Tag Archives: Family

Think of You

I can’t not think of you

when I see a sunrise

I can’t not think of you

when I see Phineas and Ferb

I can’t not think of you

when I hear a sneeze

I can’t not think of you

when I see a lamb

I can’t not think of you

when I hear “Let Her Go”

I can’t not think of you

when I see white with cream

I can’t not think of you

when I see an elephant

I can’t not think of you

when I see a card game

but isn’t that the way life is suppose to be?

Filled not only with things and experiences

but with people

to define those things and experiences.

And so I think of all the people

that fill and define my life

with a smile

because that is what each of you

make me think of

California_High_Desert_Sunrise

Wikimedia/Jessie Eastland

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In That Moment

It was one of those moments

where it seemed to stretch on forever

because it does.

I will carry

that peace

that excitement

that serenity

that safety

that bliss

that openness

that fun

that freedom

that love

forever

because I have chosen

for that

for this

moment

to never end.

Life may take me

hundreds of miles aways

and scores of years past

but that moment

this moment

will live on

as long as I do.

In that moment,

I felt an overwhelming

gratefulness for my life

and for the people who

make it worthwhile,

oh so much more than worthwhile

It is truly a blessing

to feel the love of life,

and I did

and I still do

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user:Unsplash

Celebrate Their Sacrifice

The wind whipped my hair

as well as the dog hair

that was stuck to my swim suit

Water (or maybe dog drool)

sprayed on my face

as the speed boat raced across the waves

As I pet the dog

and looked out on the blue horizon

I thought, “This is life”

***

We celebrate the day

that initiated a five year war

and cost hundreds of lives

with fireworks and parties and hamburgers

with speed boats and late nights and music

because we are honoring the men and women

who fought for our freedom

by enjoying our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness

We do not only mourn their deaths

but we honor and celebrate their sacrifice

because freedom should be something to sing and dance about

freedom should be celebrated with family and friends

Along with the flag,

our symbols of freedom should be

smiling faces and satisfied hearts

because I am proud to be an American

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Minty Memories

 

Isn’t it funny how just a taste, smell, or song can bring back a flood of precious memories that somehow you hadn’t thought about in years.

Spearmint mouthwash reminded me of being six years old again. My twin sister, my cousin and I would act like the three spare bedrooms in my Grandma’s house were our apartments where we lived on our own.

My cousin was a spy, my sister was an accountant, and I was teacher. We would come home from “work” and promptly check our mailbox. (We actually had a little red play-mailbox with a flimsy yellow flag.) It didn’t matter that I couldn’t read or write more than my name and “I saw the dog run”, we would just tell each other what the scribbles meant.

After we read our mail, we would go over to my cousin’s “apartment” and she would make us Spearmint Gum Tea. We didn’t have any of those little girl tea cups, so we just used some of our Grandma’s little glasses that always felt like they had been washed in too hot of water. The gum itself was too “spicy” for me and that’s why it became tea. One third of a stick of Extra Spearmint Gum mixed with water was perfect. We laughed and giggled because we could and that’s what little girls do.

We would finish our “tea” and go back to our “apartments” and go to “sleep”. Then a few minutes later and one of us would cock-a-doodle-doo like a roster and we would “wake up” and “go to work”.

We would play this game of “life” until Grandma would zip up the stairs in her pure white blouse and gold rimmed buttons and tell us that it was time for lunch: chicken noodle soup, peach slices with the skins off and Italian bread with Meijer brand raspberry jam.

I hadn’t thought about that in ages, but each tiny detail came back with just a little taste of spearmint mouthwash.

spearmint

The Little Red Book

When my grandma died

we found a little red book

filled to the brim

with family history

birthdays

marriages

deaths.

The little red book

was stuffed between

fluffy, white towels

in the up stairs bathroom closet.

Oh the strange places we find treasure

yet to some

the little red book would not be treasure

just “useless history about dead people”

Yes, it is history

and yes, it is about dead people

but it’s my history

it is my dead people

it is my people.

With that in mind

we lost the little red book

for three years

and a week

to be exact.

We found a treasure and lost it

and found it again.

I found the little red book

in a Bible of a woman

that I never met

but know so much about.

That Bible was next to another Bible

belonging to another woman

that I never met

and know nothing about.

One from 1979 and the other from 1869

I have never met them

but they are my people

My people.

The first entry in the little red book

is a birth of a man 1847

a man that I don’t even share a name with

and the last entry in the little red book

is my parent’s marriage.

After excitement of the find

and awed page turning

The little red book

descends to the basement cabinet

with all the other family history items

pictures

letters

newspaper clippings

spoons

souvenirs

old Bibles

military dog tags

items belonging to people

I have met

and some I haven’t

They are my people

My people

Uncle Jerry’s

 

Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I walk in the footprints of the persons who have arrived before me

Little elementary boys running ahead of mothers carrying casseroles.

Puffy coats bundle up elderly ladies shuffle in from the cold

Christmas pins and red and green sweaters are like tickets to enter

The soft glow of lamps and Christmas tree lights reflect out onto the shoveled snow

I stomp off the cold fairy dust of winter onto the rugs and shrug off my coat

I drop off my coat to the jacket day care on one of the many wooden furniture made with love and care

Already hearing the laughing bellowing out from the basement

A smile adorns my face as I take the steep steps slowly down

Hugs and ‘look at how have you grown’ are pasted around

Packed together like Santa’s elves in the workshop in mid December we gather

Sisters, cousins, nieces chit chat in their respected corners

Brothers, uncles, nephews are heard hearty laughing

Kids are running around and jumping on the spare bed

Another family enters and everyone calls out again in various ‘how you’ve been?’

The host of tonight’s festivities gives a great whistle and asks one of the men to lead us in prayer

Heads bow and we breath as one focusing on the prayer that is quietly spoken into the big, big room

‘Amen.’

A call out to relatives who are elderly or with small children to go first

A line soon begins to form and snakes through the spare bedroom and out into the open room with boisterous conversations with their neighbor

My family is not a quiet family

I tag along with my Grandma and ask what is good to eat

My plate full I find a place to squeeze into a seat at the table to listen to the hilarious stories to be shared

Famous casseroles and pies melt in my tummy

Chuckles and jolly fun echos across the walls

It feels like the house is going to explode from how much love and cheer is packed into this home

My sister and I get a tap on the shoulder just like we knew we would every year at this time

My great uncle asks us to pass out the gourmet chocolates he buys for each family

A box of wrapped chocolate is past out with a smile and ‘thank you’ in return

The minute hand on the clock above the doorway seems to spin by too fast

Another tradition is soon to follow as another whistle is let out

Children and parents circle around a closet with a sheet across it

A fishing pole is handed over with a clamp on where the hook is suppose to be

The time old tradition of ‘fishing’ for presents on Christmas Eve at my great uncle Jerry’s

Toddlers are first and their mothers have to help them ‘reel it in’

They tear off the Christmas wrapping paper and find match-box cars or dolls

The ages creep up to the oldest which me and my sister and few cousins are of

Uncle Jerry asks who is next and his wife says and he answers back ‘She’s still doing this?’ and with a laugh ‘You can still get presents ’til you have kids.’

To me it’s more about the tradition and the memories than getting the present

I go out and show my grandparents what I got and talk for a little bit

Then comes my favorite part

This is what makes Christmas Eve my favorite holiday

This is what makes Christmas, Christmas

Another whistle is rung out and the voices become quiet after the dull roar it was a few moments ago

I lay in my mother’s lap on the floor next to my grandma’s chair

And my grandma begins to read

She reads why we are all gathered here

She reads why we are all saved

She reads why we are all so sure in the future

She reads what her father and mother instilled in their seven children

She reads the Bible

She reads Luke chapter two

She reads of a child’s birth that is unlike any other

And for those few minutes she becomes more than my grandma reading verses that we all know

She becomes someone who is leading by example of my Lord and savior’s thoughts of a Christian

Tears fill my eyes

Just soft quiet tears

I don’t brush them away because I know everyone else has them

And as the story finishes for the night, there is a moment of silence hushed over the families

Then the next part of the tradition begins,

My uncle begins to say, ‘This book has been in our family for a hundred years. It is torn and tattered, but the words still remain the same. This book was given to my father in 1915.’

And my great uncle begins to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

Even if I was to read it now, I would still hear his voice reading it to me

‘Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.’

And all the relatives who remember the recently passed away lively Aunt, in her honor act like they are ‘throwing up’ the sash

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Soon families begin to leave because the readings of the old, old books are what makes Christmas, Christmas and now are on to the other side of the family’s relatives

My family and I included

After good-byes and setting up the next monthly get-to-together we grab our dish to pass and hike up the steep stairs once more

I put back on my boots that now are in a puddle of melted fairy dust, snow

Wind rushes in, chilling the warm mud room as I open the door

I walk in the footsteps of persons who have gone out before

Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I quietly say to myself, “This is what makes Christmas, Christmas.”

 

 

Grandpa Bedel 1

Picture of my Great Grandpa before I was born who used to be the host of the gathering!

Thanksgetting

When did Thanksgiving turn into Thanksgetting?

A day of giving thanks that is forgotten and consumed by the consumer

Family laughs are left behind as red markers circle want they want in ads

When I make Pop-over biscuits everyone else is popping off to the stores

Skip over a day of thanks to the day of need more, more, more

Saving a dollar becomes more important than saving room for a piece of pumpkin pie

People think buying gifts is more important than saying ‘Thank you’ to who the gifts are for

I like getting a good deal just as much as anyone else, but I’d rather be getting a precious memory instead

I understand Thanksgiving is hard because some families are difficult to get along with, but you are supposed to be ‘giving’ them another chance

I wonder if shopping is just an overused excuse to not have a family get-to-together?

Stuffing turns into stuffing the shopping cart

Cranberries morph in to ‘cram’ all the goodies

Yams are ‘Yeah, I’m in line’

I want a thankful Thanksgiving and not a Thanksgetting

 

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Pixabay/johnhain