i have been pretty ill for a few months, but we have gotten to the root of the problem. I was in the hospital last week and am on the road to recovery. It may take awhile for me to heal completely, but I am glad to be blogging again. i hope to get back to a regular schedule soon. Thanks to you who have come back to check me out!
I am so sorry that I have not written for awhile. I have been ill. I will have a new post in the next couple days, and it is worth the wait.
Aunt Leva, books, canning, cemeteries, cooking, crocheting, family ring, gardening, going to church, iron skillets, knitting, living past 100, old housecoat, reading her Bible, rolling pin, sewing, sewing machine
My Aunt Leva died at the age of 103 back in 2009. When a reporter interviewed Aunt Leva a few years ago, the reporter asked Leva what was the best thing about living so long, Aunt Leva piped up “No peer pressure!”
Aunt Leva was the youngest of the fourteen Roberts children. Her father, Maston, travelled often as foreman of a logging group, and her mother, Lucy, ran a tight ship to keep the home in order. Every younger child worked with an older child on chores, and the older child was responsible for the younger one. They worked hard “Up on Birch”, and they loved each other and had lots of fun.
Aunt Leva died in February of 2008. A friend who wrote poetry asked if she could read a poem at the funeral that she had written for her friend.
by Jeanne Light
She slipped, quietly away, Going as she came, on a Mid-Winter’s Day. Leaving behind her earthly store, The “simple” things she’ll need no more. Possessions remaining her heart treasured. Memories rich, beyond all measure. A Bible she had marked, a recipe book, An old fashioned apron she wore, Some clothes, some shoes, a coat or two, some photographs of friends she knew. Souvenirs of numerous travels, an old housecoat that had started to ravel. Crochet hooks, a perfume spray, Daddy’s candlesticks, a serving tray. Some books she read, a rocking chair, canning jars from her garden fare. A family ring, a necklace heart, held close kin even when part. Knitting needles, her art unfurled, made Christmas gifts for her boys and girls.Much used iron skillets, some pie plates, too. Cause Mom loved pie – and choice country food. A quilt, some goods – for making dresses, a mop, a broom, for cleaning up messes. Her sewing machine, a thimble, some thread. A worn rolling pin, an old antique bed. A spinning wheel, some nice, warm socks. Her pen, her desk, her tithing box. Eyeglasses, makeup, a gold wedding ring. All of these – her much loved things. These that added, part by part, pieced together her beautiful heart. She left them behind – all “tucked away”. These treasures she cherished so much. They’re all laid aside – awaiting a return – missing her gentle touch. But one “thing” she left here I can’t lay aside, “It’s” present continually – Waiting behind like the rest she loved. “It” won’t pack away…”It’s ME!
Leva’s life was busy and creative. She was creating quilts, blankets, things for her family and friends. She was always working on something in the kitchen – she was a great cook. Leva used her talents to raise her children and to volunteer to the church.
What belongings will your family see after you have passed? A long list of sports equipment, every beauty product known to man? A kitchen in the latest fashion but never used and is not the heart of the home? What kind of books? How big the TV is? Not a Bible in the house? No evidence of family together? What do you want them to see when they collect your things?
Contrary to popular opinion, Grammy has not kicked the bucket.
I have been in IT purgatory for the last few weeks, and I am not completely out of the woods yet. I couldn’t even get back into this account today, because my current, now former, password needed to be changed. ARGGGGG….
About three weeks ago, my Mac screen showed in large letters, “You may have a virus”, and it shut down. Fortunately I had a policy with my store that I only paid for parts. They put in the newest Mac drive, which is a 10.10.
I picked it up a few days later. It didn’t have IPhoto, or scroll bars, and something else I can’t remember. I took it back, and the technician said that there was no longer IPhoto, but my pictures would be in “Pictures”. He also said that they were doing away with scroll bars, but I could move the pages up and down by scrolling with my pad and space bar. He reassured me about my other issues and I brought the Mac home.
About the same time, I dropped my cell phone – hard. When I got it to open the screen, I saw the words RESET. I thought this meant that I could reset my phone and that any damage would be undone. I was totally wrong! RESET means emptying your phone to the state it was in when you first bought it.
I tried to undo this action, but the phone just never recovered. I bought a new phone, and the technican transferred everything to my new phone. Well, some of the things in my old phone did not make it. I had 130 contacts originally and now I have 30. I have been manually trying to enter my contacts a little at a time.
Now I felt that I was on my way to recovery. I needed to install my printer into my new Mac. I spent a total of eight hours with five different representatives to try to reinstall my printer. The last representative had me print out a sheet and we compared stats. She said I was good to go.
She was wrong. My printer would not print. I decided to buy a new printer that was compatible with my updated computer.
So now I need to install the new printer driver into my Mac, and I am dreading it. I have had the box sitting in my study for a week or so. I am going to get up the courage to install the printer this weekend. Wish me luck!
I don’t want to sharpen the nib on a quill pen and write with ink, but this new technology needs to be easier for the average Joe (or Jane) to understand.
If you don’t know the definition of a Luddite, don’t feel bad. I only learned it when my first college aged daughter came home and told me about Luddites.
1. A member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woolen mills, that they believed were threatening their jobs. (1811-1816)
2. A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology. (That’s me!)
What happened to those days? I remember my older relatives working in their gardens at their own pace, doing their chores early, having picnics, and sitting on the porch swing in the evening with a friend or relative. This is a way of life that we have forgotten.
Our lives are so busy today that even when we are trying to have summer fun, we work very hard at it and we spend a lot of money. Husbands and wives work two jobs to earn that money, and then they have to build up vacation days to go on the big trip. Our children don’t know how to entertain themselves. They may not even go outdoors much if they have a gaming system or an IPad. It should come as no surprise to anyone that parents are buying these electronics for very young children. Now we are so busy that we grab fast food instead of cooking something nourishing. Big vacations, lots of technology, summer camps, summer academic classes, stuff, stuff, and more stuff (we have to have a great wardrobe for our vacation!) – we have it all, but we have lost something in the transition.
My mother’s summers were much more low-key. Mom loved riding on her big draft horse, Tom. Swimming was not at a pool with an exclusive membership. Creeks, ponds and lakes were treats instead. If there were grape vines to swing out over the lake that was a bonus. The family’s food was homeade and delicious. My grandmother was an amazing cook! The family lived on mostly what they grew or animals that they raised themselves. Now we call that “organic”. There were books to read on the front porch while munching on an apple or drinking a homemade glass of lemonade. A tire swing was entertaining. There were chores, too. Mom participated in gardening, canning, quilting, and getting eggs from the hen house. On special occasions, Mom might have a friend spend the night from her small country school.
It might be a good for us to simplify our lives in the summer. Take a break from your computer, your TV, your phone (other than calling others), even your Kindle. Play board games together. Try reading a real book that has pages that smell good and have beautiful illustrations. Put up a hammock or a swing on the porch, and actually use it at the end of the day. Get up early to sit outside and enjoy the coolness of the morning and the sounds of the birds. Give your kids jars and let them catch fireflies. Build a fire in your fire pit and make s’mores. Make homeade ice cream. Have a picnic with delicious foods and a quilt spread out on the grass. Show your kids how fun it is to roll down a long steep hill. Lie on your back and look at the stars at night. Maybe gather some basic camping equipment and delve in the world of campgrounds.
Whatever you choose to eliminate from your schedule, take time to relax and to be together as a family. That is the way to make family memories that your children will still talk about when they are adults.
I will be taking a hiatus from writing for these three weekends. Even writers need time away for rest and fresh inspiration. I will start blogging again around the weekend of July 4th. Until then, I have lots of posts written on my blog on a variety of topics. You might want to go back and read some of these. See you (meaning I hope you will begin reading me again) in three weeks. Until then, enjoy this beautiful time of year.
I wrote this last year for D-Day, and as I reread the post today, I didn’t think I could improve on my thoughts from last year. D-Day was the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe, and was the largest invasion in history. We should never forget what these men did on that day. The world might be a different place if not for their courage. Please take a moment today to remember the sacrifices made by many on D-Day.
Today, June 6th is the 71th anniversary of D-Day. Not many men who fought there are still living. I observed or remembered three stories that day.
There was a group of WWII veterans flying out of Louisville to view the WWII Memorial, the Korean Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. The trip was totally sponsored and even included the veterans’ meals. I watched on TV as these old, stooped, or wheelchair bound men were going through the airport to board their plane. They were so excited! It was hard to imagine that they were the strong young men who had stormed Omaha Beach and actually turned the tide of the war. But I would bet that each of them keep the photos to prove it.
A veteran who lived in a nursing home in England was told there was no room for him on the ferry that was taking a group…
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Seven years ago we took our youngest daughter to college about three hours away. Our other two daughters had stayed in town for college. We helped Katie unload her things into her dorm room. We hung around until we knew it was time to let go. We had promised her that we wouldn’t cry, so we gave her silent hugs.
Katie has the most beautiful green eyes. When she was a child, I would see tears pool around the bottom of her eyes before she would cry. After our hugs, she took my face in her hands and said, “Mom, this is the hardest thing I have ever done.” Those green eyes were pooling with tears. I hugged her again, and left the room. I did not cry until I was in the stairwell.
We adjusted to the new situation. Katie was hired at at a hospital in Indianapolis, and she has lived there since.
Katie likes a challenge. She took work right away in the ICU doing a night shift. It has been pretty easy for us to connect with each other, as she has lived only two hours away. Katie loves my big, crazy family, and she would drive down for almost any family gathering.
Katie called me a few weeks ago and told me that she had been offered a job in Denver, Colorado with Donor Alliance in organ procurement. I was listening to the job description, that they would pay Katie to fly out for the the interview, and that they would pay moving expenses if she accepted the position. Katie has wanted to do this for a long time.
Things moved quickly. Katie and I flew out for two apartment hunting days. I was honored that she chose me to come out. Real estate is expensive and there are not many apartments to choose from. Katie found a cute apartment in an old building close to her work. She loves urban living.
It became a whirlwind. Katie packed and had her things sent ahead. She loaded her SUV with everything else, including Molly (Molly and the Dog Bakery) and a friend who wanted to go to Denver. She drove over 1,000 miles in two days. She texted us when she had safely arrived.
Today she texted that there is an IKEA only twenty minutes from her house! She was headed out to find some furniture. She will start work this coming week.
Katie will have a wonderful experience in this job. She will watch the computer for donor matches. When there is a donor from Colorado or part of Wyoming, she will go in an ambulance and bring the donor’s body back to their center, where the transplants take place. If the donor is too far away, the recipient has to be flown to the donor site. She is responsible for biopsying the organs to check for any cancer or defect that would make the organ a bad choice for a transplant.
This is such a great opportunity for Katie. She has managed this long-distance move on her own. Katie loves adventure, and she will be able to kayak, hike, snow ski, with many other exciting things to do.
I am so proud of Katie, and amazed at how she can make difficult situations look almost easy.
But within the heart of this mother I am saying, “This is one of the hardest things I have ever done.”
In the middle of all the busyness, I have managed to get a pretty nasty cold. I am attempting to rest all day and drink lots of fluid. I even missed an opportunity to see my grand baby, Charlotte, today. That’s when you know it is bad!
I have a few blog ideas spinning in my head (today they actually are spinning!). I don’t have the physical or mental ability to put them down in words today. Thanks for checking into the blog periodically to see what is happening.
I know it’s a while since I wrote a fresh post. I will be back next week. See you then, Grammy Jan
My youngest, Katie, is moving to Denver, Colorado along with Molly, her dog. She and I are going out this coming week to look at apartments. Katie has accepted a job that she has wanted for a long time. In honor of Katie and Molly, I am reblogging this post.
This is Molly.
And this is Molly, too.
This is Katie, playing in the snow one day with Molly.
And this is also Katie, looking very serious in the British Museum in London. This picture has nothing to do with Molly, but I thought it was a cool picture of Katie.
Molly and Katie have been almost inseparable since the day the Katie brought Molly to her home. Molly’s full name is The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and it suits her well.
We have all had so much fun with Molly. At the house, she would bark at the broom or the vacuum cleaner. We would take her to the waterfront in Louisville or to the lake in Tennessee, and she would bark at the waves. She could be very cuddly if she was tired enough.
My five-year-old niece calls the pair “Molly and her mother”.
A while back we went…
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