The End of an Era

Hello my People!

It feels like a sweet forever since I have done any blobbing, I feel rusty. I am going to just start typing and see what comes because at the moment I feel like all I have to say is, we worked really hard last week and then we worked really hard again and again.

It feels appropriate to gather up all of the weary loose ends.

As of this moment, my Dad is homeless. Ah, not really! He is in limbo, he is staying with us this week. He is 99.5% moved out of his house and into the garage of that house. That .5 percent is the refrigerator that he thought he was leaving but they thought he was taking. He will remove it when he actually moves next Monday. They have closed on the old house and the new owners graciously allowed him to continue using the garage until he can close on his new condo on August 5th. They will not be moving in for a while but are already hard at work making it their own. They have ripped out all the carpeting on the main floor to install hardwood, and painting has begun!

That paragraph looks all neat and tidy, but it masks the flurry of seemingly endless activity that was last week. We had spent the week before packing and sorting everything in the house and separating it all into two camps; The Keep Pile and The Salvation Army Pile. I actually think the latter was the larger pile!!!

My Mother had almost 70 years of belongings stored in that house. 70 plus if you count a good amount of my Grandmother’s things. My Mom loved pretty things, all kinds of pretty things. Crystal, dishes, accessories, decorating things, clothes, jewelry, everything. She was very sentimental, she kept things that others had given her, correspondence, all of the things that made up the memories of her life and the lives of her children and grandchildren. She was also a child of The Great Depression and had the suspicion that hard times might come again and she might need something, therefore she rarely got rid of anything useful, just in case.

All of these factors combined made for a huge job. And I am here to tell you that we tackled it and have lived to tell the tale!!!!

After packing up all of the things he wasn’t taking, Dad, Beeve and I hauled all that out to the garage. I personally feel I have been up and down his stairs hundreds of times!!!! Tuesday morning Honey and I helped him load a big old U-Haul, then we could really see what all he was taking with him to the condo. Once the garage was clear of the give-aways, The Keep Pile was loaded into the garage. He had help from many, but the job was fierce!

He had to be out by Thursday at 4:30 when the new owners were coming for their final walk through. We spent that entire day cleaning and removing the last bit of belongings and rubble that was left behind. We just made it by 4:30! The new owners seemed thrilled with the place and said Dad could come back any time to visit the home he had lovingly built with his own hands.

Once again, I am shocked by how tidy that looks on the written page. It seemed anything but. It was a monumental task, a seemingly overwhelming job, but you have heard the expression of ‘how do you eat an elephant?’ One bite at a time. We just plowed on and kept working.

I had joked with my Mother many times over the last decades of her life. Told her she should start going through her belongings, purging, donating, reducing. She always laughed and said don’t worry about it. I teased that we were going to need a dumpster because we couldn’t keep all her things.I was only half kidding. I always had a feeling that she would never get to it.

We did end up keeping some of her lovely and useful things. We have boxes of household goods and pretty things in our basement, set aside for our kids. Everyone needs pyrex and Tupperware and pots and pans. They each chose some of her pretties from her china cabinet. Precious memories of the Grandma that they loved so much and who adored them in return.

I had always feared I would be mad or resentful about this job. It could have turned out that way, really, it could have. I have to say that, surprisingly, I was not. It was a big job, but Mousey and The Ab-Cat helped us. Honey and Beeve helped us. Dad’s friends helped. It brought up so many memories and we talked about them along the way. Good memories of a life well lived. We hope many people will be blessed by the things we didn’t keep. There are going to be a lot of happy people excited about the great finds they made at Salvation Army!!! I might even read about them on someone’s blob!!!

God was in this move. In the details, the decisions, the timing, providing help. protecting our backs and bodies! I feel like it was a final act of love to my Mom, who I miss every day.

I had a moment when we were all finished cleaning the other day. I was outside on the driveway, putting my pail of cleaning supplies into the back of my car. I turned around and was struck by a fact. I will go to my Dad’s new condo, Lord willing, many times, but I will never go to my Mom’s house again. She loved the house my Dad built for her, loved the life they made out there at the lake. It was like the last link to the place she last lived.

I cried for a bit then continued on. It’s all we can do here in this life. But we will meet again, that’s the best part. It makes it bearable.

John 3:15

New International Version (NIV)

15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Potent Quotable

But forgiveness is not an emotion… Forgiveness is an act of will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.
Corrie Ten Boom

The Weekend That Was

Hi Guys!

I will not be around too much this week. It is crunch time for moving my Dad out of the lake house into his new condo. Will hopefully get back to blobbing next week.

We did do something fun this weekend!

The Oreo Mom and Kentucky Jim’s son Colin was married this weekend!

Parents of the groom.

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Colin and Gloria. The bride grew up in California, the groom in The Mitten, they met in the Navy, served in Sicily and the middle east together, and married in Saline, Michigan! How is that for getting around the globe!

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Our table at The Weller Carriage House, a loverly venue I must say!

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The rarely photographed together, Honey and Capri Kel!

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Three Good Kids and her Honey.

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Keelyody, the walking buddy, and her Honey…

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and The Peanuts Champ!

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The wedding itself was outside in the 90 degree heat, but the reception was inside. I love bought air!

Good food, good friends and a lovely couple just starting out together, it was a good night!

I will see you when I see you!

Potent Quotable

The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.  ~Theodore Rubin

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! If you would like to join the other Hodgepodgers, click on the square below and join Joyce and the gang!

1. Picture postcards were first printed back in the mid-1800’s and deltiology is the official name for postcard collecting. When did you last send a postcard?

Receive one? Do you save postcards sent to you? Do you collect and/or send postcards when you travel?

These are the only postcards I have received in recent memory. Both from The Dane, both with very sweet notes, in very neat penmanship, on the back. I especially like the No Whining one, for obvious reasons :)  I kept them because they were from her.

I could not tell you when I last mailed one, probably when I was a kid.

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2. What treat do you most like to indulge in while on vacation?

The last couple of years it has been frozen yogurt. It was previously ice cream because that is Honey’s own personal catnip. I have to say that it is not so much of a draw for me when not vacationing. I think going for ice cream is a fun activity though. 
3. Are you good at hiding your feelings?

 Not in the sense that I stuff my feelings and don’t recognize them for what they are. If someone asks my opinion, I will tell it.

If you are talking about my game face? Then I probably am. Not every thought or conversation is productive. I don’t feel the need to engage with everyone who thinks differently than I do. Two expressions come to mind as I think about this. The first, that I have shared many times from my good friend Jip the Farm Dog, you have to pick your hill to die on. The second, from my wise Mother, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I don’t say anything a goodish amount.

If this is about emotional feelings, that might be a similar answer. I don’t hide my feelings emotionally, but I am not a super emotional, dramatic, wears my heart on my sleeve kind of gal to begin with. I think those who know me well can ascertain my feelings without too much trouble. I just don’t feel that everyone needs to observe my feelings about every little emotion I might be having. Privacy is a valuable thing.

I am not exactly sure if I have answered this the way it was intended, but it’s my take on it.
4. Does your town/city/county still deliver telephone books to your home? Do you check the yellow pages when searching for a local business number or has the internet replaced the phone book in your home?

We get the books all the time! It seems like more than once a year. I never use them. Honey has been known to use them but I think even he has started using the internet for this information.
5. Would you rather be first or last?

I don’t have any need to be first, and I am usually talking in the back, therefore don’t generally get to go first. Plus, I like to observe others, so I can get the lay of the land before I have to go.
6. July is National Park and Recreation Month (in America, but everyone can still play along)…where and when were you last in a park?  Did you participate in any recreational activities while you were there?

I won’t say I have never been, but I have no immediate recollection of this activity.
7.  What was one of your worst ideas?

I am sure there are several things in this category, but the first thing that popped into my mind was from 2001. The reason I am so clear on the date was I did it right before we left for Boyne City, Michigan and Dehostwaeler Camp.  I was making caramelized pecans, melting sugar until it was liquid so I could stir the pecan bits into it. As I poured the mixture out onto the waxed paper to cool, I caught a drip with my index finger. Oh yes I did. Burned the entire pad of my index finger. The whole rest of the day was spent with that finger in a glass of ice water. Who would think one little digit could cause so much pain? Very bad idea.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today is the estate sale out at my parents house. There is a lifetime of merchandise laid out all over!!! We are praying that a whole lot of it goes, otherwise we will have to pack it all up and lug it to the Salvation Army. Things are getting down to the wire there. It looks like Dad will have to be out by the end of July and the lady he bought his condo from is not ready to be out just yet. He may be in limbo, with his belongings stashed somewhere! We just keep telling ourselves it’s almost done!

Bittersweet

Today is a bittersweet day.

My dear friend Vickie is moving to Nevada.

That sentence is wonderful in many ways. Both of her sons and their wives live there now. Her precious grandchildren are there as well. There is much sunshine and warm weather where she is going, something she has struggled without during the 20 something years she has lived here in The Mitten. She and her husband are from California. Michigan is not their home, was never really their home. But the job was here, and here they remained. Her husband Gary has retired, they are now free to go. And today is the day.

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It’s a good day! I am thrilled for them, I know how difficult it has been for their loved ones to be there while they have been here. There is only sweetness for their entire family.

And yet there is a sadness.

I am going to miss this lady.

She has been one of my favorite kisses on the cheek from a really good God.

We met at a church that no longer exists. We only went there for about 4 1/2 years but it was a place where we made many life long friendships. It was a special time, unlike any we have known before or since. It is still amazing to me how God used those 4 1/2 years to impact our lives.

Her boys were in elementary school, I was a mother of preschoolers. I was drawn to her because she was just enough ahead of me to be a source of wisdom and advice. Her boys were so sweet. She and her husband were funny. I just liked them all!

And she always had really good advice. Godly advice.

Proverbs 12:26
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. (NLT)

Our friends, Caregroup and family were wonderful after our car accident in 1995. Really, God had orchestrated a whole network of support in those 4 short years. Support that was as strong and all encompassing as spanx! We needed each and every one of them. I look at them all as God’s provision, His powerful right arm, upholding us when we could not stand under the crushing weight that had become our life. Vickie was a strong thread in that group.

She has been a faithful thread in all the years since. I have joked that she has been a counselor to me in years past, only it’s not really a joke. I had a lot of stuff to work through.

 Proverbs 27:9
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (NLT)

We have shared our ups and downs, our highs and lows, our joys and sadness. We have waded through a lot of life together. She has listened to me share my heart and fears about too many situations and topics to even recall. She helped me to clean our house for years after the accident. I always looked forward to those days, we worked but we had lunch and always good conversations. I always knew that we would have a good visit when she came to get her hair done, once a month, like clockwork.

She always shared what she was learning from God, always left me with plenty to think about and verses that I could apply directly to my immediate situation.

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

She spoke God’s truth. She challenged my thinking. She has prayed for us. She has invested in me as a mentor and a friend. She never made me feel like I was a chore for her.

I love her heart, her kindness, her family and her relationship with God, our firm foundation in this world.

We have exchanged Skype and Facetime names. Of course we already have e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers.

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Whenever a pastor or speaker asks me to picture someone who has invested in me or made an impact in my life, she is always one of the people who comes to mind. They always say to send that person a card or call them. Let them know how much you appreciate them, how you recognize how they have built into your life, how God has used them in a mighty way to help you become the person you are. Tell them.

I’m telling her.

Thank you, Dear Friend.

The Monday Morning List

Hi Guys. Every time I turn around, it’s Monday. Or the weekend. What I mean is, time is mooooving!

I can’t remember if I ever officially told you, but my Dad sold his house! He passed the inspection and the thingy that says the buyer did not pay more than the house is worth, they are just waiting for a closing date now.

He is having an estate sale on Wednesday, praying that many things are SOLD!

After that, we pack up what he wants to keep and haul the rest to The Salvation Army.

It sounds all neat and tidy, but there is a lot of work packed into those two little lines.

He has had company for the last few days, his daughters Margie and Bonnie and granddaughter Shannon came from Florida to The Mitten for a wedding.

I totally lifted these pictures from Margie’s Facebook page. I am hoping that I won’t go to prison since I am not trying to claim them as my own photography!

It was really beautiful the day they arrived and they were oohing and ahhing over the lower temperatures and humidity. Well, yesterday put the kabosh on all that and it is once again muggy Michigan, all hot and sweaty.

I have been on a bit of a tear the last couple of weekends. For those not familiar with the expression, I offer you this from The Urban Dictionary.

On a tear

On a streak or series, usually a winning streak. Will sometimes be used (semi-sarcastically) to define a losing streak.

Our house was bugging me. It needed so much attention in every little area imaginable. The closet in our bathroom was especially annoying and ill functioning. It was the hair accessories. Why do I have so many hair accessories when I only really use 5?

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The bookshelf in our bedroom was not doing it’s job properly. Then I noticed that there were many books that I didn’t even want any more. I put those into 2 bags; Salvation Army bag and another with some Christian books that I will offer to my friend Sandra who runs the library at her church.

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I was then able to get all of the books I wanted to keep on the shelves in a reasonable fashion.

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The dust. Oh.My.Word.

And the cat fur. How are our cats not bald?

I was also in purge mode in my clothes closet. I was getting fed up with the crammed-ness in there. Yeah, I know, that is not a real word, but you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Mousey had been working on this task as well. She has enough clothing for several young girls. i see that she is still adding to the pile.

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The fruits of our labor. Mama Mia approves.

Then I vacuumed and mopped and cleaned bathrooms and then just sat on the couch because I was all worn out.

I know these are all things we all do, all the time, but it was concentrated into a day, therefore I feel the need to unload on y’all. It was like I was nesting!

Notice that I did not show you the before pictures? That was intentional.

Oh, The Ab-Cat and I went to see Pacific Rim yesterday. It was good, but she especially loved it because there was fighting and she says in her heart she is a 12 year old boy.

It was 3D. I don’t understand that craze.

The Boy and The Dane are in Sweden right now with her People. He says he now has 2 stamps in his passport!

Keelyody and I are going to try and walk THREE times this week! Considering we have barely made our goal of TWO times a week due to scheduling conflicts, I hope this can occur. I know my body would appreciate the effort.

The physical therapy for my tennis elbow, acquired by NOT playing tennis EVER, has settled into a twice a week mode, Mondays and Fridays. So far, no noticeable change.

What I have noticed? The music from the gym behind the therapy place is very loud and can only be described as the soundtrack of HELL.

I have super good hearing and the music is super duper loud.

Honey, The Ab-Cat and I ate at Outback AND our favorite Mexican place, Chip and Dip this weekend. It goes without saying that it was a yummy eating weekend. But I evidently needed to say it anyway.

Mousey was bummed about the Outback. She said she would have had the ribs. She is liking the ribs these days.

Ok, that’s enough random for anyone. I must get my walking skort on and git over to Keelyody’s. It’s supposed to be a scorcher today, we like to get out there early.

Have a productive day!

Potent Quotable

There are times when two people need to step apart from one another, but there is no rule that says they have to turn and fire.  ~Robert Brault

Up North in The Mitten

When I was looking through pictures yesterday for pictures of Dehostwaeler camp, I found way more than I needed for yesterdays post, so I decided to stretch it out to two posts! The more the merrier, right?

We are back in August of 2001, getting ready to climb the dunes over by Lake Michigan. Or maybe we had just finished, I can’t be certain.

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It was a beautiful day, I can be certain of that.

Here is Young Mousey, 6 years old and climbing her first mountain.

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Honey with an 11 year old Ab-Cat, who insisted on climbing/crawling up some of the dune.

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Honey with his Young Skywalker, Mousey Ann.

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This is what I remember, Honey and I carrying Abby up a lot of the way . What a workout that was for ALL of us!!!!! Jonafin, he’s the best might have even carried for a while! But bless her heart, she did climb a lot!!!

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At the top. One of my favorite pictures of the Ab-Cat, just crop myself out.

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Running down!!! The Boy is moving!!!

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As was Intern Autumn!

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And Mousey!!!

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We have moved on to the beach at Lake Michigan. Ab and I. Autumn, posing all glamorous on the rocks.

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there’s Jonafin, he’s the best! With I. Autumn and The Boy.

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A rare picture of Capri Kel and Honey.

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I remember they found that feather and stuck it in their creation.

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It was a loverly day!!! What fine memories we have.

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Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

Hi Guys!! Thanks for stopping by! You can link up with our hostess Joyce by clicking on the button below. Come on and join the fun!

1. What’s something people might ask you for help with?

Their hairs! It’s my job.

2. What’s something you might ask someone else for help with?

 I ask people for help ALL the time. Advice, be it decorating, gardening, spiritual, parenting or just LIFE. I require help doing things like moving heavy objects, fixing things, opening jars and containers. I am sure there is much more. I am not above being on the receiving end of a helping hand!
3.  Did your family take summer vacations when you were a child? If so, where did you go? If you’re a parent, did/do you plan summer vacations with your own family? Did/do they resemble those you took as a child?
I don’t remember taking too many vacations in the summer as a child. We did go to family camp with our church when I was real young, and I loved that. In later years we went to Florida.

We did much more traveling with our kids in the summer. We went to Family Retreat with Joni Eareckson Tada and Friends for several years in Indiana at a resort on a lake.

We went on many weekend camping trips with our caregroups for years, and those were SO much fun. I can say that now because many years have passed and I can only remember the good, fun things, not the unpleasant side of packing up everything in our house that we might need to live in quasi comfort while we lived in the dirt like dogs!

There were several years of renting cottages with our dear friends The Hostlers!!! Oh my, they were fun trips!!! We named it DEHOSTWALER Camp, and it would take many, many posts to describe all the fun that went on there!

There were also trips out to my parents house on the lake and weekends up at my Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ cottage on Gun Lake. I might be forgetting some things, I blame the hormonies.

Our big vacations were typically over Easter break.

4.   Pool-lake-ocean…which one is most appealing to you on a hot summer day?
I like the lake, ocean and the pool, but I prefer to be IN a pool.

5.  Have you ever justified using the expression, ‘you gotta be cruel to be kind’?  Was it really necessary or were you rationalizing?

I use a lot of expressions, but that is not one of them.
6.  The Journal of Psychology recently mentioned the results of a survey identifying the ten most hated foods as-liver, lima beans, mayonnaise, mushrooms, eggs, okra, beets, brussel sprouts, tuna, and gelatin.  Of those foods, how many do you actually hate? Anything you’d add to the list?
I do hate liver and beets, but the word is too strong for some of the other items. I actually like lima beans, mayo, mushrooms, eggs, tuna and gelatin. I am not sure about okra and brussel sprouts, I have very limited knowledge of them and would be willing to try them again.

I would add green olives, and green peppers to the list. And sausage with fennel. They are also of the devil.

7. What’s your favorite book or movie set in a beach or lake town?

Within the last couple of years I have read several books in this category. On Folly Beach by Karen White and Island of Saints by Andy Andrews. Both good, and oddly, both featuring a past and present storyline that included German spies from WW2 on American beaches. I am sure there are more, but these two came to mind first.

But if I am being really honest, the best book featuring a beach is Shanna by Kathleen Woodiweiss. I believe the category would be considered a bodice ripper. And Ruark Beauchamp would be considered a major hottie!!!
8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of DEHOSTWALER Camp!!! Back to 2001, in Boyne, Michigan. We stayed at The Moose Lodge.

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I guess it was cooler this year, everyone has a sweatshirt.

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That’s a little warmer.

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On Lake Michigan. From left, Intern Autumn, Nurse Lauren, The Ab-Cat, the Hostler’s friend I Think She Lives In Alaska Kellen, Mousey and The Lone Boy.

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Playing cards was always so fun!

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Honey, Rae Babe, Capri K and Nurse Lauren playing what appears to be gin.

I think I will have some more pictures to show tomorrow and I am positive Rae Babe’s other half, Jonafin, he’s the best, is in them!!!

Have a hood rest of the week!

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