Friday, April 30, 2021

Zoom- in

 In life it’s easy to hit the surface of things- not facing them head on or zooming in too closely 

Why do we do that- why do we miss the opportunity to examine each moment like it was important or significant 

Yes it would take us stopping- like that rose thing

But wouldn’t it be awesome if we were capable of zooming in - let’s say not always but more often 

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the details we have missed- to have it make the impact it meant to have in our lives

And it wouldn’t be all pretty -some things could be quite disturbing- but the lessons we just might get on the first time around as we see clearer each difficulty and obstacle

What if we narrowed these things by a mute button- that alerted us to the important things we were and are missing by not focusing in enough 

If the zoom in button was on right now what would you notice like never before  

Thursday, April 29, 2021


 I think in some of the past az  challenges I have used the letter Y to do a poem on yesterday- so I thought I would try once again 

If yesterday was my friend- I would invite it in- to stay a while and visit with me 

I would ask it questions that only yesterday could dare answer and I would listen intently for clues of the future 

If yesterday was my friend and came to see me I wouldn’t straighten up the house- I would open the door eagerly not trying to gather up all the clutter of the day

I would hope along with them and reminisce about the good old days and add a touch of comfort for the dark ones

If yesterday stayed too long I wouldn’t have the heart to ask it to leave- for where would it go

If yesterday was here with me now- I’d appreciate it like never before- I would hang on each syllable of time it represented- and perhaps we would yearn together 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021


 I know this is a go to word for letter X but bear with me for a moment- I plan to tie it into something 

The Lawrence Welk Show was one of my parents favorite shows- I tolerated it

Then fast forward to my youngest daughter and child- well  somehow or another she stumbled on to reruns of this musical show when she was just a small child- she adored it!!! Still airing on Saturday nights 

She especially loved the huge xylophone and the deep round sounds that came from it- she wondered why her own smaller version did not produce those gorgeous tones 

Fast forward a few more years and you will find her child- loving it just as much - even attempting to keep up on his own xylophone as he enjoys the show

I know it’s kinda strange and I still can’t say I appreciate it like they do but I watch with them 

Fast forward to the first Saturday night we went to watch the Lawrence Welk show after Frank died- only to realize we had missed it

Robyn went to look it up and we found that Miller’s PopPop had recorded it for him

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Well done- Thy good and faithful servant

 When I went to pick out Frank’s grave marker I asked my children to come with me

We all suggested things concerning the appearance of his and one day my grave marker 

My oldest son had thought it would be fitting for their dad to have the biblical verse “well done thy good and faithful servant” - everyone agreed it was a perfect verse for him

Frank had been faithful- always tender hearted towards others- taking his leisure time to volunteer with disabled people or help with my aging parents or his family- including his special needs youngest grandson 

Frank was always willing to give whatever time he had to others - all the while still working full time up to his covid attack 

I don’t mean to or would I want to make him sound perfect 

Because that would be one of the things he would gladly tell you - his amazement at how God could use even him- as he often said 

He took joy in small things and learned to be more and more generous with his finances too

He laughed easily and loved big

He cried openly and unashamed-

His understanding of the Bible was clearly God given by the Holy Spirit 

Yes he most surely was a good and faithful servant 

But not like an unwilling servant but a chosen loving grateful servant- well done

Monday, April 26, 2021

Victory in Jesus

 Frank loved teaching his men’s Bible class on Sunday mornings- they used to meet in a side part of the church sanctuary but in recent years the class had moved to the educational building 

As most of the other Sunday school classes were near by- sounds of the class singing could easily be heard 

There would be several songs they would sing before class but there was this one song that was sung every week— “Victory in Jesus “

Frank could be heard way above the others but all sang it exuberantly 

It became like their mantra- even once our choir leader had them fill the choir loft and sing this rosing hymn

I never had paid much attention to this particular song but something about it had obviously spoken volumes to Frank 

I had our sweet friend and church pianist play a much quieter slower arrangement of this powerful hymn as Frank was carried out of his beloved church for the last time

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Umbrella- the

 He held the umbrella above his warm head- the sun peeked through as he was barely able to steady it

The colors were striking to him and it almost seemed he was in a tent- like no one could see him

If it rained- would he hear the raindrops ping against it’s  taunt material 

Would a big breeze swish it’s metal sticks upside down- like he’d seen in a cartoon once

What a big boy he was- holding the huge shelter high above his head 

He would surely remember this day

Friday, April 23, 2021

Tales- that we tell

 As a young child I recall listening intently to the grownups talking about the past- things they did as children or just repeating tales passed down from generation to generation 

I still share with my kids - as much as I can- all the history and folklore I’ve heard- probably adding in some of my own take on the original stories- not on purpose but just because that’s what happens to the long line of story telling 

Once when Frank and I took my parents on a ride - we took them to where each had grown up- my mother was in the later days of Alzheimer’s- my father told as much as he could recall- while Robyn recorded him on a small tape recorder 

Do you know I have yet to listen to the tape

I’m planning to look for it and listen to it soon- I wish we had made more recordings 

Maybe I should write whatever I can recall now- wouldn’t it be something if I had audible stories from my long gone relatives- now their only memories are in glimpses of a feeling or a hidden thought just waiting to be brought back into our consciousness 

I hope my kids continue the tales- and that each generation has their own version of the stories and that they start lots of new tales to be told 

Thursday, April 22, 2021


 Probably better known as green beans 

When I think of snaps - I go back to my father’s mother- being on her front porch- she had this really large brown bag of snaps- most likely they were from her garden 

There was a big white enamel bowl that had a thin red rim- and another bag or bowl sat on the porch floor at our feet 

We would snap off the ends- toss them in the garbage bag- then snap the rest of the long beans into two pieces maybe three

Seems it was always hot and you could hear the crickets chirping and the bumblebees and  dragonflies buzzing around 

My grandmother wore an apron she had likely made and I had one she made especially for my sister and me

I’m not sure I remember doing this soothing chore with my own mother but I know she did the snaps the same way

My grandmother would put fat meat and bacon grease in hers and white potatoes- seemed like they were cooked for hours

I don’t do much snapping these days but I think I will at least once this summer 

I tend to use canned ones- adding beef bouillon and lots of butter-

But the sounds of those days  stay with me and the pictures it holds in my mind’s eye are like an impressionistic painting 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Rugs- in search for

 Remember how I said the bunny gardens proved to be a bonding experience between my sister and cousin and me- well let me tell you of another bonding item!!

Also remember how I told you the great research and deliberation that Frank would do over some bigger purchases and that I would share with you later about a situation where I am that way too

I have been looking for a new area rug for my living room- the last time I bought one- I had studied almost every place that sold them and dragged Frank in every store I could think of that carried rugs- this went on for possibly a year or more— with me finally buying one that I made the mistake of letting Frank know it was drastically lowered in price 

Okay recently I’ve been on the hunt again- but along the way I have brought new eyes in on my quest for the perfect area rug

Colin and Robyn were two of the first ones to offer guidance and advice 

Then it seems my sister Martha has a keen interest in rugs- and she began to send me lots of beautiful suggestions but not quite right for me

Then her daughter - my niece Emily joined the rug bandwagon! She investigated like a pro I tell ya

Even my friend Rhea was trying her best to find the one rug that would work!

This has not come to an end- I was on sort of a time crunch for a while- hoping to get one delivered while Robyn’s fiancĂ© was here to help!

Lucky for him nothing really spoke to me - so the bonding is still going on- although I’m not as determined at the moment 

But I have to say - I have found much joy in the journey and the friends and family the rug saga has brought 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Quiet times

 I’ve always appreciated quiet- and so far I haven’t been startled at the extra quiet time I have now

Frank and I talked a lot but also could sit quietly together- doing our own thing- barely acknowledging the other ones presence- which we enjoyed 

I like time to reflect and imagine but I’m sure once Robyn is married - then I will experience the real quiet- but I will be okay 

The old saying “silence is golden “ is known for a reason- it can refer to one knowing when to keep quiet- something I have had to work at

It’s like this tshirt I saw a couple of Christmases ago- I took a picture of it and sent it to my kids- it said “for Christmas this year I’m giving my opinion “- they thought it suited me well 

As I write now- the room is fairly quiet- just the hum of the washer and the rolling noise of Miller’s chair

That sound will be missed in my quiet times for sure

Monday, April 19, 2021

People Pleasers

 I think I used to be way more of a people pleaser

There is lots of discussion on why people are pleasers or not- I think some do it because they truly put others before themselves but I would venture to guess that the majority of people pleasers do so for one of two primary reasons

First it is the obvious one- they want to be liked

And my second opinion is a little different than the first one but closely related- they don’t think they are worthy of love or greatly fear not being accepted 

To me the subtle difference is the first one likes to build on a pretty good opinion of themselves- wanting to keep it that way- the second- a deeper unhealthy view of themselves 

I learned long ago to say no- and I’m not sure that’s entirely a good thing

It is definitely necessary at times but can lead into a selfish disposition 

In the Bible it speaks of being rebuked is better than flattery 

- now that’s when it’s extremely hard for me to not be a people pleaser- because most always I would never purposely hurt someone’s feelings or make them feel awkward or embarrassed 

So I guess I could be a tad more of a people pleaser in that way 

I think our desire to fit in certainly lessens with age and hopefully wisdom 

Honestly the world would be a harsher place without all of those pleasant people pleasers

Saturday, April 17, 2021


 I don’t tend to over think big things- like I can make a pretty big decision fairly easily- it’s the simple things that get me deliberating way too much

Frank was possibly the opposite- I kidd you not- he searched for well over a year before deciding on a refrigerator!!! But later in this challenge I will admit to being similar in a smaller purchase 

Frank didn’t overthink most things though- the everyday stuff- he never gave things like what we were to eat- where we were riding to or which way we should travel to get there

Interestingly Frank was very concerned with how he wrote out a note or card to someone- I would always tease him - that it wasn’t an essay- to just write whatever came into his mind

I on the other hand would drive him crazy - if he were popping in the store for a few things and happened to mention ice cream- he would have to name probably 25 kinds before I would say - just get vanilla 

Overthinking is cautiously preceding when it is you doing it but supremely annoying when it’s not!

Friday, April 16, 2021

Notes to one’s self

 When Frank and I were dating - on our first Christmas together- one of the gifts I gave him was “notes to Myself “ by Hugh Prather- it was first published in 1970 and continues to print to this day

The first Father’s Day after Frank died- was only a week after his funeral 

I wanted to give my boys something special- something that would be about their dad- I sent them both a copy of “ notes to myself “

I have to admit that I didn’t remember too much about the book and I really don’t know if Frank ever read it- or if he had told me about this book or I had completely picked it out on my own 

I’d always remembered it fondly and imagined it was full of very timely- seventies advice and culture of that time

It wasn’t until recently that I actually read some of this book 

It got me to thinking of what notes to myself I would jot down- what words of advice and wisdom I would like to pass on

A couple of years ago I started to write a kinda letter to my children- it seemed it was going to be earth shattering and full of secrets I had learned on my journey thus far

When I read through what I had shared- it was pretty much - go for your dreams and always remember I love you- not the mysterious insights I had told myself I was full of

So as I took a new- maybe first time look at the book I gave Frank all those years ago- I once again had that yearning to give it another try- a new start at sharing something lasting 

Thursday, April 15, 2021


 Sometimes we writers over assume that our readers are more interested in our personal lives than the real truth 

But regardless as I am sorta struggling to write these days and confined somewhat by the letter of today- I’m just going to be self indulgent once more

My morning time is absolutely different now of course but nevertheless I have established a routine of sorts

I seem to be waking up rather early although thank the good Lord I don’t have problems sleeping 

I usually have 2 pieces of low carb toast- one with cream cheese- the other with peanut butter- this has replaced my fluffy waffles- which I do miss

I almost always have my instant coffee in my oversized Christmas coffee mug my brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me a couple of Christmases ago

I like to turn on the local news and I mostly watch the today show- sometimes going between a few other stations  

Each morning I check my Facebook memories and share ones I think will be encouraging or uplifting- or funny or just a picture or quite a few

I’ve also started trying a new thing- where I sit silent for 5 minutes and let my mind go blank- waiting on God to speak to me

I usually wait until Miller is up to read my devotionals- he loves to hear me read

But as soon as he’s up he wants the “easy listening “ music channel- hey it’s a welcome change from the light classical station he once preferred 

If there’s time before Miller is awake- I may do my SongPop game or check through my memos - lists etc

Or I may start searching for a hopefully meaningful gift for whomever I need to remember that week

So if you are still reading - thanks for humoring  me this morning 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Letter - the letter

 A few months ago my sister Ruth had a strange phone call from a stranger 

The young woman said she had found a letter written to my grandmother- and a few other receipts and things - she said she had discovered them on my grandmother’s property- around and under her house- explaining that her boyfriend’s parents lived near by and that they were hiking and came upon her old house

After my sister told me about this call - I called this woman and told her I was quite disturbed at her contacting my sister and I wanted to know more

She assured me she wanted nothing and was just captivated by who my grandmother might be or who she had imagined her to be

Some of my grandmother’s letters and other correspondence had been thrown out recently- things that were at my parents’ home - the one we siblings were going through 

I thought she must have gotten a hold of some items from a trash can or other disposal place

So I proceeded to ask this odd young woman questions- pretending I had not seen the old place in a long time- most of her descriptions were spot on - a few were questionable 

She definitely had a keen interest in my grandmother and politely almost begged me to send her a picture of my grandmother 

She openly admitted to searching the obituaries for information to be able to contact my sister 

I never sent her a picture and have no plans to do so

A part of me remains skeptical but mostly I do believe it was just as she said- a curious heart and a desire to keep alive an old woman of a simpler time

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Keep on keeping on

 Keep on keeping on because you must

Do it today and somehow tomorrow 

Do it because you should- your time isn’t up- your name wasn’t called 

Keep on keeping on just do it -as it’s said- it will likely become habit

Do it when you’re too tired to care- when you’re convinced it all doesn’t matter 

Do it when those voices stop calling you to do it- hold on to that one thing that keeps you going 

Keep on going because you just don’t know when you’ll not be here to do it—you can do it- I believe in you- you know you feel  that gentle push 

Keep on keeping on- and smile while you do

Monday, April 12, 2021

Jumping stick

 I’m not an athletic person- excelling only at tennis and volleyball- oh and square dancing!!

Actually I hated participating in most sports and most surely despised gym class!!

So it’s kinda amazing how good I was at the jumping stick- better known as the pogo stick! I used jumping stick - so I could manipulate it into today’s J letter

We just sold my childhood home- I shared with you how my father passed away a little over a year now 

As I made numerous trips to the empty house to go through years of stuff and memories- I couldn’t help but remember my jumping on that pogo stick with reckless abandon 

On my many trips to my childhood home since my daddy died- I would enter through the front door - going down the long narrow sidewalk- cracked now and moss stained 

How many times I had bobbed along the cemented walkway- balancing perfectly-only stopping if I was tired- never falling off

I recall daydreaming and letting my mind race with plans for the next day or a great new idea that would come to me as I intensely jumped for the pure joy of it

I hope the new occupants have a young girl or boy- and I hope they try and repair the old walkway- so they too can jump along it or perhaps just sit on it and dream 

Saturday, April 10, 2021


 Lately I’ve had more time to think of things to fill the time

I’ve found a renewed interest in many things that have held different levels of interest to me

I’ve found a new love for cooking and at my son and his wife (my daughter) idea- I’ve started doing cooking videos on Facebook— I’ve been pleasantly surprised at all the encouragement and support I’ve been receiving from friends and family— And I have to tell you- so far I’m really enjoying it!

My blogger life honestly has not been on the top of my life interest list- but I’m determined to plug along this az challenge!

I’m generally interested in art- decorating- especially my mantle!!

I love tv- see you too can admit it!!!

I also love the idea of planting a garden or at least watching shows about it!

I’m toying with the idea of singing and writing music again- a few months ago I even recorded myself singing some old songs I had written and shared them with some of my granddaughters that are into music a lot!

They said they liked them- and I’m running with that

I continue my love of old houses and architecture — something Frank and I loved together 

I’ve always been into bird watching and I have bought a birdhouse 

Hmmm I’m trying to think if there are any more interesting interests 

Oh- the piano- not much progress there but every once and a while I sit down and embarrass myself- this is sad to say but I think I would play more if my dining room table wasn’t so close to the piano- that’s what I tell myself anyway 

My interest in my family and friends and their lives is deeper now- 

Oh and the ancestry stuff— I’m super intrigued by that kinda stuff

I’m just happy to feel like being interested in anything these days

Friday, April 9, 2021

Handle on things

 Yes I’m coping better each day it seems 

I have the dreaded DMV appointment behind me 

I have my plumbing super issue taken care of- thanks to the awesome generosity of two sweet families I know!

There have been many kindnesses- too many to count- yes I have definitely been blessed with support and care

I knew Frank did a lot but I never quite realized just how much- the depth that I depended on him- and yes there are things I would suggest to others to be sure and do differently but mostly I don’t regret how much I relied on Frank 

He was my best friend- we both were never happier or  more content than when we had time together- honestly we were rarely social with others- mainly because our alone time was scarce 

I’ve adjusted to spending my mornings without him and me having a cup of coffee together- praying together and watching some of the days news-I even miss Frank speaking loudly back at the tv about the absurdities he disagreed with!

I’m handling new things and feelings every day- some in stride- most in kinda a terror—but with God I’m doing it

My kids are a great encouragement of course- and I really want to be there for them also 

So all in all I’m thankful and maybe on a good day- hopeful 

I’m even getting a handle on the toilet handle- just how to jiggle it to make it stop running- but occasionally I have to admit to having to take the back off the tank and handle it that way— still progress 

Thursday, April 8, 2021


Funny how one idea or picture can inspire one to duplicate or stimulate your creative side

Such was the case of the Easter/bunny garden my sister made- I kept thinking of it and how it made me feel 

It was a tiered tray- each level filled with old and newer springy delights and creatures - taking you back to childhood but with a grownup touch and whimsical essence

So I hurried to Target and scooped  up some inexpensive Easter items- eager to get home and assemble 2 Easter gardens of my own- adding some older relics too

After I posted my creations to Facebook- my cousin texted me with her darling Easter garden!

What a fun succession of  shared interest- one of those unexpected bonding moments - sister to sister to cousin and perhaps others were making their own interpretation of the Easter menagerie 

My sister’s 


My cousin’s

My Easter trees

My other bunny garden

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Sorta a continued thought from E day post—— Futile gets a bad rap

It can’t help that somethings are just impossible and better moved on from- yes I’m aware I just ended in a preposition 

Futility is hard work- it’s what you get when you try too hard or what you feel like when you don’t 

Why is it we only use it when we are trying to tell ourselves that things can’t work- that the universe would supremely be against it 

If futility was as exhausting as it sounds- why do we keep doing things that bring us back to this outrageously maddening word

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


 Enough is enough and too much stinks! Did everyone’s mother say that or was it just mine?

Enough is a very relative word

Condescending yet satisfying 

Controlling but desperate 

Enough is obviously subjective and elusive 

Tragic and ultimately mind numbing 

Enough is never- you fill in the blank

I’ve had enough of this futile word

Monday, April 5, 2021


 I feel different- I feel like I suddenly don’t have a clue who I am

It’s sorta like those dreams where I’m in a car and going somewhere I’m totally familiar with- but then suddenly I can’t find my way back home 

Everything is different now- different is super scary- different is actually terrifying- it almost makes me dizzy

Because this different is disorienting and lousy

Everyone tells me to put a new spin on life- to try new things- to put myself out there

And that would be different for me- but what is it that they say- different doesn’t have to be bad- but this different is different 

Saturday, April 3, 2021


 What’s that saying- something like comparison being the thief of joy 

Definitely a true statement 

I try these days - really hard- to not compare- not to wonder too much in what might have been or look too closely at someone else’s life

I try very hard to have that “attitude of gratitude “ we all hear about— and it does help 

If I compare my life before with these days- well it doesn’t really compare too well 

If I look in a mirror and compare that young woman- the one who didn’t appreciate her youth- well that doesn’t end well either 

So I try and stay positive and hopeful 

Not wanting to shoot myself in the foot by being a drag for people to be around 

But some days I let myself compare what I feel like on my best days to another person’s maybe worse day and I kinda feel like they might be the same

Friday, April 2, 2021


 I know my first two words are not very interesting or thoughtful but they work for me right now 

Before my husband got sick and ultimately died 

We were planning a beach trip- some of our family was coming 

The year before we had taken a trip to nags head North Carolina- a place I had visited as a child

I had introduced Frank to this beautiful oasis and he came to love it more than me

That last trip- my son Colin and his wife Kelli and their girls- our beautiful granddaughters - had come- it had been years since we had been with them along- Robyn and Miller were of course along too- my son Dustin and his family were not able to come

It was a great trip and a wonderful memory now

Yes before- we were full of plans- and new deck and patio furniture- which Colin and Frank happily put together not even 2 weeks before Frank got sick 

Before there was time to dream- yes we still dreamed 

Time to take for granted that things would continue to be somewhat predictable and comforting 

I’m glad in a way that before was so innocent- because honestly what can we do about the future- only hope for it or dread it

And certainly knowing what lay ahead of us would have taken any joy we had before 

Before marks my life now- like a time I thought I knew what my world  looked like- a time I’d grown accustomed to and didn’t understand before would soon be my past

Thursday, April 1, 2021


 I wasn’t sure if I would participate in the az challenge this year but I figured it would help me to write 

Today my word is after- after my husband Frank died- I was going to say passed away but that’s much too nice of a word 

Too nice for the agonizing way he died- the horrible covid death 

I never gave much thought that he would go before me- it just seemed like we had lots of years left

My father had died three months before my husband but sad to admit- I was ready for dad’s departure from his aged body- he died at 95- that seems right - that was expected 

How did I still not get - how life isn’t neatly ordered or reasoned 

How did I not stop this somehow- how was it that I allowed my best friend of almost 44 years - to die alone- hooked up to all they had to offer- ravaged beyond recognition of the man I knew and loved

So after that- I really don’t know what to say about after that but I know I breathe deeper and think awful thoughts 

I dare to do some things I enjoy- only to catch myself looking back more often than I ever have

And wondering if after will ever be okay