while not doing a lot, and we love spending time with our kids and grandkids. Money cannot buy any of that because it is all priceless.

Best friends and love of each other’s lives.

I’m thinking a lot about my grandmother’s now. Grandma Bobell kind of always smelled like cigarette smoke and Grandma Jewell always smelled fresh and clean. Grandma Bobell knew a lot about many things she learned by reading and doing. She taught me to sew by hand. Grandma Jewell was very aware of the world and the vast changes that happened during the 97 years of her lifetime. She is the person who is most beautiful to me. Her spirit was strong and gentle.

She loved her children fiercely. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren gave her great delight. Her deep faith in God carried through the years. She was crushed when my dad, her oldest child, died of cancer when she was 95. He was only 64. I’ll never forget her words when she found out Dad died. “This is the worst shock of my life”. Nothing else can be said after that.

I can only pray that I never lose an adult child. I nearly did, a son drowned and his brother had a burst appendix. I still thank God every day that they both survived and we’re normal in every way. Yes, life would have gone on, but it would never be the same. A sister in law lost a toddler and an adult son. That was so devastating to her family. Prayers continue for her family.

You have no choice in circumstances like that. You just go on, it’s never up to you. Still, it has to take more than we can imagine just to get out of bed after losses like that.

Hug your kids, be they toddlers or adults. Hug your spouses, sisters and brothers. The ones that are your people need you in their lives, too. Be there for one another. And be kind.

Who is/are your favorite older people?? What makes them so? Leave comments, please, along with a like. Come back again. Thank you for reading.

The last few days

After writing a blog every day for 32 days, I played hookey the last three days.

Wednesday was our twenty first wedding anniversary. Lots of beautiful memories and challenges along the way. We went out to dinner and had a nice, quiet time.

October 3, 1998

We were in our 40’s when we found each other, and were married a couple of years later. We are perfect for each other. If everyone could feel this level of contentment and respect, I think there would be more happy marriages.

Oh I’m not saying we don’t have issues. We do. Lots of times. And we talk. We both know which battles to pursue. Many little ones aren’t worth the fight and we learn the art if compromise.

I used to look at compromise as having to give in or give up. I was very wrong about that. It is the art of working together for the best outcome. It’s what the partnership of marriage is built on. It doesn’t allow for a dictator to rule on everything, although some are like that. Not a good idea.

We love Rocky Mountain National Park

Despite trials like heart disease, cancer, broken bones, loss, paying off debts, and early retirement, we are so grateful and blessed. I am so looking forward to the next twenty one years!

Have a beautiful Saturday. Let me know what you’re up to while I’ve been playing hookey. Take some time to comment. And don’t forget to like my blog. It helps with the stats I’m supposed to be looking at.