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Monday, September 28, 2009
In the past few weeks life is beginning to return to normal, and I'm thinking more about what to write on my blog. Searching through one of my actual pen-and-paper journals, I found a page I'd tucked into the back cover that Mama gave me a few weeks ago. She told me she'd been inspired to write about the changes that sneak up on you as life progresses, and after reading, I got her permission to post it here.
So, today, Mama is a guest blogger, and here's a journey into her mind. I hope you enjoy.
I have spent the last forty-two years, trying to keep my house clean. I did a load of laundry every day, and two on Saturday. I washed two loads of dishes every day. There was dusting to do three times a week, the floor to sweep & mop every day, bed linen to change twice a week, trash bags to be taken out twice a day, and then deep cleaning at least once a week. You see, I had anywhere from one to four of my children in my home for all of those forty-two years.
Today, I do a load of laundry every four days, one load of dishes every other day, sweep & mop every other day, because there is very little traffic in my home. I dust once a week. I still change the bed linen twice a week, but instead of four or five bets to change, now there are only two. The trash fills up about once every other day, and the deep cleaning needs to be done once a month. As you can guess, my children have grown up and left home to start their own families and clean their own homes.
But as happy as I am that we ahve raised four children to be happy, successful, thriving adults with thirteen wonderful children (my grandchildren) and one more due any day now, and one grandson (my great-grandson), I sometimes wish they would come by more often to make a messy home again.
A parent's goal is to have their children grow up, find their special mate, build their home & family, and live a productive life. But oh, how we miss the busy, chaotic life of all our little chicks under our roof.
Of course, one of more of my "babies" is here almost every day, but gone are the days of a busy, active family, days of scheduling everything around school, extra-curricular activities, part-time jobs, and homework.
Would I want them back here on a permanent basis, absolutely not!! They are living their own lives exactly the way they should. Plus, I am older now, and probably too tired to do all that cleaning every day. But, now and then, I get a little nostalgic, and wish it could be the way it was before, even if just for a short while.
Even so, looking back, I am so aware of what a blessed life we have lived and are still living. Thank you Lord.
for more from and about Mama, check out these links: She Heard It On the Cash Cab, Forty Years Ago Today, and I'm a Word Hunter.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Oh Happy Day! It's the first calendar day of autumn. Now I know that can mean any number of things, depending on where you live. Here in Oklahoma, it will likely still be summer-hot and humid today, or summer-rainy and humid. I long for temperatures in the fifties and sixties, and will probably work up a good sweat in the eighties, instead. But, the calendar says it's autumn, and I'm in the mood to celebrate. Things are still hectic at my house, new job, new schedule, new excuses for not writing nearly as much as I'd like. I think a re-post is in order... so here's one from October, 2005 -- just because I can't wait for cooler temperatures. Happy beginning of Autumn (or Indian summer in Oklahoma). I hope you enjoy.
He’s coming. I can feel it.
I have had a life-long love affair with Autumn.
As September draws to a close, the temperatures begin to tease me. The still warm days are occasionally interrupted by a cool breeze, or a chilly evening, --- The problem is that it never lasts long. Just when I think I might throw open the windows and air out the house…the thermometer creeps up over eighty degrees, and summer lingers.
And though summer hangs around rather longer than she is welcome, I know her days are numbered. Eventually she will have to sleep, and then Autumn will finally blow in on the breeze.
He will bring me mementos --- all the sights and smells of fall. Wet leaves, logs burning, the scent of rain on the air, hay-rides, county fairs, pumpkins, apple pies, squash and high-school football. He whispers on the wind, and in my ears I hear… “Look, I’ve set the horizon on fire with red and orange, brown and gold. There’s a chill in the air, let’s go for a walk."
What is it about the crunch of leaves beneath my feet that makes me feel as though everything is absolutely beautiful?
So I linger in the evenings and watch the sunset. I shiver slightly, and pull on a sweater as the stars turn on their lights, one-by-one. I listen to the sounds of fall, and already, it is a bittersweet moment.
Because I know…
Autumn never stays long in Oklahoma. He floats in on a breeze, plays with my hair, and my heart… He whispers to me of steaming bowls of stew and chili, happy family gatherings and holidays…I almost believe he’s going to stay a while… but in little more than a week he has left me again.
The color fades.
The temperature falls.
Winter begins to announce his arrival, and dear, sweet Autumn slips away when I’m not looking….
And still, I love him.
Friday, September 4, 2009
In honor of my 42nd birthday, my youngest daughter, Jericho is guest blogging for me today. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I did.
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I’m living,
My Mommy you’ll be…”
As a young girl, I remember a book I’d always ask my mother to read me. It’s about a young boy growing into a man, and throughout his years, his mother would come into his room, crawl across the floor, and peek over the edge of his bed. If he was really asleep she’d pick him up, no matter his age, and rock him, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, as he slept. She’d always sing this song, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
As he gets older, moves away from home, and has children of his own, she never ceases. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” However, my favorite part is the day she calls him and asks him to come over. He walks through the door and she starts to sing, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always…” But she can’t finish, so her son picks her up, sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my mommy you’ll be.”
Afterward, the son drives home, and stands at the top of the stairs for a long time. He then opens up the door to his newborn baby girl’s nursery, picks her up and sings, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”
(Read the book online: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.)
“I’ll love you forever…”
My mommy turns forty-two today, which is twenty years older than my sister, and twenty years younger than my grandmother. I’m currently nineteen, and when she was my age, my mother learned she was pregnant with my sister Sarah and her twin Amber. I don’t know how I could have handled the news. I would have had to give up my dreams, as an aspiring film director. She was an aspiring writer. For almost twenty years, my mother put her life and dreams on hold to raise three beautiful babies (if I may say so myself) my sister, Sarah, my brother, Jotham, and me, Jericho. Not only did she raise the three of us, she also helped raise my step-brother, Tyler, and my step-sister, Tiffany as well. Yet, her amazing abilities didn’t begin there. A year older than I am now, she lost one of her twins, Amber. Again, I can’t even begin to fathom, losing a baby girl at my age. Yet, she remained strong. She put her life into mine and my siblings', and she raised us extremely well. For that, mommy, I’ll love you forever.
“I’ll like you for always…”
When my mother was young, she was of course a special child. My grandma tells me of times when she was younger, my mother refused to go anywhere without a hat. Whenever she couldn’t find a hat, in what I’m sure was a mess of her room, my mother would grab her sand pail and wear it atop her head. No matter what my grandma said, Mom would refuse to take it off. Before long, of course, my grandmother would just let her travel around in her sand pail.
This is just one of a few things I’ve inherited from her. Like me, when she was younger, opening Christmas or Birthday presents, with a bow, my mother would take them & stick them on her head.
“As long as I’m living…”
My mother is probably the smartest person I know. Currently if she really wanted to, my mother could be a MENSA card carrier. When she was younger, my grandmother got a call from my mother’s teacher. Mom was a bright, exceptional child, well above the rest of her class. There was a day the teacher gave her two pieces of paper with homework on the front and back. My mother threw them away. The next day, he gave her more, two pieces of paper, double sided with homework. This time, my mother took them glued them together and filled out only one side of each.
Several years later, my sister recalls her elementary school informing her that she had been accepted into the Gifted & Talented Program. Not knowing what it was she told my mother, who of course was ecstatic. In the years following, my brother and I also were accepted, which of course caused my mother to beam with pride.
“My mommy you’ll be...”
I cannot think of anything more I’d like to say to my mother than, I love you. Happy Birthday Mommy.