Past moments in time are never that far away


Dad & MOM

The past few days my parents have been on my mind. Maybe because Facebook has that deal that shows you past posts or just because it’s July.  I know August is around the corner.

At lunch on Sunday with my entire family I was laughing and joking.  I made a comment about moving in with my kids when I was old and the son-in-laws weren’t too sure about that. I started to say I understood that I wasn’t sure I could live with my parents and it brought me back to the day my Dad died.

 

That morning, while we were alone in his hospital room, he told me that he needed to take me up on my offer.  The offer I had given him a few days before about moving in with us.  I had forgotten that, which surprises me.   I couldn’t stop my eyes from filling with tears but I gathered myself quickly I think.  I had a beautiful baby boy in my arms to look at and hide my tears.  I felt my husband’s hand on my leg for reassurance as well.

Dying Alone

While dancing and singing with my other baby grandson later,  in my home office, I saw the pictures of both my parents from various times in their lives.  The display has a photo of each of my parents holding me when I was a baby, I told G how that was me and continued to dance.  My mother loved to dance.  When I danced with my father at my second wedding we glided across the floor and if I shut my eyes I can still feel it.

The memories are here  in my mind and next to my heart.  Although they may fade they are still inside me.  Tears may have fallen on this day but I’m glad I remembered that memory with my Dad.

Until next time,

Julie

What Did I Get From Him?


Dad Collage

The few last weeks I’ve been thinking of my Dad more often.  It seems when I watch my husband and our nine year old daughter together,  my own dad comes to mind.  As I pondered thoughts I was trying to figure out what “things” my own father taught me as I grew up.

When I wrote this piece for his funeral I meant every word.  Many things to be grateful for but yet a 46 year old daughter longing to recall exactly what he taught her is puzzling.   My parents divorced when I was 11 and he was basically absent the couple years before that more or less.  It’s hard to think of any of my daughters being without their fathers. Fortunately they all have had active ones their entire lives.  I hope they realize what a blessing that is.

pvmv-corn

This post isn’t a bashing on my deceased father, it’s a thought process.  It’s how I deal with things that fester and instead of letting them grow into something ugly, I’ll turn it into something good.  That working through words will weave an acceptance to an area of my life.

I think he may have even been okay with it.  Writing letters.  I suppose he taught me that. After the divorce we wrote to one another. This was my only real connection with him. He didn’t get me every other weekend or call.  He wasn’t much of a talker.

I recall playing poker with my Dad once, I’m sure there were other times too.  I think I remember it so well because it was Christmas time and my brother and I ended up walking home from our grandparents house.  His pickup broke down and it was freezing out.

There was the time Dad and I were in my Grandpa’s pickup.  YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE came on the radio and he sang to me.  It was funny.  There was more turmoil than laughter in my childhood so this memory is very precious.

He didn’t teach me to ride a bike or even drive a car. Elementary and high school graduations he didn’t attend or the birth of my first daughter.   The absence of him as I began dating was hard but I had a good replacement at the time.  My step-father came into the picture when I was around 14.  I still longed to have my Dad present in my life but Bob really was a good father figure.

I can look in the mirror and see physical traits that resemble my Dad.  But as the youngest of his four children, the question what did he teach me that enables me to conduct my life the way I do is present.

Yesterday I was watching this music video, my Dad came to mind.  I showed it to my youngest daughter, the one that seemed to “give him a new reason to live back in 2008”  as my husband put it.  Johnny Cash always reminded me of my Dad, the physical traits mostly and his size.  As I watched the video with my daughter I couldn’t keep the tears away.

232323232-fp43237-nu=3235-39--386-WSNRCG=3232;86;79659nu0mrj

Almost three years and I still miss the man that I am not sure taught me much.  I’m okay with that I guess.  I am not so very curious for the words I have placed upon this post have brought acceptance I suppose.  Hugs from that little girl he thought was pretty special made things better too.

mother daughter

Julie

Treasures – From a Mother


As most of you know, my mother passed away in August.  My siblings and I spent 2-3 days recently going through her house and choosing the items we wanted.  Although it was a bittersweet time, I am glad we could do it together.

Some of my favorite treasures from Mom are below. I’d like to share them with you.

Her embroidery patterns!

20150922_112121

A hankie that was one of my grandmothers.

Hankie

A partially used bottle of her perfume.

Perfume broch rings

An embroidered tea towel that my mom’s mother made.

tea towel

There were many items that were of higher dollar value, but honestly these simple things that brought Mom joy make me feel quite lucky to have them now.

I could live without any of the material items that are now mine.  I would be fine, and who knows, quite possibly better for it, but I like the idea of passing something down to the next generation.  That’s part of the beauty of this thing called death.  Not only will the material items be passed to the next generation but so will things my mother taught me in life. I already see her in my two older daughters.

Craft Projects

I’m sure when the time is right, I will sort through the incomplete craft projects and begin attempting to assemble them.  There’s joy and sadness in each project not completed by her.  On one hand I will not be able to crochet or embroider quite like her, the difference will be evident. The quilt blocks may not match up exactly and I will surely struggle.  But the opportunity to put together things that were touched by my mother’s hands will bring joy to my heart I do not doubt.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Pods of Seeds – Mom


June 2015
June 2015

This time of year makes me always think of my mother. Now that she is gone I know that I will not be seeing paper towels laying around her home with seeds drying on them ever again.

Mother loved flower gardens. Before she was too disabled she had a yard that was so very lovely and well maintained. When their beauty would fail,  she would, just at the right time, pick her seed for the next years garden.

Azalea

I never really got the gardening gene from her. I’m more the “let me look at it and someone else maintain it type of gal.”  As things begin to change with her gone, little memories like this one come to the forefront of my mind.

There is joy in the memories and hopefully they will cover the mourning that lays upon my heart.

 

Grace is a gift,

Julie

When your child is grieving and so are you.


Our seven-year old daughter is having a hard time with the recent death of my mother.  Her mindset and emotions are out of whack from her normal happy-go-lucky, easy-going one.   I don’t know why I expected my young child to be able to endure the loss of a beloved grandparent when I am struggling with the loss of my mother.

It comes out in various ways, the snippy attitude, crying in regards to something that she normally wouldn’t, and her need for more hugs from me.  I on the other hand just have a slide show of images that will go through my mind at any given moment of mother.  I will then become quiet and in my own world.  Tears will fall on occasion and other times they flow like a river.  I become overwhelmed easily.   It hasn’t consumed my daily living but it is ever-present.

Today I did just as my own mother probably would have done.  I gathered myself in strength and consoled our daughter while she wept.  I reassured her of the resurrection, of how much her grandmother loved her, and how having this pain is because she loved us so much and vice versa.  We shared memories and just held one another.

Then it was time for me to distract her with something else so the tears could stop and we didn’t wallow in our despair.  It was time to move forward, at least a little bit to accepting that her grandmother wouldn’t be here to watch tv and color with and my mother wasn’t here to call with sewing questions any longer.

mother and daughter Grandaughter and grandma

May the memories cover the mourning with each day.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Roadtrip – Blueberries, Donuts, and Quality Family Time!


I’m starting this post as I am traveling on the open road with my hubs and youngest daughter.  Since it is too wet for my farmer husband to do what he loves we decided to get some fun family time in! The main reason is here shortly we will not see much of him for a couple of weeks when things do get busy with wheat harvest and fall crop planting!

We traveled 2 1/2 hours to pick blueberries. We were rained on but that didn’t matter to me. I loved it! Picking fresh fruit, time with the family, and seeing the beauty God created is so full filling! I highly recommend it!

 

Blueberry Picking

After the blueberry picking we headed to an apple cider mill / country store. I had been there last fall and enjoyed the donuts they make a great deal!  They didn’t have their equipment running today but we stocked up on some goodies and I explained how they made the cider in the buildings.

apple cider donut

Then we just headed down the open road!  We ended up stopping at a park and eating our picnic lunch.  Dad and daughter checked out the museum on premises.  Then we just made our way home and stopped at a Wal-Mart to stock up on canning supplies for me! 🙂

We picked 21.5 pounds of blueberries.  I will freeze most of them, make a cobbler or desserts, and perhaps make some jam or jelly.  I will be busy the next few days because I also have enough strawberries in the refrigerator for two batches of jam as well.

Blueberries

I am currently watching the local orchards for blackberries.  I love me some blackberries!  They should be ready in the next couple weeks from what I can tell.  We have a blackberry bramble of our own but I need more than it produces to make jam.

It is both my husband and mine busy season I realized today.  He has crops to harvest and plant and I have picking and jam making to do.  Our lives are busy but hopefully with this being the first summer I’m home full-time it will go smoothly.

So, how did you spend your Saturday?  What is your favorite type of jam or jelly?  Comment below and let me know!  Happy weekend!

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Scents & Smiles


On the country road where dirt flies and winds gust there is an old sporadically blooming bush.  After four years of living here I just now noticed this bush along the roadside where my in-laws live.  There were three clumps of  branches with purple buds beginning to bloom.  This image took me back to many years ago when I was but a child.  A time when we lived in the “house on the quarter” and all the way down the driveway there were huge lilac bushes.  I can recall making my way to fetch our mail and loving the scent in the air on a spring day.  When I smell lilacs today it takes me back to that treasured time of my life.

After a few moments I found myself back to reality and collecting the mail.  I couldn’t help myself.  I made my way to the bush and picked a lilac, shut my eyes, and a smile appeared upon my face.  I was seven again and just drinking in the goodness of the sweet smell of lilac.  All the way back to my home I continued to smile and smell this beautiful scent.

Unfortunately, the sad thing about lilacs is once they are picked they don’t last very long.  Perhaps that is part of what makes them special as well as the scent, only here for a short time.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

Little Things That Make Me Remember


It was just an ordinary day for me. Nothing special going on but I found it interesting the little things throughout my day that bring my Dad to mind.

As I lay on the decompression table in the Chiropractors office I thought of him. The memory from when I was young when he went to one in the same town. The building is still there too, occasionally I drive by it on my way through town.

Another thing was when I was standing in Wal-mart waiting for someone to check on something for me. I looked over and there was the display of Ensure. I recall my sister and I buying a large amount of it for my Dad just days before he passed away. He couldn’t swallow so this would give him nourishment. He didn’t get to use much of it.

When I open a certain drawer in my home and I see his deck of poker cards and the money I won playing his favorite game against my siblings. I smile with a heavy heart.

It doesn’t have to be an old photo or gift that brings him to mind these days. As you can tell it can be things that are a part of my daily living.

When I see the photo in my daughter’s room of him and her for the last time together it does bring a sadness over me. But I try not to stay there, I think of how happy she made him. Of the first time he held her and how he called her his angel.

Missing him is here but it’s not nearly as hard as it was. We are coming up on seven months without him. Although we weren’t in each other’s daily lives we were still father and daughter. A bond that isn’t easily broken I don’t feel.

 

Dad & I DSC_8266

Grace is a gift,
Julie

Days That Make You Appreciate Where You Been, Were, & Are.


Did you have great weather over the weekend where you live too?  We had just fabulous weather, and this helps my demeanor so much folks!  Spending time with my kids and their families helps too and we were lucky enough to spend time on Saturday with them all together!

Saturday morning we worked on sorting cattle, youngest daughter included!  I took photos and love watching three generations work together.  There were 65 head loaded onto a semi truck to head to another farm.  The rest will be sold and picked up on Tuesday.  To learn more about our farm life you can visit my other blog In Between the Sunsets of Life.

Farm Family 2015

Sunday morning was spent worshiping with our church family and learning more about God.  The rest of the afternoon was spent outdoors!  It was so delightful!  Our youngest daughter is going to Disney on Ice with her sisters soon, and we told her if she wanted to buy anything while there she had to earn her own money.  So she has been doing jobs around the house, and I offered her $5.00 to clean the interior of the semi and tractor.  She accepted and did a good job too!

cleaning

Her and I decided we would go for a UTV ride afterwards!  My husband grew up on motorcycles.  When he was our youngest daughter’s age he could ride the small mini cycle they still have.  Although our daughter loves the atv and utv, she hasn’t wanted to ride the motorcycle. That is until today, we convinced her.  Her Dad took her around the yard a few times, and she was thrilled! 🙂

motorcycle ride

Purple Martin bird houses.  My husband has two that he received as gifts last year and today was the day he was able to put them up.  Our daughter helped dig one hole, then headed off to play with the dog and bubbles!  By this time of the day I decided after two short walks I would rest on the deck embroidering.  It was nice to just relax and enjoy the peaceful day.

birdhouse

Our weekend sounds busy but to be honest it was one of the best ones for me to date.  Just enjoying the things that have been given to us is a wonderful thing.  I can’t explain how I feel about where I came from, went through in life, and now where I am.  I know I won’t be home until I die, but this is a pretty good place to land for now I think.  All the gratefulness and thanksgiving goes to the Lord.

Grace is a gift,

Julie

The Button Box


At 5:30 this morning after I put our dog into the garage in hopes he would stop barking at coyotes and I could get another hour of sleep my mind began to wonder.  Imagine that right?  So for about 30 or 40 minutes I lay there with my thoughts pinging back and forth.  Jumping from one thing to another, and it landed on an image.
The image was of a metal octagon box that my Mom used to keep a bunch of buttons in when I was a kid.  There were tons of them and all different shapes and sizes, the metal box a blue color I recall.

I text my Mom as I wrote this piece and asked her if she still kept her buttons in that box.  She said yes. I remember it was blue and it had a design on it.

I have no clue as to why this image arrived in my mind when it did. But it brought a little joy from childhood to my thoughts.

I can still hear how it sounds to shake the button box.  As I write this a small smile comes across my face.  It is good.

Have you ever had that happen to you?  Just remember something out of the blue and it brings a memory to the forefront of your mind?  It’s nice to have those good ones arrive just when you least expect it huh?

 

Grace is a gift,

Julie